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Thread: Metal Wheels caused a short.

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    Default Metal Wheels caused a short.

    The other day when we were about get a OP session started, one of the guys heard one of my PSX units start chirping right after I fired up the layout up.
    It was coming from the PSX's that shield the yard. I couldn't find anything laying across the rails, none of the locos were derailed, so we started moving the two strings of cars to see if something was under them.

    Nothing....

    Then we noticed that when we started rolling one string of cars the chirping became intermittent? So we started taking the cars off one at a time. Of course, when we got to the last car in the string and it quit! It was an Exactrail boxcar, so I tossed it on the bad order tray.
    Tonight I got a chance to inspect it.

    One of the wheels did not have a plastic insert like the others do. Which was my suspicion. I confirmed this with my Ohm meter, great!
    I have a few packs of metal wheel when I was adding them to my weathered cars that I was selling a while back but not the correct ones. The only pack of Exactrail wheels I have are 36", the others are 33" narrow tread and I do not have an odd number of axles. Now I have to figure out what length of axles Exactrail are and see if I can find some, or change out the 33" with 36" which I don't think will be noticable.
    I doubt anyone has one or two axles laying in the junk drawer?

    Or I could just toss the damn things in the trash and use MTL trucks and wheels?
    The Little Rock Line blog


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    ExactRail uses .540" like Athearn, MTL, and BLMA

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    I bought a Kato baggage car on e-bay last year, and didn’t notice it had a melted truck until it started doing the same thing.

    The previous owner had replaced what must have been a completely destroyed axle with a metal one. With the contact strips on the truck, the metal axle was bridging both sides.

    I didn’t have a choice but to replace the truck. Fortunately, I had one available....
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ike the BN Freak View Post
    ExactRail uses .540" like Athearn, MTL, and BLMA

    I just finished measuring it when you posted, lol Thanks
    I found a FVM boxcar that had metal wheels as well and they're also .540"

    Now to find one or breakdown and pick up a pack, if I can find any?

    The Little Rock Line blog


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    I can't be the only modeler that keeps a stock of couplers, trucks, wheelsets, and other parts on-hand. I try to keep a full 10-pair pack of Micro-Trains trucks with couplers, short extension in both Bettendorf and roller bearing, plus whatever partial pack is open. For couplers, at a minimum, I keep a bulk pack of the ones formerly known as 1015 and a selection of the oddballs, 2001, 2004, etc. For metal wheels, I keep a 100 pack of the Micro-Trains size and 12 packs of the rest. Even though the hobby store is less thant two miles away, and on the way home from work, I find it much easier to have the most common parts on-hand when I'm working.

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    Another option is to message ExactRail, they make their own line of metal wheels too

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ike the BN Freak View Post
    Another option is to message ExactRail, they make their own line of metal wheels too
    This is the car with the issue: Exactrail Evans-USRE 5277 Boxcar.

    I went to their sight and can't even find a link to their wheels any longer. I'm gonna go out on a limb and say they wouldn't have any in stock anyway.
    I think a buddy said he may have a few extras of the widetread wheels, as he is switching his out to another brand.
    The Little Rock Line blog


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    I meant call or email them, but yeah, currently they are all sold out on wheels to sell

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ike the BN Freak View Post
    I meant call or email them, but yeah, currently they are all sold out on wheels to sell
    Yup I knew what you meant, thanks. I just figured since they didn't even have them listed any longer a call or email would be pointless.
    There may have been a chance that they had a few sitting around, but doubtful. Only needing one, I could see it as being a nuisance call for them.
    The Little Rock Line blog


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    Quote Originally Posted by Allen H. View Post
    Only needing one, I could see it as being a nuisance call for them.
    Or a PR opportunity... depends on the company philosophy.
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    Something I didn't see mentioned above...

    As long as one wheel of an wheel-axle-wheel set is insulated, everything should be okay, provided that all the axles on the same truck have the insulated wheels on the same side and there's no electrical path between truck sets.

    Can't count how many times I've shot myself in the foot by putting the insulated wheel on the wrong side.

    gdr

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Rowan View Post
    Something I didn't see mentioned above...

    As long as one wheel of an wheel-axle-wheel set is insulated, everything should be okay, provided that all the axles on the same truck have the insulated wheels on the same side and there's no electrical path between truck sets.

    Can't count how many times I've shot myself in the foot by putting the insulated wheel on the wrong side.

    gdr
    Gary,
    Three of the four axles on the car were just as you described. Three axles sets had one wheel with an insulator, one did not, both wheels on that axle DID NOT have an insulator.
    maybe it was a Monday or Friday at the factory when this car was assembled?
    In this case, it was just a typical freight car with nothing needing wipers or anything connecting the two trucks.
    As I said above,

    It was an Exactrail boxcar,
    Just like this one:
    The Little Rock Line blog


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    I had one of those in a 100-box of FVM replacement wheelsets... guess it's Monday or Friday every once in a while at just about every factory

    Yes, it takes a while to locate the culprit. And then a long flight towards the trash can.

    Heiko

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