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Would like to 2-rail some 86-foot auto parts box cars  - some from the first run, a couple NS from a later run, and a couple from the most recent run are candidates. I've read some of the posts about it , which were from not long after the cars were first released - so I'm wondering if there are newer trucks, such as the Atlas 7066 or 7065, that would work as a drop-in. Or other brands.

Do the Lionel replacement wheel sets (84463) work on the trucks on these cars? I think the answer is no, but I could easily be wrong. And I see that NWSL has wheel sets, in 33 and 36 diameters, with two tread widths (shouldered roller bearing axle, Lionel spinner).

I have Kadee 746 couplers. I've seen suggestions about attaching styrene or metal to the floor to provide a stiffer mounting for the coupler.

Thanks in advance for help/advice. And it was a toss-up - Lionel or 2RS forum.

David

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I use a scale (O scale that is) 3ft by 8ft piece of .080 styrene to stiffen the floor ends, from the top.   Glue everything up using a plastic weld type of cement.  For trucks, I use Atlas 70 ton trucks, and attach using 3mm flat head machine screws, and a 3mm nut as a spacer between the truck, and the body bolster.  Use a 3mm tap and drill set to tap the truck mounting holes.   Using a flat head screw, provides a good mounting, with the tapered top shank acting as a centering means.  You will need to play with the screw and nut to get the correct tightness and  to allow a slight  rock to the truck, this can be tricky with the need to keep readjusting the nut and screw.   This will give the correct height to the Kadee coupler.   BTW, I paint my trucks and underframes after conversion, before reassembly.  Good luck.

Last edited by R Nelson

Thank you for all that info. Will need to check with dealer on availability of the Atlas trucks - last time I checked a couple months ago, he was told by Atlas late summer.

Later yesterday, decided to see how it would look with some MTH trucks I have that I'm going to use for converting MTH Gunderson High-Cubes. Looks like it sits around 3 or 4mm too low. As you can see, haven't installed the couplers yet. Ran out of time before work.

David

dbpcauto

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Original cars with the sheet metal sprung trucks, swap for atlas.
The newer trucks that can be converted, use the conversion kit.  
If you use the conversion kit, you replace everything but the side frames with new parts.  It works pretty well.
These are beer cars, but I use the 86’ boxcar coupler pockets on them as they should have cushion pockets and Lionel doesn’t supply them with the beer cars.
The swoosh car is the Lionel conversion kit. The circle cross car is atlas 70T trucks.  Both screwed to the bolster directly with the Lionel screws.  I used 1 micro mark shim to lower the coupler on both to the gauge height. The conversion kit car might ride a hair lower than the atlas trucks, but it also could just be the way the shell sits on the frame.  It’s not that much different.
1146DBEB-D3E4-4AAE-97D5-F1C4CD100E63

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Last edited by Boilermaker1

   Well, I forgot to add, that I use stick on wheel weights from Harbor Freight Tools.   I use the 1/4 oz weights, and add 3 oz of weight to each end (6 pieces, each side, for a total of 12 pieces each end).  Center at underframe edge  (on top) with the bolster hole.   The reason for the 1/4 versus the 1/2 oz weights is they are flat, as the 1/2 oz weights have a slight curve to them.    I find that adding 6 oz weight to each car provides nice tracking, especially when backing up.  I follow the NMRA specs very loosely.     NKP Muncie.......your car looks a little low in your picture.    After you install your couplers, check with a Kadee coupler gauge.  Good luck!     By the way, does your Norfolk and Western car look okay?    After I weathered my car, it does not look as bad....weathering can hide a multitude of sins!

Last edited by R Nelson

Thanks again to both of you. Earlier today I took one of the trucks apart, from one of the early PC cars (6-82425, Car No. 295443). Might try NWSL axles on a couple cars. Waiting for response from dealer on availability of the Atlas 70-ton roller bearing trucks.

R Nelson - that photo was with MTH 2-rail roller bearing trucks, with no nuts or washers to get to the right ride height. Just wanted to see how it looked that way. Also, stock Lionel screw not long enough for washers or nuts - just barely long enough to attach the MTH truck as is.

I had posted a pic of my N&W car, along with some of the orange Ford - but that thread went poof! shortly afterward. Looks OK to me. Here's that pic again:

dbnw

So, have an NYC from the first run, a PRR, that PC, a CNW, an MILW, two-packs of NYC and NS, plus the recent Ford and NW.

David

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Last edited by NKP Muncie

Hmph. I order a few NWSL wheelsets (36-inch) to try out on the older truck design. Guess that was a mistake (I don't mean it was a problem with NWSL; rather, in how I was using them). Got them in, put the coupler box with Kadee 746 in on one end - height looked OK. Couple it on to end of train - power up - train gets moving slowly - a second or two later - sparks from truck.

Guessing I'm overlooking something blindingly obvious  (such as that the trucks are not insulated side-to-side). For giggles - took locos off track, removed one truck from car, put it on track, applied power. No problem so far. Took piece of tubing to use to wiggle upper crosspiece of truck from side to side. Sure enough, sparks.

I had the insulated wheels on the same side of the truck.

David

Last edited by NKP Muncie

AGHRMatt,   I plan on running mine on 8 -10 ft. radius curves once I build a layout.    These are big cars, and will run with the almost the same dynamics of their real counterparts.    I would advise for lack of running issues, running on a minimum of a 60 inch radius, just my suggestion.  You may get by on a 45",  I'm not sure about that.  Good luck!

@AGHRMatt posted:

I forgot about this thread. I have five of them I want to switch over. What, if any, are the curve requiements once they're converted? My 89-foot Atlas trailer flats can make it through 36" radius, though I'd be running them on 45" radius.

Matt,     You could always set up some curves on the "carpet central" and test the cars by pushing/rolling them around. It might also give you an idea how much your eyes can tolerate (as in: It makes it around, but looks really silly. Good Luck!

ECI

Last edited by EastCoastIron
@AGHRMatt posted:

I forgot about this thread. I have five of them I want to switch over. What, if any, are the curve requiements once they're converted? My 89-foot Atlas trailer flats can make it through 36" radius, though I'd be running them on 45" radius.

I can tell you that they will not run on a 36”. The trucks are too far in and the car ends push way out around curves.  I’m not sure you could save it even with the sides of the kadee box cut open.  I would gander that there’s a “bare minimum” that you could do, but there’s also going to be a “realistic” radius of safe operation that’s probably north of 50”.

Turns out I was trying EastCoastIron's suggestion (but not having see that reply yet). And I'd agree with Boilermaker1, based on my limited observations. I have a coupler on only one end of the car (waiting for Atlas trucks for the older ones, and Lionel conversion kits for the newest two).

Using finger power - with one car coupled to PC 86-footer - they made it through Atlas 40.5" radius, going both directions. On 36", though, at least one outside wheel was lifting off the rail. ADD: Oh, I tried a couple cars to couple to the PC car - one relatively light - an Atlas 5161 hopper - and one heavy, a Berwick 60-foot box car.

This is with the NWSL 36-inch wheelsets in the Lionel truck frames.

Ok, this pic is with 36" radius on the inside, and 40.5" on the outside. Roughly 4.5-inch center-to-center. This is as close as they got. The one on the inside is stock, 3-rail.

8636405

David

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Last edited by NKP Muncie

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