Author Topic: Lowering Intermountain boxcars with body-mount couplers?  (Read 1590 times)

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nickelplate759

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Lowering Intermountain boxcars with body-mount couplers?
« on: April 27, 2011, 07:21:45 PM »
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Now that I've got the freight-car height bug, I'm looking at my roster.  The Intermountain 40' boxcars appear to be a little high to me.  I can lower the car by lowering the bolster height, but then the couplers sit too low (the floor on these cars is already at .275" - Microtrains 1023 - height).   The MT 2004 couplers are TOO low (and tend to interfere with trucks).  Does any one have a solution that lowers the car height AND body-mounts the couplers?
George

NKPH&TS #3628

I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that.

bbussey

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Re: Lowering Intermountain boxcars with body-mount couplers?
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2011, 12:05:15 AM »
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You should be able to lower the car .030" or so and still have MTL 1015 or 1023 couplers work at the correct height.  The cars definitely sit high and were designed for truck-mounted couplers, so it is unlikely that the underfloor height is at the correct level for MTL 1023 coupler boxes.  If the MTL 1015/1023 couplers are too low, then you've lowered the car too much.  With MTL 1015, substitute #00-90 brass flat head screws in place of the supplied zinc pan head screws.  On the MTL 1023, the coupler box profile is thin enough to use the pan head screws without interfering with the outer axle.
Bryan Busséy
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amato1969

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Re: Lowering Intermountain boxcars with body-mount couplers?
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2011, 09:06:23 AM »
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I can vouch for Bryan's post.  Here are some examples I built and painted; I filed down the bolsters and body-mounted 1023s:

http://therailwire.net/forum/index.php/topic,11896.0.html

These are great cars with a little bit of TLC.

  Frank

christoph

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Re: Lowering Intermountain boxcars with body-mount couplers?
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2011, 12:59:46 PM »
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The Intermountain 40' box cars accept MTL 1025 couplers without any change in the height.  They even have the mounting holes cast in the (plastic) floor.  I used 1025 couplers and cut-off IM trucks for some cars but finding free-rolling IM trucks was a bit difficult.
Now I prefer converting all IM box cars to MTL ex-#1000 trucks like the latest IM cars, just for uniformity.  But the more protypical lowrider cars are in the roster, the more these "cars on high heels" look bad.
MTL #1015 might allow to lower the cars, similar to Bryan's sample of a lowered MTL box car (I forgot in which thread this was shown, but converted the latest B&O box car to BLMA trucks, beautiful).
Christoph

bbussey

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Re: Lowering Intermountain boxcars with body-mount couplers?
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2011, 03:01:01 PM »
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Here's a lowered IMRC AAR boxcar with Atlas friction-bearing trucks, FVM wheelsets and MTL 1015s.  It's still a tad high, haven't gone back to readjust the 17 of these I have.



Here's the MTL PS-1 on BLMA trucks and body-mounted 1015s.


Bryan Busséy
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NSE #1117
www.bbussey.net


nickelplate759

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Re: Lowering Intermountain boxcars with body-mount couplers?
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2011, 08:13:42 PM »
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I'm confused.    My Intermountain cars have underframes that, unmodified, are the right height for MT 1023 (1025) (spec. says .275", IIRC).   If I lower them by, say .030", then they will look better but underframe will be too low (around .245").     That's the problem I'm struggling to resolve.
George

NKPH&TS #3628

I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that.

bbussey

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Re: Lowering Intermountain boxcars with body-mount couplers?
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2011, 01:40:28 AM »
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How are you measuring, with the MTL gauge?  Do you insert the gauge between the rails to measure the cars while they are on the track?  Because there is no way the bottom of the IRMC cars are at .275" from the railtop -- otherwise the truck-mounted couplers would rub against the floor, and there is at least .020" clearance to allow for coupler swing.
Bryan Busséy
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NSE #1117
www.bbussey.net


nickelplate759

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Re: Lowering Intermountain boxcars with body-mount couplers?
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2011, 10:24:40 AM »
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Using the MT-1055 gauge (the cast metal one that sits between the rails) there is about than .005"  clearance between the gauge floor-height tongue (spec-ed at .275", for 1025 coupler mounting) and the car floor.        The 1015 couplers are supposed to mount just a tad higher - .279", so they should be perfect, but I've been using 1025 for these cars happily.   The 2004 low-slung coupler are to be mounted at .220", but that's almost impossible to fit above a 33" axle.

The MT spec for truck-mounted couplers (here: http://www.micro-trains.com/Truck%20diagrams.pdf ) says that they fit under a .275" inch floor, although that's not what Micro-Trains actually does for their cars.

The Intermountain car roof is at about scale 15' - about a scale 6" too high (.0375").
George

NKPH&TS #3628

I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that.

bbussey

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Re: Lowering Intermountain boxcars with body-mount couplers?
« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2011, 10:35:15 AM »
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The #1015 coupler tooling has changed at least three times since it was introduced decades ago, and I don't know if the MTL documentation has kept up.  I suggest lowering the car .030" (assume the "wood" roofwalk is too thick so don't use that as the EXH of the car), mounting a #1015, comparing the coupler height with other equipment on the track, and making any necessary adjustments.  Unlike the original 1972 Kadee/MTL coupler design that required following the mounting specifications precisely, the current coupler head design allows for some variance in the car height.  Once you arrive at an acceptable median, you can convert the remainder of your fleet.
Bryan Busséy
NHRHTA #2246
NSE #1117
www.bbussey.net


nickelplate759

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Re: Lowering Intermountain boxcars with body-mount couplers?
« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2011, 12:50:12 PM »
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Thanks,  time to experiment!

By the way, I blame Bryan for this - his wonderful BAR State-of-Maine cars are what got me started on this.
The new BLMA gondolas just made matters worse  ;)
George

NKPH&TS #3628

I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that.