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Wheels - P4 - Introduction (Loco)

New Range of Locomotive Wheels for P4 

With all development issues now resolved, our full range of locomotive wheels is now available. The wheels are produced in batches of around fifty and we order a further batch when stocks get low - meaning that wheels are generally available from stock and that the lead time if any do run out is unlikely to be more than a week or two. The wheels have been well-received and articles on locos built using them should appear before too long. 

It is very important to recognise that the driving wheels use an entirely new method of assembly - and so need old habits to be forgotten and for assembly only to begin with a good understanding of the new method. Extensive Instructions are available and the notes that follow cover additional points resulting from practical experience: 

For driving wheels

Some wheels with rims at the minimum width tolerance need a scalpel run round behind the rim to ensure no plastic gets in the way of setting the back to back dimension (this is in addition to making sure no residue of the mould gate remains in the way, as mentioned in the instructions); 

The plastic (Torlon) stub axles are quite difficult to clean up where attached to the sprue. Torlon is very hard and difficult to cut and attempts to clean up the attachment area with most tools can result in a burr which will then make easy insertion in the central sleeve difficult. Len’s experience is that a diamond surfaced file (available from Eileen’s Emporium) does the job easily; 

Loctite 603 is effective for assembling the stub axles in the central sleeve. It is tempting to use one blob placed on a hard surface for the assembly of several wheelsets but experience indicates that it becomes less effective if left out for long. Best to use a fresh (small) blob for each wheelset; 

The crankpin assembly uses an M1 countersunk screw. Occasionally, these have burrs at the end of their slot and these must be removed if the screw is to seat correctly in the aluminium bush that fits in the back of the driving wheel. 

Check that neither the aluminium bush nor the M1 screw stick out beyond the plane of the back of the wheel rim. They shouldn’t (getting this right was an issue with two of the designs) and if they do it is likely to be because some debris is preventing the components going fully home. 

For carrying wheels

A range of axle lengths is available covering inside bearing wheelsets, outside bearings with plain bearings (25mm long) and outside pinpoint bearings (26mm long). Additionally, a 30mm long extended axle with plain ends is available; 

As with some driving wheels, some excess of plastic may need to be removed from the back of each wheel with a scalpel before assembly (it is important the whole back of the metal tyre can make contact with the back to back gauge); 

A central sleeve is available to make the axles look like solid 2mmØ axles. We are using a standard component and this is slightly over-length for this application. Approx. 0.2mm needs to be removed (hold the sleeve in a pin chuck and rub each end in turn on some fine emery paper placed on a flat surface). It is important to reduce the length of the sleeve enough so that the wheels can be pressed firmly against the back to back gauge (make sure they can ‘pinch’ the gauge with the sleeve in place before starting final assembly); 

The axle end cap for inside bearing carrying wheels does not seem to sit flat with the wheel boss face - it goes into position but can wobble. This will be looked at further but for now it may be best to use an adhesive, holding the cap flat on the wheel face by positioning with sticky tape across the boss while the adhesive sets; 

Don’t forget the carrying wheelsets are not designed to be dismantled, so any bearings, etc. that need to be on the axle must be threaded on before final assembly.



Any modellers who purchased 6’ 8” LNER driving wheels from the early batch which had bosses with an incorrect taper should either post them to our Chelmsford address for replacement (don't forget to include name, address and phone no.) or bring them to the Exactoscale stand at an exhibition.



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