Author Topic: Micro-Trains Wheelset Question  (Read 2761 times)

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Kisatchie

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Micro-Trains Wheelset Question
« on: June 21, 2013, 03:40:22 PM »
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Has anyone noticed performance differences between Micro-Trains' older low profile wheelsets and their newer "standard" wheelsets?

I have about a 50-50 mixture of the two, but with only 3 feet of Kato Unitrack and a few sections of code 80 flex track to "test" them on, I really am at a disadvantage until I build a layout  :(


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as 3" radius track for N
scale...


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Bob Horn

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Re: Micro-Trains Wheelset Question
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2013, 04:22:59 PM »
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Vince, the new wheels are far superior to the old low pros. I have changed out all of the old ones with the sharp flange due to derailments. No problems now. Even replaced the BLMA metal wheels on the spine cars and the reefers with them. Bob.

Kisatchie

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Re: Micro-Trains Wheelset Question
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2013, 04:36:13 PM »
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I figure I have 4-500 cars that need the newer standard wheelsets. Oh well, time to sell some camera equipment. :lol:


Hmm... Kiz wouldn't be
laughing if he knew how
little it's worth...



Two scientists create a teleportation ray, and they try it out on a cricket. They put the cricket on one of the two teleportation pads in the room, and they turn the ray on.
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bbussey

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Re: Micro-Trains Wheelset Question
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2013, 04:38:05 PM »
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The current "mid-pro" standard wheels are superior to the second-generation "low-pro" and "pizza-cutter" wheels.  The wheel flange edge is similar to the original "low-pro" wheel when it was introduced decades ago.  The original "low-pro" does not have sharp-edged flanges, so they also work well on all trackage.
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Loren Perry

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Re: Micro-Trains Wheelset Question
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2013, 12:11:09 AM »
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My entire fleet of cars, except for certain passenger and freight cars, is equipped with Micro-Trains' original version of the Low-Profile wheels, which I think came out in the early 1990's or so. I believe they are Micro-Trains stock number 1008. Are these still available?

I love these wheels. Cars equipped with them almost never derail and when they do, it's always something like a malfunctioning turnout or a jammed truck. Back in the mid-1990's, I demonstrated to the members of the Belmont Shore Lines club in San Pedro, CA that I could regularly push a 100 car freight train around a 180 degree turn (about 24 inch radius or so) in their staging yard with no problems and this was while using truck mounted couplers and low-profile wheels on the entire train. As long as I was gentle and smooth on the throttle, nothing derailed. Other wheels by other manufacturers were jumping the track on a semi-regular basis but not the Low-Profiles.

I like them for two other reasons:

1. The flanges look more scale in size than any other wheels with the possible exception of some of the newer metal wheelsets now available which also allows me to easily lower certain freight cars without difficulty.

2. The reduced flange friction allowed me to pull a train about 30% longer with the same power. The low-profile wheel equipped cars roll more easily.

I even ran sixteen car trains of Rivarossi/Con-Cor heavyweight passenger cars with no added ballast in them (they are all underweight according to NMRA standards) all around the club layout, climbing through Tehachapi Loop and snaking through numerous tricky slip switches and turnouts in the passenger yard with absolute reliability.

I got turned onto these wheels after closely studying prototype flange size and was amazed that a steel flange no deeper than the width of my thumb kept 8,000 ton trains firmly on the rails at speeds of 60 mph or higher. I saw no reason why N-scale trains couldn't duplicate this performance as long as the track was properly laid. I've since proven it to to myself and others that it's not only possible, but highly desirable.

I still have a small stock left for future car purchases but I'd like to eventually get more. Does Micro-Trains still make them?
« Last Edit: June 22, 2013, 12:13:09 AM by Loren Perry »

nkalanaga

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Re: Micro-Trains Wheelset Question
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2013, 04:27:09 AM »
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No, MT does not still make them.  They changed to the sharp=flange style several years ago, also sold as 1008, and those don;t track nearly as well.  For one thing, when thing the flange, they don't seem to have changed the back-to-back distance, leaving the wheelsets under-gauge, and they pick points and frogs badly.  That's the only reason I noticed the difference - the first car I bought with the new wheels wouldn't go through turnouts that everything else would...

The axles also seem to be a little shorter, and many of the cars that came equipped with them lost wheelsets from the trucks in shipping.  Older sets stayed in the trucks nicely after I swapped them. 
N Kalanaga
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rogergperkins

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Re: Micro-Trains Wheelset Question
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2013, 07:51:29 AM »
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I think it is NOT POSSIBLE for anyone to compare these two or three styles of wheels sets on a level playing field unless they have enough of each that have never been used to install in the same car and test them on the same section of track.  ;)

Nearly every occasion when I have replaced the wheel sets on any of my MTL cars they have rolled more freely and for a longer distance when placed on an incline before and after and allowed to roll along section of straight track.  The reason is in this situation is that I am replacing old wheels that are dirty.


DKS

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Re: Micro-Trains Wheelset Question
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2013, 08:33:28 AM »
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The reason is in this situation is that I am replacing old wheels that are dirty.

It is possible to clean wheels. Might save you some $.
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bbussey

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Re: Micro-Trains Wheelset Question
« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2013, 11:42:13 AM »
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... The [newer version] axles also seem to be a little shorter, and many of the cars that came equipped with them lost wheelsets from the trucks in shipping.  Older sets stayed in the trucks nicely after I swapped them.

The traverse of that, unfortunately, is that the truck tooling was modified as well when the axles were shortened.  So the earlier (and better) #1008 wheelsets will not spin in the newer trucks because the axles are too long.  You have to find older truck frames, usually identified with "Kadee" or "Micro-Trains Line" embossed on the crossbar.  If I remember correctly, current truck frames have either no lettering or are embossed with "MTL".  Also, the mold punchout locations were changed, and the production-era of the truck can be identified that way.

I haven't looked in a while, as I've been both migrating everything to metal wheels and changing to more prototypical truck frames and truck frames with centered bolster holes to align with the jack plates on the body ... and also retiring much of my older MTL rolling stock due to dimension issues as more accurate models appear on the scene.  So unless the model is designed with an offset bolster hole (such as the XIH Boxcar), I switch to truck frames from other manufacturers.

But regarding plastic wheels — I agree, the original #1008 wheels were outstanding in appearance and in operation.
 

« Last Edit: June 22, 2013, 11:44:14 AM by bbussey »
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CodyO

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Re: Micro-Trains Wheelset Question
« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2013, 12:04:17 PM »
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I`ve also been moving everything to metal wheelsets so far Its worth the investment
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rogergperkins

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Re: Micro-Trains Wheelset Question
« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2013, 04:09:45 PM »
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I do not find cleaning MTL wheel sets worth the time and effort.
I am talking in terms of replacing wheel sets that are 20+ year old or older.

nkalanaga

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Re: Micro-Trains Wheelset Question
« Reply #11 on: June 22, 2013, 04:21:43 PM »
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Bryan:  It seems that the few cars I've bought with the new 1008s had the older truck tooling, which isn't surprising, as MT probably used up the stock on hand.  I don't buy many MT cars, having most of what I need or want, and the last few, with the new standard wheels, have run fine, even on code 40 flextrack. 

As for rolling quality, most of my cars are fairly heavy, my curves are fairly wide, and trains are short, so it doesn't make much difference to me.  I still have a lot of the old Precision Masters plastic wheels, and they work fine in my service.  The exception is on MT 2-bay hoppers with truck mounted couplers.  They simply won't back through #4 crossovers in the coal company's yard unless they have real good wheels.  They all have original 1008s.  Body mounting the couplers would probably be the ideal solution, but changing the wheels was less work!
N Kalanaga
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VonRyan

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Re: Micro-Trains Wheelset Question
« Reply #12 on: June 23, 2013, 08:49:54 PM »
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Be wary.
MTs newer trucks have thicker frames and only the wheels that came with them will fit in there.
 I tried to put some old deep-flange rib-backs in the trucks from some of my new meat-packer reefers and they wouldn't even turn because the truck frames are so thick and more constricting than older ones. Even after using the special tuning bit that I am borrowing, the old wheelsets were still very stiff in the new truck frames.
I have no idea why MT decided to go retrograde with the quality of their trucks, but it's the dumbest thing they've done in quite a long time...


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Shipsure

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Re: Micro-Trains Wheelset Question
« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2013, 11:47:18 AM »
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Point to point is the same on the wheels...inside of cone to inside of cone on the side frames is the same. All we did was restore the sideframes to their original thickness, point dimensions stayed the same.  Over the years, to combat flash, grinding was done on the hot half to the point we could not keep the sides from flexing.  Assembled trucks with and without couplers are roll tested but I cannot speak to how old stock works with new given all the variables regarding shrink, expansion or flashing that may have happened in the past. 

Joe
MTL


Be wary.
MTs newer trucks have thicker frames and only the wheels that came with them will fit in there.
 I tried to put some old deep-flange rib-backs in the trucks from some of my new meat-packer reefers and they wouldn't even turn because the truck frames are so thick and more constricting than older ones. Even after using the special tuning bit that I am borrowing, the old wheelsets were still very stiff in the new truck frames.
I have no idea why MT decided to go retrograde with the quality of their trucks, but it's the dumbest thing they've done in quite a long time...


-Cody F.

Shipsure

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Re: Micro-Trains Wheelset Question
« Reply #14 on: June 24, 2013, 11:49:37 AM »
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Loren, your about a month or two late...I could have given you your weight in those wheels before they were reground.  I will check with marketing and I think we can have some run, one time and make them available in bulk.  I always like the way they looked too, from the side.

Joe
MTl

My entire fleet of cars, except for certain passenger and freight cars, is equipped with Micro-Trains' original version of the Low-Profile wheels, which I think came out in the early 1990's or so. I believe they are Micro-Trains stock number 1008. Are these still available?

I love these wheels. Cars equipped with them almost never derail and when they do, it's always something like a malfunctioning turnout or a jammed truck. Back in the mid-1990's, I demonstrated to the members of the Belmont Shore Lines club in San Pedro, CA that I could regularly push a 100 car freight train around a 180 degree turn (about 24 inch radius or so) in their staging yard with no problems and this was while using truck mounted couplers and low-profile wheels on the entire train. As long as I was gentle and smooth on the throttle, nothing derailed. Other wheels by other manufacturers were jumping the track on a semi-regular basis but not the Low-Profiles.

I like them for two other reasons:

1. The flanges look more scale in size than any other wheels with the possible exception of some of the newer metal wheelsets now available which also allows me to easily lower certain freight cars without difficulty.

2. The reduced flange friction allowed me to pull a train about 30% longer with the same power. The low-profile wheel equipped cars roll more easily.

I even ran sixteen car trains of Rivarossi/Con-Cor heavyweight passenger cars with no added ballast in them (they are all underweight according to NMRA standards) all around the club layout, climbing through Tehachapi Loop and snaking through numerous tricky slip switches and turnouts in the passenger yard with absolute reliability.

I got turned onto these wheels after closely studying prototype flange size and was amazed that a steel flange no deeper than the width of my thumb kept 8,000 ton trains firmly on the rails at speeds of 60 mph or higher. I saw no reason why N-scale trains couldn't duplicate this performance as long as the track was properly laid. I've since proven it to to myself and others that it's not only possible, but highly desirable.

I still have a small stock left for future car purchases but I'd like to eventually get more. Does Micro-Trains still make them?