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Least expensive steel wheel upgrade...

5124 Views 33 Replies 20 Participants Last post by  San Juan
Hey guys! Looking to upgrade all of our USAT rolling stock to metal wheels. We ran the trains on the new garden layout over the weekend and found we need to really get rid of the plastic wheels. Whats the cheapest way to do this?

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Hi Shawn,

USA Trains do make metal wheel sets which can be bought to replace plastic ones. I have used them in addition to those from other manufacturers. They were quite reasonable in price but have increased in price recently over here. You may be lucky and get some at the old price. Check with the dealer who supplied your plastic wheeled stock.
Bachman also had cheap wheels. Later RJD
Will the BMann wheel sets work with USAT?
Yes, the Bachmanns will work. Most brands of wheels are close in size. Also consider wheel sets from Al Kramer. He sells them on eBay under the seller name "ana.kramer". They are quality wheels (better than Bachmanns) for a decent price (usually 20 axles for less than $50, at least the last time I bought them). Many here, including myself, use them.

Your talking about the roll-ez from san-val right?
Yes, but SanVal no longer exists.

Bachmann are still the cheapest, I believe. They also have the advantage--which could also be a disadvantage--of being lighter. As I see it, in general heavier wheels, like aristos, track better but lighter wheels let you pull more cars. I recently changed a few Aristo wheelsets to Bachmann to lessen the load on a steep grade
San-Val, Al Kramer still has wheels on e-bay. I bet if you e-mailed him he would sell to you.
I have seen the San Val wheels on ebay going higher than our regular price.
San-Val may be out of business but the website is still alive and well..

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Charles Ro sells the USA wheel sets in lots of 10 pairs for $90. The part numbers are R2090 shiny, R2093 for black. These are solid metal and very heavy, great outdoors in the wind!!!
Since these are made by USA Trains, they are a guaranteed fit.

I find the newer LGB cars have a tighter truck width wise and some grinding needs to be done to make these fit and turn easy. Older LGB trucks were wider and these wheels fit with no problems.
On Aristo cars, these wheels are a little smaller diameter and some cars have the brake shoe hitting the rail. These shoes can be filed/trimmed.
Posted By Treeman on 11/24/2008 7:32 PM
I have seen the San Val wheels on ebay going higher than our regular price.

Hey Mike,
Are you talking about Bachmann or San-Val. I couldn't find either listed on your site.


Just go to ebay and click on model trains g-scale Bachmann, you will find his listings under 10 wheel sets for sale. AnnaKramer, is Al Kramer no more San Val but he IS selling from home. The reason you see people paying higher prices there is because there are still some idiots in the world making it harder on us people looking for the bargains to keep alive in this ever price increasing hobby right LOL!!!! The Regal
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I just put Bachmann metal wheels on all of my USA Trains work cars and they seam to be working great. And Bachmann metal wheels can be bought for around $12 a set.
Another vote for B'mann
Looking all over the internet now for the best deals. Anyone have a good place???
I've had good luck with ridge road station (www.ridgeroad.com), Lantz' train shop (www.wholesaletrains.com) and train world (www.trainworld.com).

I bachmann metal wheels are fine. They are cast so that makes them a little bit louder than the machined metal wheels. But they roll just fine.
Thanks Mark.

I need to recount how many axles I need.
I have found that 10-20% of the bachmann wheels wobble noticeably. From my observation, seems to be that the hole is not aligned with the rest of the wheel, i.e. you cannot fix it. They do seem to always be the lowest priced wheels.

Regards, Greg
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