BLI tank car trucks, was Workbench Wednesday!


Bruce Smith
 

I jinxed myself... Just after I sent the message below, I started reaming the trucks for the 2nd car and SNAP - the truck sideframe snapped in half! %$#@#

So, in spite of Brian's comments about what a pain it is to change trucks, I'm going to have to figure out how to swap out the trucks.

I pulled out a set of Accurail "Bettendorf" trucks and they fit over the truck mount and the car ended up at the right height. Great! Brian, what's so hard about this?

Tested the BLI screw.  The head is too big to fit in the Accurail truck. I also saw that the truck mount on the car is too long and even if the screw fit in the truck, the truck would be way too loose.

Okay, I'll just file the mount down and drill and tap it for 2-56. With the 1st swipe of the file, it was revealed that this is a METAL part, not plastic. So I got the bigger guns (Dremel tool) and ground the bugger down. I had just a bit of the mount left proud of the bolster and, when cleaned up, this fit the Accurail truck. Great! 

I got out the drill that goes with my 2-56 tap, put it in the Dremel and drilled the mount. Except, as I got deep enough for the screw, the mount began to spin! WTF??? 

When I discovered that the mount was metal (brass?) I figured that it was part of some component of the frame that was metal. Um, no. Apparently, BLI used a small brass fitting, with a knurled upper end that fit into a plastic hole in the frame, and a tapped lower end for the truck screw. Drilling it out had heated it up, freeing it from the plastic and allowing it to spin. I loosened the two small screws hidden in the frame and while one ladder was glued, the other was not, and so I was able to remove the frame just enough to pull the truck mounts out.

A couple of pieces of round plastic on the hole for the mount, shaved down using my drill as a slow speed lathe, a little solvent cement, drilled and tapped for 2-56 and NOW I have replaced the trucks. 

In the future, I know to just open the frame and remove the mount, so these aren't really horrible to fix, but still a PITA.

Regards,
Bruce Smith
Auburn, AL


From: Bruce F. Smith <smithbf@...>
Sent: Wednesday, January 6, 2021 5:32 PM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Workbench Wednesday!
 
Brian,

Before... just got home and reamed them out. Wow!  Lots of crud in those bearings!  Now the 1.015" axles fit fine. Thanks for the suggestion.

Regards,
Bruce Smith
Auburn, AL


From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> on behalf of Brian Carlson via groups.io <prrk41361@...>
Sent: Wednesday, January 6, 2021 3:35 PM
To: main@realstmfc.groups.io <main@realstmfc.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Workbench Wednesday!
 
Did you measure the axle before or after cleaning up the cone with the reboxx tool?  I have over 1 dozen BLI tank cars and the IM axles all fit fine after cleaning up the truck bearing cones. The BLI truck molds do not have a good surface out of the box, and I got a lot of shavings with little pressure.

Truth is I would have liked to totally replace the BLI trucks but the atypical mounting system makes it more work. So I took the easier way out.

Brian J. Carlson

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