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Ladies & Gentlemen,
    The US Army Menards Tank Car is now Special Forces worthy, upgraded with MTH Premier Heavy Weight
Trucks & Couplers with Break Air lines, the Tank Car Now sits & runs properly pulling what ever load necessary.
The addition of the old trucks although not required makes the Tank Car even heavier on the tracks.
PCRR/Dave


Last edited by Pine Creek Railroad
Original Post

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Originally Posted by Pine Creek Railroad:

AMCDave,

   IMO they are both to light and too cheaply made, not worth messing with because they uncouple with any real weight being pulled.  The MTH Primer trucks makes this a flat car with running.

PCRR/Dave

I understand you did the best thing.....got them to run right!!!!

I'm rather cheap and kinda enjoy making thing work.....I was just wondering out loud!!

Originally Posted by AMCDave:
Originally Posted by Pine Creek Railroad:

AMCDave,

   IMO they are both to light and too cheaply made, not worth messing with because they uncouple with any real weight being pulled.  The MTH Primer trucks makes this a flat car with running.

PCRR/Dave

I understand you did the best thing.....got them to run right!!!!

I'm rather cheap and kinda enjoy making thing work.....I was just wondering out loud!!

My wheels could be fixed by spreading 3 sets of them apart, one set was ok. Weights could be added to get them to NMRA standards. Not sure how the couplers could be fixed, I have never attempted coupler maintenance, so don't know a lot about that, but these are pretty lightweight.

 

Should have previously added that they all appear to be plastic and no matter what you do they are still plastic. Only thing magnetic on the trucks were the axels and the un-coupler shoe (button or what ever they are called).

Last edited by rtr12
Originally Posted by rtr12:

My wheels could be fixed by spreading 3 sets of them apart, one set was ok. Weights could be added to get them to NMRA standards. Not sure how the couplers could be fixed, I have never attempted coupler maintenance, so don't know a lot about that, but these are pretty lightweight.

 

Should have previously added that they all appear to be plastic and no matter what you do they are still plastic. Only thing magnetic on the trucks were the axels and the un-coupler shoe (button or what ever they are called).

I don't have the issue with plastic trucks other have IF THEY WORK WELL. I weight my cars (mostly Weaver) to standard or more and find that I can't tell if they have die cast metal or plastic trucks.

As for couplers... if mine act up I close them, add a few drops of epoxy to the mechanism and they are fixed forever!!!! Really....how many of us do extensive switching operations??? I don't even own a un-coupler track and none will be on my layout. I like to RUN trains......

 

I'd be willing to pay shipping if any one wants to send me a set......I'd like to see if a fix can be devised and applied so they don't have to be replaced on all of them.

Last edited by AMCDave

AMCDave,

    I can understand wanting to tinker and fix things, however I really wanted this Tank Car to run well with the rest of my SF train, so I opted for replacing the light plastic with the real good MTH all metal trucks.  If I do get a couple more Tank Cars, I will still do the same replacement work, I like how the car now operates.

PCRR/Dave

 

I had bought the flatcar with tank a couple of months ago.  Upon receiving it and putting it on the track, the wheels were so out of gauge on one truck, it couldn't be run.  The other truck though better than the first were also out of gauge.  I ended up removing the wheels and axles and used wheel and axle sets from Lionel from cars that had similar trucks.  This helped tracking immensely.  However, an expensive thing to do.  Couplers:  I removed the knuckle pins and did some filing with a Dremel tool and cleaned that up with a small hand file.  This helped the operation of the couplers.  For these two reasons, trucks and couplers, I buy very few Menards rolling stock.  While I like to tinker with my trains, I don't want to work on every single car that I get.  That kind of defeats the purpose of buying inexpensive rolling stock.

Steve

Originally Posted by AMCDave:
Originally Posted by rtr12:

My wheels could be fixed by spreading 3 sets of them apart, one set was ok. Weights could be added to get them to NMRA standards. Not sure how the couplers could be fixed, I have never attempted coupler maintenance, so don't know a lot about that, but these are pretty lightweight.

 

Should have previously added that they all appear to be plastic and no matter what you do they are still plastic. Only thing magnetic on the trucks were the axels and the un-coupler shoe (button or what ever they are called).

I don't have the issue with plastic trucks other have IF THEY WORK WELL. I weight my cars (mostly Weaver) to standard or more and find that I can't tell if they have die cast metal or plastic trucks.

As for couplers... if mine act up I close them, add a few drops of epoxy to the mechanism and they are fixed forever!!!! Really....how many of us do extensive switching operations??? I don't even own a un-coupler track and none will be on my layout. I like to RUN trains......

 

I'd be willing to pay shipping if any one wants to send me a set......I'd like to see if a fix can be devised and applied so they don't have to be replaced on all of them.

I added weights to NMRA std. when I got the car out a couple months ago and it didn't run well. Might try spreading the 3 wheel sets to the proper gauge to match the one that is correct. Also, I seem to have locked the couplers shut somehow, couldn't open them earlier today and I haven't glued them yet either? Mine never came open even pulling 10-12 or so MTH RailKing cars. I had trouble getting them to close...musta done a good job on that one.  

 

I only have the one car and my grandson likes the tank even if the car doesn't run just right, so I will probably keep it for a while for him to play with. I think I may also have some Lionel or MTH metal trucks around here somewhere, maybe I will give it the Pine Creek RR treatment if he wants to run it often.

Originally Posted by LionelLLC:
Originally Posted by Pine Creek Railroad:

Rail,

   I can not seem to find that out myself.  the guys are saying they think it's WBB.

PCRR/Dave

 

Jack from WBB says it is NOT them.  It's a manufacturer that no one is routinely familiar with.

 

Stu

LOL, it may not be WBB but it certainly could be their parent company Kader Industries that own the dies.

Originally Posted by Bill T:
Originally Posted by LionelLLC:
Originally Posted by Pine Creek Railroad:

Rail,

   I can not seem to find that out myself.  the guys are saying they think it's WBB.

PCRR/Dave

 

Jack from WBB says it is NOT them.  It's a manufacturer that no one is routinely familiar with.

 

Stu

LOL, it may not be WBB but it certainly could be their parent company Kader Industries that own the dies.

 

Bill,

 

It's not Kader.  I don't know who *owns* the dies, I was referring to who actually *manufacturers* the cars.

 

Stu

There are four known boxcar molds. WBB, Lionel, MTH and the K-Line molds that were acquired by Sandra Kan (now Kader) when K-Line went under.  Knowing that all of these molds exist; it would be strange if someone went through the large expense of retooling especially for Menards. Here is my educated guess.  Does anyone remember MPC? Their 6464 type boxcar molds were smooth sided just like the Menards cars are. Later on Lionel Trains retooled to get back the original rivet detail.  What happened to the MPC smooth sided molds that were supposed to have changed hands at least four times?  I suspect that these early molds found their way to a small manufacturer in China or a plastic tooling house who supplies the major manufacturers who machined another set using the same CAM program data. . In China strange things can happen and try to figure that out 6,000 miles away?

I agree that molds 'float' around all the time....and often change owners without anyone knowing. Through my work in the plastic model field I have seen it. Molds are sent out to a tooling shop for repair, modification or even storage. Company 'A' forgets about it.....and the tooling shop recoups their money by selling the molds to company 'B'. Happens more than you think could be possible. The company I work with now is working on getting some molds in storage for 30-35 years!!

 

So who knows what was used to make the Menards cars. They could even be clones, something the Chinese are EXPERTS at, of other current cars. We needed a part cloned for a reworked kit. I sent a vintage kit part to our vendor in China. On the back side of the part was a nick from the old mold......they reproduced that nick!!!

 

Bottom line.....like them...buy them.

Originally Posted by rail:

http://www.menards.com/main/p-2432866.htm

Above is the link for the flat car special sale price. If you click on the cars, you can enlarge them to get a better look at the trucks. The cars have very little data, and no visible road numbers. Those would be easy to add. I just can't figure out how they can sell them at this price. I'm still debating on buying a case.

Don

The offer expires on Dec. 10, so you may need to debate a little faster

 

(They don't say whether the case lots will be available until that date, or just the advertised price is good till then)

 

---PCJ

Originally Posted by Bill T:

The Menards boxcars are larger than the Lionel 6464 type boxcars, very close to the Railking size boxcars. I still think that Kader Industries manufactured the freight cars for Menards. The orange NP is Menards, the red AT&SF is Williams, identical except for the type of trucks used.

 

Last time.... Williams by Bachmann and Kader Industrial have NOTHING to do with these cars.

Originally Posted by BucksCo:

 

Last time.... Williams by Bachmann and Kader Industrial have NOTHING to do with these cars.

Forgive my ignorance but how do you know this as fact?? Not starting drama.....but if you could explain how you know this as a fact....might stop some of the discussion. I understand working in the hobby biz myself....I can't always give out inside info.....that's when I stay silent and not add to the confusion. Just IMHO only!!!!

Originally Posted by AMCDave:
Originally Posted by BucksCo:

 

Last time.... Williams by Bachmann and Kader Industrial have NOTHING to do with these cars.

Forgive my ignorance but how do you know this as fact?? Not starting drama.....but if you could explain how you know this as a fact....might stop some of the discussion. I understand working in the hobby biz myself....I can't always give out inside info.....that's when I stay silent and not add to the confusion. Just IMHO only!!!!

I work for Bachmann in Philadelphia. Trust me I know....

Normally I would stay silent but I think we need to clarify this.

Last edited by BucksCo
Originally Posted by BucksCo:
Originally Posted by Bill T:

The Menards boxcars are larger than the Lionel 6464 type boxcars, very close to the Railking size boxcars. I still think that Kader Industries manufactured the freight cars for Menards. The orange NP is Menards, the red AT&SF is Williams, identical except for the type of trucks used.

 

Last time.... Williams by Bachmann and Kader Industrial have NOTHING to do with these cars.

 

Since the similarities between these cars and the WBB cars are so blatant, I would be inclined to think Bachmann given its Goliathic position in the model train industry would be investigating this.  Might be another Lionel/MTH trade theft scandal all over again. 

Originally Posted by AMCDave:
Originally Posted by BucksCo:
 

I work for Bachmann in Philadelphia. Trust me I know....

Normally I would stay silent but I think we need to clarify this.

Now that helps.....maybe I missed you saying this elsewhere.....but now we know the rest of the story! 

 

Jack's worked for Bachmann for several years now at least.

Originally Posted by John Korling:
 

Since the similarities between these cars and the WBB cars are so blatant, I would be inclined to think Bachmann given its Goliathic position in the model train industry would be investigating this.  Might be another Lionel/MTH trade theft scandal all over again. 

Well........the business world is a strange place at times......

I have no inside info on the Bachmann vs Menards debate....

I can relate it to a incident we encountered in the plastic model field.

We wanted to produce a kit of a a famous and popular NASCAR driver. We set a meeting with the team owner and driver....they told us NO on a license. It was because the car sponsor  was an 'adult' aimed product and they had gotten pressure from parents groups to drop said sponsor. But they did say, off the record, IF we produced a plastic kit....they would not come after us nor would the sponsor. They wanted a kit to be produced. Kinda permission to bootleg as such.

 

So sometimes things are not 'investigated' because it is more beneficial than negative.

Not saying that's whats going on here.....what is only a very few do. But things are not as they look much of the time.

 

The Menards cars are very good clones from pics I've seen.....

Judging from the pictures ONLY, the Menards trucks seem similar to my most hated Lionel plastic trucks.  I have not had the 2 side by side to do a direct comparison.  I do think the decoration on the Menards is not all that bad.  I have always disliked plastic trucks!  Cheep cheep cheep!

 

To my mind though, it is tough to beat the paint detail on new RMT products.  My hat goes off to Walter for hanging in there giving all he has been through.  He is a great guy to help spread this hobby.

Don,

    Now that Menard's has upgraded the trucks on their Military rolling stock, I just purchased 2 more US Army Box Cars and the very nice Deuce and half Flat Car, might just get another flat Car at the end of the month.

 

Daryl,

   Yes the the rivets are easily removed and the MTH Primer trucks match up perfectly with the hole for installation.  Be careful removing the shells that cover the one rivet,

I used a very small screw driver and pried them off a little at a time, then used a drop of super glue to re-install them after putting the new trucks on the Flat Car.  The Menard's Flat Car looks and runs quite well with the new MTH trucks.  I then installed the old Trucks on each corner of the Flat Car, for some added Flat Car weight, it runs smooth as glass now.

 

PCRR/Dave 

Last edited by Pine Creek Railroad
Originally Posted by donhradio:

Judging from the pictures ONLY, the Menards trucks seem similar to my most hated Lionel plastic trucks.  I have not had the 2 side by side to do a direct comparison.  I do think the decoration on the Menards is not all that bad.  I have always disliked plastic trucks!  Cheep cheep cheep!

 

The only Menard's car I have so far is the Army flat car with Tank from several months ago (maybe even a year ago?). It had the plastic trucks and had trouble staying on the track. I added weights and that helped. I didn't upgrade the trucks like PCRR/Dave did, but I just happen to have ended up with a set of MTH trucks recently. May give it a try one of these days. 

 

However, I believe Menard's heard the complaints and agreed about the trucks not being the greatest and has since upgraded them on their latest releases. I have not purchased any more rolling stock lately since I heard this though, so I can't say for sure on the newer ones. I think they watch the forum here and listen to us about their products. From some of the reply posts Menard's has made here, I really do think they are trying very hard to put out some good quality products at very reasonable prices, and for the most part they have been quite successful.

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