Author Topic: Wheels, Weight & Couplers on Freight  (Read 8941 times)

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SAH

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Wheels, Weight & Couplers on Freight
« on: March 31, 2011, 08:37:59 PM »
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I said I'd post as I made them ready for the layout.  Not sure this is the right slot of this topic but it didn't seem to fit in my Litchfield to Spencer thread.
I've read you can chop off the MT coupler pockets and use the assembly as a body mount.  Maybe if you have a wide curves but mine are too tight.  I'll guess 16" r is about the minimum.

I wound up installing 1025s only because it was the first pack I found.  While the 1025 looks like it's still available it appears the 1015 is the new universal coupler.  Am I correct?  (This question coming from a guy that still has an instruction sheet for a MT-3 body mount   ::) )


Here's the completed car.  Well almost.  Must decide if the ACI label can stay (It's beyond my layout era).  The model is a MT double plug with one door sanded smooth and replaced with a MT 10' slider.  I added a bit of styrene to make the door taller.  Should have used two pieces, one above and below the door and split the difference.  Also must remember when painting yellow rolling stock to prime the whole thing gray first.  The styrene filler was white - The rest of the car brown.  The yellow shade difference stands out.  The body was lowered by filing and fitting.  A tedious process with result that are not predictable.  How do you guys lower MT box cars?   I did the artwork for the decals and had them printed many years ago.

unittrain

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Re: Wheels, Weight & Couplers on Freight
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2011, 10:26:54 PM »
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Awesome scenery! :o is that static grass? and super trees? I'm getting ready to do some scenery and have some WS polyfiber and fine green blend turf along with jute twine for track side brush hopeing to get good results. As far as lowering MTL cars I have done filing myself which is very tedious to say the least!! I've heard that the new BLMA trucks will lower the cars I'm not sure by how much. The MTL cars ride about 1/16" to high.

wazzou

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Re: Wheels, Weight & Couplers on Freight
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2011, 12:20:11 AM »
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It looks real good.  One thing that will benefit the car though is to lengthen the door tracks to compensate for the 10' door. 
I use a Craftsman tabletop belt/disc sander to file the bolsters to a pre-determined point of material removal (trial/error).  After the first couple to figure a good baseline, I was able to quickly do about 275 cars at the rate of 10 per night.  I use the disc portion with good light and optivisor.  IU use the level table adjacent to the disc to steady the underframe.  You just get a feel for how much metal to remove after a few.  Too much and I just dremel some slight recesses in the frame with a carbide burr to allow free rolling and truck swing.  I'd say 5-6 out of the whole lot have required that step.
Bryan

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SAH

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Re: Wheels, Weight & Couplers on Freight
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2011, 09:44:33 PM »
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Thanks fellas.
unittrain:  Search the "Black River Section Scenery" thread here on railwire.  I described the scenery techniques I use there.  However (and there's always a however) the foreground of the ACY XM photo is fake fur with static grass sprinkled on top.  Not as good as using the electrostatic process.  The photo obscures that little detail.

wazzou:  I did this car a long time ago but remember thinking "Who will ever notice the door track is not long enough for the sliding door?"   ;D  Good catch.  I figured as soon as I finished the model someone would make the body style AND letter it for the AC&Y.  As far as I know no luck on either account.  There might be better starting point made now though.  Not sure.

The table sander method sounds effective once you got the feel for it.   I'm considering a method that requires minimal sanding.  If one were to swipe the sides of the frame with a mill file to remove enough material that allows the frame to drop into the  body.  Then use spacers glued to the interior walls (the entire height of the wall so each spacer would be the same dimension) to set the floor height.  Then use shims to layer the coupler platform to the correct height above the rail.  The first one would take some work but once you got the dimensions figured out it should go pretty quickly with minimal sanding involved. I have many more MT box cars to experiment with.

Steve

wazzou

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Re: Wheels, Weight & Couplers on Freight
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2011, 10:17:53 PM »
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Steve -

That sounds like a lot more work to be honest.  The nice thing about the disc and a good medium grit paper is that it removes metal bolster material pretty quickly.  An underframe only takes a couple of minutes.
Bryan

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SAH

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Re: Wheels, Weight & Couplers on Freight
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2011, 10:21:01 PM »
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You're certainly right about speed:  No way I could do 10 cars a night using spacers.  Then again I probably don't have more than 30 MT box cars to do and I don't own a table sander.  I'll give the spacer idea a shot to see how it does, or does not, work.  Right now it looks like I need to order another 00-90 tap or two and some drill bits to go with it if I'm going to get serious about the body mount coupler thing.

SAH

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Re: Wheels, Weight & Couplers on Freight
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2011, 08:05:05 PM »
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A different project with different challenges:



This an old Arnold Rapido model I bought for the paint scheme primarily.  Not the best body shell but OK.  A few years back I did the full ladder and grab iron treatment but under the "new standards" (for me anyway) it was too light and needed body mount couplers.  In the process I replaced the stirrups with BLMA pieces and touched up (i.e. tried to mask) my crummy airbrush weathering job using chalks.

The challenge was mounting the couplers.  The truck mounting challenge was handled the first go around.  Arnold rolling stock has a different kingpin/truck bolster system than we're accustomed too.  I don't remember all the details but I think I tapped the bolster, drilled out the truck hole to match the bolster diameter and added a shoulder for the truck to rest on.   Some of this work is visible in the photo.  To body mount the couplers I used MT #1064 hopper frame & stirrup parts shown below.  After some cutting and filing they fit pretty well.  I messed up and did not follow the height gauge accurately.  The couplers are too low.  Lesson learned:  Believe the gauge.  -  Steve


delamaize

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Re: Wheels, Weight & Couplers on Freight
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2011, 05:02:54 AM »
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.....Believe the gauge....

Thats the funny thing, Most of my truck mounted MT trucks are low according to the gauge, and all my body mounted stuff is dead on to the gauge, witch leads to some isses sometimes, but never a bg problem.
Mike

Northern Pacific, Tacoma Division, 4th subdivision "The Prarie Line" (still in planning stages)

Chris333

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Re: Wheels, Weight & Couplers on Freight
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2011, 02:14:07 PM »
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I'd like to polish up my GE Lamps DI covered hoppers, but I think it would be easier to just make decals for a Kato car. Did you ever see the photo with 2 GE Lamps cars behind GE in Niles?

SAH

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Re: Wheels, Weight & Couplers on Freight
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2011, 10:14:29 PM »
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I'd like to polish up my GE Lamps DI covered hoppers, but I think it would be easier to just make decals for a Kato car. Did you ever see the photo with 2 GE Lamps cars behind GE in Niles?

Yes I've seen that photo.  Saw another one in the ELHS mag a couple months back.  I bought the 1064 parts for the DI hoppers.  I put some custom work into a few but they track poorly.  The results on the Arnold car are encouraging.  I'm hoping body mounting the couplers and weight will help.  So far it has on the others.

SAH

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Re: Wheels, Weight & Couplers on Freight
« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2011, 09:01:25 PM »
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The MT #1064 parts proved worthwhile again.  I learned my lesson about trusting the height gauge too.  Perfect first time. 
The model is a stock Atlas LO.  I applied 1016 couplers but set the box back so the mounting screw goes through the rear hole on the 1064 mounting pad.  I gave it the ladder & grab treatment, then weathered the factory applied scheme.  I took the photo looking down on the model slightly to show my attempt at modelling the gunk build-up the top of a covered hopper might accumulate.  The weathering is not quite up to Railwire a$$hat standards.  It was done years ago - Long before I learned about using acrylics washed down with vodka.  ;)  My oh my the things I've learned from you guys.   ::)

SAH

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Re: Wheels, Weight & Couplers on Freight
« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2011, 09:10:48 PM »
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Here's a closeup of the Erie gondola I used as a contrast in the BLMA thread.  The AHM body - Still available at swap meets quite often.  Not a bad shell  The decals are from an old NE Decals set.  The Erie diamond is too big obviously but when I did this car there was no alternative.

In the most recent RMC Editor's Notebook column there's a photo of an intriguing 40' DT&I gondola.  The AHM car might be a good starting point to bash one.  The Proto Modeler folks started with an Athearn shell - Probably similar.  The AC&Y interchanged with the DT&I at Columbus Grove.  These cars may have been frequent visitors to the AC&Y.

Steve


SAH

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Re: Wheels, Weight & Couplers on Freight
« Reply #12 on: April 09, 2011, 09:28:30 PM »
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Open Hopper  = Weight Problems.  Not enough to be exact.  Here's a MT 55T hopper lettered with decals from the AC&YHS.  I checked the website (ACYHS.org) but the link to the decal sets is broken appatently.  The AC&Y moved a lot of eastbound limestone loads from the large stone pits at Carey, OH.  Most of the AC&Y hoppers were second hand.  This scheme would be quite old for the time frame I'm modeling but this will likely be the only car lettered this way.  The white dust effect is to reflect the limestone service.

1015 couplers mounted at the front hole in the mounting pad.  Small cars really make the standard N scale couplers look huge.  In a train they don't look so bad though.  Do any of you folks have experience with the low temperature alloys?  Specifically is it possible to pour the metal directly into the hopper bays and if so, is the material dense enough to make a difference?  The stock model weighs 0.3 oz.  I'd like to get to 0.7 oz.  I placed weight in the hopper for a test and the car runs fine with 0.7 oz.  Your thoughts?


SAH

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Re: Wheels, Weight & Couplers on Freight
« Reply #13 on: May 12, 2011, 10:05:19 PM »
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Finally getting back to the model building desk after weeks of prep, execution and followup for our plant maintenance turnaround over Easter.

Here's an IM LO I detailed a few years back.  Back dated it by adding full height ladders and the horizontal stiffener.  Scraped off the running board supports and added styrene brackets.  The decals are customs I did for the another project.  Not exactly correct for this car but close enough.  The porch on the ends makes it easy to add body mounts on this car.  Upped the weight to 1.1 oz.  Runs great.


Not converted yet but arrived today.  A tedious paint scheme to do custom so I'm glad to see this one.  And for the Trainman price you can't beat it.  Eventually I'll get around to giving it the detail treatment since it's an AC&Y car.



I've finally capitulated and converted to DCC.  Had the usual newbie mistakes but finally have a couple of locos running as a MU set.  So at this point I'm back to where I was with the DC power pack - Just a few hundred bucks lighter.     ::)  I'm sure it will all be worth it.  Some day.

Steve

SAH

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Re: Wheels, Weight & Couplers on Freight
« Reply #14 on: November 20, 2011, 08:12:15 PM »
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Back to the frieght car prep campaign.  I figure I'll need about 50 to run a trial ops session and decided I'd do them right as I go.  So how many in the thread so far . . . six?  I've a ways to go.

Lowering MT box cars:  Most of the tools I use are shown in the photo.  I think you guys can figure out what I did pretty easily as far as the notch in the end to accept the coupler.  The goal was to remove the tedious file & check routine at the bolster and instead use the factory bolster without modification.  I did this by making the underframe narrower so it fits between the car sides and let the coupler pocket and depth of the notch determine how low the side go.


I use the rivets cast into the lowest dreadnaught end to guide the depth and width of my cut.  The lower door guide must also be removed.  I don't car about operating doors so gluing them closed does not give me heartburn.


Here's the line-up with the usual suspects.  From L to R:  Atlas 1932 AAR, Modified MT, Unmodified MT, Atlas Rebuild

Steve