DIY low profile wheelsets for code 55 Atlas

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by guyvanwettering, Jun 18, 2007.

  1. guyvanwettering

    guyvanwettering New Member

    Jun 4, 2007
    Likes Received:
    The other night I was running some of my MT cars on my layout that has Atlas code 55 rail and as you know the flanges were riding on top of the rail spikes making that unprototypical buzzing sound. I thought to myself " How can I fix this problem without having to buy all new wheelsets?". Then I had an idea. Why can't I cut some of the flange off? I don't know if it had already been done or tried but I decided that I would give it a try. The first thing I did was located a set of tweezers that I could make into a wheelset holding tool. I found an old set that I was not using so I drilled two holes oppostite of each other on the end of the tweezers not all the way through, just enough to capture the axle points. I then bent the tweezers to be able to hold a wheelset in the tweezers with no finger pressure. Now I had a fixture tohold and rotate the wheelset. Next I grabbed my trusty Dremel tool equipped with a drum sander with a fine grit sanding tube. With the tool's speed at the lowest setting I held the wheelset at an angle to the drum, making contact on the flange from the outside of the wheelset turning towards the center of the wheelset. Gently and intermitently touching the wheelset to the drum letting the wheelset spin in the seats in the tweezers until the flanges will fit in the standards gauge. When done, remove the plastic that has gathered towards the back of the flange by gently scraping it off with an x-acto knife. Clean off the remaining dust and install the wheelsets back in the trucks. I have converted over 30 of my freight and passenger cars so far and I have not had any problems with those cars derailing at all. The key to the sanding is light pressure and patience. I admit I messed up a couple of axles at first, but after I got the feel of how much pressure and how long to sand before pausing, I could modify a car in less than 5 minutes. I know that alot of you have large quantities of rolling stock but if you did just 10 cars a day it would not take long to modify all of them. Then it would be easy to modify the cars as you buy them. Save all that money that you would have spend on wheelsets to buy what we really want- more rolling stock!:thumb: