Idea for making coasers smoother - Would it work?

Wednesday, April 13, 2005 7:05 PM
If any of you have noticed, on and SLC theres at least 1 inch between the guide wheels and the track.

Obviously this causes a lot of shuffling which everyone complains about.

Couldn't maintenance just put on bigger wheels to get rid of that gap? Or to make it smoother would you really need to just have a spring assembly like on a B&M coaster?

Wednesday, April 13, 2005 7:08 PM
I am not an expert or anything, but wouldn't you need a spring-loaded type of assembly? If you put a larger wheel on their, it would grip until it wears down and leaves you with a shuffling problem again. Also, you are changing the way the train moves through the circuit by adding more friction, which could slow the train down.
Wednesday, April 13, 2005 7:16 PM
Last summer I built a 35 or so foot long rollercoaster in my backyard. No upstop wheels but the guide wheels I noticed the closer they were to the guide rails, it would slow down a little bit, but it went even slower when it shuffled back and forth when I didn't have the guide wheels installed.

An album can be viewed here.

Currently I'm redoing the coaster car, and making it look like a Intamin hyper replica, with one seat instead of 2.

I've configured the lapbar to lock with a pneamatic door closer. It it moves up and down a little bit, but it will be used in conjunction with a seatbelt which will attached around the lapbar itself.

I'm not planning on having the Six Flags version of the lapbar lol ;) *** Edited 4/13/2005 11:16:35 PM UTC by Ride of Steel***

Wednesday, April 13, 2005 7:58 PM

onceler said:
I am not an expert or anything, but wouldn't you need a spring-loaded type of assembly?

Which, I believe, is exactly what B&M uses.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005 8:01 PM
Ride of Steel, your gallery doesn't load.
Wednesday, April 13, 2005 8:02 PM
No, it would not likely work, because the reason why there is a gap between the wheels and the track is because Vekoma and Arrow intentionally designed some turns to be tight. This means that actually, at some points in the ride, both guide wheels are infact touching the rails. These mainly occur in the unbanked turns that are taken at low speed.

So in essence, the car would get stuck in the turn if the wheels were bigger.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005 8:06 PM
I spoke with a certain wood coaster engineer that said a lot of the roughness of wood coasters comes from the way the track is supported. As he put it, the track itself is like a "noodle" that gets less rigid over time. Eventually it starts to "washboard" between supports, which taken at high speed accounts for a lot of the roughness. Better support strategies keep the track better supported and help prolong the life of the track.
Wednesday, April 13, 2005 8:08 PM
You can't just have all of the wheels firmly grabbing the track, as the cars wouldn't be able to negotiate anything other than a perfectly straight piece of track. As a result, coaster manufacturers are forced to allow for some room between the wheels and track in order for the vehicles to go through whatever crazy inversions and turns they have in mind. However, you're correct--this "gap" also results in unnecessary banging around. (Keep in mind that the transitions between elements also plays a huge part in head banging, which is why older Arrows are always rougher than a B&M with "rough wheels", so to speak.) B&M, Intamin, and most recently Vekoma (and possibly Arrow?) have fixed the wheel gap problem by installing spring-loaded wheel assemblies, which keep the train from bouncing around while still giving the wheel assemblies necessary room to move. If it was as easy as installing larger wheels, Arrow and Vekoma would have done it ages ago--those people aren't idiots, after all.

(psst... it's spelled pneumatic, RoS ;))

Wednesday, April 13, 2005 8:27 PM

PhantomTails said:
(psst... it's spelled pneumatic, RoS ;))

Poor spellers of the world:Untie!

I've alway had trouble with that word (among others ;).

I see what you mean with the wheels.

BTW, the link does work. What error message are you getting? I believe it's a public gallery.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005 8:29 PM
Thats the one where you are logged in. I've had this same problem. You have to use your public page.

I think is should be something like.

:).. I hope that helps. *** Edited 4/14/2005 12:31:48 AM UTC by Corkscrewy***

Wednesday, April 13, 2005 8:30 PM
You're linking us to an admin function, and therefore we a "You do not appear to be the owner of this album. Make sure you are logged in." error.
Wednesday, April 13, 2005 10:09 PM
Making coasters snoother is easy. Build a clone of SOB and a Vekoma Hang-N-Bang at every park out there...makes all coasters seem MUCH smoother just by comparison :)
Wednesday, April 13, 2005 10:25 PM
^^^ Hahahah... I'm still LMAO.. That wins my vote for funniest post of the month!! :)
Wednesday, April 13, 2005 10:44 PM
Wednesday, April 13, 2005 10:53 PM
HAHA... That thing is awesome. It gave me an idea!!. Yes. I bet its smoother than SoB. :)
Wednesday, April 13, 2005 11:26 PM
There is typically a gap between the track and the guide wheel in order to give the axle room to swing, also to accommodate the fact that the curve isn't exactly tangent to the axle. The typical Arrow-type wheel assembly will cruise straight between the rails until the leading guide wheel on the outboard side of the curve hits the rail. The axle rotates until both guide wheels on the outboard side are following the curve, at which time the car starts to go around the turn.

I haven't investigated fully, but I suspect that at least one item of note is the distance between the guide wheels. I say that because of the difference between Iron Dragon and Top Gun, since Iron Dragon shuffles like crazy and Top Gun does not...the big difference that I can see is that Top Gun has 12" guide wheels instead of 8" wheels, and out of necessity the axles must be further apart. Wood coasters, of course, don't have dual guide wheels, but they also don't have steerable axles. Instead, the whole car has to steer around the curve, as the whole car operates much like the Arrow axle. The problem with that is that the car has to slide on the rail because the road wheels don't steer. That's why the tracks have to be greased or graphited on most wood coasters.

What complicates things even more is that the train is steering multiple cars on a track, and because the cars are tied together, what each car is doing affects what all the other cars are doing. I suspect that's what is causing a lot of the shuffling on Son of Beast.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

Thursday, April 14, 2005 9:28 AM
I'm guessing that you would have to have the spring assemblies like B&M. However, I don't think it's possible for anyone else to use that idea since B&M has a patent on that design.
Thursday, April 14, 2005 9:45 AM
If you use these trains, you can almost squeeze the track.

Like many others have said, you have to have some play in the wheels to negotiate the corners. PTC/G-Trains need even more because they have 2 non-steerable axles per car.

Single row cars like Vekoma inverts, all B&Ms, and GCI Millenium Flyers don't require much at all.

Thursday, April 14, 2005 2:26 PM
Vekoma should have switched over to the Invertigo trains a long time ago. That would've have solved all the SLC problems, as they have B&M-like wheel assemblies. If you go and ride Mind Eraser and then Two Face at SFA, you'll notice a HUGE difference in re-rideability.
Thursday, April 14, 2005 2:35 PM

Corkscrewy said:
I bet its smoother than SoB. :)

I haven't been on SOB but I'm sure it is! The way we designed it, the guide wheels are always touching so there's ZERO shuffling and the ride is very smooth.


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