What replacement wheels and couplers to use?

DarthMoose74 Mar 22, 2020

  1. DarthMoose74

    DarthMoose74 TrainBoard Member

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    I got some old HO Tyco, Bachmann, and Lifelike boxcars and gondolas from the 80s
    I am running Peco 83 track on my layout.

    What are correct metal replacement wheels to get as well as Kadee magnetic couplers?
     
  2. Mr. Trainiac

    Mr. Trainiac TrainBoard Member

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    Do the TYCO cars have Talgo trucks? (Coupler box mounted on truck) Those are hard to put Kadees in because the pin the coupler rotates on is too small. Check to see if I’m right on that. Kadee #5 are the basic coupler, although there are Kadee Scale-head couplers too, which are a bit smaller.

    I think the Bachmann and LifeLike cars are easier to convert if they have body mounted couplers. Again, truck mounted couplers can be hit-or-miss in conversions. Kadee does make replacement Talgo trucks, which replace the couplers and wheels in one go- but if your cars have snap-in trucks and not screw-in, this conversion is even harder.

    If you are looking for wheels, any 33” wheel should be fine. Depending on the era of the car, you could choose between flat back or ribbed wheels. That is purely a detail, it won’t affect operation.
     
  3. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

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    I was given three box cars and all have ill fitted couplers, body mounted. One is screw mounted the other two have no screw. How would I remove those? One appears to have a metal clip and the other looks glued.
     
  4. RailMix

    RailMix TrainBoard Member

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    The one with the metal clip may be an Athearn car. If I recall correctly, you can just pop the clip off, install a Kadee or Mc Henry coupler and replace the clip. Roundhouse (and Accurail, I think) used the screw if I recall. That one is pretty easy too. I have several P2k cars with glued on covers. Those look like they could be somewhat of a pain.
     
  5. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

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    Are these adjustable for height?
     
  6. RailMix

    RailMix TrainBoard Member

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    As far as I know, the usual fiber washers between trucks and bolsters are the best way to go about that. Perhaps you could also make your own out of the right thickness of styrene.
     

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