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Wheels on Walthers Gold Line Cabooses

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Wheels on Walthers Gold Line Cabooses
Posted by wdcrvr on Sunday, August 11, 2019 6:03 PM

I made a recent post aout the McHenry couplers that were on a pair of Walthers Gold Line Cabooses.  Now I have discovered a problem with the wheels on these cabooses.  The box says "turned Metal wheels", that's nice but they are on plastic axles.  These puppies would derail every time I tried to run them thru a wye turnout that I have on my layout.  None of my other rolling stock has a problem there.  So, trying to eliminate possible problems, I changed out the wheel sets for some intermountain 33" all metal insulated wheel sets that I had on hand.  They now roll thru like a charm.  This is the only Walthers rolling stock I own and this along with the McHenry coupler issue makes me want to steer clear of any other Walthers rolling stock in the future.  Maybe I have some old stock and their new stuff is improved?

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Posted by BNSF UP and others modeler on Sunday, August 11, 2019 6:22 PM

I dunno. I bought a couple of Walthers (gold line I think?) short modern tank cars and they run really nice. The wheels and couplers haven't been a problem at all yet. I would maybe consider tryinga couple more of their products before deciding conclusively...

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Posted by tstage on Sunday, August 11, 2019 6:30 PM

Early in my MRRing experience I purchasd three pieces of Walthers rolling stock: two 46' gondolas and one caboose.  While the detail is fine, I found there was interference between the trucks and the corner steps of the caboose on curves.  I trimmed the backsides of the steps with an X-acto knife and that helped some but I gave up on it and used the windows, doors, and steps on an emergency caboose I was scratchbuilding.

The two 46' gondolas had similar interference issues so I've never purchased another piece of Walthers rolling stock since.  I have purchased a few RTR Proto 2000 tank cars though.  The molds were originally manufactured by Life-Like so I don't really consider them Walthers products, per say.

Tom

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Sunday, August 11, 2019 6:51 PM

wdcrvr
This is the only Walthers rolling stock I own and this along with the McHenry coupler issue makes me want to steer clear of any other Walthers rolling stock in the future.  Maybe I have some old stock and their new stuff is improved?

I haven't checked my Walthers rolling stock to see if the more recent items have plastic Axle's.

But are you saying you would avoid Walthers, even if it means not buying a freight car you need?  Changing out wheels or couplers is no big deal and a routine exercise for modelers.  

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Posted by richhotrain on Monday, August 12, 2019 4:46 AM

riogrande5761

But are you saying you would avoid Walthers, even if it means not buying a freight car you need?  Changing out wheels or couplers is no big deal and a routine exercise for modelers.   

I agree. I don't avoid Walthers rolling stock, but I keep a large supply of not only Kadee couplers on hand but also Intermountain metal wheelsets, both 33" and 36". 

Rich

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Posted by SPSOT fan on Monday, August 12, 2019 9:53 AM

wdcrvr

This is the only Walthers rolling stock I own and this along with the McHenry coupler issue makes me want to steer clear of any other Walthers rolling stock in the future.  Maybe I have some old stock and their new stuff is improved?

I think you do have old stock. I have never heard of Walthers Gold Line, so I suspect it is an older line. Today Walthers three lines are WaltherTrainman, WaltherMainline, and WalthersProto. I personally don't own and Walthers rolling stock, but my grandfather has quite a few and they all have nice metal wheels and a metal Kadee #5 imitation that mates with KDs quite nicely. I like to have replacement wheels and couplers hany in case a peice of rolling stock comes with wheels/couplers I don't like.

Regards, Isaac

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Posted by richhotrain on Monday, August 12, 2019 11:06 AM

SPSOT fan
 

I have never heard of Walthers Gold Line, so I suspect it is an older line. 

Walthers created the Gold Line series in 2004. Here is their description of the Gold Line series:

The HO Walthers Gold Line(TM) freight cars is a colorful selection of new roadnames and car numbers. Each model comes assembled with McHenry(R) semi-scale knuckle style couplers with durable metal springs in place of "plastic fingers." These new cars include turned metal wheelsets to enhance their on-track performance and appearance. In addition, each comes with the correct 28, 33, 36" diameter wheels matching what is used on the actual equipment. For that extra realism, each includes a complete set of add-on wire grab irons. Molded-in drill starter points on the car body make these easy to install.

 Rich

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Posted by wdcrvr on Monday, August 12, 2019 11:20 AM

Yeah and I did not realize when I bought these cabooses that I would have to install all these add-on wire grab irons.  It looks like there are close to 30 individual pieces to put on each of these cars.  I have no experience with this sort of thing.  I have no idea how I am going to handle these tiny parts and get them in the right place.  I have bought a #80 bit to drill all the holes.  I am wondering if it is better to paint these before or after attaching them to the car?  I also would appreciate opinions on what adhesive would be best to use on this?  Any advice on how to make this chore easier and more succesful would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

wdcrvr

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Posted by tstage on Monday, August 12, 2019 11:53 AM

Do you have a pin vice to hold your drill bits?  If you don't then I would recommend purchasing a quality pin vice.  Cheap versions will not hold the tiny drill bit well (slip) and only lead to a frustrating experience.  Also, #80 may be a bit tight.  You might want get #78 and #79 bits - just in case.

For adhering the metal grabirons into the plastic holes I would recommend CA (super glue).  Make sure you get a medium or slower acting adhesive so you have time to position the grabiron before the CA starts to set.  Using a small piece of styrene as a spacer will help make the offset consistent.

I would adhere the grabirons to the caboose first then paint.  If the grabirons are to be a different color than the caboose (e.g. safety yellow), you can paint them by hand with a brush.

Lastly, I would also consider purchasing a good pair of needle-nose and flat tweezers for handling small parts.

Tom

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Monday, August 12, 2019 12:06 PM

wdcrvr

Yeah and I did not realize when I bought these cabooses that I would have to install all these add-on wire grab irons.

Walthers put small parts in seperately to keep costs down on the models so the modeler has to apply them.  Proto line is considerably more expensive but more finished than the Gold Line.

 

It looks like there are close to 30 individual pieces to put on each of these cars.  I have no experience with this sort of thing.  I have no idea how I am going to handle these tiny parts and get them in the right place.  I have bought a #80 bit to drill all the holes.  I am wondering if it is better to paint these before or after attaching them to the car?  I also would appreciate opinions on what adhesive would be best to use on this?  Any advice on how to make this chore easier and more succesful would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

wdcrvr

I hear you.  I have quite a few Gold Line TOFC flat cars and other rolling stock which will need wire grab irons etc. installed.

I pair of tweezers or forcepts might be helpful for handling.  I would use a tiny dab of super glue using a wire.  I put a little blob on a card and dip the wire or tooth pick end into it to apply.


As Tom mentioned, a pin vise is best for drilling tiny holes with those itsy bitsy drill bits.  I've had a good pair of needle nose plyers forever and those are part of my hobby tool box.

I haven't looked for them but a pair of mini-vise grips would probably be nice.

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Posted by doctorwayne on Monday, August 12, 2019 3:11 PM

tstage
Early in my MRRing experience I purchasd three pieces of Walthers rolling stock: two 46' gondolas and one caboose. While the detail is fine, I found there was interference between the trucks and the corner steps of the caboose on curves. I trimmed the backsides of the steps with an X-acto knife and that helped some but I gave up on it and used the windows, doors, and steps on an emergency caboose I was scratchbuilding.....

Tom, the proper (and easy) fix for the interference issue was to cut the caboose's frame at a point between the frame's bolster and the coupler, then make a second cut in the frame on the opposite side of the same bolster, and somewhat farther away from the bolster than the initial cut (I don't have an exact measurement, as I performed this for a friend, and the caboose is at his place, not mine).

The bolster, with two stub frames attached, is then rotated 180º and cemented in place, putting the bolster (and the truck which attaches to it) just enough further away from the steps that there's no more interference.  Obviously, this operation has to be performed at both ends of the caboose.

I have a couple of those gondolas, too, but don't recall having any problems with them.

tstage
...For adhering the metal grabirons into the plastic holes I would recommend CA (super glue). Make sure you get a medium or slower acting adhesive so you have time to position the grabiron before the CA starts to set. Using a small piece of styrene as a spacer will help make the offset consistent....

Good over-all advice, Tom, but I'd install the grabirons first, using an appropriate spacer (keep it away from the area where the wires enter the body casting).  Place a small amount of ca (I use ordinary Krazy Glue) on an impervious surface - glass or metal works well, and the dried residue can be later scraped-off using a chisel-type blade in your X-Acto.  Then, with a #11 blade in your X-Acto, touch the tip of the blade to the puddle of ca to pick up a small amount.  Follow that by carefully touching the blade's tip to the wire where it enters the plastic - capilliary action will draw the ca into the joint.  Follow-up quickly with a dab using a tissue or cloth to siphon away any excess ca.  (If the spacer is too close to the point where the ca is applied, the glue can be drawn under the spacer, cementing it to the car.)

Wayne

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Posted by SPSOT fan on Monday, August 12, 2019 4:18 PM

richhotrain

 

 
SPSOT fan
 

I have never heard of Walthers Gold Line, so I suspect it is an older line. 

 

 

Walthers created the Gold Line series in 2004. Here is their description of the Gold Line series:

 

The HO Walthers Gold Line(TM) freight cars is a colorful selection of new roadnames and car numbers. Each model comes assembled with McHenry(R) semi-scale knuckle style couplers with durable metal springs in place of "plastic fingers." These new cars include turned metal wheelsets to enhance their on-track performance and appearance. In addition, each comes with the correct 28, 33, 36" diameter wheels matching what is used on the actual equipment. For that extra realism, each includes a complete set of add-on wire grab irons. Molded-in drill starter points on the car body make these easy to install.

Ahh, it seams to me that the line has been discontinued. I guess the current equivalent would be WalthersMainline (they often require grap irons to be added seperatly or have them molded on). I suppose I have just never encountered it.

Regards, Isaac

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Posted by BigDaddy on Monday, August 12, 2019 4:22 PM

Starrett is the quality name in pin vises.  My experience is the same as Tom, with those cheap ones that come with double sided collets.  The 'A' size is for the smallest drills and are readily available on Ebay.  I would suggest the metal small diameter handle model 162A  

I would also use #78 drills, #80's are too fragile for me.  I buy them in 10 packs on ebay.  The multisize pack is nice, until you break the bits use use the most as well as the ones on either side of the them.

Henry

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Posted by Autonerd on Monday, August 12, 2019 7:56 PM

wdcrvr
These puppies would derail every time I tried to run them thru a wye turnout that I have on my layout.

Did you check the wheel gauge? I'm one of the car inspectors at my club, and we've seen out-of-gauge axles on some Walthers 932-series (beige-box) cars. Most cars are fine, some will have problems on several axles. I'm thinking they had a bad run of parts for a while.

Aaron

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Posted by Autonerd on Monday, August 12, 2019 7:59 PM

SPSOT fan
Ahh, it seams to me that the line has been discontinued. I guess the current equivalent would be WalthersMainline (they often require grap irons to be added seperatly or have them molded on). I suppose I have just never encountered it.

I'm more familiar with Walthers' passenger cars than their freight cars, but I believe many of the 932-series (similar era to Gold Line) evolved into Proto cars with the grab irons attached at the factory. Protos use the same construction method (body core with sides/ends/floor/roof attached) as 932s, while Mainline cars use a simpler two-piece body.

Aaron

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Posted by Autonerd on Monday, August 12, 2019 8:02 PM

BigDaddy
I would also use #78 drills, #80's are too fragile for me.

I find anything larger than a #80 makes holes that are too big. I buy them in ten packs ($5 or $6 on eBay) and reorder when I'm down to two. I consider them "wear parts". Seems I have streaks... one bit will last me for several cars and then I'll break three bits in a row!

One suggestion is to leave as little of the drill bit poking out of the pin vise as you need. The more bit you have exposed, the more likely you are to flex the bit, which causes it to break.

Aaron

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Posted by tstage on Monday, August 12, 2019 9:11 PM

BigDaddy
Starrett is the quality name in pin vises.

Agreed.  I have the 240A & 240B with the knurled handles.  They hold the drill bits extremely well and make hand-drilling a pleasure.

Tom

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Posted by rrinker on Tuesday, August 13, 2019 7:35 AM

 The wheels sound like the Proto 2000 wheelsets, plastic axles, turned metal wheels. ALL of my rolling stock has these wheels (unless they came with metal wheels, and one or two pieces that have a really odd axle length so I had to use Reboxx wheels). Out of dozens of packs of these wheels I've purchased, before Walthers, they were EXTREMELY inexepensive from MB Klein, I think there was maybe ONE bad wheelset. All have worked perfectly fine on multiple layouts.

 The only reason I am considering Intermountain now is because the P2K wheels are much more expensive now, and adding resistors for detection is a lot easier on an all-metal wheelset. 

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Posted by trainnut1250 on Wednesday, August 14, 2019 3:01 AM

From someone with five Walthers gold line/Platnum line c-30  cabooses on the layout - both the built ups and the install the grabs yourself models:

The trucks and wheels on these things derail like crazy when backing up. All of my Walthers cabooses ride on replacement Tahoe model works trucks.

The install it yourself grabs are a real pain (I'm not grab iron averse - I install lots of grabs) The spacing on the dimples for the grab iron holes on the caboose windows is wrong - it is slightly too small  narrow resulting in lots of colorful language as you drill them....

That said, if you are an SP modeler your choices for accurate cabooses are limited to brass, Walthers and AMB. THe AMB kit is not for the faint of heart. Builds out very nice but is the definition of craftsman kit...Great if you want one, not so good if you want multiples.

Given the choices I am very happy with the Walthers. The detail is excellent. I try to find the ones with the grabs inbstalled..

 

Guy

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Wednesday, August 14, 2019 10:20 AM

trainnut1250
That said, if you are an SP modeler your choices for accurate cabooses are limited to brass, Walthers and AMB.

Assuming only the early cabooses.  Centralia and Athearn Genesis have produced some lovely cabooses representing C-40-4 and C-50-4,5,7,8 and 9.  I've got nine of the Genesis and a couple of the IMRC/Centralia.  Very nice!

Since I couldn't resist getting one of the IMRC AC10 cab forwards, I needed a matching caboose and picked up one of the Walther Proto C-30-1

It would be nice to see a C-40-1 cupola SP caboose offered in plastic some day.

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Posted by Graham Line on Wednesday, August 14, 2019 1:40 PM

The trucks under the Walthers wooden Union Pacific cabooses were very nicely detailed, but so long that they would have needed a radius of more than 36" to operate without hitting the end steps.

 I lucked out because they wwere being built for a friend's freelanced road.  Otherwise I'd have been filing away at the steps. 

I didn't check the truck center against a UP CA, but suspect the same underframe was being used under several cabooses.  Kadee #580 Bettendorf caboose trucks solved my problem.

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