Micro-Trains trucks for Kadee 50' Boxcar?

Many Trains Jun 26, 2021

  1. Many Trains

    Many Trains TrainBoard Member

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    I just purchased a Kadee car which came equipped with trucks that had rapido couplers. I went to replace these with Micro-trains trucks and found that the hole for the bolster pin in much too large - the bolster pins included with the trucks I want to use (Bettendorf 1000) won't secure, the hole is far too large for them.

    This is for a 50' boxcar, specifically Kadee 31487-1.

    What trucks should I use, or alternatively what bolster pin should I use to secure the trucks?
     
  2. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Mostly N Scale Staff Member

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    Is the hole in the truck too big or is it the hole in the car body that the pin plugs into? Some of the Microtrain bolster pins that come with some of the older truck packs are different sizes.
     
  3. tonkphilip

    tonkphilip TrainBoard Member

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    This is a Kadee/Microtrains car from 10/74. The 1000 trucks should fit. If none of the the alternative bolster pins are big enough to fit into the bolster holes in the car, then you may need to use a screw and nut or wrap a bolster pin with a plastic sleeve to make it thicker. Alternatively, contact Micro-Trains and I am sure that they can help.
     
  4. Many Trains

    Many Trains TrainBoard Member

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    The hole in the car body is too big. Tonkphilip is correct - this car is from the 70's. The trucks that were on the car didn't have a bolster pin that is separate from the trucks - instead the trucks had the "pin" molded on (and again these were rapido couplers) that had what look like "clips" that spread out and secured it to the car body after being pushed in.
     
  5. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Mostly N Scale Staff Member

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    One of the parts that used to come with some trucks was a bushing to fill large holes and would then allow bolster pins to plug into it. Do you think this would fill the large hole in the car body? The red arrow is pointing to it.
    IMG_3613.JPG
     
  6. Many Trains

    Many Trains TrainBoard Member

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    I tried that - unfortunately it won't fit in the hole.

    I am wondering now if the car body can be put onto a newer frame. Maybe just find a newer model and pull the shell of of it and put this one on instead?
     
  7. locomcf

    locomcf TrainBoard Member

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    I have Kadee freight cars from the '70s and I've never encountered one that had trucks with that style of pin. However, I have seen such a pin on many Con-Cor trucks from that era. I believe that the bushing that Russell Straw has referenced was designed specifically to adapt such Con-Cor cars to take Kadee trucks. I've installed many of those bushings myself, and it has always been a snug/tight fit to insert them properly. You must ensure that the hole is vertical.

    Is there any printing on the bottom side of the underframe?
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2021
  8. Trains

    Trains TrainBoard Member

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    Maybe someone drilled the hole bigger?
     
  9. Many Trains

    Many Trains TrainBoard Member

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    It's definitely a Micro-Trains underframe. It has printed on it MTL 3100.
     
  10. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Mostly N Scale Staff Member

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    If the hole in the underframe is too small for the bushing mentioned above you could file or drill it large enough to get a good snug fit. Or if it is larger you could plug it with larger tubular stock and drill a small hole the correct size. I do things like that all the time so it is not a big deal for me. However, I can understand some folks not wanting to be cutting and filing on their rolling stock. It all depends on what you are comfortable with.
     
  11. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Perhaps contact Micro-Trains. Ask if there is any way to buy a separate underframe. They might sell you one? At one time in the past, they were available.
     
  12. ntex

    ntex TrainBoard Supporter

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    ogre427, locomcf and umtrr-author like this.
  13. Many Trains

    Many Trains TrainBoard Member

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    This is it, yes, thanks! The trucks that were on the car were the Clip on Trucks (in this case with Rapido couplers).

    So I need to find a way to secure trucks that are not clip on, or alternatively find a separate underframe. Micro-Trains site doesn't list the underframe for sale. I guess I could still find a different 50' car and use it for parts.
     
    locomcf likes this.
  14. ntex

    ntex TrainBoard Supporter

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    I would call them, they have sold parts not listed before. I have done that.
     
    Doug Gosha likes this.
  15. Doug Gosha

    Doug Gosha TrainBoard Member

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    Yup, I bet they will have a solution.

    Doug
     
  16. locomcf

    locomcf TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks for that link - I've never seen it before, and although I knew that Kadee produced trucks with Rapido couplers I hadn't realised that they used a different underframe or method of affixing the trucks.

    The 'variations guide' only mentions one form of the 3-piece wheel sets, but there were actually two. In addition to the version shown (metal axles and plastic wheels), there was also a version with plastic axles and metal wheels. I have samples of both.
    ribbed wheels.jpg
     
    Doug Gosha and r_i_straw like this.
  17. Doug Gosha

    Doug Gosha TrainBoard Member

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    I have some metal wheel/plastic axle sets, too. The ribs on the metal ones are coarser.

    Doug
     
  18. umtrr-author

    umtrr-author TrainBoard Member

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    But, but, but... You'd be ruining a Highly Collectible Variation of the C&O boxcar! ;)

    Actually, no you wouldn't. Even during the height of collector prices, cars with the Infamous Clip-On Trucks didn't get the values that the "standard" cars did... especially if they had Rapido Couplers. I still have a couple of the Clip-Ons in my accumulation.

    The 40 foot cars of this type are quite a bit scarcer than the 50 foot cars, or so we're told. But they're still a pain in the "woo woo woo."
     
    BNSF FAN likes this.
  19. Many Trains

    Many Trains TrainBoard Member

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    Oh I've already tossed the clip on trucks! And I very quickly (after I posted the original question) found a Kadee kit that was cheap - I am going to scavenge the underframe from that, hopefully it will fit. The kit is a 50' plug door car, and I am hoping the the underframe is common between that and the 50' single sliding door car that I am trying to get running.

    It's going to be a runner, not a collectable. It was cheap, I paid under $20 including shipping. I'll have to say, despite the annoying clip on trucks, the paint/printing is quite good for a soon to be 50 year old car! I've gotten some older Kadees, some of which are not that great (some are), fortunately this one seems as good as the paint jobs done today.

    And as I type this, I am honestly taken aback that this car is indeed almost 50 years old. Geez, the 1970's are getting to be a little farther back in time, and I am getting a little older than I really like to realize!
     
    locomcf likes this.
  20. bremner

    bremner Staff Member

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    Got one...A Pacific Electric outside braced car with Rapidos
     

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