Williams Challenger maintainence

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I am an HO guy, but before I was born, my Dad bought a Williams Crown line challenger #3958 in UP grey. As far as either of us know, it is single owner and had never been run except probably a test before it left the factory. I plan to join the local Mobile, AL club which has a O-gauge portable layout. There is a show in 2 weeks, and my hope is to try running the engine for the first time then. Not being an O scale guy, is there anything I should do to it since it has sat so long? Oil the gears or replace drive belts? I am not familiar with its mechanics and I don't see much online other than it is a good locomotive. Any advice is appreciated.


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I would disassemble it to the point where I could inspect, and if necessary clean and re-lube, the inner gear tower and any simple bearings that might be terminals for any shafts. Use a toothpick or something like that to remove all the hardened, waxy, grease, and then apply a small amount of suitable grease to those gear surfaces. Less is almost more! You can always open it up after an hour of running to see if another bit of lube would be a good idea, but you don't want lube smeared all over the tower and flung inside the shell.

I would invert the loco and inspect the running gear and axle bearings with strong light and a magnifier. If you see lint and pet hairs, you know what you must do. If it looks good generally, you could add a drop of hobby lube, or use Dextron III Mercon automatic transmission fluid as an excellent and paints/plastics safe lubricant. Apply with a toothpick, or if you can spring a sewing needle, a good sized one, clip off the top of the eye with a rail nipper or side-cutter and dip that into the lube to apply it directly to tight spots.
Selector, thanks for the reply. Do you know how to take the beast apart? I took a quick look and its not like the rivarossi articulated I am use to. It is a true articulated with a single motor. Also, 2 of the traction tires are missing and I suspect the others are dry rot (probably goes for the spares in the box as well. Any suggestions on replacements? Like I said, I can't find much about this locomotive online probably because it was from before the days of the internet. Also, no hair or dust to speak of on the bearings. Probably helps that its spent at least the past 27 years in its box.

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