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I got a new 3 axle USA motor block. It fits fine in some side frames I got off ebay. The block has a pivot axle in front and some skates to do the electrical pickup. DOes it pickup power also through the wheels? Maybe not, since it has those darned rubber traction tires. The front pivoting axle does not have the tires though. I've never dealt with traction tires before and am not too familiar with them. The side frames had some wires that seem to pick up power from the axle ends. On the back of the motor block are two holes with something in them, is that power pickup also? Would appreciate any shared advice.

Jerry
 

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There is pickup through the sideframes and from the bearings inside the motor block. I suspect that the traction tire equipped wheels don't contribute much to the pickup. I think the sliders are a big part of it.
 

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Jerry you can take off the sliders and will work fine for electrical pickup. Then change out the rubber wheels for regular wheels. You can get them from USA Trains or maybe someone has extra you can trade for.
 

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Removing the sliders is not a good Idea as this helps provide better pick up if you are using brass track. Definatley change out the wheels with the traction tires for solid wheel sets. I think the cost is only $10. Later RJD
 

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I ordered 2 sets of axles without traction tires. I'm going to replace both the traction tire axle and the floppy one in the front. I will then put bearings into the sideframes for the front axles.
 

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the 4 pins in the end of the truck is power to the motor and power pickup from inside the truck .....


I have not tryed to make the pivot fixed before but I have pulled the driveshaft and idler on the swing axle as it did not help traction and it was breaking the driveshaft and it did just fine freewheeling


I also added wipers to the axles inside for more power pickup and cut the wires on the sideframe



when you go to put it back together use some rubberbands over the axle ends and around the far side to hold the axles in place ......
 

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Just out of curiosity,which block did you get? They come with different wheel sizes depending on what loco they are for?
 

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Only the 2 axles in the block pick up power, not the floppy axle.

I'm dumping the skates and swapping "solid" wheels for the ones with traction tires. My experience is that traction tires often cause premature failures of the axles under loads, and of course they do not help power pickup. I do not like skates since they often catch on things. Since I have SS track, I do not need the skates "scrubbing" the rails.

Scott: I'm a bit confused, there were not pickups inside already for power pickup?

Regards, Greg
 

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the power pickup from the wheels is from the axle to the sideframe not inside the power truck ..... the only puckup in the power truck is the sliders


so I bent a phosphorbronze wire that was like .030 dia that fit under the slider clip inside and ran just inboard of the axle bushing ......


this gave me pickup on the 4 hard axles and sliders all in truck .... I then gutted the drive from the floppy axle and put lgb wipers in place of the idler axle .so I had power pickup on this axle also....


I also dumped the traction tire and on the side frames when the bushing wore out I swaped in ball bearings ..........


the power pickup from the sideframe works well but you have to use the right oil or it does not conduct and I could not get the bio park to to this so switching to inside truck power helped .....
 

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Scott, thanks, I will look at mine again this weekend, I know the 2 axle trucks have the pickups inside.... what do you mean "I could not get the bio park to (do) this"

Do you have a good recommendation on a nice oil that helps conduction here? The conductive fluids I have from Bachmann, etc. are all thin, and not oils AFAIK....

Regards, Greg
 

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when I was making these mods it was too locos that I was repairing for the local bio park ..... I was not at the park to run them they would just bring them to me to fix when they quit running ..... the staff of the biopark did the day to day oil and greaseing of the equipment and thay would use what they wanted to ...... it was hard enough to get them to not use wd40 or the like ......much less something that conducts
 

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Gotcha Scott, do you have a favorite lubricant for this application? Or have you bypassed this potential trouble spot on all your locos?

Regards, Greg
 

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The sliders, to some extent, help keep the track clean. When I was running track power I would send my NW-2 out and about. The more laps it made the better it run.
 

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Defiantly get rid of the traction tires more trouble that they are worth. Later RJD
 

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Swapped the traction tires out on 4 locos today, and dumped the sliders, they ran fine... SS track though, does not need "Scrubbing"

If you take the motor blocks apart, be sure to put the bearings back in right! I put some tips on this on my site...

Regards, Greg
 
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