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Heljan replacement loco wheels


brian daniels
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A quick way of telling is that the old wheels appear a brassy dull brown/black colour where as the new wheels are nickel silver in appearance with bright faces. The older wheels tarnish very quickly although having said that some of my very early loco's that hadn't been on the layout ran perfectly straight from the box. I expect though that once the protective coating has worn off then the tarnish sets in if not run daily.

In a nutshell anything that preceeded Falcon and the class 58 in 2008 had the old type wheels.

Hope this helps.

 

So in other words Westerns definitely...how about a Kestrel? Can't remember when it came along...

 

 

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Inlays arrived this morning. They don't fit. It appears that the Western wheels should have a much deeper inset than the standard ones.

 

So, what are the options.

File down the inlays so they don't stand proud. This would mean getting them paper thin.

Use one to make a jig so I can drill the holes into the wheel.

Put the wheels in as they are and hope that weathering and brake rigging diguises them.

 

Do you know ? I can live with the incorrect shape of the cab roof on the Western, but incorrect wheels. Nooooooooooooo.

Anyway that's just my opinion.

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  • 3 months later...

Hello Folks,

 

As a result of reading this thread I've had an attempt at replacing the Heljan ones with the Bachmann coach wheels.

I also checked the dimensions;

 

Bachmann wheels = 14.1mm

Heljan wheels = 15.0mm

 

Bachmann over flanges = 15.72mm

Heljan over flanges = 16.34mm

 

Quite a scale difference, but with running and visually I havent noticed much, I'm sure if you were to measure the loco's hight there would be a reduction.

 

I have added a link to my fotopic gallery so you can make your own decisions.

 

http://galleryroy.fotopic.net/c1947763.html

 

Hope it helps those who chose to change them a bit easier to under take the work.

 

Regards

 

Roy

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  • 4 months later...
I have a BR Blue 33 (33 211) that does not run very well. Would this be a possible solution? The wheels appear to be clean, and the DCC decoder works fine in another loco. It run rather jerky and usually needs a push to get moving to start with. It's not the track as my other loco's run fine.

 

Not sure how old this model is, as I don't have the model number handy. Anyone believe this is part of the affected batch of bad wheels?

 

I had a similar problem to this recently, but having both new and old-wheeled versions of Heljan 26 / 27s the problem was common to both. The acceleration was jerky and inconsistent, with a very high starting voltage.

 

The solution came from cleaning out the bogie assemblies of all the grease. It sounds counter-intuitive but has really improved the running of the 26 (I've yet to do it to the new-wheeled 27). Tricky business but well worth the effort.

 

Incidentally, I've also cleaned up the brass wheels on the 26, getting rid of all the dirt that was on them from manufacture. Apparently this is supposed to help polish the wheels as they are run in, but being an impatient type I cleaned it all off. This may have had some impact on the running quality, but the improvement was no-where near as significant as cleaning all that grease out.

 

I might end up running the 26 and 27 with 'hybrid' wheelsets - 2 new axles and 2 brass ones each - as I don't fancy paying £12 inclduing postage for a whole new set if it isn't needed.

 

Cheers guys, hope this helps

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I recall one cheaper option I used long before the Heljan official replacement wheels appeared was to use Bachmann replacement coach wheels and simply transfer the central plastic cog from one axle to the other. It took a bit of fiddling about to get the gauge back right but seemed to work.

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  • 3 years later...

I have done eight conversions with the Heljan replacement wheel sets but at £16 it's quite an expensive conversion, I do however appreciate the significant improvement in the running qualities though.

 

My question is, is the four pack for 33's etc the same diameter wheel as the middle wheels on a 47 don't actually pick up so it's almost not worth changing them, and I thought I'd try the four pack at £10.50 as a much cheaper option.

 

Any advice will be appreciated, from the photo on the Howes site the wheels and the gearing look the same.

Edited by martin_l_jones
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Martin

 

with my 47's I replaced just one powered wheel set per bogie - thus a replacement pack of 47 wheels allowed me to do do three loco's (I changed the centre set to a powered set by easing off the small cog of an old powered set).  Has significantly improved the running and reliability and significantly less cost.

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Martin

 

with my 47's I replaced just one powered wheel set per bogie - thus a replacement pack of 47 wheels allowed me to do do three loco's (I changed the centre set to a powered set by easing off the small cog of an old powered set).  Has significantly improved the running and reliability and significantly less cost.

That's an even better idea, but I think I will push the boat out and buy the four set of driving wheels per loco and leave the middle axle unchanged for the remainder of the fleet.

 

Howes confirmed they are the same size.

Edited by martin_l_jones
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  • 6 years later...

I have replaced Heljan Brass Wheels on a Class 47 with 15mm steel wheels from Alan Gibson,Olham. The wheel centres are plastic so modification to the pick ups is required. No improvement in running. I think i should have just cleaned the Brass Wheels.

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20 hours ago, Marcus Hugh said:

I have replaced Heljan Brass Wheels on a Class 47 with 15mm steel wheels from Alan Gibson,Olham. The wheel centres are plastic so modification to the pick ups is required. No improvement in running. I think i should have just cleaned the Brass Wheels.

I have replaced the brass wheels on a Western with new Heljan wheels, which seem to be nickel silver. Electrical contact is much better. The only problem I have encountered is that the centre of the wheels is much shallower and the plastic wheels centres which I bought as spares protrude beyond the wheel rims. Every now and again I have a session sanding down the back of the plastic discs before wandering off to do something else. The wheel centres will look much better if I ever finish the job but I think just painting the wheels would have made things much easier.

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