1.) I'm going to replace both 10' radius switches with #6 turnouts.
2.) I'm redoing the S curve grade, the one where the DRGW gondola behind the locos started to tip over, but survived. I'm going to lower the grade and widen the curves to ease my stress when running heavy trains up that hill. Can't wait till I show you the progress in another video!
Good call on the #6 turnouts, whose are you going to use? They usually can stand some tweaking, be sure to run a track gauge through them, Aristo ones, for example tend to be tight in one direction.
Can you give the time x:xx in your video so I know which S curve you are talking about? Your curves look so broad I did not see a problem, but perhaps the grade is more than I can see, what is the grade there? (hint: get a small computerized level that reads in %)
This S curve is a 3.5% ruling grade. I lowered the grade on the curves and raised the grade on the straight sections. I also made the curves a bit wider. One thing I learned, Aristocraft brass rail is really very soft. If you mistreat it, it will bend. Not so with LGB brass rail. So I used brand new Aristo 8' rails with LGB Flex Ties, and at the critical curve tied those to LGB 5' Flex Track with screw type joiners. It makes all the difference. The rails naturally will 'cant' in the right places and Aristo SD45s (which have the most finicky of diesel trucks IMO) won't derail. My USA Trains SD40 will take curves and questionable track very well, but it has such a wide swing on curves that its body mounted couplers will pull the first freight car off the rails. So I have to now widen a curve or two so I can run the SD40 as a trailing unit. Right now, it can only run as the lead unit.
Had a heated discussion on another forum with a guy claiming that an SD40 would work on 4' diameter curves and was happy on 8'..... I told him put it on 8' and try coupling a car to the loco...
I told him he was crazy about 4' diameter curves with that loco.
He could not admit he was in error, but you are seeing the evidence of long locos and body mounts.
A hint, with a long loco, use a longer car behind it, it's overhang will more closely match the loco, so as wrong as it sounds, a 50 foot car with a body mount coupler behind the SD might be more successful than a 40 foot.
No truck mount couplers on the car behind the loco.
Thanks Greg - you are right about those Aristo #6 turnouts. I've been seeing the cars jumping (not derailing tho) on the point rails. Investigating I've found the point rails are wider at the point on one side than the other, hence they squeeze flanges. Seems like the quality control at the factory wasn't up to snuff.
Looking for tips and tricks to fix these otherwise great switches.
I should have known that something put off would inevitably not wait. No sooner than I planned not to pull up those #6 switches mentioned previously in this thread, than one switch's point rails lost its screw. It may have vibrated loose while grinding the point rails.
So I pulled up the switch and the others too. Might as well. Fortunately I found the screw. It has a spring between the head and the bottom of the switch. The other point rail's screw was loose too. Here's the screws I'm talking about:
The screwdrivers point to them. Both of the other turnouts also have loose screws. Again, could be lack of quality control at the factory, maybe my grinding loosened them. So I screwed them back sort of tight, not so much that they won't switch. I noticed that the back of the point rail, not the point, the other end, would wobble. Now they don't.
I also brought the flange rails closer to the stock rails - about .1" apart per TedD's recommendation. Now the trains mostly flow smoothly through the switches. The Aristo SD45's still sort of jolt, so I am looking into that. It looks like the SD45's 'like' a little bit wider than correct gauge width as they won't misbehave on parts of the switch where the gauge is wider than the parts where they jolt.
Also, the Aristo Wye's frog causes the SD45's to really jolt, even with the narrower flangeway that I fixed. I checked the gauge and its actually the correct gauge at the frog! One of the only places on the switch that is. So maybe I'll have to grind it wider.
All the other cars and locos (Aristo, LGB and USAT) work great without scaring me when they go through the switches now.
Greg I love your site! One thing - it looks like my SD45 wheels are the old type - not "D". Their back to back spacing is part of my "jolting" thru the switches problem. Is there a way to get those stretched out? Also, can I grind those outsized flanges shorter like the "D"?
Down near the bottom of the article it describes the wheel problem. But my problem is not the wheels - it's the gearbox!
My locos are so old (the 2001 run) and I bought them like new, that the lubrication is practically fossilized. And, the gearboxes inside the truck are supposed to swivel side to side, up and down, but the lube had frozen them in place! Thus, when there is an inconsistency in the track, they acted like a 'centipede with a stiff neck'. (I love "Last of the Giants")
So I took off the bottom cover of the truck and sprayed a drop of PB Blaster on each side of the gearbox and worked them side to side, loosening them back to the original design. I did notice the front gearbox (towards the end of the loco) did not want to wobble as much as the other two, but it does move a bit now.
I ran the SD45s and the improvement is 100% - they do not derail anywhere and don't lift their wheels at all. Best of all, they don't 'jolt' going thru the turnouts!!!
so, I'd like you to buy some specific loco lubricants, look for the combination pack from hob-e-lube ... use the heavy gear oil on the axles to keep them sliding side to side, lighter lube will not stay there and keep them moving.
Yes, just a drop of heavy gear oil on the exposed axle, work the axle side to side to work in.
This is a maintenance must... besides the issue you found, there is a club in Florida that regularly destroys their locos, those pictures are from their locos... there is a ball bearing that rides on the axle to pick up power, let it get dry and it grinds a groove in the axle, locking the axle from moving.