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I have built quite a few kits over the last couple of years and really enjoy the challenge. However, i have ran into a bit of an issue. After testing a few locos on the straight, most run perfectly well. The other day i finally cleaned my layout, track and sorted out a few niggling areas and tested a couple of the locos. The problem is i have a couple of curves which are a little on the tight side and most of my kit built locos wont go round them without derailing due to binding. RTR have no issues. Checked all the usual back to backs etc and all are good.

 

Would a flangless middle wheel solve the problem? Or do i need to build a new layout with more generous curves?

 

Many thanks

Ian

Edited by ianLMS
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Are the coupling rods jointed in the middle and is there a reasonable amount of sideplay for the wheels? If not, that might be your problem.

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Hi Ian,

 

Its a little tricky to advise without more information regarding which loco's and the radius of the curves. However, have you looked at axle sideplay?

 

Kind regards,

 

Richard B

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Posted (edited)

Most of my gearboxes are mounted on the centre axle reducing side play somewhat. I have both fixed and jointed coupling rods, fixed bearings and some with partially sprung or fully sprung hornblocks. All are pretty much affected. I would say the radius on the worst curve is a little tighter than 2nd, although all of my rtr locos navigate them without any issues.

 

For my next build i am going to mount the gearbox on the rear axle and allow much more side play in the middle to see if that improves the running

Edited by ianLMS
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Posted (edited)

I have just removed a gearbox from my Webb Coal Tank and tried negotiating the curves with just the rolling chassis, coupling rods still connected. The front wheels get pushed off the track sideways so even with maximum side play on the chassis, it still struggles to go around. 

 

Looks like a layout rebuild on the one end is in order or stick to rtr until i can afford to build a new layout which can have more generous curves.

Edited by ianLMS
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Surely quicker to disassemble the chassis and reduce the spacer widths?  A pain to be sure.

 

In any case, I think replacement of rigid rods for articulated is in order.  Springing/compensation is going to help.

 

It seems to me that you might want to try all your loco chassis without motor/GB to see which are the worst.

 

Or, you could try selling them to someone with more generous layout curves.

 

John

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I have around 15 kit built loco's and will try tbem out over the next week or so to see if any work or not. Selling them is probably the last thing i would do amd i would rather rebuilt part of the layout if it came down to it. I am toying with the idea of a new layout anway and this might help push me towards that option. 

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Obviously the easiest thing is to install flangeless center drivers, but to me that would look awful.

 

As I suspected, you secretly want a new layout and this is just the excuse for that.  A good thing, I think, because as time goes on we learn so much. Putting that knowledge and experience to good use on a new layout would be great.

 

John

 

 

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Kit built locos don't tend to sell for particularly good prices and having put all the work into them you may regret selling them, if not immediately at sometime in the future.

Personally I don't have an issue with flangeless wheels, unless you're looking at them from near enough track level it's not that noticeable in my opinion.

To see how you feel about them try an ad in the wanted section for some depending on what make and size other wheels are, someone may have one or two they're willing to part with.

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21 hours ago, brossard said:

Obviously the easiest thing is to install flangeless center drivers, but to me that would look awful.

 

Only easy if you can obtain the wheels concerned - that might be a problem these days.

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15 minutes ago, Michael Hodgson said:

Only easy if you can obtain the wheels concerned - that might be a problem these days.

 

If worst came to worst, the wheel flanges could be ground off by mounting a wheel and axle in a Dremel and running against a file.  I have done this to make Romford wheels compatible to more modern standards.  I don't know if this would work with Gibson et al wheels.

 

John

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Thanks all. I have a spare wheel or two so might try grinding one down just to see if its something i can do well enough and see how it looks. It might be a year or two before i get around to a new layout, although i am in no major rush. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

To update, i managed to trim down the flange on my Coal tank using my proxxon drill and a file. It did improve things however, i do not really want to do this to all my locos and i even had trouble with a rtr Crab. So, with heavy heart i have ripped up the offending end of the layout, removing the station and platforms and have worked out a way of adding enough width to enable a large enough radius curve by adding a few inches of board near the window. All it means is access is a bit more restrictive to the far corner but i shpuld be ok to reach for cleaning etc. Track has already arrived, just waiting for more cork to relay that section. 

 

Ian

Edited by ianLMS
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A bit late to the party, given you've ripped stuff up, but if I'm right in assuming that your generally centre-driven axle is rigid, and the fore and aft axles in hornblocks, would a possible solution be to make duplicate hornblocks with the axle bushes fitted from inside and then flush to the outside of the hornblocks to give you some play.

 

You may need a very thin washer to ensure tyres don't touch frames, but just a thought.

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