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Multiple cars dragging

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  • Member since
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Multiple cars dragging
Posted by chatanuga on Sunday, September 19, 2021 7:09 PM

Not too long ago, I got all of my Walthers Goldline piggyback cars (11 89-foot cars and 8 Front Runners) together for one long piggyback train for a YouTube video that I made (http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/88/t/288904.aspx).

Today, I assembled a similar train minus three of the 89-foot cars with the same locomotives.  While I had the train running with no issues, it suddenly stopped, and the overload light came on on the transformer.  The locomotives and transformer were quite warm so I let them cool down for a little while.  I tried starting the train again, and shortly after the train was moving, the overload light started to fade on again.  I uncoupled the locomotives from the train, and everything ran normally, indicating that something was up with the train, even though it had appeared to be running normally.

I went to pull the train to the locomotives by hand, and it felt like the whole train was dragging.  Granted, I normally don't have all or almost all of the piggyback cars together in a long train like that.  Every car is always inspected for any issues before going on the layout, and at the workbench, each car rolls easily.  However, I noticed that the 89-foot cars don't roll quite as smoothly as the Front Runners, and when I have two or more of the 89-foot cars together and try to roll them, they stop rather quickly.  So something is causing the 89-foot cars to not roll very smoothly as I would like them to.

Any suggestions for improving how the cars roll?

Kevin

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Posted by tstage on Sunday, September 19, 2021 8:07 PM

Kevin,

Have you tried truing the troublesome trucks with one of these?

Sometimes there is a burr (or burrs) down inside the journal cone that cause the wheels to bind and not roll freely.  The tool isn't inexpensive but it's well-worth the expense for good rolling trucks.

You could also try outfitting the trucks with different wheelsets.  Some manufactured wheelsets are longer or shorter and work better with certain trucks than others.

Tom

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Posted by doctorwayne on Monday, September 20, 2021 12:07 AM

Tom's suggestion of using the truck tuner is a good one (although I do wonder why they didn't make it double-ended).

It will clean out any burrs or casting anomalies in the plastic trucks, and definitely improves rolling qualities.

This baggage car (formerly a passenger coach) is an older offering from Athearn.  It's a very poor-rolling car, and is shown on a 2.9% grade, held in-place due to the friction in the trucks...

I generally run fairly short passenger trains, so one poor-rolling car usually isn't an issue.  I can't use the truck tuner on this car because the truck is cast metal, and is rivetted together.   I may outfit that car with better trucks, but it's not a priority.
I'm pretty sure that the truck tuner will solve the issues of your poorly-rolling cars, but it can also improve some cars that roll "okay", but also could be better.  It's well-worth the cost, and in some cases, can save you from having to buy a whole bunch of high quality trucks if cost becomes an issue.

Wayne

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Posted by NVSRR on Monday, September 20, 2021 6:48 AM

Sounds like the wheels are contacting either the weight or something else metal.  The first time the paint acted as a insulator but finally wore off on the second trip.  Allowing the contact and short to occur.     The wheels might be the wrong size. Or a .0015 washer might need to be installed to raise the car up.    The harder solution, open the car, shorten the weight.   Or remove it entirely and weight the trailers( last resort only since it changes your gravity center)

 

shane

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Posted by chatanuga on Monday, September 20, 2021 6:03 PM

I've seen that truck tuner in the mini Micromark catalog that I get from time to time.  I've thought about getting one, but with everything rolling okay at the workbench, I just kept putting it off.  It'll definitely be a good place to start, and I'll be ordering one tonight.

I'll post a follow up on what happens.  Thanks for the advice!

Kevin

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Posted by Lastspikemike on Monday, September 20, 2021 6:08 PM

The truck tuner is single ended so you can choose which bearing socket to "tune". 

Alyth Yard

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Monday, September 20, 2021 6:22 PM

chatanuga
It'll definitely be a good place to start, and I'll be ordering one tonight.

Kevin (Chatanuga),

I just got a Truck Tuner, some Kadee 36" wheelsets, and some Walthers passenger car trucks over the weekend.

Like you, I had been putting it off for a while.

I replaced the wheels in the Walthers passenger car trucks with Kadees after hitting them with the Truck Tuner. It worked out very well. The Kadee axles fit perfectly and the trucks roll much better.

-Kevin (SeeYou190)

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by PC101 on Monday, September 20, 2021 9:31 PM

doctorwayne

Tom's suggestion of using the truck tuner is a good one (although I do wonder why they didn't make it double-ended).

Wayne

 

A double ended cutter would not be a good idea. Having both cutting ends cut/true up the truck bearings could cut unequally. There could be a possibility when you remove the double cutter ended tool, you may scar the newly tuned truck bearings. So one tool end cuts and one ends is smooth is still the best way. 

I marked the cutting end with red paint and the smooth end is marked with green paint. Makes a quick color visual of the ends.      

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Posted by ricktrains4824 on Monday, September 20, 2021 10:04 PM

If these are the older (White box blue lettering) Walthers piggy-back flat cars, the wheels might also be rubbing on the underside of the car floor. Especially in curves. 

Truck tuner will not help if that is also an issue.

I replaced the wheelsets on mine, properly sized, to correct that.

Ricky W.

HO scale Proto-freelancer.

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1: It's my railroad, my rules.

2: It's for having fun and enjoyment.

3: Any objections, consult above rules.

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Posted by doctorwayne on Monday, September 20, 2021 10:45 PM

PC101
A double ended cutter would not be a good idea. Having both cutting ends cut/true up the truck bearings could cut unequally. There could be a possibility when you remove the double cutter ended tool, you may scar the newly tuned truck bearings. So one tool end cuts and one ends is smooth is still the best way.

I'm not so sure about that...when I use the truck tuner, I do both sides for both axles on each truck, holding the truck with a thumb and finger on the journal boxes of the journals being tuned .  With the light finger-pressure on the journals that are being tuned, the cutting should be similar for each side.

Removing the single-ended tuner could pose a similar risk, too, but I've never had that occur - with plastic trucks, it's easy enough to spread the sideframes for insertion and removal of the truck tuner.

A double-ended one would halve the eight installations and removals needed for one car...not much of an issue if you have only 20 or 30 cars, but if you have several hundred, it would make the process both easier and more efficient.

Just a thought, anyway - mine have pretty-well all been done, and it's unlikely that I'll be buying any more rolling stock.

Wayne

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Posted by PC101 on Monday, September 20, 2021 11:06 PM

doctorwayne
 
PC101
A double ended cutter would not be a good idea. Having both cutting ends cut/true up the truck bearings could cut unequally. There could be a possibility when you remove the double cutter ended tool, you may scar the newly tuned truck bearings. So one tool end cuts and one ends is smooth is still the best way.

 

I'm not so sure about that...when I use the truck tuner, I do both sides for both axles on each truck, holding the truck with a thumb and finger on the journal boxes of the journals being tuned .  With the light finger-pressure on the journals that are being tuned, the cutting should be similar for each side.

Removing the single-ended tuner could pose a similar risk, too, but I've never had that occur - with plastic trucks, it's easy enough to spread the sideframes for insertion and removal of the truck tuner.

A double-ended one would halve the eight installations and removals needed for one car...not much of an issue if you have only 20 or 30 cars, but if you have several hundred, it would make the process both easier and more efficient.

Just a thought, anyway - mine have pretty-well all been done, and it's unlikely that I'll be buying any more rolling stock.

Wayne

 

I'm not so sure either, it was just my thinking about a double cutter end tool.

I also tune my truck bearings as you do. That tool was one of my early additions to the build/repair of hunderds of BB and MDC and Accurail ''staple'' cars for my railroad. BUT only maybe a half dozen at a sitting/build.

 

EDIT: I now do think a double end cutter would be a good idea. IF both cutter heads do not cut at the same time while rotating the tool in one direction. If one head cuts in one direction the other cutter head would rotate and not cut, then reverse the rotation of the tool to cut the other bearing. I just pinch the truck between thumb and finger with one hand and roll the tool's rubber sleeve up my index finger then back down of the other hand. Does this wording make sense? So a double cutter head would work for me.

 

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Posted by hardcoalcase on Thursday, September 23, 2021 9:43 AM

Once you use the truck tuner, put a small amount of Kaydee's "Grease'em" (dry graphite lube) in each journal.  

Jim

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Thursday, September 23, 2021 9:50 AM

hardcoalcase
Once you use the truck tuner, put a small amount of Kaydee's "Grease'em" (dry graphite lube) in each journal.  

I did not do this.

I used Kadee wheels with plastic axles in the plastic Walthers passenger truck journals. Would this really help much? They seem really free-rolling now.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by Graham Line on Thursday, September 23, 2021 12:13 PM

Best thing to do would be to mark out a test grade on your railroad or create a ramp on a test bench to see if your cars roll properly as they are.  We have a 60" long grade that can be set at various grades. To be used on the layout, a car has to roll the length of the test grade at 2%.

We don't oil or graphite the axle points.  Contemporary Atlas and Walthers trucks pass. So do Intermountain wheels in Accurail trucks, just toname a few examples.

The important thing is not how cars roll, but that all cars pretty much roll the same.

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Posted by MisterBeasley on Thursday, September 23, 2021 1:12 PM

As I gradually replaced all my plastic wheelsets with metal, my rolling stock fleet improved.

I don't run modern equipment, but I've seen some longer cars with smaller-diameter wheels.  Are these the original wheelsets?

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

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Posted by Lastspikemike on Thursday, September 23, 2021 2:10 PM

Micro Mark didn't make the tool correctly? Has anyone tried to tell them?

One advantage of graphite as a lubricant is it isn't oily and doesn't pick up contaminants which is one reason it is found in lock lubricants. It does conduct electricity though.

Alyth Yard

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, September 23, 2021 2:18 PM

Lastspikemike
Micro Mark didn't make the tool correctly? Has anyone tried to tell them?

Look, it's a standard end reamer that has been machined off to one of whatever variety of gauges the tool is made and marketed  for.  I cannot imagine the fun involved in grinding and finishing accurate cutting edges into that reverse side, let alone rigging up some arrangement of high-ABEC-grade miniature bearings and 5-degree-step ratchets between the 'business ends' of two stock reamers.  Another 'improvement' I'm surprised not to see proposed is to put a threaded joint adjacent to the reaming head, threaded with opposite hand of course, so you could have just one cutter for all the different gauge options.

Not that it couldn't be done, mind you; just that the cost would be out of all proportion to the time saved or likely the real convenience gained for a 'representative enough' group of modelers, even if there weren't the potential issues with double-end cutting vs. centering that have been brought up.

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Posted by York1 on Thursday, September 23, 2021 3:30 PM

I still have so few cars that I don't run into too many problems.

I did, however, check to see if the wheel truck tuner is available for N Scale.  I couldn't find any.  I did find an article about it a while back.

Since N Scale is already too small for my clumsy fingers, I'm not sure I'd buy a truck tuner for my layout.  However, if I switch to HO, it looks like a tool I would want.

York1 John       

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Thursday, September 23, 2021 5:36 PM

York1
I did, however, check to see if the wheel truck tuner is available for N Scale.  I couldn't find any.  I did find an article about it a while back.

When I was in N scale, Micro-Trains trucks rolled like wet ice on stainless steel.

There was no need for a truck tuner!

Big Smile

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by tstage on Thursday, September 23, 2021 9:04 PM

If a plastic truck is tuned well so that it rolls freely then you do not need any sort of lubricant on the journals tips.  I've never added it to any of my 200+ pieces of rolling stock and they roll quite well.

Tom

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Posted by hardcoalcase on Thursday, September 23, 2021 9:04 PM

SeeYou190
 hardcoalcase: Once you use the truck tuner, put a small amount of Kaydee's "Grease'em" (dry graphite lube) in each journal. 

Would this really help much? 

-Kevin 

Most of the freight cars in my roster are Roundhouse Old Timers.  I use the truck tuner on the stock truck frames, then replace the plastic wheels with Kaydee metal wheelsets, and this makes a big improvement. 

My test track is a 8 foot long 2% grade down to a level track.  I've found that when I added the Grease'em, the trucks (going solo) or cars go several feet further on the level track.  

Jim

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Posted by doctorwayne on Friday, September 24, 2021 12:15 AM

If you want to see some real free-rolling qualities, go to page 7 of this THREAD, then scroll down to the photos on that page ...there's descriptive text with the photos. 

Like AC/DC, I was thunderstruck...total length of the roll was 61'.

Wayne

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Posted by chatanuga on Sunday, September 26, 2021 8:20 PM

So, the truck tuner arrived in the mail on Friday, and this afternoon, I was able to go down to the basement to examine the troublesome cars.

Taking the trucks off one of the 89-foot piggyback flatcars, I tried letting them roll down an empty yard track to see how far they would roll.  I thought they rolled okay on the workbench, but that test track is only four feet long.  On the layout, the trucks rolled freely about two yards before coming to a rather sudden stop.

I took the wheelsets out of the trucks, used the truck tuner, and then put the wheelsets back in.  I went to roll the first truck, and I had to chase after it as it took off down the track like a rocket, eventually stopping halfway around the layout.  I went through the rest of the trucks on the 89-foot cars, using the tuner on each one.  In some of the cars, even after using the tuner, some of the wheelsets still didn't run well, but if I flipped the axle around in the truck, they rolled perfectly smooth.

I got the train of 89-foot piggyback flatcars and the Front Runner cars back together, and while I could feel the weight as I pulled the string of cars by hand, they rolled noticably smoother.  Using the same locomotives that I'd been running at the time the overload kept coming on the transformer, they ran noticably smoother.  While the transformer got warm, which is normal, it didn't get hot, and when I checked, the locomotives were running cool.

I'll know more once I've got more time to spend down in the basement, but I think the issue may be resolved.

Kevin

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Posted by tstage on Sunday, September 26, 2021 8:42 PM

Exellent!  Thanks for the update, Kevin.  And your new truck tuner is now available anytime from your tool arsenal. Big Smile

Tom

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Sunday, September 26, 2021 9:23 PM

chatanuga
I'll know more once I've got more time to spend down in the basement, but I think the issue may be resolved.

This was good to read.

While I did not do any testing like yours, I was impressed at how much better the Walthers pasenger car trucks I experimented on rolled after the truck tuner was used.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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