Rehabilitating a W&LE Bobber Caboose

Pastor John May 1, 2022

  1. Pastor John

    Pastor John TrainBoard Member

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    At the last train show I attended, I came home with this W& LE caboose, mostly because that railroad operates near here and because it was cheap.

    [​IMG]

    But if course, cheap meant that it was not without problems. Someone had obviously carved or filed the undercarriage to try to fit new coupler pockets.
    [​IMG]
    Worse, there was a slot in the car body right where a screw would be needed to mount the coupler box.
    [​IMG]







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  2. Pastor John

    Pastor John TrainBoard Member

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    So, I mixed up some Cold Weld epoxy, filled the slot, drilled and tapped a new hole, and mounted Kadee couplers.[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

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  3. Pastor John

    Pastor John TrainBoard Member

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    Then I added about an ounce of lead sheet to bring it (almost) up to NMRA weight standards.[​IMG]

    I also glued in four small styrene sticks to help mate the top to the car body.[​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I thought that I was almost done, but instead that's where things turned ugly.

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  4. Pastor John

    Pastor John TrainBoard Member

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    Whenever doing coupler projects, I've learned (the hard way) to check my finished work to my height gauge. This was no exception, but the results were not good.
    [​IMG]

    The difference (on both ends) was more than half the height of the knuckle and the hose lines went *under* the test plate.

    Worse, since the wheels are integral to the car body, there's no easy way to adjust or shim them. And, with a difference that large, milling or grinding out a deeper pocket would remove so much material that there'd be nothing left to which I could screw the coupler box.

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    Last edited: May 1, 2022
  5. Pastor John

    Pastor John TrainBoard Member

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    I thought, stewed, and ruminated on that problem for a while. Then I took some measurements, took some more measurements, then rechecked a couple times and looked up stuff on the internet.

    I decided that the only way to fix it was to make the undercarriage taller, so I screwed up my courage and started, carefully, cutting things apart with an Xacto knife.

    [​IMG]

    Which, as of this evening, is where the story ends. At least until I can get to the hobby shop and buy some 2 and 3mm styrene.

    Stay tuned.





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  6. Moose2013

    Moose2013 TrainBoard Member

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    @Pastor John

    You, good sir, are very brave! Moose wish you good fortune in your efforts to get this wee bobber up to snuff... :)
     
  7. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

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    I've got two similar to that one. One fits HO track but is a wee bit large. Maybe English OO with hook loop couplers. The other is HO but I don't have a height gauge yet. And I'm looking to go N. Shure hope I don't have that issue.
     
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  8. Doug Gosha

    Doug Gosha TrainBoard Member

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    Doesn't Kadee have any offset couplers for HO?

    Doug
     
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  9. Mike VE2TRV

    Mike VE2TRV TrainBoard Member

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    They do!

    When the coupler is too low, use the "underset" shank, which looks like __C. The coupler itself is then raised to the right height.

    When the coupler is too high, use the "overset" shank, which is the reverse of other. That lowers the coupler to the desired height.
     
  10. Pastor John

    Pastor John TrainBoard Member

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    That would probably work if I hadn't already cut it apart.

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  11. Doug Gosha

    Doug Gosha TrainBoard Member

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    Glue back together?

    Doug
     
  12. Pastor John

    Pastor John TrainBoard Member

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    I looked it up to see how much the underset shank raised the coupler. As I sort of suspected, it's about 1.27mm and I need almost 3mm. I may still need that after I rebuild it, if I don't get enough height from the rebuild.

    Thanks for the idea.
     
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  13. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

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    Well, at least that will help a little bit. Out there at the end it shouldn't need much.
    Not enough I guess. :rolleyes:
     
  14. Pastor John

    Pastor John TrainBoard Member

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    It needs a LOT of help. [​IMG]

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  15. Pastor John

    Pastor John TrainBoard Member

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    With the acquisition of two packs of styrene strips (1mm x 2mm and 2mm x 2mm) I set to work raising the car 3mm. You can see the new construction in white.[​IMG][​IMG]
    Hopefully, that will bring my coupler height up to where I need it, even if I need to add a shim to lower it a bit.

    I also reamed the pivots with a truck tuner for the second time, and will probably need to do that one more time to make sure I didn't get any paint in the pivots.

    I did start painting tonight, but although I'm pleased with how it's going, I'm not quite satisfied yet. More pictures soon when I finish painting and start reassembling.

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  16. logging loco

    logging loco TrainBoard Supporter

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    Hang in there. That little bobber will look really neat when completed.

    This had me laughing. I thought only ruminates could ruminate. I had to look it up. I never knew there is mental rumination. I can't wait to use that on my wife.

    I love bobbers. I can't wait to see this finished.
     
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  17. logging loco

    logging loco TrainBoard Supporter

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    Hang in there. That little bobber will look really neat when completed.

    This had me laughing. I thought only ruminates could ruminate. I had to look it up. I never knew there is mental rumination. I can't wait to use that on my wife.

    I love bobbers. I can't wait to see this finished.
     
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  18. Mike VE2TRV

    Mike VE2TRV TrainBoard Member

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    The brain can chew the cud with the best of them. It coughs up ideas and information from the deep recesses of memory and starts chewing on that again. The difference is the lack of big steamy plops deposited in the pasture.:D

    She will then ruminate, then fulminate. :cautious:

    At that point, it's most wise to retreat somewhere safe.:eek:
     
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  19. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

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    Hmm! Makes me wonder where this could be going. :unsure:
    Which track are we on? :cool:
     
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  20. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member

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