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Model Railroading > Replacing Athearn Locomotive Wheels...Why???


Date: 07/16/02 01:29
Replacing Athearn Locomotive Wheels...Why???
Author: rrnut_99

I\'ve noticed many people replace Athearn\'s wheels with NWSL or Jay-Bee wheels. First of all, why? What\'s wrong with the wheels Athearn makes. Am I just EXTREMELY lucky and never had a problem with them getting dirty or anything? I did use a set of Jay-Bee wheels to see if they improve operation. Boy was I disappointed. All the Jay-Bee wheels did were get black in a few minutes with dirt and they didn\'t run true and wobbled like crazy.

L.G.



Date: 07/16/02 06:52
Re: Replacing Athearn Locomotive Wheels...Why???
Author: rustedflange

Better electrical pickup, and the new wheels are more to scale. Athearn\'s wheels are chemically-treated which CAN affect electrical pickup. The only thing I can see yours wobbled is because they weren\'t installed correctly. NWSL wheels are better IMHO.



Date: 07/16/02 12:18
Re: Replacing Athearn Locomotive Wheels...Why???
Author: gtirr

I\'ve used both JB and NWSL wheel sets in many an Athearn loco in the past. Never had a problem with either one. Both of them really improved the performance of the Athearn, along with some other minor modifications.
That was BK&A (Before Kato & Atlas). Now I run nothing but Kato, Atlas, and P2k.
gtirr



Date: 07/16/02 12:41
Re: Replacing Athearn Locomotive Wheels...Why???
Author: atsfman

I don\'t run Athearn diesels anymore, but when I did I used replacement wheel sets because the Athearn wheels seemed to get dirty quickly.

I suspect you don\'t have the replacement wheel sets installed correctly, or they wouldn\'t wobble.

I also suspect the black that came off your rails to the replacement wheels was the residue from plastic wheel sets on your cars.

Bob



Date: 07/16/02 12:54
Re: Replacing Athearn Locomotive Wheels...Why???
Author: santafedan

I have never changed the Athearn loco wheels. I have about 50 of them some as old as 30 years. I have had no problems. Perhaps I am just lucky? I run them a lot and the track stays clean so that may be the reason.



Date: 07/16/02 12:59
Re: Replacing Athearn Locomotive Wheels...Why???
Author: rrnut_99

I\'m happy to see I\'m not alone. Athearn wheels and any other wheels never seem to make any electrical pickup difference in my testing. They are always as shiny as the prototype, but I run them ALOT. The track is clean also. My freight cars have a mix of P2K and NWSL wheels on them. I guess it\'s the old "to each his/her own" that applies to the wheel choices.

L.G.

santafedan wrote:

> I have never changed the Athearn loco wheels. I have about
> 50 of them some as old as 30 years. I have had no problems.
> Perhaps I am just lucky? I run them a lot and the track stays
> clean so that may be the reason.
>
> [%sig%]



Date: 07/16/02 17:58
Re: Replacing Athearn Locomotive Wheels...Why???
Author: SandingValve

Athearn\'s regular line of locomotives uses sintered iron instead of nickel silver. While the sintered iron provides better adhesion (slightly, due to the roughness of the material) it tends to oxidize quicker than nickel silver. Sintered iron also has a higher resistance (not by much) compared to nickel silver.

The black residue that the nickel silver wheels picked up is a combination of carbon (minute sparking from the sintered iron wheels), traces of plastic from plastic wheels and regular dust in the air.

I usually replace the wheelsets on only the outer axles on 6 axle units and leave the center axles sintered iron for better adhesion. I do replace the wheelsets on all the axles on GP units. If you replace all the wheelsets on either the S or SW switchers you will notice a significant drop in adhesion (more slipping = less cars pulled). On the S and SW switchers I polish the factory wheelsets with a stainless steel wire wheel in a Dremel tool. The polished finish stays cleaner longer and adhesion is still maintained.

I have used both NWSL and JayBee wheelsets and have never had problems with wobbling with either brand as long as they are installed correctly.


SV



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