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Thread: Trucks, (Metal) Wheel Sets, Couplers. A Little Info

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    Exclamation Trucks, (Metal) Wheel Sets, Couplers. A Little Info

    N-Scale Freight Car / Passenger Car / Caboose Trucks:
    Micro Trains -> Many Different Styles
    BLMA -> 70 Ton / 100 Ton (Great for lowering ride height without modifying bolsters)
    Atlas -> Different Styles (The Atlas 100 Ton truck also lowers ride height without modifying bolsters)
    Intermountain Railway Co. -> A Few
    KATO -> A Few (Select a freight car under "N-Scale Products" to look up trucks)
    RAPIDO TRAINS INC. -> A Few
    American Limited Models -> A Few


    Freight Car Trucks Friction Bearing:
    Banned from interchange service in:
    01-01-1991 for cars carrying hazardous materials.
    01-01-1994 for cars carrying non-hazardous materials.
    01-01-1995 for cars with trucks that were converted from friction to roller bearing side frames (Hot Box detectors could not detect them if / when they overheated).


    Freight Cars & Truck Sizes, What Size To Use?
    I found a post on The Railwire about 70 Ton and 100 Ton trucks and how to look up which truck to use under your rolling stock, read reply #12
    Post from "Hyperion" on The Railwire:
    The rating of a truck refers to the capacity of the load the car is allowed to carry, and it is actually an estimate at best.Today, a "100T" truck can carry a 286,000lb total load inclusive of the car weight (i.e. gross rail weight) (263K prior to, I believe, 1994). A "70T" truck car carry a 220,000lb total weight inclusive of the car.So rather than looking at the capacity, look at the total gross weight (add light/tare weight to the capacity) and see if its' less than 220K or 286K, that will determine the truck size used.

    Freight Car Trucks and Wheel Diameters:
    <=50 Ton Trucks ride on 28" Wheels
    70 Ton Trucks ride on 33" Wheels
    100 Ton Trucks ride on 36" Wheels
    125 Ton Trucks ride on 38" Wheels

    N-Scale Wheel Diameter Conversions:
    .175" (4,45mm) = 28" Wheels
    .188" (4,76mm) = 30" Wheels
    .206" (5,24mm) = 33" Wheels
    .225" (5,72mm) = 36" Wheels
    .238" (6,03mm) = 38" Wheels

    N-Scale (Metal) Wheel Sets:
    FVM -> Metal Wheel Sets Axle Lengths:
    .540" (1,372cm) -> Micro Trains & Athearn trucks
    .553" (1,405cm) -> Intermountain trucks & Atlas trucks (plastic wheels)
    .563" (1,430cm) -> Con-Cor & Bachmann & old Atlas trucks (metal wheels)
    Atlas -> (Metal) Wheel Sets
    NorthWest Short Line -> Metal Wheel Sets
    Intermountain Railway Co. -> (Metal) Wheel Sets
    Logic Rail Technologies -> Detectable Metal Wheel Sets (Detectable Metal Wheel Sets used for train detection, signaling etc.)
    KATO -> Metal Wheel Sets

    N-Scale Odd Ball Axle Length:
    Atlas .568" (1,444cm) used under the 20,700 gal tank car.

    N-Scale Pizza Cutters:
    Have a look at MooseID's post "What are 'Pizza Cutters'".


    N-Scale Knuckle Coupler Names:
    Additional Information
    Micro Trains --> Magne-Matic
    Athearn -------> McHenry (Info: McHenry Couplers and Athearn are members of Horizon Hobby)
    KATO --------> Semi Automatic / Kinematic (used on the “Morning Daylight”)
    Atlas ----------> Accumate (Info: Couplers are manufactured by Atlas under license from AccuRail, Inc.)
    Bachmann -----> Dummy knuckle coupler

    Older, Other, Discontinued:
    Red Caboose -> Unimate
    Intermountain Railway Co. -> ??
    The Rapido Coupler

    (N-Scale) Knuckle Coupler Height(s):
    1:1 Scale Knuckle Coupler Heights (top of rail to middle of coupler)
    Source
    Empty cars -> min 32 1/2" max 34 1/2"
    Loaded cars-> min 31 1/2" max 33 1/2"
    N-scale (x/160)
    Empty cars -> min 0.203" max 0.216" (5,2mm / 5,5mm)
    Loaded cars-> min 0.197" max 0.209" (5,0mm / 5,3mm)

    N-Scale Standard Knuckle Coupler Height (top of rail to middle of coupler)
    0.216" (5,5mm) which is the same as the max height for an empty car.

    *See a error or have something to add? let me know (post)!*
    Last edited by DrifterNL; 14th Jun 2010 at 10:54 AM. Reason: Added info on Trucks


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    Should this post be moved over to the tutorial section?

    It is an incredible wealth of information.
    Doug S.

    Proudly Serving In The US Army

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    Quote Originally Posted by dcswift View Post
    Should this post be moved over to the tutorial section?

    It is an incredible wealth of information.
    Yes, that makes sense! It has been moved.

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    I cleaned up / rearranged / added info / corrected and updated a few links in the first post.
    All the Google links are now gone too.
    Enjoy!

    Quote Originally Posted by dcswift View Post
    Should this post be moved over to the tutorial section?
    It is an incredible wealth of information.
    Quote Originally Posted by BryanC View Post
    Yes, that makes sense! It has been moved.
    Thanks guys!

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    I wonder if there would be any interest in my building 1 Excel spreadsheet with all of the Coupler Conversion data on it in one place for MT couplers? You would then be able to search from just one Excel spreadsheet for the proper conversion. Of Course I would check with MT first to make sure they didn't have any complaints listing their stock data. I'm sure they would not because it would just help sell their products.

    Just an idea I already have all of MT's spreadsheets just need to build some additional tabs and some cutting and pasting.

    Pete
    Eighty 1 Fourever

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrifterNL View Post
    More:
    N-Scale (Metal) Wheel Sets:

    ExactRail -> 33" Brass Wheelsets (*Fits Athearn & Micro Trains?)

    *Axle length not yet known
    I heard they are .539"

    Metro Red Ln (Metro Red Line)
    Under the streets of Los Angeles

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    Exclamation Updates & Correction

    More:
    N-Scale Freight Car / Passenger Car / Caboose Trucks:
    WHEELS OF TIME -> 6 Wheel Heavyweight Drop-Equalizer Passenger Truck

    Correction:
    Freight Car Trucks and Wheelset Diameters:
    50 Ton Trucks ride on 33" Wheelsets <-*corrected*
    70 Ton Trucks ride on 33" Wheelsets
    100 Ton Trucks ride on 36" Wheelsets
    125 Ton Trucks ride on 38" Wheelsets

    NOTE: Freight Car Trucks and Wheelset Diameters are meant as a rule of thumb, there can be variations to this in the 1:1 scale world thus also in the 1:160 scale world.

    More:
    N-Scale (Metal) Wheelsets:
    Micro Trains -> Wheelsets
    ExactRail -> 33" and 36" Brass Wheelsets (Axle length is .538" (1,37 cm))
    BLMA -> 33" and 36" Metal Wheelsets (Fits BLMA & Micro Trains trucks)

    More:
    N-Scale Knuckle Coupler Names:
    Con-Cor -> Rigid Jaw Coupler
    Bachmann -> E-Z Mate Mark II Coupler

    *I did a little clean up, big thanks to BryanC!*
    Last edited by DrifterNL; 25th Jan 2011 at 10:16 PM.

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    Exclamation Update 2

    More:
    N-Scale Freight car / Passenger car / Caboose Trucks:
    BLMA -> 70 Ton Friction Bearing Trucks (New Product / Great for lowering ride height without modifying bolsters)
    Last edited by DrifterNL; 12th Mar 2011 at 07:55 AM.

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    Exclamation Update 3

    More:
    N-Scale (Metal) Wheelsets:
    FVM Is now offering their .540 (1,372cm) 33" Wheelset in Wide Tread version.

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    looking to replace some plastic wheelsets that are .595".
    Are there any metal wheelsets availble that long?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eliphaz View Post
    looking to replace some plastic wheelsets that are .595".
    Are there any metal wheelsets availble that long?
    Are you sure about the axle length?
    In your original post you wrote about "American Limited Core Kits" and according to the web site http://americanlimitedmodels.com/?page_id=587 they use Intermountain 36" wheelsets which should be around .553".

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    yeah, I figured that out alright, two different projects.

    didnt want to delete the post altogether, so I thought Id ask about the old Arnold passenger cars. I have a bunch of the RPOs which actually look quite decent.

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    I had a look around but without success.
    One thing you could think about is changing the trucks if you can find the appropriate truck.

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    Just read that Athearn will be announcing their metal wheelsets soon....

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    Q about this... how much tolerance is there around these axle lengths?

    I've been measuring some of my cars for replacement, and i seem to be falling in the middle.

    Two cars (call them A & B) measured .548-.550
    Two cars (C & D) measured .560
    One car (E) measured .565

    So I go look at FVM and they have 0.540, 0.553 and 0.563 wheels.

    I'm supposing the .563 FVMs would do for cars C, D, and E.

    But I'm unsure whether to go 0.540 (smaller and looser) or 0.553 (longer/tighter) for A & B.

    I guess I could just buy a package of all 3 sizes and just try them on for fit, but if anyone has some guidance, I'd be much obliged.

    FTR:

    A = Rivarossi diner
    B = Atlas 40' boxcar (old, pizza cutter / Rapido trucks)
    C = LifeLike 50' boxcar (pizza cutter / Rapido trucks)
    D = Bachmann caboose (metal p.c. wheels)
    E = Model Power coach
    Never mistake a guy who talks a lot for a guy who has something to say...

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    rule of thumb when compromising, loose is better than tight.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eliphaz View Post
    rule of thumb when compromising, loose is better than tight.
    Good rule, but it's not "loose" I'm worried about. It's "too loose".

    I suppose I could measure the space between the truck sideframes...
    Never mistake a guy who talks a lot for a guy who has something to say...

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    too loose means it falls out. trial and error is the best method.

    you also have to measure the depth of the holes, or the distance between the bottoms of the opposite holes.

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    As you know TD, all I run are M/T trucks and FVM wheels. I have experienced the .540 axles to run + or - .003 Just a reminder to those looking to upgrade thier wheel sets. First roll them on the table to see if the wheel "wobbles". I find that on an average about 4% in the package do. This happens when the wheel is not seated in the jig properly when the axle is pressed in. The next thing you want to check with an OHM meter or other device, is that the wheels are truely insulated. I have heard that once in a great while a splinter of steel will bridge the gap between the axle and the insulated wheel. Believe me, you don't want to go hunting for a short on your layout if you knew this was the problem. Lastly check the wheel spacing with your NMRA guage. I have only found a couple of mine to be off. Not necessary, but you might want to check the overall length to make sure that a wheel for a different brand didn't fall into your package. Rather unlikely. Now back to the original question. I would rather have the axles too tight, because they seem to fall out of the trucks if they're too loose. The extra friction also helps dampen the "slinky" effect. Don't be affraid to bend the side frames on the trucks in with your fingers. This will tighten up loose fitting wheels.

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    Exclamation Update #4

    More:
    N-Scale (Metal) Wheelsets:

    (Announced Nov. 2011)
    Athearn -> 33" and 36" Metal Wheelsets (axle length is .5445" (1,38 cm))

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