3 questions (help please)

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by Voice2, Jan 14, 2006.

  1. Voice2

    Voice2 Member

    Hello - I've started my N scale layout (I'll post some pics when I get up the nerve :))

    Question #1:

    I have read here that some of you do some filing on your turnouts. My engines run nice and slow over my Atlas c55 track, but there is some resistance (or binding) when they go over the spot indicated in the photo here.


    Is this where you do your filing? It seems like the space there is not wide enough for the wheels to fit through, as they rise up a bit. I have an NMRA guage, and the wheels seem to be in guage. I am running an Atlas SD-24, an Atlas GP-38 and a Kato P-42. The 2 Atlas engines are a little worse than the Kato. They have no problems any where else on my track (all flex except for the turnouts). Also - all of my rolling stock has no problem gliding through.

    Question #2:

    I got a Bachmann Crane & Boom for Christmas (#46611), and it has the old style couplers on it. What do I use to replace them with? And how? I don't want to break anything when I try to take this thing apart! All of my other rolling stock are either Atlas or Micro-Trains.

    Question #3:

    One of my Micro-Trains state cars hit the floor the other day and a coupler broke. What do I use to replace that with? And how? I don't want to cause further damage.

    Thanks guys - this is a great forum and I've already learned a lot!

  2. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    is the binding just on the straight track? is so compare it to the turnouts that work good and adjust from there.as to the couplings you will have to wait for one of the N gaugers on them :)
  3. HPRL

    HPRL Member

    For your MTL State Car you can e-mail or call Micro Train and they will send you a replacement. On the Bachmann you can look at the Micro Train Web Site under the coupling section and find the proper coupling(s). In some cases you may have to replace the entire Truck with the new couplings but I would check first to see in you can just the couplings (they come in Pairs). The coupling package comes with instructions. Just need to take your time, have steady hands (mine are not steady but I can do them anyway), and a magnifying glass or magnifying head mount can help. Your loco hobby shop may have MTL coupling also or can order them for you. I get mine from Brooklyn Locomotive Works http://blwnscale.com/. Hope this helps.
  4. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    As far as your couplers go, you can find MT couplers, but truck and body mounts at many sites, and even you local train shop. One good site is 4Nscale. If you are having trouble finding what you need there, you can go over to the Micro Train site and do a search there. 4Nscale has reasonable pricing and are good to deal with.
  5. Voice2

    Voice2 Member

    Thanks guys - I'll check out the MT site and go from there.

    As far as the turnout question - I only have the issue where the "1" is in my photo. It's like the guide rail is too close to the stock rail. I hope I got my terminology correct.....

    Is there a tool you can use to widen the gap between the 2 rails?

  6. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    for the turnout, first check to see if there is no plastic flash, glue, or ballast either in the frog or between the stock and guardrail. if you find any, a little scraping with a hobby knife should cure the problem. if you feel the guardrail is too close to the stock rail, you can try filing the inside of the guardrail a little bit at a time until wheels roll smoothly.

  7. jetrock

    jetrock Member

    nachoman: Actually, where you want to file are the "points" of the turnout--I labeled them #2 on the picture. The points should be sharp like a knife-edge--the flatter that little end is, the bigger "bump" there is as trains go over them. If progress over them is already smooth, don't bother.

    If you're having problems at the guardrail past the frog (where #1 is) check clearance with an NMRA track gauge to make sure that the frog is big enough for a standard wheel flange. Check the flangeway for loose bits of gravel or plastic flash or other debris. If it really is too small, some very delicate filework might be in order.

    Code 55 is a nice small size but it may hang up when faced with wheels whose flanges might be a bit oversized. If particular cars always derail on those turnouts, check the flange depth of their wheels and consider changing out the wheelsets.

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  8. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    I'm not sure about the N scale turnouts, but I noticed that most of my HO scale Atlas code 83 turnouts caused some problems in the same area. My cars and locos would go through them but when a friend brought some brass steamers over to run, most of them stalled on the frog. While the flange depth checked out okay with the NMRA gauge, it seems that the top surface of the frog was higher than the rest of the turnout. This "bump" lifted the steam locos rigid drivers enough to break the electrical contact between the rail and the wheels. A few passes with a large, flat file cured the problem. If the clearance is too tight between the stock rails and the guard rails or around the frog, judicious use of a suitably shaped needle file should correct the problem. You might also want to ensure that the wheels of the equipment experiencing problems are in gauge.

  9. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Dave: can you get a set of vernier calipers? use them to meaure the back to back of your wheels and then compare it to the clearance between the frog and the guard rail (that's what it's called) where the wheels go through. Measure a lot of wheels on different brands. You may be able to cure it by filing the rail on the frog or the guard rail a bit.
    You may also find that the path the flange follows isn't deep enough for some wheel flanges. The cure for this is a file in the flangeway or replace the wheels. Stop filing if you get to metal!
  10. MickeyHoldem

    MickeyHoldem New Member

    I had the same problem with the atlas c55 turnouts... you need to re-gauge your loco wheels... use a small flat screwdriver and pry the wheels apart just a little more... I was a little nervous about taking the screwdriver to my locos, but it's not that difficult to move the wheel on the axle.
  11. Voice2

    Voice2 Member

    Thanks for all of your help! After thinking about it - and seeing most all of my rolling stock (about 25 cars) glide right through - it must be the wheels on the locos. What else can it be? They are either different or out of guage.

    I have a guage and they seem to be fine, but there is a difference when I do this:

    With one of my hoppers on some straight track I grab a truck at the wheels with my thumb on one side and my middle finger on the other and wiggle it from side to side. There is very little play there. When I do the same with one of my locos there is a little more play - this tells me the guage of the loco wheels is narrower.

    I'm going to do a search here to find out how to adjust the wheels without breaking something.

    Wayne & Dave - I don't have a set of calipers but perhaps I should anyway. I've taken the height of the frog down with a file and it made a positive difference by reducing some wiggle, but it did not cure what I described above.

    Thanks again - Dave
  12. Voice2

    Voice2 Member

    MickeyHoldem - You & I must have been posting at the same time! Thanks! I'll try the screwdriver and see what happens.

  13. Voice2

    Voice2 Member

    That did it!! It was as simple as spreading them a bit!!! With N stuff and my eyes, they seemed to be OK but they were not. And having never tried this before I was a little nervous. My engines were not cheap, as I bought them DCC equipped, si I was afraid to break something.

    I've been so careful in my track laying I was going nuts here and getting a little discouraged. I want smooth operations, and my plan calls for 17 turnouts.

    Thank you all!!

    I'll post some pics soon in the N/Z forum..........


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