Author Topic: Why does N have ride height issues  (Read 1921 times)

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unittrain

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Why does N have ride height issues
« on: July 01, 2014, 11:02:51 AM »
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Since this is such a big thing with we detail oriented N scalers I figured I would ask the golden question why do a lot of N scale locomotives and cars ride too high? I know it is probably due to the couplers I would think, it couldn't be due to radius issues or else HO and larger would definatley need a higher ride height than N! So I figured I would ask why? Even if it is a dumb question :facepalm:

davefoxx

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Re: Why does N have ride height issues
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2014, 11:10:36 AM »
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As best as I can tell, cars were jacked up to clear truck-mounted couplers.  A long-term continuing scourge on N scale modeling, if you ask me.  Thankfully, some manufacturers are making the conversion to body-mounted couplers on their offerings.  I hope that trend continues.

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MichaelWinicki

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Re: Why does N have ride height issues
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2014, 11:36:48 AM »
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What Dave said.

I'll just add to it based on what I've experienced so far whittling down the ride height on many of my cars...

The flange height (depth?) of the "pizza cutter" wheelset seemed to partially dictate how high the car body needed to be in order to accommodate the swiveling of the truck back & forth without scraping the car body.

At least one manufacturer compounded the ride height problem by tooling cars that were simply too tall, which makes them appear that much larger compared to similar cars of other manufacturers.

u18b

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Re: Why does N have ride height issues
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2014, 11:49:22 AM »
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That's it.

Early N was light.

Light requires bigger flanges to keep it on the rails.

Pizza cutters raise the height of the equipment.

Now, a car with NO pizza cutters looks almost stupid at times- because the now-gone pizza cutter space is still there.

Many cars cannot easily be lowered.

But MT adding a coupler where the knuckle is raise has helped.

Personally, I'd like to go to a new NMRA standard height that does not have anything to do with pizza cutters.
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randgust

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Re: Why does N have ride height issues
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2014, 12:07:05 PM »
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Ever being the resident contrarian, I've done a pretty widespread program on my fleet to lower the ride height, keep the truck mounts and the pizza cutters (due to proven stringlining issues on heavy trains and PLASTIC low-pros).  If you don't mind replacing bolsters and cutting the underframes up, it works great.    I got it down to a production line so that the high-priority cars (flats and gons) are already all done, 40' boxcars next.    I cut off the entire underframe ends (including the bolster), either use the plastic car floor as the base or put a new one in, and fabricate a new styrene bolster running in line with the center sill and no crossmember at all.  The part I like is that with proper ride height, you can't see the flanges anyway (let alone where the bolster used to be), and the cars do ride better even if a hair lighter.   

Certain cars are a lot more visible than others on this program, so it's become a matter of 'worst first', but as soon as I compared the first MT gons against the lowered gons....wow!   Didn't take long to make it a standard.

I've had good enough results with the metal wheels (and the MT 'mid range' flanges)  that where I do have flange clearance issues that's an easy second fix, but like I said.... lowering the car solves more than one visual problem.


ljudice

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Re: Why does N have ride height issues
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2014, 01:06:49 PM »
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The anomaly is FVM boxcars like the 5344 which went to body mounts and actually became TALLER, ridiculously so in fact.

I have corrected these by using Atlas FGE boxcar underframes and Atlas truck/couplers.

Spikre

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Re: Why does N have ride height issues
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2014, 02:52:52 PM »
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 :)
  OOO/N was originally designed as Toys by Euro Toy Designers.
  Euro Flanges were reduced down to N Scale as the size eventually
  became known.until Kadee jumped in,most Models and Locos originated
  in Europe,then when Bachman entered about 1968,Hong Kong/China.
  Japan entered about 1966 with Kato,but they were more scale oriented.
  not familiar with Tomix,but they are still mainly a Toy company.
   compare this to American invented TT scale which tried to be Scale Models
  from the begining,but didnt always reach that goal.
   N still has alot of Toy Baggage to overcome.
       Spikre
         :|

peteski

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Re: Why does N have ride height issues
« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2014, 03:53:04 PM »
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Horribly oversize flanges and truck-mounted couplers are the main reasons.

What I don't understand is why when MT introduced the N scale knuckle coupler, why didn't they come up with a truck-mounted 1023 version of the coupler (which has a much thinner box) and why didn't they simply choose the standard coupler height to be closer to the rails?  They were setting a news standard, why not make it whatever is the optimal?  Even if that arrangement was unprototypical (coupler height too low), that would IMO be less noticeable than the cars which look like they are sitting in stilts!
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Shipsure

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Re: Why does N have ride height issues
« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2014, 04:18:29 PM »
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From what I found in the archives here, coupler height was dictated outside our building..possibly with the 2mm society or early NMRA standards, not to get around any "limitations" in our design or process.   There is some evidence that Keith was prototyping what would have been considered PROTO N wheel sets but considering the state of track availability, something with fine flanges may have not been workable or not worth the expense ? 

  At the time we were doing the new wheels there were constant hoots and howls that truck mounted couplers were now out of fashion and only proto modelers would accept body mounts.  To go back and make that , what I think is a valid change frankly, would be a huge undertaking in tooling and production.

Joe

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Why does N have ride height issues
« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2014, 04:24:46 PM »
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Because people complain when some of us try to demand better, calling us bashers, and saying things like "nobody can tell from 2' away".

Kisatchie

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Re: Why does N have ride height issues
« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2014, 04:36:38 PM »
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Because people complain when some of us try to demand better, calling us bashers, and saying things like "nobody can tell from 2' away".

Many people can't afford the cost of having N scale models look "real" with superfine details. They don't want the added (almost invisible) details and true-to-prototype models.

I know my cut-off point in price is $22, and that very rarely. I believe I bought a few Micro-Trains autoracks and a few Bluford 86' box cars for over $20 each.


Hmm... my limit is one
pound of termites per
car...


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Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Why does N have ride height issues
« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2014, 05:21:34 PM »
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Many people can't afford the cost of having N scale models look "real" with superfine details. They don't want the added (almost invisible) details and true-to-prototype models.

There's a difference between "add on" details that require additional tooling and assembly and simply doing things better, modern ways.

CBQ Fan

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Re: Why does N have ride height issues
« Reply #12 on: July 01, 2014, 06:15:51 PM »
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I am pro body mount couplers and if that lowered the ride height more prototypically than that is good news.  It is funny the same group that complains the loudest seems to also be the one always yelling at RTR people that they are not real modelers.  I just wish I enough free time in my life to worry about some of the things people get worked up over.  To each their own.
Brian

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highway70

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Re: Why does N have ride height issues
« Reply #13 on: July 01, 2014, 07:21:44 PM »
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In the 1970's Kadee cataloged box car underframes with couplers mounted  for those who wanted to convert to "body mounts". I bought a couple. They apparently didn't sell well.

bbussey

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Re: Why does N have ride height issues
« Reply #14 on: July 01, 2014, 07:26:20 PM »
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Not all equipment rides high. :cool:
Bryan Busséy
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