Traction Tyres

 
  MacTrain Station Master

Whats the general opinion of traction tyres fitted to loco's to help pulling power particulary up a grade? Are there any negatives?

Thanks in advance

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  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
Traction tyres have to be fitted to specially machined wheels that have a groove in them to take the tyre.

Often, after a period of time, the rubber tyres lose their tension and become loose, often falling off and becoming lost.

Any wheel that is fitted with a traction tyre is effectively insulated from the track and cannot take part in power collection. This is a serious issue.

After some time, modellers have found that the supply of traction tyres for a specific model have dried up and they can no longer get them.

And despite all the people who point to BullFrog Snot, I tried it out and it is truly awful. It is near impossible to get an even coating and the model ends up waddling its way down the track.

The most significant disadvantage though to my mind, is that it nullifies the important safety factor of allowing a locomotive to slip its wheels when the load is too great. By locking the wheels you are very likely to end up burning out a motor and possibly damaging a plastic body from the resultant heat.

If you need more power, add another locomotive to the consist, but avoid traction tyres like the plague.
  Roachie Chief Commissioner

Location: Kadina SA (formerly NSW)
Traction tyres have to be fitted to specially machined wheels that have a groove in them to take the tyre.

Often, after a period of time, the rubber tyres lose their tension and become loose, often falling off and becoming lost.

Any wheel that is fitted with a traction tyre is effectively insulated from the track and cannot take part in power collection. This is a serious issue.

After some time, modellers have found that the supply of traction tyres for a specific model have dried up and they can no longer get them.

And despite all the people who point to BullFrog Snot, I tried it out and it is truly awful. It is near impossible to get an even coating and the model ends up waddling its way down the track.

The most significant disadvantage though to my mind, is that it nullifies the important safety factor of allowing a locomotive to slip its wheels when the load is too great. By locking the wheels you are very likely to end up burning out a motor and possibly damaging a plastic body from the resultant heat.

If you need more power, add another locomotive to the consist, but avoid traction tyres like the plague.
"TheBlacksmith"


That, sir, is the best bit of advice I have seen on this forum for many a month indeed. The only other thing I would add, would be to ask: is the loco weighted correctly? Sometimes, you can overcome a loco's lack of traction by CAREFULLY adding some extra weight (space permitting of course). But, if/when you do, still ensure you do the "slip test", by holding the loco with fingers and seeing if the wheels will still slip under full power.

Roachie
  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
Traction tyres are usually, note I said usually, only on poorly designed model's that are made on the cheap, AKA Lima. The traction tyres enable the manufacturer to put a all plastic model chassis into a model, adding a metal chassis is not that hard, but costs a little more to make.

If you want reliability you should go for all wheel pick up and all wheel drive in a loco, if not as especially steam locomotives then as many wheels as possible picking up power and the main drivers on the loco powered.

As has been stated if you want to avoid problems in the future then leave models with traction tyres on the shelf at the shop. Traction tyres are also a right swine to put a new on as well in a lot of cases, you only need a slight twist in it and you have to remove it and put it back on properly, this is a real art though and you have to learn by experience here.

There have been some top of the range models that do indeed have traction tyres, some ROCO, Marklin and Trix loco's still do. Finding a source of the right sized traction tyres though is a real pain in the butt at the best of times.

I have even carefully machined the traction tyre groove off, of a wheel and made it smooth like the rest, a bit of extra weight in the model and it works the same as one with traction tyres. So really all traction tyres do is make up for a lack of adhesive weight in a model, not all models but most that have traction tyres.
  MacTrain Station Master

Got it, they are bad!

Thanks all for the advice and I will make sure I steer well clear of them.
  rdgnut Beginner

" ....  And despite all the people who point to BullFrog Snot, I tried it out and it is truly awful. It is near impossible to get an even coating and the model ends up waddling its way down the track."

Proper application of BULLFROG SNOT is a bit of an acquired skill. The first few attempts rarely work perfectly, and that is generally due to using too much at once.

Follow the instructions, keep the wheels turning as it cures, it will self level to a very thin and grippy tire.

If you have lumps and waddles, you have an 'operator error'. Not to worry, we don't expect you'll run out of BULLFROG SNOT while experimenting.

Great success is available by removing old rubber bands and filling the slot with SNOT - in multiple layers, not all at once.

Bill
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
" Follow the instructions, keep the wheels turning as it cures, it will self level to a very thin and grippy tire.

Bill
"rdgnut"


No thanks. All you end up with, even if you can get the stuff to apply properly, is yet another traction tyre, and for all the previously stated reason, they are a bad idea.
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
" ....  And despite all the people who point to BullFrog Snot, I tried it out and it is truly awful. It is near impossible to get an even coating and the model ends up waddling its way down the track."

Proper application of BULLFROG SNOT is a bit of an acquired skill. The first few attempts rarely work perfectly, and that is generally due to using too much at once.

Follow the instructions, keep the wheels turning as it cures, it will self level to a very thin and grippy tire.

If you have lumps and waddles, you have an 'operator error'. Not to worry, we don't expect you'll run out of BULLFROG SNOT while experimenting.

Great success is available by removing old rubber bands and filling the slot with SNOT - in multiple layers, not all at once.

Bill
"rdgnut"


See if the mech designer went to that much trouble, (while being paid) and built the thing correctly, I wouldn't have to go to the difficulty of having to fix it.

ANYTHING that impedes pickup is best avoided.
  wrongroad Deputy Commissioner

Location: Grafton
G'day Gang,
A few years ago I found my, then, powerline powered 48's were having a hard time lifting their loads on my steeper grades.
I went out and purchased some 'spare' wheel sets without the traction tyre set up. Should I say the electrical pick up wheel sets.
I then replaced the traction tyre wheel sets with the pick up sets and the lifting ability of the locos improved by three NRPY cement hoppers. The load before hand was eight. A major percentage gain in performance.
Perhaps the traction tyres had seen their use by date, however, the same thing applied to the 81 class locos as well straight out of the box.
To me, for what it is worth, traction tyres are just a waste of time and effort.
All my 48's and 81's are now K & M powered and the increase in lifting ability increased by four NPRY's (making 15). Granted that the K & M has six powered axles to four on the powerline mech.
When the K & M's go to where all good mechanims go, the Hollywood mechs will go in.
Regards and respect.
  Trainsaregood Locomotive Fireman

I have some Powerline locos from way back with traction tyres. I haven't had any problems until I started trying out the graphite mix on the rails to improve conductivity. The problem is that the graphite coats the rubber of the tyres and they don't have the grip they are supposed to have, duhh! Didn't think of that did I!  Shocked In fact I had forgotten all about the tyres before putting the graphite on. Anyway, that whole layout got flooded in the Brisbane floods, so the problem has largely disappeared. The tyres can be cleaned off, or replaced with new ones.
  antiussentiment Locomotive Driver

Location: perth
I got my self a little Airfix 14xx at the local train show last week.

The traction tires on the middle wheel set were dirty and saggy.  So I removed them thinking that as it only needs to push an auto coach around things would be fine without them.  Wrong.

It barely moves it's self without them as most of it's weight is over the rear axle.  Some googling made me wonder about the tire thing altogether.  The beginning of this thread talks of them as if they are some evil.  do I get some new tires? Or do I try to re-ballast the loco to try to put some weight over the driving wheels?
  apw5910 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Location: Location.
I got my self a little Airfix 14xx at the local train show last week.

The traction tires on the middle wheel set were dirty and saggy.  So I removed them thinking that as it only needs to push an auto coach around things would be fine without them.  Wrong.

It barely moves it's self without them as most of it's weight is over the rear axle.  Some googling made me wonder about the tire thing altogether.  The beginning of this thread talks of them as if they are some evil.  do I get some new tires? Or do I try to re-ballast the loco to try to put some weight over the driving wheels?
antiussentiment
The traction tyre probably fits into a groove in the wheel. So by removing them you've created "hollow" wheels, which are lousy for grip.

I got rid of the problem for my "near enough" U130 (from a Bachman 4-4-0 old timer) by machining off the groove in a small lathe. If you don't have access to suitable tools, then you'll have to get new rubber tyres.

ps It's not Its
  Bills_Billboards Chief Commissioner

A good quality set of traction tyres and extra weight can work well , my lima 930 fitted with Roco traction tyres and a bit extra weight will pull as good if not better in some cases than a all axle drive loco
  allan Chief Commissioner

The best of the European manufacturers - Fleischmann, Brawa and Roco - fit traction tyres to all of their locos. They run beautifully, and the traction tyres are good for thirty or more years. That these locos are also very expensive is a reflection of the quality of the engineering that goes into their design and manufacture. Pickups are engineered into the design, from virtually all wheels, and rarely fail. Drive, these days, is to both loco and tender, though older locos, usually tender driven, don't have problems because of the amount of metal in the tenders, the shear grunt in the motors, and the number of pickups in both the tender and locomotive.

So why do such good locos have traction tyres? Well, why not? They do not inhibit the performance of the locos, and they may permit European operators to run their trains on curves and grades that few of us would consider, so permitting a layout (of sorts) in a fairly confined space.
  sol Assistant Commissioner

Location: Evanston Gardens SA
You can always try this
https://www.bullfrogsnot.com/

http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/88/t/226896.aspx     is one of many found on the Net
  antiussentiment Locomotive Driver

Location: perth
Hey thanks so much for all your thoughts..

Before seeing this, I decided to have a go at sorting the problem my self.  In the end I cleaned the wheels with a little meths (keeping away from the plastic centers).  Dryed them.  Then I cleaned up the old tires with some very fine wet and dry paper. Cut them just a mm shorter.  I applied a drop of super glue, by popping a squirt on a piece of scrap paper. Then using a toothpick point to pop a tiny drop in the wheel groove where the join in the tire would be. I tweasered the "new" tires back on and held the gap shut. counted to 10..

It seems to have worked a treat.

I looked at the Bullfrog snot.  A good bottle of single malt is close to the same price.
A distant scotts relative from when men were men seems to have tapped me on the shoulder when I saw the cost of the stuff.

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