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  • Topic: USA Trains Traction Tires

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    • December 7, 2017 12:46 PM EST
      • Seattle, Washington
         
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      USA Trains Traction Tires

      I recently converted 2 of my GP38's from traction to all metal wheels. I purchased the wheel sets from Charles RO. It was a pretty straightforward swap out.  As part of the conversion I am left with completely intact traction tires.

       

      The biggest motivation for this is due to general guidance that traction tires can causes the gear's to crack over time because the wheels are not able to slip as easily.  I also at times, would be doing multiple engines when the trains are long.

       

      I tested up-hill pulling strength of my remaining GP38 with traction tires against one with out and as expected its up hill pulling strength is diminished.

       

      Thinking this through though, what would have be the harm in leaving the traction tires in place until the gear cracks, and swapping it out then? The worm gear inside the motor is metal so I can't see much happening to it. 

       

      Thoughts?

      This post was edited by Nicolas Teeuwen at December 7, 2017 12:50 PM EST
    • December 7, 2017 1:41 PM EST
      • Santa Ana, CA
         
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      Traction tires or not, the gears are prone to crack.  I change out the traction tires when they do, but I do it for the conductivity.  After that, I just fix the cracked gear with a bit of brass tube.

    • December 7, 2017 3:26 PM EST
      • Nashville, IL
         
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      I don't change my traction tires out, and the only cracked axles I've had, that I know of, came with the used engines I have bought...

    • December 7, 2017 5:03 PM EST

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      The shafts on either side of the USAT gear that hold the axles crack on their own.

      Everyone of them, up until the GP30.

      The knurling on the axles shafts was wrong and stressed the plastic.  

      ____________________________________

      Best wishes,
      Tony Walsham

      Remote Control Systems. www.rcs-rc.com/
        Modern technology. Old Fashioned reliability

    • December 7, 2017 5:49 PM EST
      • Seattle, Washington
         
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      I should have noted that I do battery power so conductivity is of no concern. I think I will leave the one engine as it is until it has issues and then swap em out. If something goes wrong with the others I'll use up the traction tires too. From what I can tell it mostly damages the axel/gear on the axle.

    • December 7, 2017 5:50 PM EST
      • Milpitas, California
         
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      So up until the corrections were made for the GP30 units, all of the USAT engines had this bad design that resulted in cracked axels? When were the GP30's manufactured; before or after the GP-9 and F-3A/B units were made? If it was before, then I can expect cracked axels in the future? And the replacement USAT axels are compatible and won't crack? Sorry if I sound naïve by asking these questions....

      This post was edited by Michael Kirrene at December 7, 2017 6:35 PM EST
    • December 7, 2017 6:19 PM EST
      • Santa Ana, CA
         
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      GP-9s came well before GP30s and will crack.  FA/FB are Aristocraft and a different animal.  F3 is USA and can crack.

      I've found that replacements are no better than originals and will also crack.  The brass sleeve is the best way to fix these and avoid any future incidents..., in this respect.

      There is an old thread that can be searched that will explain the brass sleeve and the various way that we have found to implement it.  People have also wrapped the cracked portion of the gear shaft with fishline and CA'ed  (superglued) it in place.

      This post was edited by Todd Brody at December 7, 2017 6:42 PM EST
    • December 7, 2017 6:37 PM EST
      • Candlewood Valley, Connecticut
         
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      I have a set of brass sleeves that came from Tony years ago. I never used them and all my USA Engines have left the property. They are available at my cost.

      ____________________________________

      www.cvsry.com www.cvsry.com

    • December 7, 2017 6:41 PM EST
      • Milpitas, California
         
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      Thanks, Todd. I meant USAT F-3/B, not FA/FB, and edited my post accordingly. Thanks for the info on the brass sleeve. I've heard about it, but luckily haven't had to implement it (yet). Surprising that USAT didn't modify the original design to correct the knurling on the axle shafts like Tony described. Or maybe they did change the part design and it still wasn't effective?

    • December 7, 2017 6:47 PM EST
      • Milpitas, California
         
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      Jon Radder said:

      I have a set of brass sleeves that came from Tony years ago. I never used them and all my USA Engines have left the property. They are available at my cost.

       

       

       

       

       

      Sorry to hear that. I have a good chunk of change invested in my USA Trains engines and will spend even more shortly to convert them to battery power. Hate to think they're not very good quality. Funny, a few years ago I was advised to steer way clear of Bachmann engines and to stick with LGB and USA Trains.

       

    • December 7, 2017 6:52 PM EST
      • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
         
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      I have a USA F3 that won't pull a train of any length anymore. As Yunz can guess, the wheels spin independent of each other by hand, so the gears are shot. I am going to replace them with wheels without traction tyres, and possibly add a bit of weight to the F3.

       

      Yes, it is my understanding that the axle gears crack, and I haven't heard of that causing harm to the motor worm. So why not run them till they fail?

      ____________________________________

      Shannon car Shops
      Home of the infamous leg lamp

      I.A.R.R.R. Member #12

      and King Butt Modeler

    • December 7, 2017 7:13 PM EST
      • Port Orchard, Washington
         
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      I don't know how much traction loss you experienced, but I had no problems pulling 30 cars up the 4% grade from Mount House to White Rock on TOC's layout during clean-up without traction tires on a GP9. I replaced the USAT wheel sets with nickel silver ones from NWSL. 

    • December 7, 2017 7:14 PM EST
      • Candlewood Valley, Connecticut
         
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      Michael Kirrene said:
      Jon Radder said:

      I have a set of brass sleeves that came from Tony years ago. I never used them and all my USA Engines have left the property. They are available at my cost.

       

       

       

       

       

      Sorry to hear that. I have a good chunk of change invested in my USA Trains engines and will spend even more shortly to convert them to battery power. Hate to think they're not very good quality. Funny, a few years ago I was advised to steer way clear of Bachmann engines and to stick with LGB and USA Trains.

       

      Michael -  I didn't get rid of them because I didn't like them, or they were problematic. I ran them a lot and liked them.  They just didn't fit my overall plan.  When I first got started I bought everything I thought was cool. That included a bunch of USA stuff. I settled on Fn3 (3 Foot Narrow Gauge) so I sold off all but one 1:29 loco - my first - a USA New Haven GP9 .

      ____________________________________

      www.cvsry.com www.cvsry.com

    • December 7, 2017 7:37 PM EST
      • Carlsbad, CA
         
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      Even though USAT changed the knurling on the metal half axles, the plastic "axle" with the gear still cracks. I have most all the products USAT makes and they have all cracked.

       

      It was my experience that the axles with traction tires cracked sooner, so I replaced all with non-traction tires. The increase in power pickup allowed me to remove the skates.

       

      There was another forum member, now gone, who was trying to get the max pulling power and he was battery and he changed all wheels to traction tires (and used heavy lead acid gel cells. He apparently got killer pulling power.

       

      No reason to remove/replace axles before they crack unless you are like me, if I know it's going to happen eventually, and often at an inconvenient time, just buy the K&S tubing as specified on my site and do all the axles when you get a new loco, and you will never have to fix it.. rather than waiting for them to crack one by one, and open the loco several times.

       

      Since they don't come gauged properly in the first place, I do pull all the axles out, add the sleeves, gauge them, swap out traction tires and remove skates... do it all at the same time.

       

      Greg

      ____________________________________

      Be sure­ to visit ­my site, l­ots of tec­hnical tip­s and modi­fications,­ and you c­an search ­for topics­ and key w­ords.


      ­Click HERE for Greg­'s web sit­e
      PLEASE NOT­E: Please do NOT use private messaging, i­f you have­ a questio­n, feel fr­ee to emai­l me priva­tely, u­se regular­ email onl­y: greg@el­massian.co­m

    • December 7, 2017 8:39 PM EST
      • Milpitas, California
         
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      Greg (and/or others) what do you think of replacing the USA Trains GP-9 wheel sets with those from NorthWest Short Line? Is that a good recommendation?  

    • December 7, 2017 9:31 PM EST
      • Carlsbad, CA
         
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      Hmm.... first looks like NWSL will only have SS wheels, which are good, but somewhat more slippery. The plating will wear from the USAT wheels, but I believe they are brass inside, a little worn stock wheels will have more traction than SS wheels.

       

      Are you considering this because of a change in profile, or diameter?

       

      Greg

      ____________________________________

      Be sure­ to visit ­my site, l­ots of tec­hnical tip­s and modi­fications,­ and you c­an search ­for topics­ and key w­ords.


      ­Click HERE for Greg­'s web sit­e
      PLEASE NOT­E: Please do NOT use private messaging, i­f you have­ a questio­n, feel fr­ee to emai­l me priva­tely, u­se regular­ email onl­y: greg@el­massian.co­m

    • December 7, 2017 9:54 PM EST
      • Port Orchard, Washington
         
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      The NWSL wheels have a smaller flange profile than the USAT pizza cutter style. They are a "direct" replacement. However, you have to grind some of the brake shoe material away for the side frames to fit the scale diameter wheels.

      Greg, the ones I have where packaged as nickel silver. I wonder of NWSL stopped making them in NS.

    • December 7, 2017 10:13 PM EST
      • Lewiston, NY
         
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      Craig Townsend said:

      The NWSL wheels have a smaller flange profile than the USAT pizza cutter style. They are a "direct" replacement. However, you have to grind some of the brake shoe material away for the side frames to fit the scale diameter wheels.

      Greg, the ones I have where packaged as nickel silver. I wonder of NWSL stopped making them in NS.

      http://www.gscaletrainforum.com/index.php?/topic/201-split-usa-axle-gears/

      post-10-0-38240500-1394376234.jpg

    • December 7, 2017 10:21 PM EST
      • Milpitas, California
         
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      .

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

      Scroll down to "GP-9 Wheel Upgrades"

      http://www.girr.org/girr/tips/tips5/gp9_tips.html

      This post was edited by Michael Kirrene at December 7, 2017 10:22 PM EST
    • December 7, 2017 10:21 PM EST
      • Milpitas, California
         
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      Greg Elmassian said:

      Hmm.... first looks like NWSL will only have SS wheels, which are good, but somewhat more slippery. The plating will wear from the USAT wheels, but I believe they are brass inside, a little worn stock wheels will have more traction than SS wheels.

       

      Are you considering this because of a change in profile, or diameter?

       

      Greg

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

      Scroll down to "GP-9 Wheel Upgrades"

       

      http://www.girr.org/girr/tips/tips5/gp9_tips.html

      This post was edited by Michael Kirrene at December 7, 2017 10:21 PM EST
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