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I recently found several of these reefers new in the box ( in my train storage, no less). They have some very nice graphics and decent detailing, but the trucks and couplers don’t thrill me. Any recommendations for replacements would be appreciated. I’d consider putting Kadeem’s on the body, but with 042 curves, I’m not sure how well that would work. I question putting too much money into these cars, but with new ones going for $60 - 80.00 I’m seriously thinking about it. Any thoughts or suggestions welcome.



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the trucks are made from "engineering plastic", a common brand for trains is "Delrin".    This type of stuff is  used for bearing surfaces on automated assembly lines cycling from 50-100 times per hour.    The trucks are nice detailed and an equalized, which means they adjust to rough track.    I assume they have 2 rail size flanges which may not be to your liking.     I am not sure whether NWSL makes 3 rail size wheels with axles that length to just change out wheels.    But the bottom line is they are pretty nice trucks and very nicely detailed per prototype.   A lot of 2 rail guys do replace the wheelsets with metal ones.

As for the couplers, I am not sure but I think 042 refers to 21 inch radius curves.   that is is pretty tight for body mount couplers but these are 40 ft cars (sorta short), so they might work.    I suggest getting a pair of Kadees and testing them.    Actually the weaver couplers mount the same as Kadees, so just test the cars on  your curves with the weaver couplers on them.

From the shininess and “feel” of the plastic, I too assumed that these are made of delrin .042 is a standard curve diameter reference in three rail and, yes, it’s 21” radius. The wheels on all of these cars are tinplate, not scale. But the trucks  don’t seem to hold together very well, hence the desire to replace them. The couplers thumbtack. I also have one curve that is 036, so 40 foot cars with body mounted couplers probably won’t work. But thanks for the thoughts.

I Had a lot of derailments with the Weaver Delrin trucks on our club’s tubular track layout, and at first thought the “equalizing” side frames the culprits. Turned out they were OK, but the screw holding the bolster to the Crown car body was the trick. When the screw was tightened so that the bolster could still rotate freely but without “wiggle,” all was well.

Thanks. I appreciate the tip. I run on Gargraves with a mix of Atlas and Ross turnouts. I wonder if that will make a difference? What occasioned my original concern, however, was that when I took the first car our of the box ( I have about six of these cars and they had not been out of the since I bought them many years ago.)  the trucks just fell apart and I couldn't get them to stay together.

I just tried an experiment.   I have a few pieces of what I think you call "031" track basic old O gauge that I have    I took two of my 40 ft Atlas cars with body mount Kadees and coupled them and pulled and pushed through the curve.    The couplers handled it just fine.    Since they have 2 rail wheelsets, I had to miove them slowly or they would derail on the tubular track.

When pushing, depending on the car and how the couplers are mounted, the car corners may touch and cause issues.    These were mounted with the face of the box even with the end of the car.    Some Atlas cars have the box mounted to stick out about 1/8 inch which give more slack.    But as it is, there is still a little slack in the coupler swing on 031 curves.  

Since the Crown/Weaver reefers are 40ft cars (about 10 inches), you should have no trouble with body mount Kadeees on the 036 0r 042 curves.    As I mentioned before, try a set as a test to see if you like it.    By the way, they obviously won't line up to couple on curves.

Thanks alot for the effort and the thought.  I wonder if that would work as well with a string of cars being pushed or pulled by an engine. Pushing by hand is not only "gentler" but just your hand on top of the car is somewhat stabilizing. I'll have to take the cars our of the boxes and see whether the other couplers and trucks work better than the first one. Now as to when I will get the time...

Thank you too, Chris. Thanks again to all who responded. This really is a great group.

I pulled and pushed on the couplers.     With 2 rail, it is very easy to derail a car pushing on the top.    I think this answers the question of sufficient coupler swing.    The rest of it with a train probably is going to behave about the same as with 3 rail couplers.   

Generally with stuff I have worked with, if the trucks roll OK, body mount couplers tend to NOT stringline, or derail cars on curves as readily  as talgo (truck mounted) couplers.

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