Author Topic: Metal Wheelsets as a substitute for FVM  (Read 826 times)

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Bill H

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Metal Wheelsets as a substitute for FVM
« on: July 10, 2018, 04:18:33 PM »
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Group:
The recent discussion about FVM wheelsets reminded me that it has been quite a while sometime since they were available in the marketplace. I was wondering what others have used as a substitute?

I tried the new MT metal wheelsets, but did not like the thick coating that was on the treads - as least in the ones I received from what I assume was the first run. In fact, I can't remember the last time someone mentioned the MT metal wheelsets on RW. I also have not seen the new improved IM wheelsets. Any thoughts?

Kind regards,
Bill

peteski

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Re: Metal Wheelsets as a substitute for FVM
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2018, 04:24:09 PM »
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We have been through this already (seems just few months ago when Matt from FVM announced that there will be delays on production).  There is a lengthy thread about it somewhere on the forum.  Basically some members found a Chinese factory which makes model RR wheels and got a quote.  But IIRC, the wheels weren't quite up to those Railwire member's standards so I think the project never went anywhere.
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Tom L

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Re: Metal Wheelsets as a substitute for FVM
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2018, 06:06:50 PM »
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I have spent the last 8 months or so, converting about 100 of my cars to body mounted couplers and metal wheel sets. Fortunately I bought almost enough FVM and BLMA wheels back when they were available. In the meantime, I have sampled some of the other brands out there, mostly out of curiousity, and without getting into a lot of detail, the only others I have found that are comparable or better than FVM are BLMA, but as far as I know, these are only made in one length, .540. I'm not sure if Atlas has re-released just the wheelsets (I haven't seen them anywhere) but  BLMA/Atlas trucks with Wheelsets are available.

Other than FVM and BLMA, here is what I tried and they are comparable to each other but not as fine as FVM and most are only available in .540 length, Atlas trucks require .553 except the PS1, which is .540 if I recall correctly

Athearn
InterMountain High detail for micro trains
InterMountain "regular" metal wheel sets
Micro Trains
Atlas metal as used on the latest releases of PS1 boxcars

I have not tried Exact Rail or Rapido

To my eye, FVM, looks to have the finer profile with BLMA being very close. BLMA has machined wheel backs while FVM is flat. To me this looks a little better on Tankcars and such, where you can see the backs. BLMA seemed better quality wise as I have had many FVM wheel sets come apart or wobble. None of my BLMA wheels have had any issues.

Tom L
Wellington CO



atsf3751

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Re: Metal Wheelsets as a substitute for FVM
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2018, 06:13:17 PM »
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Probably most wheels are .540 because that is what MT trucks use.
Marty Young
San Diego, CA

Tom L

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Re: Metal Wheelsets as a substitute for FVM
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2018, 06:39:10 PM »
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I used basically three manufacturers of trucks, Atlas, MT and InterMountain in addition To the two brands of metal wheels mentioned.  Between the differences in bolster pin size, axle length and bolster Height, it was quite frustrating at times to get everything correct and working with correct or close body heights.

Oh yeah, and throw in MTs offset bolster and the differences in bolster height on Atlas Andrews trucks vs Bettendorf trucks.

And then axle thicknesses are a little different as well, effecting clearance  of the coupler boxes

Oh, and The InterMountain high detail wheels for Micro Trains were slightly larger in diameter than 33"

And Trainworx cars use truck mounted couples removed from the truck and screwed from the top

Etc, etc.

It about put me over the edge but it was worth it.

Tom L
Wellington CO

BCR 570

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Re: Metal Wheelsets as a substitute for FVM
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2018, 12:59:04 AM »
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We did hear recently that the FVM wheels will be back in production this fall which is a good thing.

I have used BLMA trucks and/or wheels on some models and they have also worked well for me.

I have stock Rapido Trains trucks and wheels under the Prairie Shadows bulkhead flat cars and wit one exception they have been good also.  The exception was a short in one wheel set which Jeff at Prairie Shadows replaced for me.

I have also used NWSL wheels in the past with no issues.


Tim

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www.bcrdawsonsub.ca

Bill H

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Re: Metal Wheelsets as a substitute for FVM
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2018, 08:06:30 AM »
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Tim:
As Pete pointed out, we heard sometime ago and it was discussed on RW that FVM was supposed to resume production late fall. I was well aware of that thread. My problem is I need a fair amount of wheels now, not six months from now. Hence the question as to a decent substitute.

I was considering MT metal wheelsets, interestingly no one has suggested those as a substitute. Aside from my own experience with them, I wonder why?

Sorry to hear the new IM high detail 33" are a bit large, and the BLMA only come in one length. NWSL makes some fine wheelsets, I have used them on a lot of locos as all my track is ME code 40. But for hundreds of wheelsets, NWSL is a bit too pricey.

Kind regards,
Bill

Mark5

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Re: Metal Wheelsets as a substitute for FVM
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2018, 09:49:19 AM »
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I have not tried them, but Rapido has wheelsets available in quantity:

https://www.modeltrainstuff.com/trains/couplers-trucks-wheelsets/#/filter:categories_hierarchy:Trains$253ECouplers$252C$2520Trucks$2520$2526$2520Wheelsets$253ETrucks$2520$2526$2520Wheelsets/filter:custom_scale:N/filter:brand:Atlas/filter:brand:Rapido

I believe they are 0.540"

Mark

Bill H

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Re: Metal Wheelsets as a substitute for FVM
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2018, 12:37:32 PM »
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Mark:
Thanks for the headsup on the Rapido wheelsets. Indeed in quantity, but I am not particularly appreciating their looks. Take a close look at how the insulator appears on each wheel...

Anyone care to remark as to why no one has mentioned MT wheelsets or alternatively why are we waiting for FVM if we have MT? I did not like the MT wheels at all in their first run, have the later runs improved? Zero disrespect meant to MT.
 
Kind regards,
Bill

peteski

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Re: Metal Wheelsets as a substitute for FVM
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2018, 04:47:12 PM »
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Mark:
Thanks for the headsup on the Rapido wheelsets. Indeed in quantity, but I am not particularly appreciating their looks. Take a close look at how the insulator appears on each wheel...

Anyone care to remark as to why no one has mentioned MT wheelsets or alternatively why are we waiting for FVM if we have MT? I did not like the MT wheels at all in their first run, have the later runs improved? Zero disrespect meant to MT.
 
Kind regards,
Bill

Maybe not many use them yet? They are the newest ones in the bunch. Or maybe their surface finish is a turnoff?  Or plastic axles? I actually have my typical technical write-up on them started, but not quite yet ready for being posted.  They are an interesting (unconventional by today's standards) design.  Why not get a small pack and test them yourself?  I did a rather quick test, and for me they worked fine - just like the current MTL plastic wheels.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2018, 04:49:23 PM by peteski »
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Tom L

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Re: Metal Wheelsets as a substitute for FVM
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2018, 05:12:51 PM »
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Quote from: Bill H link=topic=45008.msg581587#msg581587 date=1531310790

Sorry to hear the new IM high detail 33" are a bit large
[/quote

Small clarification, IM has three different part numbers for there high detail wheels. They are described as 36", 33" and replacement fit for Micro Trains trucks. I got the replacement for MT wheels, pn 60072 and noticed visually that they were slightly larger in diameter than other 33" wheels. I did check with a micrometer but can't remember the exact measurement. They fell about halfway between 33" and 36".

I don't know if their 33" wheels pn. 60070, are the same diameter or not. I just assumed when I bought them, that the 60072s would be 33" but with .540 axle length.

If anyone has the 33" pn 60070's, I would be curious about the wheel diameter.

Tom L