How to open Intermountain 5161cuft covered hopper?

DCESharkman Sep 15, 2013

  1. DCESharkman

    DCESharkman TrainBoard Member


    I have several of these with loose weights and I want to open them up and glue the weights in place.

    I looked at the cars and I could not see a way to open them up without damaging.

    Has anyone done this before and like to share the process?

  2. oldrk

    oldrk TrainBoard Supporter

    Unless they are glued on the roof should come off. They are just pressed into place.
  3. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

    1) Grab the hopper by the sides.

    2) Shake the hopper up and down fast and hard.

    3) Whatever part is suppose to come loose to get inside will start popping loose from the loose weight inside smacking against it from inside.

    Just kidding...kinda...sorta....somewhat....LOL :teeth:
  4. GaryHinshaw

    GaryHinshaw TrainBoard Member

    The roofs on these cars are glued on and they can be a pain to get off. The ones I have worked on were spot glued below the roof seam along both sides. Start by gently prying the roofwalk end supports out of the holes in the end panels, then gently try to pry the walls outward with a single-edge razor blade to break the glue seal. Eventually the roof can be popped off and, if you're careful and/or lucky, the prying will not leave a scar on the model.

    IIRC, the glue they used to hold the weights was an epoxy, which is not very suitable for this purpose. Use Goo or something similar when re-gluing the weights. You will probably also have to re-glue the roof to keep it fully seated.

    These are fantastic models, but this aspect is a bit weak.
  5. Brian K

    Brian K TrainBoard Member

    I checked mine last night and even the undecorated version of the car is glued together... :(

    So, at some point I'll have to figure out how to carfeully get it apart.

  6. steamghost

    steamghost TrainBoard Member

    The semi-destructive method:
    Drill a hole through the bottom of the chute. Since the discharge gate part is separately applied IIRC and could fly off or crack, I'd drill a smaller pilot hole first, then a bigger one. Jiggle the weight into place and as said before, use Goo to secure it. You probably want to tilt the body to allow the solvent to vent. No need to patch the hole IMO unless you like to model accidents. I've used this method to add weight to other covered hoppers that were well and truly glued together.
  7. Jim Reising

    Jim Reising TrainBoard Member

    I've got 96 5161s in my earthworm. Because I needed to add weight to some of the cars toward the front of the train, I would gently try to move the roof to see if it was glued or not - about one third were not. Then I would bent the roof walk supports gently out until the roof was free.

    At that point I add weight, securing it with Aileen's Tacky Glue. After the glue dried, I replaced the roof and rebent the walk supports. If the roof needed gluing, I'd use more Tacky Glue - it can easily be wiped off before drying.

    I was able to break the glue joint in many cases by said wiggling. Perhaps putting the cars into the freezer before wiggling might break the bond also...
  8. NS1980

    NS1980 TrainBoard Member

    But be very careful if you remove the top of the car, That when you lift up the roof walk supports not to bend to far because these delicate thin strips of metal will break off as has happened to me on occasion.

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