Author Topic: Lowering MT 39ft tankcar - couplers  (Read 1437 times)

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nkalanaga

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Lowering MT 39ft tankcar - couplers
« on: May 17, 2014, 02:45:15 AM »
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Has anyone lowered one of these?  If so, what couplers did you use?

Thank you.
N Kalanaga
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bbussey

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Re: Lowering MT 39ft tankcar - couplers
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2014, 10:46:59 AM »
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MTL 1015 should work.  Lower it to match the height of the Bachmann version, which is the correct height.  That should match the difference between the dome height of the two models, as the MTL dome is lower so that the dome top is at the correct prototypical height even though the car rides high.
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sirenwerks

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Re: Lowering MT 39ft tankcar - couplers
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2014, 11:02:36 AM »
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So what you're saying is the dome needs to be extended once the car is lowered?
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bbussey

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Re: Lowering MT 39ft tankcar - couplers
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2014, 11:33:03 AM »
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Or, use the Bachmann car as a replacement and change the trucks/wheels, or fit the Bachmann body to the better-detailed MTL frame after lowering the bolsters.  The triple-dome car is low in the domes also, to compensate for the high ride height.
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sirenwerks

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Re: Lowering MT 39ft tankcar - couplers
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2014, 12:16:33 PM »
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The triple dome car doesn't show it so much, because the length to height ration is smaller.  But the 39' single dome always looked odd to me, and I always thought it was supposed to be a late full frame design with release with a lot of foobie paint jobs, not the same car as the newer Bachmann model.  If anything, I thought the 39' single dome was a too-short version of the CGW tank cars, as those are the only cars I have seen that have similar proportions.
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bbussey

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Re: Lowering MT 39ft tankcar - couplers
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2014, 12:35:58 PM »
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The CGW cars, as you mentioned, are longer cars with a larger tank diameter and similar dome profile.  Both the Bachmann car and the MTL car are the ACF 10,000 gallon prototype.  Most of the MTL/Kadee cars tooled around 1980 or so had the model height compressed to offset the higher ride height, so that the car top remained at the proper height.  The FMC modern boxcars are the most obvious, but it happened on the tank car also.  Later tooling this occurred on includes the 3-dome tank and most of the 60-foot boxcars.  The double-plug-door waffle car is actually the correct height in the body, but the lower sill was omitted (unnecessarily) to allow for truck swing (ride height still must be lowered though).

It is more obvious on the 3-dome when you compare it to photos.  It isn't as obvious just looking at the model because the dome diameter is smaller.

And yes, the overwhelming number of schemes that have appeared on the MTL/Kadee model over the past 35 years are better suited for the InterMountain 8,000 gallon model.  You can't count on the Bachmann schemes being correct for their model either, with the Pennsy USRA hopper being the most recent example, but at least the proportions of the model are correct and it rides at the correct height.

« Last Edit: May 17, 2014, 01:08:13 PM by bbussey »
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bbussey

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Re: Lowering MT 39ft tankcar - couplers
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2014, 12:44:15 PM »
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Also — instead of modifying the bolsters on the MTL frame, just replace the trucks with BLMA ASF A-3 or Atlas Barber S-2A.  More PS-1 boxcars road on A-3 trucks than on S-2A trucks, so you can get surplus S-2A trucks from swapping in A-3 trucks on the Atlas cars until the trucks are available separately.  Both of these truck frames also are the correct scale width, an added bonus.
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nkalanaga

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Re: Lowering MT 39ft tankcar - couplers
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2014, 12:50:44 PM »
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Thank you.  I'm still debating whether to file the bolsters or buy new trucks.  Either way will work, as I only have five cars.

The only problem I see with the 1015 (or 1025) couplers is that the frame already has two holes for a 1027 coupler, and the new hole would have to be drilled between them.  Would this weaken the plastic, or is MT's plastic tough enough to handle three holes close together?
N Kalanaga
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bbussey

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Re: Lowering MT 39ft tankcar - couplers
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2014, 12:55:22 PM »
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Forgot about that.  I think 1016's might work if you tap the inner holes.  That's an issue with all older MTL cars, as the included holes are designed for the 1027, which has a thick lid that allows the cars to continue to ride high but places the knuckle at the correct height.

I recommend buying the trucks, as you then don't have to worry about filing the bolsters level.  Now that the trucks exist, I wish I could retrofit a bunch of my models.  I still might.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2014, 12:57:51 PM by bbussey »
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amato1969

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Re: Lowering MT 39ft tankcar - couplers
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2014, 05:08:30 PM »
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Now that the trucks exist, I wish I could retrofit a bunch of my models.  I still might.

I hear ya Bryan!  I filed my share of Intermountain 40' boxcar bolsters, and now if I swap in BLMA trucks, I will have to shim them with washers  :facepalm:

  Frank

nickelplate759

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Re: Lowering MT 39ft tankcar - couplers
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2014, 05:45:37 PM »
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"... I filed my share of Intermountain 40' boxcar bolsters, and now if I swap in BLMA trucks, I will have to shim them with washers.."

After you did that, what did you use for couplers?  Unmodified Intermountain cars take MT-1025, but after lowering I'm not sure what to use.
George
George

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

PGE_Modeller

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Re: Lowering MT 39ft tankcar - couplers
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2014, 06:29:02 PM »
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- snip - Both the Bachmann car and the MTL car are the ACF 10,000 gallon prototype.   - snip -.

Not intending to hijack the thread, but although Micro Trains do state that their car is a 10,000 gallon AC&F car, the dimensions of the car do not agree with published AC&F data.

The following comparisons of the MTL 39' tank car, Bachmann 10,000 gallon tank car and AC&F 10,000 and  12,000 gallon cars are based on
MTL and Bachmann tank dimensions as measured by me and multiplied by 160, and prototype dimensions from a 1940 AC&F drawing on p.230 of
“Tank Cars, American Car & Foundry  Co., 1865 to 1955" by Edward S. Kaminski, published by Signature Press, Wilton, Ca., 2003.

                                 Tank                  Length                  Tank Capacity             Frame length
                       inside diameter    over head rivets      (excluding heads)         (over strikers)

10,000 Gallon car

Prototype                87 1/4"                 31'-6"                      9784 Gallons               36'-3"

Bachmann               86 7/8"                 31'-0"                      9546 Gallons               36'-8"


12,000 Gallon car

Prototype                 92"                     34'-0"                   11741 Gallons                39'-0"

MTL                       94 5/8"                  32'-7"                   11903 Gallons                38'-9"

3/8" thick tank sheets (as shown in the AC&F drawing) have been allowed for in converting the model outside diameters to inside diameters.

Cheers,
« Last Edit: May 17, 2014, 06:43:35 PM by PGE_Modeller »

bbussey

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Re: Lowering MT 39ft tankcar - couplers
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2014, 07:10:47 PM »
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Not intending to hijack the thread, but although Micro Trains do state that their car is a 10,000 gallon AC&F car, the dimensions of the car do not agree with published AC&F data ...

Why is that not a surprise.   :facepalm:

"... I filed my share of Intermountain 40' boxcar bolsters, and now if I swap in BLMA trucks, I will have to shim them with washers.."
After you did that, what did you use for couplers?  Unmodified Intermountain cars take MT-1025, but after lowering I'm not sure what to use.
George

MTL 1015 should work.  That's what I use after filing the bolsters down.  If necessary, I'll cut notches in the floor and mount styrene pads inside on the floor top to secure the coupler to.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2014, 07:13:00 PM by bbussey »
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nickelplate759

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Re: Lowering MT 39ft tankcar - couplers
« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2014, 09:32:19 PM »
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MTL 1015 should work.  Lower it to match the height of the Bachmann version, which is the correct height.  That should match the difference between the dome height of the two models, as the MTL dome is lower so that the dome top is at the correct prototypical height even though the car rides high.


I'm confused - the MT 1025 is spec'd at .275" above ht railhead, but MT 1015 is spec'd slightly higher at .279".
MT 2004 is too low (.226"), and tends to interfere with truck axles.

Spec's are all here:  http://www.micro-trains.com/Coupler%20diagrams.pdf

George
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sirenwerks

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Re: Lowering MT 39ft tankcar - couplers
« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2014, 10:38:13 PM »
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Not intending to hijack the thread, but although Micro Trains do state that their car is a 10,000 gallon AC&F car, the dimensions of the car do not agree with published AC&F data.

AHA! I knew it!
Now seeking Pacific NW N scalers to create a Modutrak-style modular club featuring NP's shared mainline between Seattle and Portland. PM me if interested.