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I have several scale size steam Locomotives from Lionel, K-Line and MTH that are from 4-6-0 to 2-8-4s in Lionel command control and MTH proto 1 and 2 that I have not run in several years. The only problem I have with them is that the rubber tires on some of them work there way off the drive wheels. Please let me know what glue you use that will keep the tires from coming off the drive wheels. I am sure that this issue has come up on the forum in the past but not recently.

Thank you,

Ed G. (Along The North-East Corridor Of Metro-North and Amtrak in Westchester County, NY)

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I have several scale size steam Locomotives from Lionel, K-Line and MTH that are from 4-6-0 to 2-8-4s in Lionel command control and MTH proto 1 and 2 that I have not run in several years. The only problem I have with them is that the rubber tires on some of them work there way off the drive wheels. Please let me know what glue you use that will keep the tires from coming off the drive wheels. I am sure that this issue has come up on the forum in the past but not recently.

Thank you,

Ed G. (Along The North-East Corridor Of Metro-North and Amtrak in Westchester County, NY)

Please do not glue them. They need to be replaced. They wear out and get loose over time. Some trains come with extra traction tires. If not you can look up what size you need on the MTH website.

I agree with most here, replace the tires with new ones. I put away a diesel and steam locomotive in the original packaging for 2 years after running them quite a lot. When got them out and started to run them again the tires started breaking and falling off. Fortunately I had replacements for both locos, and they were off and running again. Forget glue! I keep a supply around for each engine in sealed air tight containers. While we humans need oxygen to survive, rubber tires don't, they just oxidize and fall apart. Also, if any oil lubricants get on them, that is the kiss of death too.

First let me say "I hate traction tires".  I can understand the people who repair trains for $$ hate glued tires and I can't say that I blame them.  It does complicate replacement quite a bit. Cleaning out the groove is such a PITA and takes time.  However at the very least gluing the tires on doubles their life.  I have used contact cement as well as superglue (CA) and let me say CA is far easier to clean out of the groove.  I use an X-Acto chisel blade and grind down it's width till it is about .75 the width of the groove.  Given the loco is upside down in a cradle and has wires attached to run it.   I hold the blade from 5-10 degrees above tangent with the wheel turning into the blades edge. Depending on the situation I might work the blade under what is left of the tire with the wheel stationary till all the rubber is off, rotating the wheel as necessary. Then I power up the loco and let the remaining CA chips come to the blade with the wheels rotating. The chips of CA fly off in just a few revolutions.  Next I install the new tire and have it well settled into the groove. Then I take a very small jewelers screwdriver blade and lift the outside edge of the tire. Then I put a drop of water thin CA on another jewelers screwdriver blade about 1/8" wide and touch the tip of the blade to the bottom side of the tire then slide the small blade holding the tire up away from the glue without removing it from holding the tire up. Add another drop of CA and move the lifting screwdriver again till you have worked your way around the entire groove.   Now, let me justify all this madness.  Back around 92 I purchased an 18018 Southern 4501 Mikado 2-8-2 it was brand new I set up my Christmas tree with a circle of O-72 track and my ceramic village.  I put the Mikado on the track with four matching Williams Southern 18" passenger cars. I started my train and set the speed about 30 SMPH intending to just let it run at that speed while we did what ever we were doing.   In about thirty minutes I noticed that the loco had slowed down and was lurching along.  So I got down on the floor to examine the situation and noticed that a tire was off it's driver and binding in the side rod.  I took the loco to a convenient place to sit down and worked the tire back into it's groove and put the loco back on the track.  This time the tire came off in less than five minutes.  I turned the train off and the next morning I put it on my bench and glued all the tires on with contact cement and let the loco sit a few days to make sure the glue had completely cured.  It was well over ten years before I had to put new tires on that loco and it was run a lot.          j

@gmorlitz posted:

Does your layout have grades? If not, snip them off on both sides and forget about them.

Gerry

If you’ve ever tried to run a locomotive with out a traction tire on track like Atlas O, you’ll quickly see it’s an annoying thing to watch, as the locomotive jumps up on the flange and off the flange and bobbles around…..maybe not so noticeable on tube track,…

Pat

Please do not glue them. They need to be replaced. They wear out and get loose over time. Some trains come with extra traction tires. If not you can look up what size you need on the MTH website.

This is the correct answer.  I never give a thought to putting a traction tire back on if it comes off, it hits the round file.  I also never glue them on, that just makes it a Royal PITA to replace them later!

E6000 flexible glue will hold the traction tires on the metal wheel.  I guarantee it!  It is the best flexible glue since the original Goodyear Pliobond flexible glue of the 1950 and 60s. The EPA made them change the formula then and the new Pliobond is not very good.

E6000 is available at Walmart, HD and Lowes and for more at Hobby Lobby or local hardware stores.  It can be removed with an old pocket knife being used to cut or scrape it and pieces can be pulled off with a pair of pliers.  It is the only flexible and waterproof glue I have found to glue on loose flexible soles of old shoes and last more than 6 months.

Charlie

If the tire is installed correctly, and the wheel is clean, free of debris, grease & oil, gluing a traction tire on is needless work,…most, if not all the repeat tire offenders that come across my plate are due to installer error, dirt & debris in the groove, or the wrong tire for the application,……changed in routine maintenance, maybe every other year or 250 hours, which ever comes first, I’ve never lost a tire,….as mentioned time & time again,….gluing tires on just seems like a messy proposition,……but alas, your railroad, your rules,….goop away,…🤢

Pat

Another thing that causes traction tire problems is excessive oil or any petroleum product residue on the tracks.  Smoke fluid can accumulate on the tracks, especially if you run your trains with high smoke output.

Also, what do you use to clean your tracks?  If using Goo Gone, you need to wipe the tracks off with denatured alcohol  as Goo Gone will eat away at the tires.

I know Goo Gone works great but it leaves a residue that needs to be removed.

Last edited by NYC 428

No, the correct answer is "They are my trains and I do as I please with them." AND, brand new locos can and do throw tires off.  AND, they are much more inclined to do so on a circle of track with no straights.   AND, they come off much easier when pulling a heavy load. AND, they last a "minimum" of twice as long when glued on.    As a wheel with a tire rotates under load it sets up two waves, bow and stern, much like a boat with a displacement hull which cannot plane. This flexing generates heat and the warm rubber stretches easier.  Glue them on and much of this flexing is eliminated. Now if traction tires were only on one side of the locomotive you would not have two tires fighting against one another in the curve and that would help.  Kusan / AMT made their traction tires around 1/8" thick and I have yet to see one of those tires come off a wheel without a great deal of effort. They look much like a washer from a faucet.  Their your trains do as you please, but if you want to increase the ratio of run time vs tire changing time, glue them on. When I started gluing them on I used contact cement and it is indeed a chore to clean off when replacing tires. Somewhere along the way I changed over to water thin CA.  I cut a X-Acto chisel blade down till it is slightly narrower than the tire groove on the wheel then with the loco upside down I run it with the edge of the blade facing against the direction of rotation and the dried CA  flies off in chips.  Takes about ten seconds of running per wheel to remove. Two rail scale trains have got along nicely for years without traction tires. Mr Manufacturer, how about an option, with or without ? Now if some entrepreneur wanted to offer spring steel bands which fit into the tire grooves and snap in place I'm installing them on every loco I own which has rubber tires now.  As for you repairmen, just keep cursing.  AND, I'll keep gluing.      j

       

Last edited by JohnActon

If you're displaying your trains, the worst thing you can do is display them on track.  Just sitting there, the traction tires develop flat spots.  These flat spots eventually  help cause the tire to break, or just come off.

While I've never used it, there was a product named "Bullfrog Snot".  Believe it was to be applied in place of a traction tire.

Fred

@Fred Brenek posted:

If you're displaying your trains, the worst thing you can do is display them on track.  Just sitting there, the traction tires develop flat spots.  These flat spots eventually  help cause the tire to break, or just come off.

While I've never used it, there was a product named "Bullfrog Snot".  Believe it was to be applied in place of a traction tire.

Fred

It was originally marketed to the HO crowd it is not designed to fill the groove of a loco which normally uses traction tires.  Want to gum up a perfectly good running loco. Add a little green dye to contact cement and Green snot is what you get. Several people claim to have good results with various silicone caulk /sealant.  You make a tiny putty knife with some plastic jug material then with the loco running upside down trowel it into the groove then let it cure. I have not got around to trying the idea but keep thinking about trying one of the versions of Flex Seal in such a role.           j

Lots of opinions, suggestions, voices-of-experience...

I'll throw in some 'counter intelligence' (advice from behind the counter) from the LHS days.  Traction tires on trains are somewhat analogous to tires on R/C cars.  And that crowd has an even BIGGER problem ensuring that tires stay on the rims (especially on the powered axles!).  Talk about torque and side-loads!!

Anyhow, there are 'tire glue' products offered by a variety of manufacturers to the R/C crowd.  Preferences are like anything else...TEHO.

And prepping R/C car/truck tire rims...and new tires...prior to the application of a glue is part of their hobby routines.  Of course, they don't typically have to fight through side rods and valve gear to get to the wheel, and their wheels are made to come off the axle ends quite readily.

That said, if you Google "R/C tire glue", the plethora of choices and info will blossom forth.  Something else to do with a beaker of 'suds' in hand on a rainy day.

There ya go!  The NEXT Vision line whiz-bang feature! Real sand dispensed to the railhead with the push of a hand-held button for that tractive boost!...just like the 1:1's!!  And no more tires!  Chew on that, Lionel!

Oh goodie.

KD

Last edited by dkdkrd

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