Author Topic: Anybody else RUNNING new Atlas 89' flats?  (Read 3041 times)

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randgust

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Anybody else RUNNING new Atlas 89' flats?
« on: August 29, 2013, 07:59:54 PM »
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Just got mine.  Beautiful car.  Low tolerance for track geometry though, flanges scrape on the car floor even on 15" curves, switch frogs, any vertical curves, etc.

This is going to take some minor work to fix, at least a .010 bolster washer, I'll find something.    I didn't expect it to work that well on my layout without some changes (I've had to modify both the Trainworx and BLMA new cars) but it did surprise me to have 'grinding out of the box' on 15" curves and some straight track.  It really doesn't like superelevation in any manner, but my one dead-flat flat 15" curve scraped wheels as well.

I was also a little surprised how little difference in floor height there is between the MT and Atlas flat.  I don't have any observations yet on that body-mounted coupler performance but wow, there sure isn't much swing there.   Car 'should' be heavy enough not to stringline.

Opinions welcome, but what counts is the guys actually running them already - widespread or bad sample?

tehachapifan

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Re: Anybody else RUNNING new Atlas 89' flats?
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2013, 08:04:30 PM »
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I switched the wheels out for I believe BLMA 33" wheels and now mine runs flawlessly (mine did the grinding too).

((CORRECTION....I just checked and I put FVM narrow-tread wheels on it)).
« Last Edit: August 29, 2013, 08:17:52 PM by tehachapifan »

davefoxx

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Re: Anybody else RUNNING new Atlas 89' flats?
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2013, 08:23:58 PM »
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I swapped to FVM wheelsets, and mine stopped scraping the frame and derailing.  I'm running on a mainline minimum radius of 11".  Love 'em!

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« Last Edit: August 29, 2013, 09:41:55 PM by davefoxx »

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bbussey

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Re: Anybody else RUNNING new Atlas 89' flats?
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2013, 08:49:41 PM »
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The flanges on the new Atlas metal wheels appear to be a little larger than the others.  I wouldn't raise the height of the car because it sits at the prototypical height and has body-mounted couplers.  Switching out to FVM or BLMA wheels should solve your problem.

FYI, there is a recommended 15" minimum radius for these models.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2013, 08:57:33 PM by bbussey »
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randgust

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Re: Anybody else RUNNING new Atlas 89' flats?
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2013, 10:16:35 PM »
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Sorry, not according to Atlas:
http://www.atlasrr.com/NFreight/n89flatcar1.html#.Uh_YP8zD-os

I can't spot .010 ride height unless its a closeup photo, but I can spot a derailed car in a train across the room, so for now I'll probably raise it until I see how it does with those limited-swing couplers. If it can negotiate my #6 crossovers I'm OK, but if not, well, probably a resell.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2013, 10:19:40 PM by randgust »

jagged ben

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Re: Anybody else RUNNING new Atlas 89' flats?
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2013, 11:20:59 PM »
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Make sure the trucks aren't put on backwards.  They are asymmetrical like MT trucks.  There are hollowed out areas above the wheelsets that are not centered on the truck pin.

I found one of my three that had a truck put on backwards.  This was the only one that had flanges grinding against the deck on a straight test track.

I've only test run one of mine on a layout so far, and no problems.  Granted, we have an 18" minimum radius at the club.

bbussey

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Re: Anybody else RUNNING new Atlas 89' flats?
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2013, 12:49:16 AM »
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Sorry, not according to Atlas:
http://www.atlasrr.com/NFreight/n89flatcar1.html#.Uh_YP8zD-os

I can't spot .010 ride height unless its a closeup photo, but I can spot a derailed car in a train across the room, so for now I'll probably raise it until I see how it does with those limited-swing couplers. If it can negotiate my #6 crossovers I'm OK, but if not, well, probably a resell.

While they are your cars to do with as you wish, it's a lot less effort to swap out the wheels and keep the ride height intact.  The Atlas wheels can be used on other equipment where the tolerance isn't as fine.
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nkalanaga

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Re: Anybody else RUNNING new Atlas 89' flats?
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2013, 01:56:51 AM »
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True, swapping the wheels would be my choice as well, but Randgust has a valid point.  If he has doubts about the cars' ability to go through his crossovers, due to the couplers, there's no point paying for new wheels until he's tested them.  If they were my cars, and they ran good with the washers, then I'd invest in better wheels.
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randgust

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Re: Anybody else RUNNING new Atlas 89' flats?
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2013, 07:06:41 AM »
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Pulled off the trucks and there is some rather significant molding flash left on the 'circles' from the casting process right under the wheels, and you can see paint rub-off marks on them from the flanges.   Hmmm.   Normally I'd just attack this thing with the dremel and grind all that stuff off  but I don't want it to look damaged.   But if it passes the crossover test, I'll grind all that out and drop it back down where it belongs.    This is a pretty visible glitch.  I'll post photos here this weekend.

EDIT:  I have a thread on this updated on TB, and there's an excellent photo of this issue posted there (that I didn't take).   Flash around the 'ejector marks', and even worse that what I see on mine, although one spot in particular on mine is that bad.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2013, 07:34:08 AM by randgust »

TrainReign

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Re: Anybody else RUNNING new Atlas 89' flats?
« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2013, 12:36:22 AM »
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Just got mine.  Beautiful car.  Low tolerance for track geometry though, flanges scrape on the car floor even on 15" curves, switch frogs, any vertical curves, etc.

This is going to take some minor work to fix, at least a .010 bolster washer, I'll find something....   

Quick question. Where does one get .010 bolster washers? I know about Micro-Trains bolster washers but I believe they are about .015 in thickness.

NS-CRE

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Re: Anybody else RUNNING new Atlas 89' flats?
« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2013, 08:15:42 AM »
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I don't complain much, but how in the heck does a problem like this get by Atlas's quality control program?  It took me all of 30 seconds to figure out that every one of my cars wouldn't roll right.  I put them on the track, pushed them with my finger, and SCRRRAPPPPEEE.....   I was excited they had metal wheelsets so I could use them on the car I paid for.  It's ridiculous that we have to put someone else's wheelsets on them, spending more money on a car that shouldn't have this problem out of the box.
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randgust

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Re: Anybody else RUNNING new Atlas 89' flats?
« Reply #11 on: August 31, 2013, 08:25:37 AM »
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For a normal MT bolster pin you can use K&S screw washers the right size, they come very thin in brass.  But these aren't normal bolster pins, they area a cap pin on a cast bolster.   Once I clean out all that flash I suspect I won't have a problem now.

One of my personal lifetime pet peeves on N is that stuff doesn't work out of the box.  Bluntly I don't care if it doesn't look perfect, I'm thinking of the person starting N that gets chased off because stuff doesn't work.   It's why Roco stuff gets dissed by me my entire lifetime, and why I generally don't diss MT.   This is pretty unusual for Atlas.

sundowner

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Re: Anybody else RUNNING new Atlas 89' flats?
« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2013, 08:48:07 AM »
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I had derailment issues also until I change the wheels to FVM's and the couplers to MT's, I used 1016 like the BLMA flats. But I was going to do that anyway because I dislike Accumates and the Atlas metal wheels seem to have more drag than FVM or BLMA wheels.  I think the biggest problem is the ultra short coupler length since it does not have enough swing.
Which ever side of the track I am on is the right side.

nkalanaga

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Re: Anybody else RUNNING new Atlas 89' flats?
« Reply #13 on: September 01, 2013, 12:57:07 AM »
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For 0.01 inch washers I'd use styrene and a paper punch.  Drill a hole to clear the truck pin and punch the washer out with a 3/16 inch hand punch.  Stick the drill in a Dremel and you can make a few dozen holes in a minute or so, and punching them out doesn't take much longer.  I've done this for several thicknesses, and not only for models.  The same technique works for brass, but anything over about 0.01 is VERY hard to punch.
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Chris333

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Re: Anybody else RUNNING new Atlas 89' flats?
« Reply #14 on: September 01, 2013, 02:29:48 AM »
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Kadee makes both .010 & .015" fiber shim washers.