Good evening ..... Well i finally got around to installing Kadees on my two new, steel sided refers by MTH. The coupler change went well, after the first coupler was installed.  While I had the trucks apart, I thought I would see if I could change wheel sets to Weaver Delrin wheels (I like delrin plastic wheels). The problem is the Weaver axle is thicker. But guess what they fit right in the MTH truck.  I wanted to see how much improvement, I made or maybe its not with it. I wanted to see the difference in sound level and rolling resistance. so before I changed the other car I did a rolling test down a 2.2% grade. 

The Milwaukee has MTH trucks with Weaver axles and Delrin wheels Missing the MTH coupler.

The Burlington Route is stock with MTH trucks no changes

I did not lubricate either car

The third video is a 2 rail scale tank car, intermountain I think. I don't know if its needle point axles or flat, but they sure are machined nicer. Metal wheels well machined !!

Joe......I had to close the bridge for this one  




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Last edited by clem k
Original Post

Wow, that's quite the difference. I like how much quieter the plastic wheels are, but I can't change my fleet. Beside, I need the metal wheels for detection.

To each his or her own.  But I would like to see how that Milwaukee car does after you put one drop of Labelle 107 on the axles where they enter the truck sides.  Delrin is a low-friction plastic, no surprise there.  But any kind of metal-on-metal bearing will work better with lubrication.  Especially so if it's allowed to "run in" first, and THEN carefully lubricated.

I've also seen some MTH cars (especially heavyweight passenger cars) where the truck sides were too tight, and put lateral pressure on the axle ends.  If that's the case with these cars, then you would also need to loosen the truck sides and re-gauge them.  Personally I would want to know what's causing all the drag before I commit to rewheeling my entire fleet.

MTH uses Delrin for bearings in their truck side frames, your not suppose to lube them. Both cars have the same trucks.    

clem k posted:

MTH uses Delrin for bearings in their truck side frames, your not suppose to lube them. Both cars have the same trucks.    

Another Delrin plus..derailments rarely produce an electrical short

Huh. I learn something every day here (Delrin bearings pressed into die-cast truck frames). Also, it turns out some MTH freight trucks have blunt-end axles and some are needle-point. Something I just discovered upon examination.


Plastic wheels are quieter, but they also pickup a lot of gunk and wear very quickly.  I went the other way, I had some Weaver cars with plastic wheels, they were quickly dispatched for metal wheels!

.......My experience is the Delrin stay cleaner than metal and plastic wheels like on Atlas/ Pola cars get dirty fast !!

Have yet to clean my Delrin wheels and I run a lot of them for quite a few years now. Maybe weight of cars as an effect on this ?   I can't get paint to stick to Delrin !


Last edited by clem k
geysergazer posted:

Huh. I learn something every day here (Delrin bearings pressed into die-cast truck frames). 


Yeah Lew, I think Lionel was doing that years ago, going back to the 80's, if I'm not mistaken.

I would imagine the Delrin wheels press onto the axle easier then the metal wheels, which would aid in keeping the axle from bending and creating wheel wobble. If there's one thing I can't stand is wobbling rolling stock and having to straighten their axles. Menards rolling stock has to be the worst I've seen. I believe all manufactures would benefit by using harder steel for axles to keep them from bending when pressing the wheels on.

I use Intermountain steel wheels. They roll great. I've been putting them in every Weaver car I get. They're single-insulated and generally will not short if the car derails, but if the truck turns sideways, the wheel will short out the center and outside rails. ScaleCity Designs sells them, by the way.

I don't see the Intermountain wheel sets in the ScaleCity Designs catalog, where did you find them?  I want 3-rail wheelsets for Weaver trucks.

gunrunnerjohn posted:

Note that I said 3-rail wheel-sets Matt.

OOPS! If you need some Weaver 3-rail wheelsets for the plastic trucks, I have a batch of those I can send you. Couplers, too.

Its not only the wheels its the axle also. The better axles are thicker and machined to a better finish. In the videos above the better rolling cars had better axles. there are three different axles in that test. and metal wheels are probably the best if they are machined to a closer tolerance. It depends on the $$. The best value for me is the old Weaver 2 rail axles with the High Rail Delrin wheels. Ride height, sound, rolling ability are my concerns in that order. 


Last edited by clem k

That middle video above, where the Milwaukee Road Reefer nearly falls off the edge of the world, really scared me for a second. I am glad you caught it in time.

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