Trucks, wheels, couplers for home-built rail cars?

Taymar Jan 6, 2018

  1. Taymar

    Taymar TrainBoard Member

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    Hello all, I would greatly appreciate any guidance on this please.

    I'm looking to try and build some hopper cars, after some initial 3d printing tests have shown potential.

    So far, I've found some trucks made by 'Full Throttle' which have knuckle couplers. I have ordered two used marklin steam locos; though I'm unsure what type of coupler they have. I plan to add an AZL mikado to the mix before too long.

    From what I understand, there's several different types of Z scale coupler out there, and not all can be decoupled using track-mounted decoupler systems (which I would like to use in my layout).

    Is there any solution here which would let me run the Marklin locos, AZL loco, and all home-built railcars on the same type of coupler while retaining the ability to decouple?

    Lastly, I have not been able to find single wheelset mounts anywhere. Do these even exist by themselves? I would very much like to build some two-axle open coal cars for the smaller locos, in addition to the four axle larger coal hoppers for the larger locos.

    Any and all advice is greatly appreciated, thank you.
     
  2. markm

    markm TrainBoard Member

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    Hi,

    The Märklin couplers are incompatible with the U.S. style knuckle coupler. FT, AZL and MTL couplers are all compatible and all sell trucks. You should checkout the MTL website and they provide the critical dimensions you would need to use the trucks. MTL also makes a Märklin compatible couplet to retrofit their trucks.

    The easiest way to run Märklin and AZL together is to crate a transition car: Märklin coupler on one end and knuckle coupler on the other. Mixing AZL and Märklin locos require surgery on the coupler boxes.

    I'm not aware of any single wheel set mounts except on Märklin era I cars.

    Hope this helps,

    Mark
     
  3. ZFRANK

    ZFRANK TrainBoard Member

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    MTL has dedicated knuckle couplers to fit in a Märklin coupler box. These are fairly easy to inatall.
     
  4. Taymar

    Taymar TrainBoard Member

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    Thank you very much, it sounds like a combination of transition cars & MTL conversions will get me where I need to be.
     
  5. woodworker19

    woodworker19 TrainBoard Member

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    You mentioned that you wanted to use track mounted decoupling. While MTL, AZL, and Full Throttle will couple together, MTL to MTL are the only pair that will uncoupled remotely/magnetically. At least that is my experience. I have to use a pick for any of the other combinations.

    Sent from my 2PS64 using Tapatalk
     
  6. ZFRANK

    ZFRANK TrainBoard Member

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    That is correct! MTL magnematic knuckle couplers are the only which can be remote decoupled. And after being decoupled one can spot a car where it needs to be. For long unit trains which don't require switching the Full Throttle and AZL are great.
    All 3 can be mixed within a train.
    I even use MTL couplers on all my German prototype Märklin trains, just because they look so much better than the giant fish hooks.
     
  7. Taymar

    Taymar TrainBoard Member

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    Thank you! I have ordered some mtl couplers, conversion kits and a couple of mtl bettendorf trucks.

    Something that's baffling me though - the trucks came with a u shaped piece of plastic with what looks like a tiny plastic top hat on either side. I can't figure out what it's for, or if it's just a sprue with two parts attached. Could anyone shed some light on it for me please?
     
  8. woodworker19

    woodworker19 TrainBoard Member

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    The u-shape is the sprue. The tophats are press fit pins to attach the trucks to the bolster. I find a #53 drilled hole in the bolster works well with them.

    Sent from my 2PS64 using Tapatalk
     
  9. Taymar

    Taymar TrainBoard Member

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    Ahh, perfect! Thank you, makes sense now.
     
  10. Garth-H

    Garth-H TrainBoard Supporter

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    There are other coupler systems that can be remotely uncoupled, Rokuhan has an uncoupler for Marklin fishhook couplers and for their own mini rapido, and their auto latch couplers, but only Micro train connected to micro train can be magnetically uncoupled, AZL and Full throttle both have trucks with coupler attached that are auto latch(means they will couple when bumped together and they also have metal wheel sets, auto latch couplers will auto couple with AZL, and Full throttle, and also with Rokuhan's auto latch coupler, then there are also dummy knuckles that will connect with these couplers also, but have to lifted to uncouple, while most auto latch and magnetic couplers can be opened with a pick. As someone starting out I highly recommend those manufacturers who produce trucks with metal wheel sets, as they lower center of gravity on z scale cars and seldom require cleaning, while plastic wheels will need cleaning.
     
  11. Taymar

    Taymar TrainBoard Member

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    Thank you. I have a question on the metal wheels actually - I bought a set of mtl bettendorf trucks which came with plastic 33" wheels. I also got a pack of the full throttle 33" metal wheels which I have installed.

    The distance between the metal wheels is slightly less than the original plastic wheels, I'd guess perhaps 0.5mm less or so. Is there any reason for this (tighter radius corners etc.) Or simply a difference in manufacturers?

    Thank you all so much for the help here, I have nearly all the parts now to attempt my first 3d printed car.
     
  12. ZFRANK

    ZFRANK TrainBoard Member

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    The Full Throttle wheel sets fit also in the MTL trucks. Which gives the advantage of delayed coupling to spot a car and light roling trucks.
     
  13. Taymar

    Taymar TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks Frank - The full throttle wheels seem a little narrower in the mtl trucks, and is a slightly looser fit on the rails vs. with the plastic wheels. Is this any cause for concern? Seems to roll ok
     
  14. ZFRANK

    ZFRANK TrainBoard Member

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    Full Throttle wheelsets in MTL trucks work fine for me.
     

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