Discussion in 'FAQs' started by Bob Collins, Feb 17, 2006.

  1. Bob Collins

    Bob Collins Active Member

    Is there a reason I should be considering putting metal wheels on those pieces of rolling stock I have acquired that still have plastic ones? What makes the difference.

    Oh, eventually I'll be running DCC :thumb:

  2. santafewillie

    santafewillie Member

    I'm not an expert, but I have observed that metal wheels do not pick up as much "gunk" as plastic wheels. I believe I read somewhere that it has to do with static electricity. When the wheels don't pick up this "gunk", there's less of a chance they will redeposit it down the line. Metal wheels are easier to clean than plastic wheels. They also look more realistic. I have changed about half of the 400 or so freight cars that I own and will change the rest as time and money allows. DC or DCC doesn't matter as long as you have plastic axles.
  3. Bob Collins

    Bob Collins Active Member

    I noticed that on some passenger cars I have that there is a plastic wheel on one end of the axle and a metal one on the other end. Is this in case I want to add lighting to the interior of the cars?

  4. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Bob: yes, it is for lighting. Possibly they supply lighting in some ofthe range and use the same axles for all.
    I'm not sure, but I think you can get metal wheels with one wheel insulated or with both wheels insulated from the axle.
    (Not entirely sure about the dirty wheels. I just cleaned off my old Lionel cars and they had gunk that was 1/32" thick.)
  5. Yep Bob, you are correct ! However it is best to have at least 2 metal wheels on opposite sides of each truck on each car to help eliminate flickering of the lights while going over crossings and turnouts. Wipers would be applied to pick up the current from either the wheels or axles . Joe
  6. Bob Collins

    Bob Collins Active Member

    What really makes it interesting is that the heavyweights I am talking about hare three axle trucks and all three axles have a metal wheeel on the same end. But the other truck which also has one metal wheel on each axle has them reversed in terms of the track they rest on
  7. Bob, The 3 on one track pick up current from that rail. The other 3 pick up current from the other rail. Wipers of some sort are required to access the current from the wheels or metal axles to the light circuitry. Plus or minus from track current makes no difference to a light bulb. It will light either way, unlike LEDs which only light with the current traveling in one direction. Joe :wave:
  8. Bob Collins

    Bob Collins Active Member

    Thanks Joe. I'll try to remember if I every decide to light the interiors. Right now I'm just working to get my layout up and operational. Have all the mainline in and wired and also the yard, but still have all the roadbed and track work to do on several spurs as well as the lead to the turntable and the turntable itself. Then I really head off into adventure land as I've never tried to landscape before. Have a plan in my mind what I want it to look like, but.............who knows how that will turn out:D :D

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