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I am in the process of converting a portable layout into a permanent layout and I am considering leaving some rolling stock outside all of the time to give a sort of realism to the layout.

http://www.mylargescale.com/tabid/56/forumid/9/view/topic/postid/91058/afsort/ASC/Default.aspx

The cars I am considering leaving outside are Bachmann cars that were purchased used at a recent train show for about $20 - $25 each. These are not cars that are of particular importance to me and I am aware that the paint will probably fade in the sunlight. Because of their low cost and value I am not willing to buy stainless steel wheels for them so I have narrowed the choice to either using Bachmann metal wheels or LGB plastic wheels.

In the past I have always replaced plastic wheels with metal wheels but considering that these cars will probably get relatively little use I am wondering if the lack of potential rust with plastic wheels might be better than metal wheels for this application. Then too I think I have seen where others have left cars with metal wheels outside year round with little visible damage from rust.

I would appreciate hearing what experiences (good and bad) others have had with metal and plastic wheels on rolling stock that has been left outdoors for a year or more.

Thanks,

Jerry
 

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I use metal Bachmann wheels and have a few cars I generally leave outside in a tunnel and although they get a little rust on them they still preform just fine and look like the rusty wheels on the prototype....
 

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I leave a string of Bachmann cars outside year around. They were under three feet of snow this winter. When they emerged only one had a little damage. A little super glue and it's back in business.

They have Bachmann metal wheels.

The only rust so far is on the KD "Air hose/ trip wires."
 

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Jerry, I ;eft some Bachman, USA, Aristo, LGB cars outdoors for 5 years now and they are in direct afternoon sunlight.
LGB cars have very little fade.
USA faded the most, Bachman cars did very well, but small detail plastic did not fare well on a Bachman 4-6-0, paint job is still very nice.

So, leave the cars outside and see what happens.

PS, these cars have the mfg original metal wheels, or the USA wheels. Only the axles show signs of rust.
 

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Hi Guys,

That is exactly the sort of information I wanted/needed.

I will follow your advice and experiences and go ahead with the metal wheels.

Thanks,

Jerry
 

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I had Bachmann wheels that I left outside and for some reason they became pitted and corroded. I could not clean them up they were so bad. This occurred in the first season. I suspect that there were corrosive elements in the ground that I was unaware of. Regards, Dennis.
 

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Posted By DennisB on 03/31/2009 7:38 AM
I had Bachmann wheels that I left outside and for some reason they became pitted and corroded. I could not clean them up they were so bad. This occurred in the first season. I suspect that there were corrosive elements in the ground that I was unaware of. Regards, Dennis.


Hi Dennis,

At least in my case the track will be laid on outdoor carpeting so there should not be any ground contamination.

Thanks,

Jerry
 

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To slow down the original paint from fading (and slow breakdown of the body material?), you may wish to give the cars a overspray of Krylon UV Protectorant (there are two variants of this) ! And then a overspray of weathered black to back off the unnatural shine.

doug c
 

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I left a Bachmann flatcar out for several years and the plastic color faded and the bolster screws and underbody detail screws rusted; the wheels appear fine
 

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Posted By DennisB on 03/31/2009 7:38 AM
I had Bachmann wheels that I left outside and for some reason they became pitted and corroded. I could not clean them up they were so bad. This occurred in the first season. I suspect that there were corrosive elements in the ground that I was unaware of. Regards, Dennis.

I left mine on the brass code 332 rails; not on the ground. Plastic covers the axle so I don't know what shape that is in.
 
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