Spring Steel

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Hudsonline, Jul 18, 2007.

  1. Hudsonline

    Hudsonline New Member

    Gentlemen, I am in the process of kitbashing a couple of old Rivarossi heavywieght passenger coaches. I am removing the 3 axle trucks and repacing them Walthers 2 axle passenger trucks. I am also adding some interiors, lighting and weathering.

    I am attempting to bring power to the light kit by powering both of the new 2 axle passenger trucks. My plan is to add some spring steel contacts to wipe the axles of the metal wheels I am installing.

    Does anyone know where I can find some very light gauge spring steel for this purpose?

    Thanks in advance
  2. scottcn

    scottcn Member

    If you have an old motor, perhaps you could use the springs that push on the motor brushes??
  3. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    The usual choice for this type of application is phosphor-bronze, either as wire or as a narrow strip. Your hobby shop should stock it. You could also use brass shimstock, probably .005" or less. Another option is to look among the used bargains at your hobby shop for a passenger car or steam loco tender that's equipped with axle wipers. Yet another idea is to use the "tree" that Atlas nickel-silver rail joiners are attached to when you buy them. Use a cut-off disk in your Dremel to cut away the uneeded projections, then drill where required and bend with pliers to suit the trucks that you're using.

  4. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Roundhouse/MDC used to offer brass pick ups used on the tenders of their steam locomotives as a separate part for very reasonable prices. They would mount to the center pivot of the trucks and could have a wire from each truck go through the floor to th lighting. Then you would just have to make sure the polarity of the front truck on your passenger cars is opposite the rear truck. I don't know if those parts are still available since Horizon bought Roundhouse/MDC and married it to Athearn.
  5. Hudsonline

    Hudsonline New Member

    Thanks for all your input guys, I'll let you know how I slove the problem. I will try to post some photos of the cars when they are finished.

  6. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Bachmann sells the axle wiper pick-ups for their Spectrum steam tenders as a separate item. These appear to be nickel silver.

  7. Ray Marinaccio

    Ray Marinaccio Active Member

  8. Dave Harris

    Dave Harris Member


    Another use for guitar wire, about .005 ,not too much drag & it won't corrode or tarnish.
  9. Hudsonline

    Hudsonline New Member

    Ray those photos were great. I actually used the steel from the trees that rail joiners are sold with, they worked out well.

    Also, as it turns out, the newer trucks I purchsed from Walthers did not need axle wipers, but I did have to rework them with a steel bolt as a powered pivot to make them work on these older cars. I soldered the leads from the light bar to a washer and that was double nutted on to that pivot.

    I will take a couple photos and post them here to show what I did. The project was a total success.

    I am recovering from some surgery this week and this project kept me out of trouble.

    Thanks again guys everyone's input was very helpful
  10. Ray Marinaccio

    Ray Marinaccio Active Member

    Glad to hear it worked out for you. (and that you stayed out of trouble)

Share This Page