plans to solve problem of 6 wheel loco that is derailing

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by stanC, Jun 23, 2007.

  1. stanC

    stanC Member

    I have a new EMD SD 24 The only markings on the box are International Hobby Corp Pennsylania # 7105 SD 24. It has 2 X 3 sets of wheels (6 pairs in all) My track is quite tight and the engine keeps derailing because it cannot handle the curves. I have a smaller locomotive with 2X 2 sets ( 4 sets in all) which is fine. I am thinking of cutting off one set of the wheels. As this is pretty drastic and not reversible I would like to hear some views of this from more experienced modellers
  2. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    That is pretty drastic allright. Since it is new, can you exchange it for a different loco that will handle the tighter curves?

  3. Thoroughbreed

    Thoroughbreed Member

    Dont remove wheels, you'll regret it later. Do look and see if you can adjust the stops (whats binding the trucks from turning). If you cant, you might wanna see about exchanging the unit or just not run it on those tight radius.
  4. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Don't cut up the locomotive. You don't mention what radius curves you are running. Sometimes there can be some wires binding the trucks inside the mechanism. Also if your track has any dips in the rails, 3 axle trucks will tend to "step off" the tracks where a 2 axle truck will handle the imperfections easily. You may not be able to return the locomotive, depending on how long you have had it and how many times you have tried to run it. It may be considered as used by the local hobby shop. I think you have 2 options if your curve radius is just too tight to operate the locomotive. The first option would be to save the locomotive for when you might have more space for a layout that would allow larger radius curves for better operation. The second option would be to sell or trade it for another locomotive that will operate on your tight radius curves.

    If you cut off an axle from each truck to make it run on your layout, you change nice model into a piece of junk.
  5. stanC

    stanC Member

    Uneven track

    Thanks all for replies. The track is slightly uneven. Returning the locomotive is not practical . I will check the other suggestions Stan
  6. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    An SD24 is short as 6-axle engines go. Even on 18" curves, I would expect an engine that size to run as long as the trackwork is good.
  7. msowsun

    msowsun Member

    A trick I use with heavyweight passenger cars is to remove the center axle. This improves the tracking on rough areas of track and cuts down on derailments considerably.

    On your SD24 you could try to take apart the 3-wheel truck and then modify the middle axle. It may be possible to remove the center wheels and not affect the outer wheels. In a pinch you could use a Dremel cutoff wheel to remove the wheels but leave the axle in place.

    It is a little drastic but you seem determined to make it work.

  8. jeffrey-wimberl

    jeffrey-wimberl Active Member

    I have a Proto 2000 PA that gave me the same problems, I have 18" radius curves and several #4 turnouts. I removed the center wheelset from each truck, removed the wheels from the gear and put the gear back in the truck. The loco hasn't derailed since and still pulls well.
  9. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    don't cut off a wheel. Unless you are using 15" radius, you SD24 should not be giving you any trouble. I have a P2K SD7, which is the same size, and it never derails, even on the 18" curves.

    Seriously, open it up and make sure there are no wires or weird things jammed in there, because that does happen every once in a while.
  10. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    Leave it alone, put it on the shelf and look at it until you either get larger radius curves or better trackwork.
  11. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    Or sell it in the "For Sale" forum here and buy something that will run on your layout.
  12. stanC

    stanC Member

    Thanks for your help and opinions. Being a very curious person I will probably try to open it up and get the wheels out. I know its probably not the best as I have done the same with clocks which are now in various parts around the house. Can you please advise me in the best way of opening up the wheels. I have taken off the shell
  13. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery


    You might find that NorthWest ShortLine has "blind" wheels you can put on the centre axel of each truck.

    But my advice is to check your trackwork very, very carefully. If you do not have one, get an NMRA gauge that will allow you to check the spacing of the wheels, the rails, etc, etc.

    Try this for more tips on troubleshooting derailments:

  14. Gil Finn

    Gil Finn Active Member

    did you run the engine in the oppisete direction with differnt results?
  15. Nick8564

    Nick8564 Member

    What would happen if you trimmed the flanges on one of the wheels in each truck? Maybe the back wheel? That way you still have the 3 axle look and the back wheel will slide alittle. Might work.
  16. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    You mentioned "uneven track" in one of the earlier posts in this thread. 3 axle trucks are longer than 2 axle trucks and the extra axle puts the truck in contact wiht the rails at 6 points instead of 4. They simply will not tolerate uneven or sloppy track. The longer the distance between the front axle and the back axle in the same truck the more susceptible they are to derailing over uneven track work.
  17. stanC

    stanC Member

    Thanks everyone. The story so far. I checked the wheels and saw that the two inner pairs of wheels were electically connected but the outer pair was not. I then proceeded to cut off the outer wheel. The axle was plastic so it was very easy. The train now runs without derailing but when moving, the rear set of wheels lift slightly and the wheel house (because of the missing wheels) tends to get stuck when crossing points. I am now in the process of trying to stop the wheels from lifting.
    But I must tell I am having a great time experimenting. My advice is to get hold of a relatively inexpensive loco and mess around with it. You sure learn quickly.
    Incidentally do not use a electrical contact spray on the loco. It leaves a white film on everything
  18. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    I just have to say this, take it any way you like. This is a classic case of re-inventing the wheel. Pun intended.
  19. stanC

    stanC Member

    Jim in connection with your reply I think that had your philosophy been the prevalent one when the wheel was invented, transport today would still be mainly by the wheelbarrow

  20. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    Stan: Lets go back and look at your original post and some of the very well thought out responses. You asked for help with a problem of a six axle locomotive derailing on curves. (1) The manufacturer lists an acceptable minimum radius for their equipment. Removing wheels, as you found out is not a great idea. Somebody in past history had already tried that I'm sure. The method of removing said wheels was not all that great. Cutting the plastic axle. The manufacturer undoubtedly provided a method for disassembling the truck to remove the axle. As the basic rule here on the gauge states, " Its your railroad". You did ask for assistance. You got several good replys. The utilization of those replys is up to you. Rule number two. If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

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