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Discussion Starter #1
Track power question

I have an aristo heavyweight coach I bought used. It's an early model that used 6 wheel trucks with cast wheels. The cast wheels were made in two pieces that fit into a plastic insulating axle/sleeve to keep them from shorting. They're long gone, and whn I got it it had plastic wheels which I replaced with aristo metal wheels.

The previous owner stripped out the wiring connecting the trucks to the lights. But the lights themselves are still in place, as well as the bushings and tabs for power pickup. I'd like to restore the lighting using aristo's modern machined wheels, which have a plastic insert in the hub on one side to keep the wheels from shorting across the track

It seems to me--but I want to make sure--that all I have to do is put all the insulated hubs on one side of the truck, and the uninsulated hubs on the other, and then connect the bushings and wire each side to one pole of the light strip. Do that the same way for each truck and I should be in business, no? Power pickup from all three wheels on each truck, and no shorting.

I've looked at George Schreyer's site and can't quite figure it out--any other suggestions?
 

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The newer trucks came out post-Schreyer.

Assuming you changed to the newer trucks, one truck will use three wheels to pick up current from one rail and the other truck will use three wheels to pick up current from the other rail. The trucks and wheels must be oriented accordingly.

If you still have the older trucks, the wheels from the track-cleaning caboose will work and all wheels can pick up power (unless these have been changed over time too).
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Toddallin. I should clarify--I have four cars totla. Two still have the original, old-style trucks with cast wheels. I thought about just getting new trucks, but wasn't sure they would work with the old-style cars, which have as I understand it a different bolster arrangement. If they new-style 6 axle trucks will work, I'll just swap them out and happily throw those old cast wheels in the trash. New trucks would solve the whole problem
 

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Posted By lownote on 05/06/2008 10:07 AM
Thanks Toddallin. I should clarify--I have four cars totla. Two still have the original, old-style trucks with cast wheels. I thought about just getting new trucks, but wasn't sure they would work with the old-style cars, which have as I understand it a different bolster arrangement. If they new-style 6 axle trucks will work, I'll just swap them out and happily throw those old cast wheels in the trash. New trucks would solve the whole problem




If it's any help, I replaced an old-style 6-axle set-up for the new-style 4-axle set-up and everything fit with no problem.

While they may look more impressive, 6-axle trucks are more prone to de-railment and poor tracking than 4-axle trucks, and to me, it is more important that the trains stay on the tracks when 50 people are standing around watching and I'm pre-occupied.
 

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The newer trucks have 2 ribs sticking up from the truck, they would be called "side bearings". I don't think you can put the newest trucks on the older units, but have a look, they just need a smooth place on the underside of the car to rub on.

The latest 6 wheel trucks have more lateral play in the center wheelset apparently and work better. In ALL cases, proper lubrication of the axles AND most importantly the bearing surfaces between the truck and the floor is VITAL.

Mine run perfectly on my 10' diameter curves AFTER lubrication. Before lubrication, the ALWAYS derailed, could not make even one lap.

OK, so enough on "do I have to go to 4 wheel trucks"... no you don't.

On the lighting, the current method is an eyelet between the brass bushing and the sideframe... then you are picking up power from the axle of the wheelset, and the current wheelsets have one insulated wheel and one that is solidly (and electrically) connected to the axle.

Current wiring on 6 axle cars is 2 on one rail and one on the other rail, so each 3 axle truck picks up from both rails, but 2 wheels on one rail and one on the other.

This is the optimal method.

Hope this helps.

Greg
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Just to complete this thread, for anyone interested. I decided to replace the very old cast-wheel six wheel trucks with the new four wheel trucks. This solved the lighting problem--they're all lit from track power now, hooray. And it also improved tracking by lowering drag. I have 8 foot curves and one very step, 5.5% grade, and while the Aristo Pacific could pull all four coaches it struggled. With the four wheel trucks it pretty much breezes through. At first it bugged me not to see the six wheel trucks, but now I don't even notice. And car to car spacing is MUCH better--still too wide, but much less so.

The new style trucks with the "rib" on the underside will fit, but I had to remove the rib. I clipped it off using a pair of flush-cutting pliers I originally bought to trim fret wire for guitars, similar to this:



These are an extremely useful tool.

After some lubrication of the bolster plates and bearing surfaces it works like a charm. The cars roll better, with less friction, and between losing the cast wheels and switching trucks, they don't derail backing through switches either
 
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