Author Topic: BLMA PTTX Flats  (Read 1513 times)

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PaulP

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BLMA PTTX Flats
« on: July 13, 2014, 12:05:58 AM »
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Just wondering about others experiences with running these cars out of the box.
Mine has been no less than disappointing. I am not hear to bash BLMA as I love
 what they are putting out, but rather to share my experiences to help others.
I purchased 10 of these cars, 6 of which I plan for some wind mill blades, 2 for BLMA
pipe loads when I get them and the last two I spent a lot of effort to try my hand at
 making some pipe loads for.

Upon putting these on my layout I could not even make one round without numerous
derails and a screeching sounds as they went around my curves.
I pulled out two more cars and the same thing.
On straight track one of the four cars rolled fine the others did not.
First I questioned my track work. Yes I am using code 80 (to far into this layout to convert to 55) and my curves are mostly 16 inch radius.
I do has some super elevation in places. I brought the cars to the work bench and set up a test curve.

That is close to a 30 inch radius and they would not roll freely thru that.
Here is what I found upon removing the trucks.

PaulP

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Re: BLMA PTTX Flats
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2014, 12:22:06 AM »
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First off I found the flashing around the circles where the blue arrows are.
I used a dremel and removed this flashing. This made all four cars roll freely down straight track.
Still issues with the curve track. After further studying, I believed that the wheels were rubbing
on the raised areas where the red arrows are and I proceeded to bevel those areas with the dremel also.
This made a huge difference and they seemed to roll quite well. Took them back to the layout only to still
 have some issues and noises. After more checking the wheels also appeared to be rubbing on the inner
areas of the recess and I also relieved that ares.

This was the end result of the dremel work and they seem to be rolling freely now only to be proven with
 more testing on the layout.
If I am not the only one with issues this might be your fix also.
I can't believe the last four or five purchases I have made have all had issues with rolling, which include
 BLMA and Atherns and believe it or not even a runner pack of BN flat cars from MT.
Out of the hundreds and hundreds of MT cars I have , three of those four flat cars had bent axles, yes bent plastic axles.
Hard to believe but they jumped up and down like crazy.
Is this what new rolling stock is coming to you have to rebuild them to even make them run on our layouts?

Paul
 

ljudice

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Re: BLMA PTTX Flats
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2014, 12:31:38 AM »
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I haven't noticed this specific problem, but I have definitely noticed that a number of new cars are finicky - like
the Atlas 89' flatcars.

I have definitely noticed some new models that seem to have issues with improper assembly of the tiny glue-on pieces.

I think the problem is that it's hard to make a production run and get the consistent tolerances required.  The factories
need to practice statistical process quality control, but I guess that's dreaming.

I suspect Kato does not have these issues because they DO practice statical process quality control, which was invented by an American but widely adopted in Japan before coming back to the US in the 1980's...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statistical_process_control
 

nkalanaga

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Re: BLMA PTTX Flats
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2014, 12:53:33 AM »
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Interesting.  I don't have the PTTX cars, but do have several of the earlier TOFC versions, and they run fine on 16 to 18 inch curves.  They'll even go through the #4 crossovers in my (very small) Jefferson Yard. 

The only problems I had with them were due to out-of-gauge track.  With the narrow wheels they were the first cars ever to derail due to WIDE gauge, which led to finding a few problems that I'd missed for over a decade.
N Kalanaga
Be well

tehachapifan

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Re: BLMA PTTX Flats
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2014, 11:17:22 AM »
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On another note, those sure look great with your custom pipe loads on them!
Russ

ljudice

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Re: BLMA PTTX Flats
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2014, 12:39:50 PM »
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On another note, those sure look great with your custom pipe loads on them!

+1 !!!

I also notice the O.P. did a sensible thing with those support brackets.  Not to harp on BLMA, but I was a little disappointed the flats did not have a guide of some kind to add them to the car.  Also the dark plastic part was not always able to snap down into the microscopic holes in the yellow piece.
I'm a little skeptical of the  "avoid shipping damage" as the reason for this, since it would be easier to fix 1-2 than to glue all of them down.

Incidentally, I pulled out some  Atlas, BLMA and Trainworx flats - to see how free rolling and derailment prone they are.  BLMA and Trainworx cars seemed to be fine, but the Atlas 89' cars all have wheels scraping against the floors.  No derailments on Peco Code 55 track or turnouts.

« Last Edit: July 13, 2014, 12:47:45 PM by ljudice »

jagged ben

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Re: BLMA PTTX Flats
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2014, 02:43:42 PM »
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I'd recommend replacing the fine tread BLMA wheels with something else.   Fox Valley wide treads, for example.  The BLMA wheels are pretty but they do require much more bullet-proof trackwork. 

Micro-trains size axle.

mcjaco

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Re: BLMA PTTX Flats
« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2014, 09:32:40 AM »
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Just bought three of these off a member here.  I haven't fully inspected them for running yet.  Thanks for the write up.

I'd love to see a write up on your pipe load.  It's exactly what I need to do, since BLMA doesnt' seem to want to run the small pipe version in green.

Smike

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Re: BLMA PTTX Flats
« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2014, 09:41:35 AM »
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I'd love to see a write up on your pipe load. 

+1 Yes, would love to know what you used.

Craig Martyn

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Re: BLMA PTTX Flats
« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2014, 01:03:58 PM »
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Paul:  I apologize about the issue you had.  I will note this with our factory as the inspection on those ejector pin areas should have caught that QC issue.  This is the first I've heard of any issues, but I will keep an ear open for others.  In the future, please also Email me direct - there can be no improvement if we are unaware of problems.

As for Pipe Loads, both of our N Scale Pipe Loads are in stock, and we do offer the 'small' green pipes:



Craig Martyn
BLMA Models

www.BLMAmodels.com

mcjaco

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Re: BLMA PTTX Flats
« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2014, 02:50:47 PM »
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As for Pipe Loads, both of our N Scale Pipe Loads are in stock, and we do offer the 'small' green pipes:


Sorry, I had that backwards.  I'm looking for the large pipes in green.....  :facepalm:

Mark W

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Re: BLMA PTTX Flats
« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2014, 05:48:28 PM »
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... BLMA and Trainworx cars seemed to be fine, but the Atlas 89' cars all have wheels scraping against the floors.  No derailments on Peco Code 55 track or turnouts.

Ditto the Atlas flats.  They're more noisy than a boat hitting rocks.  Though, considering I picked them up for $9 ea, I can live with having to make similar mods.

My BLMA TTX flats run great, but I can see how the same issue might affect a particular group of them.  Wheel clearance is designed very similar on both models. 
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PaulP

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Re: BLMA PTTX Flats
« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2014, 12:51:56 AM »
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I didn't take much for pictures as a built those loads.
I used K&S 3/16 by .014 thick aluminum tubing.
That's about 30 inch pipe. I chose aluminum tube to keep the weight down.
(I am working on some resin cast Rabanco garbage containers and learned you can get loads too heavy real easy)
That thickness works out to be a little over 2 inch thick but I think it is not bad looking.
Cutting it clean and square is a challenge but since I have a Sherline lathe that made cleaning up the ends a snap.
 
Building the dunnage was the time consuming part.
Since I don't have a laser cutter I had to fabricate them from styrene.
The bottom 6 were made from .040 by .040 stock and cut small blocks at 45 degrees and glued on top.
Those fit in the stock BLMA saddles. The two in the upper left are finished ones.
The next two rows of six were made from .020 by .040 and cut more .040 by .040 blocks glueing 4 on top and 2 on the bottom ends.
The top two pipes don't need dunnage as per prototype I found.
I painted these with a Depot Buff and wash of Rail Brown
The pipes were painted Depot Olive and I dipped the ends in oxide red in a small tray.
I couldn't see trying to tape the ends and spraying the oxide red.
I glued the pipe and dunnage together with CA and found some old 1/64 tape for the banding.

It turned out more work than I thought but I am very happy with the result.

Paul

Nick Lorusso

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Re: BLMA PTTX Flats
« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2014, 12:20:56 PM »
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Paul,
Loads look great. I purchased 6 not to long ago and 5 of the 6 ran great 1 would derail on my club layouts curves. When rolling the car i noticed a binding so I'll have to tear it down like you did and check. Also like others have suggested, I'd recommend a wider tread wheel.
Regards,
Nick Lorusso
https://sbhrs.wildapricot.org/