So at out RMCQ Buy & Sell in May I got conned, yes I got conned by Col ! He saw me coming and I was an easy mark to sell some O scale coal wagons to. O scale you say - yep, O scale. Not one, not two, but three wagons he managed eventually to get me to buy. I am hoping to use them in a diorama because I can, OK ?! We wont talk about those couple of Z scale wagons I accidentally bought a few years back either...
So now that my large workbench table is clear and ready for modelling I decided to do some modelling today. The wagons are Atlas AAR 70 ton 3-Bay Open Hoppers in my favourite road - Burlington Northern. But of course they have the old style oversized couplers and over flanged wheels and are 3 rail types. So I had already gotten two pair of Kadee 745 scale couplers and two sets of finer scale wheels. This should be enough, maybe, for the diorama. Anyway, it is what I had to play with today. So after morning tea it was "To the workbench!".
So when we flip the wagon over we can see the third rail pickup button on the left and the large flanges I don't like.
So it was out with the small bogie screw and we see the bogie on the right and my replacement parts on the left.
Two more little screws and the plate that holds the pickup, coupler and bogie side frames together, comes off.
Now to get the axles out, the side frames have to come off. For the frames to come off, the springs need to come out. So VERY carefully I was able to get my grippy tweezers in and grab the blighters without hearing the dreaded "ping" sound. Got to admit, it is much easier to work on O scale than my normal N scale !
So now the bogie is apart and the axles can be swapped out.
You can see the difference here in the size of the flanges of my new wheels on the right and the old ones on the left.
So popping in the new axles and then placing the frames back on and then popping the springs back in, the bogies hold together. Here is an old bogie setup on the left and the one with new wheels on the right.
Now for the couplers. Here is the old structure up top and my replacement Kadee 745 coupler parts across the bottom.
Again, I took lots of care so that I didn't hear that "ping" when inserting the springs.
Here is the place on the wagon for the coupler to go - to the right of the bogie pivot. The two little holes are already there on the model and makes it easier, as that rectangular plate is metal.
A couple of M2*8 self tappers and the coupler is in place - happy days.
Now the bogie can be completed and put back into place. For this, the old coupler arm part of the clamp needs to go, as it hits the new Kadee coupler. Since I will not be needing a bogie mount for the coupler, I can cut this bit off. That's the right hand side bit. AND, the structure is all metal, so it was out with the Dremel and a cutoff disk.
I screwed the clamp back on and the bogie became nice and strong with now had no excess flex - perfect.
So here is the old wagon wheels and couplers, followed by a new one on the left and old on the right, then a pair of new ones - much nicer I think.
Much better I think, much better. Will look nicer on the eventual diorama. If I am going to build the diorama with hand laid track and such, I had to have the wagons looking good - didn't I?