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Author Topic: IHC Covered Hoppers  (Read 28187 times)
cmsluss

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« on: August 09, 2013, 08:54:39 AM »

I purchased some IHC (Mehano) covered hoppers to make a grain train.  I've noticed this train strains even my best locomotives.  It even feels "heavy" to push/pull by hand.  The are no visible defects to the trucks or wheels.  Why would the "drag" on these cars be greater than on any other 50" foot HO car?

Any advice is greatly appreciated!

Thanks much!
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jonathan


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« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2013, 09:42:57 AM »

Turn the cars over and spin the wheels with your fingers.  Each wheelset should spin freely for a minimum of 6 seconds.  If they do not, that is your problem.

You can replace the wheelsets and/or turn the inside of the journals.  This can be done with a truck tuner (the best option, but you have to find and buy the tuner).

OR, you can use a pin vice with a small bit.  Somewhere in the #70 range should work.  Gently perform a few turns with the bit, in each journal.  Then replace the wheels and spin them.  Repeat this until the wheels turn freely.  I have done this in a pinch, when a truck tuner was unavailable.

My favorite wheel replacements are the intermountain 33" wheels.  However, I have used the Bachmann, Athearn and Atlas wheels with success as well.  Really it depends on the width and shape of the truck journals. 

The size and shape of truck journals are not universal, unfortunately.  A little experimentation is necessary.

Since IHC is no longer around, I do not know if these cars come with plastic or metal wheels.

Regards,

Jonathan
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Len

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« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2013, 11:05:16 AM »

One word of warning...if the trucks are metal, do not use a truck tuner on them. You'll end up ruining the cutting edge of the tuner. Found out the hard way.

Sometimes it's just dust and critter hair in the journal causing the problem. Removing the wheels, cleaning off the axles, and giving the journal a shot of graphite often clears the problem up.

Len
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If at first you don't succeed, throw it in the spare parts box.
sd24b

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« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2013, 02:45:20 PM »

I purchased some IHC (Mehano) covered hoppers to make a grain train.  I've noticed this train strains even my best locomotives.  It even feels "heavy" to push/pull by hand.  The are no visible defects to the trucks or wheels.  Why would the "drag" on these cars be greater than on any other 50" foot HO car?

Any advice is greatly appreciated!

Thanks much!
i have some old AHM grain hoppers that i replaced the trucks with Athearn's and used metal wheels.  these cars are getting long in tooth (1973) but roll as well as my new ones Phil
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electrical whiz kid

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« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2013, 08:02:07 PM »

Hi;
Any rolling stock I acquire gets a thorough once-over with my good ol' hawk (ish) eye.  Plastic truck
assemblies, as previously stated, should get a reaming out with that tune-up tool-if you don't have one, look around for one, possibly on Micro-Mark, then change the wheels to metal wheel-sets-this is a given in my shop.  Don't want plastic garbage on the rails.  Before I re-assemble the truck to the
under-frame, it gets a further testing for rolling qualities, but more importantly, for square-ness on the track.  If they don't sit squarely on the track, you will be plagued by gremlins...at the most inopportune of times...(your wife or girlfriend will giggle at you ...while you "pray"...)
Next, if this works out OK, I assemble to body, and try it that way, looking for the same result.   If that is OK, and I the cars don't have my preference of couplers, I install them, and check them out on the good ol' Kadee coupler gauge.  This should kick out about 99% of the bugaboos that plague "the nut in the basement".  Happy Motoring...
Rich C.
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Doneldon

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« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2013, 11:31:36 PM »

i have some old AHM grain hoppers that i replaced the trucks with Athearn's and used metal wheels.  these cars are getting long in tooth (1973) but roll as well as my new ones Phil

Phil-

You're showing us that even modestly-priced trains can run well and long if assembled carefully and maintained appropriately.
I have some Athearn cars which are even older than yours and they run just fine. It's true that their details leave a little to be
desired compared to today's models, but that's not noticeable when the trains are running down the track.

                                                                                                                                                                 -- D
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CNE Runner


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« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2013, 10:24:59 AM »

I have one or two Ulrich cars from the late 1950s that run well. Length of successful ownership is a function of maintenance and not age.

Not a car appears on my layout until I use my trusty Micro Mark Wheel Tuner (assuming the bolsters are plastic), the plastic wheelsets are replaced by metal units, coupler/pin height is checked with a Kadee gauge, wheel gauge is checked by an appropriate NMRA gauge AND the car is weighed. The NMRA publishes a chart for proper car weights (check their website).  [I use automobile wheel weights (available in several 'weights') from Harbor Freight...these are adhesive backed for easy placement.] As far as the weighing is concerned, I purchased a very inexpensive, battery operated kitchen scale at Harbor Freight...which is plenty good enough for our purposes. This sounds like a long procedure; but it isn't and will result in 'trouble-free' running.

 I also keep a 3" x 5" card on each car which lists: car type, car ID number, railroad name, AAR car class ID, specifics regarding that particular car (type/brand of couplers, type of wheelsets, weathering...whatever) and (at the bottom of the card front) date acquired, manufacturer, item number, where acquired and price. On the reverse of the card I keep any pertinent maintenance records (car weight/date, when I checked the coupler/pin height and anyother items. An inexpensive card catalog box keeps everything in order: I have a separate divider for each car type (refrigerated, box, flat, etc.) and file the aforementioned cards accordingly.

Just a suggestion,
Ray
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"Keeping my hand on the throttle...and my eyes on the rail"
Doneldon

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« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2013, 05:54:11 PM »

Ray-

Outstanding. I do the exact same routine with all of my new rolling stock and, combined with regular maintenance and good
records, I rarely have an on-layout mishap caused by equipment failure. (Operator failure is another thing all together.)
I use whatever I can find for weight -- surplus heavy old nuts and bolts or pennies if there's no chunky hardware.

I keep a running record of any problems which do occur by both equipment involved and place on the railroad. This helps me
identify potential problems before they become major and it also saves a good deal of diagnostic time. This system almost always
directs my attention to the component which needs work, whether it's a turnout, coupler, truck, out-of-gauge track or whatever.

By the way, I agree with you whole heartedly that the age of equipment is immaterial as long as it is serviced appropriately. Older
models may not have the excellent detail found on most modern models, but they can and do run just as well.

                                                                                                                                                                     -- D
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CNE Runner


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« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2013, 10:30:59 AM »

See Don?..great minds think alike.

Viewing all the posts in this thread, perhaps you can see the wisdom of looking at those 'cheapy' cars under the vendor's table at train shows. I have picked up some really nice cars for $1 that (with a little 'tweaking' and maintenance) became great additions to the 'fleet'. As Don said, the older cars don't have the detail of the newer 'crop'...but they can be just as reliable.

Another suggestion on adding weight to rolling stock concerns tank cars: If (and I say 'if' because you usually can't get the tank ends open without causing damage) you can get one end off a tank car, pennies make a great weight source. They are round and can easily be glued together - as well as glued into the tank cylinder. With your complete car on the scale, start adding pennies until the recommended NMRA car weigh is achieved (slightly below the recommended car weight as the glue will add some weight). [If this is an uncompleted kit, do this step BEFORE gluing on the tank ends.] If you can't get the tank ends off without causing damage, you are probably out of luck as there is nowhere to add weight out of sight on this particular type of car.

Happy model railroading,
Ray
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"Keeping my hand on the throttle...and my eyes on the rail"
jbrock27

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« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2013, 11:26:06 AM »

I have purchased IHC rolling stock in the past as the details were decent enough to satisfy me.  Be wary though, some IHC rolling stock are made like the later TYCO "brown box" stuff in that the step rails can be molded solid, other IHC rolling stock have step rails molded in the normal fashion.   Make sure you look close before buying.
I've always believed that for the price, Athearn Blue Box rolling stock have great details and running properties.  The Bachmann Silver Series Rolling stock is a great value as well, if found for a good price.  Never had luck at the $1 bin; I will have to keep looking.  One needs to include the cost of admission to the train show, plus cost of gas, in purchases at train shows, in my view.

Also, when referring to "plastic", I think it should be clarified there is a difference between Delrin wheels and axles as opposed to ABS plastic wheels and axles.  Delrin is much better, although with most ABS wheels I have that I have looked through, roll fine.  A few years ago, Mr. Banner posted some interesting observations on wheels and trucks made of varying materials.

Ray and Doc, remember the opening up tank car discussion from about a year or so ago?  I have an AHM single dome tanker I will be attempting to "open up" in the near future.  Wish me luck!

Any one have any experience or opinions on Walthers rolling stock?  For example, Trainline or Ready to Run editions?
Thank you.

PS-Ray, I used spell check to the best of my abilities.
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Keep Calm and Carry On
jbrock27

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« Reply #10 on: August 23, 2013, 12:13:13 PM »

Forgot to add, that IHC stuff comes with plastic wheels, axles and trucks, talgo style, with horn hook couplers.  The trucks are secured w/o a pin, unlike a lot of AHM stuff and are secured in the same way most of the last TYCO and old Bachmann and old LifeLess rolling stock was, with those 2 "nubs" that push into a hole in the bolster.  The trucks can be pried off with small screwdriver.  Most of the time, both or one of the nubs breaks off, which I do not view as a loss, as I would prefer to replace that style and type of truck anyway.  I do not believe the "plastic" is Delrin, but cannot say for sure.
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Keep Calm and Carry On
Doneldon

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« Reply #11 on: August 23, 2013, 10:55:43 PM »

Ray and jb-

Yes, the dollar bins at train shows can yield the basis for a well-running model, but only if we'd be going to the train show anyway. (Like that's a question?) Not so with cruddy cars on eBay. By the time you add the cost of shipping to the new wheels (maybe trucks) and couplers they aren't such a good deal.

I use pennies for weight also. They're actually much cheaper than lead weights.

Now here's an idea for weighting tank cars (maybe a dumb one). Once a tank car is assembled, it's usually very hard to get access to the inside without doing significant cosmetic damage to the car. However, what if we cut a slot in the bottom of the tank, squirted some plastic-safe caulk or other goopy adhesive inside, spread it around with a bent wire and then put pennies through the slot? I understand that it might not be possible to get the weight spread evenly, but would that be a real problem, or just  problem in theory? I haven't tried this myself yet, but I plan to do it as soon as an underweight tank car shows up on the layout. Well, in the train room.

                                                                                                                                                       -- D
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GG1onFordsDTandI
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« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2013, 12:21:38 AM »

what if we cut a slot in the bottom of the tank, squirted some plastic-safe caulk or other goopy adhesive inside, spread it around with a bent wire and then put pennies through the slot? I understand that it might not be possible to get the weight spread evenly, but would that be a real problem
The slot might work but I think some non hardening substances will eventually leak back out. How about using one Penny,(Penny, Penny) ( Cheesy Sheldon rules) at a time? Each coated with glue, then let to dry before the next is added. By alternating which side the pen.. Angry...
... Roll Eyes.. coin falls to you could even it out better. I think keeping the slot clear would be the biggest challenge.
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Doneldon

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« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2013, 01:00:42 AM »

GG1-

I wasn't suggesting something which would never cure or dry, just something with a heavy enough body that it could be pushed
around inside of the car and remain tacky (I believe goopy is the technical term) until all of the pennies were inserted. Both
caulk and construction adhesive meet these criteria.
                                                                                  -- D
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GG1onFordsDTandI
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« Reply #14 on: August 24, 2013, 03:06:44 AM »

GG1-
I wasn't suggesting something which would never cure or dry, just something with a heavy enough body that it could be pushed
around inside of the car and remain tacky (I believe goopy is the technical term) until all of the pennies were inserted. Both
caulk and construction adhesive meet these criteria.
               -- D

Sorry, I associated goopy with non curing products Ive experimented with in the past, hylomar and other similar materials. If it works more power to ya! But I still think getting caulk or construction adhesive into it will be a challenge unless you use a professional caulkers gun with a metal tip pounded flat.(I also live with a pro-caulker who uses a very fluid caulk I have issues with. He uses it without incident)  Also the less "goopy" cement inside before hand will allow the coin to sit lower in the tank with little effort. How about filling with coins first then pumping in some "goo" ? Any how good luck Don.
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