What the name of a tool

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Went to the great train expo sat in Wichita ks. And picked up couplers and metel wheels to update some of my rolling stock. Have the coupler guage and tool so that's covered. Need to get the tool for the wheels in case I need to do some reaming out the trucks but I can't rember its name and I can't find a pic or YouTube video on it seen them know there out there but since I'm looking it ain't to be found. So if you got one send me a pic and a name can find it at Walther's or some other place. Thanks.
 

CMMR

Member
Marriedshades - is it the truck tuner from Micro Mark that you are thinking of?

82838_R.jpg
 

josephbw

Active Member
I bought one of those in anticipation of needing it when I changed all my wheels to Intermountain metal wheel sets. I've done well over 300 cars, and haven't even opened the package it came in. You really don't need it if you are using Intermountain wheels. I don't know whether Kadee's of some or the other makers use fatter points on their axles requiring the use of this tool or not.

Joe
 
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Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
Yes it is thank-you I knew it was something simple just could think of it and I spent 4 hr looking for it.

Exxact also makes one. The only difference between the two appears to be the length.
Micro Mark 25.86 mm
Exxact Tool 23.51 mm

You might also be able to find a generic one measuring 26.19mm from Industrial Machine & Tool Co., 3812 Bennington, Kansas City MO 64129
 
Well Joe I grew with the ideal its better to have and not need than to need and not have. Thanks ironhorse I will check with these companies.
 

santafewillie

Same Ol' Buzzard
Joe - You might be surprised if you do use it. Axle/wheel manufacturers don't make any difference. It's the journal that it clears out. Use it on a few trucks and observe the amount of shavings that you get. In my observation, Walthers trucks seem to have the most shavings, followed by Atlas. Surprisingly the trucks that had the least amount of shavings were the old Roundhouse followed by the Athearn blue box and Accurail. P2K and Intermountain were all somewhere in between. This is my observation only and only applies to freight cars that I have more than a dozen of. Even some of my newer Walthers RTR cars need a little tune-up, especially their underweight tankers. You have to squeeze the truck more if you use the Exxact Tool tool.
Willie
 

josephbw

Active Member
Joe - You might be surprised if you do use it. Axle/wheel manufacturers don't make any difference. It's the journal that it clears out. Use it on a few trucks and observe the amount of shavings that you get. In my observation, Walthers trucks seem to have the most shavings, followed by Atlas. Surprisingly the trucks that had the least amount of shavings were the old Roundhouse followed by the Athearn blue box and Accurail. P2K and Intermountain were all somewhere in between. This is my observation only and only applies to freight cars that I have more than a dozen of. Even some of my newer Walthers RTR cars need a little tune-up, especially their underweight tankers. You have to squeeze the truck more if you use the Exxact Tool tool.
Willie

If you look at the diameter of the axle on the Intermountain wheels compared to the Athearn and a lot of others, you will see that the point on the Intermountain is much smaller than a lot of the other brands. That smaller point make less contact with the truck sideframe pockets, lowering friction, and resulting in a much more free rolling truck. I've swapped out the wheels on over 300 freight cars and every one of them rolls more free than before. About half of these cars were Athearn, and the rest were an assortment of just about every other brand that's been made in the last 25 years.

If however you are removing some meat out of the sideframes and reinserting the stock wheels back in the truck, I would imagine you would see an improvement.

Joe
 

new guy

Active Member
I was too embarrassed to ask that very question and many more when I got started! This forum changed that. My ignorance of many things MRR related is still a glittering jewel of magnificent size but I'm learning! The tolerance shown to newbs like me is something I'd personally like to thank all concerned for at this time!

Collectively speaking, "You ROCK!"
 

Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
Surprisingly the trucks that had the least amount of shavings were the old Roundhouse
Now that you mention it that doesn't surprise me. I remember back in 1984 or so one of my first trips to Caboose Hobbies. I had just reworked an AHM baggage car and was looking for new trucks. The Caboose guy handed me a pack of Roundhouse and said they were the most free rolling. He opened another pack, set one on a test track and just blew on it. It sailed all the way (12' or so) to the bumper at the end of the track. I was sold. Unfortunately I found that Roundhouse used a different size/depth bolster mount so to use them I had to build up the bolster to match.
 

Greg@mnrr

Section Hand
I've found that free rolling trucks is not a concern of mine since I run short trains, other than my unit ore train, and have relatively minor grades.

Thanks.

Greg
 

riogrande

Active Member
If you look at the diameter of the axle on the Intermountain wheels compared to the Athearn and a lot of others, you will see that the point on the Intermountain is much smaller than a lot of the other brands. That smaller point make less contact with the truck sideframe pockets, lowering friction, and resulting in a much more free rolling truck.
Joe

I've bought a bulk pack of Intermountain 33" wheels to replace the plastic ones in my Walthers, Athearn, E&C etc. freight cars and I've found they are kinda sloppy in the trucks and I've wondered it it's partially because of the smaller point vs. some brands. Others have noted the same thing as I, yes free rolling but kind of loose too.
 

santafewillie

Same Ol' Buzzard
The sloppiness shouldn't matter, at least it hasn't mattered to me. Regardless of whose trucks and whose wheelsets you use. the weight of the car ensures that the only contact point is the top of the axle point and the top of the journal it is fitted into. Joe explains it in post # 9.
Also Joe, to clarify a point I made earlier in this topic, the truck tuner only removes flashing from the truck. It does not remove "meat". It does not enlarge the hole or change the shape. It will improve the performance only in trucks that have flashing to begin with. It does not improve all trucks. The amount of material removed is minute. It might total less than a grain of salt from the eight holes on a typical pair of trucks. If your primary fleet is Athearn as you state, then there won't be much if any change, as theirs is one of the better made trucks.
Willie
 

DougC

Member
riogrande:

I agree with you about Intermountain 33" wheel sets being a little "sloppy" (short?). However, I've not had any problems that I know of, and I use that little truck tuner seemingly all the time.

What really sets this tuner apart for me is using it on used/older Athearn trucks. I would almost bet that on 4 out of every 5 trucks the plastic axle/journal "box" is screwed up. How? In my experience most of the steel axles have a little sharp burr on the pointed ends, which over time eat into the plastic journal (and create not only friction drag but also an alternate "seat" for the supposedly pointed axle to reside). No matter how Athearn makes their supposedly sharp-pointed axles, the truck tuner works magic on these - helps a lot.

I'll admit I've tried various ways with files to smooth-out the burred points, but usually fail. In other words, after dealing with (i.e. "smoothing out") the burrs the rolling ability of the axles is usually no better and sometimes worse. Anybody have any ideas on this? Thanks

DougC
 
Well I'm changing out plastic bachmann wheels to metal kadee and changing the horn hook couplers out to can't use those with my new dcc loco. So they are getting the full tune up including weight if needed.
 




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