My intentions are to remedy the heat generated by the two incandescent lamps on the back end of the car. They melt the lenses. It’s the Adolphus Busch car. The design is much different from anything I’ve disassembled before. Any advice would be great. It looks as though the chassis is located in a grove in the long sides of the body. I think one of the plastic ends must be removed to allow the body to slide off the chassis. I’m afraid I’ll break the chromed plastic if I don’t disassemble in the correct sequence. Has anybody tackled one of these before?
I would be interested in the prototypical operation of the rear lights on the observation platform railing. Was the red constant on or flashing- especially when the white spotlight was on to light up the rear in nighttime running.
There are two parts of that assembly that look to me to be typical of K-Line cars of this generation - and indeed Lionel and GGD aluminum-body cars. One is the grooves or slots along the sides that the metal frame slides into; the other is the part of the truck mount consisting of a raised portion of the frame that a tab on the rear of the truck assembly slides into.
Generally there is no option but to take the trucks off before trying to slide the frame out of one end of the car because otherwise they snag on the body skirting. There will be a small screw at one end (toward the middle of the car) that has to be taken out before the tab will slide out to free the truck.
What is not typical is that I cannot see a seam in the end piece of your car. I have long wanted, but do not have, a K-Line business car so I cannot tell you if there is one there. It would not surprise me if there is one but, if not, there must be one at the other end of the car. These are usually press-fitted into the body of the car and in particular at the top on to a kind of t-bar moulding in the roof section. The screws holding the frame to the body pass through this piece, as appears to be the case at the end of the car you've pictured.
One other thing: observation cars of this generation often came with a long screw through the frame into the roof of the rear end piece. If there, it's obvious on looking through the car windows. Its function was to hold the end piece in place.
Final suggestions: (1) the frame sides are a tight fit in the grooves/slots and a small amount of WD40 might be necessary to get it to slide (but very messy around chrome finishes) and (2) the power wires to the lights might be at one end of the car and have to be disconnected to allow the frame to move.
P.S. I have looked at a number of pictures of this car and there are plainly seams between each end piece and the car body. And I now remember seeing one of these cars and it and other K-Line observation/end cars had chromed plastic end pieces inserted into the aluminum body, which these photos show clearly enough:
What I don't know is whether there is a long screw through the frame into the roof of the plastic assembly at the rear. I think that you had better look for that; it might be just visible in the last photo if you scale up the image around the rearmost side window.
I have a file on this K-Line car & the lighting problem fix. Email me if you wish me to forward it to you. Also, have a "long" descriptor" file on disassembling K-Line passenger cars that can be send as an attachment.
A bit of slow methodical bravery paid off. With a bit of carefully applied pressure I was able to access the wires to the rear lights. The new plan is to solder resistors near the lamps and not disassemble the car any more. If I can reduce the heat from the lamps enough, I will use a tiny amount of epoxy to attach NOS lenses from Brasseur. The lenses look pink so I’ll add some acrylic transparent red to darken them up. I REALLY appreciate your advice on this topic. Please, keep posting and understand that I am open to any suggestions that will lead to success. I thought I’d start with 560 ohm resistors, unless you have a better idea
Somebody who understands electronics (I don't claim to) will have to tell you if the idea of inserting resistors will work. As there are no parts diagrams for these K-Line cars that I know of, I don't know if there is a lighting PCB somewhere in the circuit and if so what power is being output to the bulbs. I do know that if they are incandescent they can operate on track power AC and that might account for the heat they are generating.
Lately I have used LEDs for all this kind of passenger car modification because they generate almost no heat and consume far less power - although it means installing a DC power source somewhere. But that would require taking the car apart and that is never an easy thing.
Incidentally, are the red marker lights on each side of the end cap separately illuminated by bulbs or do they rely on reflected light from inside the car?
560 ohms seems very high for incandescent lamps. If you cut the wires to the lamps measure the filiment resistence first. It may only be around 30 ohms, just a wild guess. A resistor equal to the filiment resistence will cut the voltage in half. That may or may not be enough to even light the lamp. The resistor itself will also generate heat so if you go that route keep it away from the plastic.
You can use an LED powered by AC if you put a resistor plus a diode in series with it. Best to go further and try and use LEDs. That will solve your heat problem.
Another option: Evan Designs sell track powered LEDS that include their own rectifier/resistor module and these can be wired direct to track power. They also come in colors so the problem about your lens can be dealt with that way.
The wires on these between the module and LED are quite long and you don't need that but otherwise they are a splice-in replacement if track power is being fed to the existing incandescent bulbs.
The 560 ohm resistors won't work for incandescent bulbs, they most likely won't light at all.
If you don't want to try to get the bulbs out, add a diode in series with one lead. Since the leads to the individual bulbs are accessible, I'd consider adding a diode to each, and reverse the polarity, that will prevent the diodes from imparting a DC bias on the track.