Problems (and some solutions)

These are some of the things that go wrong with our monorails.

Drive Wheel

The drive wheel may be the number one problem now. They are often out of round and cause the monorail to "porpoise" up and down or shake from side to side or just run poorly. Some drive wheels are too far gone to correct by sanding, two of mine are cracked and can never be made round. Disney does not sell spare parts.

***But Monorail Modelers does!

Tools needed: gear press, fixtures


The motor is not made to last forever, the brushes, commutator, and bushings wear out. Fortunately the motors are plentiful and inexpensive, $2 at some web sites. Just remove the gear with a gear puller and press it onto the new motor with a gear press. Don't forget to solder the capacitor and "fuse" onto the new motor.

*almost all of the replacement motors I have looked at so far do not have carbon brushes like the original motor. The thin metal brushes are not likely to last as long as carbon in our application. The sole exception so far is Tamiya's "Plasma Dash" which has replaceable carbon brushes. Unfortunately this motor is much too fast and not suitable for monorails. The housing can be used with other armatures, making a good motor.

Tools needed: gear puller and press; soldering iron

Gearbox Bearings

the gearbox does not really have bearings and that is the problem. The steel shafts run in plastic and as the plastic wears the fit gets loose causing poor gear mesh, wobbling, and noise. Disney does not sell the gearbox separately. In most cases Monorail Modelers can install real bushings or ball bearings in the gearbox, making it better than new.

Remote Control - Disneyland model

Although not really a problem with the remote control, it appears as one when the monorail runs for awhile, then stops, then runs for awhile... The remote receiver apparently detects when too much power is being demanded by the motor and shuts it down for a time. This is an indication that something is taking too much power, like installing a faster motor. Dirt and such in the running gear may do the same thing.