Driver wheels slipping on axles

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by t. alexander, Jun 21, 2002.

  1. t. alexander

    t. alexander Member

    Hello All, first time posting here. I'll start by giving a little background.
    I am the proud owner of a 1'=1' former GMO caboose. It is numbered 2831 and was built in March of 1913.
    I also have Been working on a small shelf type layout for a long time It has handlaid track with scratchbuilt turnouts. I also enjoy scratchbuilding structures. and hope to in the future incorperate this layout into a larger one.

    Now to my question. I am finishing up a sctratchbuilt brass 4 4 0 American i built from plans out a 1952 MR mag.

    I used the drivers and axles from an old german loco because they had the right diameter. 70 inches i thing. the problem is the wheels are wanting to spin on the axles knocking them out of quarter. anybody have a solution for this? glue??

    Any help will be appreciated,

  2. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

    Welcome to the Gauge t. alexander! :) Don't think I can help you on your problem. By any chance is there supposed to be an insulater bushing or something between the wheel and the axle????
  3. t. alexander

    t. alexander Member

    Thanks Tyson,
    WOW! that was a quick reply.

    Yes, the drivers have insulated bushings on one side but both sides are spinning.

  4. rich maiorano

    rich maiorano Member

    hey there t and welcome to the gauge most likey the bushings are to be on both sides rich;)
  5. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

    I would try solder on the non-insulated side and glue (making sure it's the type that dosen't conduct electricity) on the other side. Can you determine if on the insulated side the bushing is slipping in the wheel or the axle is slipping in the bushing?
  6. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    Hi T, Welcome to the Gauge. I can't help you with an answer but will speak to a friend who may be able to. I don't think you can use glue as it will interfere with conductivity. Insulated bushings should be on one side only. This to prevent shorts. The axle and wheel should be a press fit. Is their gauge correct? I know Northwest Shortline makes a wheel puller and quarterer, if I were to undertake such a project I would use them, but then in a project such as this I would have to be led by the hand. Locos with improperly quarted wheels don't run so hot. I will get back if my friend has any advise.

  7. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    Slipping Drivers

    Hello T and Welcome Aboard. As Gary has said glue isn't going to be the answer. Although ACC will hold the driver to the axel you'll loose the electrical conductivity. The glue would be OK for the insulated side though and I would probably go with the ACC glue on the insulated side.

    For the non insulated side Tyson's idea of using solder has a good deal of potential. If I went with that method what I would do would be to apply a thin coat of solder to the axel, press the driver on and quarter it using a quartering jig. Then once everything is lined up use the soldering gun to heat the axel so that the solder flows and secures the axel to the driver. If the driver centers are made of pot metal this won't work as the heat of the soldering gun will deform the driver center. If that is the case then I would forego the heating of the axel and after the driver is quartered apply some gel type ACC to to the outside only of the driver center and axel.

    But there's still hope....You could take the axel and chuck it into an electric drill and using a slow speed "knurle" the axel end with the flat edge of a bastard file. You would want to get the axel end just rough enough to where the driver would have to be pressed on and then quarter it up and it should hold. This is a bit "risky" though as you run the chance of ruining the axel if you get "too heavy" with the file. This could be done very accurately if you have a minature lathe and a knurling tool though.

    A third option would be to "bush up" the driver centers using some kind of real thin brass shim material.

    Don't guarantee that any of this will work but they are just some ideas that passed thru my head!!!!
  8. t. alexander

    t. alexander Member

    Thanks for all the suggestions guys.

    I'll try them one at a time.

    Tyson the insulaters are spinning on the axles.

    Vic i see your in Columbus GA. I'm up here near Chickamauga. just below Chatt. The Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum uses the rail that runs right in front of our house, how lucky is that!

  9. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

    If you know the name of the company that made the loco the axles came off I would contact them and see if you can get new bushings, then you wouldn't have to fool with trying to glue the old ones.
  10. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    70 inch diameter wheels? And you're using glue????:eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :confused:
  11. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    All The Luck!!!

    Hi, T....Some folks just have all of the luck!!!:) :) :D I know right where you are....I used to live in Cobb County and have been up there many, many times. :D :) Its really a beautiful part of the state.:)

    What loco are they using at TVRM now? Its been awhile but last time I was there they were using a 2-8-0 (#630??) Have ridden many fan trips behind #4501 in my day.:) :) :D :D It has to be at least since 1985 that I was there and I bet TVRM has really grown. I bet one thing hasn't changed though..... it always was "hot as blue blazes" in the tunnel :D :D :D

    Gimme a holler if you get down this way.
  12. t. alexander

    t. alexander Member

    Vic, Likewise
    As far as i know thier using the 2-8-0 have'nt been able to see it come by this season yet.

    They repainted #4501 black, got some flak over that.

  13. t. alexander

    t. alexander Member

    they actually measure a little over six ft. I wanted to stuff 80 inchers in but they would'nt fit :p

  14. Vic

    Vic Active Member


    Hi T, I bet they did get some flack over painting it black, but actually that is the correct and orginal paint scheme as it was a freight engine. :D :D :D
  15. Bill Stone

    Bill Stone Member


    If you're not a machinist yourself, what I would do is take the wheels and axles to some small machine shop and ask them what to do. My guess is they'd suggest they take shafting of the next larger stock diameter and turn down the ends to be a press fit for your wheels. Shouldn't charge you much for that at all.

    Of course that means you'll need new axle bearings to fit.

    Bill S

    PS: My welcomes, also, to The Gauge.
  16. t. alexander

    t. alexander Member

    That is another possible solution, thanks.
    I'm starting to wonder about a new set of drivers. but hav'nt found the size i need. but if i did that it could mean remaking another set of rods. :eek: plus the ones i have are nice looking, i think.

    BTW thanks for the welcome,

  17. Bill Stone

    Bill Stone Member


    You may not have to make new rods. The main rods might have to change if the new drivers have a greatly different throw (for want of a better term --- I mean the distance from the axle center to the crank pin center on the drivers). But no matter what the axle-crank pin distance, the side rods will not need to change.

    If you've already built your frame, etc., new driver diameters might really give you fits --- like raising or lowering the cylinders and (if the new drivers are smaller diameter) possibly causing the pony truck wheels to hit the cylinders. (But you've probably already figured that out.)

    Another solution a machinist might suggest: Machine some press-fit brass sleeves for the axles, and then bore out the axle holes in the drivers to press-fit onto the sleeves.

    Since you're building a 4-4-0, I presume you're into period modeling. What era? I ask, as I'm into 1875-1885.....

    Are your scratch-built turnouts stub types by any chance?

    And tell us about your caboose. Now THAT'S a toy that I'm sure makes all of us here on The Gauge totally envious! Is that where your layout is? Or do you just sit up there in the cupola and dream?

    Bill S
  18. t. alexander

    t. alexander Member


    I could go with a slightly larger wheel diameter but i could'nt go smaller because the pilot frame would be right on the main frame. I think i'm just going to make what i got work.

    My turnouts are just basic straight right, left my rail is code 83. I decided to try building them because i could'nt afford nice looking commercial ones. As it turned out i really enjoyed making them. After the first couple i could whip one out in less than an hour.
    :D but as i had know idea what i was doing it took a lot of tinkering to get them to work smoothly. and trial and error as how to wire them.

    To tell the truth untill recently my little layout has been shelved for some time. I hope to get it together enough to take some photos so ya'll can see and help me out.

    The caboose was orginialy built for the Oleans, mobile & Chicago in 1913. It later became #29 for the Gulf, Mobil & Northern and ended it's working life in 1969 as Gulf, Mobil & Ohio caboose #2831
    It was overhauled sometime in the forties ( I think).

    It is now completely gutted and in need of major restoration But the whistle's work.

  19. t. alexander

    t. alexander Member


    My time period is set sometime in the 20's. Mainly so i could have some heavier duty machinery with rust. :D

    I really enjoy looking at layouts built in your time period though. What is your roads theme? do you have some pics here somewhere ?

  20. Bill Stone

    Bill Stone Member

    The theme is that of a std gauge, high class line serving the West Coast and, through a connection with the Chicago & Northwestern competes with the Central Pacific / Union Pacific as a transcontinental RR, completed a few years after the CP-UP connected up.

    I'm without layout at the present --- the last one was torn up several years ago --- but I hope to start a new layout project soon. But even with test track only, I have continued building models in the interim.

    No photos posted here on The Gauge. My new computer refuses to talk to my digital camera, so until I get that figured out, I've nothing to show.

    I plan to have all stub turnouts on the new layout. I've hand laid track before, but never attempted stubs.

    Bill S

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