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Kato HO EF510-500 traction tire (wheel) swap out


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Greetings All,


So I have a Kato 1-311 HO scale EF510-500 (my only HO scale loco) and something interesting happened, and not in a good way.  I was running on a friends layout and for some reason, derails occasionally at random spots.  I gauged the wheels and they are perfect.  The wheel that seems to come off the track is the one with the traction tire.  We kind of surmised that since nothing else ever derails, it may be the bouncing of the traction tire as it spins under load of a fairly long train.  Next time I go back, I'll test run it light - I didn't think of that at the time.  However, I am one of those modelers that prefer NOT to have traction tires and instead, add more units as necessary.  This unit is more than sufficiently heavy and, in my opinion, has absolutely no need for traction tires.  I'm wondering if anyone has swapped 'solid' wheels to replace the grooved ones.  I'm sure that means pressing them on and off the axle with maybe an arbor press, or even a drill press.  Unfortunately, I can't find the literature that came with the loco, or find it online, so if anyone could shoot me a part number for the wheelsets (I think I need 2 solid wheels), I would appreciate that greatly.  Thanks,



ef510 wheels.jpg

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Is the tyre sitting flush with the wheel?The EF510 is due for another release in February 2022 so if you need spare wheels, you may need to purchase another complete motor unit. IIRC the metal wheels are push fit into a plastic gear but i can check this on mine later. You could then disassemble and use the wheels you need. If you wanted to do both bogies, you’d need two to give you the wheels you need. Each motor unit is ¥3000 + tax from Kato (Part number 1-310D1) Unfortunately you can’t buy the wheel sets individually unless you can find anyone selling on ebay or similar. 


I have the EF510 and also the EF81 from Kato. I can’t remember if the EF81 has traction tyres or not but it does have the same drive system with the bogies having independent motors on them. HO stock doesn’t really need tyres and the EF510, as you mention, is a weighty locomotive.  


I’ve not heard about these locos having detailing issues. Before you shell out a possible ¥6000 for parts, also worth checking it’s not just an issue with some slightly dodgy track laying.  I had a number of HO stock de-railing in one direction on a rental layout and it was that  a non conforming unit rack curve was added in a tight spot. 



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On closer inspection, the metal wheels are a push fit onto a plastic shaft, either with gear or not. They are also the same diameter and colour as the EF65 2000 You could either order another middle bogie (1-310D2 ¥1000+tax) and use the non tyre wheels from that or in the short term you could switch the wheels from the non powered bogie over to see if it fixes the issue. The side of the bogie is removed by unclipping the sanding tubes and then pinching the 2 main clips together to release the hooks. Once both removed you can take the base plate off from the looks of it although i didn’t remove mine.


Edited by Kamome
Added part number and price for reference
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Thank you, gentlemen, for your input.  Funny, that exact thought of swapping the center bogie wheels popped into my head last night, and was wondering if the axle diameters were the same.  Then it dawned on me that Japanese engineering would absolutely design these as interchangeable for commonality - we will see this weekend when I get to the modifications.  Another question also came to me.  Are these independent motor drives synchronized between bogies?  My thought is no, and that the motors are selected by matching the rpm's on each at the factory.  I realize that with the bogie gearing, slightly mismatched motor speeds would have little effect on the actual axle output speed, but, for the sake of argument, let's say that the axle speed is different between bogies.  That might cause the traction tired wheel to bounce as it tries to grab the rail at a different speed as the other bogie.  Okay, I'm way overthinking this, but it might be an interesting experiment to just replace one traction tire and see what happens . . . okay, I'll shut up. 

Thanks again guys, it's nice to converse with modelers with technical acumen.

Edited by emkay_777
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Couldn't wait to get started.  Removing the bottom plate was sure an exercise in patience until I discovered how it was attached, but after that, things were a breeze.  The wheels were interchangeable so now I have 2 traction tires on the middle bogie and NONE on the drivers.  Will hopefully get to my friends' layout this weekend to try out.


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