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Traction Tyres - friend or foe ?

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Gavino, I do file the ends of Kato Unitrak, which has a slight "edge" at the rail ends because they are sheared rather than sawed to length when produced. I use a hobby flat file (not too rough), about 1 cm or 3/8 inch wide. I do a slightly angled (from the top running surface) stroke or two at each rail end, and another light stroke or two on the inside edge of the railhead.

 

If you snap some Unitrak together and run your finger across the joint, you will feel the rough transition. Filing just a bit will smooth this out. Also, if the two sections end up slightly "off" vertically when assembled, which can happen because the Unijoiner doesn't force a vertical alignment, a very slight filed ramp at the rail end will help to smooth the transition. It's generally not absolutely necessary to do, but I found it helps and have fewer derailments at track joints. Many N-gauge Japanese rolling stock pieces, especially freight wagons, are light in weight.

 

Rich K.

Edited by brill27mcb

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cteno4   

gavino,

 

rich is spot on, simple fine metal file and taking off that tiny edge can help a lot all around. 

 

for cleaning many of us use isopropyl alcohol at 50-70%. it plays well with most all plastics and things it will come in contact with. there are others as well like orange oil cleaner, tomix track cleaner (more solvents), etc that folks have use. search the forum here and you will find a load of track cleaning discussions and things like using cleaning cars vs your finger and a cloth.

 

cheers

 

jeff

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cteno4   

I can get you the E5, rest are US stock and there may be a few on this forum that might have some.

 

squid is spot on as there needs to be a notch cut out of the wheel for the traction tire to go in to bring it to the height of all the other wheels. you would need to turn a notch in your wheel on a lathe, but thats a bit of work. might also be able to buy wheelsets with traction tire notches that match and work in yours that dont have them.

 

jeff

Edited by cteno4

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Gavino, I do file the ends of Kato Unitrak, which has a slight "edge" at the rail ends because they are sheared rather than sawed to length when produced. I use a hobby flat file (not too rough), about 1 cm or 3/8 inch wide. I do a slightly angled (from the top running surface) stroke or two at each rail end, and another light stroke or two on the inside edge of the railhead.

 

If you snap some Unitrak together and run your finger across the joint, you will feel the rough transition. Filing just a bit will smooth this out. Also, if the two sections end up slightly "off" vertically when assembled, which can happen because the Unijoiner doesn't force a vertical alignment, a very slight filed ramp at the rail end will help to smooth the transition. It's generally not absolutely necessary to do, but I found it helps and have fewer derailments at track joints. Many N-gauge Japanese rolling stock pieces, especially freight wagons, are light in weight.

 

Rich K.

 

Thanks rich. I've noticed this too. Especially with double viaduct track. I just picked up a set of files at a hobby store. Thanks for describing your technique.

 

Gavin

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That might be a problem as any wheels with traction tyres attached which aren't designed for them will have a different diameter to the others which will make for wobbly running at best.

 

Thanks. That makes sense. 

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I can get you the E5, rest are US stock and there may be a few on this forum that might have some.

 

squid is spot on as there needs to be a notch cut out of the wheel for the traction tire to go in to bring it to the height of all the other wheels. you would need to turn a notch in your wheel on a lathe, but thats a bit of work. might also be able to buy wheelsets with traction tire notches that match and work in yours that dont have them.

 

jeff

 

Thanks. Yes, I'd appreciate a scan of the E5 insert.

 

Turning the wheel on a lathe is well beyond my skill (and tool) level. I would be interested in switching to tire-friendly wheel sets though.

 

Do you think the Bullfrogsnot stuff would cause the same height mismatch?

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cteno4   

Yes the bullfrog snot basically just makes a traction tire from the paste, so you would end up with something that would make on wheel larger than the others unless you have a wheel with the traction tire notch in it.

 

I'll pull out my e5. Pm me your email address to send a scan to.

 

Jeff

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cteno4   

BTW, the reports on bullfrog snot are quite good I've seen in other lists and forums. For some odd reason I think we have had Maybe one traction tires go on all the club members' trains over the last decade or so! I don't know why we have been so immune to throwing them! One member got some bullfrog snot to try figuring he was going to loose a tire but not yet!

 

Jeff

 

Also I pulled the traction tire threads together here and collected the posts on the heat shrink tires from the what's new thread (was buried in there) so it could all live together for better reference. Charle's wise idea,

 

I also moved the instruction sheet post out to its own tread in the worldwide models as it would be lost fast there in the traction tire one and folks that have us trains tend lo look there as well. Might be hard to find those on this forum, but should be easy on like the yahoo n gauge forum where gobs of us Modelers with Kato us locos. Also might check with Katousa they may have PDFs of them, worth a phone call to them. They also stock a lot of parts for their us trains as well. You can at times order Japanese parts from katousa, but they can take months to get here even if in stock in Japan as they go thru their big container orders. You also pay $8 shipping for s tiny part that airmail from a Japan shop is like $3-5 in two weeks or less!

 

http://www.jnsforum.com/community/topic/12353-kato-us-loco-instruction-sheets-needed/?do=findComment&comment=147832

Edited by cteno4
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Are traction tires on trains such as the KATO E6 and E3 not necessary, even when using them with the V12 or V2 bridge ramps? I know they do not need them when running them in conjunction with E5 sets, but what about running them independently?

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cteno4   

They are necessary on a train if they come with them as the notch in the wheel where the tire goes will cause the truck to not sit squarely w.o a traction tire there (i.e. One wheel will be a smaller diameter than the others w.o the traction tire groove). Is that what you are asking?

 

The e6 Kato runs fine on its own, but I've not tried it with grades. Not run a Kato e3, only Tomix and it does have traction tires I think on the Tomix.

 

The e3 and e6 may not have traction tires with Kato as smaller trains.

 

Jeff

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Bullfrog snot is seriously the best investment you can make.  Not only provided much needed repair to something I had a slim chance of seeing parts for, it also improved traction from original too.  Can't recommend it enough.

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Bullfrog snot is seriously the best investment you can make.  Not only provided much needed repair to something I had a slim chance of seeing parts for, it also improved traction from original too.  Can't recommend it enough.

Thanks. I think I'm going to experiment with it. Can you give me some pointers on application? Any tips of getting an even coating that isn't too thick? What works well as an applicator? Any tips on which wheels to apply to - front, back, adjacent vs. one on each truck? Anything about it that you know now, that you wish you knew when you started to use it? How long does it last?

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Gavino, I do file the ends of Kato Unitrak, which has a slight "edge" at the rail ends because they are sheared rather than sawed to length when produced. I use a hobby flat file (not too rough), about 1 cm or 3/8 inch wide. I do a slightly angled (from the top running surface) stroke or two at each rail end, and another light stroke or two on the inside edge of the railhead.

 

If you snap some Unitrak together and run your finger across the joint, you will feel the rough transition. Filing just a bit will smooth this out. Also, if the two sections end up slightly "off" vertically when assembled, which can happen because the Unijoiner doesn't force a vertical alignment, a very slight filed ramp at the rail end will help to smooth the transition. It's generally not absolutely necessary to do, but I found it helps and have fewer derailments at track joints. Many N-gauge Japanese rolling stock pieces, especially freight wagons, are light in weight.

 

Rich K.

 

Filing the sharp edges was a fantastic idea. Thanks. I just finished filing my double viaduct. The trains run much better. Derailing problems are no more. Also, an unexpected bonus is that the track is much easier to clean. The cloth no longer catches on the sharp edges at the track junctions. 

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Thanks. I think I'm going to experiment with it. Can you give me some pointers on application? Any tips of getting an even coating that isn't too thick? What works well as an applicator? Any tips on which wheels to apply to - front, back, adjacent vs. one on each truck? Anything about it that you know now, that you wish you knew when you started to use it? How long does it last?

 

Only ever applied to the originally tyred wheel as others will affect pickup and general behaviour on track.  Disassemble axle from the train so you can freely apply, I usually pick a popsicle stick with a flat edge cut on an end and spin the axle in my hand as I apply to the wheel.  A couple of moments after applying, place on an old piece of track and roll along to check flatness of application.  Then leave a few hours, should be done and dry then.

 

I've applied to two or three locos now, the oldest about a year and a half ago.  Still gripping, still strong.  They run 15 coach sets up ridiculous gradients, so it's definitely the best thing I've seen.

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The stuff I have came from Aldi of all places. I was just about to spend £5 plus post ordering some genuine Kato tyres when I realised that heat shrink is pretty similar and some I had looked about the right size. It has enough stretch to pull over the wheel rim and then pop neatly into the groove. I did have to cut a few slices of it before I got two I was happy with - the right width and reasonably parallel edges so it fills the groove without overlapping the sides. No lumps or ridges either.

 

As for grip, if you try to drag the power car by pulling a neighbouring coach the tyred wheels produce enough friction to flip the other wheelset on each power bogie off the track. Happy with that!

 

Got the 153 and 165 Series out for a quick photoshoot today. I think trying the same thing with Farish products from 1979 and 2015 would be somewhat embarrassing for the older model...

 

tmp_15076-received_10157888318540453-422

 

Is the heat shrink still working well for you? Any tips on application?

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squid is spot on as there needs to be a notch cut out of the wheel for the traction tire to go in to bring it to the height of all the other wheels. you would need to turn a notch in your wheel on a lathe, but thats a bit of work. might also be able to buy wheelsets with traction tire notches that match and work in yours that dont have them.

 

jeff

 

I'm beginning to seriously think about having a notch cut into the wheels to accommodate a tire/snot/heat shrink. I'll ask around, to find someone who could do this. I have neither the equipment nor the experience. I'll ask my local train store guy and maybe a jeweler. Do you know anyone who has done this? Who did they use?

 

Also, I get the reason to not to put a tire on a regular wheel. It makes perfect sense to me. However, is this theory, or do you know anyone who has actually tried it? If it doesn't work, I simply remove the tire. No harm, right? I can't imagine anything worse than having half my engines be unable to pull a train up my fairly modest grades. 

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cteno4   

Gavin,

 

I guess anyone with a small metal lathe and some small cutter blades could do it. You would need to pull the axle and use a bolt into the chuck to hold the wheel locked to cut. One of our club members is a jeweler and pen maker and this is the kind of lathe he has so that the type person you would need, or a machinist. One issue may be the plastic center plugs may not do well with the strain of the holding bolt. Could use a larger bolt head so it pulled in on the metal part rather than the plastic center.

 

I would first wait and see if it's needed for your setup and trains.

 

Definitely would need to get some spare part wheel sets as this may take a couple of tries to work it all out.

 

Jeff

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kvp   

The main issue could be power pickup as too many tires could result in no metal parts touching the rails. A tire on a normal wheel is even worse, as it could lift up one or more tireless wheels.

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cteno4   

Even the one tire per truck can be tricky as there is more traction on the traction tire wheel so that will tend to torque the truck some and cause the pickup wheels to ride differently and of course this would also change with direction. Getting the new traction tire level with the pickup ones needs some playing with the bullfrog snot. It does work well enough on many trains but rolling your own would mean some experimentation.

 

Jeff

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On 12/31/2016 at 2:03 AM, gavino200 said:

 

Is the heat shrink still working well for you? Any tips on application?

I haven't run the units fitted with it for a while, but both clocked up a few hours shortly after fitting with no visible wear to the rubber. The 153 Series is now an 11 car set so grip seems to be ok.

 

Most important thing is that you cut the sleeving squarely and parallel to make a band of equal width around the whole circumference, and that it fits into the groove without overhanging the outer edge. Check that the tyre is as thick as the original or the outer rim of the wheel may catch on the rails in pointwork, I'm not sure whether this stuff has a standard thickness. You don't need to shrink it as there's enough stretch in the rubber for it to grip the wheel firmly.

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