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One-Piece Bettendorf Frames

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  • Member since
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One-Piece Bettendorf Frames
Posted by Attuvian on Thursday, May 23, 2019 12:32 PM

This may be one of those old "Ford vs. Chevvy" matters but I'll give it a whack anyway.  I have a bunch of the old Walthers brown multi-piece, sprung trucks that I'd like to replace with a good one piece frame.  Asked the guy in my LHS yesterday if he had a recommendation between Tichy and Accurail frames.  He didn't hesitate, saying that Intermountain's choice to use the Accurails for its rolling stock made his choice a slam dunk.  There was no hemming and hawing, which I found a bit unusual.

Time to jump in the pool, guys.  I might consider something else that's as good or better - for the right price (wish they had an emoji here for a miser).  I prefer IM wheelsets.  But let's leave that particular matter alone for now . . .

John

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Posted by mbinsewi on Thursday, May 23, 2019 1:48 PM

On another forum, they did a test on trucks, part of a thing they called run like dream, and the best perfomer, as far has how long a wheel set spins, when "flicked" by hand, was Ring Engineerings trucks.

The test come to the conclusion that a wheel set should free spin for at 10 seconds, and the Ring trucks spun for over 20.

Another test was how much "slop" was in the wheel set, by standing the truck on it's side, and seeing how much movement, up and down, was in the wheel set.

Of course, this uses their wheel sets, and I'm not sure where they get'em.

They only sell trucks with the wheels, and NOT the plain trucks.  I asked.

I got a nice deal on 150 Athearn 100 ton trucks a couple of years ago, and I still have plenty.  

The Athearn trucks came in "average" as far as both test go.

I guess you can take all of this with how ever many "grains of salt"  suits your taste.

Of course, I'm not one who fixes "what aint broke", so I only replace when needed.

I use the IM wheel sets with them, and I've had a good experience.

You have a few different manufacturers to choose from, and I'm sure everyone will respond with their "go to" truck.

Mike.

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Thursday, May 23, 2019 2:16 PM

In the past, before I adopted my "Kadee trucks and wheels only" policy, I used Kato AAR trucks on all my Life-Like Proto-2000 cars, and had absolute 100% satisfaction from them.

.

Kato would be my recommendation, and their AAR truck is very close to the Bettendorf truck.

.

-Kevin

.

Happily modeling the STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD located in a world of plausible nonsense set in August, 1954.

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Posted by Lee 1234 on Thursday, May 23, 2019 3:18 PM

The visual difference between Accurail and Tichy trucks is that Accurail has brakes shoes and Tichy does not.  If you break out the magnifier you can see a few other differences also.   Accurail, Tichy and Intermountain are all 1.000 point to point wheelset width.  All three will work with the IM wheelsets. The Walthers multi-piece trucks I have use an 1.015 axle.  1.000 axles in trucks made for 1.015 wheelsets will give you a leaning car.  

Tichy sets 10 pr boxes of trucks.  This is the cheapest change over of trucks if you can't find a "deal" somewhere.

L

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Posted by Pruitt on Thursday, May 23, 2019 3:56 PM

I gi with Kadee sprung trucks exclusively. 

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Posted by jjdamnit on Thursday, May 23, 2019 4:26 PM

Hello All,

Looking at the frames on the Accurail website they don't seem to be highly detailed.

Let me say I am not a "rivet counter" at all.

That being said at $64.97 ($59.98 + $4.99 S/H) for 50 frames then adding the cost of 100 Intermountain wheels (found on eBay for $79.49) that would be approximately $2.89 per truck.

For a major replacement of rolling stock that's pretty inexpensive!

I too am a dedicated Kadee user but at that price these might sway me.

A little weathering to remove the plastic look and these would be a great value.

For smoother rolling you could also invest in a Micro-Mark HO Truck Tuner and possibly the HO Truck Spreading Pliers.

This definitely gives me pause for the upgrade of the remaining fleet of my vintage Tyco Operating Hoppers.

Hope this helps.

"Uhh...I didn’t know it was 'impossible' I just made it work...sorry"

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Posted by Attuvian on Thursday, May 23, 2019 6:03 PM

Helpful, guys. Keep it comin'!

JJ - I snagged one of the M-M truck tuners about six months ago at a hobby shop (to save the ridiculous shipping). Even so, it's a stiff layout for a small widget with a rubber band around it. I said to myself, "This had better be worth it." It was, in spades. Couldn't believe what it reamed out of some of my old frames. Increased the roll on some of my trucks (that didn't seem to be binding at all) by as much as a third or a half. It doesn't rattle around in a box of tools. I keep it in its own plastic bottle.

John

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Posted by MisterBeasley on Thursday, May 23, 2019 7:25 PM

I have a lot of cars leftover from the 50s and 60s.  They are ancient Athearns and Tycos and a smattering of others like Crowns.

I began replacing my plastic wheels with Intermountain, and found I needed better trucks.  I went with Tichy for the price, and found they were just great.  They work well on all the old cars, and take paint and weathering well. 

Wheel fit is perfect, and I have no problems with any of them.

And yes, my MicroMark truck tuner has a special spot reserved for it with my wheel tools.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

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Posted by doctorwayne on Thursday, May 23, 2019 9:38 PM

jjdamnit
...Looking at the frames on the Accurail website they don't seem to be highly detailed....

In my opinion, Accurail's version of the Andrews truck is the equal of (or better) than anybody's in the industry...

Wayne

 

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Posted by mbinsewi on Thursday, May 23, 2019 10:01 PM

Attuvian
 I might consider something else that's as good or better

Your specific time period might play into what trucks would be appropriate, John.  The trucks I mentioned in my post would be the more "modern" type, 100 ton trucks.

Dr. Wayne's post reminded me an earlier time period might mean you want the 70 ton versions.

Just a thought,

Mike.

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Posted by PC101 on Thursday, May 23, 2019 10:09 PM

Attuvian

Helpful, guys. Keep it comin'!

JJ - I snagged one of the M-M truck tuners about six months ago at a hobby shop (to save the ridiculous shipping). Even so, it's a stiff layout for a small widget with a rubber band around it. I said to myself, "This had better be worth it." It was, in spades. Couldn't believe what it reamed out of some of my old frames. Increased the roll on some of my trucks (that didn't seem to be binding at all) by as much as a third or a half. It doesn't rattle around in a box of tools. I keep it in its own plastic bottle.

John

 

Just a little tip on the Truck Tuner. My tuner is in it's hole (cutter tip down to protect the tip, rubber washer keeps the tool from slipping though the hole) on a wood bracket (shelf) that holds other straight tools on the work bench. Sometimes when I picked it up (if laying on the work benck) the cutter end would be facing the wrong way. So then I'd just flip it in my fingers. Always had to look for the cutter end. Some times the flute was on the back side and I could not see it quickly. So I painted the tapered end (non cutting) green and used red Sharpie pen in the flute. Now I do not have to look directly at the tool and I know which end is not the cutter end.

About the truck question, I had some cars that rolled so smoothly, on level track,  properly weighted with Kadee #5 couplers that when the loco. moved slowly to couple up, the car would move back, the couplers would not open. I think it had something to do with that brown coating or that tiny mold line across the face. So I polished (removed that brown coating and that line) on the faces ??? of the couplers and that eliminated that trouble. Or just up the speed a tad to couple up.  

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Posted by Attuvian on Friday, May 24, 2019 12:27 AM

mbinsewi
 Attuvian
 I might consider something else that's as good or better

Dr. Wayne's post reminded me an earlier time period might mean you want the 70 ton versions.

Just a thought,

Mike.

 
Mike (and Wayne) (and everyone else),
 
Era is mid-50s.  Were the 100 tonners quite a bit later?
 
Here's another wrinkle: most of the Walthers trucks that will be swapped out are coming off SP MoW cars (12 pair).  As non-interchange, may I imagine that at least a few MoW units in that era still rode on arch-bars?  On the other hand, being cheap, I'm inclined to order only one type as I have two pair of arch-bars floating around here somewhere.
 
John
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Posted by SPSOT fan on Friday, May 24, 2019 12:47 AM

When I build cars, I usually keep the stock trucks and wheel sets, unless the wheel sets are plastic, in which case I like to switch them out for metal trucks, usually from Inter Mountain.

It I had an infinate budget I would buy all Kadee trucks, they just look really good and come in just about every needed style. But those are sprung so you may not want them

Attuvian
Here's another wrinkle: most of the Walthers trucks that will be swapped out are coming off SP MoW cars (12 pair).  As non-interchange, may I imagine that at least a few MoW units in that era still rode on arch-bars?  On the other hand, being cheap, I'm inclined to order only one type as I have two pair of arch-bars floating around here somewhere.

I personally would look at prototype pictures before I’d change out the truck in your MOW cars. It seems to me your changing them because you assume they might use arch bar trucks, but they may not. Pictures will confirm that.

Regards, Isaac

I model my railroad and you model yours! I model my way and you model yours!

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Posted by Attuvian on Friday, May 24, 2019 12:55 AM

SPSOT fan

I personally would look at prototype pictures before I’d change out the truck in your MOW cars. It seems to me your changing them because you assume they might use arch bar trucks, but they may not. Pictures will confirm that.

 
Thanks for the tip.  I should note, however, that SP MoW photos from the 50s are hard to come by, at least on the 'net.  Even through the SP Historical and Technical Society pages.
 
John
 
 
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Posted by SeeYou190 on Friday, May 24, 2019 6:40 AM

Attuvian
Era is mid-50s.  Were the 100 tonners quite a bit later?

.

A 100 ton car would be quite unusual, and certainly a purpose built special car in the mid 1950s. This was a time when 50 ton capacity was standard and 70 ton was unusually high.

.

-Kevin

.

Happily modeling the STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD located in a world of plausible nonsense set in August, 1954.

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Posted by mbinsewi on Friday, May 24, 2019 7:07 AM

I wouldn't worry about MOW equipment, no matter what type of trucks it has, except broken.

It sorta adds interest to the equipment that was taken out of interchange service, and used for MOW.

I saw this while researching for my terminal (transfer) caboose build.  Since these were coal tenders in an earlier life, thay had a variety of trucks that the regular freights service/interchange cars didn't, or couldn't, use any more.

The time period for my caboose build is in the 50's and 60's.

I'm not sure about when the 100 ton trucks became the norm.  I'm sure some research would answer that.

Here's kind of a neat read, all about the different trucks and time period:

http://mrr.trains.com/~/media/import/files/pdf/4/c/c/mr_pi_5-06_freightcartrucks.ashx

Mike.

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Posted by dknelson on Friday, May 24, 2019 10:01 AM

When weathering a batch of cars and replacing the wheels with metal ones, I found that in nearly all cases with Accurail trucks, I could hear/feel/sense a slight "click" with the Accurails when using the TruckTuner with them, and the Tuner would remove a wee bit of material.  Of course that is no problem if you routinely use the TruckTuner anyway but it does suggest that the Accurail trucks, good as they are (and I think they look just fine) do have issues with the bearings, perhaps in the original moldings.  With no other brand of truck did I experience this with very truck.

Before there was a TruckTuner (which is a classic example of a "why didn't I think of that?" invention), I used to use a small phillips screwdriver tip in the truck bears for the same results.  One difference being that I was by necessity working at a slight angle and the TruckTuner is perfectly aligned.  But in a pinch (including economic pinch), it works.

Dave Nelson

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Posted by doctorwayne on Friday, May 24, 2019 10:03 AM

I use arch bar trucks under a lot of my MoW equipment.  This cinder car, based on a TH&B prototype, was scratchbuilt on a Tichy flatcar...

While I generally like the appearance of Kadee's trucks (of all styles) I don't care for the "open" look of the spring package, so modified them with a piece of black styrene, ca'd to the back face of the sideframe...

Archbar trucks were outlawed in interchange service after July 1, 1940, but since I'm modelling the "late '30s", some of my revenue cars are still equipped with them, although this one hadn't, at the time the photo was taken, had the spring package modified...

Wayne

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Posted by jjdamnit on Monday, June 24, 2019 4:47 PM

Hello All,

Just to update everyone...

After this thread I bought 50 Accurail Black Roller Bearing Trucks (Wheels Not Included) along with 100 Intermountain 33-inch wheelsets

I have a HO Truck Tuner tool.

With the first set of trucks I used the truck tuner, applying light pressure from the field side of the frames to the gage side.

Next I installed a the wheelsets and spun it down a test section of track.

For the next set of trucks I did not use the truck tuner- -wanting to test the tolerances out of the box.

There was no appreciable difference between the two!

I believe that if I used the truck tuner on the remaining side frames I would enlarge the factory spec sideframes and create problems.

There is definitely a high-gloss sheen to the side frames. But as I wrote...

jjdamnit
Let me say I am not a "rivet counter" at all.

With the new wheelsets installed the overall appearance is that of trucks that have been newly serviced.

As far as an unscientific, rolling resistance comparison, to the previous trucks and wheels, the Accurail/InterMountain combination seems to have less rolling resistance.

jjdamnit
That being said at $64.97 ($59.98 + $4.99 S/H) for 50 frames then adding the cost of 100 Intermountain wheels (found on eBay for $79.49) that would be approximately $2.89 per truck.

For a large conversion; 35+ cars, and at a price of $5.80± per car, this has been a great option.

Hope this helps.

"Uhh...I didn’t know it was 'impossible' I just made it work...sorry"

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Posted by gmpullman on Monday, June 24, 2019 6:16 PM

jjdamnit
There was no appreciable difference between the two!

I've had the same experience with Intermountain wheelsets. Their needle profile is much smaller with, I believe, much less surface contact than the common 60° taper turned at the ends of the usual, larger diameter axle. 

Thanks for reporting back, Ed

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Posted by jjdamnit on Monday, June 24, 2019 6:28 PM

Hello All,

gmpullman
Thanks for reporting back, Ed

I am always frustrated when the OP "ghosts"!

On that note I'm still working on the Frosted Window Glazing project.

Had to replace the bench work on my pike and that set other projects back.

I'll keep the updates coming as they occur and try to limit the responses to "legacy" posts.

Hope this helps.

 

"Uhh...I didn’t know it was 'impossible' I just made it work...sorry"

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Posted by Graham Line on Monday, June 24, 2019 9:32 PM

Any idea who actually makes the Ring Engineering trucks and wheelsets?

Kind of doubt an electronics engineering company has injection molding machines and wheel-turning lathes sitting around. They don't say "made in our own shop" on the web site. The pictures on their sales page don't convince me. Not being critical, just want more information.

In addition to the high-performing Intermountain/Accurail combination, Walthers, Exactrail, Kadee HGC, and Atlas produce high quality trucks, as does Kato.  It really depends on what truck style and wheel size you need.

Athearn has some nice trucks but the versions with "rotating bearing end caps" do not always pass the test of rolling freely down a 2% grade and are hard to tune to pass.

If you want a really really free-rolling truck, find some of the Lindberg trucks most recently marketed by Dan Kilgore Designs.  Had some cars with these and had to hold then in place before they would couple.

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Posted by Attuvian on Tuesday, June 25, 2019 2:54 AM

jjdamnit

Hello All,

 gmpullman
Thanks for reporting back, Ed

I am always frustrated when the OP "ghosts"!

 

JJ -

As the OP, I hadn't intended to become a ghost, if a short absence from the string is meant.  Been getting ready for a trip.  Regarding the frames for my project, I've pretty much taken the semi-general view here and am going to secure not only a dozen pair of the Accurail Bettendorfs but the same amount of Andrews frames, just for variety, don't you know.  I also prefer the Intermountain wheelsets.

Being that I'm about to visit family back in Northern Illinois, and being that I'm cheap enough to avoid postage if I can, I was fortunate to discover that the Accurail folks are only 15 miles from my brother's house.  Family will just have to suck it up for my hour-long errand.  I'm also going to pick up some of their empty kit boxes, too.  At a buck a box, they sure beat making my own - which I asked about some months ago on the forum.

This string has been helpful.  I appreciate everyone's input.  In light of the availability of this and similar platforms, I can't imagine how much more difficult it was in the pre-'Net days to secure and share information.

John

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