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HO- Wheelset Axle length

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HO- Wheelset Axle length
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, October 30, 2002 10:48 AM
Now that I have read the April 2002 MR article on wheelsets, I am concerned about axle length. Did I miss something in the article? I guess if I am modeling HO, all axle lengths for wheelsets should be the same. Right?
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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, October 30, 2002 11:09 AM
One would assume so but they are not all the same length.
Tony's train exchanged has published an axle length chart.
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Posted by BRAKIE on Wednesday, October 30, 2002 4:40 PM
***,I think that the author of that article is confuse or something. I have been in the hobby 51 years and never had to worry over the axle lenght.I am currently using the P2K wheel set and have had no problems with converting the brand of cars I own nor has anybody I know that uses other brands of wheel sets with their cars.

I read the artice and thought then as I do now that was a waste of space.I have always warn my follow modelers that the so called experts are not always right.One must use sound judement in reading articles in any of the model railroad magazines your own experience will bare out what will work and what doesn't and what is good advice and what is not...If it works for you then why worry what the so called experts say??

Larry

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Summerset Ry 

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Posted by BentnoseWillie on Thursday, October 31, 2002 9:11 AM
It's true that articles like that are solutions to problems - if you don't have the problem, then the solution can be filed. I have had exactly the problem described - not on all my cars, but periodically as I change out plastic wheels for metal ones. It's usually just enough to affect whether a carbody sits level; that's enough for me to want to fix it.

The root problem is that HO scale trucks aren't true scale width - they're oversized, to make space for an oversized wheel tread. No big deal in itself, but add that to manufacturing variations in the wheelsets and in the trucks, and you can get problems.

When and if if one hits this problem, there's a solution on hand. If you don't, great, but I hardly think that it makes the article a waste of space.
B-Dubya -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Inside every GE is an Alco trying to get out...apparently, through the exhaust stack!
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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, October 31, 2002 3:20 PM
I agree with you, Larry.I've never changed out wheelsets and then had a car take on an exaggerated 'tilt' like the one in Mr. Strang's picture.
Not even back in the 50's when we put Silver Streak or Central Valley wheelsets into crude soft metal sideframes.
The last few years,for freight,I use Kadee #520 wheelsets in Athearn, MDC, Con-Cor, old Mantuas, and Train-Miniature trucks. If I'm fixing up an el-cheapo car,( Model Power, LifeLike, Tyco ), I scrap out the whole truck, plug the bolster hole, and replace it .
Maybe there is now a make of trucks out there that won't take the standard length P2K or Kadee wheelset properly ??? Or a make that has a serious tolerance problem ??? If so, a lot of us would like to know which make this is.
Hard to say... in the picture of Mr. Strang's hoppers,it appears as if they are all part of a 'fleet' from the same manufacturer, so no reason why the middle row is all a bit crooked, with the front car so bad it looks staged.
I wouldn't have noticed this without this thread, as I don't read the 'Workin' on the Railroad' column.
Good luck/ regards / Mike
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Posted by BRAKIE on Thursday, October 31, 2002 5:01 PM
Yo Willie,There are many things that will cause a car to lean besides the trucks.I think you should know how I model by now as much as I have posted over the last year and mention I use the Athearn truck with P2K wheels on 90% of my cars.Even the ones I don't I have never had that leaning problem that Lionel said he had...

Perhaps I am living right or the 51 years I have been in this hobby is paying off in experience. Or is it just plain luck?

Larry

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Posted by BentnoseWillie on Friday, November 1, 2002 6:53 AM
I dunno, Larry - I don't doubt your word, so if you say you haven't had this problem, I believe you.

I haven't hit a lot of cases of this, but I did find it with E&C hi-cubes and Kadee 33" wheelsets. The wheels are small, I know, but that doesn't explain the end play I had between axle ends and bearings. When I changed the wheels back, the end play was gone and the cars sat more level. Not dead level, but more level.
B-Dubya -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Inside every GE is an Alco trying to get out...apparently, through the exhaust stack!
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Posted by BentnoseWillie on Friday, November 1, 2002 6:56 AM
...and can someone tell me if my name appears on my posts? I don't want to be accused of trying to be anonymous... :^)
B-Dubya -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Inside every GE is an Alco trying to get out...apparently, through the exhaust stack!
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Posted by dknelson on Friday, November 1, 2002 8:21 AM
I was interested to read, Mike, that you can put Kadee wheels in old Mantua trucks as old Mantuas always seemed to be one truck with a more or less proprietary type of axle. (and their mounting was proprietary too meaning replacement trucks were hard to put on a Mantua car)
Remember the old Train Miniature which had horrid wheels but the truck sideframes looked pretty good? But oddly I learned that Train Miniature wheels seemed to be the one replacement wheel that worked OK in the old AHM sideframes, and so on and so on LOL. I'd replace my TM wheels but save them for my AHMs.

After a while in the hobby you get so used to working these things out through trial and error that it never even occurs to you that this might be the topic of an MR article. But if I had to write a monthly short article for MR it might occur to me just out of desparation for a fre***opic.
By the way yes I have had one car that leaned over due to a mismatch of wheels and trucks -- the end of the axel was so close to falling out of the truck that the car leaned. But ordinarily this would balance itself out through the four axles on any one car. In this particular case all of them came out bad on the same side -- what are the odds?
Dave Nelson
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Posted by BRAKIE on Friday, November 1, 2002 8:56 AM
Now I don't know about the E&C High cubes as I do not own any.I do know guys that do at the club and they have not said anything about it that I am aware of..Now before a car can be placed on the club layout it is inspected for correct coupler hight and wheel gauge and currently (or perhaps again and again and on and on) that is the job I seem to stuck with Superindent of Operations whose job it is to inspect cars among many other task.Now,If you say you have had that problem then I believe you..I have not heard of such at the club..

Now,as a pointer did you check the truck to see if it is warp or disformed? I have had that problem with some MDC/Roundhouse trucks over the years that is why I use the Athearn truck under those cars.

This may sound silly did you check the floor to ensure the body is seated correctly? I have done this myself while trying to finish a car in a ru***o get it done... MDC is bad about this.I have also found warp frames and floors which will cause a car to lean..Frames that are not seated correctly on the floor can cause a car to lean also.

I am not trying to be a smarty pants but thought I would give you these tips on leaning cars if you don't already know them.

Larry

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Posted by BR60103 on Friday, November 1, 2002 9:06 AM
Regret to say your name did not appear until I started this reply.
--David

--David

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Posted by BR60103 on Friday, November 1, 2002 9:10 AM
I've had just the opposite problem. I have a round house caboose and the sideframes are so tight the car won't roll by itself. I change wheelsets, but they were the same.
I replaced the trucks and now the caboose is a real danger on the layout when it's uncoupled during switching moves -- it takes off downhill and ends up a station or two away.
--David

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Posted by Anonymous on Friday, November 1, 2002 9:55 AM
Dave...you probably 'caught' me on this one...I went back and checked the only two old Mantua cars I still have left, and it appears I must changed out the original trucks for Tru-Scale/ Silver Streak trucks maybe 40 odd years ago.From the look of them, I replaced the bolsters with Tru Scale units due to the other difficulty you mentioned.Thanks for clarifying and my apologies for misleading anyone...my memory is apparently fading fast.
By the way...I found an interesting thing...the Silver Streak metal insulated wheelsets taken from those old trucks are a great fit in 1960's Rivarossi tender trucks, and sure beat those old 'Riv.' out-of-gauge deep-flange wheels.
best regards / Mike
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Posted by Anonymous on Friday, November 1, 2002 9:58 AM
Off the subject, David...thanks for stopping by my table at the Brampton train show and saying hello.It was nice to meet you.
best regards / Mike
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Posted by BentnoseWillie on Friday, November 1, 2002 11:48 AM
Larry - I have three of the E&C high cubes with this problem - I don't think it's truck warpage, although I'm tempted to put "purtier" trucks on them anyway.

No floor alignment issue - the floor, sides & ends are one piece!

I guess I'm just lucky :^S

B-Dubya (who wants to know how to get my dangblasted name to appear on my posts!) out -
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Posted by nfmisso on Friday, November 1, 2002 9:44 PM
They are NOT the same. Reboxx offers axle lengths from less than .980" to over 1.080" to match different applications. They have an applications chart on thier web site.

I have measured P2K at 1.008", Intermountain at 1.013" and Kadee at 1.018". Sample of one each. My measurement repeatablity is within ±.002". So they are distinctly different lenghts. P2K worked well in some McKeon hoppers, and Kadee worked well in some Walthers coil cars.

Nigel
Nigel N&W in HO scale, 1950 - 1955 (..and some a bit newer too) Now in San Jose, California

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