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Offline Donb  
#1 Posted : 18 December 2021 20:12:19(UTC)
Donb

Canada   
Joined: 03/04/2013(UTC)
Posts: 229
Location: Fraser Valley
Hello Z scalers,

I have enjoyed HO scale for many years, but this christmas I decided to try the tiniest scale by ordering a Z starter set and the Track extension set E (electric).
I built a small platform, 2 foot x 4 foot, from the idea in the article in the 3/2021 issue of the Maerklin Magazine. Ive just put a 1/4" piece of hardboard on it for now so that I can play around with the sets.

PXL_20211209_232150674.jpg

My first of likely many questions is what is the difference between the 4 digit 8xxx numbered locos and rolling stock and the 5 digit 8xxxx ones?

Ive read that Maerklin switched to 5 pole motors in 2000? Should I avoid buying older 3 pole locos?

Thanks,
Best Regards,
Don
___________________________________________________________________________________
Viessmann Commander, ECoS 50210 , C track and Z scale
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Offline Mman  
#2 Posted : 19 December 2021 00:00:11(UTC)
Mman

United Kingdom   
Joined: 23/05/2021(UTC)
Posts: 202
Location: England, Guildford
Generally the four digits indicate older locos of which most, but not all, will have three pole motors.
The five digits indicate later locos or variants of a four digit loco. Five digits does not guarantee a five pole motor.
Some current locos, which will have five digits, may have neither the 3 or 5 poles but ‘can’ motors with the bell shaped armatures that are not serviceable.
Locos made starting around the year 2000 will have been fitted with 5 pole motors and as mentioned most made in the last few years will have the can ones.
I have two seemingly identical Swiss Ae 3/6 sets (same number on box 81418) one has 3 pole motor and the other has a 5, there are date codes on boxes and paperwork which give a month and year and in this case there is a few months difference between the two sets.
Which is better? Opinions vary, 5 poles are more controllable and usually draw a lower current than 3. The 5 pole carbon brushes have a much smaller piece of carbon on them and wear out faster, 5 pole brushes can be used on 3 pole motors but not vice versa.
Can motors haven’t been around long enough to see how long they will last but they seem to run a lot cooler than the other types which is good since heat will terminally damage 3 or 5 pole motors many of which have no ventilation such as in the 0-6-0 locos.
Sales literature will tell you if new locos have the can type motors and these are the only ones I would buy from here on. But I recommend avoiding 88803 and 88804 which are not good.
If a loco is obviously pre 2000 it will be 3 pole, the instructions will tell you. I avoid such locos although I have many, some I installed 5 pole motors in but replacement motors do not seem to be available anymore from Märklin and those that are from other sources are expensive.
ChrisG
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Offline husafreak  
#3 Posted : 19 December 2021 07:44:09(UTC)
husafreak

United States   
Joined: 09/04/2019(UTC)
Posts: 456
Location: California, Bay Area
Welcome to the endlessly fascinating world of Z scale! ChrisG has posted a very informative answer. Since Marklin Z has been in production for almost 50 years you can imagine the variety and evolution of the type. There is a ton of info online so I would just recommend researching before buying. Old locos may or may not be such a good deal. The new can motor locos are generally very reliable and run well. As you go further and further back you may find challenges that are acceptable or insurmountable depending on your skills and parts availability.
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Offline Mman  
#4 Posted : 19 December 2021 10:27:51(UTC)
Mman

United Kingdom   
Joined: 23/05/2021(UTC)
Posts: 202
Location: England, Guildford
Look on line at z scale.org - this is a very informative source, although it does not seem to have been updated recently (I don’t think it mentions can motors) it is full of interest and is written from a North American perspective with references to manufacturers other than Märklin.
In earlier times it may be noticed that occasionally the same four figure number has been used for two different items, I suppose going to five digits released plenty of numbers to make this unnecessary later on.
Indeed welcome to the fascinating world of Z.
ChrisG
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Offline Donb  
#5 Posted : 20 December 2021 03:03:41(UTC)
Donb

Canada   
Joined: 03/04/2013(UTC)
Posts: 229
Location: Fraser Valley
Thanks all for the great info!
I wished I had waited until after I posted this thread to bid on some Z scale items on eBay...

The three items I won are :
8101 Br 111 and Silberlinge coach set
8854 BR 103
8856 Be 6/8 crockodile

The 8101 appears to have a 3 pole motor in the loco, but the other two appear to have 5 pole motors.
I hope you dont tell me these are all lousy runners :)
Really looking forward to their arrival!

Cheers,
Best Regards,
Don
___________________________________________________________________________________
Viessmann Commander, ECoS 50210 , C track and Z scale
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Offline Zme  
#6 Posted : 20 December 2021 04:56:06(UTC)
Zme

United States   
Joined: 02/10/2013(UTC)
Posts: 516
Location: West Texas
Hello. Hope all is well and welcome.

It seems you have made some great selections for your beginning z scale railroad. These should work well. I discovered the Crock is not that great with hills, the 111 is ok, the 103 is great.

I have the same items you have. You will be happy to know, that three pole on the BR 111 is easily replaced. That one has one of the most common motors if you can find one. Keep in mind, many say the difference between a 3 and 5 pole is so insignificant it is not worth the trouble and expense involved. Try your items out first before making any changes, if they work in the first place.

I have been purchasing most of my z from EBay. The thing to remember about doing this is

To sell, it is easier to mention it is working perfectly, but when you get it, it might not meet your definition of perfect.

Be willing to clean or adjust your items because these may have been sitting for a time. The oil used, gets hard over time and will actually lock up the drive gears. Known as “Hardened Oil Syndrome”. HOS.

If you are able, this kind of simple task, (cleaning) will save you money and give you a greater insight understanding of your hobby. Expect it will not go perfectly and you will learn from the mistakes you make. Parts are small are easily lost. Be careful take your time. You will get better at it as you gain experience unless you are already doing watch repairs. I think the small parts may be similar to work with. Parts diagrams are normally available on the Marklin website.

https://www.maerklin.de/...cts/details/article/8856

This is the link for your Crock. Enter the manufacture number to search another item. I select the spare parts link and order spare parts link. I usually print the parts diagram for future reference. I do not recommend working on a crock right off the bat. Keep in mind, older locomotives may not have spare parts available on the Marklin site, but possibly are found in the secondary market. A good vendor for parts may be z hobo a www.zscalehobo.com. eBay’s also has parts, but you have to know what you need.

To understand your track layout or accessories check this link. I think you can make a great layout in very little space and that is what z scale is all about.

https://www.maerklin.de/...uch_Spur_Z_komplett.pdf. (Big document, let it download)

Here is another site for used Z scale items. Watch for HOS and expect to have to do some cleaning or adjustments

https://www.ztrackresale...p?main_page=products_new

There are many great things going on in the Z World, it is a great time to get started.

Take good care, this site is a great source of information about your new hobby. Just ask.

Happy holidays

Dwight
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Offline Donb  
#7 Posted : 20 December 2021 23:56:00(UTC)
Donb

Canada   
Joined: 03/04/2013(UTC)
Posts: 229
Location: Fraser Valley
In anticipation of the arrival of my used locos, I am preparing some things for possible service.
I have been using Fleischmann #6599 oil for my Maerklin HO locos for years with great success, can this be used on Z locos instead of Labelle 108, which does not seem to be available in Canada?
Best Regards,
Don
___________________________________________________________________________________
Viessmann Commander, ECoS 50210 , C track and Z scale
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Offline parakiet  
#8 Posted : 20 December 2021 23:56:02(UTC)
parakiet

Belgium   
Joined: 20/02/2017(UTC)
Posts: 151
Location: Flanders!
don't worry. I have great 3 poles, great 5 poles and great can motors.. I even have terrible 3 poles, 5poles or cans...
Marklin sometimes makes great locs, sometimes they are pure rubbish.
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Offline husafreak  
#9 Posted : 21 December 2021 00:09:37(UTC)
husafreak

United States   
Joined: 09/04/2019(UTC)
Posts: 456
Location: California, Bay Area
I imagine the oil you have is just fine. We'll know for sure in about 30 years ;)
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Offline husafreak  
#10 Posted : 21 December 2021 00:11:26(UTC)
husafreak

United States   
Joined: 09/04/2019(UTC)
Posts: 456
Location: California, Bay Area
The Belgian speaks the truth! About a year after starting to collect Marklin Z scale loco's I decided to only buy new can motor variants, but a year or so later I can say one of my recent purchases was a 4 digit loco with a 3 pole motor and so old the clutches aren't chamfered, from around 1975, it's a terrific loco!
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Offline Zme  
#11 Posted : 21 December 2021 02:00:58(UTC)
Zme

United States   
Joined: 02/10/2013(UTC)
Posts: 516
Location: West Texas
Hi. That is correct, these locomotives and wagons seem to last for years and years with just a bit of upkeep.

Looking for the older models is also an aspect of the z scale hobby. There are original items out there which may go as far back as 1972. Just the other day, I noticed one of my railbus model has the early couplers. The railbus was first released in 1973. I hadn’t noticed this previously, so I was surprised.

In addition to items only sold by dealers, Marklin usually releases numerous specials models each year, some commemorate special meetings, or are sold at the Marklin museum, or for members of the insider club. There are also models which have unique advertising or industrial prints which can be quite rare.

Finding a special model and then working on it and finding out it actually still works can be an amazing experience and perhaps add value to a collection.

There is a lot out there, just watch for them.

Take good care.

Dwight
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Offline Donb  
#12 Posted : 28 December 2021 03:50:07(UTC)
Donb

Canada   
Joined: 03/04/2013(UTC)
Posts: 229
Location: Fraser Valley
Hello everyone,

During the busy Christmas festivities I was able to set up my starter set and expansion set. I am really impressed as to how well these locomotives run! While my eBay purchases are very nice and run very well, what really impresses me is the little BR 89. It runs so silently and gets on with its job so well.
I seem to really enjoy the tiniest of trains, so I think going forward I will probably focus on small Branch line Locos.
I think my next step is going to be to add some stub end tracks and get some electric uncoupling trucks and try a little shunting.
I'm still slowly working my way through all the literature that you folks have posted here, lots to go through.
And I have to say there's something fun about the utter simplicity of analog. Brings me back to the old days.

Happy New year!

PXL_20211228_023856576.jpg
Best Regards,
Don
___________________________________________________________________________________
Viessmann Commander, ECoS 50210 , C track and Z scale
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Offline Donb  
#13 Posted : 04 January 2022 22:44:03(UTC)
Donb

Canada   
Joined: 03/04/2013(UTC)
Posts: 229
Location: Fraser Valley
Hi all, Happy New year to everyone!

Well I've run into my first problem , my 8856 crocodile suddenly stopped on the tracks and would not function. The headlights would light up but there was no motion.
I applied power to the wheels directly from the transformer but there was no motion.
So I took apart the locomotive very carefully and noticed what you'll see below in the photo. One of the brushes has broken in half. I guess due to age maybe it got brittle.
The brushes are part number 8989, apparently no longer available. So I thought maybe I could upgrade the motor to five Pole 211904, but this is no longer available either it seems. I guess I bought myself a shelf Queen.
Does anybody have any suggestions?

PXL_20220104_213631211.MP.jpg
Best Regards,
Don
___________________________________________________________________________________
Viessmann Commander, ECoS 50210 , C track and Z scale
Offline Zme  
#14 Posted : 05 January 2022 00:14:36(UTC)
Zme

United States   
Joined: 02/10/2013(UTC)
Posts: 516
Location: West Texas
Hello hope all is well.

I would first like to warn you about the small rubber “donut” insulator rings located between the circuit board and the chassis. They are real small, and easy to lose. Sometimes they stick to the chassis, other times to the circuit board so watch out.

The brushes number 89891 should work for this motor. Brushes #8989 are the ones which only fit three pole motors. The 89891, fits both three and five pole motors. You should be able to find these.

I would hate to see this beautiful locomotive relegated to the shelf permanently.

Do it yourself Z has a chart for motors and brushes.

http://www.zscale.org/articles/fivepole.html#table

Take good care.

Dwight
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Offline Donb  
#15 Posted : 05 January 2022 06:11:47(UTC)
Donb

Canada   
Joined: 03/04/2013(UTC)
Posts: 229
Location: Fraser Valley
Originally Posted by: Zme Go to Quoted Post
Hello hope all is well.

I would first like to warn you about the small rubber “donut” insulator rings located between the circuit board and the chassis. They are real small, and easy to lose. Sometimes they stick to the chassis, other times to the circuit board so watch out.

The brushes number 89891 should work for this motor. Brushes #8989 are the ones which only fit three pole motors. The 89891, fits both three and five pole motors. You should be able to find these.

I would hate to see this beautiful locomotive relegated to the shelf permanently.

Do it yourself Z has a chart for motors and brushes.

http://www.zscale.org/articles/fivepole.html#table

Take good care.

Dwight


Hi Dwight,

Thanks for the tip on the spacers. I am fortunate that I use a white mat on my work surface, I saw those tiny spacers fall out when I removed the circuit board.
I managed to solder the brush back together (photo), it looks almost the same as the other brush, so turned out not bad.
I expected maybe some change in performance as the repaired brush is likely stiffer, but there was minimal change.
I did make sure that the brush contacted the armature properly.
I also had to replace some of the wires, as they simply fell apart in my hands. All brittle and oxidized.
The loco is running fine again, but for sure I will replace the brushes with 89891 set asap.PXL_20220104_220557571.jpg



Best Regards,
Don
___________________________________________________________________________________
Viessmann Commander, ECoS 50210 , C track and Z scale
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Zme
Offline Zme  
#16 Posted : 05 January 2022 06:36:30(UTC)
Zme

United States   
Joined: 02/10/2013(UTC)
Posts: 516
Location: West Texas
Hello great news, thanks.

I forgot to mention there was time when the brush coals were just pressed in and they often fell apart. Fortunately they are totally repairable, but might be out of balance with the other one.

Good move with that mat you are using. I often considered obtaining a jewelers apron to catch parts headed to the floor. Maybe I will look into one.

Thanks again, take good care.

Dwight
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Offline Toosmall  
#17 Posted : 06 January 2022 03:51:03(UTC)
Toosmall

Australia   
Joined: 26/07/2021(UTC)
Posts: 186
Location: Sydney
It is staggering how far something can bounce across the floor and often in a strange direction. One not only needs to keep a clean room but a floor free of clutter. If using an office chair don't roll it back to get up. You could run a caster wheel over the part.
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Offline Zme  
#18 Posted : 06 January 2022 05:39:31(UTC)
Zme

United States   
Joined: 02/10/2013(UTC)
Posts: 516
Location: West Texas
Hello.

I have to agree with you. The total waste of time looking for a part on the floor is just the half of it. Drop a coupler spring, you have to be lucky to come up with that. I was using very strong magnets near my work foam, just in case the spring goes out of control. It seems to work but even if caught by the magnet, it is still hard to find. You have to be careful and examine that magnet throughly. If you live right, you find it.

I mentioned a jewelers or watch makers apron to catch flying parts. When you put it on, the lower part somehow fastens to the lower part of your work platform or table creating a kind of a catch pouch, with a cuff at the bottom. Would seem a good idea, but I am unable to find one which is already setup in this way. It must be adapted by the watchmaker. I think I will try it figure this out.

Let my know if you have an idea.

Here is a link from the watch repairers discussion. Their parts are even smaller than ours.

https://www.watchrepairt...b=comments#comment-93093

Interesting?

Take good care.

Dwight
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Offline kiwiAlan  
#19 Posted : 06 January 2022 15:04:29(UTC)
kiwiAlan

United Kingdom   
Joined: 23/07/2014(UTC)
Posts: 6,857
Location: ENGLAND, Didcot
Originally Posted by: Zme Go to Quoted Post
Would seem a good idea, but I am unable to find one which is already setup in this way. It must be adapted by the watchmaker.


Stick or staple some velcro strip under the bench, and sew a mating strip on the edge of the apron.

Another possibilty would be a steel strip under the edge of the bench and a handful of rare earth magnets in pockets along edge of apron, probably only need three or four. Magnets wouldn't need to be large.



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ZmeDonb
Offline stevedenver  
#20 Posted : 27 January 2022 22:05:00(UTC)
stevedenver

United States   
Joined: 19/09/2018(UTC)
Posts: 6
Location: Colorado, Lakewood
OP
I too am somewhat new to z, about 3-4 years now, but having had a starter set back in 1990.

I can be ...frugal. Used trains in great condition have always saved me a lot for my LGB hobby.

But for z scale,
i have 3, 5 and the latest bell can motor locos. i also have a few US style AZL locos, which really opened my eyes as to what z scael performance had become

i have many old marklin locos that run quite well, some will actually crawl, and some of the late 5 pole are pretty quiet and i bought many used, as i like KPEV especially.

imho, i will not buy old locos any longer (after about 20! LOL)
The new generation of Marklin locos, for me, are a far greater value in the joy they provide in operation and appearance.

The new locos are simply in another league entirely.
Of these new bell armature locos, i have the G8 0-8-0,T12 2-6-0t, BR 034-6-2, two of the latest 0-6-0t BR80s, (photo grey and coal set), latest KPEV 4-6-0 freight set, Kittel, and the rail bus.

i find that the marklin z new price, if pre ordered, is somewhat close to what used ebay prices are (although there is still the occasional bargain) and as such, in my mind any saving between new and used is minimal.

Simply, the latest versions
are nearly silent (something which I really love. The old light grind sound of some locos is quite irritating to me. But mostly, the new versions pull well, have bright lights at low speed and run smoothly and slowly.

the valve gear with the new eccentrics is also much nicer.

I hope you will try some of these new locos.
As a long long time n scaler, it is initially hard to give up older locos, 'old friends', if you will. But the new technology has made it pretty easy for me, as i love smooth and silent operation at realistic speeds without stalling.
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Offline Mman  
#21 Posted : 27 January 2022 22:22:09(UTC)
Mman

United Kingdom   
Joined: 23/05/2021(UTC)
Posts: 202
Location: England, Guildford
Just avoid the V80 and V280, they really are appalling. The method of attaching the trucks has changed along with the method of transmitting the current from the wheels to the circuit board.
I really hope they are not going to use this method on other new locos - the effect is that the trucks can’t move freely to accommodate curves and any uneven track causing derailments and loss of pickup and total frustration. If they had used super flexible wire there probably would not have been a problem, but they didn’t.
At the other end of the spectrum is the new Ludmilla so brilliant you can’t believe it comes from the same company.
I’m sorry I missed the 0-10-0 BR94, reports of it are very good.
ChrisG
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Offline Donb  
#22 Posted : 19 February 2022 02:27:27(UTC)
Donb

Canada   
Joined: 03/04/2013(UTC)
Posts: 229
Location: Fraser Valley
Hello Z scalers,

A few more pieces have arrived and I have expanded my little temporary layout to something a bit more elaborate.
Everything is working just great, the only issue I'm having is that two of my brand new uncoupler tracks, U1 and U2, do not seem to function correctly. When activated, only one end of the shoe lifts up. Before I open these fragile little devices, I'm interested in opinions. Most of my locos and rolling stock decouple no problem on these, but my 88804 get stuck, I'm thinking because the coupler spring is stiffer than the other locos. The 88804 uncouples just fine on my uncoupling track u4 which operates correctly.
Happily I have no other issues with this loco, but my layout is of course dead flat and I've temporarily pinned it down with track nails. The track nails protrude out the bottom of the 6 mm hardboard top enough to enable me to push them back up and pull the nails out with pliers if required. I pre-drilled the holes with a .6mm drill which enabled a nice snug fit as the nails are pressed in with pliers. No hammer! The nails are surplus from a model wooden boat construction project, planking nails.
Happy model railroading!
PXL_20220218_222116256.jpgPXL_20220216_002150399.jpg




Best Regards,
Don
___________________________________________________________________________________
Viessmann Commander, ECoS 50210 , C track and Z scale
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Offline Zme  
#23 Posted : 19 February 2022 06:09:04(UTC)
Zme

United States   
Joined: 02/10/2013(UTC)
Posts: 516
Location: West Texas
Hello, hope all is well

Your layout looks like it is coming along, good progress. Most may use ballast on the track. This gives a cushion to the track and platform. One thing you will discover without ballast is there will be a lot of noise when the trains are run. I noticed that on mine, even with the cork under the track. It will act like a sounding board with an unending resonance. That sound is what some want, it does have an appeal.

Regarding the uncoupler. I believe these acan be somewhat known to be problematic if not kept clean. I looked up on the Marklin site and there are no repair parts for these. I don’t have any, but would recommend verifying the hookup is correct, perhaps some cleaning might be needed etc. the site says there is a manual lever for these also. Does it work manually. If not, it may need cleaning or replacement. Could you compare the functioning ones to the ones which do not work. Perhaps video the operation to see what you might pick up from seeing each working. If you cannot see any obvious issues, it may be time to replace them.

Perhaps a video of this part not working:



Here it is working:



Best wishes, take good care

Dwight

Edited by user 19 February 2022 18:30:02(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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