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Wheel size for 3 bay ACF hoppers?

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Wheel size for 3 bay ACF hoppers?
Posted by IDRick on Sunday, December 30, 2018 2:47 PM

I have 3-bay ACF hoppers from Accurail, Athearn, and LL Proto2000.  The wheels are visually larger on the P2K cars than on the Accurail and Athearn.  Based on visual observation, the P2K and Accurail couplers are at the same height while the Athearn coupler is slightly lower.  All couplers are Kadee #5's.

The P2K cars have metal wheels while the other brand hoppers have plastic wheels.  I'd like to convert all my freight cars to metal wheels.  What size wheelsets should I buy and from which company?  I really like the free rolling P2K wheels but can't find them on-line.

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Posted by rrinker on Sunday, December 30, 2018 3:00 PM

 As a general rule, 70 ton and under cars used 33" wheels, 100 ton cars use 36" wheels.

 There are always exceptions, like the middle cars in 5 unit well cars often using 28" wheels to keep the height down. Many modern cars are 100+ ton and use 36" wheels. 2 bay hoppers were 50-55 ton, the first 3 bay cars were 70 ton, they all used 33" wheels.

                                         --Randy

 

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by IDRick on Sunday, December 30, 2018 3:22 PM

Thanks, Randy!  I don't have many of the original boxes so I don't know the loaded weight.  Okay to assume Athearn and Accurail got it right and order 33-inch wheels for these cars?  Based on searching the forum, I see that you have used many P2K wheelsets in the past.  Which wheelsets are you using now for upgrades?  Thanks!

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Posted by maxman on Sunday, December 30, 2018 3:27 PM

IDRick
I really like the free rolling P2K wheels but can't find them on-line.

Some on ebay right now: https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=m570.l1313&_nkw=proto2000+wheelsets&_sacat=0 .

You can also get from Walthers.  Look for Walthers Proto 36 inch turned metal wheelsets.  Walthers bought out Lifelike.

You might want to consider Intermountain wheel sets.  A lot of modelers like them.

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Posted by maxman on Sunday, December 30, 2018 3:30 PM

IDRick
Okay to assume Athearn and Accurail got it right and order 33-inch wheels for these cars?

Probably not.  If it is a 3-bay covered hopper it is usually 100 ton.  Look at the data on the side of the model.  The different weights are printed there.

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Posted by BigDaddy on Sunday, December 30, 2018 3:55 PM

Arrowhead just announced the "Definitive wheelset" CNC machined and all.

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

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Posted by 7j43k on Sunday, December 30, 2018 3:56 PM

rrinker

 There are always exceptions, like the middle cars in 5 unit well cars often using 28" wheels to keep the height down. 

 

I think that dimension should 38" , not 28".  They use 38" wheels because they use 125 ton trucks.  Because of the extra weight.

I think most autoracks use the 28's, though.

 

Ed

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Posted by IDRick on Sunday, December 30, 2018 4:18 PM

Maxman, thanks for the eBay link!  I'll need to buy a magnifying glass to read the labels on my hopper cars.  My 64 yr old eyes do not like such small print...  :)

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Posted by rrinker on Sunday, December 30, 2018 5:03 PM

7j43k

 

 
rrinker

 There are always exceptions, like the middle cars in 5 unit well cars often using 28" wheels to keep the height down. 

 

 

 

I think that dimension should 38" , not 28".  They use 38" wheels because they use 125 ton trucks.  Because of the extra weight.

I think most autoracks use the 28's, though.

 

Ed

 

You may be right, I don;t do modern stuff. I know one of them used smaller than would normally be used wheels for clearance reasons. Only thing I could find quickly was a reference to NSC 3 unit well cars which states they have 70 ton trucks on the end and 125 ton trucks in the middle, so 33 and 36 or 38 inch wheels makes sense.

                                      --Randy

 Nothing like having a thread moved to a different section wilst in the middle of typing a reply to cause some really odd error messages. This one really straddles the line, because the OP was asking for what size wheels to use on his MODEL, it just so happens that the responses are mostly of "well the prototype did.."

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by 7j43k on Sunday, December 30, 2018 5:11 PM

rrinker
 

 

...the OP was asking for what size wheels to use on his MODEL, it just so happens that the responses are mostly of "well the prototype did.."

 

 

When in doubt, and when you can, do what the prototype does.  That's what we're modeling, after all.

 

Ed

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Posted by rrinker on Sunday, December 30, 2018 5:24 PM

 I was mainly referring to the fact that this thread was moved to the prototype section. Yes, that is usually the best cource of action. Models these days are made with fewer compromises than they used to be.

                                           --Randy


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by wp8thsub on Sunday, December 30, 2018 5:28 PM

IDRick
I have 3-bay ACF hoppers from Accurail, Athearn, and LL Proto2000.

I'm not aware of which ACF three-bay car could be from Proto 2000.  If it's a grain hopper, perhaps it's their Pullman Standard 4427, which is nominally a 100-ton car.

The Accurail three-bay hopper is an ACF 4600, another 100-ton car.

Athearn's three bay hopper in question may be their Pullman Standard 4740.  They also have an ACF four bay car dating to the era when kits came with plastic wheels.  Both are ~100 ton.

In all cases, they would take 36-inch wheelsets.  The Proto car is designed for that size, and the Athearns can benefit from the larger wheels to help address the coupler height issue.  Athearn used 33 inch plastic wheels on their kits regardless of the correct size.

Rob Spangler

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Posted by 7j43k on Sunday, December 30, 2018 5:45 PM

And both the Atlas ACF cars are 100 ton.  And the Intermountain Pullman is.  The Athearn 5250 is usually 100 ton.

I'm having trouble thinking of any big grain cars that aren't 100 ton.

 

Ed

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Posted by IDRick on Sunday, December 30, 2018 5:56 PM

Thanks for the info, guys!  Rob, you're correct, the P2k car is the 4427 High side covered hopper.  I'll order 36-inch wheels, some p2k and Intermountain from eBay.

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