Author Topic: Fixing MTL 40' Boxcars  (Read 6793 times)

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Ed Kapuscinski

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Fixing MTL 40' Boxcars
« on: September 05, 2018, 10:13:29 AM »
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I'm really eye humping those recently released Reading cars but I know they're high-rollers.

Is there a shortcut to getting them riding at the right height (like order x part from Atlas and install), or am I suck filing and sanding?

Big Train

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Re: Fixing MTL 40' Boxcars
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2018, 11:04:50 AM »
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Hi, Ed!

Based on the traffic I've seen on the Internet, I don't think there is a simple solution. Some users are replacing the trucks for the former BLMA (now Atlas) trucks that allow the under frame to ride lower, but that will restrict the number of different truck designs you can adapt to. And unless MT redesigns underframes and trucks, I'm afraid we're stuck with "high rollers".

I've modified a few Intermountain frames for the same purpose. Filing and sanding requires a degree of precision to ensure the rolling stock remains level.

I'm sure there will be other opinions shortly.

Hope this helps....

wcfn100

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Re: Fixing MTL 40' Boxcars
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2018, 11:16:00 AM »
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First you have to decide what your idea of proper ride height is.  Is it the sill, the roof line or somewhere in between?


Jason

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Re: Fixing MTL 40' Boxcars
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2018, 11:21:02 AM »
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My concern is proper/compatible coupler height without spending all day milling the frame. In stock form, the underframe is spot-on for body mounting. Lower ride by modifying trucks or bolsters, now there's something else to fix.
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muktown128

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Re: Fixing MTL 40' Boxcars
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2018, 11:22:46 AM »
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Ed,

Are you referring to the MTL PS-1 boxcars? 
If so, then why not just ask Paul and the guys at Atlas to do a run of them?
I had a bunch and ended up selling them off and replacing them with Atlas PS-1's.

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Re: Fixing MTL 40' Boxcars
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2018, 11:27:18 AM »
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I’ve got my favorite paint schemes in these, too. I just decided to live with the body issues. (As I have in other areas of my life, but that’s another story). I have used the former BLMA trucks to lower the car, and dremelled out the underframe to clear the inboard wheelsets.

The paint schemes and ease of installing body mount couplers offsets the tall body for me. That being said, as Atlas and other manufacturers release similar or exact duplicate paint schemes, I am slowly upgrading the fleet. I probably won’t buy anymore of this car type from MT in the future, unless they up their game.
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Re: Fixing MTL 40' Boxcars
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2018, 11:30:02 AM »
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I won't say it's a "fix", but a quick and dirty improvement for the Micro-Trains PS-1 is as follows:

1. Replace trucks with BLMA 70-ton trucks (solid or roller bearing as appropriate), or the Atlas 50-ton trucks from their PS-1.
2. Body mount 1015 couplers.

This lowers overall height by about .030", but provides couplers at the right height.   
The down-side is that the coupling distance increases.

I haven't looked at using 1023 couplers - that might fix the coupling distance, but will likely require additional work to get the coupler mounting correct.


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cbroughton67

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Re: Fixing MTL 40' Boxcars
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2018, 11:54:44 AM »
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I replaced the MT trucks with BLMA trucks to lower the ride height, in addition to body-mounting 1015 couplers. This was the method recommended to me by @bbussey . They look much better, and it's an easy fix.

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peteski

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Re: Fixing MTL 40' Boxcars
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2018, 02:04:00 PM »
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I won't say it's a "fix", but a quick and dirty improvement for the Micro-Trains PS-1 is as follows:

1. Replace trucks with BLMA 70-ton trucks (solid or roller bearing as appropriate), or the Atlas 50-ton trucks from their PS-1.
2. Body mount 1015 couplers.

This lowers overall height by about .030", but provides couplers at the right height.   
The down-side is that the coupling distance increases.

I haven't looked at using 1023 couplers - that might fix the coupling distance, but will likely require additional work to get the coupler mounting correct.

If you lower the car (and its underframe) by a whopping 0.030", then body mount a 1015 coupler, how do  you manage to retain the correct coupler-to-railhead height?
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wcfn100

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Re: Fixing MTL 40' Boxcars
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2018, 02:12:17 PM »
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If you lower the car (and its underframe) by a whopping 0.030", then body mount a 1015 coupler, how do  you manage to retain the correct coupler-to-railhead height?


What's so whopping about .030"?

Jason

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Re: Fixing MTL 40' Boxcars
« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2018, 02:26:26 PM »
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What's so whopping about .030"?

Jason

LOL!  I was being dramatic.
That is about 5 scale inches.  The mismatch would be quite apparent when coupled to another car with proper coupler height. If I had such a mismatch between couple of cars I own, I would not find that acceptable.
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wcfn100

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Re: Fixing MTL 40' Boxcars
« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2018, 02:48:51 PM »
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LOL!  I was being dramatic.
That is about 5 scale inches.  The mismatch would be quite apparent when coupled to another car with proper coupler height. If I had such a mismatch between couple of cars I own, I would not find that acceptable.


With the truck mounted couplers, the underframe sits too high (~.030").  So to body mount the couplers you have to drop the frame so it will line up correctly.

Jason

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Re: Fixing MTL 40' Boxcars
« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2018, 02:50:36 PM »
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If I remember correctly, it is not only the MTL box cars, but also the Intermountain box cars that ride that high.  I have tried the BLMA trucks, it worked O.K., but I shy away from converting so many cars.
My compromise is to keep the wrong height and run them together.
And adding Atlas PS-1 to the fleet.

Christoph

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Re: Fixing MTL 40' Boxcars
« Reply #13 on: September 05, 2018, 02:56:29 PM »
+1
The proportions of the InterMountain AAR boxcars are correct, so they can be lowered by either swapping in lower-riding trucks or filing the bolsters. The MTL cars, with their proportional issues, are difficult to make look passible. Lowering the body doesn’t change the location of the door tracks. But the 50’ cars are easier to assimilate than the 40’ cars because the longer length better hides the distorted body height.
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wcfn100

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Re: Fixing MTL 40' Boxcars
« Reply #14 on: September 05, 2018, 02:56:49 PM »
+1
If I remember correctly, it is not only the MTL box cars, but also the Intermountain box cars that ride that high.

Almost any car with truck mounted couplers sits too high because they have to to clear the coupler box.  There are exceptions like some of the Atlas box cars but to make it work, the cars ends are compromised and the floor may sit too high into the body.


Jason