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Weighting a Walthers 75' TOFC

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Weighting a Walthers 75' TOFC
Posted by RicZ on Sunday, February 11, 2018 4:28 PM

I am seekong some advice on how to weight the earlier versions of the Walthers 75' Trailer Train flat car.  They seen to have no place to add the needed weight; the center sill is too shalow even filling it with laed shot.  These were originally offered many years ago, and I happen to have three.  Any help would be appreciated.

RicZ

Tags: TOFC
  • Member since
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  • From: Maryland
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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Sunday, February 11, 2018 4:57 PM

RicZ

I am seekong some advice on how to weight the earlier versions of the Walthers 75' Trailer Train flat car.  They seen to have no place to add the needed weight; the center sill is too shalow even filling it with laed shot.  These were originally offered many years ago, and I happen to have three.  Any help would be appreciated.

RicZ

 

I fill the center sill with this:

https://ppw-aline.com/collections/stick-on-lead-steel-weights/products/13010-moldable-lead-1oz

And then I replace the trucks with sprung metal trucks from Kadee, and replace the wheel sets with ones from Intermountain for even more weight.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by doctorwayne on Sunday, February 11, 2018 5:08 PM

Sheldon's right:  there are not many models where there's no room to add weight.  This Walthers GSC flat car, without the load, weighs 5.25oz.....

...with custom-cast lead weights fitted into the underframe...

Room for more, too, if I wanted it heavier.

Wayne

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  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
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Posted by SeeYou190 on Sunday, February 11, 2018 5:36 PM

RicZ
I am seekong some advice on how to weight the earlier versions of the Walthers 75' Trailer Train flat car. They seen to have no place to add the needed weight;

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You are correct. Bringing this car up to weight is a special challenge.

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I managed to get mine up to 6 ounces, empty, which is standard weight on the STRATTON & GILLETTE for any car 60 feet or longer.

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I cut a weight 1 1/4" by 8 1/4" from 1/32" sheet lead and put that in between the car bottom and the center sill of the frame. That is the unpainted weight in the picture below. I also added 8 smaller pieces of lead to fill in the cavities that were not populated by the air brake reservoirs.

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You cannot see it in the picture, but I filled in the cavity in the center sill with lead wool. You would be hard-pressed to get this model any heavier.

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It also has Kadee metal sprung trucks.

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This created a problem becuse it lowered the frame away from the deck. Now the car rides a little too high. Also, the ends of the support pieces are visible, and they should not be. I circled these in green in the picture below. I could have altered them to be hidden, but opted not to.

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I also had to use a Kadee #29 coupler with a long overset shank to get the coupler to the correct height. I opted for the long shank coupler so the car would work on my 24 inch radius hidden curves.

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The ride height and the visible support ends do not bother me. They cannot be easily seen when the car is running. I think the long length hides the extra ride height. It is only really bothersome when it is coupled to another TOFC car.

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I also added a lot of extra detail to the car. The hitches and end ramps are from Details West. I added tire guides and grab irons. I also replaced the stirrups with something much finer from Detail Associates. I think all this extra work hides some of the other shortcomings.

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It looks fine to me in a train:

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I hope this helped.

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-Kevin

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

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  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
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Posted by SeeYou190 on Sunday, February 11, 2018 5:45 PM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL
I replace the trucks with sprung metal trucks from Kadee, and replace the wheel sets with ones from Intermountain for even more weight.

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How do you avoid intermittent shorts using Intermountain metal axle wheelsets in Kadee metal trucks?

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I had to switch back the ones where I tried this.

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-Kevin

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

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  • From: Massachusetts
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Posted by Paul3 on Sunday, February 11, 2018 7:05 PM

I have a better question: why?  Why weight them down at all?  They run just fine "as is" in my 25+ years of experience running them.

I have built over 30 of these cars (at least...maybe more).  I haven't done a thing to them other than add metal wheels and Kadees, and they run fine.  I can run them mixed in with regular cars or a solid consist of TOFC's and have yet to have any trouble, even back in my high school days when my layout had sharp curves.

Important tip: put tape or .005" thin styrene on the factory-supplied weight above each inner axle; otherwise you'll get electrical shorts from both metal wheels hitting the metal weight at the same time.

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Sunday, February 11, 2018 8:59 PM

SeeYou190

 

 
ATLANTIC CENTRAL
I replace the trucks with sprung metal trucks from Kadee, and replace the wheel sets with ones from Intermountain for even more weight.

 

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How do you avoid intermittent shorts using Intermountain metal axle wheelsets in Kadee metal trucks?

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I had to switch back the ones where I tried this.

.

-Kevin

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Kevin, most of my 800 car freight car fleet has Kadee trucks with intermountain wheel sets, never had a short yet?

Now, other brands of metal wheel sets, with shorter axles, may pose a problem......

Been doing this for more than decade, and still runing old stuff like Central Valley sprung trucks that came with all metal wheel sets with just one wheel insulated that I have been running for nearly 50 years.

DISCLAIMER:

My trains are not running around any sharp curves (except slowly in a few industrial areas). Mainline curves are all 36" radius and larger.

This was a hotly debated topic on this forum many years ago when I first talked about it. A whole list of "experts" told me it simply would not work. After much scientific debate, several others spoke up and said they had been doing the samething.

Here is the thing, sprung trucks require the axles to be short enough to allow the equalizing "flex" of the truck, but long enough to hold it in shape.

Don't ever use REBOXX wheels in Kadee sprung trucks in the sizes they recommend, they do not work. They are too long. Sizing axles for rigid trucks and sizing them for sprung trucks is completely different - REBOXX got it wrong.

BUT, I don't and won't use semi scale wheels, so REBOXX is not on my radar anyway.

Here is the myth, the axle points to do not ride in the "point" of the cone in the truck journal.

With rigid plastic trucks, we can get "closer" to that, but in fact the top side of the axle cone rides on the top side of the journal cone. The idea is simply for that contact area to be as small as possible and be smooth.

Back to sprung trucks - too much play = bad, too little play = bad.

Just right, no shorts, truck equalizes, all wheels stay in contact with rail all the time (that seems important?) as it conforms to things like grade transitions.

Rolling resistance - Back in the day, when I was a child and my father was in this hobby, most better quality HO stuff came with sprung trucks. Rolling qualities were only so-so. No one seemed to care, locos were blocks of lead with one amp Pittman motors....

When I wanted to improve the rolling qualities of the large fleet of Kadee trucks I already had, I started testing. I will not publish those results again right now, but, Kadee metal sprung trucks, with a VERY small drop of oil in each journal, and Intermountain wheel sets, out performed every rigid truck/wheel combinaton, truck reemer trick, etc, etc, that I could find - after 40 years I have some of most everthing laying around here.....

The oil has never caused a problem - it sokes into the cast metal sideframes.

Others have great results with rigid trucks, and others complain about sprung trucks, but for me they have always worked well.

Everything above was confirmed by Sam at Kadee. In fact, they were working on the HGC trucks at the time and he let me know something new was coming. But he admitted they knew that what I do works and creates a more free rolling truck than their plastic axle.

They developed the HGC trucks to answer these market demands:

Better free rolling performance

Better appearance of spring detail

Keeping their non magnetic plastic axle and high detail wheel

And keeping an "equalized" design

And so now they sell both.

Sheldon  

    

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Sunday, February 11, 2018 9:02 PM

Paul3

I have a better question: why?  Why weight them down at all?  They run just fine "as is" in my 25+ years of experience running them.

I have built over 30 of these cars (at least...maybe more).  I haven't done a thing to them other than add metal wheels and Kadees, and they run fine.  I can run them mixed in with regular cars or a solid consist of TOFC's and have yet to have any trouble, even back in my high school days when my layout had sharp curves.

Important tip: put tape or .005" thin styrene on the factory-supplied weight above each inner axle; otherwise you'll get electrical shorts from both metal wheels hitting the metal weight at the same time.

 

I quess my Kadee/Intermountain combo holds the car up just high enough?

I have about 25 of these myself......all with just that little extra weight in the center sill and the Kadee/Intermountain sprung truck setup.

They have Kadee #5's and ride at the correct height.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Sunday, February 11, 2018 9:14 PM

Kevin,

Looking at your version, that surely is a fine looking model. 

The bridge plates you used are suitable since you opted for longer shank couplers, but as built these cars never had the "short" plate or long shank cushion couplers.

I can't say if any ever received such mods, because most were removed from TOFC service quickly after 40' vans can into use. TTX used these flats for heavy equipment and such once the 85'/89' cars came along.

But as a fellow freelancer, I say good for you, it looks great.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by Paul3 on Monday, February 12, 2018 10:52 AM

Sheldon,
That is probably the case.  My example is based on the factory-supplied truck and adding Jay-Bee, P2K or IM wheelsets (I've used all three).  Your replacement trucks may have just a slightly thicker bolster, or a slightly taller truck sideframe that keeps the wheels from touching the metal weight.

Or it's due to DC vs. DCC.  With DCC, short circuit protection is measured in milliseconds.  With DC, one can usually power through a quickie short like both wheels brushing the weight at the same time whereas DCC shuts down just about instantly.  You may not even notice it.

To find out, just take one of your 75' cars with some miles on them and look at the metal weight right above the inner wheelset.  If you see any kind of shiny spots or black marks right where the flanges go, then there's something going on.  I've noticed this on my fleet.  Not every car, mind you, but I'd say over 50% of them rub the weight going over track bumps.

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Posted by dknelson on Monday, February 12, 2018 10:54 AM

Adair Shops, the aftermarket weight outfit, has a page on their website offering special inventory reduction sales on discontinued weights for models no longer made.

The page mentions a Walthers 75' intermodal flatcar kit.

http://adairshops.net/inv_reduction.php

For cars difficult to get up to weight standards I routinely replace any supplied sheet steel weight with sheet lead (which I paint - and wash your hands after handling). Sometimes I need to run the lead through a roller so that it matches the steel thickness.  One old trick to add a bit of weight is to wrap solder around the axles.

Dave Nelson

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Monday, February 12, 2018 11:20 AM

Paul, I doubt they are shorting because the Aristo throttles are pretty sensitive to shorts almost like DCC. Brief short circuits send the throttle position to zero, longer shorts blow the automotive fuse on the base receiver.

Just a reminder, the Aristo throttle is a full voltage pulse width modulated signal. My power supplies are regulated 13.8 volts at 4 amps. Each throttle has a separate power supply. The throttle is designed to handle up to 10 amps, so it has good internal and backup protection.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by maxman on Monday, February 12, 2018 3:04 PM

dknelson
The page mentions a Walthers 75' intermodal flatcar kit. http://adairshops.net/inv_reduction.php

Unfortunately that link was last updated around September, 2013, and all the links on the page go to a "page not found" at the Walthers website.

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Posted by dknelson on Monday, February 12, 2018 5:54 PM

maxman

 

 
dknelson
The page mentions a Walthers 75' intermodal flatcar kit. http://adairshops.net/inv_reduction.php

 

Unfortunately that link was last updated around September, 2013, and all the links on the page go to a "page not found" at the Walthers website.

 

 
I am aware of that.  The link was a carryover from when the flatcar was actually available -- it was a link to the car not the weight.    But the weight itself -- not the car -- appears to be available from Adair shops.  
Dave Nelson
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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Monday, February 12, 2018 7:27 PM

dknelson

 

 
maxman

 

 
dknelson
The page mentions a Walthers 75' intermodal flatcar kit. http://adairshops.net/inv_reduction.php

 

Unfortunately that link was last updated around September, 2013, and all the links on the page go to a "page not found" at the Walthers website.

 

 

 
I am aware of that.  The link was a carryover from when the flatcar was actually available -- it was a link to the car not the weight.    But the weight itself -- not the car -- appears to be available from Adair shops.  
Dave Nelson
 

Dave, acording to that 5 year old web page, they only have two pieces in left in stock?

Be interesting if they still have them.

Now Walthers is selling that car RTR, but the kits are still easy to find NOS on Ebay and at shows.

Adair always seemed pricey to me, and like a solution looking for a problem most people solve on their own.

Sheldon 

    

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