Author Topic: Improving the ride height of a Micro-Trains caboose  (Read 3741 times)

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DKS

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Improving the ride height of a Micro-Trains caboose
« on: October 07, 2007, 10:51:17 PM »
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This first photo demonstrates why I was desperate to improve the ride height of a Micro-Trains caboose—it is an embarrassing sight:



Easy enough to file down the bolsters and get the trucks tucked up tighter...



But what about coupler height? As it happens, I found a trick that not only preserves coupler height to nearly the same as before, but improves appearance at the same time. The first step is to pop the coupler pocket apart. Then make a dimple in the frame next to the mounting screw hole with a #60 drill bit, and grind a recess for the spring. This pretty much replicates the inner surface of the coupler pocket lid.



Finally, just screw the lidless pocket, together with the coupler, right to the frame (and grind off the excess screw later, of course).



Here's a before-and-after (actually, in this case, an after-and-before) comparison of the ride height:



There were lots of other cosmetic improvements made, nearly all of them to the frame. Details on this work-in-progress are on this page: http://jamesriverbranch.net/project_9.htm
« Last Edit: October 08, 2007, 10:21:25 PM by dks2855 »
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tom mann

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Re: Improving the ride height of a Micro-Trains caboose
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2007, 06:42:16 AM »
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Great idea on the coupler!  I never thought of that before!

Amazing improvement.

ednadolski

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Re: Improving the ride height of a Micro-Trains caboose
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2007, 12:40:41 PM »
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Nice work on the lowering, that's quite an improvement.  The stock MT gives a new meaning to "high rider" (like maybe "high orbiter"...  is that MT's way of making their N stuff look more reasonable by comparison?).  Are all MT Z-scale cars/locos like that?   Doesn't anyone make anything better?

I've tried the lidless #905 coupler a bit but found it really hard to keep the spring from flying all over -- do you do any particular trick to make it behave better?

The #905 still pogos at low speeds (even in N).  I'm finding that if I replace the spring with a small strip of foam rubber (cut from the packing in an Atlas loco box) it changes the resonance & cuts down on the pogo significantly.  It's not an ideal solution in that it does erode the automatic couple/uncouple action, but I never use that anyway.

DKS

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Re: Improving the ride height of a Micro-Trains caboose
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2007, 01:20:41 PM »
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Nice work on the lowering, that's quite an improvement.  The stock MT gives a new meaning to "high rider" (like maybe "high orbiter"...  is that MT's way of making their N stuff look more reasonable by comparison?).  Are all MT Z-scale cars/locos like that?   Doesn't anyone make anything better?

I've tried the lidless #905 coupler a bit but found it really hard to keep the spring from flying all over -- do you do any particular trick to make it behave better?

Most all of the M-T cars are high-fliers, so I have my work cut out for me. Locos are generally much better, thankfully.

As for the spring... I have no tricks. I just work very, very slowly and carefully—I probably look like a drugged sloth with reading glasses when I'm working with the couplers.
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Chris333

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Re: Improving the ride height of a Micro-Trains caboose
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2007, 03:20:45 PM »
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I never got to mess with this caboose since it doesn't come close to anything I needed. I like the underframe mods and of course it looks much better lower.

Pray59

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Re: Improving the ride height of a Micro-Trains caboose
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2007, 03:55:32 PM »
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Chris, didn't you grind out wheel wells on one of your cars that you lowered? It allowed your car to sit way low if I remember correctly?

-Robert

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Re: Improving the ride height of a Micro-Trains caboose
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2007, 04:20:38 PM »
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Yes, that was a gondola. The frame stepped down at the coupler area.
http://www.trainboard.com/railimages/data/772/ZPRRgon2.jpg

Gondolas aways seem to need chopped down.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2007, 04:23:30 PM by Chris333 »

Mark5

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Re: Improving the ride height of a Micro-Trains caboose
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2007, 10:43:15 AM »
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This first photo demonstrates why I was desperate to improve the ride height of a Micro-Trains caboose—it is an embarrassing sight:



Agreed, not sure which is worse - the above or my 027 trainset from when I was a kid ...

Very much improved! 8)

Pray59

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Re: Improving the ride height of a Micro-Trains caboose
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2007, 11:01:38 AM »
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The more I look at that photo, the more it reminds me of a 4 x 4!  ;D  It looks like some good 'ol boys put a lift kit on that caboose! Look out, where's the flood! Better roll up my pant legs! haha!  :o

DKS

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Re: Improving the ride height of a Micro-Trains caboose
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2007, 11:40:13 AM »
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I want to stage a photo with a guy on a ladder trying to reach the steps to get on.
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Pray59

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Re: Improving the ride height of a Micro-Trains caboose
« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2007, 12:25:33 PM »
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I finally dug through my box, and found the one MTL caboose I own. Sure enough, it is way too high. Mine is painted for SP, so I need to repaint it into a more realistic scheme. I wonder if New Haven had this type of caboose? It would look good with the NH GP9.

-Robert

DKS

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Re: Improving the ride height of a Micro-Trains caboose
« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2007, 12:55:48 PM »
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I wonder if New Haven had this type of caboose? It would look good with the NH GP9.

I'm afraid I haven't found any evidence that the NH had this type of caboose. Sorta close, but only inasmuch as the cupola is in the middle...
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FrankCampagna

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Re: Improving the ride height of a Micro-Trains caboose
« Reply #12 on: October 18, 2007, 06:24:57 PM »
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Quote
I wonder if New Haven had this type of caboose? It would look good with the NH GP9.

-Robert

No, they did not. Reading, LV, CNJ, WM, and a number of second hand users. The NE-6, as made by Atlas in N, is probably the closest, but significantly different. Frank
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RockandRail

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Re: Improving the ride height of a Micro-Trains caboose
« Reply #13 on: October 18, 2007, 07:44:44 PM »
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i made and NE-5 for antony at Z scale monster, but didn't take a picture of it.  maybe he has.  it turned out nice.
dave f.

zeeglen

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Re: Improving the ride height of a Micro-Trains caboose
« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2007, 11:17:12 PM »
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I've tried the lidless #905 coupler a bit but found it really hard to keep the spring from flying all over -- do you do any particular trick to make it behave better?



Try placing a length of sewing thread through the spring first.  It won't fly anywhere with the thread holding it.  After the coupler is assembled pull the thread out.  Someone else's idea, not mine, and it works good.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2007, 11:21:16 PM by zeeglen »