There are only a few Lionel traction tires that have tried my patience:

The 2-6-6-2 mallets  - the tire is behind the steam chest - WHY?!

The Y6b - same as above  - and don't remove the gear box / driver cover!

The Acela... ARGH!

 

Marty Fitzhenry posted:

Waddy, that is the dumbest thing I have ever heard of.    I advise people not to do this.  Always replace a tire with a tire.   Do the job right. 

Good thing your opinion doesn't matter to me.  It's a friggin' hobby, dude, you are free to experiment.  No lives are at stake.  I've been making my own traction tires for a couple of years now and they have been working out just fine.  And how is using heat shrink any different than Bullfrog Snot, or even leaving them off completely.  

ADCX Rob posted:
 
Arnold D. Cribari posted:
Dan, I think Lionel has the patent on Magnetraction, so other manufacturers cannot use it.  

 Williams had magnetraction until they switched to traction tires.

Yes have a 4 Williams fm trainmasters with the magnet at each truck with dual large pittman motors that are great pullers. Can see how the magnets would be useless on some types of track though .

The mth traction tire chart is excellent to use. Have only replaced 2 sets that was put on a used engine bought and a diesel that was bought new in 2002 they seem to last a long time.

 

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I replaced the traction tires on my MTH Premier LIRR G5s 4-6-0 steam locomotive a few days ago - a job I never enjoy. The model is about 15 years old and is run frequently, pulling three 18-inch passenger cars on Atlas O-72 track. This was only the second time I have changed tires on this engine. The previous time was seven years ago. The tires I just installed were purchased in 2011, stored in the box sent to me by MTH, and did not appear to have any deterioration. The tires I removed were stretched but not cracked. One tire was stuck in the groove and was cut with a razor blade to extract. Small diameter curved-track, heavy consists and fast running will increase the wear on traction tires, as will switches and gaps between track sections. The flat-top profile of Atlas O rails is easier on the tires than a curved-top rail profile. I would prefer that my 3-rail models not have traction tires and would accept the resulting loss of pulling force, but that is not a good option with smaller diameter tubular track.

MELGAR

MELGAR_LIRR_G5S_TRACTION_TIRES_2

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Last edited by MELGAR

Marty--a dude?  That's a new one.

Seriously, Marty, I suspect you've seen dumber things.  I have told you a million times not to exaggerate.

RJR posted:

Magne-Traction on my 68 year old locos is useless.  The magnets lose strength. I can only get my 1954 #624 (PS2 by the way) to pull about 3-4 cars before it starts slipping.

Back around 1991, I bought 3 Weaver locos with traction tires.  Those tires are still on with no problems, even though I have grades and run long trains.  I have youngsters, maybe only 10 or so years old, on which tires fail.

RJR, Your dear old No. 624 has only one powered truck, just four wheels, which pretty much equals this little Mack (below) and she can only be reasonably expected to pull the 4 cars you see, maybe.  My money says the shot was staged and that "Little Toot" could only handle 2 or 3 cars on dry rail:

Mack+4

Is it fair to expect 4 powered wheels to compete with the 8 powered wheels of the prototype NW2 or the "youngsters" who replicate them with their 8 powered wheels augmented with new-tech computer controlled DC can motors and traction tires?

If you haven't done so, already, let me suggest that you locate the PS2 array up into the front of the carbody, over the unpowered truck, and cast up a nice big lead weight to mount just ahead of the motor and, presumably, over the speaker.  I'll bet you could up her performance by 25% or more.

My beloved 6-18501 was bought new, when I had to cut back on good meals in order to afford her.  She is not only cherished but is slated for an ERR extreme makeover after a spa weekend soaking in WD40 and having her wheels cleaned.  At 29, she's had her last birthday and deserves to be spoiled.

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.

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The 624 could drag many more cars back in 1954 than it can today.

Another diasvantage of magne-traction was that it picked up every sliver of ferrous metal on the layout.

Back in the 50's, I would also put tiny rubber bands on non-magne-traction loco wheels, up against the flanges.  Worked great but short-lived.

Waddy, do what you must and enjoy.   Back at you as what you do or say  means nothing to me.  Hopefully some day we can meet at York and say hello.  BTW, my name is not dude.  That may be a fun subject of conversation at York.   Have fun and good luck with your tires.  Enjoy your trains.

Marty

 

 

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Last edited by Marty Fitzhenry

I guess I have to ask since I'm new to the hobby I just threw a traction tire on a small MTH steam switcher locomotive will it hurt not to replace the tire ?

I have a small layout 16 ' x 8' don't pull more then 6 cars. 

Last edited by rpmcobra
rpmcobra posted:

I just threw a traction tire on a small MTH steam switcher locomotive will it hurt not to replace the tire?

The empty groove may get caught on the rail or at switches. Could also wear the edges of the groove or the rail.

MELGAR

Thank you MELGAR my locomotive running gear looks similar to the one you pictured.  It appears to be a lot more complicated to change the tire then other locomotives I have.

RPMCOBRA..........I have never had a problem running steam without a traction tire or two, been two years now......clem

Last edited by clem k
Marty Fitzhenry posted:

Waddy, do what you must and enjoy.   Back at you as what you do or say  means nothing to me.  Hopefully some day we can meet at York and say hello.  BTW, my name is not dude.  That may be a fun subject of conversation at York.   Have fun and good luck with your tires.  Enjoy your trains.

Marty

I don't mind if you disagree with me, but I do object to disparaging terms.  So long as the discussion is kept civil and respectful that's how I'll be.  And I'd be happy to meet up at York; an interesting invitation.  In the meantime I will indeed do as I please.  You do the same.

clem k posted:

RPMCOBRA..........I have never had a problem running steam without a traction or two, been two years now......clem

Thank you Clem k for the response I have run this 0-6-0 with no problems its been scary not knowing and the last thing I want to do is mess up a locomotive.

If you think changing O gauge traction tires are fun, try changing a traction tire on an LGB sound crocodile loco: it involves partial gearbox disassembly and removal of a geared axle located beneath a delicate reed switch assembly! About 1 to 1 1/2 hours on a good day!  Like I said above: PITA!

vita sine litteris mors est  (Seneca)

Phil you know I run mainly MTH engines and I support using the MTH tires for replacement when necessary. The right size tire on the wheel will last quite a while. I run pretty long trains and have pretty good grades. The tools I made and posted on the forum in the past, work great for me. I can change a tire in less than a minute. I would also like to comment that I have a MTH Reading T1 with traction tires and the Lionel T1 without. I consider them to be equal in pulling capability.

RJR posted:

The 624 could drag many more cars back in 1954 than it can today.

Another diasvantage of magne-traction was that it picked up every sliver of ferrous metal on the layout.

Back in the 50's, I would also put tiny rubber bands on non-magne-traction loco wheels, up against the flanges.  Worked great but short-lived.

Being an Atlas O track guy, I have no need or use for magne-traction, however, it does mean I don't have to deal with the traction tire issue.  As you and others have noted, the power of magne-traction fades, over time, and my old engines won't pick up a strand of steel wool anymore - thank God.

Having betrayed your age by associating yourself with the 624, I guess we're both about the same age.  My first Lionel locomotive was No. 2026 with plastic tender.  The 2026 performed yoeman's service and suffered mightily at the hands of an inexperienced and reckless crew.  Never having been designed for Acela type operations, the tender derailed endlessly.  I finally figured out that it needed weight to keep it on the rails during Talgo-Tilt mode and so I filled it with plaster of Paris.  Magne-traction served to keep the 2026 on the rails - mostly.  Adhesion was not an issue, centrifugal force was the enemy in those days.  The 2026 languishes in an old suitcase and the plaster is still good.

I have weighted my equipment ever since and, thanks to the weight conversion formula, found here on the "Old Reliable" OGR Forum, I can load cars up to at or near capacity in order to make my locomotives work for a living.  Thanks for jogging my memory.

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.

RTH, my first engine was a 224, for Christmas, 1941.  The rolling stock that came with it still runs on the layout.  The 224 still runs acceptably, but since it isn't DCS, does not get used.

All to well do I remember centrigugal force.

My MTH N&W Y3?b has been running without tires, because after changing them twice with the recommended MTH tires, and being a pain in the donkey to change, I just left them off.  Given that my layout is flat save for a slight hill to get over a river, and I haul short trains, and engine is really heavy, I haven't had a problem in years.

After all, the big boys don't use rubber tires on their engines.....

You mileage may vary....

I haven't yet had to replace a traction tire on my engine I have in my layout. I don't run trains that often, so my traction tires should last for a while, unless humidity can ruin them. As my trains are in my basement which usually has 45 to 55 % humidity, at least from what I recall seeing on my humidity monitor in the basement, sometimes peaking as high as 60%. Though I wonder if having the trains set on the track can possibly ruin the traction tires, but giving it a flat area. 

Slightly off topic … I have an MTH camelback that can not make the 7% incline on my layout, even without cars. It gets close to the top but it eventually stops even though the wheels have traction tires and continue to spin. Does anyone have a solution? Is there a way to increase traction without bullfrog snot? The engine has plenty of power, just lacks traction.

I just tried Bullfrog Snot again, and I'm totally underwhelmed!  I wouldn't suggest it will be a solution, just an additional problem!

A 7% incline is asking a lot of the locomotive, probably why you're having an issue.  This is the realm that stuff like the Shay and Climax locomotives were built for, they have all the wheels driven for that very reason.

One idea would be to first insure the tender and locomotive wheels are all connected to the ground connection and then have the front set of drivers also grooved for traction tires.

Bob DeSando posted:

Slightly off topic … I have an MTH camelback that can not make the 7% incline on my layout, even without cars. It gets close to the top but it eventually stops even though the wheels have traction tires and continue to spin. Does anyone have a solution? Is there a way to increase traction without bullfrog snot? The engine has plenty of power, just lacks traction.

That little loco is probably quite a bit lighter than most of my single motor MTH locomotives, and might need some more weight.  Try using some painters masking tape to temporarily add weight to the outside of the loco.  I'd add weight maybe a half pound at a time. 

If it works your next challenge is to find room inside for some lead stick on tire weights.

Marty Fitzhenry posted:

Phil, a tight fit is the way to go.  Roll the tire onto the wheel.  Do not stretch like a rubber band.   They do not return to shape like a rubber band.  Do not use glue and stay about 100 miles from that bullfrog _ _ _ _.  Replace a tire with a tire.   The hot set up for Lionel diesel locomotives is the MTH tire.  Also stay 100 miles from the super glue.  The correct tire rolled on dry will last for many years.  I have done a few and suggest you follow what I said.

If you have a tire fall off, do not put it back on.  Replace it and do it right.

I had a guy ail me an engine from the west coast stating he wanted the tires replaced among other situations.  The tires were set in super glue and I refuse to spend any time fixing his super mistake.  If I knew up front about the mess he created, I would not have him send the engine.   I sent it back.

 

Not sure how you avoid stretching a tire to get it on the wheel. I will do my best, however.

How about an inclined plane operation?  GunRunnerJohn has the remains of three prototype planes nearby: the Belmont, the Gordon and the Ashley, which is shown here in operation: https://youtu.be/bfzLmdKl5E4?t=301  Four, if you count the Mauch Chunk Switchback.

The OGR Forum even has a Topic on the subject: https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/topic/the-ashley-planes

Here's a prototype design for adaptation to O Gauge: https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Inclined_plane

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.

tncentrr posted:

Not sure how you avoid stretching a tire to get it on the wheel. I will do my best, however.

You are bound to stretch it "a little".  The key is to do as little as possible while getting it on the wheel.

Rapid Transit Holmes posted:

How about an inclined plane operation? 

 How does that solve his problem?  His grade is already an "inclined plane".

Last edited by gunrunnerjohn

Does running a steam engine with traction tires removed damage the track or wheels? Obviously, there's a loss of tractive effort, but the engine still runs, and am wondering if over time, if it'll damage the track or wheels (due to the groove in wheel cutting the track or smoothing out the groove).

BTW: I removed the traction tire so that the locomotive would make it through a crossing without stalling. The engine is a 2-truck shay that only has 2-axles of grounded wheels, thus very limited grounding through switches and especially crossings. The other two axles (4-wheels) have traction tires, so with two tires removed it still is a good puller and makes it through the crossings.

Last edited by Paul Kallus
Paul Kallus posted:

Does running a steam engine with traction tires removed damage the track or wheels? Obviously, there's a loss of tractive effort, but the engine still runs, and am wondering if over time, if it'll damage the track or wheels (due to the groove in wheel cutting the track or smoothing out the groove).

BTW: I removed the traction tire so that the locomotive would make it through a crossing without stalling. The engine is a 2-truck shay that only has 2-axles of grounded wheels, thus very limited grounding through switches and especially crossings. The other two axles (4-wheels) have traction tires, so with two tires removed it still is a good puller and makes it through the crossings.

Except for the loss of traction, I haven't noticed any damage to my steam or diesel engines that do not have traction tires.  I haven't noticed any damage to my Atlas 3-rail track either.  I have found that I need to take the tires off the wheels on both sides of an engine to prevent it from wobbling.  Most heavy diecast engines can pull all the cars that will fit on my layout without traction tires.

 The only engines that can't pull without traction tires are plastic engines with only one powered truck.  Older Lionel GP-9s with one Pullmore motor come to mind.  NH Joe

I find the ideal replacement tool to be the very cheap set of 4 hooks from Harbor Freight.  I get one side on; slide hook around to slightly stretch tire into the groove while using finger to hold the other end of what's in groove. With a little practrice, gores very fast.    I also have several 3.5-6mm open ends wrenches for removing side rod screws

I have a williams steam 4-8-4 for which neither williams, MTH or Lionel tire has a replacement tire width is the problem 2mm

at first I used shoe goo which is almost like RTV, had to remove it as it was hard to apply and became bumpy and hung up on the other wheels.  So I tried Liquid  electrical tape with an appliclator  brush. I turned the locomotive and attached power to the rollers and set the speed as to just roll the wheels.  I then applied the Liquid electrical tape with the brush (acid brush)  and left the wheels spinning for 20 min or so.   then waited 24 hours to use. works fine  great coefficient for pulling

New Haven Joe posted:
Paul Kallus posted:

Does running a steam engine with traction tires removed damage the track or wheels? Obviously, there's a loss of tractive effort, but the engine still runs, and am wondering if over time, if it'll damage the track or wheels (due to the groove in wheel cutting the track or smoothing out the groove).

BTW: I removed the traction tire so that the locomotive would make it through a crossing without stalling. The engine is a 2-truck shay that only has 2-axles of grounded wheels, thus very limited grounding through switches and especially crossings. The other two axles (4-wheels) have traction tires, so with two tires removed it still is a good puller and makes it through the crossings.

Except for the loss of traction, I haven't noticed any damage to my steam or diesel engines that do not have traction tires.  I haven't noticed any damage to my Atlas 3-rail track either.  I have found that I need to take the tires off the wheels on both sides of an engine to prevent it from wobbling.  Most heavy diecast engines can pull all the cars that will fit on my layout without traction tires.

 The only engines that can't pull without traction tires are plastic engines with only one powered truck.  Older Lionel GP-9s with one Pullmore motor come to mind.  NH Joe

Ditto what Joe posted.  Of course my layout is flat except for a slight "bump up/down" to a bridge over a creek.

Seven 7% percent, sheesh!  It's not reasonable to expect a loco to climb that kind of grade.  So there may not be a satisfactory solution to your problem.  As someone suggested, you could try adding weight inside the smokebox (front end of the boiler.)  Then the loco might make the climb, but it will stretch the tires even more than they already are.

Grooving the front wheels isn't a job for the faint of heart.  It requires advanced machining and reassembly skills.  Also, it may compromise  your ground return, leading to stalling and unreliable operation.

@Paul Kallus I wouldn't run a loco designed with grooved wheels, without a tire in the groove.  The loco may not sit level, and the un-tired wheel won't make good contact with the track.  This creates an uneven load on the rear axle bearings and drive rods.  Depending on what your rails and the wheel are made of, the railhead will muff up the edges of the groove, which could make it more prone to shedding tires in the future.  The open groove could potentially snag on curves, switch guide rails, etc., causing derailments.  I've been after the manufacturers for YEARS to redesign their chassis with a "bottom plate," removable wheels and axles.  Then (assuming spare parts are available) you could just swap the grooved wheelset for a smooth one.  So far no joy. 

Bottom line 7% is too steep and not advised.  If you MUST have a second level on your layout, make it just that -- level -- and ditch the graded track.  A thread comes back to life after two years and the song is the same.  Gosh I despise rubber tires!!

 

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

Last edited by Ted S

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