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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Some people love rubber traction tyres. Some people don't. I'm in the latter category.

I don't like spending $ I don't have to, and I don't like wasting my battery life either so I experimented with removing traction tyres on my USA Trains F3s and geeps, rather than trying to obtain extra wheelsets from the US. To be honest I initially went down this path after failing to get hold of wheelsets after several weeks, maybe it's much easier for you guys in the US to get hold of these. But at the same time, I don't like having to buy more wheelsets and throw these rubberised ones in a drawer...

if you are a cheap-skate like me you can remove the tyres, remove the axle from the truck, stick the axle-end in a drill and take a file to those ridges that keeps the tyre on.

This means the wheel is now 2mm less diameter. So I swap and change so the the smaller wheels are all on one truck. Or preferably on the one engine.

Now when I run a multiple of a F3ABA + a geep round my track from the one battery car my batteries last approximately 25% longer. And worn rubber tyres aren't coming adrift and tangling up under the truck. This is despite the fact that two of the engines have slightly smaller wheels. (I pack the truck mounts out by 1mm to get the engine bodies back to their original height.)

Wheelsets without ball bearings cause drag, we all know that. But what if they're rubber-tyred on both wheels!!? I wonder why they're not on diagonally opposite wheels like they are in some H0 and N engines, then at least the metal wheel at the other end of the axle can do the skidding.

All this saves me $$, saves me amps, and gives me another tweaking project. So it really works for me all round!

Keep on chargin' batt-feinds!
 

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I wish they would stop with the rubber tires. If you get wheel slip you need to add a unit or remove cars just like the real railroads do.
 

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I thought the real railrods just put big rubber bands around their wheels to prevent slip? Seriously though, those rubber tires are annoying. I was working on a friends loco and trying to get it over a dead spot in his track. Every time i pushed the thing the rubber grabbed and the loco derailed, then one fell off.

Terry
 

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I believe USAT has stopped the traction tires, the S4, which is the latest diesel, I believe, does not have traction tires.

I swap all mine out, the wheelsets are cheap.

Regards, Greg
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Posted By Greg Elmassian on 11/13/2008 3:08 PM
I believe USAT has stopped the traction tires, the S4, which is the latest diesel, I believe, does not have traction tires.

I swap all mine out, the wheelsets are cheap.

Regards, Greg

I don't know...you rich guys with money to burn! :D

Stopped doing them - excellent. I think it's great to HAVE to add another loco because you want to run 20+ cars up your grades! And more pickup surface is better for track power people too of course.
 

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I don't know if USA has had a change of heart on the traction tires or not. The NW2 and S4 which uses the same motor block never had them to start with. The NW2 has been around for over 10 years now. My new heritage SD70 which have only been out a few months now came without traction tires but my old SD70's came with them. This is the first actual change in production that I have seen. I hope this is a sign of things to come. I let USA know how much I appreciated the change when I ordered some parts awhile back.
 

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Yep, when people give me static about losing traction from removing traction tires, I tell them it just adds to the fun to MU or cut on helpers.... and it's true.

I did not realize the NW2 did not have traction tires, I will look at it when I get home... great, one less to convert.

Regards, Greg
 

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Can you immagine the problems with keeping rubber tires on a real locomotive. Actually, the first time that you put the brakes on, the tires would be shreaded since the shoes rub directly on the tire tread.
 

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I remove all rubbers. then add weight to USAT ...
 

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Marty, lots of people are afraid of adding weight to USAT locos because they use plain bearings. I look at them and they are good sized, so I figure no problem if I keep them lubed.

What do you lube them with, and how much weight and have you ever had problems wearing them out?

Regards, Greg
 

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I would think the rubber tire "sticking" to the rail would do more damage to a gear box then weight. I would rather a wheel slip on a grade then the ruber grabbing and a gear giving out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Posted By fildowns on 11/12/2008 6:44 AM
...remove the tyres, remove the axle from the truck, stick the axle-end in a drill and take a file to those ridges that keeps the tyre on.



Yeah, like I say, lose the ridges.
 

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It is relatively easy to replace the plain bearings in the USAT sideframes with ball bearings. I did it to my GP-9.
 

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Bill, what size bearings did you use? I can see that the placement is critical for proper gear mesh. What mods to the housing were necessary? Finally pictures?

(Hah! I don't ask for much do I?
)

Regards, Greg
 
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