Traction Tires ...

Randy Clark Jul 19, 2019

  1. Randy Clark

    Randy Clark TrainBoard Member

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    For whatever the reason, my FEF3s are going through traction tires like crazy. Two questions for you guys.

    1. Do you thing the abrupt side thrust of running all Unitrack rail could cause then traction tires to try and slip on the drivers? All of my curves are super elevated curves.

    2. Does anyone else use adhesive to try and keep the traction tires in place?

    For a while I used Bull Frog Snot as an adhesive to hold the traction tires in place. Now I am using a clear Elmers Glue product. So far I have about 6 to 7 hours on the Elmers.
     
  2. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Another thing to try is a dilute acrylic paint (say grimy black) inside the wheel rim where the TT sits. Let that dry.

    But, you shouldn’t be wearing them out that quickly. Make sure you don’t drag the units with the TTs.
     
  3. Lawrence

    Lawrence TrainBoard Member

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    Hey Randy, that does all sound a bit crazy, 7 hours out of a set of traction tyres, either you have a massive layout or are hauling some massive loads at full throttle all the time. I have used BF snot to good effect on a small shunter which gave me great traction even moving 6-10 cars around, albeit at lower speed, and all of this is on Kato unitrack.
    If you do have big hauls are you able to double head or use a helper mid train? Is it possible your BTBs are out causing too much lateral movement?
    Always worth dropping an email to https://www.katousa.com/about-kato.html to see if they can shine a light on the issue.
     
  4. Randy Clark

    Randy Clark TrainBoard Member

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    Maybe my wording is too critical. I have been running 12 hours now with the traction tire affixed with Elmer's Clear glue. I can at least get a couple weeks out of traction tires or more. I have 3 FEFs and I swap them out regularly when I am running steam. I was thinking that maybe I am pulling too much weight with 10 to 14 Kato Passenger cars or 30 Microtrains cars with my 838. I have 7 micro trains heavyweights running today. Generally I keep trains to about 8' in overall length or the fill too many scenes at a time. Modern trains, are longer, around 12 feet.

    I don't fly around the layout. 50 SMPH or less. Anymore and all you do is wear out mechanisms.
     
  5. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    In 9+ years, I’ve only changed the TTs on my GS4 twice, and I run that train a lot. Pulling 12-16 car Daylight consists. At home, the layout is all Kato Unitrack.
     
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  6. Lawrence

    Lawrence TrainBoard Member

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    LOL, I couldn't fit that many coaches on my layout! Still a pretty hefty haul, prototypical or not. I would still ping Kato USA an email and ask some questions about the capabilities of the loco, they may say you're hauling too much or they may ask you to send them back for investigation. I guess it is worth the time getting in touch as clearly it is affecting your enjoyment of running trains and generally companies don't like unhappy customers, especially when they are members of global forums ;) You would think there would be no issues running a loco on track from the same manufacturer after all.
     
  7. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

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    Watch out...Barstow Rick will be here soon ... ;):whistle::LOL:
     
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  8. Randy Clark

    Randy Clark TrainBoard Member

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    The traction tire seems to gripping the steel driver well.

    I thought about going to a solid wheel vs traction but it is the drivers with the gear! Whoops, bad idea.

    I wonder how they would pull with all metal wheel sets?
     
  9. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    My ears were burning and now I know why.
    Thanks for warning them George.

    BarstowRick is here.
    Don't get me started. To late! :)

    First off this is an inherent problem with Traction Tires. Not your fault.

    You aren't the first one to run into this problem and you won't be the last one.

    Here we go:

    Consider the material used to make traction tires. Rubber, vinyl, latex, and even rawhide has been used. All of these will break down with minimal wear and tear.

    I've never had any luck with those annoying, darn, dratted, frustrating, always breaking, confounded, fracking, cracking, high maintenance, poorly engineered alternative for good traction.

    Presenting those :censored: traction tires. The dreaded one of two "T" words used by model railroaders. It doesn't matter what gauge I've worked in S, O, Garden, HO, and N Scales it's always the same. My locomotives that have the "T" tires (I say that like it was a four letter word :censored: and it is in my book) have spent more time in the shop then on my model railroads. Often times those units ended up parted out and even sold as scrap.

    I agree with Lawrence, you may be trying to pull to much. I use a rule of thumb: Ten cars per locomotive. I own an N scale FEF 3 and if running more then ten cars I would add in an F7 or GP7 unit behind it. Not pretty and anti-steam for sure. Now back to operations: I add a unit (diesel/motor) per each ten cars added. That rule applies to both passenger and freight cars. Making sure they are properly weighted. Not overly weighted. You are about to find out why. I have 2+% grades and they pull nicely.

    Some of the guys and gals right here on Train Board, have built custom tenders, box cars, reefers, and even baggage cars with a mechanism built in to covertly assist the locomotive. A way to hide that F7. If you get my drift.

    I'd never use Elmer's glue on any drivers. Your just asking for trouble. It will break down, leave hunks of junk around that can be sucked up into the drivers, running gear and internal gears in the locomotive. Not fun to clean out.

    My favorite alternative to the disenchanting "T's, is Bull Frog Snot. Applied properly it will give you hours of service. As of yet I can't tell you what that is, as my layout is down and has been for sometime.:( I have at least three years of intermittent wear on one steamer. The one I used to experiment with. Maybe over 38 hours. Still no apparent wear.

    Elaborating, I won't use BFS with the "T's". One or the other but not both...together.

    I've tried the black paint. It's okay but won't solve the problem. You'll get longer life out of the T's but eventually they will break. :sick:

    I say of the "T's", can you finish this? "It's a poor man's excuse for a good running locomotive." Did I stutter, no, I wasn't kidding.o_O

    I can only hope that helps.:cool:
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2019
  10. Lawrence

    Lawrence TrainBoard Member

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    Rick makes a good point re BF Snot, if you are going to use it, remove all the traction tyres and apply it as a replacement, it took me a couple of attempts to get it right but, up against what was originally on there, well it was like night and day!
     
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  11. Randy Clark

    Randy Clark TrainBoard Member

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    I have a Challenger that may get stripped and retired with BFS. It absolutely pulls horribly. Maybe 6 MicroTrains Heavy Weights up a 2% grade. 2nd worst pile of money I ever spent. But I can't wait for the EM1 Bachmann's next run.
     

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