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I have 2 questions concerning my MTH J 611.It sat idle for a few years while my grandson became of age(5)to truly enjoy grandpas trains.Upon resuming operation on my modest layout the traction tire started to come off on occasion.When I took it to my bench I noticed two traction tires on this loco.Given its weight of approx.9 lbs I found it curious that it required two traction bands as all other locos in my roster that use these bands  only require one.How common is it to find two traction bands? A separate issue is the engine/tender bar on the rear of the engine.It has a pretty stout spring and rests rather high into the front tender bar causing it to separate occasionally.What would be a good tweak to allow it to rest a little further into the tender bar?

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Virtually any traction tire equipped locomotive of any size has a set of traction tires on one set of drivers.  On that model they should be on the rear set of driving wheels.

For the tender drawbar, normally you just do a bit of a bend.  However, the spring you reference should be pushing the locomotive tender bar down, not up.


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@Ironman56 almost every new loco design that debuted after 1980 has at LEAST two tires on opposite sides of the same axle.  Perhaps the rationale is that with only one tire, the torque would be unequal, leading to derailments or uneven wear of the axle bearings, side rods, etc.

Are the tires needed?  Probably not for bedroom-sized layouts built on a couple of 4x8s.  But for those who have full basement layouts, grades, or want to pull very heavy loads, there's no denying that rubber tires greatly increase tractive force.

Personally I don't like tires on both sides of the axle because they make it very hard for the wheels to skid-- which is especially necessary when a loco goes around a sharp curve like O27 or O31.  Locos with rubber tires on both sides of the axle experience a HUGE increase in friction, and usually slow down a lot upon entering the curve, in a noticeable and unrealistic way.

If a loco has grooves for tires on its wheels, it's best to promptly replace the lost tire, rather than running it with an empty groove.  Unfortunately, if you don't want the tires, there's no easy way to swap for to smooth-treaded wheels.  My $.02.

Ted S,My current layout is indeed just 2 4x8's at this time and the only issue with slowing at curves was solved by adding an additional power feeder on the far side of the layout.The loco in question-J 611- will continue to use 2 traction bands as it performs well as it is.I will experiment with some of my lighter locos to see how they perform w/o bands as some do in fact have smooth wheels.I'll add your 2 cents to my wisdom jar!

Anyone remember when American Flyer (A.C. Gilbert) in the early 1950s converted the rear drive wheels on their locomotives and diesels to hard rubber discs and called it "Pull-Mor" power showing their engines pulling a long string of cars up a grade using their trestle set?   It was their 'counter' to Lionel's Magna-Traction...

Much later after Lionel bought Flyer they began calling their open frame motors "Pull-Mor" motors.  :-)

Last edited by c.sam

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