=>Maybee I am doing something wrong, but I can not find what I need anywhere, =>so hopfully someone here can help. I purchased a Life-Like F40PH (amtrak) =>on eBAY, Well the engine isn't exactly brand new and the (are they called =>traction bands?) on the wheels are gone. The engine gets absolutley no =>traction right now, and since the bands are gone, the lip on the wheel hits =>the ties when the engine is manually moved. Someone mentioned locating =>orthodotic bands and using them in place, but will that really work. Would =>prefer to use something I know is going to work, Can someone tell me where =>I can loctate replacements.
Orthodontic bands of the correct diameter will work, according to people who have tried them. But IMO, it's better to fix the wheels so you don't need traction rings. Take the engine apart, so you can get at the wheels with the traction rings. Clean 'em up in degreaser (eg, alcohol) and detergent. Then fill the grooves with quicksetting epoxy. When the epoxy has set, gently file it down to the level of the wheel's tire. Reassemble. You'll find that an engine treated this way has just about the same pulling power as one without rubber bands. This is a permanent fix - that is, the epoxy will last longer than the mechanism, which is not a very durable one, unfortunately.
While you have the engine apart, clean the whole mechanism, and lubricate it with Labelle or Aerocar plastic-compatible oils. Also, get Aerocar's contact cleaner-lubricant, and put a small drop on the commutator of the motor. The trickiest part of this operation is re-installing the power-pickups, which bear against the backs of the wheels. It's possible to bend these out of shape, so take care, and ensure they are properly seated behind the wheels. I'd wash the body shell in detergent too, while I'm at it. Amazinng how much dirt and grunge accumulates on an engine. :-)