Re: [SergentEng] We got trouble in River City.

Mike Van Hove


sounds like you have exactly the same situation that I have.

Glad to know I'm not the only one.

My main worry is, will they continue to become stuck, or will they stop, once the oxide is cleaned up and the couplers are made to work again?

Let's hope it's a one time deal.


On Jul 1, 2015, at 7:15 AM, TS egroupstuff@... [SergentEng] wrote:

Stuck couplers after periods of storage isn't un-prototypical :-)

Actually I have had the same problem with newly assembled couplers;
assemble them, break them in (all works fine), come back a few
days later and they are stuck requiring a strong magnet or the flick
(sometimes very hard) of the finger to loosen them. I am at a bit of
a loss to explain why, except that it's winter and quite cold here.

As to the white powder, that indeed is oxidisation, aka rust. The
castings are made of Zinc, and the oxide of Zinc is a white powder.
Why you should be getting oxidation that bad I don't know. I wonder if
there could be an impurity in the metal. The only other thing I can
think of is electrolysis (two different metals in contact with each
other can cause corrosion, the casting being Zinc and the metal ball
being Stainless steel?) but I can't imagine it would become that bad
and I think moisture has to be present too for electrolysis to happen.
I think I have some research and reading to do.

Best to you all,


On 29/06/2015 07:35, Mike Van Hove mvanhove@... [SergentEng]

My original message to Frank at Sergent Engineering, (He suggested I
share this problem with you):

I built a bunch of your HO Standard Gauge couplers about a year ago. I
did all the steps as the instructions said and made sure each coupler
was given the "Break in" They all seemed to work just fine. Then, due
to surgery on my foot, I didn't operate the RailRoad all winter. When I
finally got started again, about half of the couplers won't work. It's
almost like they are glued shut. Is it possible the ACC has migrated to
close up the knuckles? I used as small an amount as possible and, as I
said, they all worked just fine, until they sat over the winter.
I've tried to put a drop of Liquid Wrench in the opening. No help.
I've squirted a puff of powdered graphite in. No help.
I've tried a small drop of NeoLube. No help.
Only thing that has worked is to disassemble and reassemble the
coupler. That works. Sort of a pain in the rear to have to do that on
half of a 100 car fleet. VBG
Any ideas?
I really don't want to redo the entire fleet. Well, half of the entire
They worked so well before I stopped using them in November.
Thanks for any helpful suggestions.

Mike Van Hove




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