Replacement metal wheels for Peco N scale rolling stock

 
  Gremlin Assistant Commissioner

Looking for suggestions of a brand of metal wheels to use in replacing Peco N scale plastic wheels, looking for spoked and disc.

The Peco site doesn't list/sell metal wheels (that I can see), Farish wheels are too wide by about 1mm (axle width, not track gauge!) , Atlas I have tried don't fit either... Sad

Cheers

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  barkfast Station Master

Looking for suggestions of a brand of metal wheels to use in replacing Peco N scale plastic wheels, looking for spoked and disc.

The Peco site doesn't list/sell metal wheels (that I can see), Farish wheels are too wide by about 1mm (axle width, not track gauge!) , Atlas I have tried don't fit either... Sad

Cheers
Gremlin

Have you tried any Dapol wheels?

Otherwise, BR Lines have a number of older GraFar wheels that might be useful (see http://www.brlines.com/products.php?section=1)
  Gremlin Assistant Commissioner

An update....and a question!

Update:  I have looked at the site and they stock lots of Farish stuff, great for my later use Smile  However, nothing for Peco; then I discovered a site that had Farish and Peco catalogues from the late 1970s through to when they stopped making the stuff...or until the late 2000s.  Peco never made any metal wheels for their rolling stock, only using a specialised low-friction plastic named Hardlon.  So as a test, I tried coupling up 15 Farish wagons with metal wheels and the same number of Peco wagons (almost identical types) with plastic wheels.  The Farish with metal wheels seemed to "pull" more easily than the Peco plastic.  Part of the track is on a slight slope and the Farish wagons would run down the slope if not attached to a loco, the Peco wagons stayed put!

The question:  should I try to replace the plastic Peco wheels with metal?  Has anyone else tried this and does it make a difference?  The Farish/Peco slope experiment may be a one-off, hoping for a wider range of experience in Peco wagons out there Smile
  viaprojects Chief Train Controller

.  The Farish with metal wheels seemed to "pull" more easily than the Peco plastic.  Part of the track is on a slight slope and the Farish wagons would run down the slope if not attached to a loco, the Peco wagons stayed put!
Gremlin
all wagons should roll down a slope . reset the wheels and try again.
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
all wagons should roll down a slope . reset the wheels and try again.
viaprojects

That's not a given, and why would 'resetting' the wheels have any effect?

In all likelihood, the wheels have probably got plastic axles with pin points running in plastic pin point bearings, in which case they are a recipe for disaster. You at least need metal axles with pin points.
  Gremlin Assistant Commissioner

Have pulled out and put back all the Peco wheel sets - I guess that us "resetting".  Makes no difference, metal wheel sets still seem to run more freely.  Still trying to locate metal wheels to suit Peco - not so easy... Sad
  barkfast Station Master

Have pulled out and put back all the Peco wheel sets - I guess that us "resetting".  Makes no difference, metal wheel sets still seem to run more freely.  Still trying to locate metal wheels to suit Peco - not so easy... Sad
Gremlin

I think the first point of call might be to clean (IPA soaked tissue/paper towel) and then lubricate the tips of the axels/axel box. Lubrication should be either powdered graphite (2B pencil rubbed over the areas will do) or a tiny amount of ceramic grease.
  Gremlin Assistant Commissioner

I think the first point of call might be to clean (IPA soaked tissue/paper towel) and then lubricate the tips of the axels/axel box. Lubrication should be either powdered graphite (2B pencil rubbed over the areas will do) or a tiny amount of ceramic grease.
barkfast
Will give that a spin Smile
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
I think the first point of call might be to clean (IPA soaked tissue/paper towel) and then lubricate the tips of the axels/axel box. Lubrication should be either powdered graphite (2B pencil rubbed over the areas will do) or a tiny amount of ceramic grease.
barkfast

I don't know whether these Peco wagons have pin point bearings or not, but if they do, then lubricating them won't do any good, certainly not using grease. Pin point bearing rely on a metal axle running in a metal or acetal pinpoint bearing and are designed to work without lubrication.

You might try joining the RMWeb forum here: http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/ and ask the question there. You would be right in the heart of the British modelling community and if anyone knows the answer, these guys would.
  Gremlin Assistant Commissioner

Have joined and will report back if there is anything significant and/or useful to the group.
  benscaro Chief Commissioner

i live in britain and i guess i'm fairly aware what is available.  

peco's wheels are 6mm dia.  farish's are 6.3mm but have longer axles as you say. this is a bugbear with UK N wagons.

farish alone use a number of different lengths on different wagons and i think dapol and peco do too.  in recent years the trend has been to attempt to shorten axles so wagon underframes aren't over-wide.

good luck with 'resetting' anything on peco wheels ;  wheel and axle are a one-piece plastic molding.  

appearance-wise, peco spoked wheels are better than farish's, because farish use a 1.5mm or 1/16" thick axle and a metal rimmed tyre with a plastic insert for the spokes, which itself needs an inner and outer 'rim'.  These rims on the insert, combined with the thick axle and metal tyre gives a thick and unprototypical look to the tyre while the spokes look stubby and fail to capture the 'spindly' look of the real thing.  the peco wheel, being a one-piece molding, allows the tyre to be a bit thinner i think; you can see a bit more 'daylight' through the spokes.   there is still the issue of tread width being too thick in N; this affects all N wheels and is probably unsolvable without going to 2mm.  i say 2mm becauses while finescale N or FS160, exists, i do not think anyone does a spoked wheel in it.

dapol do a spoked wheel which is a little better, they do this by using a thinner axle. but i do not think they sell wheels separately while farish do.

if different axle lengths does become an issue you may join the 2mm association where you can order a variety of different axle lengths and they do an N scale profile wheel (as distinct from their 2mm finescale wheels). however, it is only a 3-hole disk wheel, not a spoked one.  here's a comparison between a 2mm spoked wheel and an N one:

http://motoriseddandruff.blogspot.co.uk/2010_07_01_archive.html

i don't think N has ever managed to get spoked wheels right, and maybe it is just not feasible. this may be annoying for some who follow australian prototype in N.  in recent years, i think badger bits did a 5.7mm dia spoked wheel (british N wheels are a different N scale and are too big for aussie wagons) but it inevitably has similar problems with the plastic insert; although a brave attempt, the spokes are just about invisible in a wagon.

if you want nice looking spoked wheels in a small scale i think the nearest place they are done is TT.
  Gremlin Assistant Commissioner

Thanks for that information, extremely detailed and helpful.  On the rmweb site, I received a suggestion to go to a particular site and I have emailed them for some details.  My goal is just to get the wagons running freely rather than perfectly prototypically, so I will see where that takes me.

Once again, thanks for that information....I have cut and pasted it into the "keep" section of assorted useful information Smile
  benscaro Chief Commissioner

that's OK.  i hope it's handy.  i dislike N spoked wheels, even in TT narrow gauge, ie TTn3.5 or NZ120, they still look rubbish in my humble opinion.

i tried to find a solution, got metal wheels milled, tried to get 3D printed spoked wheels done that i could put on thin axles, but decided british TT / 3mm parts were the way to go.

in terms of getting better looking N wheels and width across the solebars that was more prototypical, mathieson models worked on addressing this. he says on his site that it MAY be possible to get spoked N wheels onto 12.25mm 2mm association axles:

http://mathiesonmodels.com/Etches.php

even so, he uses NRMA 13.7mm length axles which are better than any UK manufacturer.  his spoked wheels are 6mm and i suppose they are about as good as it is feasible to go in with a spoked wheel in 'regular' N.

http://mathiesonmodels.com/2mm-3-link-couplings.php

you may try to see if he would sell wheels as parts, but i reckon even a 13.7mm axle is going to be too short for PECO wagons.
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
you may try to see if he would sell wheels as parts, but i reckon even a 13.7mm axle is going to be too short for PECO wagons.
benscaro
I wonder if you could fit bearings to the wagons to make up the difference? There are Romford brass ones and SEM make Acetal ones. It would probably mean drilling the seats out a bit to fit them.
  Gremlin Assistant Commissioner

I wonder if you could fit bearings to the wagons to make up the difference? There are Romford brass ones and SEM make Acetal ones. It would probably mean drilling the seats out a bit to fit them.
TheBlacksmith
I know that it is a terrible thing to say, but too fiddly for me...with over 60 wagons, I think that I would be at it forever, destriying a good percentage of them as I go along Sad
  benscaro Chief Commissioner

IMHO, it's a reasonable thing to say.  

unless you are an aristocrat with limitless income and expect to live 140 years, my guess is you don't have time to do micro-surgery on every wheelset. this was one reason i decided on TT-3 parts.

trains have a lot of these wheel things; a reliable source of ones that don't cost too much, look good and do the job is essential.

british N has upped its game in many respects, but wheels are one of those things where they are not there yet, and i do not think it'll happen any time soon. folk who care about this usually migrate to 2mm. 1:148 is a commercial scale and there's maybe an ingrained expectation that it won't need to be that good.

leaving all that aside, many UK modellers use PECO wheels. i even see them operating reliably on 00 narrow gauge and N layouts at exhibitions here.  

so the question is; have they proved a recipe for disaster ... for you? aside from this thing of not rolling as freely as you would like?
  Bill Robinson Station Staff

Location: Manangatang
I have used Parkside Dundas replacement metal wheelsets, a good drop in fit for Peco chassis from memory, and nicely formed.

http://www.parksidedundas.co.uk/acatalog/PARKSIDE_DUNDAS_WHEELS.html

Cheers, Bill
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
I have used Parkside Dundas replacement metal wheelsets, a good drop in fit for Peco chassis from memory, and nicely formed.

http://www.parksidedundas.co.uk/acatalog/PARKSIDE_DUNDAS_WHEELS.html

Cheers, Bill
Bill Robinson

They might be OK, but that web site is next to useless. About all I can work out is that you get two wheels for the price, and the price is rather expensive. There is no photo of the wheel for you to see if it is suitable and no mention of axles.
  benscaro Chief Commissioner

i didn't think of parkside dundas, silly of me since i have or had a bag of their 6.2mm wheels. might have chucked them as they were superfluous to my needs.

PD wheels are ok, blackened, reasonable quality thought not quite up to current standard.  

i don't find the PD site that hard, but then i've been there before:  

http://www.parksidedundas.co.uk/acatalog/PARKSIDE_DUNDAS_WHEELS.html

20 axles for £14.  not bad. they were good to deal with as i recall.

btw, this is my RMweb post on the latest dapol spoked wheel as compared to the farish horrors:

http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/39144-dapol-v-farish-spoked-wheels/

so far as i know, they are not sold as parts, unfortunately.
  benscaro Chief Commissioner

i rang DCC supplies who are dapol's spare parts outlet in the UK today.  it does not look as though spoked dapol wagon wheels are likely to become available anytime soon. the dealer is aware of the interest the wheels have generated but the focus is spare parts for locos at the moment.

N scalers are stuck with sub-par spoked wheels for the foreseeable future, anyway.
  shraps Beginner

Location: Newcastle
Fox Valley Model Wheels may be your answer for the solid disk wheels

they sell varying length axles, wheel diameter and are thin

have a look at N scale supply

https://www.nscalesupply.com/fvm/FVM-wheels.HTML

cheers
Ben

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