Author Topic: Replacement Athearn Bombardier BiLevel Trucks, aka making the train roll  (Read 20791 times)

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simsuper80

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Re: Replacement Athearn Bombardier BiLevel Trucks, aka making the train roll
« Reply #165 on: December 23, 2022, 08:50:40 PM »
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Is it possible to obtain these trucks at all? It's been a while and I haven't heard anything from this.

craigolio1

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Re: Replacement Athearn Bombardier BiLevel Trucks, aka making the train roll
« Reply #166 on: December 24, 2022, 11:42:41 AM »
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Is it possible to obtain these trucks at all? It's been a while and I haven't heard anything from this.

So @CNR5529 and I kind of stalled on the project. The bronze bushings worked much better but not remarkably. The next version using a PB bronze wire suspension system worked as well but not much better than the bushings. The next thing we wanted to try was bearings. But we couldn’t find any that fit the odd size Athearn axel that weren’t prohibitively expensive.

So as far as availability? Well I should let @CNR5529 chime in here but I’m willing to bet he’d print them for you if you want to play but with the caveat that they may not work and you are experimenting at your own investment/risk.

Now, I bought a bunch of Rapido LRC cars and a half dozen of them didn’t roll. Rapido repeatedly sent me new trucks until I had enough to make the cars roll. They didn’t ask for the old trucks back so I started to play with the parts from them. Specifically the wheels and tiny wheel bearings. Conveniently the bearings snapped perfectly into the V1 bronze bushing truck. They don’t fit the Athearn axels, (remember the odd size?), so I used the Rapido wheels as well. They are a slightly smaller diameter and they don’t have the disc brakes. However they do roll remarkably better.

It’s not reasonable, I don’t think, to purchase mass quantities of LRC trucks from Rapido but it shows that the possibly of using bearings has merit.

Also I had two wheels on the F59 modified by a friend to add traction tires made from black shrink tubing. It fit and tan fine but unfortunately I didn’t have a loop to properly test it’s capabilities at the time. Since then the tubing has become brittle and failed. Also since then I’ve acquired several Rapido locos tat had TT wheels which I removed. So with some spare traction tires in hand I planned to use THEM on the F59. Buuuut they are slightly wider than the grooves I had cut. So next up is a planned trip to see my friend and get wider groves cut.

I still don’t have a loop to test them on but that’s coming soon. In the next couple of months track work around my room will be complete and I’ll have a 40ft race track. At that time I’ll get the loco done and pull the test train with a combination of V1 bronze bushing cars and V1 Rapido bearing cars.

That’s where I’m at on the project right now.

Craig.

simsuper80

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Re: Replacement Athearn Bombardier BiLevel Trucks, aka making the train roll
« Reply #167 on: December 25, 2022, 01:34:40 AM »
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So @CNR5529 and I kind of stalled on the project. The bronze bushings worked much better but not remarkably. The next version using a PB bronze wire suspension system worked as well but not much better than the bushings. The next thing we wanted to try was bearings. But we couldn’t find any that fit the odd size Athearn axel that weren’t prohibitively expensive.

So as far as availability? Well I should let @CNR5529 chime in here but I’m willing to bet he’d print them for you if you want to play but with the caveat that they may not work and you are experimenting at your own investment/risk.

Now, I bought a bunch of Rapido LRC cars and a half dozen of them didn’t roll. Rapido repeatedly sent me new trucks until I had enough to make the cars roll. They didn’t ask for the old trucks back so I started to play with the parts from them. Specifically the wheels and tiny wheel bearings. Conveniently the bearings snapped perfectly into the V1 bronze bushing truck. They don’t fit the Athearn axels, (remember the odd size?), so I used the Rapido wheels as well. They are a slightly smaller diameter and they don’t have the disc brakes. However they do roll remarkably better.

It’s not reasonable, I don’t think, to purchase mass quantities of LRC trucks from Rapido but it shows that the possibly of using bearings has merit.

Also I had two wheels on the F59 modified by a friend to add traction tires made from black shrink tubing. It fit and tan fine but unfortunately I didn’t have a loop to properly test it’s capabilities at the time. Since then the tubing has become brittle and failed. Also since then I’ve acquired several Rapido locos tat had TT wheels which I removed. So with some spare traction tires in hand I planned to use THEM on the F59. Buuuut they are slightly wider than the grooves I had cut. So next up is a planned trip to see my friend and get wider groves cut.

I still don’t have a loop to test them on but that’s coming soon. In the next couple of months track work around my room will be complete and I’ll have a 40ft race track. At that time I’ll get the loco done and pull the test train with a combination of V1 bronze bushing cars and V1 Rapido bearing cars.

That’s where I’m at on the project right now.

Craig.

If it's not that much of an improvement then I think I will be fine.

I wonder if there are any tips on getting the rapido Budd cars to roll better. Their amtrak horizon cars roll amazingly well like the kato autoracks, and yet the via rail Canadian cars do not roll as well, despite both trucks being outside bearing.

Dwight in Toronto

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Re: Replacement Athearn Bombardier BiLevel Trucks, aka making the train roll
« Reply #168 on: December 25, 2022, 08:33:02 AM »
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Simsuper, you’ve touched on two of my biggest disappointments in fifty years of N scale modeling … dismal rollability of Rapido’s The Canadian coaches, and the star of this thread … Athearn’s horrible Bombardier trucks.   

Regarding the former, my solution was two-fold -  I dropped off the coaches at Rapido so that they carried out their prescribed fix (slight improvement), and then added a dcc-equipped Intermountain B unit … the ABA consist pulls the coaches effortlessly, and looks magnificent to boot.

With the latter, I ended up replacing the useless Athearn bogies on all six coaches with Microtrains 1017 lightweight passenger car trucks.  My preference was to give up prototypical wheelset appearance for functional on-layout usability.  My single Athearn F59PHI loco now hauls all six coaches, up 1.5% grades, all day long.  The difference in rollability was nothing less than astounding. 

peteski

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Re: Replacement Athearn Bombardier BiLevel Trucks, aka making the train roll
« Reply #169 on: December 25, 2022, 02:49:38 PM »
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Simsuper, you’ve touched on two of my biggest disappointments in fifty years of N scale modeling … dismal rollability of Rapido’s The Canadian coaches, and the star of this thread … Athearn’s horrible Bombardier trucks.

Dwigth,
You forgot to also mention Bachmann Amfleet cars with their inside-beating trucks (both he original release and the "new improved" models).  They are on par with Athearn Bombadier cars.  :)
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craigolio1

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Re: Replacement Athearn Bombardier BiLevel Trucks, aka making the train roll
« Reply #170 on: December 26, 2022, 12:23:57 AM »
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If it's not that much of an improvement then I think I will be fine.

I wonder if there are any tips on getting the rapido Budd cars to roll better. Their amtrak horizon cars roll amazingly well like the kato autoracks, and yet the via rail Canadian cars do not roll as well, despite both trucks being outside bearing.

I did a few things to my Canadian trainset which improved the rolling quite a bit,

1. Check the trucks for flash. A few of mine had it.
2. File a notch out of the centre sill to keep the inboard axel from rubbing
3. Gauge the wheels

There may have been some other things. Grant from SAR did a great video on tuning the set:


Dwight in Toronto

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Re: Replacement Athearn Bombardier BiLevel Trucks, aka making the train roll
« Reply #171 on: December 26, 2022, 08:13:37 AM »
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Craigolio - thanks for taking the time to respond with the pointers. 

As I said, within a few days of receiving the set, Rapido carried out the prescribed “dremel surgery” if/where required, and I studied Grant’s instruction videos and had some ensuing correspondence with him.  And yes, when all was done, the coaches rolled significantly better. 

Maybe I’m being overly critical, but I can’t help comparing the 10-car Canadian to my 12-car Kato Morning Daylight coaches.  The latter are truly impressive, smoothly gliding along the rails with the slightest touch.  A single Rapido locomotive can easily pull all 12 lighted Kato cars, but still struggles with The Canadian even after all the changes.  At this point, I feel the Rapido set is as good as it’s gonna get, and I can’t help thinking “if Kato can do it, then there’s no good reason why Rapido should be any less capable”. 

Above ALL else, I am genuinely grateful that Rapido produced The Canadian, in N scale, in such remarkably admirable detail.  It’s a beautiful, museum-quality piece, and it remains my premiere pride & joy.  It’s better to have The Canadian with a niggly shortcoming or two, than to not have The Canadian at all!


simsuper80

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Re: Replacement Athearn Bombardier BiLevel Trucks, aka making the train roll
« Reply #172 on: December 26, 2022, 11:36:18 AM »
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I did a few things to my Canadian trainset which improved the rolling quite a bit,

1. Check the trucks for flash. A few of mine had it.
2. File a notch out of the centre sill to keep the inboard axel from rubbing
3. Gauge the wheels

There may have been some other things. Grant from SAR did a great video on tuning the set:

/>

For me, the trucks themselves just do not roll well enough. I wonder if swapping wheels with different ones will help at all. How is it that the rapido horizon cars can roll so well, but their Canadian cars do not.

craigolio1

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Re: Replacement Athearn Bombardier BiLevel Trucks, aka making the train roll
« Reply #173 on: December 26, 2022, 12:34:43 PM »
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You guys are so right. If Kato has been able to do it for so many years then why not Rapido. Same goes
For re inventing the wheel when it comes to loco mechs.

peteski

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Re: Replacement Athearn Bombardier BiLevel Trucks, aka making the train roll
« Reply #174 on: December 26, 2022, 12:37:10 PM »
+1
You guys are so right. If Kato has been able to do it for so many years then why not Rapido. Same goes
For re inventing the wheel when it comes to loco mechs.

I'm just going to say Kato: in-house designed and made in Japan.  I really think it's that simple
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