I have found a solution for the difficulty I was having pulling five of my seven new Lionel 86' Boxcars. 

ORIGINAL POST: Three of the cars are uncoupling while traveling on my minimum O-72 curves when pulling other cars.  When I reverse the train to re-couple, the cars are jumping the track when pushing a string of cars.

SOLUTION:  I heavily oiled the Kinematic plate and couplers with Labelle 107 Oil.  After four days of running the 86' Boxcars, the metal Kinematic parts began to wear the rough edges on the plate and arms so they had less binding/drag when moving side to side.

Eventually I was able to reverse a train of eight cars at speed step 3.

The new 86' boxcars appear to be the same weight as previous cars. Running the cars to wear down rough edges on the plates and plate cover is the solution that worked for me.  The excess oiling allowed me to get the cars started moving on the "wear-in" process.  After four days of running the cars, you can remove the four screws holding the kinematic plate cover and look at the wear pattern caused by metal to metal contact.  Paint will be scraped off the cover plate and metal coupler glide.

I now can run nineteen 86' Boxcars at "Speed Step 125" without uncoupling or derailments.  The rough edges created during the metal stamping process have been worn down with use.

Sincerely, John Rowlen

Attachments

Videos (1)
Maximum Speed 86; Boxcar-3_Trim_Trim
Original Post

John, I have a number of the these box cars and so far I have only had one that the coupler would keep opening up under load. On my layout the curves are 0-89 and 0-96 which may make a difference. I placed that car at the end of the train and no more problems. I believe thos are the same type couplers as used on the scale auto racks to help them negoiate a smaller radius. It could also be the pin dropping out because the plate could be bent down causing the pin to drop out or the pin itself is too short. Just my thoughts..........Paul 2

John,

A thumbtack coupler opening by itself? Preposterous!  When Lionel went to those 2railer conversion plastic trucks and the thumbtack coupler the "Kool-Aid" drinkers raved about how much better they were than the metal trucks they replaced.

Had to tinker with a few and we have had some out of the box issues with the couplers dropping on the 86' cars because of the tiny piece which rides above the floor dropping down. They are a bear to fix when that happens and the car we sent back was returned with damage and not repaired so rather than play roulette we have reduced the fleet down to 2 and stopped adding. Like Paul's running situation, they now reside at the end of trains.

I have no knowledge of these cars, however, if the drawbars (read...couplers) are truck mounted...there is the problem with pushing!
Any truck mounted drawbar in any scale will have this problem because the pushing force is imparted to the truck, not the car body, making it tend to skew (even on a straight line) and thus derail. 
If the drawbars/couplers were body mounted the pushing force would not be directly transmitted to the trucks leaving them to rotate in the curve on their own and exponentially reduce the tendency to derail. I learned this many years ago while in HO.

You can rubberband the couplers shut. The reversing issues are inherent to the kinematic coupler. When you push them they still swing, but in the wrong direction, so the force through the train is trying to push the car sideways off the track. 

 

"Of course we know its O-gauge or no gauge." -- Sheldon Cooper

Big Jim posted:

I have no knowledge of these cars, however, if the drawbars (read...couplers) are truck mounted...there is the problem with pushing!
Any truck mounted drawbar in any scale will have this problem because the pushing force is imparted to the truck, not the car body, making it tend to skew (even on a straight line) and thus derail. 
If the drawbars/couplers were body mounted the pushing force would not be directly transmitted to the trucks leaving them to rotate in the curve on their own and exponentially reduce the tendency to derail. I learned this many years ago while in HO.

And there, in a few concise words, is a PERFECT explanation of the shoving problem with truck-mounted couplers. Nicely written, Jim.

About the only thing you can do to improve things is to add a little weight to the cars. The NMRA web site has a good recommended practice for car weighting. If you choose to follow it, you will be amazed at how much it improves the tracking ability of your rolling stock.

The NMRA Recommended car weighting standard for O scale cars is this:

  • BASIC WEIGHT: 5 ounces
  • Add 1 ounce of weight per inch of car body length
  • EXAMPLE for a 21" long car (your 86' flats)
    Basic Weight: 5 Ounces
    Additional Weight: 21 ounces
    Total Car Weight = 26 ounces
    As built, those cars are MUCH lighter than that.

Given that we 3-railers typically run much tighter curves than the 2-rail scale guys, you could cut that weight specification by adding only a half-ounce per inch of length and still improve things tremendously.

Rich Melvin

John, One method to add weight is to open the doors and place large (3/4"?) nuts with goop on the bottom in an out of sight place.  I try to get them on top of the wheels, as close as possible.  No need to remove the top.

Hokie 71

Chief of Operations, Free Union, Blacksburg, and Albemarle Railroad (FUBAR)

John Rowlen posted:

Finding weights will be another internet search, …

John - go to your nearest auto parts store and buy self-adhesive wheel weights for balancing tires.

-Greg

Member of the Brotherhood of the Crappy Basement Layout

Associate Member of the NJ Hi-Railers

Image result for nj hirailers logo

 

I've experienced the same problems. I have these box cars from every release since the original BIG BLUE set. Every single run has had issues with uncoupling. Same goes with the Lionel scale Auto Racks and 30K gallon ethanol tank cars. My method used to prevent uncoupling is to fill the coupler pin hole with glue, pop the pin back it, and hold the coupler shut. I used hot glue for this which has worked very well. I reached the point with these cars that I was gluing the coupler shut every time I took a new one out of the box.

As far as preventing derailments when reversing, I have no solution other than adding weight which has already been discussed. Even when I have the cars in the back of the train they tend to derail. I think its due to the adjusting coupler getting pushed to one side or the other and putting abnormal force to the far outside of the car, thus making it easier to derail on curves and switches.

Jason

Take the time to take the car apart to install the weights properly and evenly. Going through the doors is asking for an unbalanced car. The weights should be added centered over each of the trucks to prevent the floor from sagging and to concentrate the mass onto the wheels/flanges. On eBay, there are several sellers offering stick-on 1/2 ounce iron wheel weights (or lead if you prefer). These are the ones I bought:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/1-2-O...Priority!90710!US!-1

 

Matt Jackson
"The best service you can provide for the hobby is to pass on what you have learned."

 Angels Gate Hi-Railers San Pedro, California

"Celebrating over 20 years of moving freight and passengers from Point A to Point A!"
E-mail

YouTube Channel

Boilermaker1 posted:

They open pretty easily. I think its 4 screws. Adding weight is easy and you dont need a hobby shop. 

Home Depot has plenty of heavy things for little money. So does any sporting goods store. 

Do you have to remove the bizarre coupler mechanism and plate prior to getting to the body screws?

Two things:

- truck-mounted couplers are indeed less than ideal when pushing a train; the lines of force have to wander up and down. But, most of the time they work well in the "real" 3RO RR world, and solve other, problems well. Most of our cars, Lionel's included, are much heavier per inch out of the box than these 86ers, which just seem like too big an ask, sometimes. The angles, the physics...!   

- I know you want to run your cars where you like in your train, and I am not excusing the design of the cars, but real RR's do also sometimes have to consider where in a train a particular car or group of cars is positioned, owing to loads, dynamics, car type (not to mention pick-up and drop-off). Probably doesn't help, but it is a potentially "realistic" handling of conditions.

John, sounds like adding weight over the trucks is all you can do. Most likely this will only help if pulling but not pushing do to the coupler design. Whoever designed this coupler surely must have seen through tests that the coupler would not handle pushing but decided to go with it anyway. Let us know how the weights work out. 

Rod Miller

Don't have any of the aforementioned cars but do have some of the Weaver boxcars with plastic trucks that were extremely lacking in weight. Went to Home Depot picked up several different sizes of fender washers. Open up the car and fasten, glue/caulk/epoxy what ever you want, directly over the trucks. 

D500 posted:

"- truck-mounted couplers are indeed less than ideal when pushing a train; the lines of force have to wander up and down. But, most of the time they work well in the "real" 3RO RR world, and solve other, problems well. "

These have the Lionel Kinematic coupler which is body mounted with that inverted "V" shape to allow extra body interference clearance on tight curves. For the most part mine have done Ok in reverse.

Add Reply

Likes (1)
SPSF
Post
OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653
330-757-3020

www.ogaugerr.com
×
×
×
×
×