Facebook Page
Rocket tune-up: Rocket Launcher tune-up:
From Chuck:
1- make sure the metal wheels are on the rail that is hooked to the base post.
1a- make sure the contact between the truck shoe and the metal actuator
rail is impeccably clean and you're getting a solid 15V or better from
the fixed voltage post on the transformer.
2- make sure the rocket is free in the tube.  On some repros I've had to
bore out the tube a little to adequately clear the center post in the
3- make sure the linkage that releases the rocket is really free.  You
test this with the rocket out and spring uncocked.  If it binds anywhere
at all that's trouble and the bind must be freed up.  It's easier to
work on this if you remove the center plunger via the nut under the car.
4- try a tiny dab of grease on the area where the release lever contacts
the washer at the top of the plunger. This is pretty much a last resort

Chuck Smith of the NASG, Rochester Area S Gaugers (RASG)
and the S Gauge Chemung Valley Lines.

From Tom:
Have you tried squirting a small amount of WD-40 onto the solenoid
plunger, rocker arm pivot, and other moving parts?

Worst case scenario is that the coil is partially burned out, not producing
enough magnetic pull.  It is a simple solenoid, easy to rewind, but you
probably won't have to.  There's probably some drag in the mechanism

Tom Jarcho

From Doug:
Sounds like a lack of voltage reaching it. Those normally operate very easily!
Squirt a quick shot of tuner-cleaner, or LPS-1, into the slot where the lever
hooks. That may help.
Don't use will only collect dust in there.

Doug Peck
Port Lines Hobbies

Return to FAQ Return to Repairs Return to S-Trains