Probably a dumb question...

Sumner Sep 11, 2019

  1. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

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    Is it possible at times to change wheels on older locos where the flanges are too large to run on code 55 track? I'm interested in an older Minitrix FM H-12-44.

    Thanks,

    Sumner
     
    EMD F7A likes this.
  2. SP-Wolf

    SP-Wolf TrainBoard Supporter

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    It sure is -- North west shortline offers replacement wheel sets for Minitrix locomotives. Not sure when the sets will be available again. As NWSL is in the process of being sold. Keep an eye on the web site: http://www.nwsl.com/

    some folks have turned down the flanges themselves

    Wolf
     
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  3. EMD F7A

    EMD F7A TrainBoard Member

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    Second this. NWSL is great stuff, and great folks. We almost lost them to shutdown (I heard), but they announced last month that an employee is buying the business. See their site, lots of replacement parts to keep older locos running.

    OR!

    Check this out. Build a tiny lathe!

    https://www.popularmechanics.com/home/tools/how-to/a20341/rotary-tool-mini-lathe/

    Last option? Use your Dremel and attach the wheels individually to the post-and-screw type cutoff disc attachment (you'll need a 1MM tall makeshift sleeve around the set screw to center the wheel) and turn your rotary tool on at medium speed, use a diamond file to re-contour the wheel as it spins. Gentle pressure and centrifugal force are your best friends here.
     
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  4. randgust

    randgust TrainBoard Member

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    It its day the Trix FM switcher was one of the more solid designs out there. If you're going to the grief and cost of swapping wheels, consider swapping out the entire mech. John Sing changed out the mech in his after I redid the shell, I've heard the LL SW mech works and fits in the shell, maybe others.

    It solves the slow speed issues, if that's a problem to you, and probably also addresses DCC if somebody else chimes in here. John's pages on how he did this seem to have vaporized into the ether.

    I've done custom paint and handrails on that shell, I did one for John. The shell really isn't half bad if you get rid of the sewer pipe handrails and the milk-glass windows.
    [​IMG]
     
  5. SP-Wolf

    SP-Wolf TrainBoard Supporter

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    Well -- I opted for the Bachmann NW2 chassis on mine.
    It took a bit of grinding. But, it is doable. I feel the Bachmann mech is a bit better then the Lifelike (Especially with a new decoder)

    [​IMG]

    After mods and detailing
    [​IMG]

    And -- ready to get to work.
    [​IMG]

    Thanks,
    Wolf
     
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  6. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member

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    Very nice work!
     
    SP-Wolf likes this.
  7. bill pearce

    bill pearce TrainBoard Member

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    I did this to a switcher, SW2 I think but don't quote me. I placed a piece of fine wet or dry paper on a very hard flat surface, tile or glass or something, provided power to the motor with clipleads, and pressed the loco on the sandpaper with the motor running. Not perfect but solved the code 55 problem.
     
    Hardcoaler likes this.
  8. BNSF FAN

    BNSF FAN TrainBoard Supporter

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    I have this same unit but in a different paint scheme and was considering repainting it to Santa Fe. This picture just sold me on it.

    Good to know that the wheels or even entire mech can be replaced on these. Mine runs good as is but is loud.
     
    Hardcoaler likes this.
  9. BNSF FAN

    BNSF FAN TrainBoard Supporter

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    Fantastic job Wolf!
     
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  10. Bumbazene

    Bumbazene New Member

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    Did you not have any problem with metal 'dust' getting up into your mechanism?
    If not, this seems like an easier solution than trying to jerry-rig a mini lathe sorta thing.
     
    acptulsa likes this.
  11. bill pearce

    bill pearce TrainBoard Member

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    Nope. The bit of water on the paper combined with the slow speed I ran it eliminated most of the dust problems. When done, I blew it out with my airbrush. Never a bit of problem.
     

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