Regauging pressed on wheels

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Glenn Brooks
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Regauging pressed on wheels

Post by Glenn Brooks » Sat Jul 06, 2019 11:00 am

Iam starting to get ready to rebuild and restore my antique 4-4-0 loco to running condition. Most important thing is how to properly regauge the lead truck and drivers. The loco is 12 3/4” gauge. I’ve decided to regauge to the more standard 12” gauge to run on my track. The wheels are around 1 1/4” wide and around 6” diameter, but I with thin spokes, and were cast and assembled in 1904. The axles are 1” steel from that era. Don’t know if the wheels were pressed onto the axles or heated and sweated into place. I assume the latter.

Iam concerned about breaking the wheels if I attempt to press them off the axles. Wondering if I should cut the axles and drill them out, then make up new axles?? Or is there a safe method to heat and press them off, turn them down and remount?

Actually same problem with the drivers (12” diameter wheels, 1 1/4” do axles)

I’ll post a couple of photos of the truck and drivers latter today, after I go out into the shop. I may have asked this several years ago, but don’t remember what the consensus was, so thought I would ask again.

Thanks,

Glenn
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Motive power : 1902 A.S.Campbell 4-4-0 American - 12 5/8" gauge, 1955 Ottaway 4-4-0 American 12" gauge

Ahaha, Retirement: the good life - drifting endlessly on a Sea of projects....

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ALCOSTEAM
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Re: Regauging pressed on wheels

Post by ALCOSTEAM » Sat Jul 06, 2019 11:38 am

I have made long thin HSS tools that I could get behind the wheel in the lathe and trim the axle behind the wheel down to the size that the wheel needs to move back alittle more. Once you have clearance go to the press and give it a push right around the center of the wheel. If they are cast wheels they can't have too much interference fit or they would likely have cracked when they cooled. I have never had real good luck heating and shrinking cast iron onto steel axles as it always seems the iron cools so fast I get a wheel half way on and its rush to the press time or in a couple cases I had to cut the axle and bore it out to save the wheel.

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gwrdriver
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Re: Regauging pressed on wheels

Post by gwrdriver » Sat Jul 06, 2019 1:19 pm

All things considered, I think that while I was at it (and after 115 years) I'd go ahead and install new axles, and eliminate the worry I might break a wheel. If not, it would be imperative to bear the entire force of the press on the hubs.
Last edited by gwrdriver on Sat Jul 06, 2019 3:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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FLSTEAM
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Re: Regauging pressed on wheels

Post by FLSTEAM » Sat Jul 06, 2019 3:05 pm

Important, do you have 3/8" between the frame and driver. I changed the wheel profile on my mogul to match 5" scale standards by installing new tires but I had to make a little compromise because the new profile would rub the frame.

John B.
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Shay drawings and castings

Glenn Brooks
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Re: Regauging pressed on wheels

Post by Glenn Brooks » Sat Jul 06, 2019 7:31 pm

John, actually I have a lot of room between frame and driver, which is what is inspiring me to regauge. Maybe up to 3/4” clearance. Alas the critical part is that there is no room between the rear drivers and the firebox/boiler shell -less than .100” clearance. So Phase 2 will be to build or contract for a new boiler. 3/4” narrowerer in the fire box area, to accommodate the rear drivers after regauagimg. The existing boiler may be 114 yrs old as is. It’s a riveted 14” boiler with an 105 PSI operating pressure relief valve. It has never been fired in earnest- as the loco has never run on the ground. But the tubes leak and it’s old, so probably time for a bit of modernity.

GWRDriver and ALCOSTEAM , thanks for the tips. I’ll take a look at plunge cutting behind the wheels. Iam not exactly sure what the axle profile is in the wheel but can measure the stub on the outside.

I may indeed use new axles, depending on what happens when they come apart. Iam thinking I’ll take on the front truck first, to get a feel for the original assembly.

Glenn
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Motive power : 1902 A.S.Campbell 4-4-0 American - 12 5/8" gauge, 1955 Ottaway 4-4-0 American 12" gauge

Ahaha, Retirement: the good life - drifting endlessly on a Sea of projects....

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LVRR2095
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Re: Regauging pressed on wheels

Post by LVRR2095 » Sun Jul 07, 2019 1:36 pm

My advice is DON’T DO IT!
That is an historic piece and the changes you make will be permanent. Aside from just pressing in the wheels, you have to press out the crank pins and make new ones and now your main rods will be contacting the crank pins farther out. Depending on the diameter of the crank pins you may find them bending under the load. If you have to replace the boiler just because of a clearance issue.....you will have again removed much of the historic fabric of the piece. I have several locomotives in my collection that are no longer able to be safely operated. I leave them alone and just appreciate them for the historic items that they are. Once a piece of history is gone.....it is gone forever. So far as I know, yours is the ONLY Campbell locomotive of that size remaining. If you do what you have in mind...there will be none.
Keith Taylor

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Re: Regauging pressed on wheels

Post by rkcarguy » Tue Jul 09, 2019 3:10 pm

I think running the parting tool into the axle behind the wheel and pressing the wheel further onto the axle is a neat trick. I agree to a certain extent with LVRR, you'll need to deal with the main rods and crank pins or potentially modify the frame and move the cylinders inwards(unless it's one casting?) and remake the boiler as well. Personally I would increase the crank pin size in the wheel and then cut a shoulder for the rods to ride on at the original diameter. Regarding the historical value, It's your train of course, but I would consider leaving that one alone and building a new one instead. You know someone who has access to a laser table and sections of pipe that could easily supply the meat and potatoes and you machine and install the jewelry:) It would be 12" pipe for 2-1/2" scale and 10" pipe for my 2" build.
I am still playing with my CAD drawing of the USRA 0-6-0 similar to LWR's, I think the 0-6-0 would be a great compromise of traction and retain the ability to get around our RR's 30-40' radius curves.

Glenn Brooks
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Re: Regauging pressed on wheels

Post by Glenn Brooks » Tue Jul 09, 2019 5:06 pm

Couple of years ago, Dick Morris’ suggested possibly installing new tires on the drivers, - with the flanges set in to achieve the 3/4” reduction in gauge (3/8 “ each side). This would be optimum as it won’t have any effect on the alignment of rods or cylinders, or frame.

I plan on doing a fairly complete dissassembly to free up all the machined surfaces. So some work on the bits and pieces is in order regardless.
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Fred_V
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Re: Regauging pressed on wheels

Post by Fred_V » Wed Jul 10, 2019 7:17 am

Glenn, read his original post.
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rkcarguy
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Re: Regauging pressed on wheels

Post by rkcarguy » Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:36 am

Glenn Brooks wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 5:06 pm
Couple of years ago, Dick Morris’ suggested possibly installing new tires on the drivers, - with the flanges set in to achieve the 3/4” reduction in gauge (3/8 “ each side). This would be optimum as it won’t have any effect on the alignment of rods or cylinders, or frame.

I plan on doing a fairly complete dissassembly to free up all the machined surfaces. So some work on the bits and pieces is in order regardless.
I like the sound of that, and it would be reversible more or less. These are steel, shrink fit on the driver castings typically?

Pontiacguy1
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Re: Regauging pressed on wheels

Post by Pontiacguy1 » Wed Jul 10, 2019 3:30 pm

That's how the manufacturers reduced the gauge on the drivers of the 'Russian' decapods back in 1918. They were built for the Russian 5' gauge railroad when the bolshevic revolution stranded several hundred of them in various stages of build. They modified the lead trucks, modified the trucks on the tender, and used a really wide and thick tire on the drive wheels which brought the gauge down to our standard 56 1/2" width, flanges moved back 1 3/4" per side. If you ever see one up close you can see that there is a lot of wear right up next to the flanges, but the outside area is not very worn at all. It is also a bit surprising how wide those tires look compared to others. It definitely worked, though. Some of those locomotives lasted until the very end of steam.

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NP317
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Re: Regauging pressed on wheels

Post by NP317 » Wed Jul 10, 2019 8:32 pm

The Illinois Railway Museum in Union, IL, has a Decapod.
http://www5.irm.org/cgi-bin/rsearch.cgi ... lroad=1630

When I visited, it was steaming and I rode the foot plate.
Hand-bomber coal burner, and really remarkable.
~RN

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