Metal wheelsets

joetrain59 Aug 27, 2013

  1. joetrain59

    joetrain59 TrainBoard Member

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    Need to get some more metal wheels. Since I last ordered, Intermountain was about only game in town. Now we have BLMA, FVM, who also offers wide tread wheels.
    I have Peco Code 55 track. Let's hear your prefs, and beefs. Be gentleman now!
    Thanks,
    Joe D
     
  2. kalbert

    kalbert Guest

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    BLMA are beautiful, but cost a little more, and need durn near perfect track. FVM wide wheels don't look as nice, but cost less and perform outstanding on even the cruddiest track. I've not used the standard FVM wheels or EXR wheels so I can't comment on them. Atlas metal wheels are hideous, I don't know if they even still make them. I've been using BLMA wheels on cars I put a large amount of effort into detailing, for all the rest of the fleet FVM wides do just fine.
     
  3. GaryHinshaw

    GaryHinshaw TrainBoard Member

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    I prefer the BLMA and narrow-tread FVM wheels. Both have performed beautifully on my track, but I have taken great pains to make my track as flawless as I can manage. I have not tried the wide-tread FVM wheels. Note that the BLMA wheels have their back-side machined as well, if that matters to you. Another factor that will probably matter to you is axle length: I think FVM has the widest range of choices there.

    For some reason, I find that the ER wheels have a tendency to build up crud at an alarming rate, even when other wheels, running in the same train, on the same track, have negligible build-up. (This experience applies to the current ER wheels, not the new ones that are supposed to be machined in Utah, but which I think are not available yet.) It must have to do with the alloy used in those wheels, but I haven't tried very hard to figure out why.

    -Gary
     
  4. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

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    NWSL also offers wheels.
     
  5. joetrain59

    joetrain59 TrainBoard Member

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    ER wheels?? Thanks John, for NWSL info.
    Joe D
     
  6. Ike the BN Freak

    Ike the BN Freak TrainBoard Member

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    ExactRail.

    I don't think the Fox Valley wide wheels are worse looking than their narrow ones.
     
  7. Bourkinafasso

    Bourkinafasso TrainBoard Member

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    Btw, how about axle length?
    How do you know which length goes with which trucks?

    Seb
    N scale US trains
     
  8. Ike the BN Freak

    Ike the BN Freak TrainBoard Member

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    blw has on their site which axle length to each car. However the best/most accurate way would be to remove an axle from a car in question, measure it, and then purchase that one. MT trucks are .540 length, which is the same as BLMA, ExactRail, and Athearn trucks.
     
  9. jpwisc

    jpwisc TrainBoard Member

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    Not if you look at the directly from the side, but any angle and they look as bad as the old Atlas metal wheel sets. The difference is night and day if you have two cars coupled with the different widths on them. I have a few sets still roaming and I don't don't catch them until I shoot a low level photograph and it becomes painfully obvious.
     
  10. jhn_plsn

    jhn_plsn TrainBoard Supporter

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    Can anyone post a side by side to show the difference between the Fox Valley narrow vs wide treads? I bought a bag of the originals back when they first started selling them and they sure do look nice, but the Peco code 80 turnouts don't like them. The old InterMountain wheels with their wide treads run great, but don't look near as good. If the side shot looks the same I might elect to go with the wider treads for reliability sake.
    I know, I know. If I laid the track better it would not be an issue. Once I master hand laid track I may change my mind.
     
  11. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

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    First...decide if you are doing mainly still photograhy or more into running trains. Therein lies the answer. JMO YMMV.
     
  12. kalbert

    kalbert Guest

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    That is indeed the question to answer. Exactly why my runners are wide tread and stuff I plan to photograph gets finer tread. I've been known to cheat and swap wheels out for "better" ones before I start taking pictures or running trains depending on what would be "best".
     
  13. joetrain59

    joetrain59 TrainBoard Member

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    Yes, it is better than thy own eyes, using the Macro lens. Holy crap what one see's then. Close-up pix-vs-3' rule, two different worlds.
    Not cheating to swap out wheels for pix. That opens the door to image editing on layout pix. 'Nother thread, not here folks.
    Joe D
     
  14. Ike the BN Freak

    Ike the BN Freak TrainBoard Member

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    Well I'm never shooting photos are low angles. Plus I need wides to deal with NTrak layouts
     
  15. Nick Lorusso

    Nick Lorusso TrainBoard Member

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    John, I use the wides because my club with the permanent layout is code 80 and and the work great. And the co very well with Free-moN modules with code 55 also.
     
  16. jsoflo

    jsoflo TrainBoard Member

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    Neither do Peco Code 55 turnouts, for some reason they tend to pick on the switches, ride off them somehow....
     
  17. jpwisc

    jpwisc TrainBoard Member

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    You need pizza cutters for the NTrak layouts around here...
     
  18. Traindork

    Traindork TrainBoard Member

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    I've been converting the fleet to FVM thin threads. My main interest is running trains in endless circles so I'm very picky about having smooth track. No problems yet. I will use the wider thread if I can't find the thin ones. It's hard to tell the difference when I'm doing a rollby.
     
  19. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member

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    I think this is a runner vs collector type thing. Personally, at this stage of the game I am not interested in changing out wheelsets again. I'm keeping the MT LoPros which work fine for me. All of the pros and cons of these wheels or those wheels mean nothing. When you run long trains on Ntrak you want something that works. One of the things that make things work is consistency. Having the same wheelsets and the same couplers goes a long way to operational success.


    JPWISC wrote: "You need pizza cutters for the NTrak layouts around here..."

    I have no knowledge of what Ntrak clubs you are referring to but in our club we have some old modules built about twentyfive years ago when the club formed. These are mainly the corner modules. They really need to be replaced but we keep running on them. They have seen approximately 1,000 set up and tear down events so they have their share of bumps and bruises. They sag in the middle and have ski jumps at the joiner track area. Getting them level is a waste of time as there is nothing level about them. Still they give us and me, with my MT LoPros, no operational problems. Maybe one day we will replace them.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 29, 2013
  20. SknarfWl

    SknarfWl TrainBoard Member

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    I don't think there is a wheel set the looks better then BLMA. With that said, I do not have a problem with the looks of the FVM wide tread wheels. For me the difference is noticeable when they are side by side. If I was running on my own near perfect track or on Unitrack they would still be on my fleet of BLMA spine and '89 flat cars. I can only run on Ntrak layouts and BLMA wheels do not play well with the track work. I did some testing with FVM wide tread wheels and they worked well and I ordered 2 100 packs to convert the rest of my spine and flat cars.
     

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