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Thread: metal trucks

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    Default metal trucks

    this may be more conjecture than possibility but, i have often wondered if anyone made metal trucks for n-scale? to a certain extent it might make sense from a weight standpoint yet i still haven't figured out how wheels would be attached or changed if necessary. maybe we're too spoiled just being able to bend the ends of the trucks to insert the wheels and yet i can't get the idea out of my head. any thoughts or other ideas on the topic? i would appreciate some ideas or comments on the subject. thanks, mark

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    Wheels could not be metal then -- or at least axle would need to be isolated...

    I think the amount of weight you would pickup would be negligible. You could submerge a set of plastic trucks in water to see its volume (need a graduated cylinder probably) and compute the weight that brass trucks would add.

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    I too have thought metal trucks would be a good way to add weight to freight cars, especially for empty hoppers and similar cars. I think a plastic truck with snap on/off sideframes would be the way to go about it. This would ensure you don't create a circuit with the trucks and add the flexibility to get the wheel sets into the trucks.
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    If all that is being thought about is metal trucks then installing plastic wheels would isolate them wouldn't they? Might also defeat the purpose of metal trucks as well though ... Metal Trucks would be neat though and would certainly add to the realism and weight of those light empty cars.
    Cheers Tony

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    A solid metal truck with plastic wheels would be fine until the car derailed. If a solid metal truck touched both rails simultaneously, which could happen in a derailment, you'd get a short.

    Metal wheel sets have a plastic spacer or plastic axle that prevents shorts. If you placed one in a solid metal truck it would bypass the spacer and cause a short.

    The solution is a plastic truck with metal sideframes.
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    My experience with metal trucks in larger scales is not entirely positive. As mentioned, there is a greater potential of a short circuit. Also, if used with metal wheels and axles (which I much prefer) in the usual configuration, with one wheel insulated from the axle, then you have to make sure that the wheelsets are all turned the same direction. I.e., all the insulated wheels are on the same side of the truck. If the underframe is also metal, this applies to the whole car.

    As was also mentioned above the difference in weight isn't much. Trucks just don't have enough volume.
    Tim Rumph
    Modeling the Southern Railway in N-Scale

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bronman View Post
    Metal wheel sets have a plastic spacer or plastic axle that prevents shorts. If you placed one in a solid metal truck it would bypass the spacer and cause a short.
    No it wouldn't, the two wheels are still isolated from each other on each axle. Only way you'd get a short is if you put the isolated wheels on opposite sides of each other on the truck

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    I actually do have some metal n-scale trucks in my parts collection. They are express trucks made by Burt industries.

    Paul
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    Quote Originally Posted by pbender View Post
    I actually do have some metal n-scale trucks in my parts collection. They are express trucks made by Burt industries. Paul
    Do you have a little scale? Wondering how much a pair of them weigh...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mac View Post
    Do you have a little scale? Wondering how much a pair of them weigh...
    On my postal scale, A pair of those in the package weighs 5 grams. My guess is the package probably weighs a gram.

    For reference, I also weighed a pair of MicroTrains trucks ( without couplers ). They came in at one gram. A pair of MicroTrains trucks ( without couplers ) with Intermountain metal wheels weighed in at 4 grams.

    I’ll have to pull a set out of the package and see what they weigh with metal wheels installed.
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    So sounds like the metal wheels weigh about the same amount as the metal trucks... unless my math is off, it sounds like may be around 7 to 8 grams for metal wheels with metal trucks which would be about 20% to 30% of the NMRA standard for a 3" car which should weigh .95 ounces or just under 27 grams (may be totally off since I am not into weighing or weighting my cars and doing my best to understand NMRA standards).

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    So I weighed one pair of trucks with 4 BLMA 36” wheelset ( not installed, but everything on the scale together) and the total was 6 grams. The ounce side said .2, but that is as accurate as it goes.

    Personally, I think unless you are trying to weigh down a flatcar, it probably isn’t worth scrounging trucks to weigh down a car. ( flatcars don’t have many places to hide a weight.... )
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