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Just purchased a set of K-Line PRR heavyweight cars. Thanks @Len! Curious to know more information about them. I went to the legacykline site but I couldn't find the cars anywhere. Included is the picture from Len's ad. Any information would be nice. When I get the set I'll convert it to LEDs and have the diner sent off to have the Broadway Limited sounds package installed. Item numbers are as follows:

K-100     Pennsylvania Observation Car - Heavyweight    Continental Hall

K-3466  Pennsylvania Coach Car - Heavyweight   Times Square

K-3514  Pennsylvania Coach Car - Heavyweight   Franklin Square

K-3774  Pennsylvania Coach Car - Heavyweight   Penn Square

K-4444  Pennsylvania Dining Car - Heavyweight  #4444

K-5753 Pennsylvania Baggage Car - Heavyweight  R E A

K80-3874 Pennsylvania Pullman Car – Heavyweight  Columbia Club

K80-6529 Pennsylvania Railway Post Office Passenger Car – Heavyweight #6529

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I have the Reading 5 car pack, same version it looks like.  Great runners,and have held up well over the years.  The only problem I had was the thumb tack disconnects hung to low and would short out on my Gargraves switches.  So I just snipped them off closest to the truck, once assembled into a consist I never disconnected them anyway.  You will be happy with them, I have been.

K-Line did not always offer their HeavyWeights as a complete set in one year. Look at the battery boxes hanging under the frame. The early cars have a box with a flat bottom from one side to the other, while later cars have faces on the sides but no bottom.

Do check the trucks and couplers for zinc pest! These cars are old enough that the problem will have shown itself by now. There was a bad batch of metal in the middle of their production, so typically one or two cars are affected. If you find you need trucks and couplers, check with rattler21 in the post above. He may have a few that he is willing to part with.

BTW, these cars are excellent candidates for upgrading to LED lighting. Well worth it, IMHO. I did my whole circus train and cut the power draw substantially while improving the overall lighting.

Chris

LVHR

I have the same "set".  If my recollection is correct, these came out over multiple years.  The three coaches were released first - these were K-Line's first set of heavyweights (along with a couple of other road names).  A year or two later the second 3 cars came out - these were the: observation, diner, and baggage.  Then as the heavyweight line grew over the years the Pullman sleeper and RPO were added (note the different numbering systems with the K80- prefix).   Later when K-line started doing interiors instead of the window silhouettes, they did a second PRR set of 6 cars (only one coach in the second set).

One warning on the early heavyweights - I also seem to remember there was and issue with the trucks that in a derailment they could get hot and even catch fire.  There was a recall and fix, but obviously K-Line no longer exists, so there is no way to fix this now unless the trucks are replaced with another manufactures. Or,  I guess just don't have any derailments.

@Retlaw posted:

One warning on the early heavyweights - I also seem to remember there was an issue with the trucks that in a derailment they could get hot and even catch fire.  There was a recall and fix, but obviously K-Line no longer exists, so there is no way to fix this now unless the trucks are replaced with another manufactures. Or,  I guess just don't have any derailments.

DSCN7070

Click on photograph to enlarge.  John

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Last edited by rattler21

Just got the cars in. They are beautiful! A few things I noticed which this might just be the way they are but the diaphragms are bunched up except for two cars. Are replacement diaphragms available? Also, two of the wheels look weird, is it starting to rot? Another question, what kind of LEDs (I'd like to use warm white LEDs) could I use to replace the bulbs with?

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Brassuers stocks tons of K Line parts. I've purchased replacement diaphrams for similar cars there.

They likely have wheels or complete truck assemblies as well.

They should have most if not all of what you need:

https://traindoctor.com/service/catalog.asp

If they don't have the diaphragms it's been mentioned that Lionel heavyweight diaphragms will work/ are the same.

Last edited by RickO
@RickO posted:

Brassuers stocks tons of K Line parts. I've purchased replacement diaphrams for similar cars there.

They should have most if not all of what you need:

https://traindoctor.com/service/catalog.asp

If they don't have the diaphragms it's been mentioned that Lionel heavyweight diaphragms will work/ are the same.

Cool. Thanks. While it was mentioned, why do these cars with the diaphragms work on 036 (What I'm running in the above video) but the Lionel heavyweight cars can't? 

Go with LED strips  (warm white) and GRJ's LED power circuit board. You will cut the power draw, improve the reliability, and the evenness of the lighting (no hot spots!)

The wheel in your picture definitely has zinc pest. You will likely need to replace the whole truck. Getting those apart and back together is a bear!

Not surprised about the diaphrams. I've seen that before. I store mine with a foam insert in the opening to help it maintain shape. It helps a lot!

Chris

LVHR

Cool. Thanks. While it was mentioned, why do these cars with the diaphragms work on 036 (What I'm running in the above video) but the Lionel heavyweight cars can't?

Matt,  The Lionel cars are longer and the distance between the steps and the pivot point of the trucks may be different.

The diaphragms are in bad shape because the Styrofoam cradle is made for the cars without the diaphragms.  There are two indentations in the cradle for the diaphragms.   Placing the cars in the Styrofoam without removing the diaphragms will crush them.

John

@rattler21 posted:

Matt,  The Lionel cars are longer and the distance between the steps and the pivot point of the trucks may be different.

The diaphragms are in bad shape because the Styrofoam cradle is made for the cars without the diaphragms.  There are two indentations in the cradle for the diaphragms.   Placing the cars in the Styrofoam without removing the diaphragms will crush them.

John

Ah gotya. The Lionel cars are longer or the diaphragms are?

@lehighline posted:

Go with LED strips  (warm white) and GRJ's LED power circuit board. You will cut the power draw, improve the reliability, and the evenness of the lighting (no hot spots!)

The wheel in your picture definitely has zinc pest. You will likely need to replace the whole truck. Getting those apart and back together is a bear!

Not surprised about the diaphrams. I've seen that before. I store mine with a foam insert in the opening to help it maintain shape. It helps a lot!

Chris

LVHR

Thanks. Could I still run it or should I not until I fix it? Would the Lionel trucks be compatible? What should I do? I believe I have some spare freight car wheels but I doubt that'll work.

Last edited by Trainlover9943

These cars have a couple issues regarding “fire” concerns. (1) in any brand of passenger car where the two pickup rollers are bridged internally to avoid lamp flicker on switches, there is the possibility of a short should either roller come to rest on an outside rail in a derailment. If the wire gauge were sufficient, it would just get very hot before tripping a breaker (if there is one). My 28 K-Line cars had very light gauge wiring so that the wire would char and need replacement. The first time it happened, it was of course in a diner car (grease fire in the kitchen? . . .  great amusement at the club). (2) K-Line’s foreign assemblers were notoriously stingy with their wire and often didn’t supply sufficient slack to allow free truck swivel. This caused the wire to be cut through by the very sharp edges of the light bulb openings in the grounded metal floor.

A wiring upgrade is a good idea in either case.

To ease concern, you may be blessed with ample quantities of shmoke und Shtink in a derailment, but most likely you will cut the power before orange flame would present. I have always loved these cars and have considered them well worth any effort required to re-engineer their electrical shortcomings.

Last edited by OddIsHeRU

Thanks. Could I still run it or should I not until I fix it? Would the Lionel trucks be compatible? What should I do? I believe I have some spare freight car wheels but I doubt that'll work.

Anything is compatible if you have the time and skills to make it compatible.  K-Line trucks were made for K-Line cars, Lionel trucks for Lionel cars and MTH/Williams for MTH/Williams cars.  You can make the trucks fit with a bit of jury rigging.  Have you taken any heavyweight car apart?  Can you solder?

You could cut the axle of the middle wheelset and remove the wheels.  There is nothing wrong with running a heavyweight three axle truck without the middle wheelset.  John

Last edited by rattler21
@rattler21 posted:

Anything is compatible if you have the time and skills to make it compatible.  K-Line trucks were made for K-Line cars, Lionel trucks for Lionel cars and MTH/Williams for MTH/Williams cars.  You can make the trucks fit with a bit of jury rigging.  Have you taken any heavyweight car apart?  Can you solder?

You could cut the axle of the middle wheelset and remove the wheels.  There is nothing wrong with running a heavyweight three axle truck without the middle wheelset.  John

Ah gotya. Yes, I can solder.

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