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I recently had a front engine traction tire come off on on my JLC N&W Y6b. Unfortunately, Lionel in one of its more stupid moments put the tire on the front driver that is completely hidden by the crosshead and other connecting rods. Has anyone ever figured out how to change these obscured traction tires without taking the whole engine apart? Thanks for any advice or experience you can offer. Reach me at:

Last edited by turbgine
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Fidgety to do, but can be done non-invasive with the right tools. An open end 5mm wrench, and a variety of dental picks or similar ( especially ones with a hooked end) …..rotate the the drivers till one of the drivers with the traction tires is at the 6 o’clock position, remove that rod bolt. Do the same on the other side, being careful to keep an alignment with the first one you removed the bolt from. Now with both rod bolts removed from that wheel set, you can now spin the wheel set to aid in traction tire removal/install….hooked & scalloped dental pick tools are the best …a variety of my “ tire irons” below …..

Pat C49F9309-F93B-4635-9761-EFD6BACF8347


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I just did this a couple of weekends ago.  The issue with this engine is the traction tire on the rear set of drivers is located on the first axle next to the steam chest, not allowing easy access to the hex bolt or driver.  Reminds me of changing the tires on my mth cab forward, but harder.

On the main connecting rod, I left the bolt on the one attached to the driver with the traction tire and removed the other three.  This included the one with eccentric that uses the Allen key.  Once these are off, I then threaded the tire on the connecting rod and then attempt to get it on the driver.   Getting it on the driver took me some time in trying to stretch in place, especially dealing with all of the piston hardware and brake shoes.  Its not as easy task requiring good lighting to see.  

I also noticed that you can’t run the engine with the the connecting rod linkage removed (at least on only one side) as it jams.  I also noticed that you can’t run the engine upside down as the valve  gear jams.  

A bit of advice here, when pulling each of these bolts/screws out, remove them from engine and don’t let them drop in.  I had one fall inside requiring me to dissemble the locomotive to get it.


Guys, Thanks for all the advice. I noticed that there is one Phillips head screw securing the crosshead to the cylinder chest. I wonder if removing this screw would allow moving the crosshead out of the way. Also, the brake shoes on this engine are all part of one casting not individual like on almost every other engine I know of. When you remove the casting for all the brake shoes are there bad things that can happen like little springs flying all over the room> How dumb was this design? I've changed dozens of tires before but this project will cause hair loss of the few remaining hairs I own. What a PIA!

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