The Best Wheels and trucks

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#1
Can I get some opinions on Trucks and or wheels?
When you purchase a new train any rolling stock, and you decide to put on some good trucks "What do you purchase to give your new train that really good ride?
I would like to know what you think is the very best and what you consider good enough because of the cost factor.

Rob...
 

santafewillie

Well-Known Member
#2
In my experience, the stock plastic trucks that come with most manufacturers freight cars are good. I ream them all with a "truck-tuner" although many don't need it. Metal wheels make the most difference. I have used KD, Atlas, Intermountain, and the older P2K, and I am happy with all of them. Most newer models have metal wheels, such as Athearn. I don't know who makes them...maybe Athearn? I have read that the wheelsets with metal axles work better but I have not noticed any difference. If you have to convert a lot of cars, I found that buying bulk packs of 100 is the way to go pricewise. Again, my experience only.
Willie
 

Rico

BN Modeller
#3
Put me down for Intermountain wheels as well.
When I need to replace trucks I like to use Accurail when I can find them.
I also use the truck tuner tool, everyone should have one.
 

Espeefan

Active Member
#4
I don't replace trucks as a rule unless there is a prototypical accuracy issue, then I buy whoever's that fits the prototype I'm looking for. This has been Kadee, Bethlehem Car Works, or Tahoe Model Works. For wheels, I have standardized on Intermountain wheelsets.
 
#5
I also use Intermountain wheels with the stock trucks. I'm more operation oriented, so if the trucks aren't exact, it doesn't make that much difference to me, I'm just after reliability and free rolling.

Joe
 

D&J RailRoad

Professor of HO
#6
Actually, the "very best" are made by a German company and sets of 100 ton roller bearing freight trucks that are individually built to scale spec are $379 a set. Is that what you are looking for?
 
#7
I would like to know what you think is the very best and what you consider good enough because of the cost factor.
As pointed out by a prior poster there is the genuine "best" and there is the good enough for all practical purposes. I generally consider the trucks and wheels that come with the cars to be good enough.

When you purchase a new train any rolling stock, and you decide to put on some good trucks "What do you purchase to give your new train that really good ride?
As above, unless there is some issue that develops with a truck, or there is a prototypical inaccuracy I don't see any need to change out trucks to "good" ones. Most give a good ride from the vendor.

For simply converting from plastic to metal wheel sets, I have used many brands. When I do this the most important thing to me is matching the axle length. Nothing worse than putting Proto-2000 wheels (a wonderful product by the way) into Athearn blue box trucks. They're too short, so the car rides too low and can slop side to side down the track. Get an axle that is too long and it is pinched in the truck and won't turn freely. While I have used all brands at some time or another, I like Reboxx because they have the most options and that makes them "best" in my view. I buy bulk Inter-mountain wheel sets (100 or 500 quantities). I avoid Kadee wheel sets, but they do have the advantage of being double insulated and I use them where that is an important feature (like brass passenger cars).

Oh yeah, I run on layouts that have current detection for signalling. To use my cars on those layouts 20K resistors have to be applied to the wheels. For this the wheel sets have to have metal axles and the plastic insulators be small enough to fit a resistor over. Probably not an issue for most folks.
 
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#8
I don't worry if the trucks are 100% prototypically correct....I'm more concerned that everything works smoothly and the wheels are in gauge. Since I don't buy second-hand or toys pretty well everything I do buy is new and seems to come out of the box with metal-wheels. I always check to make sure the wheels roll freely and are in gauge and that the trucks are properly adjusted on the car....if anything needs tweaking it gets tweaked....and I agree that the Reeboxx truck tuner is a great tool and a must have for every modeller.

for a short while I was putting semi-scale wheels on cars, but in reality my eyes are bad enough that I really don't notice any difference visually so I stopped.
 
#9
I have been looking online for a "truck tuner" tool since reading this thread. Can anyone point me in the right direction as to where I might purchase one online? I have tried Walthers and cannot find it listed. Folks have mentioned Micro-Marc.....but I have had bad experiences with them and would like to avoid them if possible.
 

beiland

Active Member
#12
'truck tuner'

I've seen this tool mentioned by a number of gentlemen on this subject thread, but I have not seen any suggestions as to the proper use of these tools. I just ran across this interesting posting on another forum,...

GrahamLine said:
Seems to be a little misunderstanding about the tuning tool, particularly from the people who are modifying drills. The idea of the truck tuner is to condition the bearing cone molded into a plastic sideframe. We routinely clean tiny threads of plastic out of there when checking trucks, as well as blown-in paint and attempts at lubrication.

What you DO NOT WANT is a cutting edge that makes the cone deeper, because the pin-point axles need to be centered in the cones on either side. Cutting the cone deeper makes the truck sag down over the axle, adding drag and lowering the coupler height.

InterMountain wheelsets have a narrower axle tip and this is why they can work well in many trucks (like Accurail) without tuning the cone -- they will never touch that part of the sideframe. Reboxx axles are identical to IM, with the exception of being selected for more precise axle widths. They have a chart on their website to tell you what width is best for different mfr's trucks.

We "grease" truck sideframes by spinning the tip of an art supply store graphite pencil in them. The wipe-off from the pencil stays in place longer than sprayed powder.

http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/88/t/266185.aspx?page=2
 

Rico

BN Modeller
#13
That is correct about not wanting to make the cone deeper, but you do want the cone to have the correct angle in relationship to the angle of the axle tip. Ok they also remove a lot of moulding flash and debris.
 

santafewillie

Well-Known Member
#14
Old thread but should be of interest to many newcomers. Proper use of the tuner is to insert it and apply light pressure on each side of the truck and rotate the tuner a couple of times. Not enough to gouge anything, just enough to clean out any flash, debris, molding trash, etc. Four times per truck. This will make any wheelset, whether metal or plastic, or any axle whether metal of plastic, run more smoothly. Note that the Reboxx brand of tuner is measurably shorter than the MicroMark brand and thus requires more squeezing to make proper contact. In my HO scale experience, out of the box Athearn and Accurail trucks yield the least amount of "stuff", followed by (in ascending order) LifeLike P2K, Roundhouse, InterMountain and Walther's. I do not have enough hands on experience with Atlas to rate them.

Willie
 
#15
I have a question..... does anyone use a lubricant on the axel after using the truck tuner? The quote that beiland used in his post mentions using a pencil for graphite as opposed to the sprayed powder. This makes sense as spray powder makes a mess. I would think that using a light oil such as the one sold at my LHS would not be a good idea for a couple reasons. Has anyone used a lubricant after the truck tool?
 

santafewillie

Well-Known Member
#16
I have not found any need to use a lubricant on my rolling stock. I do know that some modelers use Kadee #231 "Greas-Em" Dry Graphite Lubricant on trucks/axles, but I do not know whether it improves performance or not.

Willie
 

NP2626

Active Member
#18
I am another person who is not after true scale fidelity. I like the silvery burnish to show when I look at the wheel-sets on my rolling stock. The vast majority of my Wheel-Sets are Life Like Proto 2000 wheel-sets. These are no longer available and so I have been struggling over the last few years to find good replacements. Although lacking silvery treads, Kadee Wheel-Sets are very good! I need to try Intermountain. I am partial to Accurail truck frames.
 
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beiland

Active Member
#19
Trucks going thru Turnouts

Has anyone found any good videos depicting 'trucks' going thru turnouts?.....not just wheel sets individually, but rather trucks full of several (2 or 3) wheelsets ??
 

montanan

Whiskey Merchant
#20
I am pretty well in agreement with most others. I replace all plastic wheels with metal ones. This is probably the best improvement that can be made to rolling stock. Years ago, Kadee was probably the best replacement wheels, but in more recent years, a few other manufacturers have entered the market and for the most part, they are all excellent. Intermoutain is probably what I end up with the most of as the prices on the bulk packs are good.

So far as trucks go, years ago when I first started into HO scale after leaving N scale, I have quite a few Kadee sprung trucks, but for the most part, the trucks that come from the various freight cars manufacturers seem to be just fine and replacement metal wheels fit right into the trucks (so far). The only problem I have ever come across was with s few older (very old) Riverossi passenger cars. No replacement wheels would fit into the trucks and the oddball way that the trucks were mounted on to the cars they would have required major surgery to adapt different trucks. The problem with the wheels was the deep flange and my code 70 rail. I ended up using an abrasive wheel on a Dremmel took to gradually wear down the flange so they would run on the code 70 rail.
 



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