Author Topic: Plastic vs Metal vs Wide vs Narrow N scale wheels  (Read 4216 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

C855B

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 5675
  • Respect: +370
Re: Plastic vs Metal vs Wide vs Narrow N scale wheels
« Reply #15 on: February 04, 2017, 11:23:25 AM »
+1
Can anyone suggest where tweaks are needed to Atlas code 55 turnouts to reliably work with narrower wheels?  I'm guessing checking overall gauge ...

There you have it. I've been converting to FVM narrow for several years now, and recently have been converting to Kato loco sets. Especially with the Kato replacements, I have wheel drop/hop issues with Atlas C55 turnouts, but only when wheelsets are out of gauge. Well, actually, only slightly out of gauge, yet within tolerances on the NMRA template. I'm finding it doesn't take much, and now have adopted the practice of making darn sure the flanges are both centered in the template rather than pressing against the edges of the gauge slots. (Kato replacement wheelsets out of the package are bad for this.)

Pizza cutters may run OK on ME C55, but they don't on C40, and sure as heck don't on Atlas C55 crossings. I've had old(er) cars bounce off the track if run too fast across the diamonds.

I can confirm the Peco issue, especially with their curved turnouts. FVM narrow wheels will drop into the flangeways... period. Fortunately my need to run on a layout (the club's) with Peco curved turnouts is so infrequent that I simply don't run any more when we have those modules in the mix, it's just not worth the angst. I am unable to prevail on the owner of these modules to consider flangeway fixes because 1) he has no issues since 2) he's a big fan of the "reliability" that comes with pizza cutters. Every time the discussion turns to scale wheels, somebody will ask me for my pizza cutter discards, which more and more gets the response, "No, they get tossed. I don't want to be an enabler." ;)  Last time this came up the aforementioned module owner responded, "Oh. You're one of those." :D
...mike

http://www.railfancentralia.com
http://www.gibboncozadandwestern.com

"Don't look at the trombones it only encourages them." –Richard Strauss

peteski

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 13641
  • Gender: Male
  • Respect: +701
    • Coming (not so) soon...
Re: Plastic vs Metal vs Wide vs Narrow N scale wheels
« Reply #16 on: February 04, 2017, 11:28:54 AM »
0
The first FVM wheel products were the narrower tread.  The wider tread came later, and were at first called 'wide' but have since been renamed 'standard', presumeably because they are closer to other typical n scale wheelsets.  BLMA are also narrower than 'standard'.  I  understand some changes were made to the BLMA profile after the very first runs of rolling stock, to make them a little more friendly to less-than-supremely perfect track.  But these changes are practically microscopic.

Thanks for chiing in - with Nate and Max saying the opposite I was beginning to doubt myself. Now we have 2-2 tie! :-)  Looking at the part numbers seems to me a further proof that the narrow thread wheels came first. The part number for 33" narrow is 3301 while the standard thread 33" wheels are 3310.

My first encounter with the standard tread wheels was when FVM used them on the Hiawatha set. Before that all I had seen were the narrow thread wheels.
--- Peteski de Snarkski

Ken Ford

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 37
  • Respect: +1
Re: Plastic vs Metal vs Wide vs Narrow N scale wheels
« Reply #17 on: February 04, 2017, 11:32:57 AM »
0
One thing my dabbling with British outline modeling in 7mm and 4mm has taught me is that their usual wheelset gauging method of using one gauge just to check flange size and a separate gauge for back-to-back width works much better than our usual reliance on NMRA gauges with the two flange cutouts. I'll be making a simple back-to-back gauge out of a chunk of styrene sanded to size for N once I determine the best dimension for my needs.

C855B

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 5675
  • Respect: +370
Re: Plastic vs Metal vs Wide vs Narrow N scale wheels
« Reply #18 on: February 04, 2017, 12:31:29 PM »
+1
... Now we have 2-2 tie! :-)  ...

I'll break it. Narrow came first. I was all but camped on Matt's doorstep waiting for delivery after he announced the wheelset line. It was after complaints from modelers with track issues that he introduced the "wide" option. I hadn't processed the recent change to "regular" and "narrow", but I'll keep that in mind from here on.

Quote
...I was beginning to doubt myself. ...

'Bout damn time!   :lol:
...mike

http://www.railfancentralia.com
http://www.gibboncozadandwestern.com

"Don't look at the trombones it only encourages them." –Richard Strauss

nkalanaga

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 4592
  • Respect: +90
Re: Plastic vs Metal vs Wide vs Narrow N scale wheels
« Reply #19 on: February 04, 2017, 02:16:47 PM »
0
Peteski:  Shimming the bottom of the flangeways will stop wheel drop, and the prototype uses "flange bearing frogs" in some situations, especially at crossings.

However, they only work well when all of the flanges are the same depth.  If the shallowest flanges roll on the bottom of the flangeway, deeper flanges will bounce.  If one uses the same wheels on every car, and adjusts the locomotive flanges to match those, the shims will work very nicely.

In theory, frog flangeways can be shimmed the same as guardrails, which will narrow the flangeway, and allow the wheels to cross without dropping.  However, it takes more care, because one has to be sure the shim doesn't interfere with wheels taking the other route.

My Peco turnouts are all in the staging yard, so I settled for shimming the guardrails, which keeps the trains on the track, and ignored the wheel drop at the frogs.
N Kalanaga
Be well

Doug G.

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 238
  • Gender: Male
  • Respect: +2
Re: Plastic vs Metal vs Wide vs Narrow N scale wheels
« Reply #20 on: February 04, 2017, 05:02:17 PM »
0
After reading all this, one word comes to mind - standardization.

Doug
Atlas First Generation Motive Power and Treble-O-Lectric. Click on the link:
www.irwinsjournal.com/a1g/a1glocos/

mmagliaro

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 3479
  • Gender: Male
  • Respect: +398
    • Maxcow Online
Re: Plastic vs Metal vs Wide vs Narrow N scale wheels
« Reply #21 on: February 04, 2017, 05:47:59 PM »
0
Thanks for chiing in - with Nate and Max saying the opposite I was beginning to doubt myself. Now we have 2-2 tie! :-)  Looking at the part numbers seems to me a further proof that the narrow thread wheels came first. The part number for 33" narrow is 3301 while the standard thread 33" wheels are 3310.

My first encounter with the standard tread wheels was when FVM used them on the Hiawatha set. Before that all I had seen were the narrow thread wheels.

Oh!  Well, I learned something today.  So... the original ones, before we had all the "wide/narrow" stuff, were actually the NARROW ones?  Well, maybe that's why I like them then.  All mine are the narrow ones after all.

I always use the 3301's, so then I have to change my remarks to:

"I have always used the narrow ones and I don't have any trouble with Atlas code 55"   :D

Kentuckian

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 238
  • Gender: Male
  • "This all started with Romans 10:9!"
  • Respect: +10
Re: Plastic vs Metal vs Wide vs Narrow N scale wheels
« Reply #22 on: February 04, 2017, 06:35:36 PM »
0
Looking at the part numbers seems to me a further proof that the narrow thread wheels came first. The part number for 33" narrow is 3301 while the standard thread 33" wheels are 3310.


Higher model numbers do not always mean later production. The first run of the junky Life like BL-2's are in the 79xx series, the second run split frame mechanism run is the 76xx series. Ask me how I know.😂
Modeling the C&O in Eastern Kentucky.
C&O HS

garethashenden

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 838
  • Respect: +118
Re: Plastic vs Metal vs Wide vs Narrow N scale wheels
« Reply #23 on: February 04, 2017, 07:15:50 PM »
+1
After reading all this, one word comes to mind - standardization.

Doug

Seriously. I don't really care what any one person chooses to do with their trains, but pick something and stick with it. Scale wheels, wide wheels, pizza cutters, old track, new track, whatever. Decide on what you want and do that, but mixing things just makes for a bad experience.

Nato

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 1906
  • Gender: Male
  • Respect: +23
Re: Plastic vs Metal vs Wide vs Narrow N scale wheels
« Reply #24 on: February 05, 2017, 01:27:24 AM »
0
                   :|  Ok, I may have been wrong the wider FVM wheels may have come second. I have never really paid attention to whether they were wide or narrow, I do know that I ordered and started to use them about a year after they were introduced , but I do know I have had to pay attention to axel length either MT or Atlas and other non Micro Train's trucks.                                     Nate Goodman (Nato).  :|

AKNscale

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 152
  • Respect: +12
Re: Plastic vs Metal vs Wide vs Narrow N scale wheels
« Reply #25 on: February 05, 2017, 12:07:57 PM »
0
Right now I run Atlas C55 and all of my rolling stock has been converted over to FVM narrow wheelsets. I also convert all of my locos to Kato wheels. With my own "layouts" I've had a few issues but nothing substantial. The first "layout" I put together (it was literally put together on my floor) was all Atlas TrueTrack, and it ran very reliably. The next was Kato Unitrack (also put together on my floor):

I had constant problems with it, my guess being that the problem is the same as Peco, the gauge is 1:148, not 1:160.
Now with the Atlas C55 I'm back to very reliable. Though, a few of my switches have needed a little help.

On the club's permanent and modular layouts they have quite a bit of Peco turnouts so I do have a hard time running on those here and there.

As stated by Jagged Ben, I have had problems with my Fox Valley sets being wobbly, which had caused derailment problems. When that would happen I'd switch the wheelsets out and no further issues.

AKNscale

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 152
  • Respect: +12
Re: Plastic vs Metal vs Wide vs Narrow N scale wheels
« Reply #26 on: February 05, 2017, 12:17:13 PM »
0
It's always fun seeing topics like this because many have strong opinions. It's just like the last time I was in my LHS picking up track and one of the older employees was explaining to me that no one uses code 55 because it's so unreliable and how code 80 is the only way to go, lol.

C855B

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 5675
  • Respect: +370
Re: Plastic vs Metal vs Wide vs Narrow N scale wheels
« Reply #27 on: February 05, 2017, 12:43:28 PM »
0
Interesting... I never had problems with Unitrack with any kind of wheel, but OTOH I only used it for setting up temporary test loops with no turnouts, just a 90° crossing to make figure-8s for breaking-in locos. As mentioned above, I do get some wheel drop or hop with C55 if the wheel gauge is slightly out. On the club's layout with Peco C80, I've never had issues with FVM narrow or anything else on the "long" turnouts - just the curved.



Hah! This is how I got our dog interested in model trains. :D  Semi-seriously, he was prevented from direct inspection behind a baby gate, but very quickly learned to lie quietly and watch the trains go around. If he was in another room and heard train noises, he couldn't run fast enough to come watch Daddy run trains.

Quote
... It's just like the last time I was in my LHS picking up track and one of the older employees was explaining to me that no one uses code 55 because it's so unreliable and how code 80 is the only way to go, lol.

An appreciable number of train store owners and employees have good experience and knowledge, but there are enough out there with little to no hands-on experience whose egos have been fed by posing as "information central" by virtue of running a store. So until I come to know the staff and vet their knowledge relative to my own, I usually don't put much stock in LHS intel.
...mike

http://www.railfancentralia.com
http://www.gibboncozadandwestern.com

"Don't look at the trombones it only encourages them." –Richard Strauss

AKNscale

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 152
  • Respect: +12
Re: Plastic vs Metal vs Wide vs Narrow N scale wheels
« Reply #28 on: February 05, 2017, 01:16:17 PM »
0
They ran fantastic on Unitrack loops without switches. It was only the switches that I had issues with and it wasn't all the time. But it was enough to be frustrating. Peco on the other hand, constant problems for me, especially if a wheel has any wobble to it.

Lol, my dog is afraid of them. He won't even try and go in the room with them anymore if they're running.

Agreed. I know the guy was a model railroader at one point but basically just does models now.
I believe your statement applies to clubs and forums too. I know a couple years ago I would have said that lubricating loco trucks was pointless and unnecessary(I first heard this online from one of Fifers videos). I did this for quite a while(5 years) until my locos started getting a lot noisier. After consulting with those with many more years experience I tested what they said and sure enough, I actually like lubricating them better. (What I seemed to have missed at the time was that the truck's plastic gears will eventually wear in regardless, but, lubricating definitely helps keep them quieter and helps a little with friction too.) It wasn't necessarily a horrible mistake(more of a personal preference as I've noticed) but it reminded me that experience is something to pay attention to.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2017, 01:47:06 PM by AKNscale »

Teditor

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 100
  • Respect: +2
Re: Plastic vs Metal vs Wide vs Narrow N scale wheels
« Reply #29 on: February 06, 2017, 01:28:31 AM »
0
Quote
I had constant problems with it, my guess being that the problem is the same as Peco, the gauge is 1:148, not 1:160.
Now with the Atlas C55 I'm back to very reliable. Though, a few of my switches have needed a little help.
Quote

The gauge is 9mm regardless of being British or American, its the Turnout tolerances that make the difference, for the most part, British N 'Gauge' seems to have a slightly less back to back space on the wheels, hence the wider gaps in the Turnouts and also the terminology used by Peco ("Universal").

Ted (Teditor) Freeman
From the land down under
and "NO" 9mm gauge does not become 6mm gauge down here because we are upside down!