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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Another Newbie question: I just bought a USAT box car with plastic wheels. The hobbyshop owner where I bought it said I had to use USAT metal wheels because other makers wheels would not fit properly. Question are other makers wheels and axles interchangeable or do I need Aristo wheel sets for Aristo cars, USAT wheels for USAT cars, Etc.?

Ahhh, Large Scale so much fun, so many questions getting started ! /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/doze.gif
 

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Any more info on what boxcar you purchased?

I have several USA boxcars, but they are the 1:22.5 (narrow gauge) scale woodside ones.  Bachmann/LGB/Aristo/USA metal wheels all work fine on them. 

USA wheels fit all of my 1:22.5 equipment so I would be very surprised that USA uses different wheel sets for their 1:29 equipment (standard gauge).  My guess is you'll be pretty safe with most manufactures metal wheel sets.
 

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I used San -Val metal wheels on just about all my rolling stock. Very little problems, I think I cut one set of axles. and added  washers to some cars.
 

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On some makers equipment, the coupler "tang" is very near the axle.  To make it more complicated, the various wheel manufacturers have various diameter axles.  If you come across a car where tang and axle these are too close, you can get interference.

I've always bought San-Val wheels and these have very thin axles compared to most manufacturers and I've never had a problem with axle rub on the tang, though some other wheels have had this problem.
 

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I agree totally with Matt, I also have no USA Trains 1:29 rolling stock, but have a lot of USA Trains 1:24 equipment, Bachmann wheelsets fit these perfectly. I also use Bachmann wheels on my Aristo/Delton and LGB rolling stock.
 

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I have use just about everything.  AC wheels work quite nicely on USA as well as Bachman.  I've even used USA on AC cars.  Later RJD
 

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My limited experience has been that the axle diameters for the 2 or 3 company's that I have checked are all 3mm in dia.  Never thought to measure the overall length of the axle but they have fit the Bachmann trucks I've put them in.

The hobby shop guy may well have been referring to the overall dia. of the wheel not being correct for the scale of the car(s).  Just a thought.

Bill W
 

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I use San Val wheels as well. The shoulder is a little long for LGB/Lehmann cars but a ball bit on a dremel makes the problem not a problem. I DID notice that they are a little smaller in diameter than the factory plastic wheels, but it isn't that noticable.
 

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Posted By Joe McGarry on 03/13/2008 1:23 PM
Another Newbie question: I just bought a USAT box car with plastic wheels. The hobbyshop owner where I bought it said I had to use USAT metal wheels because other makers wheels would not fit properly. Question are other makers wheels and axles interchangeable or do I need Aristo wheel sets for Aristo cars, USAT wheels for USAT cars, Etc.?

Ahhh, Large Scale so much fun, so many questions getting started ! /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/doze.gif


Hi Joe... Only problem we have had was Aristo Gon's. They seem to have larger wheel on them and had to cut some of the brake shoe off that was dragging with Bachmann steel wheel change.  USA, Bachmann, LGB  & Aristo rolling stock we have here has been using Bushmann , USA or San-Val steel wheel replacements.   We use what ever the best price is at the time we need  them. They all seem to work fine.
  Some Axles we had to take up some side to side play with fiber washers  also,  ck the coupler heights and adjust them after the change out.  :rolleyes:
 

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There is a difference in the wheel diameters for different manufacturers.

Gary raymond's site shows the diffferent wheel sizes they make and which manufacturers cars they made for.

I have the single ball bearing set and it works as well as a double ball bearing wheel set and at a much lower cost.

Also, there are flange size differences for different code track. I prefer the out of scale large/deep flanges and I get no derailments outdoors.
 

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For some reason, USA trains metal wheelset axles are longer than any of the others I've ever seen. I know because just yesterday I had to grind off a millimeter or two to get them to fit in my old Bachmann tip car and Hartland flatcar sideframe journals. I measured with a digital caliper first, to confirm my observations. So while other metal wheelsets will probably fit your USA trucks, you may encounter more side to side slop than before -- but probably not so much that the wheelsets would fall out under normal use.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Many thanks to you guys for all the helpful replies. I can't tell you how much it helps a new guy to get info from people that have had experience doing things like this. By the way the boxcar in question was a USA 1:29 scale. 

Thanks again for all the replies
 

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I have replaced all the plastic wheels from my Aristo & USA 1:29 cars with Bachman metal wheels. Easy to obtain & priced right.
 

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One of the best wheel deals going is USA's bulk wheel deal. 10 pair for $50. That is $10 per 4 axle car for a high quality machined and blackened wheel set. The only problem is the shoulder edge to shoulder edge dimension. It is a little longer so the wheel sets don't have as much side to side play in Aristo trucks but I have not had a problem with them in 20 or more cars for three years. The USA wheels are also slighter smaller, which I like because the car sits slightly lower. You do have to trim off about 1/8 of the brake shoe or it will rub the track.
 
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