This might sound an odd request given their toy-like reputation, but does anyone know where to buy replacement Tyco PowerTorque wheelsets?
I recently bought and resurrected a seized Rock Island Sharknose (it was $8 USD) but the loco wobbles all over the place due to a plastic drive wheel sitting crooked on the axle, and I can't straighten it no matter what I do (maybe it was out-of-round from the factory or the hole not drilled perfectly in the centre, who knows - the axle itself is not bent and the wobble is not caused by the traction tyre). This is a thin axle version from circa 1980 (earlier Tyco locos had very thick axles). I'd rather buy a good straight wheelset before I butcher this one beyond repair while attempting to get it to sit straight.
The motor runs fine, the light still works, all of the gears are in good shape and mesh perfectly (except for the gear on the bad wheel of course), and it runs smoothly on the test track when I remove the offending wheelset (obviously I won't run it on a layout like that as it would most likely derail as soon as it hit a corner). Put the wheelset back on and the loco wobbles, the light flickers and it stalls at low speeds (the gear on the bad wheel probably cases that to happen, as it wobbles up and down with the wheel). None of the drive wheels or gears are cracked or otherwise broken, and the wheels are spotless.
So far, this is all I've had to do to the loco to get it running nicely:
Removed a ridiculous amount of dust from inside the loco and motor, gave the motor a drop of oil and a good run with no load to free it up, replaced the rearmost wheelset as the plastic wheel had a broken flange (I used a metal Lima wheelset from an Indian Pacific/Overland type car and had to bore out the axle holder slightly to get it to fit), and added a couple of Kadee #5s as the loco didn't have any couplers when I bought it (it had no coupler at all on the front and the broken stub of a horn hook on the rear). Now I just need a good wheelset so it can operate smoothly.
Update: The Shark has since been modified and now uses a Linkline F3 underframe and running gear.