Freight Cars Question

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by Play-Doh, May 27, 2006.

  1. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I think the biggest problem with plastic wheels is that Athearn & MDC both use steel axls with their plastic wheels, and the axles tend to get rusty. If the axle rusts at the point which acts as a bearing in the side frame, you get rolling problems.
  2. santafewillie

    santafewillie Member

    Like Wayne, much of my extensive roster of my freightcars have plastic wheels. I don't really have too much of a "gunk" problem, but I am replacing them as finances permit. I use P2K wheelsets. As Russ pointed out, rust is a greater problem...I used to have to clean off some of the axle tips and trucks regularily. I have also discovered the "truck tuner" used to ream out the trucks, it works great. I don't know which brand I have but there are several out there. I've never had any problems with axle length, the standard P2K wheelsets work in all of my Athearn, MDC, Accurail and Walthers freightcars. I haven't replaced any on Concor cars yet, I need to look. All of my cars run better after installing the metal wheels, but I think it is due more to the truck tuning than the wheels. I initially started to replace them mainly for appearances and as referenced earlier, the rust issue.
  3. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    I my experience with the two, metal wheels roll easier. The only think I really detest is 1-piece plastic wheelsets. There is a slight electrical problem that can occur with metal wheels, and that is that they can bridge the insulators if you have blocks. Usually this doesn't cause a problem...but over a long period of time this can cause pitting of your wheels and rails at such places. This can also cause a problem at reversing loops. Regardless of this, especially with DCC systems, I'd recommend metal wheels for every car you have and either Kadee #58 couplers or some other realistic coupler. It's really worth leary of knuckle couples that don't have metal springs...I regret having ever bought McHenry's old couplers that didn't have a spring...all of my nice engines and cars have Kadee #58s now...and metal wheels.

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