Steam Traction Tires

Discussion in 'N Scale' started by John Moore, Mar 5, 2013.

  1. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

    It has been years since I have installed a set of traction tires on a steamer, in fact so long I can't remember when I last did. And it was and is still a @#$%. However got them on but have a shimmy going down the track which I assume is that one or more of the little tires didn't expand over the wheels evenly leaving one spot a little thicker than the rest. Any other tricks in the book other than heating the tires?
     
  2. rbrucker

    rbrucker TrainBoard Member

    I'm a newbie but I had good results using this stuff called Bullfrog Snot on the drive wheels last year.
     
  3. SteamDonkey74

    SteamDonkey74 TrainBoard Supporter

    I use Bullfrog Snot as I find it far less aggravating. In fact, when I did a GS-4 swap with another TrainBoarder a year or so ago I took the traction tires off another GS-4 I have and sent them to him as well as an extra.
     
  4. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

    I'm aware of the Bullfrog Snot and have a bottle setting on my workbench. However in the application I'm doing The traction tires are a better option for me.
     
  5. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Supporter

    John, I installed TTs on Kato Mikes years ago and initially had similar wobbles.

    The problem is that the TT cross-sections are square, as are the corresponding slots in the wheels. When the TTs are installed by hand, their rubber-like flexibility and tight fit in the slots sometimes cause them to seat at slight angles, though only in one or two places around the rim, thus causing wobbling.

    I solved it by placing the engine in a V cradle, inserting the tip of a very thin dental pick between the TT and slot, then having the wheels rotate very slowly at the lowest possible voltage setting, I use DC. After about two revolutions, the tires had seated correctly into their slots. Make sure your dental pick tip, or whatever tool you use, is very clean and polished. Otherwise it will snag the TT, pulling it off the rim, possibly even snapping it. No need to heat or use any other drastic methods...good luck.
     
  6. kiasutha

    kiasutha TrainBoard Member

    As above.
    I used a sewing needle.
    Very thin,polished,and nothing sharp exept the point.
     
  7. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

    Gentlemen all, thanks for the advice. I did solve my problem using both heat and the very fine point dental pick to get the tires stretched and set properly. Since it was those danged 4-4-0s I was working on I simply threw the driver set slipped out of the loco in a sink of hot tap water. Let set for awhile and then quickly threw them back in the loco and resecured the bottom plate and piston rods. The heat causes the tire material to become more flexible and the metal wheels continued to hold the heat for a bit while I rotated the tires on the loco in the cradle. with the dental pick. By the way this is 130 deg. F. water out of the tap, not stovetop or microwave heated water.

    I finally remembered what I used to do back ages ago, but only later after the tires were on and the rods re-attached. I used to put the traction tires in a container of very hot tap water prior to slipping them on the tires. Made them stretch better and once on the tires as they cooled they contracted tightly on the tires. Plus the slight dampness acted like a lubricant. So far my use of the Bullfrog has been a mixed bag of results in this particular application. Probably because of the very tight clearances involved with those wheel fenders. On a normal driver setup it probably works a lot better.
     
  8. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Supporter

    Glad to hear, John. I had forgotten that I also dampened the tire/wheel interface, less risk of breakage that way.
    Now all I, and many others, need is a TT for the MP 4-4-0 slippery little beasty. :(
     
  9. kiasutha

    kiasutha TrainBoard Member

    I used the TT driver set from their Pacific on mine.
    Works great; if you can still get them?
     
  10. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Supporter

    Is the 4-6-2 driver the same diameter as the 4-4-0 driver? If so, that would be the best solution...thanks.
     
  11. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

    Reportedly the same drivers. But since I don't have the 4-6-2 I'm only passing info. given out on some earlier threads here. I believe they are both the 73 inch driver. One can check MPs parts section at thier site to see if the Pacific wheelsets are available.
     
  12. kiasutha

    kiasutha TrainBoard Member

    Yes, same D.
    I bought the Pacific TT driver and only replaced one axle on my 4-4-0- the other is still origional.
    After refit it pulled 36 2-bay hoppers on an N-trak layout.
    I have not done it myself, but am told you can use the 2-8-2 driver to retrofit MP moguls as well.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 7, 2013
  13. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Supporter

    Thanks Much...!
     
  14. kiasutha

    kiasutha TrainBoard Member

    Hytec:
    Just in case you haven't had one of these apart before-
    When you open it up, the pick-up wipers on the loco are awful darn flimsy and a "pita" to work on...
     
  15. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Supporter

    Thx, found that out with the MP Mogul....smerf!
     
  16. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

    I can echo what he stated. You need four hands and 6 fingers per hand to get everything back in place having done that multiple times with my using one for a recent conversion. The tabs on the wheel wiper strips will easily bend so that they end up out of contact with the wheels when back together. Also there is a pair of pointed tabs in the middle of the chassis bottom just ahead of the first driver set that if they get bent downward a little the first thing you will notice is no headlight. The loco will run because of the, in my opinion wacky wiring setup, with what appears to be the drivers sending power to the tender and the tender pick-ups and drivers together sending power to the motor. It appears that those two pointed tabs are just for the headlight that is powered off the drivers.
     

Share This Page