Category Archives: Marklin Z Repair Notes

Pilot Wheels: Legacy in Marklin Z

Marklin 88092 with two wheel leading truck.

With the invention of the steam locomotive in the 19th century came un-powered pilot wheels as part of its invention, they were meant to support the front end of the boiler and assist the locomotive negotiating curves. John Jervis is credited with the first locomotive design incorporating leading wheels or pilot wheels for his 1832 4-2-0 locomotive. It would be another 33 years until the design of leading wheels would be improved by William Adams, his 1865 design allowed the front bogie to slide slightly to negotiate curves and a spring mechanism to thus allow the bogie to reorient to center. A two wheel leading truck is referred to as a ‘pony’ truck, four and six wheel leading trucks are considered more stable than pony trucks for high speed service. As a point of clarification the pilot of a locomotive is located on the front of a locomotive to deflect any type obstruction which would otherwise derail the train, various designs were built into 19th and 20th century steam locomotives of a mostly filigree framework, later solid sheathing was incorporated in the streamlining of many diesel designs in the United States.

Marklin Z steam locomotives incorporate sliding lead wheel sets with a spring mechanism made of tension brass. Even in Z the leading wheels are important to running long steam locomotives successfully. It is another example of Marklin being true to the prototype even in the smallest scale.

I recently bought 88272 as ‘new dealer old stock’, it was released in the mid 2000’s as a One Time Series, it sat on a shelf for over 10 years with plenty of time for the oil to harden. I tested it at low voltage and it worked flawlessly without any hesitancy so I tried it on a large oval, the pilot wheels derailed on the first curve: hardened oil syndrome on the pilot truck pivot point as well as the trailing truck’s pivot point with no sign of hardened oil in the gearing of the driving wheels. Cleaning the loco of all the old oil and re-oiling solved the problem! Advantages with Marklin Z are the easy to diagnose and repair problems: always look for the easy answers.

After making the repair I compared the 88272 BR 42 with the 88273 BR 41 both are closely related with the same chassis and shell , leading wheels and trailing wheels on the 88273 do not include the tension brass mechanism supporting the axle on both trucks. If the slight tension created by the brass spring is too much the wheel set will deform below the surface of the driving wheels. Removing the brass tension mechanism if it is deformed or damaged is recommended, if it is left in this case derailments will ensue.

Since entering the community of Z I have been told by many that the two wheel leading truck on some Marklin Z steam locos cause derailments due to not enough weight on the front end of the locomotive, it has been advised that placing lead weights to the front end by soldering bb’s is the answer to fixing the apparent Marklin design flaw. We might all like to tinker, but as a long time collector of Marklin z gauge I found no evidence of design flaws in z by Marklin quite the opposite, I continue to marvel at locomotives and rolling stock designed for long term running characteristics which are easy to maintain and repair.

I collect Marklin mini-club as my primary railroading enterprise, but I also collect prewar Marklin 1 gauge and prewar Lionel Standard gauge. As a point of comparison I pulled out the motor and pilot wheels of my Lionel 384 from 1930. In the photos the itty bitty Marklin Z 88273 incorporates leading wheels that slide on their axle whereas the big Lionel loco restricts the leading wheels to pivot only on a vertical axis.

Photo: Lionel 384 pilot wheel and Marklin 88273: behemoth and the “Little Giant!”

Photo: Lionel 384 2-4-0 locomotive motor with driving wheels and leading wheels juxtaposed next to Marklin 88273 which incorporates a sliding axle not present in the 1930 Lionel.

I would say in closing that Marklin has already considered the leading trucks as important elements and not decoration in their design which accounts for historical accuracy and perfect operating characteristics, modification to the leading truck maybe overlooking the real problems which could be dirt or hardened oil around the pivot point or too much downward pressure from the brass tension spring. The same applies to the trailing truck. Always look for the easy answers instead of reinventing the wheel.

Good luck and have fun!

Siding: Gearing on Marklin Z gauge steam locomotives usually comprise driving wheels with connecting gears. Connecting gears are installed first followed by the driving wheels and side rods. It is a little tricky working with small parts, but the objective is to line up all of the wheel weights in correct orientation otherwise the loco will not run smoothly instead the gears will bind up. Tell those around you that you may need a 1/2 hour on your hobby or 6 hours when you make your first steam locomotive repair.

Siding: if that set of pilot wheels keeps derailing it will more than likely be dirt or hardened oil around the pivot point, pilot wheels should move freely around pivot point.

SBB CFF FFS class Ce 6/8 III: Marklin’s new release 88563!

The iconic articulated Swiss loco “Krokodil” has long been associated with Marklin in all their scale models, but the new 88563 is a further development of this Era II loco in technological terms for ‘Z’ collectors following numerous releases of this loco in special editions and other variants since the first 8856 (green paint scheme) serie Be 6/8 in 1979 and the 8852 (brown paint scheme) serie Ce 6/8 in 1983.

For the first time changeover headlamps/trailing lamp in LED. Plus partially new tooling including the incorporation of catenary switch below the hood as it were and the removal of the roof top screw formally used to switch power on the circuit board from track to catenary. Removing the catenary screw from electric locos has been a continuing design function of the new locos just as improved running gear and side rods on the steam engines, it is a good time to get into the Marklin mini-club hobby!

Photo: 88563 (top chassis and bottom hood) and 8856.4 (green loco chassis and its hood showing hole through roof to support catenary screw)

A brief look under the hood between the new release and an older 8856 variant is a new circuit board supporting wires for the LED changeover lights thereby obscuring the motor, as can be seen in the photo the circuit board is solid and does not support engagement with brushes, this new motor is identified on the parts sheet as E279 138. Is this a new generation motor? A quick google search revealed nothing!?! When I have more time I will be taking this one apart and reporting what I find! Note: runs great out of the box!

Photo: Marklin 88563 (top) and 8856.4 (version 4: 2009-2010)

Note: switching to catenary power is achieved by carefully pushing the slider switch on the circuit board, in earlier versions this switch was a slotted head that extended through the roof of electric locos.

Follow-up: The new 88563 reveals a new generation motor! I couldn’t wait to find the time to conveniently take apart 88563 to reveal its workings so first thing this morning I opened it up. On first inspection of the circuit board I missed noticing the black and tan leads soldered to the circuit board which descend through holes in the board to the motor, which sits in a newly designed chassis. As with all 8856 variants the articulated locomotive design is comprised of three parts including mid section containing motor with two worm drives and front and rear driving wheel sets, in this new locomotive the mid section chassis is newly designed and dispenses with circuit board clips as well as any visual access to the motor. The circuit board is further redesigned in function but also appearance with two retaining screws and a much thinner board.

Future repair: Any future repairs to this locomotive will be difficult for any but the more advanced modeler. Due to its thin construction the circuit board will be prone to cracking and replacing the motor will be a skilled operation requiring un-soldering of points on the circuit board. How often are future repairs expected on Marklin Z in general? ZERO in my experience except for the cleaning of gears and motor upgrades of the traditional 3 pole/ 5 pole variety.

Closing: Thru advancements in technology and detailing closer to the prototype Marklin is producing some truly outstanding trains, but more intricate parts and complex wiring schemes could be seen as challenges to overcome on the workbench.

Siding: If you have an SBB Krokodil that runs rough perhaps after cleaning and reassembling it maybe due to the front and back side rods being out of alignment. If the loco runs well in one direction but rough in the other reassemble side rods so they are high on one end and low on the other.

 

FR’s Prototypical SBB Pantograph: Installation and Description

The new pantograph for Marklin’s Ae 6/6 electric locomotives is prototypically accurate and replaces the original pantograph with a few modifications. FR of Germany has produced this very interesting and important upgrade part that is better made than the Marklin original plus it looks great! The new FR SBB pantograph is available as part number 41.190.00, each is delivered in a hard plastic case.

A side by side comparison of the Marklin original and the new FR pantograph reveals a larger pantograph with a heavier spring. The solid construction of the FR eliminates the sometimes drift seen in the Marklin pantograph. The Marklin pantograph is a bit generic as well coming in just a few variations in color otherwise the same is used on German and Swiss locos. The FR upgrade will add zip to your locomotives for Swiss railroading with striking silver finish true to the prototype.

FR pantograph on left and Marklin on the right:

Installation gets easier after the first one due to familiarity with the small parts and coordinating the assembly after modifications are made. As discussed in earlier posts assembly includes modifying the shell by removing the original plastic parts on either side of pantograph, I simply pulled them off with my fingers taking care not to damage the wires on the shell’s roof. The heat points for the original parts will provide the holes for the new FR pantograph, but first the 4 silver caps/washers need to placed around these holes, the legs of the new FR pantograph are thus placed through the washers and holes. This step can be a little tricky so take your time and work over a workbench to catch the parts if they go astray. Final step is applying pressure to the pantograph and securing with included screw. At this point the pantograph is attached, but you might notice looseness of the legs and washers of the new part, in this case I applied a very small drop of 5 minute epoxy to each hole on the interior side of shell. *NEVER USE PLASTIC CEMENT ON MARKLIN LOCOS DUE TO MELTING FROM THE SOLVENTS IN THESE CEMENTS, 5 MINUTE EPOXY IS THE ONLY RECOMMENDED GLUE FOR MARKLIN Z.  A pin will ensure a small drop versus too much glue seeping out of shell. Careful with this step, but I recommend it to marry the new parts to the shell in permanent correct orientation!

“Cargo” locomotive pictured with the original Marklin pantograph and roof equipment and Ae 6/6 locomotive features the new FR pantograph:

This highly recommended upgrade for Swiss Ae 6/6 locomotives will cost about $60 for 2 pantographs or 1 loco delivered to USA collectors, it is only available directly from FR. Photos show completed locomotives with the new FR pantograph.

Ordering from FR is fast and easy with an excellent website, careful packing and fast shipping. FR’s website uses green signals to indicate in stock items otherwise date projections for out of stock items, locos are seldom available at any given time, but they can be reserved for next production run usually 6 months out, worth the wait!

Note: FR lists the new pantograph can be used to upgrade the Re 4/4 locos, Marklin has released three thus far, but as of this posting I am not sure how the upgrade is made. I will be posting an update after speaking with Harald Freudenreich on this matter.

 

2nd Report on the new SBB pantograph: FR 41.490.00

I just received the new FR pantograph for Swiss locomotive types: Ae 6/6 and Re 4/4II, and I immediately installed it on the Marklin 8849 Serie Ae 6/6 electric locomotive; it is even better than I could have expected!

Installation of this part on one of the appropriate Marklin Z locos is a restoration project so to speak, for the first time the correct pantograph can be installed on Swiss locos which originally but incorrectly included the same style pantograph used on German locos. Until now Marklin has offered three styles of pantograph design with variations for a total of 6 different pantographs; they are all installed with a single center screw and furnished with electrical roof equipment of various cast plastic parts.

The FR pantograph is installed with a single center screw of the same diameter as the Marklin one, but simple modifications must be performed including the removal of plastic parts on each side of the original pantograph. If you want to preserve the plastic removal parts simple cut the melt points on the inside of shell: DO NOT USE A SOLDERING IRON TO REMELT THESE POINTS, USE OF AN SOLDERING IRON IN THIS MANNER WILL MORE THAN LIKELY RESULT IN PERMANENTLY DAMAGING THE SHELL BY MELTING IT. I simply pulled these parts off because I had no intention of saving them, each broke into many small pieces.

The pantograph is delivered in a nice plastic box with the screw installed in the pantograph, and a part sheet is included that contains the 4 post caps that are used in the installation. To upgrade one loco you need to buy a pair (2) of these pantographs (FR part #41.490.00). Cost to replace one pair of loco pantographs with the new FR ones is $56 including shipping for USA buyers. No directions are needed or included, but I will provide a few notes:

-First: remove shell from loco and unscrew the pantograph from inside shell

-Second: remove plastic parts from each side of original pantograph mounting on shell

-Third: working over a workbench preferably foam use tweezers to break apart 4 small post caps (part is located below foam insert in plastic box

Fourth: very small post caps are installed over the holes on shell that plastic parts (now removed) were originally engaged with, pantograph legs are inserted through the openings in the post caps, these small parts are precision made but due to their size they are somewhat difficult to work with, I installed the post caps over each of the four holes in alignment with the legs some wriggling of parts occurred before all four legs met up with the post cap holes, place pressure on pantograph top, tip upside down line-up screw in hole and tighten *you will find your own way during installation, use care to not lose parts and perhaps work over a parts collection tray working with one pantograph at a time

Several important advances have been made in Z-scaling including the advent of the 5 pole motor, side rod detailing, can motors and now a new pantograph for two Swiss class locos!

The following Marklin locos can be upgraded to the prototype with this new part: 8829 (Ae 6/6 released 1994-1996), 8849 (Ae 6/6 released 1987-1993), 8850 (Ae 6/6 released 1984-1987), 88501 (Ae 6/6 released 2003-2008), 88591 (Re 4/4II released 2012), 81410 (Ae 610 released 2010), and 81413 (Ae 6/6 released 1998-1999).

 

FR New Release: Prototypical SBB Pantographs!

Marklin Z electric locomotive pantographs are of two types: older scissor style and single arm. Variations include silver, black and blackened. Plus a third prototypical pantograph made just for the GG1’s. Marklin’s Swiss and German electric locomotives have been installed with these two styles of pantographs even though they vary with the respective prototypes. Marklin’s pantographs are an excellent standard style universally supplied on all electric locos with more recent single arm examples in black or blackened finish.

An exciting new release by FR is an upgrade for Marklin Z Swiss class Re 4/4II and Ae 6/6 locomotives with a newly designed pantograph accurate to the prototype. Here is a part described by FR that is an exact copy of the original pantographs for these locos that is easy to install. I want to share this information as it has just been announced, how long they will be available is unknown. I have already ordered 10, when they arrive I will add another post describing the installation with photos, but it looks like a unique opportunity to upgrade these Swiss locomotive types.

Re 4/4II

 

Ae6/6

Check out other FR Swiss freight cars each equipped with standard mini-club couplers, this company has been the first to release a number of interesting freight cars including K3 boxcars. Marklin’s foray into freight cars for Swiss modeling in Z is very good but limited to few examples, FR offers freight cars that have not been offered by Marklin in Z.

Marklin 88687 BR 101 Electric Loco: Simple Repair

A quick note concerning Marklin’s line of BR 101’s. I just received the older 88687 which is a member of the Bayer series of class 101’s, it arrived with one buffer off.  Sooner or later you might come across this and maybe the first inclination is to glue it back on, but please don’t! The original and brilliant design included a clip system without any glue entering the mix. The black part that holds the buffers works also as a clip to hold the LED’s in place, two prongs on the black buffer part engage with tiny holes in shell and wow its back together again. It is of course part of the natural occurrence with Z to have something come loose, but rarely if ever is this due to broken or defective parts so stay away from the glue unless the loco dropped to the concrete floor and cracked, in this case 5 minute epoxy is the way to go.

Repair Notes: Marklin 88992 Swiss class A3/5 express locomotive

Marklin 88992

Marklin 81035

Note: photo 1 depicts the 88992 loco and tender in Marklin’s original marketing literature, photos 2 and 3 depict the train set 81035. The original Marklin photograph varies greatly from the actual loco: paint finish not as glossy, side rods not as dark and wheel/spoke design more typical of other steam locos produced by Marklin in ‘Z’.

 

A ‘One Time Series’ locomotive from 2005 is the Swiss Federal Railways A 3/5 express locomotive based on the 4 cylinder compound prototype from Era II. Marklin released the locomotive with tender as item number 88992, they also released the train set 81035 in 2007 with this loco and tender plus 3 coaches called by Marklin “The Old Timer Train” in celebration of 125 years of the Gotthard Line. Both items are very hard to find for sale, but if you model Swiss trains and find one it might be of interest for your railroad. Having the luck to find one might come with some disappointment with running performance ‘out of the box’ which is the topic of this post. I own both the train set and the loco, each was purchased new, but the loco is a recent acquisition, it arrived with working headlamps and ‘HOS’ (hardened oil syndrome). The locomotive was dead on arrival which also indicated it was never run and the original Marklin oil was dried up. Marklin oil over time dries out, it acts like glue in this condition. Does it always happen? No! Marklin may have varied the oil used during assembly so sometimes there is HOS and sometimes no evidence of HOS with older locomotives.

More than likely 88992 will have HOS, one dealer I have seen is selling the locomotive with replaced wheel sets leading me to believe the original was traded out because it was mucked up, thus making it easier to trade out the chassis than making this rather tricky repair.

Removing HOS from this loco presents a few problems that are easily overcome with those with experience. First the loco has to be fully taken apart including un-soldering the leads to remove motor. The leads will spring away from motor which is easy at this stage but more difficult when re-soldering later in the repair. The problem which is relatively unique for this loco design are two gears that are attached directly to the frame, they are not easy to remove, but they don’t need to be removed. The gears in my loco were solidly stuck in place, I used ‘Original Windex’ (blue) and applied it with a dropper to both gears. Eventually the mild solvent loosened the gears that I worked back and forth with a toothpick until they were freely moving. At this point I dropped a few more drips of Windex and let the frame sit. When the Windex appeared to be dry I reattached the motor and ran it with a fresh oiling with synthetic plastic compatible ‘Z’ gauge lite oil. At this point the loco can be reassembled and tested on the track.

In summary: 2 frame mounted gears frozen in place by old dried oil will more than likely be the cause of this loco not working, removing the hardened oil will bring success!

Siding: If your headlamp works but the motor is silent chances are you have HOS, overly testing the loco in this condition will do no good for the motor.

BR 94, BR 194, BR 1020: Marklin 5 Pole Motor Upgrade

Marklin’s 5 pole motor upgrade for 8812, 8822, 88221, and 8824 uses Marklin Part #E211906. The original motor for these listed locos was 3 pole with part number 268200, the original 3 pole was a good motor for this loco design which featured cast metal frame and end units thus making for a well balanced and heavy locomotive. Improvements with the upgrade include finer slow running performance and quieter operation.

This upgrade will be performed on 8824 which is the BR 194 lettered for the DB with turquoise and cream paint scheme. 8824 was produced for 5 years starting in 1989. If your loco was stored for many years without running it may need a full restoration in addition to the motor upgrade. If nothing moves, the motor does not run, and just the lights work it could have “hardened oil syndrome.” Restoration of locos with hardened oil require complete breakdown and cleaning.

*******DO NOT INSTALL NEW 5 POLE MOTOR IN LOCO THAT DOES HAVE FREELY MOVING GEARS, MOTOR COULD BE DAMAGED BEYOND REPAIR IF POWER IS APPLIED AND THE MOTOR MEETS RESISTANCE FROM NON MOVING GEARS.*****************

Motor upgrade for this loco will require a little patience and time, but generally speaking it is a fairly easy repair. To start: 1. pull off middle cast plastic shell with very thin plastic guitar picks.

2. Note: circuit board does not have a retaining screw as other mini-club locos have, it is held in place with 4 clips. Carefully release the circuit board from clips with gentle pressure using a small screwdriver.

3. Wires soldered to either end of circuit board should be carefully pulled from center between pick-ups to outside of pick-ups. Solder points maybe brittle due to age, there is the possibility at this point that one may break necessitating soldering.

4. With circuit board gently pulled to one side unscrew clips holding motor to chassis.

5. Note: original motor and new 5 pole motor are basically the same with differences including heavier gauge wire for capacitor and different coating on capacitor. I have made this upgrade a few times already, and I have noticed manufacturing differences with this motor including a larger coating on the capacitor plus varying length of wire for the capacitor. The nature of the capacitor with this motor can create a few challenges for the repairman. It is required that the capacitor is bent low enough to not impede placement of the circuit board, and the new motor with heavier gauge wire is more difficult to bend than its forebear. Plus manufacturing differences with capacitor coating may add another layer of difficulty. In this example the capacitor is of normal size, but one I recently installed in the 8812 was large which made for a challenging placement of it just above the worm gear while still being low enough under circuit board.

Note: black housing in the new motor.

Note: original motor’s capacitor wires are bent with a slight curl near motor with capacitor nearly touching worm gear.

6. Next: add one drop of oil on each worm drive before installing clips. Circuit board and wires should return to their original position with great care to avoid bending pick-ups. Circuit board clips back into place and then shell goes back on with catenary screw peaking out of hole in shell.

Siding: a brief break-in period for the motor is recommended before installation at low, medium and high throttle for a couple minutes both directions.

Repair Notes: mallet locos 88290-88294

A very interesting Marklin Z loco of the ‘mallet’ type was introduced in 2004 as Insider Model 88290.

The class 96 loco has been released in 5 versions to this point in time, but Marklin did not limit the release of a ‘mallet’ type loco to this class, they also introduced the class 53 in 2007 as Insider Model 88053.

What characterizes a mallet locomotive is first an articulated frame along with two independent wheel sets. Invented by the Swiss engineer Anatole Mallet this type of locomotive was highly successful in mountain railways, and in the United States this loco type was used in coal trains. The articulated frame allowed for negotiating sharp turns while high and low pressure steam powered two sets of driving wheels. The front set of driving wheels form the ‘Bissell’ truck which received low pressure steam through a receiver after high pressure steam powered the second set of driving wheels first. Variations between European and American ‘mallet’ locos follow the basic design principle, but each varies by other factors including length and power. Marklin’s two mallet designs represent very large and powerful locos one of which never existed beyond blueprints as is the case with versions of the class 53: 88053, 88054, and 88055 (pictured).

To repair the mallet locos of class 96 some patience and practical experience in the repair of mini-club steam locos is required. Marklin Z steam locos have one set of driving wheels, the mallets have two sets and therefore one must treat each as independent by repairing one at a time. These are complicated locos, but they are so well designed that taking one apart and reassembling is relatively easy for those with some experience repairing locos with side rods. Note: wheels must be correctly orientated to allow free movement of side rods, side rods bow out when wheel sets are improperly installed in all locos with side rods.

This post came about rather by accident, I recently purchased an 88291 thereby completing my collection of this type loco, but it arrived with hardened oil syndrome which can be expected with dealer old stock. Tell tale signs of hardened oil syndrome are lights that work without a hum of motor or movement of wheels. The oil Marklin uses will harden over time which is compounded by improper storage. Hardened oil gums up the gears not allowing them to move, it looks like a crust, but it can also be sticky to the touch.

Note: white gunk near center of photo

To remove hardened oil a mild solvent is required, toothpicks work to loosen up crustiness and soaking NON PAINTED surfaces in “Original Windex” (blue). Improperly storing locos includes side down, they should always be stored wheels down. The one I just received was one such example of a loco stored long term on its side: hardened oil pooled on one side throughout gears and truck housings.

One can see the appearance of hardened oil as white crust, it can otherwise be fluid or congealed as a sticky substance all in the same loco: weird!

One gear is sometimes the culprit at least with this example. Part #226 646 is an interesting gear that sits mounted on a post cast into each truck frame of this loco, thus two are included in this design.

Note: gear can be seen mounted inside truck frame in two photos with yellow background

I have come across this gear on more than one occasion, Marklin’s class E 94 and 194 locos including all versions have this same gear in their design so repairing this loco is a good primer for repairing those. Time and time again it has been proven to me that if the German “krocodil” isn’t moving this gear is completely stuck due to hardened oil. Very careful attention needs to be applied to wriggle off this gear from its post, I use a toothpick over a dish to catch the part.

The transmission in this loco is very long with two worm gears, it comprises two extensions attached to the the tip of the motor (226 631).

So many parts that are required to move in the smallest space comprise a flawless design that includes a sensible tear-down and reassembly design.

Reassembly includes close adherents to correct order of things: no matter loco type small connecting gears always go in truck frame first followed by driving wheels.

Photo shows one truck’s correct assembly without oil pan attached. Note the two connecting gears which are standard with all locos in Marklin ‘Z’, and because they are small it is a good part to have spares of (part #226 645). Coupler and spring are not illustrated in photo, but they would be located on the right side. Side rods slide into black housing and only work one way: side rods of the third pair of wheels are orientated correctly in photo to allow correct distances in the truck mount for all gears. After coupler and spring are placed into their mount the oil pan slides over coupler end, and it is attached by a single screw.

It is always a good idea to keep an inventory of spare parts even though you may never need them because we are talking about the brilliant engineering and manufacturing by Marklin. That being said the motor for this series of locos is part #226 631, it is soldered directly to the pick-ups and solidly held in place to operate the very long transmission.

After each truck is cleaned, oiled and reassembled test it to make sure all gears move freely with the retaining pin and nylon gear installed too! Note: the nylon gear comprises two sets of teeth, one set engages with the worm gears on the transmission and the second is small running on one side of the nylon gear and engages with the post mounted gear previously mentioned. Recommendation: the nylon gear is another part to keep spares of, it is part #223 493.

Last note: if you know the loco is new and never run. And you have the loco taken apart, this maybe a good time to break in the motor and brushes independent of the motor’s engagement with the gears. Break-in: slow speed followed by medium speed, followed by high speed, and then reverse order. About 5 minutes of varying speeds will do.

Good luck and have fun!

Siding: required tools for repairing Marklin Z locos: pliers with micro tips, magnifying goggles, set of jewelers screwdrivers, foam work cradle, dish for holding parts, and guitar picks can be used to help remove plastic shells or shells without retaining screws.

Quick Notes: BR 74 tank locomotive

88953_2 88954_5

Marklin introduced the German BR 74 tank locomotive for mini-club in 1982 as a Serie 96 painted and lettered for SNCB. Since then there have been 8 individual releases plus 5 trainsets with this locomotive type.  New tooling effectively changed the appearance of the BR 74 with the recent releases of 88953 (Marklin Magazin), 88954 (SNCB) and 88956 (SNCF-not pictured) thereby granting this tank locomotive detailed running gear and side rods. One of the great advancements at Marklin is reworking the mini-club line-up of steam engines with advanced side rod tooling and detailing, it is remarkable that this new generation of mini-club steam locos has so many moving parts successfully moving and rotating in such small scale: lively action and even closer to the prototype than ever before. And LED’s are now installed in the latest 3 offerings. The LED’s are bright and non directional necessitating some masking to prevent light spillage outside the loco shell, this is achieved with heavy duct style black tape. Routine maintenance on this loco type is achieved by carefully removing shell by gently holding front end and lifting up, the headlamp lens also functions as a clip for the shell. A little gentle pressure is all that is needed to lift front end first. To reinstall simply slide tender side of shell over motor and pivot front end onto chassis. To secure shell use a very small screwdriver and gently wriggle the headlamp clip until shell engages. *Applying enough pressure to reattach shell without wriggling the clip a bit could result in it breaking or coming unglued. As of this writing you may start to find it difficult to locate the three new releases, they were produced in a limited number and collectors seem to be going head over heals for these and their respective car sets. The Marklin Magazin release is stunning in “Prussian Blue” paint scheme.