My new Flyonel Reading Boxcars and caboose run terribly.  I would like to change them to S Helper/MTH trucks which really fly.

I haven't looked at how the trucks are attached and sometimes they use rivets.

Any feed back?

Original Post

Unlike AM, SHS/MTH or DPH/SSA models, it's not a simple direct swap out.  Traditional-style Flyer Boxcars and Cabeese have no bolster, just a big dimple pressed into the frame.  Every one I've seen the trucks are riveted to the frame, which will leave a large opening that will need to be filled.

You're going to have to figure out a way to secure the trucks to the stamped sheet metal frame.  You may also have to shim between the truck bolster and the frame.

Portlines may still have some Ace conversion underframes for the boxcars which will allow for "regular" trucks to be attached.


I have done Gilbert cars with American Models trucks probably similar to what you want to do. Rusty is right you need to remove the rivet (I just drill), and figure a way to attach the trucks. I have tried various methods. The easiest for me is glue styrene over the hole and drill and tap for a screw.

The other problem is the bolster on Flyer cars is further from the end. The  new couplers don't stick out nearly as far.  You maybe OK with large large radius curves or use Kadees. The other solution is AM heavy weight passenger couplers.  Learned that from Jerry P who posts here. Shimming is needed since the wheels will rub on the frame.

I have no idea if wheel sets can just be replaced. But again not a simple drop in replacement.







I have a few of the new Lionel Flyer cars. I run them mixed with AM and MTH cars. I find it a pain to change the trucks. The first thing I do is regauge all the wheels on the Lionel cars. All are .1" too narrow from the factory. I then very lightly lube the axle ends. They will then roll almost as good (very close) to the other 2 brands.


Francine, I have taken the Flyonel wheels off the axle and pressed S Helper wheels onto the Flyonel axles, they roll much better. It's not rolling like SHS but is much improved. I think the large flanges on the plastic wheels act as brakes. Most of the wheels will fit the Flyonel axles fine but once in a while they may be a bit loose , here a little glue helps.


Francine, I have used the method that Carl Tuveson describes on his page....http://www.tuveson.com, then "hints and tips", then "changing AF waffle boxcar trucks..."

However, a far easier method is to fully replace the chassis with an Ace floor.  And Doug Peck at Portlines has just recently added some Ace floor reproductions to his stock.  You just screw the boxcar shell to the Ace floor and then screw your AM, SHS, MTH, DPH, or Ace trucks on.  I usually use AM trucks and truck screws for this.

Hi Ray,

Have been very busy with the club doing shows and now may dog has been tested for lymphoma (not good - actual results due Tuesday). 

Haven't had time, but I am going to experiment with all the different ways of improving rolling that everyone was gracious enough to suggest.

Keep the little one in your prayers, her name is Rachel Ray.

Thanks all.

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