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Replacing HO scale trucks - what's the best brand to buy

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  • Member since
    January 2021
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Replacing HO scale trucks - what's the best brand to buy
Posted by keithsmith022 on Saturday, January 9, 2021 11:53 AM

New to model railroading;

 

My rolling stock is jumping off the tracks, identified that my bachmann spectrum rolling stock (pretty new, maybe 3 hours total use) the metal wheels are crazy sloppy/loose and are causing the rolling stock to derail

 

question - as I don't care about them being aesticically visually identical (if they look different, i don't care).  

 

is there a specific brand/type that people recommend or do i have to purchase from bachmann directly

these are currently on the rolling stock:

6 wheel trains

metal wheels

they unscrew from inside the train car; if that matters.  

 

thanks!

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Posted by mlehman on Monday, January 11, 2021 12:32 PM

If the trucks are on virtually new cars, I'd contact Bachmann and see what they're willing to do. Sounds like a warranty problem to me if things are truly that bad already, maybe some quality control issue or ?

The wheelsets in trucks generally fit loosely, allowing for limited sideplay. Is it possible that what you're observing is normal, but something you're not used to seeing?

Are these passenger cars, since you mention 6-wheel trucks? What radius curve are they derailing on?

Mike Lehman

Urbana, IL

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Monday, January 11, 2021 12:39 PM

Welcome to the Model Railroader magazine discussion forums. Your first posts are delayed by moderators, but that ends pretty soon.

Is see it took two days for your initial post to get approved. I hope you are still out there and did not go away.

It sounds like these are passenger cars, can you confirm?

It will take a bit for your response to show up, don't worry. We can be patient.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by MisterBeasley on Monday, January 11, 2021 2:55 PM

A few years ago I replaced the rest of my old plastic wheels with Intermountain metal wheelsets.  It was a worthwhile endeavor, as my rolling stock is much more free rolling.  While doing this, I found some old Athearn trucks that were so loosey-goosey that the wheelsets wouldn't stay in, and a bunch of old Tyco metal trucks that couldn't be disassembled for wheel replacement.

I needed a bunch of truck frames, so I looked around and found packages of Tichy trucks for a very low price.  These fit the Intermountain wheelsets perfectly.  Tichy makes these in a variety of styles by a variety of prototype manufacturers.

Yes, they're ugly black plastic, but a rattle-can of Rust-oleum and a dusting of weathering powder gets them looking like they belong under a freight car.

If you're replacing wheels or trucks, get a Micro-Mark Truck Tuner.  It lets you easily ream out those conical axle bearings in the truck to give you the best performance.

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

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Posted by mbinsewi on Monday, January 11, 2021 3:04 PM

Are these "new" as in just bought from a hobby shop or Bachmann?  Or are these "new" off of Ebay or a swap/sale site?

They shouldn't be that sloppy.  If they are Ebay style "new", maybe someone before you tried to change wheel sets.

AND, are you talking just the wheel sets, or are the trucks "crazy sloppy/loose"?

Mike.

  • Member since
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  • From: Shenandoah Valley
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Posted by BigDaddy on Monday, January 11, 2021 5:23 PM

The only 6 wheel rolling stock I see in Wathers online (Bachmann site is down at the moment) is the crane car and passenger cars 

Trucks should be adjusted so one end permits the car to rotate side to side and the other does not.

Passenger cars can be 85' long.  They don't play well with sharp radius curves.  Is it a track problem vs a truck problem?

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

Shenandoah Valley

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    January 2013
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Posted by PM Railfan on Monday, January 11, 2021 10:04 PM

keithsmith022

New to model railroading;

 

 

 

question - as I don't care about them being aesticically visually identical (if they look different, i don't care).  

 

is there a specific brand/type that people recommend or do i have to purchase from bachmann directly

  

 

thanks!

 

Welcome to the hobby, and unfortunately your first problem. To answer your question there are many manufacturers that make 'trucks' for trains. We call the assembly that holds the wheels and axles a 'truck' (a 'bogie' in foreign countrys - a term that you will hear here too).

Truck manufacturers are Central Valley, Walthers, Model Die Casting, Athearn, just to name a small few - there are many. Being that your trucks (you have two, one at each end of car) are screw mounted, they are an easy candidate for replacement by any company who makes a truck that will fit the "Bolster".

A bolster is the crossframe that the trucks mount to under the car. This is important because not all manufacturers make the same size hole in their 'crossmember' (the part going crossways on your truck parallel to the axles with a hole in it for the screw) nor do they make the same size bolster (on bottom of car) for the truck to attach too. Some, but not all are universal. Some arent even screw type - they snap in. Those are a pain!

Another major thing to consider when swapping trucks is "ride height". Not all trucks sit the same height from the rails (ride height). This is important because it can change your "coupler height". You may fix your derailing problem only to bring upon yourself a coupler problem. Couplers must line up for proper operation. Its a 'one thing leads to another' kinda thing.

Unless you want to spend a pinch of $$ to experiment with other trucks for your cars, my recommendation to you being new is to give it the direct Bachmann replacements. That way you know they will fit and are right height. Just know that you could, for all intents and purposes, change your trucks at a whim. You just have to take into account a few other details when doing so. It wouldnt be a bad thing if you did want to splurge and experiment. That would only accelerate your understanding of the hobby which is a good thing.

One more thing, do not dismiss the fact that track shouldnt be looked at too. It may be just model trains to some (set it up round the tree - woo hoo - run it like race cars)...  there is a very real and tangible technical side to it. Examine the radius of your turns, the physical connections of your track pieces, the gauge of your track, etc etc. It all plays a factor.

 

 

Good Luck!

PMR

 

 

 

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Posted by BN7150 on Tuesday, January 12, 2021 1:13 AM

The photos are my old stock. The plan is to increase the car weight of 5.8 oz (165 g) to more than the NMRA recommended 7.1 oz (200 g) and to convert couplers to fixed body-mount Kadee.

PS: Do nothing else and try increasing the car weight to 8.8 oz (250 g). It will be profitable if the passenger car does not derail with this.

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