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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Does anyone know if there are metal wheels AND metal trucks available for N scale rolling stock? Are there [rolling stock] brands to be aware of, that might have any special considerations to keep in mind, if one were to want to modify their rolling stock in this way?

(I know, with N scale, you don't really NEED metal wheels or trucks; this is more of a personal taste thing for me.

Thanks. :eek:
 

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There are definitely metal wheels available for N scale, many companies have made them. But metal trucks are another story. They are quite rare in N scale.

Since N scale was introduced in 1960, I can't think of any companies that have made diecast metal trucks, except maybe ONE company. Between 1960 and 1970 a British company called "Lone Star" made a lineup of N scale diecast trains, in their "Treble-O-Lectric" and "Treble-O-Trains" ranges. Treble-O-Lectric were electric powered, while the Treble-O-Trains were not powered, being dummies (push along). All bodies and frames (diesel, steam, freight and passenger) were made from diecast metal. The powered locomotives all had rubber band drive (like very early Athearn in HO). I have read that the wheels on the freight and passenger cars were plastic, and probably also for the dummy locomotives. I believe all equipment might have came with metal trucks, but I don't know. I looked at some pictures online, and the trucks look like they are metal.

I know other companies have made diecast metal locomotives, where the body shells and chassis are metal. But I believe all those models had plastic trucks. I don't know for sure.

There are also locomotives made from brass in N scale. I believe many of those locos have trucks made from brass. Also in N scale some passenger, freight and cabooses have come with brass trucks.

Other then those examples, I can't think of anything in N scale that ever had metal trucks. Certainly not the regular N scale you find in a hobby shop.

If you want to combine metal trucks with metal wheels, you need to be careful you don't create electrical problems. If the axles and wheels are all metal, they can possibly short out when combined with metal trucks. You would need to make sure, everything is properly insulated from each rail.

Hope that helps.

Howard
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, Howard


I've thought about the shorting issue a bit and the only thing that comes to mind, is possibly, if I were to put a [10,000 ohm] (?) resistor on one of the axles of the car, but I don't know if that would do anything.
 

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Thanks, Howard


I've thought about the shorting issue a bit and the only thing that comes to mind, is possibly, if I were to put a [10,000 ohm] (?) resistor on one of the axles of the car, but I don't know if that would do anything.
It might help, but I don't really know. I have never used resistors on the axles. Hopefully someone with more knowledge about this will comment.
 

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Metal wheels yes, they just roll better and the extra weight helps keep them on the track better. Metal trucks on the other hand would be more of a problem and nuisance than a help. I can see electrical problems, corrosion, metal to metal contact issues and others.
Much of the plastic materials used for trucks are a natural lubricant when coupled with steel/metal axles. Of course you will get a bad one now and then, but overall the plastic truck will be superior to a metal one in N scale. Probably not true in larger scales but definetly yes in N.
 

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Even if you could find metal trucks, you would not be able to get proper Micro-Trains couplers to fit them. You would be stuck with the stock Rapido cpouplers.
 

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Mantua trucks are notorious for getting hot, the combination of brass wheels, steel axles and Zamac cast truck frames makes for metallurgical hi-jinx of all kinds. The fix is installing metal axle wipers to bypass all that, a tough prospect in N scale.
 

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Honestly it would be quite difficult to even just find metal trucks in N scale. Metal wheels are easy to find, but not metal trucks. In my opinion, the plastic trucks are fine.
 

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Even if you could find metal trucks, you would not be able to get proper Micro-Trains couplers to fit them. You would be stuck with the stock Rapido cpouplers.
Not sure that would be a bad thing. My old fat fingers work much better with the rapido couplers. I have never had a rapido fail yet, but many of my knuckle couplers have failed.
I have both types and while the rapido do not look as good they are far more trouble free and that allows me more play time and less repair time. I never complain about rapido couplers.
 
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