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I have recently gotten my flyers out of storage and have found several of the box and refrigerator cars need brake wheels.  I need to drill out the ould posts and was wondering what size drill bit I should use.  There are two types: one piece and a two piece.  Do they need different size bits and if so, what size?  Thanks for any help


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  • AF 25082: 25082 needs a brake wheel
Original Post

Bobby -- I purchased some plastic replacement brake wheels a while ago and just measured the shaft diameter to be 3/64".  That might be a bit smaller than the older Gilbert wheels, which, IIRC, had metal shafts.  I think your chances of successfully drilling out those small, old metal shafts from a plastic carbody are somewhere between slim to none.  Its been a while since I replaced any of the brake wheels, but -- again relying on memory - in some cases, the mounting hole goes all the way through and I was able to push the shaft out.  At least in those cases, I don't think they were glued in place, but relied on a tight press fit.  In a couple of other cases, I simply cut all or part of the plastic shaft off the replacement wheel and glued the wheel in place.  If you looking to use 'authentic' Gilbert-style wheels, then this might not work.


I"ll echo Rich's comments on the break wheels.  Pushing the stub out is the only way to go.  I noticed that the New Haven car you show in the photo is listed as an operating car that originally had Pikemaster trucks with the integral coupler.  Yours has the scintered iron trucks with operating couplers.  In an case, the car's shell came with the plastic wheel, and replacements are available.  That car also has the snap-in frame which makes its removal much easier than the riveted on frame.  I don't know when Gilbert went to plastic wheels over the metal ones, but I've never seen a metal wheel break off.  I've lost a few, but the metal pins are tough.  I believe that Gilbert used the same pin for the older door track guides, diesel ladders, switch flags and maybe a couple more applications.  

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