Repair Help Needed - Atlas cars

Hey Folks,
I could certainly use some assistance, advice, and/or suggestions on a much needed fix to a number of our Atlas [HO Scale] cars. We have a
dozen of their short open hopper cars and two of their older PS2 covered hoppers. They ALL use the simple push pin to secure the truck to the under body of the car.
In all cases, the cars wobble terribly. The design of their truck/under carriage attachment is flawed in that the two openings rest atop of one another: instead of one fitting within the other. As a result, the truck has far too much wobble. It seems that fix would be to somehow create a flush mounting surface, but I worry that the coupler height would be negatively affected if I were to file away one of the two surfaces.
I am unsure how to fix this problem. Your help is most welcomed.
Most Sincerely, Matt
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On Wed, 01 Oct 2003 13:41:10 GMT, Matt & Kathleen Brennan wrote:
=>Hey Folks, => =>I could certainly use some assistance, advice, and/or suggestions on a =>much needed fix to a number of our Atlas [HO Scale] cars. We have a =>dozen of their short open hopper cars and two of their older PS2 covered =>hoppers. They ALL use the simple push pin to secure the truck to the =>under body of the car.
There is supposed to be some wobble, so that the wheels stay on then track at all times. But the cars probably have too much.
Ensure the pin has no flash on the end, which will prevent its seating properly. There is a shoulder on the pin which is supposed to hold the truck in the correct relation to the bolster. You may have to shorten the pin slightly - file and try until it works correctly. The pin may work loose by repeated extraction and insertion. To make it fit tightly, squeeze it gently and slightly with pliers, this will make a slightly oval cross section, and the pin will jam as it should.
A more permanent fix is a flathead screw instead of the pin. Best to drill through the bolster, then cut the threads with a tap. The drilling will require disassembly of the car, unless you don't mind the hole going right into the carbody. The coned underside of the screwhead will help center the truck - just don't tighten it too much. One should be snug enough not to wobble, the other should be a little looser.
HTH&GL
--

Wolf Kirchmeir, Blind River, Ontario, Canada
Never try to teach a pig to dance. It wastes your time and annoys the pig.
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Wolf Kirchmeir wrote:

Excellent. Thanks Wolf. I will opt for this more permanent fix.
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Matt, usually a 2-56 x 1/4" screw works just right. Hardware stores may have this, or your local hobby shop should almost certainly carry them. 2-56 screws are pretty commonly used in the hobby.
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drill
have
The only potential problem is if the cars use the big pins. I had one of the kaolin cars that had this, and I ended up glueing in a styrene tube just big enough to fit, then tapped the center 2-56 (it was already the correct inside dimension) I hate those stupid truck pins, and always replace them with 2-56 screws if I can. You may want to check the yellow pages too...I've got a local place Fastenal, which I think may be a chain, but I don't know if they're national. I bought 200 1/4" 2-56 screws for about 4 bucks. Athearn charges $2.50 for only 24.
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