Metal Wheels and DCC

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grumpybob

Lake Shore Lines
#1
With DCC and clean track being in sinc with each other, I have just finished replacing all of the wheel sets on my rolling stock. :eek: I used the Life Like wheel sets and love the looks.

Now that i am over the sticker shock, I am finding that the tracks are not pitting as frequently, and I don't have to worry about regauging the wheels any more. :)

Any one else taking on this task?
 
#2
grumpybob said:
With DCC and clean track being in sinc with each other, I have just finished replacing all of the wheel sets on my rolling stock. :eek: I used the Life Like wheel sets and love the looks.

Now that i am over the sticker shock, I am finding that the tracks are not pitting as frequently, and I don't have to worry about regauging the wheels any more. :)

Any one else taking on this task?
Interesting about reduced track pitting with Life Like wheel sets. Is track susceptible to pitting with DCC as compared to DC, or is it associated with peculiarities of Life Like's? Anyone who can answer?
 

mushroom2

Non Rivet Counter
#3
Don't know about pitting, but the tracks stay so much cleaner now.
Ouch! Sticker shock is right. I just went through over 400 of the Intermountain wheel sets. My wallet is still whimpering in the corner. :D
 
#4
I've made it my goal to have every car:

  • Proper weight
  • Kadee equipped -- no McHenrys for this sucker!
  • Metal wheel equipped
  • And last but not least, weathered.

I find that other wheelsets than Kadee are okay too. However I stick to Kadee normally simply because I can get a bit better price, and they are US made. I do avoid using newer Atlas wheels because their low profiles cause problems on less than stellar trackwork. (I removed the Atlas wheels from my GN hopper and replaced them with Kadees.) I also avoid Athearn Genesis wheels for that reason too.

Don't have enough moolah to redo all your wheels in metal? I find using Accurail plastic sets is a good temporary crutch. I've used them to retrofit the remainder of the fleet while they await metal wheels.

Another thing to mention, don't forget that newer cars -- including all covered hoppers of the three+ bay variety -- ought to have 36" wheels. This greatly adds to their looks, but not only that, they roll better. That scale three inches makes a big operational difference.
 

grumpybob

Lake Shore Lines
#5
Actually pitting was probably a bad term to use. :( I was really referring more to the residue build up. I have also used the Kaydee whee sets in the past, but after a couple of packages of out of gauge wheels I stopped. The LL, although a bit bright :cool: really look good.

I also bought a tool for cleaning out the inside of the trucks. This has greatly improved the rolling capability of all of the cars. Especially on any incline.

Because my layout is set soo far back, late 40's early 50's, I don't have too many cars that require 36" wheel sets. Just the Passenger and Milk Cars.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
#6
grumpybob said:
Because my layout is set soo far back, late 40's early 50's, I don't have too many cars that require 36" wheel sets. Just the Passenger and Milk Cars.
But I bet those heavyweights sure run sweet! :D
 
#7
Almost all my rolling stock has P2K wheels. Some have Intermountain, which I bought because I'm getting a better deal on those than the P2Ks I was getting.

Plastic wheels are junk, they seem to lay down some kind of gunk on the railheads. Metal wheels are so much better.

The next big project is getting rid of those Athearn wheels (non-Genesis); those are gunk magnets for sure.....

:D

Kennedy
 

grumpybob

Lake Shore Lines
#8
Yes, ABC, the heavyweights run sweet behind my Broadway limited E7.

What few Athearns, non-genesis, I have left have all had their wheel sets replaced with NWSL wheels. so much better.
 
#9
Clipper Oil

I too have all metal wheels now. I also have taken to oiling the rails with Wahl clipper oil. I saw Eric Brooman (Utah Belt) doing this at his place and he said I would never have to clean the rails again. He was right. Since changing to all metal wheels and applying the clipper oil, I have never had to clean my rails (3+ years). I still occasionally run my locos on paper towels laid across the rails, but this is not really necessary either.

Bill
 

CBCNSfan

Registered Member
Staff member
#10
I saw Eric Brooman (Utah Belt)
Ah! now there is a model railroad and a master craftsman. Believe it or not his Utah Belt was the inspiration for my layout. It seemed like for ages I'd follow the installments of layouts like the V&O drooling over each issue till I came to the track plan which was usually last, that usually was the big downer (space required). When Eric's first article in RMC was published ( without dimensions) I made a guesstimate and it was do able. Although I didn't copy the UB I did use the loops to loops single mainline principal in the available space I had. My thanks to Eric and his Utah Belt.

Cheers Willis
 

kenw

5th Generation Texian
#11
I converted all to metal, using mostly Intermountain but with a few Kato, Kadee, Jaybee, Old Pullman and goodness knows what/who else thrown in until I settled on the IM (which I could get in bulk). For awhile I used a lot of Dan Kilgore sprung trucks, and still prefer them over just about anything. Last I heard Ed and Joe (something) were selling them direct. They work well with their own or IM metal wheelsets.

One additional item I do (and most may cringe) is to add a single dab/dot/touch (MUCH less than a drop) of Slick 50 spray oil to each axle "socket". (The slick 50 stuff has teflon and seems to stay in place better. It's about the viscosity of WD40). All it is for is to help the axle points burnish and settle into the plastic frames a bit better. After awhile it pretty much volatilizes away, leaving a smoother socket behind, and in theory, some of the teflon is burnished into the socket. Oils that hang around are just good for attracting dirt and gunk....

Many years ago I experimented with dry teflon powder and found a HUGE improvement in breakin, but it was way too difficult to work with.

Metal wheels, a microscopic lube (albeit for temporary use) and slightly-less-than NMRA weights make a huge difference in ease of rolling on my layout.
 
#12
What is the proper weight for HO rolling stock?

abcraghead said:
I've made it my goal to have every car:

  • Proper weight
  • Kadee equipped -- no McHenrys for this sucker!
  • Metal wheel equipped
  • And last but not least, weathered.

I find that other wheelsets than Kadee are okay too. However I stick to Kadee normally simply because I can get a bit better price, and they are US made. I do avoid using newer Atlas wheels because their low profiles cause problems on less than stellar trackwork. (I removed the Atlas wheels from my GN hopper and replaced them with Kadees.) I also avoid Athearn Genesis wheels for that reason too.

Don't have enough moolah to redo all your wheels in metal? I find using Accurail plastic sets is a good temporary crutch. I've used them to retrofit the remainder of the fleet while they await metal wheels.

Another thing to mention, don't forget that newer cars -- including all covered hoppers of the three+ bay variety -- ought to have 36" wheels. This greatly adds to their looks, but not only that, they roll better. That scale three inches makes a big operational difference.
What is the proper weight for HO rolling stock?

Regards,
 

grumpybob

Lake Shore Lines
#13
I know I have seen it in MR, just can't remember which issue? However, I make my 40' weight at least 3.5 oz. My 50's and Passenger cars 5.0 oz's. With that weight and new wheels they seem to track very well.
 
#14
The NMRA says One Ounce plus 1/2 Ounce per inch of car. 40' cars are 3.5oz. This is for HO scale.

Some folks have gotten away with much less weight, but it appeared to me that the real issue was that all the cars were close in weight. That keeps all the cars similarly tied down to the track.

Kennedy
 

Rico

BN Modeller
#15
Well I'll add my two cents (2.5 Cdn):
I agree with the metal wheels being superior to plastic for the above reasons as well. I like to use Intermountain or Branchline wheel sets mainly because the metal axles stay true and add a wee bit of weight. I have some cars still eqipped with the Proto sets but find they tend to wobble if not installed carefully, still good wheels tho.

As a rule 70 ton trucks (usually two spring) get 33" wheels and 100 ton trucks (usually three spring) get 36". I also use 28"where appropriate.

A cautionary note: When using any metal wheel set, regardless of axle type, be sure they don't come in contact with the metal underframe weight when hitting an irregularity in track hieght! (Particularly on modular layouts where joints sometime flex.) Not only will this result in the obvious power problems but can also short any EOT or other electrical device on the car! A lesson learned the hard way.
R
 

Steve B

Firefighter
#16
i have gone all metal when it comes to wheel set's, lord knows how much i'v spent but the bennefit's far outweigh the cost, and they sound way cool clattering over joints in the track and turnouts
 



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