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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter #1
I was wondering if anyone has moded these cars with ball bearings yet?
If so how did you go about it? I have searched the net with no luck.

I have four 5 car sets right now which seem to be about the limit for a single E-8 to run smoothly for extended periods,
and I want to add 2 vista dome cars to each set which would make them to heavy for a single engine to pull (don't want to double head 5 consists).

I changed all my Aristo heavyweights to ball bearing and it made a huge difference in their draw weight and was hoping to do the same for the USA cars.

Thanks, Ron
 

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"Rocky Canyonero"
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464 Posts
Ron,
I used ball bearing wheelsets from LGB, Piko, and Roll EZ in my heavyweights and Aristo streamline cars. The Roll EZ are probably around 29mm dia, whereas the LGB and Piko have 30mm dia. Piko also sells a larger 35mm dia ball bearing wheel set which work perfectly in my RDC conversions.

Ball bearings in the journals will help tremendously on straight track, but even on 20ft dia curves you will experience drag due to the inner and outer rail distances. Ball bearing wheelsets will allow these to perform amazingly well even on tight corners as the wheels will rotate independently of each other.
 

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Might be a silly question,but do you use the lights? Those pickups for the lights cause a lot of drag.
 

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Gary Raymond has ball bearing wheels in different sizes. Also you can get them with pickups that don't drag. I use them quite a bit. There is a web page with the sizes and his email address and phone. Takes awhile, he has a real job also. Well worth it. He is not set up for Paypal, he can do Credit Card over the phone, or you can send a check.
http://www.audiomobiles.com/trains/trainwheels.html
 

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Super Modulator
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The wheels on the USAT streamliners are quite a bit larger than the BB wheelsets you can find, and it's hard to fit the unique sideframes.

In the Queen Mary days, there was a guy who had a jig set up to mill the sideframs for BB wheels, I sure wish I had gotten him to do my cars.

By the way, the backsides of the USAT streamliner wheels are VERY smooth, so proper lubrication will greatly reduce the drag.

Greg
 

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"Rocky Canyonero"
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Greg, the Piko 35mm wheels are about the same size as Aristo Diesel wheels. I imagine these are best if they fit in the journals. Although they are $30/set they are solid stainless steel (painted face not plastic) and have power pickups. Course 22 cars would be rather pricey and probably use up the world's supply of them! On the other hand, a replacement new E8 will probably cost over $1300 if they stay out of production much longer. Might mamake sense to keep this one alive as long as possible.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
It looks like there is no easy/inexpensive fix for my issue.

I think the most economical and simple solution is to just double head the locos rather than buying 70 ball bearing wheel sets that will still require modifications to all the trucks.

I have several Aristo FB-1 units and they match the E-8s pretty well.
They sit a little higher than an E8, but that's an easy fix, and while shorter than the E8 they do look like they belong.

I think I will just use basic DCC boards and skip the sound, as the E8s have full sound in them, to keep costs down.

Thanks for all the replies.

Ron
 

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Ron

What is the radius/diameter of your curves and what are your grades?

How much does your engine weigh? I have found that the average pulling power of an engine is about 1/3rd the weight of the engine. Some are more and others are less.

I have two engines that can pull 8 or more USAt streamliners around my layout.. A USAT GG1 and an Aristo Mallet. The GG1 weighs 34 pounds and has a tractive effort of 8 pounds. The Aristo Mallet weights 14 pounds and had a tractive effort of 5 pounds. I need to double head my USAt F3s to pull a consist of that length. My curves are 10' diameter and I have a short stretch of 3-4% grade. While the GG1 weighs a lot, a significant part of its weight is on non powered leading and trailing trucks. Very little of the mallet's weight is on the leading and trailing trucks.







Neither of these engines has a problem on my mainline.

There is a reason the 1:1 boys double headed or more.

Chuck
 

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That E8 trainset in my picture will pull 55 40' cars up a 3.2% grade with the entire train on the grade.

As my uncle used to say, there's no substitute for cubic inches!

Greg
 

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64 cars on that one, but I was interested in the length of the passenger trains in those 2 shots. approximate is fine.

I have run 55 cars on my tiny back yard layout on 10' diameter curves.

Greg
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Ron

What is the radius/diameter of your curves and what are your grades?

How much does your engine weigh? I have found that the average pulling power of an engine is about 1/3rd the weight of the engine. Some are more and others are less.

I have two engines that can pull 8 or more USAt streamliners around my layout.. A USAT GG1 and an Aristo Mallet. The GG1 weighs 34 pounds and has a tractive effort of 8 pounds. The Aristo Mallet weights 14 pounds and had a tractive effort of 5 pounds. I need to double head my USAt F3s to pull a consist of that length. My curves are 10' diameter and I have a short stretch of 3-4% grade. While the GG1 weighs a lot, a significant part of its weight is on non powered leading and trailing trucks. Very little of the mallet's weight is on the leading and trailing trucks.

Neither of these engines has a problem on my mainline.

There is a reason the 1:1 boys double headed or more.

Chuck
The layout has minimum of approximately 12ft and max of 20ft curves on all main lines, with the smallest being about 10ft on the reversing loop just of the 2 bridges. It has a max grade of about 1.5-2%.

My GG1s can pull their 8 car USAT consists all day long without any problems and I don't think I'll make those any longer.

My E8s weigh in at 15.2lbs each and handle their 5 car consists with ease during extended runs, even in summer, and could handle the 7 car consists but I think during long runs they would get stressed and overheat.

That was the thought for adding ball bearings to the cars. For the time being, until the B units are ready, 5 cars will be fine.
 
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