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Looking for Max Shim Thickness for Peco 100 Guard

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  • Looking for Max Shim Thickness for Peco 100 Guard

    I bring this up as an individual subject as I am sure there are LOTS of Peco Code 100 turnout users out there. And there are likely LOTS of those users that have experienced derailing problems with them.

    There is a relatively simple modification that will improve their performance. It involves the guard rail 'slot' across from the frog area. I'm almost surprised that Peco themselves have not offered some sort of 'fix kit'

    The flangeway across from the frog is just a bit too large for the needs of most modern American train models. This excessive width allows the axles to shift away from that outer rail and over towards the frog area. The wheel(s) then encountering the tip of the frog often then ride up over the tip of the frog, resulting in a derail.

    There have been a significant number of folks who have shimmed up this flangeway to help prevent this problem. I've seen some folks that report the use of shims of .01".

    I'm searching for what might be other suggestions/experiences for a maximum thickness that might be used??

  • #2
    Fine Tuning Peco Code 100 Curved Switch Check Rails

    Using brass shim on guard rail,..pretty clean installation.

    Interesting observation about backing thru the turnout verses forward picking of the frog.


    • #3
      ...from another forum...


      When you bought Peco turnouts that were supplied with paperwork in the box they themselves said to glue .010 thou shims to the guard rails if you ran scale type wheels sets. I have shims in mine .010 thou in the older ones. These newer ones with out the adjustable spring tensioner have up to .020 thou. I also now make the guard rail longer so that the end is not almost opposite the tip of the frog. I found once I had the wheel set further over I wasn't getting the short problem as much from the two merging rails at the frog of insulfrog type turnouts.

      Hope this helps Les



      • #4
        A few days ago I wrote, I'm getting ready to do a little 'mass production' of the shimming of my Peco turnouts on my layout,...certainly most of the tighter radius ones that my steam engines may have to traverse,...and thus that are inaccessible in staging areas. Tighter radius I am defining as the Code 100 Peco smalls, mediums, small wyes.

        I have decided to utilize .01" thick styrene material, and super glue it in place. I hope to find black styrene locally so I don't have to paint the ones on the upper decks.

        As I reviewed a few of the discussions I had started on this subject of shimming, I discovered these 2 comments that I thought was very helpful,..

        1) I believe that I just used 0.010 thick Evergreen strip. If you use plastic liquid cement, you need to make sure that the strip is held firmly against the guard rail until the cement sets. CA would probably work better.

        2) I made a couple of CA applicators that hold different amounts of CA.

        One is a simple sewing needle stuck eye first into a wooden handle. It is great for tiny amounts of CA. It's just the same as using a pin but I find the handle makes it easier to hold.

        I made the other one by grinding off the top of the eye of a needle and sticking the pointy end into a wooden handle. The remaining part of the eye forms a wye and it holds a bit more CA than the first one, but not so much that it flows everywhere. You can vary the amount that it will hold depending on how far down you grind the eye.

        The wooden handles make the needles easy to handle, and when I put them down on the workbench they won't glue themselves to the cutting mat because the tip stays above the surface.



        • #5
          Bend the Guard Rail rather than Shim It

          A new idea has been suggested. I wonder if anyone is familiar with it??

          Years ago when I built my Buffalo Line I used Peco code 100 curved turnouts in a few of my staging yards for the ladder. Discovered that when backing long trains into the tracks that cars would derail at the frogs. So I measured the gap between the guardrail discovered that it was a bit too wide so I then got a small length of styrene about .010 less than that measurement. Been so long ago I do not remember the sizes. Anyway I would put the piece of styrene in the gap then using a pair of square nose line mans pliers gently squeeze between the rail and guardrail as the plastic they use is fairly soft . When the styrene spacers is tight I stop and remove the piece and the guardrail is now closer to the rail with no white styrene shim to deal with. You don't have to move the entire guard rail just the section directly across from the point of frog. Have never broken a Peco doing this and 29 years later they are still in service with no derailments. Nice thing is this can be done easily when the turnout is in place and ballasted ! ----------- Ken

          I have a bunch of Evergreen styrene . So I found out what fit tightly in a non modified Peco . Then subtracted .010 from that and that's what I used as a spacer when I bend the guardrail. The line mans pliers I use have a fairly wide square jaw end . You only need to move the guardrail about .010 and only the portion leading up to the point of frog and the point. I've done Peco's that have been in place for over ten years and have yet to have a failure. --- Ken


          • #6
            Disclaimer: I have never used a Peco Code 100 turnout. But if you can make your spacer out of brass or aluminum, you won't have to be as careful with the pliers.