Better Bearings For Williams Cars

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  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 305,205 posts
Better Bearings For Williams Cars
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, November 19, 2001 10:06 AM
What can we do to improve the weak needle bearings on Williams Alluminum Passenger cars? Short of replacing the trucks with Lionel "expensive". Has anyone drilled out the sideframes and inserted a bronze bushing for each wheel? If so, what was the source for the bearing? The cars are great, but the needles wear through the top of the sideframe and cause the cars to rock to the side. I run my trains alot and oil the bearings frequently. But they still don't last like Lionel.
Cheers and Happy Holidays, Keith
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 305,205 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, November 29, 2001 11:32 AM
I have the same problem with two of my lionel cars with fast angle wheels and needle bearings, one with plastic sides and one with metal. Thats why a guy gave me the cars at a TCA show last week!
I have come up with three sources of bearings: pop-rivet eyes if you can find the right size, available in aluminum or steel, real small brass gromlets and 1/8 inch brass tubing available at hobby shops that has good inside diameter fit for the lionel shaft. I have purchased 36 inchs of the tubing for about $2.50. I plan to cut two 1/16" deep slots in the end with a razor saw or moto-tool. This will quarter the end. Then cut off the about 1/8" straight tubing with the 1/16 inch slots. I will spread out the 1/16 inch cuts to make a flange. You also could solder small brass washers on the end of a 1/8" piece of tubing.
On the plastic truck, I will heat the bearing with a soldering gun and press it in the correct spot to be bearing from the inside of the truck. I would glue it with epoxy or Goo or Pliobond rubber type glue but I don't think it will stick to the deldrin (sp) plastic.

On the metal truck, I will epoxy it in, taking care to keep the glue out of the inside of the bearing.

This fix will not have a needle bearing anymore but it will be as good as the old lionel bearings. Keep them will oiled with syntheic oil or grease.
I will let you know how it works. I am putting my layout down for this Christmas season this week so it will be a few day till I try this.


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