MTL well cars difficult on the track

husafreak Aug 2, 2019

  1. husafreak

    husafreak TrainBoard Member

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    I just received three MTL "well cars" for my modern AZL North American train. They look great and the containers I got fit perfectly but they will not stay on my Rokuhan track. They do not like going through the turnouts even straight through. One is a little better than the others, I noticed it has very free turning trucks, but the other two have stiffer trucks and I can't use them at all. Reading the instructions on the packaging the couplers appear to be the correct height and I am not using the MTL magnetic uncoupling feature, so I don't think that is the problem. But the wheels just randomly jump off the track in turns (220R) or at turnout track imperfections. The couplers appear to have some "springiness" fwd and aft but that appears to be designed into the couplers. This is my first experience with MTL. And I can't use them... Any advice?
    I'll add that the InterMountain and Full Throttle cars I got have no compatibility issues and run well. The internal weights appear to be loose in a couple of the InterMountain cars but they don't seem to be affected on the track.
     
    shortpainter and zdrada69 like this.
  2. rvn2001

    rvn2001 TrainBoard Member

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    I would suggest replacing the plastic MTL wheels with metal ones. They roll more easily. To get the trucks to rotate better use a small flat screwdriver to pull the truck and bolster pin out just a little bit.
     
  3. husafreak

    husafreak TrainBoard Member

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    Oh nuts, plastic wheels, who do I get replacement metal wheels from? Is it the same as replacing Marklin wheels where the plastic axle/wheel set pops out and the metal ones snap in?
    I’ll try to free up the trucks as you instructed.
    Thanks
     
    shortpainter likes this.
  4. rvn2001

    rvn2001 TrainBoard Member

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    You can change the plastic MTL wheels to metal wheels as easily as the Marklin wheels. The only difference is that the axles are held in place on the ends for MTL instead of in the center for Marklin. Full Throttle (Bowser) sells metal wheels as well as Fox Valley. Get the 33" wheels if you're buying Fox Valley.
     
    shortpainter and bostonjim like this.
  5. husafreak

    husafreak TrainBoard Member

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    Thank you again. I did pry those "bolsters" up just a bit with a very small screwdriver just now and saw they are a simple press fit. Success! Loaded them with the MCZ containers I got and they are staying on the track, even reversing through the turnouts, and smooth enough that the containers are staying put just sitting there. Once again it is amazing how sensitive Z scale is to small details, and I love to get them right. I will get metal wheels next time I place an order, they just work better. They were very important in getting my Marklin cars to really handle the track well.
     
  6. HoboTim

    HoboTim TrainBoard Supporter

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    Although your well cars are working ok now you may still want to change the wheels out to metal.

    The plastics wheels are notorious for accumilating a built up ring of dirty grime from the rails. You'll find yourself cleaning the wheels often if you run your well cars frequently. Metal wheels are not prone to picking up the same dirty grime as plastic wheels.
     

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