Traction tires on locos in ANY gauge are flatout a PITA and in many cases, unnecessary. My experience with them has been mixed, but mostly negative. My recent encounter with the ones that needed replacement on my LGB 2045 is a case on point. The current Marklin/LGB replacement tires are TOO thick for my vintage 2045, and do not seat properly in the machined grooves in the drive wheels! Consequently, I decided to lose the traction tire wheelset and replace it with a regular set. Are many of you as frustrated as myself with traction tires in ANY gauge? Feel free to vent here. 😁

vita sine litteris mors est  (Seneca)

Original Post

Every one of my locomotives has traction tires. Although I don't like grooved wheels and traction tires, they haven't been much of a problem for me. They seem to last pretty well on my layouts, which have O-72 and O-54 curves, and I run short consists. But, I would be happy to accept a loss of tractive effort in exchange for "real wheels."

MELGAR

Con- loss of electrical connection is greater with tires.

Con- real trains have metal tires

Con- disassembly of some locos

Pro- they work well for me. I don't hate it anymore but still luv magnetraction best as I run too fast at times.(pro- magnetraction is more like real gravity being  applied  vs just grip from slip of rubber.

Pro- cheap

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





Hate 'em.  How I *wish* that 3-rail O gauge manufacturers would redesign their loco chassis, such that the end user could decide whether to equip grooved wheels with rubber tires, or ungrooved metal wheels.  Not holding my breath though. 

The only "pro" I can think of for rubber tires, is that they allow locos to climb unrealistically steep grades (such as might be encountered climbing out of hidden staging.)  For any other scenario, adding weight or doubleheading is the answer.  My $.02.

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

I don’t like them...but are a must have if you have grades

I converted about 5 or 6 of my Railking diesels...a good freind got me a coffee can full of wheels from a man that did 2 rail conversions. I have no grades on my small layout so I replaced the grooved wheels with regular wheels.

I also found a use for the grooved wheels on the FM trucks I got rid of the blind axle wheels and replaced them with the grooved wheels it looks a lot better but the locomotive has to only be used on wide radius track.

Before

55E29D82-E7E4-4018-8D22-DBC0BFC066C6

after

95BB812E-B987-4979-885B-8369EE628740

Heres a short video of the locomotive pulling a PWC train

Bob Taylor


Attachments

Photos (2)
Videos (1)
trim.BF1EE638-65BD-4C50-B278-EAD42233D150

Good job on the FM Bob!  On steam locos it's not so easy... The wheels have to be pressed on in quarter.  A small misalignment will lead to poor running, and a new quartering jig would have to be built for every different loco.  Also, replacement wheels are very hard to come by.  If the front and rear flanged wheels are identical, you might be able to swap a set from an identical donor loco.  Then I suppose you could sell the resulting four-tired abomination to someone who wants to pull stumps from their yard, or climb an O-scale Mt. Everest.

Tires are only a must if you have unrealistic grades.  For the record I'm not really a fan of Magne-traction either.  It contributes nothing if you're running on Atlas track, or even MTH RealTrax.  Just 1950s Lionel marketing gimmickry that was difficult or impossible for American Flyer to duplicate, and great for picking up ferrous debris near the track. 

All of this grows out of a toy-train mentality that you should maybe build an over-and-under in 4 x 8.  That's not a realistic expectation.  IMO it doesn't look realistic, and it defies the laws of railroading physics.

When MTH ventured into HO scale in a big way, they did it right.  Split chassis with "bottom plate", wheels / axles / bearings are removable as an assembly.  They even included a rubber-tired axle in the box for those who wanted it.  American Models S-gauge steam locos are also built this way.  I just want the O gauge manufacturers to retool (a dirty word with the demographics of our hobby today) so that end consumers have a choice of tires or not.

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

Ted S posted:

Good job on the FM Bob!  On steam locos it's not so easy... The wheels have to be pressed on in quarter.  A small misalignment will lead to poor running, and a new quartering jig would have to be built for every different loco.  Also, replacement wheels are very hard to come by.  If the front and rear flanged wheels are identical, you might be able to swap a set from an identical donor loco.  Then I suppose you could sell the resulting four-tired abomination to someone who wants to pull stumps from their yard, or climb an O-scale Mt. Everest.

Tires are only a must if you have unrealistic grades.  For the record I'm not really a fan of Magne-traction either.  It contributes nothing if you're running on Atlas track, or even MTH RealTrax.  Just 1950s Lionel marketing gimmickry that was difficult or impossible for American Flyer to duplicate, and great for picking up ferrous debris near the track. 

All of this grows out of a toy-train mentality that you should maybe build an over-and-under in 4 x 8.  That's not a realistic expectation.  IMO it doesn't look realistic, and it defies the laws of railroading physics.

When MTH ventured into HO scale in a big way, they did it right.  Split chassis with "bottom plate", wheels / axles / bearings are removable as an assembly.  They even included a rubber-tired axle in the box for those who wanted it.  American Models S-gauge steam locos are also built this way.  I just want the O gauge manufacturers to retool (a dirty word with the demographics of our hobby today) so that end consumers have a choice of tires or not.

All good points Ted !

Even if I had access to steam locomotive wheels I wouldn’t attempt to do a swap out on the grooved wheels ....I’m not that good !

 

Bob Taylor


I may be in the minority here, but I have no problem with traction tires.  My grades are generally 2.5% or less.  I do run some long trains (18 weighted hoppers) and don’t have a problem going up those grades.  I have replaced tires on diesels, electrics and steamers and don’t find it difficult.  I have a few locos with over 1000 scale miles that have not required tire replacement.

Bob

Magne-Traction now, Magne-Traction tomorrow, Magne-Traction forever !

Dan Padova

 

"In the course of my life I have had to eat my words, and I must confess it was a wholesome diet"..........Winston Churchill

                                                                                                                                        

I have given up on tires, especially for steamers with all those small screws in linkages, plus my layout is flat except for slight rise over a waterway.  Been running this for for years with no discernible problems.  Only exception is replacing tires on trolley as it has to climb a hill.

My layout is completely level and my LGB locos are properly weighted so I have NO need for those dadblamed tires. The engines that have them have all had new tires installed and It was fortunate that I had enough original replacements EXCEPT for the 2045, hence my plan to replace the traction tire wheelset with a regular set for that engine.

vita sine litteris mors est  (Seneca)

Recently I used Liquid electrical tape on a williams engine to which I could not get traction tires, the secret is to turn the engine over and with the wheels turning slow brush the liquid on the wheels, let dry for 24 hours.  So far it looks like it will work, the liquid when dry has a high friction co efficient which is  as good or better than traction tires.  if you do purchase LET  and over time the liquid becomes gummy, a phone call to  the mfg indicated  that the addition of Acetone or MEK will fix the gummy  liquid problem. 

We consumers do have some choices, when it comes to diesels.  Of course there's Magne-traction but few of the post war Lionel diesel locomotives qualify as "scale" to meet modern modelers' tastes.  However, many current MTH Premier diesels do offer the 2R-3R option which permits wheel/axle replacement with relative ease.  Notable exceptions are the ALCo PA/B and DL-109/110, FM Trainmaster, plus EMD E6 and E8.  I'll not buy another of those until MTH offers them with 2R-3R trucks.

Interestingly, Lionel has quietly dipped its toe in the waters of wheel/axle replacements! They offer replacement wheel/axle sets for their ALCo S-2 (see the relevant parts list), AND, quite by accident* I came upon this for my BNSF SD70ACe:

6208338170SD70ACE WHEEL RETROFIT KIT / SMALL FLANGES (1 TRK)

https://www.lionelsupport.com/...4d-aa18-da5ad1cdf959

You'd think that Lionel feared being burned at the stake for such heresy!  They hid this better than Fredrick III hid Martin Luther at Wartburg Castle.  I have received my two sets of "small flanges" wheel sets which include one rubber tired whee/axle per set.  I have yet to tackle the replacement of the factory equipment rubber tired wheel/axles but it looks to be quite easy and straight forward, complicated only by my desire to replace The Claw with Kadees at the same time.

Note*   My BNSF SD70ACe slipped from a precarious perch on the workbench and hit the concrete floor but only busted the "radiator housing", thus requiring a visit to the Lionel Replacement Parts site and my discovery of their very secret sin.

GENERAL NOTICE - Safety is of the first importance in the discharge of duty.  Obedience to the rules is essential to safety.  To enter or remain in the service is an assurance of willingness to obey the rules.

Recently took a Santa Fe 0-8-0 out for a run with 3 boxcars and noticed the wheels slipping, so I took unit, turned it upside down and the smoke switch on and ran it for several minutes, then let it cool and did the same again. Then after turning off the smoker, placed it back on track and it ran fine. 

So, I 'assume' (be careful there...Uknow what that can do!) that at one time must have put too much fluid in the smoker and it was draining onto the track, thus creating a super slick surface. 

All is fine now, just thought I would put my 'two-cents-worth' in.

Bernard

Someone, either OGR or Kalmbach, needs to publish an exhaustive book called "All About Traction Tires" with chapters on how to replace them on ALL engines that use them, a reference table showing what tires fit what engines, the pro and con of alternative products and the consequences of not replacing tires at all. It needs to be well researched with all manufacturers contributing to it. I would buy one. I'll bet most of the rest of you would too. Traction tires, for better or for worse, are going to be with us for the foreseeable future. It's time that there was an authoritative reference to help us deal with it. I have a 2343 that is 70 years old, built in 1950. I ran it a few days ago. It walked off with 17 cars and did not even break a sweat. If today's trains are going to have that kind of longevity, we need to be able to handle the traction tire problem long term.

tncentrr posted:

I have a 2343 that is 70 years old, built in 1950. I ran it a few days ago. It walked off with 17 cars and did not even break a sweat. If today's trains are going to have that kind of longevity, we need to be able to handle the traction tire problem long term.

 Of course by then DCC and DCS etc engines will be dead as their electronics will have long expired, so traction tires will be least of problems.  By then assuming electronic stores still exists, we will be wiring the motors direct to the rails through a diode bridge and be back running conventionally.

Of course at my age I wont have to worry about tires.

I tried shoe goo, and RTV problem is that you tend to put too much on the wheel and both clump the end result is the  locomotive tends to jump up and down, the problem  of leaving the traction tires off esp if the tires are wide the locomotive tends to get caught on the track or on a curve or a switch. Sometimes it makes a noise as it  tracks in a curve. too much build up of both and the locomotive runs off the track, esp in a curve.

Charlie posted:

I run streamline steam passenger (name trains) and the rubber band is absolutely needed.

I'm sorry but I respectfully disagree.  The problem some people encounter with passenger cars is excessive drag from the pick-ups for lighting, etc.  There was at least one series of MTH heavyweights with defective trucks that caused excessive drag.  I also think that car interiors are a needless extravagance.  Unless  your layout is up near eye level, or the roofs are removable, they're not worth the added weight and manufacturing cost, which would be better spent on other engineering enhancements (see below.)

One "out-of-the-box" approach that would render the tires unnecessary, would be to retrofit roller bearing truck sets and battery powered lighting to each car.  No more drag from pick-ups, and much less drag starting and rolling.  Replacing the bearings on the trucks of your favorite passenger consist would be a one-time, lifetime effort.  No more tires!!  In the meantime, I would make sure your wheels turn as freely as possible and your axle bearings are properly lubricated.

If you don't want to put battery lighting in each car, you could switch to LED's and remove the pickups from all but the first car.  A tether would carry the low-current, low-voltage lighting to the remaining cars.  Again, this would be a one time effort, and now a tireless loco would pull your train easily.  A little wheel-slip at startup is very realistic and adds interest.  Unfortunately, by fitting tires and permanent grooved wheels the manufacturers have denied us this pleasure.

May I ask, how steep are your grades?  The tires are a nuisance but the manufacturers keep adding them because people have unrealistic expectations.  If you think you need the tires, fine, but personally I'm not buying another steam loco until they retool and give us the choice to fit smooth tires.

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

Traction tires are ok but the problem  with Lionel and williams is that the tires can not be obtained for many of the wheels. I am thinking of dragging some of my locomotives out that have traction tires that can not be obtained and putting a cover of Liquid electrical tape on them or RTV so as to prevent the tires from falling apart or drying out with rubber rot. This type of behaviour  by the two firm has no reason to occur unless its a cost problem for them but its a public relations problem that they should think about before stopping production of replacement tires.

Personally, I just don't see why traction tires exist.  This is not the first time the subject of traction tires has come up.   Didn't Lionel engineers solve the problem with Magne-Traction ?

Dan Padova

 

"In the course of my life I have had to eat my words, and I must confess it was a wholesome diet"..........Winston Churchill

                                                                                                                                        

Add Reply

Likes (3)
Rapid Transit HolmesJohn23MELGAR
Post
OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653
330-757-3020

www.ogaugerr.com
×
×
×
×
×