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Thread: Metal Wheels

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    Default Metal Wheels

    This is possibly a newbie question..

    Tonight I was in my favorite hobby shop looking to add cars to my fleet and saw that most had plastic wheels. They had mostly Atlas and Micro Trains. I was kinda surprised since the cars in my Kato starter and inter-modal sets had metal wheels. With N-scale does metal vs plastic wheels matter as much as with HO? I'd like to continue using metal wheels if possible. Whats they best way to go about this?

    Thanks

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    I have started to change all of my wheel sets to metal, since around 2010.
    In my opinion it makes a difference in tracking and it does add a little weight to the car. At first I bought a few different brands, as I read about people liked one over the other.
    I, and this is my opinion, the Atlas were what I went for. They have different ones so between them the wheels will fit any truck that i have. Whether, Atlas, Bachmann, Athearn or Micro Train.
    I have never had a set that needed adjustment, out of over 200 wheels and axles sets.:chocho:

    I have had many of the plastic axles bend and cause the wheels to move inwards. This causes derailing.
    So a few times a year I buy a pack of the Atlas replacement metal wheels. So over the next year I should have all of my 150 plus cars done.
    If I am lucky though, I will have bought a few more tank cars that will need wheel changing.
    Ken Price
    http://s567.photobucket.com/albums/s...ice/?start=all

    It's around 1996-1999. UP, MP, SP. South Valley Railroad. Some where in the west of Texas. Near San Angelo.
    Started in 2007, Super Empire Builder with radio throttles.

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    I`ve changed our fleet over to metal and would recommend it

    check out fox valley models 33" wheels can get them in 100 axle packs for about $55
    Modeling the Pennsylvania Railroad Middle Divison in 1954

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    If you are using Kato unitrack, and decide to go with FVM 33", get the wide flange ones. The narrow flange wheels have a tendency to derail.

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    Yes I forgot to put it in my post but the wide wheels will be better
    Modeling the Pennsylvania Railroad Middle Divison in 1954

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    I'm also using metal wheels (again, FVM wide wheels) and am switching the cars over before they go on the layout. I'm also using current sensing track detectors, so half of them have 10k-ohm chip resistors installed so they will activate my ABS signals.

    The FVM wide wheels comply with the NMRA standards. The narrow ones don't and are prone to falling into the gaps at turnout frogs.
    Tim Rumph
    Modeling the Southern Railway in N-Scale

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    I've heard that FVM narrow wheels and BMLA wheels fall into the frogs on Unitrack, but that has not been my experience. I've never seen that problem. I have around 250 sets of FVM's and 50 or so of the BLMA.
    The BMLA wheels are very nice looking, but I love the convenience of buying the 100 pack of FVM's.

    don

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    i also use FVM Metal wheels
    slowly but surely the fleet is getting converted over

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    The only problems I've had at turnouts are with metal wheels. All my stuff is used so I'm not sure the brands, but a lot fall into the peco turnouts, even my kato's that came with metal wheels. I don't know if this is a metal wheel issue or a peco issue or what. It only rarely causes any trouble, but most metal wheeled rolling stock will quite visibly shake/tip when going over the frog.

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    Peco turnouts are well built and reliable, but built for European standards. The flangeways for the guard rails and frogs are too wide for North American standards.
    When I used them ( and I liked them a lot), I shimmed the guard rails and filled the frogs and recut the flangeways. This made them work great, as long as the wheels were in gauge.

    Don

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    I swap the plastic out for the metal as the budget allows. I will add that the plastic ones are great for track-side detail or as a load.
    A-Train
    St. Cloud, MN

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    Is there a brand of metal wheels that would play nicer with the peco turnouts?

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    Quote Originally Posted by baronjutter View Post
    Is there a brand of metal wheels that would play nicer with the peco turnouts?
    As I only use the Atlas metal wheels and have some Peco switches, I have never had this problem.
    Ken Price
    http://s567.photobucket.com/albums/s...ice/?start=all

    It's around 1996-1999. UP, MP, SP. South Valley Railroad. Some where in the west of Texas. Near San Angelo.
    Started in 2007, Super Empire Builder with radio throttles.

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    Coming from HO, I'm just completely surprised that metal wheels aren't just about considered standard. I also almost had sticker shock when I saw how much the FVM wheels are. The Kato starter set comes with metal wheels.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lagerstout View Post
    Coming from HO, I'm just completely surprised that metal wheels aren't just about considered standard. I also almost had sticker shock when I saw how much the FVM wheels are. The Kato starter set comes with metal wheels.
    Mass-produced aftermarket metal wheels in N scale have only been available for less than a decade, that's why.

    Metro Red Ln (Metro Red Line)
    Under the streets of Los Angeles

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    I changed the wheels on most of my fleet, except the ones that just sit on a siding. I use FVM wheelsets, just make sure you get the correct ones. Also I needed them to make resistor wheelsets for block detection.
    "It's not whats best......It's whats best for you"

    Gary

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    In the last couple of months I have changed my entire fleet to FVM 33" metal wheels. The models roll easier (IMO)
    than the plastic wheels. I just had to get two different axle sizes .540 and .553 to fit all my rolling stock.
    Cheers, Paul
    President & CEO of the BHRR

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    I run narrow FVM either 33 or 36, based on the car. I don't have derailing problems with my true track. The only time I have issues is when my cars are too light.

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    Metal wheels have been around since the beginning of the scale. The older ones have tall flanges nicknamed "pizza cutters." More prototypical ones are the people talk most about. But with their narrower tread and small flanges they don't always do that well with imperfect, older or NEMA spec track.
    Use what you know about the world to model…
    Learn from modeling what you don't know about the real world.



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    I have some beautiful weathered and graffitied Athearn cars that don't roll well at all , I'm going to have look at metal wheels ASAP.

    Are there typical applications where 33" or 36" wheels are used ?

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