On my 312 K5, the tender wheels appear somewhat gold like in colour.

On my 307 they appear more bronze or copper like in colour.

I had to interchange a set and know they are similar in size but not colour.

 

Is the metal composition different?  Does one conduct electricity better than the other?

Curious about the differance and purpose.

 

I've managed to get the wheel spark down to a minimum.  Seems AF prefers very clean wheels and track.

Less forgiving than O.

 

Thank You

Soo Line

Original Post

There is a definite difference in the composition of the wheels.  The earlier wheels were brass turnings the later ones appear to be bronze. Clean wheels and track are a must.  Some have recommended burnishing the tops of the rail to polish and smooth them to reduce the accumulation of black gunk that occurs from the visible and non visible electrical sparking.

 

Pick up in my opinion between the different wheels is the same as long as they are kept clean.  You can also minimize blinking lights in cars by keeping their wheels very clean.

Thanks Major

 

The metal tabs that ride the axles for power pick-up.

I've bent them in a little for a "tighter" fit to the axle.

Would  a little white grease help on the contact area or would no significant results be achieved?

 

I seem to be able to achieve minimal sparking or none for 20 minutes or so, then the wheel spark begins to return.

With the same attention to each engine tender some seem much less resistant to sparking than others.  Curious.

 

Thanks

Soo Line

I just polish the bronze tender wheel pickups using a wire brush on my Dremel moto tool and only apply a little oil if they squeak.  I know that Tim Boy has recommended that you wipe your track down with a light oil such as WD 40 to keep track clean and reduce sparks.  I have not done this for the purpose of reducing sparks so I cannot comment on how effective it is. I have wiped my track down with WD 40 to keep clean and prevent rust but never paid attention to wheel spark reduction.

On that note Major, could not hurt to give it a try with the WD 40.

I'll report back.

 

Rusty

On the S Helper wheels you speak of.  Have you tried this?

I'm not familiar with S Helper so I'll Google it and see if I can find some info on your idea.

 

Thanks for the help Guys

Soo Line

Originally Posted by Soo Line:

On that note Major, could not hurt to give it a try with the WD 40.

I'll report back.

 

Rusty

On the S Helper wheels you speak of.  Have you tried this?

I'm not familiar with S Helper so I'll Google it and see if I can find some info on your idea.

 

Thanks for the help Guys

Soo Line

http://www.showcaseline.com/wheelsets_in_stock.html

 

Personally, I haven't had a need to replace the tender wheels in my very small collection of Flyer steam.  I haven't heard anything negative about them, though.

 

Rusty

I did not have WD40 on hand so I used a light oil I use on trains in general to coat the rails.

And I used it very sparingly.  No go.

 

I gave the track a good cleaning with rubbing alcohol and that seems to give the best results against sparks.

 

I also put a few lead weights in the tender which seemed to help.

 

My K5 did not come with the jewels in their respective places (4 at the front and 2 on the tender rear).

 

Were they all originally green or were they 4 green up front and 2 red on the tender?

 

Guess you can tell I've dedicated this day to AF issues

 

Thanks

Soo Line

Hi Soo,

 

Not all K5's had jewels in the marker light housings.  Check in a Greenburg for the colors used in yours.  It depended on the cab number.  If yours needs them, our great part suppliers have both red and green ones available. 

 

Jerry

 

 

SL,

 

I consulted my book, and it's a bit inconclusive.  The 312 came with or without jewels.  The 312 I have didn't have them, but I added them simply because they look good.  I used green ones all around (in 6 places).  Perhaps someone else on this list can add to this. BTW, my book didn't specify what color....

 

If your K5 doesn't have them, it's up to you if you want to install them. After all, it's your train!  If you want green in the front and red in the back, go for it! 

 

JP

 

 

Thanks Pon for the research.

Interesting information to have.

 

You can't get much closer to historical fact than Major's post.

 

So, jewels it is........4 green on the front and 2 red on the back.

I already installed the green ones but I will have to order the red ones.

 

Thanks Guys for your help

Soo Line

 

The marker light jewels question reminds me of the old Hal Smith cartoon in Model Trains:  An explorer offers some trinkets to some natives, and the caption reads:
"I offer you some rare gems called marker light jewels"  (or something like that)
Originally Posted by Rusty Traque:

Might want to try replacing the tender wheels with S Helper Service's #00979 AF compatible power pick-up wheels.  5 bucks for a set of 4.

 

Rusty

This is what I did, and the difference was noticeably better, both in pick-up and spark "lessening"...

 

Mark in Oregon

So with your findings Strummer, what do you think makes the difference?

Perhaps the metal composition in the new wheels conducts electricity better?

Do the new wheels look like brass or bronze or something totally different?

 

Thanks

Soo Line

Originally Posted by Rusty Traque:

If I recall correctly, S Helper Service wheels are a chemically blackened brass alloy.

 

Rusty

I think Rusty must be right; a quick check shows no magnetic properties, so it must be brass of some kind.

I don't know enough about metals to say for sure why it works better; all I know is it does, and it looks 1000% better as well;if I can figure out how to post a photo of my 302, you'll see for yourself!

 

Mark in Oregon

I know I will probably catch some static for this but cleaning the wheels and the axles and the bronze pick ups on the axles does wonders for power pickup, I also use the original American Flyer track cleanning car with the felts saturated with either denatured alcohol or 91% rubbing alcohol. This almost totally eliminates the sparks on my layout which has all original Flyer track.

Ray 

Originally Posted by Rayin"S":

I know I will probably catch some static for this but cleaning the wheels and the axles and the bronze pick ups on the axles...

Cleaning the wheels and axles is a modification that destroy's the collector's value!!!

 

Don't you ever watch Antiques Roadshow?  Patina is everything! (Except for when it's not...)

 

Rusty

Originally Posted by Rusty Traque:
Originally Posted by Rayin"S":

I know I will probably catch some static for this but cleaning the wheels and the axles and the bronze pick ups on the axles...

Cleaning the wheels and axles is a modification that destroy's the collector's value!!!

 

Don't you ever watch Antiques Roadshow?  Patina is everything! (Except for when it's not...)

 

Rusty

I actually thought I would get static about using the very collectable American Flyer track cleanning car.

Ray

Originally Posted by Rayin"S":
Originally Posted by Rusty Traque:
Originally Posted by Rayin"S":

I know I will probably catch some static for this but cleaning the wheels and the axles and the bronze pick ups on the axles...

Cleaning the wheels and axles is a modification that destroy's the collector's value!!!

 

Don't you ever watch Antiques Roadshow?  Patina is everything! (Except for when it's not...)

 

Rusty

I actually thought I would get static about using the very collectable American Flyer track cleanning car.

Ray

I wouldn't worry about it.  These things are "born to run."

 

Rusty

Likes (0)
Post
OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653
330-757-3020

www.ogaugerr.com
×
×
×
×
×