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Here's my take...they were designed that way for a reason, so I tend to replace them as they break.

I recently bought 20 of the same size tire (MTH) from Mr. Muffin's Trains, fits on a variety of engines I have, just had to replace 4 on a Williams/Samhongsa brass USRA 2-8-2.  They didn't have any trouble filling my order (although I may have depleted their stock!!!) so I'm counting on the supply to meet the demand.  When it doesn't then I'll worry.  The Train Doctor also lists MTH tires and I have bought from them in the past.

My suggestion, learn how to replace them and keep a small stock on hand.  Some engines are more tedious than others but so far I have not found an engine I can't replace tires on.  Get some small clamps and flat blade screwdrivers to help with the install.

One thing I was thinking of but have not tried it yet...warming the tires up in a cup of water in the microwave first, then installing them.

Kranky asked
Is it harmful to run engines without traction tires ?
@H1000 posted:

No, many folks do it. I think the only thing to possibly worry about is wearing down the rib that keeps the tire in place if you ever want to put one on later but it would take many hours of running for that to be an issue, if it is even possible.

If you do it long enough it cuts the ridge down which holds the tire in place.  I bought such a loco thinking I could just glue the tires on.  Even with glue some tires tended to peal off and ride out of the groove or the edge of the tire wore faster making another smaller groove.  I keep hoping some entrepreneur will come up with spring steel bands with an open end which allows it to snap into place on the drive wheel. The big problem with this concept is the bands would have to be locomotive specific as the wheel grooves differ in width and depth as well as diameter.          j

Last edited by JohnActon
@JohnActon posted:

I came up with some BullFrog snot in a collection of trains I bought about ten years ago.  On a lark, I found something it works for.   It is useable as a glue for gluing traction tires on if you give it about a week to cure.                                j

I found a use for Bullfrog snot as well, it adds weight to my trash can to keep it from blowing away as I wait for trash collection.

I have a NEW YORK CENTRAL HUDSON JR #5413 LOCO and I am having a problem finding the correct traction tires. Any good sources? My problem is that I have been told that it is: Lionel part number 6SP8060065 TRACTION TIRE / .875" ID x .026" TH x .136" WD
.875" converts to 7/8"

But my pic sure does not look like that.


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