Author Topic: AZL Autorack Upgrades  (Read 1738 times)

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Sokramiketes

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AZL Autorack Upgrades
« on: July 23, 2013, 12:11:44 AM »
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Here's a before and after on the AZL autorack.  The after rack has been lowered over Full Throttle trucks, body mounted FT couplers inset into the end, and has etched ladders/sill/stir-up/door track pieces added:


AZL sells a "Tri-level" autorack also, though it just has different end doors than their Bi-level model.  I had an inset stir-up version etched to mimic the lower deck of the Tri-level cars:


Here's the Tri-level sunk even farther on the trucks. I sanded the tops of the trucks down to make them looked even more tucked under the deck:
Mike

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GaryHinshaw

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Re: AZL Autorack Upgrades
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2013, 01:22:05 AM »
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Very slick Mike.   The looks are much improved - especially the with the etched parts!  How do they operate on curves?  Any issues staying coupled with shorter cars, or any tendency to string-line, with the body mounts?  I'm still contemplating what to do with my N scale racks and 89' flats, vis a vis body mounting.

Cheers,
Gary

P.S. You might like our etched coupler pockets for more body mounting options with FT couplers.  I found it kind of tricky to body-mount the FT pockets.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2013, 04:57:21 AM by GaryHinshaw »

Catt

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Re: AZL Autorack Upgrades
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2013, 11:44:55 AM »
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Mike , almost makes me want to buy some auto racks.Your additions sure do make a difference.

What radius do these cars require? One end of my layout has 11.5" while the other is 12.5"
Johnathan (Catt) Edwards
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Sokramiketes

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Re: AZL Autorack Upgrades
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2013, 11:55:52 AM »
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The ladders themselves don't affect operation as the cars come out of the box.  They look silly on MTL track, but there isn't interference between the sill and the AZL talgo coupler.

On the body mounted cars, I have two 13.5" return loop modules and they will operate around that curve, as long as I don't mix a body mouted coupler with a talgo coupler.  I haven't tried them on an MTL loop of r220mm.  It will also work with a 60' centerbeam with body mounted couplers, but there is probably some point where 13.5" radius is just too small for a 50' boxcar coupled to an 89' autorack. 

Lucky for me, the Columbia River Sub saw solid trains of autoracks, so I should be OK and not have to mix too much in. 
Mike

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wazzou

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Re: AZL Autorack Upgrades
« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2013, 12:20:50 PM »
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Excellent solution Mike.
Bryan

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Sokramiketes

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Re: AZL Autorack Upgrades
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2013, 12:17:21 PM »
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P.S. You might like our etched coupler pockets for more body mounting options with FT couplers.  I found it kind of tricky to body-mount the FT pockets.

While these autorack end up with a nice gluing surface on 4 sides of the box, standardizing on FT couplers for the Z scale fleet has other challenges.  Mainly, the FT box is too wide to mount on shorter cars where the trucks need to swivel with a coupler box jammed between the backs of the wheelsets.  In talgo mode, the box moves with the truck swing, so it's not a problem.  But once you separate them and mount the box in body mount format, the trucks can't swing enough...  The MTL Z 905 box is much thinner and will work in these instances. 

So, the etched pockets might be a solution for the 50' cars.  How wide is an etched pocket?
Mike

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GaryHinshaw

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Re: AZL Autorack Upgrades
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2013, 02:33:10 AM »
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Hi Mike.  You can refer to the first photo in this post for reference.  The outside dimensions of the box itself are 0.150" wide and 0.060" tall, whereas the stock FT box is 0.180" wide.  However, as designed, the lid has a width of 0.180" when the air hose is included, so you don't gain there.  You could trim the air hose off and get  the lid width close to the box width, if that extra space seemed helpful.

When I made my comment, I wasn't thinking of size as much as mounting options.  The FT box was not designed for body mounting: you pretty much had to glue the lid to the car, then snap the pocket body on and hope it stayed put.  (But do I understand that you're using an MT box?)  The etched box was designed to be screwed in place, either through the coupler post, or through the slot behind the box.

I'd be happy to send you a few samples if you want to experiment.

-gfh

Sokramiketes

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Re: AZL Autorack Upgrades
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2013, 03:40:58 PM »
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Hi Mike.  You can refer to the first photo in this post for reference.  The outside dimensions of the box itself are 0.150" wide and 0.060" tall, whereas the stock FT box is 0.180" wide.  However, as designed, the lid has a width of 0.180" when the air hose is included, so you don't gain there.  You could trim the air hose off and get  the lid width close to the box width, if that extra space seemed helpful.

When I made my comment, I wasn't thinking of size as much as mounting options.  The FT box was not designed for body mounting: you pretty much had to glue the lid to the car, then snap the pocket body on and hope it stayed put.  (But do I understand that you're using an MT box?)  The etched box was designed to be screwed in place, either through the coupler post, or through the slot behind the box.

I'd be happy to send you a few samples if you want to experiment.

-gfh

To clarify, I'd like to use the FT coupler on everything... it just won't fit on shorter rolling stock, in the FT coupler box.  So I was resiged to the fact that I'd have to go with MTL 905's on  50' boxcars, for example, where the box needs to fit between the back of wheel swing.

On the autoracks it isn't a problem because the coupler box and trucks are so far separate that it doesn't matter how wide the FT box is.

Anyway, I'd love to take you up on the sample offer.  This sounds like the solution for getting FT couplers mounted on rolling stock that cant fit the standard FT box!
Mike

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DKS

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Re: AZL Autorack Upgrades
« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2013, 05:45:55 PM »
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The FT coupler box is actually bigger than it needs to be. You can cut it off right after the back edge of the fulcrum, since the coupler's plastic springs press against the coupler end of the box, and the rest isn't needed. Indeed, you can probably remove even more, since you really only need enough of the box sides to engage the coupler springs.
“Everyone leaves unfinished business. That's what dying is.” —Amos, The Expanse

Sokramiketes

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Re: AZL Autorack Upgrades
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2013, 11:05:03 PM »
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Anthony over at Z Scale Monster now has a supply of these ladders in stock!

http://www.zscalemonster.com/zscalemonster/

Mike

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shamoo737

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Re: AZL Autorack Upgrades
« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2013, 10:56:48 AM »
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Mike, any news on the Superliner cars. Right now, the Surfliners cars are cheap, and I will pickup a set if you are going to do the kit.
John

Sokramiketes

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Re: AZL Autorack Upgrades
« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2013, 11:57:49 AM »
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Mike, any news on the Superliner cars. Right now, the Surfliners cars are cheap, and I will pickup a set if you are going to do the kit.

I picked up a set cheap since I needed the trucks off the surfliners.  Then I started looking at etched overlays instead of a full kit.  I haven't had a chance to redesign the etchings to precisely fit as overlays (The AZL cars seems to be a tad small compared to my current etchings) so it's a little ways off still.   
Mike

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