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Thread: Plastic low profile wheel selection

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    Default Plastic low profile wheel selection

    I am getting ready to embark on replacing the pizza cutter wheel sets on a few hundred pieces of MT rolling stock. I have decided to stick with plastic, but I'm trying to decide between Atlas branded "low profile wheel sets for Micro Trains trucks" and the Micro Trains branded "standard" profile (which is basically their medium profile that is code 55 compatible). I have found many discussions on metal vs plastic, on people's preferences for the makers of metal, but I've not seen much if any discussion regarding Atlas vs MT plastic wheels.

    I have some newer MT rolling stock that came with the new "standard" profile and I have some Atlas rolling stock with their low profile wheels. Both seem to be fine, and I haven't noted any strong reason to prefer one or the other. With that in mind, I'm looking for input before buying several hundred wheel sets, as I don't want to have an "aha" moment after switching them all and wishing I'd gone with the other.

    So, to summarize, replacing Micro Trains high profile wheel sets with either Micro Trains branded modern "standard" profile or Atlas branded "low profile for Micro Trains trucks", either way in plastic. Do you have any pros/cons or strong opinions on which to go with?

    Also, as an aside, I have a few pieces of Fox Valley rolling stock that came with metal wheel sets. The pieces are just two years old, so I was surprised to find a slight ticking as they run across Atlas code 55 track (seems slightly more pronounced on sectional track than on flex track). I thought the FVM metal wheel sets were low enough profile for code 55 track. Any thoughts on this?

    Thanks!

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    Welcome aboard! Our resident experts on rolling stock will be with you shortly.

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    I've used both, and found the MicroTrains low profile wheelsets to roll quite a bit more freely in MT trucks than the Atlas Low Profiles for MT.

    Less free rolling helps to avoid the slinky effect, if that bothers you. Could be one point in Atlas' favor, as well as having a better color, and being a little cheaper. But I never bought the Atlas wheelsets again after the first package. I like MicroTrains low profiles better.

    I've never jumped on the metal wheelset bandwagon, so I can't really help you there.
    "Do Not Hump!?!?! Does that mean what I think it means?!?"--Michelle Blanchard

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    I've got a hoarde of the MT ones I'd be willing to let go of, PM me if you're interested
    Did someone say whitcomb?

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    Quote Originally Posted by georgiaNscaler View Post
    ... I was surprised to find a slight ticking as they run across Atlas code 55 track. I thought the FVM metal wheel sets were low enough profile for code 55 track. Any thoughts on this?

    Thanks!
    I've not noticed this with my FVM equipped cars. Then again, I have a roaring -- literally -- case of tinitus as well.
    Last edited by Paul Schmidt; 11th Jan 2019 at 05:59 AM.

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    I have hundreds of both Atlas low-profile wheelsets for MTL, and MTL standard (medium profile) wheelsets, and my experience has been:
    - the MTL wheelsets roll a little more freely than the Atlas (which may or may not be a good thing), and
    - a small percentage of the Atlas wheelsets have a slight wobble, so I discard them.

    About 10% of my freight cars have metal wheelsets of various types, and I don't consider them to be any better than the MTL standard wheelsets.

    I do not recommend the MTL low-profile wheels which have a pizza-cutter (sharp) flange as I found them to be almost as unreliable as the high-flange pizza-cutters on reverse/push moves.

    Regards,
    Ron
    https://gulflines.blogspot.com/

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    I have quite a few MT cars and have converted most of the others like Atlas, Bachmann & Life Like over to MT trucks and all my MT truck equipped cars have MT Low profile flanged plastic wheels and have had no issues with them either when pulling or pushing a string of cars.
    I also have some cars equipped with FV metal wheels that I tried to see if they stayed cleaner longer and or ran better but I saw no difference and continued to rum the plastic MT's and at times I have ran trains mixed with metal and plastic wheels all on Atlas code 55 track and have no issues with that combo, I guess it all depends on what works for one.
    Boilerman

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    I tried the MT low-profile wheels and it didn't go well, mostly on stringlining on longer trains with those cars up front. I haven't observed that on the 'current' standard wheel which is the mid-flange. Normally I'm still running pizza-cutters, although I've had acceptable results from everything but one run of narrow-tread BLMA metal wheels a while back.

    I'm just not a fan of Atlas wheels and trucks, period, mostly because of the couplers, so the trucks, wheels, everything goes and gets replaced with MT. I haven't had derailment issues but those couplers....ugh. I do magnetic uncoupling and they just don't work right at all.

    I still have enough 'issues' with gunk buildup that I got an ultrasonic cleaner just for wheel maintenance.
    Randgust N scale kits web page at www.randgust.com

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    I wish I would have seen this sooner. I removed every plastic wheel from my layout and would gladly have sent them to you to get them out of my house.

    The clicking you are hearing with the metal wheels is them hitting your track joints. If you stand trackside on the prototype, you will hear a similar (but larger) noise as metal wheels hit track joints. Try a light filing to smoothen out height discrepancies.
    Karl

    CEO of the Skally Line, an Eastern MN Shortline

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