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Carefree_Dude

Do Big Ben wheels need added traction?

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I'm interested in getting some big Ben XL drivers for a project, but notice they lack o rings. Do they need anything added for traction, or are they fine naked?

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It depends on what you want to use them for. I've got a model on an A1 Peppercorn, powered through the Drivers, that uses them without traction bands and it can pull a few cars just fine. It has got a pretty fair amount of weight to it, though.

If you're looking to pull a lot of cars or have a relatively light engine, you might want to check out something with traction bands. BigBenBricks offers Medium Drivers with O-Rings and it looks like the grooves are actually lathed into the wheel instead of a new mold, so perhaps he will have O-ring compatible drivers for other sizes soon too. Couldn't hurt to ask!

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My plan is to put them on a union pacific big boy; is a fairly heavy engine, I decided to put 4 XL motors inside the boiler. 

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Great thread, just discovered it ...

I had the same problem and found two different solutions:

1) In simple cases use bullfrog snot. This is a latex paint, greenish when wet and nearly transparent if dried (or better polymerized ..) Best results I gut by thinning this stuff with 10% water and put it with a very soft and slim brush on the wheels but not on the flanges. Be careful: Bullfrog snot (or latex paint) on flanges can cause frequently derailments. Be patient, a laye of sufiicient thickness needs perhaps more than one layer. I have best results with 3 or 4 layers of the thinned latex paint.

2) For heavy duty use there is no better solution to cut a shallow notch with a lathe into the wheels. With rubber sealings called O-Rings I have the best results with 1.5 mm diameter (and notch width) and a notch depth of 1 mm.  I for myself build a lathe from LEGO bricks driven by two XL motors driven by a 12V grid adapter. The matching 1.5 mm lathe tool can be found on Ebay.

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32 minutes ago, legoman666 said:

If you're open to wheels designed by others, most of Shupp's have a groove/no groove option.

I'm not against using other wheels, I just can't justify spending $140 on wheels for a single train.

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I built a DB shunter with BBB medium wheels a few years ago. It really suffered from bad traction. I got a tip, and successfully added cut slices of ordinary bicycle innertube. Size (diameter) need to be slightly smaller than the wheel diameter, to ensure a tight fit. Traction area is significantly bigger than an o-ring, plus the advantage of no machining of wheels needed.

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1 hour ago, Selander said:

I built a DB shunter with BBB medium wheels a few years ago. It really suffered from bad traction. I got a tip, and successfully added cut slices of ordinary bicycle innertube. Size (diameter) need to be slightly smaller than the wheel diameter, to ensure a tight fit. Traction area is significantly bigger than an o-ring, plus the advantage of no machining of wheels needed.

Do you recall the inner tube size? I am facing the same issue right now and my O-ring solution is not working, so I want to try your tip.

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Seems to be 700 x 23c.

Check out comments in my Flickr, related to photo DB class V60.

DB class V60

Hope it works....

Tubes were added after taking this picture !

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Hi, on my big scale 112 I experienced some wheel slipping in case of heavy loads. The engine is pretty heavy , but this is not helping. Making it heavier would make it too aggressive for the rails.

I therefore used what I had (plumbing gaskets), and they work fine. Also bicycle inner tubes are a great idea!!!  :thumbup:

49005138478_03de24e634_b.jpg

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On 11/4/2019 at 6:29 PM, Carefree_Dude said:

I'm not against using other wheels, I just can't justify spending $140 on wheels for a single train.

http://www.bricktraindepot.com has them for less than shapeways. And keep in mind that a regular lego steam wheel is like $4 on bricklink, so $5 or 6 for a custom one isn't a big price upcharge. Still, I get your point. Not cheap.

 

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