Thursday, April 19, 2012

Replacing snap-in trucks: comment

I received an interesting email in response to my post about this topic (available at: ). It asked how I fitted the solid Plastruct rod as a filler for the old truck snap-in hole.
     The rod I use is 4 mm in diameter and is a little too large for the holes in the Varney/LifeLike 37-foot reefer bodies. Accordingly, I file and sand it down a bit, checking against the hole size, until the rod will just press-fit into the opening. I have sometimes chucked a length of this rod into an electric drill, to act like a lathe, and then used a file to reduce the diameter, but doing it by hand seems to work about equally quickly and easily. Coarse sandpaper works too; surface finish isn’t important here.

     I use Plastruct’s plastic solvent cement “Plastic Weld,” which seems to be well named and to create a really strong bond, to coat both the rod and hole interior generously, then press the rod into the hole. I then make sure the rod is perpendicular, by use of a small machinist’s square, as shown here, while the joint sets.

Once the joint is fully set, for which I usually allow a couple of hours, I use a razor saw to cut the rod off flush with the original bolster surface.

A light touch with the fine-tooth file, and the bolster surface is smooth. I then “center-punch” the glued-in rod (using a scriber) and drill #52, then tap for 2-56, my preferred truck screw size. This photo shows the tap in use.

Now the car body is ready to receive trucks, and if in doubt about the height of the bottom of the car floor, a necessary dimension for correct Kadee coupler box installation, I would put on a pair of trucks and check that height at this point (this was shown in the prior post). The body shown in the photo above was already checked, coupler pads have been thinned, and Kadees are installed.
     That's all there is to it. Simple to do, and quick as well. Don’t let those old snap-in trucks prevent you from upgrading an otherwise useful car body!
Tony Thompson

No comments:

Post a Comment