Author Topic: Con-Cor U50 Wheelsets - Replacements?  (Read 1576 times)

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C855B

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Con-Cor U50 Wheelsets - Replacements?
« on: February 22, 2014, 08:34:14 PM »
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It has been pointed out that my recollection of early N-scale production is not what I thought it to be. Therefore, I need a little help from you mechanism experts...

What I have in mind is to replace the wheels on several Con-Cor U50s of various vintages, since they are 20% out-of-scale (48" instead of 40") and the profiles a little lacking. The wheelsets are a split-axle design, with 2.0mm tubular half-axles over a 1.5mm geared plastic axle. It turns out that the original Kato/Con-Cor PA-1 shares the same axle design, but with properly-sized wheels. Clean swap, tho' the profile is still dated. Also, getting a source of these without scrounging for a dozen old PA-1s to cannibalize is a little daunting.

So... first thought is to ask you guys if you know of other makes/models that share this tubular half-axle design. Each half is identical and the gear is centered, unlike recent production with offset axle gears. The tubular part is also important, as it is the bearing surface and provides electrical connection to the split truck frame.

My second thought is to build something up out of NWSL wheels. They don't have anything already engineered like their Life-Like, etc., retrofits, but it looks like I could use their 40"/64 wheel for a 2.0mm axle, and then somehow find 2.0mm OD/1.5mm ID tubing. Not an impossible task... I hope... but looking like a lot of hours getting the tubing precisely cut and trued.

Other ideas?
...mike

http://www.gibboncozadandwestern.com

We don't make mistakes, we have happy accidents. We just don't tell anybody. -Bob Ross

peteski

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Re: Con-Cor U50 Wheelsets - Replacements?
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2014, 08:52:35 PM »
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How about the original Kato-made Atlas RS-3, RS-11, RSD-4/5?  Maybe Atlas still has some of those older trucks/wheel sets in strock?
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C855B

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Re: Con-Cor U50 Wheelsets - Replacements?
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2014, 09:08:35 PM »
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Yeah, that was a good idea, but no joy there, offset gears on all of them. Atlas also advised to "call first" before ordering Kato-sourced parts, and the links on the PDF diagrams to ordering information seemed to imply wheelsets were not available, anyway.

I went through all of my early-'90s Kato, too - same thing with the offset gear. These very-early Kato wheelsets are a different bird, at least so far.
...mike

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We don't make mistakes, we have happy accidents. We just don't tell anybody. -Bob Ross

basementcalling

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Re: Con-Cor U50 Wheelsets - Replacements?
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2014, 09:47:41 PM »
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Check with Con Cor, as they made them? Just a thought. Might not be a good one though.
Peter Pfotenhauer

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Re: Con-Cor U50 Wheelsets - Replacements?
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2014, 09:58:18 PM »
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I was envisioning pulling the wheel/half-axles from the offset plastic axle/gears and then installing them on the plastic axles with centered gear.  Unless I'm not understanding the setup.

I believe that the mechanisms for those Con-Cor locos were made by Sekisui (Kato).
« Last Edit: February 22, 2014, 09:59:53 PM by peteski »
--- Peteski de Snarkski

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C855B

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Re: Con-Cor U50 Wheelsets - Replacements?
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2014, 11:14:59 PM »
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Pictures. This thread needs pictures. Right click, etc., to zoom on full-res image. U50 truck:



PA truck:



U50 wheelset, disassembled:



You can see the PA wheel in the background of the bottom picture, and see why I'm less than happy with the wheel profile. At least it has a little bit of relief, so all is not lost if I went that direction.

Peter, Con-Cor purged their inventory of "old stuff" several years ago as Jim (Conway) rejiggered the company so he could retire. But even before that, similar inquiries weren't especially productive. I might try, anyway, just to say I did, but as I look at the whole situation, unless somebody helps me bumble into a non-Con-Cor model with compatible wheelsets, my inclination is the NWSL idea.
...mike

http://www.gibboncozadandwestern.com

We don't make mistakes, we have happy accidents. We just don't tell anybody. -Bob Ross

LV LOU

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Re: Con-Cor U50 Wheelsets - Replacements?
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2014, 11:47:39 PM »
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Con Cor E units use the same truck setup/wheels as the PA's..

C855B

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Re: Con-Cor U50 Wheelsets - Replacements?
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2014, 11:36:51 AM »
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Thanks, Lou. Good tip - the old C-C Es usually go for cheap. Wouldn't break my heart to part 'em out versus the "classic" early PAs.
...mike

http://www.gibboncozadandwestern.com

We don't make mistakes, we have happy accidents. We just don't tell anybody. -Bob Ross

central.vermont

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Re: Con-Cor U50 Wheelsets - Replacements?
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2014, 02:50:30 PM »
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Mike,
If you had access to a lathe you could turn those old wheel sets down to the 40" and put a nicer face on them. Then either blacken them chemically or have them nickle plated.
Just a thought.

Jon

LV LOU

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Re: Con-Cor U50 Wheelsets - Replacements?
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2014, 03:11:15 PM »
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 If anybody needs wheels turned,I'd be game..even though I have two big lathes,just for train stuff,I built a mini lathe.It's the same one as the Micro Mark,but I got lucky and found two cheaper versions at Walmart in the sale aisle for 25 bucks each.I modified one with an X/Y head from an RC car motor lathe,and a battery Dremel motor..I do mostly train wheels with it.Actually,I just cut it down more,it's even smaller..


C855B

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Re: Con-Cor U50 Wheelsets - Replacements?
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2014, 03:46:54 PM »
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If you had access to a lathe you could turn those old wheel sets down to the 40" and put a nicer face on them. ...

Yes, that's Plan C. Only trouble with that is the mass-production angle - I'm looking at doing 8 of these things, for 128 wheels total. Dat's a whole lotta lathe time, although I could probably do a jig and a pattern that would make it 2-3 evenings' work. Minus screw-ups, of course. ;)

"What in the world would you want with eight U50s, Mike?"

Welllllll... 7 plus one Veranda Turbine. And then 3 of those 7 are slated for a "future project" which shall be named once I get word the Shapeways shells are committed to electrons.

Quote
mini-lathe... found two cheaper versions at Walmart...

My head just sort of exploded - I cannot fathom Walmart having anything like this in the first place. What a weird and wonderful find.
...mike

http://www.gibboncozadandwestern.com

We don't make mistakes, we have happy accidents. We just don't tell anybody. -Bob Ross

Andrew Hutchinson

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Re: Con-Cor U50 Wheelsets - Replacements?
« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2014, 03:58:50 PM »
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LV Lou: that's a cool little machine you're using for re-profiling wheels.

Plastic I take it, but at $25 there aren't really any excuses to not having a turning implement . Heck, at that price it's in F'only territory. Not sure what Walmart you got the components from. None of the ones by me carry anything remotely useful.

F'only series:

http://www.lathes.co.uk/fonly/

http://www.2mm.org.uk/articles/fonly/fonlypt1.htm

Andrew Hutchinson
Surrey BC Canada

LV LOU

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Re: Con-Cor U50 Wheelsets - Replacements?
« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2014, 04:11:20 PM »
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Yes, that's Plan C. Only trouble with that is the mass-production angle - I'm looking at doing 8 of these things, for 128 wheels total. Dat's a whole lotta lathe time, although I could probably do a jig and a pattern that would make it 2-3 evenings' work. Minus screw-ups, of course. ;)

"What in the world would you want with eight U50s, Mike?"

Welllllll... 7 plus one Veranda Turbine. And then 3 of those 7 are slated for a "future project" which shall be named once I get word the Shapeways shells are committed to electrons.

My head just sort of exploded - I cannot fathom Walmart having anything like this in the first place. What a weird and wonderful find.
It was kinda a surprise to me,too.It was also 6 or more years ago.I actually have three...When my kids were little,[in their 30's now..]my mother bought my son Nick one.It had a disc sander,lathe,scroll saw,and I think a drill press.I just happened to be smart enough to save what was left of it.The two I found at Wally's were close to 80 bucks,but not quit the same as my son's,less tooling,but the same machine.They were on a shelf at the checkout marked,now that I think of it,$29.95,bought both..One became the lathe,the other is a combination scroll saw/table disc sander.Both run off rechargeable, self contained 1.2V battery packs.When I cut the lathe shorter,I put in a charging system,and mounted 3-3300 Mah batteries on the back..
« Last Edit: February 23, 2014, 04:13:10 PM by LV LOU »

peteski

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Re: Con-Cor U50 Wheelsets - Replacements?
« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2014, 04:32:47 PM »
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Guys,
I'm curious just exactly how you will turn down the wheels, when all you have to chuck the wheel in the lather is a relatively small diameter, thin-walled, hollow half-axle?
--- Peteski de Snarkski

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C855B

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Re: Con-Cor U50 Wheelsets - Replacements?
« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2014, 04:43:54 PM »
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Rod stock down the barrel was my first thought, but then you still have the jaws potentially biting into a bearing surface. I guess a spacer might solve that.

I've also turned wheels by turning down screw stock to be a close-fit with enough threads left to use a nut for clamping into the chuck. It worked OK for doing flanges, but I wouldn't want to rely on that for treads.
...mike

http://www.gibboncozadandwestern.com

We don't make mistakes, we have happy accidents. We just don't tell anybody. -Bob Ross