Adding Traction?

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by Cannonball, Dec 31, 2006.

  1. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

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    Tonight I noticed that my loco's drivers were slipping quite a bit when I got more than 3 cars behind it. I really don't understand why because it's on a level surface and is not climbing any grades. It's possible the track might be slick in some spots? I went over the whole thing with a couple of alcohol pads and that didn't seem to help. I know the loco has the power to pull more than it's already pulling if it could just get a grip- So what can I do to add traction to my drivers? (It's an O27 steamer if that matters)
  2. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

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    Are the cars loaded? With the round cross section Lionel track (if thats what you are using) there is very little surface area for the wheels to grip. Still, it seems to me that my old Lionel equipment didn't have any problem pulling three or four cars. Are the wheels rolling freely?
  3. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

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    Right now, I'm just running a small oval of track as a test area for stuff until I can get everything together for my big layout. The cars are not loaded with anything except one gondola with two plastic spools. The wheels are spinning freely alright. At one point, I had the transformer cranked and if they had caught a good grip, the loco probably would have launched it's self across the room.

    Aren't there rubber rings or something you can get to improve traction on O gauge drivers? Seems to me I remember seeing them somewhere but I can't find 'em now.
  4. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

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    I don't know about traction tires for Lionel equipment but they are available on some HO and N scale equipment. They usually require drivers which have been reduced in diameter to compensate for the rubber tire when its added. You might try a Lionel website or maybe you'll get an answer from some of the Lionel folks here.
  5. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

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    Perhaps adding weight to the locomotive (in the boiler) so it may track better (also makesure not to add too much weight so the wheels are prevented from slipping, you burn out the motor! :eek: We wouldn't want that to happen! :(

    Weight can be anything, I'd ssuggest nuts and bolts, Pennies (cost effectivce :rolleyes: ) or tape-on lead weightds fromthe local hobby shop.

    The only problem with traction tires, is that it reduces the amount of wheels picking up electricity, and most aren't made to a uniform thickness, and could lead to wobbling. :(
  6. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

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    I thought about adding the weight to it but wasn't sure if that would solve the problem. I might give it a shot in the morning.
    I wouldn't ahve to worry about adding rubber to the tires since it's a 3rd rail operation, would I?
    I thought about finding some small rubber bands and putting those around the wheels to see what happens....
  7. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

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    Good point! I'm a HO'er myself and :oops: forgot about that silly third rail!! It does make for WAY easier wiring though! :thumb:
  8. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

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    Adding traction tires or rubber bands to your wheels may raise the loco to the point where the center rail contact won't touch the rail.
  9. KCS

    KCS Member

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    Yea, as an HO modeler I buy typical out of the box Athearn kit's then dress every detail I can find into them then add weight. It really makes a huge difference. Take an AC4400 then add 6 1/4oz lead weights and you end up reducing a train that would take 4 untouched Athearns to 2 without putting strain on the motor's. Plus it give the locomotive's a bit more prototype weight for better train handling when pulling 80+ cars. You can defenitly tell the difference in handling.
  10. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

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    Touche'. Didn't think about that point. :oops:

    hhhmmm.... I guess I'll give the added weight a shot.
  11. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

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    When adding weight, I got myself some egg sinkers from the fishing folks in Wally World. I hammered them flat then bent them to conform to the inside of the loco's shell. This way I added an ounce and a half to my cab-forward and it went from 6 to 25 cars on a 1.75% grade.:thumb: Traction tires only add to the headache with wobble, bouncing and loss of electrical contact.
  12. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

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    I'm off to Wally World then. :thumb:
    Well... maybe a little later when I go pick up the wife from work.
  13. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

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    Wow... Out of curiousity, I grabed a can of my daughter's Play-Doh to see how much weight I would need to add. It took almost a whoe can of Play-Doh to give the train enough traction to pull the cars. I'd say about 8 oz give or take. Egads.
  14. 65GASSER

    65GASSER Member

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    Wow... thats quite a bit. Hope you get it all figured out bub!