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Unless your wheels have grooves for traction tires, BFS won't help IMO. I agree.......find someone to machine grooves into the drivers and make sure they are wide enough to receive modern traction tires. If the grooves are too narrow, you'll have trouble finding tires, as is the case with the older Williams brass locos. As Marty Fitzhenry used to say, "always replace a tire with a tire." The only time I will use BFS is in the case of my Williams locos. It isn't nearly as good as a tire, but it's better than nothing.

DON'T pull the wheels  unless you have the skill to quarter them when you put them back!   On these model locomotives, one axle is powered by the gearbox, and the rest are powered by the side rods.   The crankpin locations have to be properly quartered, or the siderods cannot transmit the power, ie they will jam up.

The entire axle should come right out.    I have a few 3rd rail 2 rail locos, and the bottom plate on the frame comes off allowing the axles to be removed.    The gearbox has to disassembled to get that axle, but it should have screws on the bottom side.  

However, you still have to remove the rods. and then reinstall them.   These have to go back accurately becasue the side rods transmit power to the non-geared axles.

All that aside, I can pull 25 2 rail cars on level train with my little 3rd Rail H6 2-8-0s.   If the 3 rail version will do the same, why do  you need traction tires?  

Another option, add weight to the shell,….I like those sticky back tire weights in strips. You’ll be the hero, and not the zero if you can muster the drivers and work through the slip to get your train a ‘movin……..then you’ll be an engineer, and not just a remote holder,…😉….just my .02 cents,….my converted older Lionel scale Mohawks have no tires, and there’s nothing more dramatic ( and entertaining) than working through the slip on 50-60 car drags, ….snorting, huffing, smoke everywhere,… stuff,……I’d only add tires via machining if there’s just no possibility to get moving,…..


You can try Bullfrog snot. I have had good luck with it on Lionel Post War nickel drivers w/o magnetraction. You only need a thin layer, apply with the engine running upside down for an even application. Its no good as a replacement for rubber tires on an engine with machined grooves.  Worth a try and you can remove it if it doesn't work for you.

I have machined wheels too but you’ll need a lathe to do that.


@Craftech posted:

Do you usually remove the boiler and attach the wheel weights upside down when you do that?



When I’m converting brass 2 rail to 3 rail, it’s apart anyways, so the boiler is removed, ….I build up from the base of the boiler up, …concentrating the weight towards the gear box as much as possible,…..that’s why I like the stick on tire weights….they can be divided up into sections to fit in places…..once I’m happy, I go back and mix epoxy and put it in a syringe, and coat the weights to lock them down….I do put one strip at the top of the boiler if space is tight…..but I try not to, as I don’t want to get top heavy and have a lay over ….another trick I do is BB shot for pellet guns and what not, ….they have a lot of weight for their size, mixed in epoxy and turned into a slurry, it’s easily poured into a boiler shell and manipulated into position…..I just did a brass H10 Mikado with a MTH chassis, and I was able to dead match the die cast shell’s weight with this method…..


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