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Author Topic: Truck (Pilot) Wheels  (Read 3461 times)

DT&I Railroad lives on in memory

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« on: June 16, 2012, 10:12:09 PM »

I have a 4-6-0 from a Big Hauler set.  Has anyone ever heard of the truck or pilot wheels being loose? If so,  how can I tighten them down a little?  They swing easily from side to side (which is good) but I wonder if they swing too easily.  Is there to be any pressure (from above) on these wheels to help keep them on the track?  Or maybe my curves are not level from being outside.  I am having trouble derailing on 3 curves.


Gonna get blamed for might as well do it!!

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« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2012, 11:13:11 PM »


Generically speaking, yes they tend to be somewhat loose fitting in the 'truck'.  This in and of itself is usually not too much of an issue.  The light weight on the other hand is an issue.  I fixed mine by going to the LHS and purchasing some stick on weights used on the 'Pinewood Derby' cars.  Add a couple or three on the top of the plastic truck frame and that should help.

You do also need to check the level of the track in the cross track direction.  It is important to keep this level, or at the worst, have a positive super elevation on the outter rail.  Yes the tighter the curvature, the higher the tendency for the light pony truck to try to climb the rail and derail the engine.

Hope this helps.

Bob C.

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« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2012, 11:39:03 PM »

check the to make sure they are gauged correctly, sometimes the pilot wheels will spread apart on their own because the wheel/axle assembly comes out of the center plastic axle a little, they  just press together when the are too wide it causes problems on curves at times, too narrow seems to be less of a problem for curves but more problems with turnouts and crossings.

Weight is a great idea and helps, if the hobby shop doesn't have stick on weights you can get them any place that sells and mounts tires, every time I've asked for them at Pep boys and tell them what they are for they give me a handful free!

Loco Bill Canelos

Model railroading since 1947

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« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2012, 10:04:06 AM »

In most cases steam locomotives of all types are way more sensitive to bad track than diesels.  When I get lazy and fail to relevel my track and my steamers keep derailing, I often find that my diesels especially those with the 4 wheel trucks get over the same track with no problem. 

I usually check the level after heavy rain. 

Loco Bill,  Roundhouse Foreman
Colorado & Kansas Railway Missouri Western Railway
Semi Official Historian; Bachmann Large Scale
There are no dumb or stupid questions, just questions!

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« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2012, 11:11:30 PM »

There is a big difference between the "older" Big Hauler 4-6-0's front truck and the new-and-improved front truck of the Version 6's.  The new truck is suspended differently and is a cast or extruded metal frame which weighs quite a bit.  Add the weights.  It definately makes a difference in tight turns or on uneven track.  Mike in TX
R and K RR Products

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« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2012, 04:07:17 AM »

 I done this to my "traveling loco" and it track very well now.

 I took a piece of 1/16" X 1/4" brass and bent it in a "Z" and added screws to each end.
 I will go into more detail if you want to try it.


Trying to make a better world for the 20.3 modeler
Barry BBT

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« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2012, 05:59:35 PM »

Twenty years ago I designed and built a conversion drive for the Big Hauler.  But the pilot truck kept derailing all over the place.  So I came up with an arm which would allow the pilot truck to just be pushed down the track, I added a small weight to the front axle (couldn't add one to the rear axle, due to the arm).  The Tenth Annie came out and I redesigned the pilot frame so that it was articulated, works better than ever.

Bachmann's latest up grade includes a new pilot truck, with an arm (also my first improvement), but the frame is rigid.  They know what to do next.

« Last Edit: June 22, 2012, 02:44:45 PM by Barry BBT » Logged

There are no dumb questions.
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