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Plastic wheel sets

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Plastic wheel sets
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, March 6, 2002 3:56 PM
In the April 2002 Model Railroader, Lionel Strang recommended replacing plastic wheel sets with metal. Question: how do you tell whether the wheels are plastic? The metal wheels are non-magnetic. The only way if not easily identified is to use an xacto tool to see if I can scape material off of the wheel...or use a soldering iron hoping I don't melt the plastic axles with the heat. Are there known HO brands that used plastic wheels in the past (assuming I can tell the manufacturer)?
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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, March 6, 2002 7:42 PM
Most HO cars come with plastic wheels. If you purchase some metal wheels and compare them to your existing wheels you'll see the difference immediately.
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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, March 6, 2002 9:29 PM
As far as I know, Accurail, Athearn, MDC, and Red Caboose all use plastic wheels, Proto 2000 (and 1000) use metal, in fact the Proto 2000 wheels are highly recommended. I can't afford to replace all mine just yet, but found the Accurail wheels roll poorly, the Athearn seem better. I'm thinking this is a truck/axle problem, not the wheels, and may try some graphite on the axle ends (not oil! it picks up dust, making things worse). Haven't tried that yet.
Dean
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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, March 7, 2002 4:30 PM
I just bought some Proto 2000 wheel sets.

I was going to replace sets not wheels.

I assume Kadee has metal wheels since they sell them.

What about Kato and Atlas?

Some plastic ones are easy to tell.
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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, March 7, 2002 7:36 PM
Generally the metal wheels are heavier than plastic. Kato makes trucks w/ wheels. I have found that the most cost effective metal wheels are those made by Intermountain. They are available in bulk from DLA for ~$47/100 wheelsets.
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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, March 7, 2002 7:37 PM
If nothing else, check the Walthers catalog. Almost all of the trucks and wheelsets they list are identified as being plastic or metal. Some of the metal sets are even identified as brass or some other metal compound.
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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, March 13, 2002 3:28 PM
Lifelike neither identifies that their sets are metal on the package or in the catalog. But they appear metal but the MR article has a photo showing the exact Lifelike package. So I can be positive they are metal. It does look like Lifelike would identify them as non-magnetic metal wheels since that is a selling point.
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Posted by BRAKIE on Wednesday, March 13, 2002 5:14 PM
Yes,The P2K wheel sets are metal.IHMO the best you can buy.

Larry

SSRy

Conductor

“Shut one’s eyes tight or open one’s arms wide, either way, one’s a fool.” Flemeth-the witch of the Wilds.
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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, March 14, 2002 7:45 PM
I've used P2K and Intermountain semi-scale types. The Intermountain types seem to roll better in P2K and Accurail trucks. P2ks are good too.

I tryed out three cars with Intermountain semi-scale wheels on my clubs layout and they worked perfectly.
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Posted by Anonymous on Friday, March 15, 2002 4:47 PM
Metal wheels are heavier. Once you see a set you will have no problem telling them apart from plastic.They sound different on the rails. Plastic wheels are mostly a shiny black plastic(a few exceptions). Check out an Atlas rtr car or even a new Athearn RTR car at the hobby shop to see what metal looks like. The thing with plastic is not their rolling characteristics..the basic el cheapo Athearn freight truck probably rolls as good or better than any substitute. Its the look,sound,extra weight..and they do not tend to dirty up the track as much as plastic.
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Posted by relation on Saturday, March 16, 2002 3:37 PM
Jim were can I get intermountain metal wheels for $47/100.

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