Hello everyone.

Does anyone have a good technique for putting traction tires on old American Flyer steam locos?

I have been slowly upgrading my link coupler steam locos so that they will run longer and more reliably on club layouts and pull long trains. So far, I have:

-installed can motors

-installed electronic reverse units or modified and locked the standard ones

-put brass axle bushings in the sintered iron side frames on knuckle coupler cars

-converted link locos and cars to knuckle couplers for reliable running over the rough track work that my club has

-used some ficus products trucks (with mixed success)

But the thing I would really like to do is put traction tires, AKA Pull-Mor Power on the loco's rear drivers.

There is one eBay vendor who sells traction bands and a tube of super glue. Those work for a few minutes and then fall off.

I'm thinking that machining a groove in the wheel for a traction tire might make the rim too thin.

I tried putting on a Pull-Mor wheel from a later loco, but my talent/skill at getting a wheel on straight and quartered is sadly lacking. Plus, there are not that many good wheels available.

So... does anyone have a technique that they have actually done and it worked??

Last edited by RoyBoy
Original Post

When ACG added PullMore wheels to their steamers, it was actually a major production change. This is because the PullMore wheels are actually larger in diameter--just the wheel rims though. However this also meant they had to take off some of the  rear chassis mount "flange" on the engine base to clear the larger flange diameter. So, to add pullmore wheels to a steamer also requires changing out the front plain wheels too-or at least their tires, otherwise the locomotive sits Nose-heavy, and the pilot will strike the rails when the grade changes to go up a trestle.  Not checking driver diameters is also why some repaired locomotives rock--one wheel is different (larger or smaller)! the center wheels are flangeless, and seldom touch the rails, so they don't have to be changed.

If you have problems quartering drivers (there is a quartering tool out there, BTW) it might be easier to find a later chassis for your locomotive and do a "heart transplant."

Just wondering if you might've looked at Portlines, Doug has tires bands that you can add, I have put these on a Gilbert Hudson and used Goo from Walthers to secure them. You want to let the locomotive rest upside down overnight after mounting the bands. Seems to me they had various sizes, I'll try them on one of my diesel engines.

Ray

@Rayin"S" posted:

Just wondering if you might've looked at Portlines, Doug has tires bands that you can add, I have put these on a Gilbert Hudson and used Goo from Walthers to secure them. You want to let the locomotive rest upside down overnight after mounting the bands. Seems to me they had various sizes, I'll try them on one of my diesel engines.

Ray

Hi Ray

I bought some traction bands from another vendor and they came with Superglue. They lasted about ten minutes. I considered putting another set on with the new version of Gorilla glue and may still do so.

I bought some of the new rims and insulators from a vendor at York a few years back, but have not installed them.

One of the difficulties I have is installing wheels and getting them quartered properly. I have an LBR installation and quartering tool, but it is incomplete and has no instructions. The owner of LBR sent me some replacements, but the mail delivery service is overloaded and they never came.

So this loco has two problems: The front drivers are quartered incorrectly and there are no traction aids of any kind. Additionally, since it is a smoke-in-boiler loco, there is precious little room to add weight. I do not like to add weight inside the top of the boiler as that makes the loco less stable at speed, especially on a curve. The track work at the club layout is marginal at best.

Roy, 

I would not use the Gorilla glue, if it is the kind that foams with added moisture. I believe the Goo from Walthers is similar to the old automotive weather strip cement, it doesn't harden but stays somewhat flexible. Also I don't know of the traction tires you purchased, but the ones I installed from Portlines stayed on, ran quite a bit, they are still in place.

I also purchased the quartering tool from LBR, mine came complete, but I must admit it did take a bit of playing around with it to figure how it works. What part were you missing from the tool? Maybe try contacting Dave again and see if he can get your missing part to you, I don't know if he is still a sponsor on this forum, but if he is he may monitor posts here and contact you.

Ray

Last edited by Rayin"S"

I have turned to this now for all of my traction needs....

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B008...t_dp_U_Wv.XEbKYFW898

I spray some in a cup, run the loco upside down at low speed and apply 3 coats of this with a micro brush such as these... 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07F...t_dp_U_aB.XEbDW7ZM6H

It is similar to the instructions for applying Bullfrog Snot, but I highly recommend mini brushes instead of a toothpick.  And regarding Bullfrog Snot, I find Liquid Tape to far outperform it in both traction and endurance.

Hey Chuck,

Is the spray tape quite thin? I purchased the BFS, was not thrilled with it, I have seen the liquid tape but not in spray form. I assume that when you say you apply 3 coats you let each coat cure before coating again. As far as the brushes you mentioned, that's a big quantity but I paid more than that for a package of 10. Thanks for the tip.

Ray

@Rayin"S" posted:

Hey Chuck,

Is the spray tape quite thin? I purchased the BFS, was not thrilled with it, I have seen the liquid tape but not in spray form. I assume that when you say you apply 3 coats you let each coat cure before coating again. As far as the brushes you mentioned, that's a big quantity but I paid more than that for a package of 10. Thanks for the tip.

Ray

Yes Ray, it is very thin.  And yes, I let it cure, but only for a few minutes.  I just let the loco continue to run to help with curing.  I have used this method on AF steamers as well as on the following AM locos: GG-1, Northern, Pacific and J3a.

It is indeed a big quantity of brushes, but I go through a pack of 100 pretty quickly since I use them for cleaning, painting and gluing.

Chuck,

I have pasted your suggestion to another group looking for traction suggestions, hope you don't mind.  Left your name off and posted only your suggestion and answers.

Ray

@Rayin"S" posted:

Chuck,

I have pasted your suggestion to another group looking for traction suggestions, hope you don't mind.  Left your name off and posted only your suggestion and answers.

Ray

No problem Ray

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