I need an answer a hobby question I was asked

HELP!!
I have a Bachmann set and have some freight cars that wheels and bogies missing.
How can I tell the difference between 33" and 36". Is there a way of
measuring them.
Should I get go with Kadee for my wheels, bogies and couplers or stay with Bachmann.
I would like to have them all the same so I would change the Bachmann if I needed to
Regards
Anthony
Any help or web links or articles in model railroader woold be appreciated
Thanks in advances I saw some where articles but cant seam to track them down
email me theantman1@(nospamplease)aapt.net.au
remove the brackets to get the correct address
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Yes, you can measure them. Go to your tool catalog and look for calipers and/or micrometers.
Digital calipers are pretty versatile and not all that expensive. Probably all measure in either inches or mm. You will have to convert the measurement to scale terms.
--
Bill Kaiser
snipped-for-privacy@mtholyoke.edu
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Micro-Mark once sold (and mayhap still do) an inexpensive plastic dial -that's NON-digital- caliper that reads out directly in HO gauge feet and inches. (Three HO gauge feet per one revolution around the dial.)
Pretty accurate, very handy for scratch-building, and I use mine quite frequently.
-Pete
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I don't see the HO caliper on MicroMark today, but have seen it in the past. There's at least one offered on eBay right now.
What I'd like to know is why there aren't digital calipers out in HO/N/O/G/whatever scales. It's just a matter of modifying a bit of code for the display. They make digital calipers now that will read out in fractions of an inch ( 1/2, 1/3, 7/32....), so why not it model scale dimensions?
Val
wrote:

Micro-Mark once sold (and mayhap still do) an inexpensive plastic dial -that's NON-digital- caliper that reads out directly in HO gauge feet and inches. (Three HO gauge feet per one revolution around the dial.)
Pretty accurate, very handy for scratch-building, and I use mine quite frequently.
-Pete
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Hi Val,
the problem, probably, would be in marketing. Someone would have to order the minimum number that a manufacturer would produce (thousands) and then sell them quickly enough to make the transaction worthwhile. It would be much easier if the US gave up on those archaic measurements you use, and if you gave up having non-standard modelling scales. Given that, a single order could be sold world-wide.
Regards, Greg.P.
Val wrote:

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The problem's not with our "archaic measurements" - my digital caliper works in both inches and metric, just press a button.
Heck, the problem doesn't even have to be tooling for one scale or another - the display could scroll through any/all of the scales with one button. It's all just software (well, firmware.)
Val
wrote:

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Hi Val,
the only "scale" caliper I'm aware of and the only one mentioned here as having been produced was the mechanical dial (HO) one. In that case the potential market was only the USa modelling US prototypes in HO and modellers outside the US modelling US prototypes in HO. I considered buying one, but I model in metric measurements to a scale of 1:87. I'll certainly agree that a digital caliper that could be scaled in metric, imperial and other measurements would be marketable world-wide and would probably be saleable for other uses besides model railways! I'd probably buy one myself!
Regards, Greg.P.
Val wrote:

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Anthony wrote:

Yes, as Bill K. advises.
OTOH, you don't need to measure them. With very few exceptions, Bachmann freight cars use 33" wheels. You buy wheel-sets by wheel size.
If trucks and couplers are missing, you can buy trucks with couplers attached (but not from Bachmann), or trucks without couplers plus couplers separately for body-mounting.

Go with metal wheels (any brand will do). Any brand of knuckle couplers with metal knuckle springs will do, too, just make sure they fit any coupler boxes you may have, or buy sets complete with coupler boxes. Some people swear that it's better to use a single brand of coupler, but I've not found that to be a problem. You also need a coupler height gauge (Kadee makes one), to ensure uniform and correct mounting height. This is essential!

Well, you should have all care with truck-mounted couplers, or else all cars with body-mounted couplers. You can mix brands, they will work just fine with each other, but you may have to devise a method mounting the trucks - that is the one area where we don't have standardisation yet, unfortunately. (One of the blessings of having the National Model Railroad Association is that they have worked to promote and maintain standards for interchangeability. Thus we in Canada and the US don't need to limit ourselves to one brand of anything.)
If you body mount couplers on these cars, you will also have to use a mounting pad so that the coupler is at the correct height. I've found plastic bag closures to be a good source for this. They come in a range of thicknesses, one of which will be just right for a given car.
It's also important to add weight so that all the cars weigh close to the same. Mixing light and heavy cars will cause trouble sooner or later. The NMRA recommends 1oz plus 1/2oz for every inch of length, which works out to 4-1/2oz for a 40ft boxcar. You don't have to follow this exactly, an ounce more or less makes little difference, just be consistent.
I would however advise you to think seriously about whether it's worth repairing train-set quality cars. Many Bachmann cars have excellent body moldings, and are worth upgrading to metal wheels and body mounted couplers, but others are not. It will cost you $4 or more to fit new parts, plus your time. OTOH, upgrading cheap cars is a good way to develop skills. And it feels good to convert junk into usable models. So do what's most satisfying for you. ;-)
HTH
--
wolf k.

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Wolf Kirchmeir wrote: [...]

[...]
Sorry that should be 3-1/2 oz for a 40ft boxcar.
--
wolf k.

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You can buy cheap "vernier calipers", for a couple of dollars or so, in "Chinese $2 shops" which are good enough for distinguishing between 9.5 mm wheels (33") or 10.5 mm wheels (36"). You measure across the tread of the wheel, not the flange. After a while you can tell by eye-balling them what size is what.
Most North American rolling stock seems to have 33" wheels as standard, whereas, I think I am correct in saying that most Australian rolling stock has 36" wheels, although I know there are examples of smaller wheels in Australia..
Wolf has given you excellent advice. One thing he didnt mention is axle lengths. This is quite variable between manufacturers and even 0.5mm makes a difference. It could mean the difference between the wheels falling out every time you pick up the wagon, or the wheels being too tight (ever so slightly) and causing the wagon to not roll freely. This applies if you are, say, replacing plastic wheels with metal in a particular bogie. If you buy the bogies and wheels as a complete set, they should be ok. Even then, a bogie might not roll freely, because there is a little "dag"(a raised burr as a result of manufacture) right on the end of the pinpoint of the axle. A number of times I've found this, even with reputable suppliers like Steam Era, and have corrected it by gently removing the burr with a fine abrasive stone.
Would be interested to hear how you go with this project.
......................................Bill

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Correction:
Most older American freight rolling stock used 33" wheels, but many modern freight cars are now using larger diameters as mainline freight train speeds increase.
Most American passenger equipment used 36" wheels so that the wheels would revolve less times per mile, thus cutting the total amount of friction on wheel bearings that were rotating at -relatively- high speeds as compared to a freight wheel. (This was before the advent of roller bearings.)
-Pete
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Point well made, Pete. However, most American HO rolling stock seems to come with 9.5 mm (33")wheels.
I've come across the problem of wanting to change over to 10.5 mm wheels in certain bogies only to find that even that extra 1mm causes the flanges to rub on the underside of the wagon. Of course, you then pack up the pivot point with a washer, but this then makes the wagon sit a little bit high and it doesnt look quite right........and it wobbles a bit...........then you upset the couple height.........
Now that you mention it, I think I recall Kadee selling packs of 36" passenger coach wheel sets.
...................................................Bill
wrote:

Correction:
Most older American freight rolling stock used 33" wheels, but many modern freight cars are now using larger diameters as mainline freight train speeds increase.
Most American passenger equipment used 36" wheels so that the wheels would revolve less times per mile, thus cutting the total amount of friction on wheel bearings that were rotating at -relatively- high speeds as compared to a freight wheel. (This was before the advent of roller bearings.)
-Pete
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Bill Whale wrote:

a) Several of the articulated intermodal cars have 28" wheels on the articulation trucks, and 33" or 36" wheels on the end trucks. There are now some unit-train cars that ride on 38" wheels.... The more finicky your are about prototypical accuracy, the more research you'll have to do, which may develop into a hobby all its own, and take away from model railroading. ;-)
b) If you use RP 25 wheels, you shouldn't have a problem. Since you refer to 10.5mm rather than 36" wheels, my guess is that you used some UK or European products with deep flanges. Anyhow, I've not had a problem installing 36" wheels on freight cars that should have them. OTOH, I have had problems installing 36" wheels on Rivarossi etc passenger cars, as their trucks are made for smaller wheels, and the cast-on brake shoes interfere with the larger, correctly sized wheels.

So do Atlas, Branchline, Jaybee, Proto 2000, North west Short Line, and Walthers. Several of these also offer 28" and other odd sizes.
HTH
--
wolf k.

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Some of the articulated well cars have 33" on the end (non-shared rucks) and 38" shared trucks. The standard tri-level autoracks have 28" wheels. I believe the AutoMax's are all 33" wheels.
What cars have shared 28" wheels?
Paul -- Excuse me, I'll be right back. I have to log onto a server in Romania and verify all of my EBay, PayPal, bank and Social Security information before they suspend my accounts.
Working the rockie road of the G&PX
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Paul Newhouse wrote:

Sorry, I misremembered. My bad.

--
wolf k.

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Quite a few companies sell replacement HO wheelsets in both 33" and 36" diameters.
-Pete
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