I have a lionel 221  rio grande Diesel engine. It runs fine until I hook up some cars. The engine does not pull the cars. It simple stays in place and it's wheel spins. Is there anything I can do?

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That engine has just one powered axle so tractive effort is limited. One source I found says it came with one traction tire. If so and it is missing there would be even less traction effort because the two driven wheels would be fighting each other what with being different diameters when the traction tire is missing. 

Lew

 

Operator of the Plywood Empire Route in the Beautiful Berkshires

Growing old is so much more fun than the only alternative.

tbs posted:

I have a lionel 221  rio grande Diesel engine. It runs fine until I hook up some cars. The engine does not pull the cars. It simple stays in place and it's wheel spins. Is there anything I can do?

What are you pulling?   Is this on a slope?  How many cars?  Do the cars free roll?  Add one car a time to see where the problem is.

If it is designed for a traction tire you should see a small lip at the outboard edge of the wheel, the purpose of which is to retain the traction tire. That will identify which wheel. Oh, and yes, it will be a smaller diameter than the plain metal wheel.

Lew

 

Operator of the Plywood Empire Route in the Beautiful Berkshires

Growing old is so much more fun than the only alternative.

Two small box cars and a light caboose. I think I discovered the problem. There is a worn out traction tire. Can you  help me replace it. The truck holding the wheel does  not have a obvious way to take it out to replace the tire.

The part you need is 222-108. There is no need to remove the truck or do any disassembly. Careful work of a pick, small screw driver, tweasers, or what have you will allow you to remove the old tire and carefully maneuver a new one for installation. Be sure not to stretch out the new tire as doing so will prevent it from seating good and tight and performing well.

^^^^^^^^ what he said^^^^^^^  also, that motor is kinda a PITA to put a tire on, be patient, slow and steady pace wins the race....it can be frustrating putting on tire(s) the first time....you’ll get the hang of it......Pat

The Water Level Route.......You Can Sleep

Thank you everyone!!! Ok, so here is my next question. The is a "cover" (I am not sure what to call it) over the wheels. It 221-1221-2there a way to take it off with out breaking it. Or do I need to try and slide the "tire" in?

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TBS, someplace in my travels, probably in the clearance bin at a hardware store, or at some closeout kind of store, I purchased a set of these dental hooks which I have found incredibly useful in replacing traction tires. Those and a real narrow mini-screwdriver.

Many people here have written they use bullfrog snot instead of traction tires (edit, thanx Richie).

I haven't read of anyone using my technique, but I use a double sided carpet tape to adhere traction tires. The tape is an inch and a half wide. I've gotten real good at cutting a very narrow piece with ordinary scissors.

First clean the grooved wheel with isopropyl alcohol and a tissue to get any grease off the wheel. Then I put one thin piece of the tape in the groove and then peel off the backing paper. Then I cut one more piece of the tape, and place that in the groove. There will be a tiny bit of overlap but that's okay. You just want to be sure you get the tape down smoothly with no creases or folds.

Having the carpet tape on the wheel, then I get the traction tire started on the top part of the wheel facing towards the engine sheet metal frame. Using the dental hook, I can then easily work the traction tire around the wheel, turning the wheel by hand from the opposite wheel that is on the same axle. With the carpet tape on the wheel, the traction tire goes on very easily. 

And when I need to replace the traction tire, I pull it off and use a narrow screw driver to scrape off the old carpet tape.

--------------------------------

I had one of those engines at one time. The single axle drive Alco's by Lionel are not great pullers by any means. These were low cost engines intended for low cost starter sets to hopefully introduce people to the hobby (competing with the low cost MARX sets of that time). Problem was, people saw the "Lionel" name on the box and expected a little more.

As others suggested, adding some self-adhesive weights (like the ones used for automotive tire balancing) to the locomotive sheet metal frame, directly in front of the motor truck, may help a little.

You could also try putting a strip of vinyl electrical tape on the opposite non-grooved wheel. You'll have to cut a length of tape, place it on a clean piece of glass, and cut it to the proper width using a metal ruler and a razor blade.

I've also use the traction tape made for bath tubs for this purpose, cut in the same fashion as above, save that the tub tape has a backing on it that gets peeled off first.

But either way, adding this to the opposite non-grooved wheel will not hold out forever. Eventually it will start coming loose (sooner than the actual traction tire) and will have to be replaced again. BUT this may help you get a little more pulling power from the engine. I'd try adding some weight first.

Also, if you are pulling non-postwar cars: the modern post-1970 types of train cars that have the fast angle wheel sets, that will be an improvement in pulling power, just because there is less drag from the train. If you are pulling postwar train cars, cleaning the axles and wheels and then adding a drop of oil to the axles right where the wheels are will help. STILL, it will be a short train. But you might be able to pull 4 cars instead of 2.

 

Brianel027 - I've been reading your always helpful input for several years, inlcuding another forum back a few years ago.  I appreciate your lower-tech solutions that you always to seem to come up with!!  When I see your name on a post I'm always sure to read it.

thanks - walt

brianel_k-lineguy posted:

TBS, someplace in my travels, probably in the clearance bin at a hardware store, or at some closeout kind of store, I purchased a set of these dental hooks which I have found incredibly useful in replacing traction tires. Those and a real narrow mini-screwdriver.

Many people here have written they use bullfrog snot to adhere traction tires.

I haven't read of anyone using my technique, but I use a double sided carpet tape to adhere traction tires. The tape is an inch and a half wide. I've gotten real good at cutting a very narrow piece with ordinary scissors.

First clean the grooved wheel with isopropyl alcohol and a tissue to get any grease off the wheel. Then I put one thin piece of the tape in the groove and then peel off the backing paper. Then I cut one more piece of the tape, and place that in the groove. There will be a tiny bit of overlap but that's okay. You just want to be sure you get the tape down smoothly with no creases or folds.

Having the carpet tape on the wheel, then I get the traction tire started on the top part of the wheel facing towards the engine sheet metal frame. Using the dental hook, I can then easily work the traction tire around the wheel, turning the wheel by hand from the opposite wheel that is on the same axle. With the carpet tape on the wheel, the traction tire goes on very easily. 

And when I need to replace the traction tire, I pull it off and use a narrow screw driver to scrape off the old carpet tape.

--------------------------------

I had one of those engines at one time. The single axle drive Alco's by Lionel are not great pullers by any means. These were low cost engines intended for low cost starter sets to hopefully introduce people to the hobby (competing with the low cost MARX sets of that time). Problem was, people saw the "Lionel" name on the box and expected a little more.

As others suggested, adding some self-adhesive weights (like the ones used for automotive tire balancing) to the locomotive sheet metal frame, directly in front of the motor truck, may help a little.

You could also try putting a strip of vinyl electrical tape on the opposite non-grooved wheel. You'll have to cut a length of tape, place it on a clean piece of glass, and cut it to the proper width using a metal ruler and a razor blade.

I've also use the traction tape made for bath tubs for this purpose, cut in the same fashion as above, save that the tub tape has a backing on it that gets peeled off first.

But either way, adding this to the opposite non-grooved wheel will not hold out forever. Eventually it will start coming loose (sooner than the actual traction tire) and will have to be replaced again. BUT this may help you get a little more pulling power from the engine. I'd try adding some weight first.

Also, if you are pulling non-postwar cars: the modern post-1970 types of train cars that have the fast angle wheel sets, that will be an improvement in pulling power, just because there is less drag from the train. If you are pulling postwar train cars, cleaning the axles and wheels and then adding a drop of oil to the axles right where the wheels are will help. STILL, it will be a short train. But you might be able to pull 4 cars instead of 2.

 

Not that I'm recommending it, but if the OP continues to have difficulty trying to mount the traction tires, the bullfrog snot can be used as a substitute for the traction tires.

I know, I know, there are many issues with doing that, but at least it will get him going again with a minimum amount of effort.

Thanks Walt Rapp, I appreciate that. I always enjoy listening to stories about the making movies or the recording industry - before everything went digital - and the creativity that went into coming up with solutions and technical effects. That inspires me. For those who want to do the hobby on a budget, it is ABSOLUTELY possible... but not without some compromise.

And thanks to you Ritchie C. It's using bullfrog snot IN PLACE of traction tires... not adhering them. It's not a topic I pay close attention to, but I like the info to be right, so I stand corrected. I'm going to edit my post to reflect that.

brianel_k-lineguy posted:

Thanks Walt Rapp, I appreciate that. I always enjoy listening to stories about the making movies or the recording industry - before everything went digital - and the creativity that went into coming up with solutions and technical effects. That inspires me. For those who want to do the hobby on a budget, it is ABSOLUTELY possible... but not without some compromise.

And thanks to you Ritchie C. It's using bullfrog snot IN PLACE of traction tires... not adhering them. It's not a topic I pay close attention to, but I like the info to be right, so I stand corrected. I'm going to edit my post to reflect that.

Hey, Brian - I wasn't trying to correct your post in any way - just pointing out to the OP how it could be used to solve his problem. If someone had mentioned it earlier as a substitute for traction tires, I must have missed it. No issues !

If you're not concerned about keeping the loco original, I would substitute an MPC-era integral motor/truck.  You would get two powered axles instead of one, and two traction tires.  Add some stick-on lead weights and it should pull pretty well.  MPC diesels get a bum rap because of the nylon gears, but my 8361 survived a decade of childhood abuse and ran well into my adulthood.  It even stayed on the rails when 8' of water flooded our basement and our platform floated up to the rafters!

If your really want to get fancy, you could cut a bigger hole in the front, and add a second MPC-era integral motor truck.  With 8-wheel drive and 100% of the weight on driven wheels, it would pull like a mule AND run smoother, because you would be getting twice as many power pulses per inch.  You can only do this with the MPC motors, because all of the postwar motor trucks lack pickup rollers- you need a non-powered truck for the rollers.

Did any of the 200-series Alcos have two powered axles and Magne-Traction?  And +1 to what Brianel said about using MPC-era cars with fast-angle wheels.

Creep, coast, and pull.  We're not talking about cold fusion here.

Thank you to everyone. I got the new tire on. The pulling power is still lacking... but it is better than before. I am going to try the "electrical" tape on the other wheel. I have the same problem on a Marx 1095 santa fe. The traction tire is there but tired. Does anyone know the part number for a replacement tire.

 

Does frog snot work?

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