I guess one can't expect wonders when paying only 6-8 dollars for a freight car, but what a piece of garbage I got with Athearn's bargain freight cars! I would heartily recommend not purchasing bargain freight cars, but go for the higher quality, regardless of the brand. I bought (6) such freight cars and upon arrival I learned that they were kits!!! And what a hassle putting them together. Laying the coupler on the pin and then trying to clip the lid onto the coupler box was one thing, but getting that lid to stay clipped...well, that's a whole 'nother story. Just don't plan on spending less than $15 for a good qualtiy freight car, where you'll probably get decent couplers and maybe you won't have to spend any time struggling to put them together.
I bought (6) of these and now I'm sorry!. I may have to glue the coupler lid onto the coupler box on a few of them because of the bad alignment! And maybe, I just may throw good money after bad and buy decent trucks and couplers. Or maybe I may just leave them on the side as scenery...in shops, abandonesd, etc.
Mike Picture Rocks, AZ