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Is there a tool that can spread the truck wheels to the right gauge ?

Well, to make a short story long.........................................

As far as I know, Menard's uses 3 different styles of trucks on their cars.  One style is a plastic truck, and then 2 different styles of metal trucks (Bettendorf and Roller Bearing).  Both of these styles are a combination of die-cast and stamped metal parts.  The plastic trucks have exposed axles, which make them very easy to work on.  Good news for plastic trucks, widening the gauge can usually be done without removing the axle from the truck, or even removing the truck from the car.  And the axles are easy to pop out of the truck if so desired or if need be.

The metal trucks however, are a whole different story.  The axles are partially or almost fully enclosed by stamped sheet metal parts, and the trucks would need to be disassembled in order to re-gauge the wheel-sets, which generally requires removing the trucks from the car, which can be a real pain in the posterior at the very least, and which in turn may be next to impossible for a lot of folks.

So here's my methods, once again the plastic trucks being E-Z Peasy, or if you can somehow manage to get the axles out of the metal trucks.........................................

Under-Gauged Wheel-sets: Get a good pair of pliers and a tack puller (a little pry bar made for pulling tacks or small nails).  Determine which wheel needs to be moved (in most cases, one will have been factory pressed further onto the axle than the other).

Securely grab the axle between the wheels with the pliers.  Insert the tack puller claw between the pliers and the wheel and using the pliers to pry against, pry out the wheel.  Note: Squeeze the pliers extra hard to prevent axle slippage while prying the wheel outwards.  Make sure the end of the claw is in line with the center of the wheel, so as not to bend the axle.

Over-Gauged Wheel-sets: You will need to pop the wheel-set out of the truck.  Clamp the axle good and tight in a small vice, and tap the offending wheel down further onto the axle using a small socket (or similar) to fit over the axle, and a small hammer to tap it with.  Be careful not to bend the axle.  Fortunately, I'm betting that over-gauged wheel sets are pretty rare.  I can't remember if I have encountered an over-gauged set yet, but have had to go in and fix at least a few wheels where I accidentally pried them out a little too far.

That's pretty much it.  But believe it or not, I have also had a few wheels actually come LOOSE on their axles while running the cars on my layout, and had to Loc-Tite them in place (super glue would work good, too).

Hope this helps.

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