The manufacturer of Ficus trucks [http://www.lbrenterprisesllc.com/FICUS-PRODUCTS.html] purports that its product is better than the original equipment utilized by Gilbert AF and Lionel AF. That said, has anyone replaced the original trucks on their American Models passenger cars with Ficus two- or three-axle trucks, and if so, how difficult was this modification?

Bob G (WNY)

Original Post

Bob, Just wondering, with the fine detail on the A M trucks, why you would want to replace them with the stamped sheet metal trucks.

Second thought, the height difference between the A. M. trucks and the flyer type trucks might well cause problems.

I am a person who owns a good deal of American Flyer and some of the American Models passenger cars and I enjoy both but only mention this to help avoid problems in the conversion.

Ray

I was considering the installation of Ficus trucks on a few of my American Models passenger cars to carry out a simple experiment: [1] evaluate the magnitude of their close-coupling feature [cited in the manufacturer's online ad], and [2] test the reliability of their coupling action [AM's standard couplers often fail to open when "triggered"]. The Spartan details present on the Ficus product line does not bother me.  

Bob G (WNY)

Bob, that sounds like an interesting experiment. An apparent benefit of the Ficus trucks would be their greater weight, it should improve tracking and stability. A big downside of using these on the AM cars is the Ficus trucks do not have needlepoint axle ends. This will greatly increase the rolling resistance.

Tom

AmFlyer posted:

Bob, that sounds like an interesting experiment. An apparent benefit of the Ficus trucks would be their greater weight, it should improve tracking and stability. A big downside of using these on the AM cars is the Ficus trucks do not have needlepoint axle ends. This will greatly increase the rolling resistance.

Not wanting to hijack this thread, but I have wanted to ask, and maybe the answer would apply to the topic at hand: is there a reasonably priced and easily obtainable replacement wheel set for PW Flyer? There appears to be quite a lot of resistance to the originals, and (carefully) oiling the axle ends will only do so much...

Mark in Oregon

Strummer posted:
AmFlyer posted:

Bob, that sounds like an interesting experiment. An apparent benefit of the Ficus trucks would be their greater weight, it should improve tracking and stability. A big downside of using these on the AM cars is the Ficus trucks do not have needlepoint axle ends. This will greatly increase the rolling resistance.

Not wanting to hijack this thread, but I have wanted to ask, and maybe the answer would apply to the topic at hand: is there a reasonably priced and easily obtainable replacement wheel set for PW Flyer? There appears to be quite a lot of resistance to the originals, and (carefully) oiling the axle ends will only do so much...

Mark in Oregon

There are also some vendors who sell brass eyelet-type inserts that decrease rolling resistance in sintered iron truck sides. You have to clean up the ends of the axles and straighten them, but using the inserts seems to work.

RoyBoy

Tom, wouldn't increased car rolling resistance constitute- -assuming a consist isn't inordinately long, thus compromising the pulling ability of your motive power- -a positive trade-off with respect to coupling action. To wit: Picking up one or several freestanding lightweight/"easy-rolling" cars often necessitates that the moving loco [with or without attached cars] close in on them at a non-prototyptical high speed to ensure proper coupler engagement. 

 

Bob G (WNY)

True, some of the easy rolling cars need to be banged together to latch the couplers. Running with the Legacy system I hit the stop button just as the couplers touch. Cars with higher rolling friction are somewhat easier to couple. I still have many link coupler freight cars on the layout. These couple together with the engine backing up on Legacy speed step 1 (of 200 steps.) None of the knuckle coupler cars will do that no matter the rolling resistance unless the car is part of a multi car consist.

Needle point axles place a serious priority on assuring uncoupling locations and switching yards are absolutely flat.

Tom

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