For some reason only one of my cars keeps sparking and shorting out my layout going through all turnouts.  It seems to only happen on one truck.  Any ideas to what might be causing this?

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Since you will probably have to take the car apart to repair the truck that is causing the problem, why not disassemble the car NOW and get the "problem truck" off. Then carefully just push the single truck thru your switch and watch closely EXACTLY what happens. Thus, you will be able to determine which wheel pair is out of gauge, and effect repairs accordingly.

I've got a repair in right now which is different kind of car but it is sparking big time and it appears to be a design flaw.  MTH Smoking tank car where the pick arms going to the roller have too much play and they touch the side of the truck causing a intermittant spark.


I've also seen numerous Railking SD-70 engines where the center rail pickup wire wears going thru the shell since MTH doesn't protect their very thin wire from rubbing on the metal.



Will is your car wheel hitting the center rail or is your truck frame hitting center rail going into the switch MTH side frames are very low they will hit the center rail going into the switch or hit center rail on main going into the siding it maybe out of gauge wheel i have MTH caboose it will hit the center power rail  going in the switch running on the main then when i go into the siding then hit center rail on the main    



Chessie System!! (B&O,C&O and WM)




Hi Will,


I agree with Alan and David that the most likely cause is a mis-gauged axle.  One other thing to check is the coupler release tab on the bottom of the truck.  If the spring has failed or the tab wasn't properly assembled the tab could drop down and make contact with the center rail.



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