Well, this is interesting......

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flyboy2610

Loveably weird
#1
I have what I have discovered, via internet sleuthing, to be a Model Power 36 foot covered hopper. https://www.ebay.com/itm/123045080594?rmvSB=true
Nothing unusual about that, but it has a truck mounted coupler of a configuration I've not seen before.
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I know the knuckle coupler is not original. A previous owner installed that. What is unusual, at least to me, is that the truck mounted coupler box is not integral with the truck. They are separate pieces. The coupler box sits on top of the truck, and two small plastic bars sit in the grooves of the truck frame. I couldn't figure out how to get the truck off the plastic center pin, so I pried it off with a screwdriver! :eek:
That's when I discovered how the coupler mounts. The small plastic ring has a collar on the top. This sits in the coupler mounting boss, and it all fits over the plastic pin in the coupler box. There is not enough room between the collar and the bottom of the car for that ring to come out of the coupler mounting boss. The whole thing then sits on top of the truck, and the truck is snapped into place.
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Like I said, I've not seen this particular arrangement before. The car is a Jack Frost cane sugar hopper. Most people are unaware of this, but cane sugar is an important ingredient in Rust-Eze Medicated Bumper Ointment. Since I will have one of their plants on my layout, this car is needed to service it.
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I will replace the coupler and box, give it metal wheels, and do some weathering to it. I will probably cut the original coupler box off its mount and glue (as best acetal plastic CAN be glued) the mount to the top of the truck. This will maintain the original truck height.
I plan to use this type of gear box:
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The reason for that is that the post is in the lid, not the box. The box can be installed, the coupler slid through the frame of the car, and the lid and post installed over the coupler. Otherwise it might be kind of difficult to work the mounting boss of the coupler over a post that is in the box. There is also only about .050" of plastic for the mounting screw to bit into. I have some thin 2-56 hex nuts that might be employed to help mount the coupler, but they would be on the end of the car behind the ladders. Some paint would help disguise them, but they would still be visible.
This car is also an ounce too light. It appears to be glued together, so any attempts at opening it up would destroy the car. I could cut and shape some weight material to go along the back of the chute housings, behind the wheels. See the first pic to see what I mean. This could be a fun project! :)
 

santafewillie

Well-Known Member
#2
If they are not molded on, you might be able to pry some of the hatch covers off and squirt glue and then add bb pellets or lead shot into the car. Also, I have seen some cars of this type that aren't that securely glued that the tops cannot be pried off. Try first.

Willie
 

D&J RailRoad

Professor of HO
#3
That really amazes me that some folks think they will sway the industry and market with a different design, just to be different. As if they thought they were going to corner the market with a new coupler box design and everything else isn't adequate.
As far as adding weight to the car. If they glued the whole thing shut, which wouldn't surprise me, I would drop the BB shot in through the king pin hole then just shake it all kind of into place when you have enough in there. It might be kind of messy to shoot some Elmer's glue in there after the shot is in.
 

NP2626

Active Member
#4
That really amazes me that some folks think they will sway the industry and market with a different design, just to be different. As if they thought they were going to corner the market with a new coupler box design and everything else isn't adequate.
It's the American Dream to think developing a better mouse trap will Corner the Market and people will beat a path to your door! Seldom happens; but, doesn't mean we should stop dreaming! We just need to dream better, with more detail.

Once it was determined that the knuckle coupler was to be a replacement for the X2F, knuckle couplers where manufactured by many different manufacturers and still are. They all get tossed into the waste can and are replaced with the Kadee, in a similar fashion as the X2F was back when that was the coupler placed in kits; or, mounted to RTR cars. Time tends to shake out the winners and losers.
 

flyboy2610

Loveably weird
#12
I spent some time closely examining this car. There are (or were) 4 plastic tabs, 2 per side along the body of the car near the hopper chutes. At this point I was still thinking someone had glued the body to the frame. I decided to try and pry off the body anyway. First I took an Exacto knife and slid it between the body and frame for the the length of the car. I cut off the 4 tabs as well. I took a small screwdriver and inserted it between the body and frame and pried outward. I noticed that the body and frame moved in relation to each other. I slid the frame back and forth by hand and realized that no, they were not glued together. By some careful yet forceful prying, I managed to get the two parts separated! :D
The end of the car were actually a bigger challenge than the middle. It was not until I had them separated that I noticed that there are 4 tabs holding the ends on, 2 per side. The one in the left front of the pic did not survive. But at least I have the car apart!
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For weight, I will be using these wheel weights I found on Harbor Freights web site. I was doing a search for 1/4 oz. lead weights and stumbled across them: https://www.harborfreight.com/1-4-quarter-oz-wheel-weights-67225.html
They also make them in 1/2 oz. size, so I will probably pick up a pack of them as well. The 1/2 oz. ones would probably be a better choice here since this car needs 1 oz. of weight, and I could just use two, one on each side of the center reinforcement bar in the body. These will be stuck on top of the steel weight on the frame. You can just see the edge of the weight peeking out below the frame. I also started scraping off paint to get down to good plastic for the styrene strip on just ahead of the king pins. This will even out that area and provide a better gluing area for the coupler box.
Now that the frame is separated I can more accurately measure the thickness of the pad where the coupler box will be mounted. It's .093" thick. Not much plastic for screw threads to get ahold of! I will probably glue a thin nut to the top and hide it with paint and weathering.
This project continues.......
 

NP2626

Active Member
#13
Where there is a will, there is a way! Now you can bring the car up to the weight you want with internal weight loading. You could also cut off those ugly stirrups and replace with more scale like wire ones. However, matching the paint might be problematic. I always paint the undersides of my cars with either Grimy Black; or, Roof Brown which might make paint matching the stirrups easier.
 

wombat457

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#15
Actually, what I was getting at was ... I wish people had just let things be 50 years ago. As was said, the past 50 years has seen more technology than any other period of time and more problems as a result.
 

flyboy2610

Loveably weird
#16
Where there is a will, there is a way! Now you can bring the car up to the weight you want with internal weight loading. You could also cut off those ugly stirrups and replace with more scale like wire ones. However, matching the paint might be problematic. I always paint the undersides of my cars with either Grimy Black; or, Roof Brown which might make paint matching the stirrups easier.
Thanks, Mark! I don't think I'm going to go the full detail route with this car, so the plastic details will stay. It will get a wash of highly diluted white paint to 'fade' the color. The bottom will get some grimy black, and there will be a few rust spots. This is a food grade hopper, so I'm not going to go the rust bucket route, either. I think it will look nice when it's done.
Right now I'm gluing some styrene strips on the bottom where the coupler boxes will go. This will provide more gluing surface for the boxes and even them out better.
 

flyboy2610

Loveably weird
#17
I had a bit of free time this afternoon, so I snuck down to the workshop (actually I didn't need to sneak because my wife and son are both at work) and did some work on this car. Last night after the styrene strips were securely glued in place I glued the coupler boxes on. This afternoon I drilled and tapped the holes for the mounting screw. The nut is .061" thick, and a 1/4" 2-56 screw only goes in about .030, which is probably far enough, but I'm going to use a 3/8" screw. I'll use some CA attach the nut to the car, then cut off the excess screw with my moto tool. I think some paint and weathering should hide it pretty well.
I'm going to use some #39 Kadee's for this car. These are long overset coupler with the metal spring thing in the coupler box. They worked out pretty well. I did have to trim some plastic off of the top side of the plastic bar beneath the coupler, because the coupler was rubbing on it slightly. The couplers swing freely from side to side now.
I also had to trim black plastic piece that the old coupler box was attached to. The plastic around the circle was too wide and it was hitting the back of the coupler box, and not letting the truck swing as freely as it should have.
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Some metal Kadee 33" wheels were installed in the trucks and the coupler height checked. Looks just about perfect to me! :)
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After the day I had at work today, I'm just glad that something has finally gone right today!
Now I have to take it all back off so I can paint around the coupler box. Now white styrene for me, thanks! I think I'll paint the area around the box flat black, from the end of the car to the truck tresses, and side to side.
 

flyboy2610

Loveably weird
#19
Did some painting today. I painted the area around the coupler box and hex nut flat black. I cut back the bolt with my rotary tool and painted the tip flat black also. I think those nuts will be much less obvious when I'm done.
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I also gave the truck frames a coat of grimy black, and painted the springs a rust color.
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I need to get those weights from Harbor Freight and then I can put this back together and start weathering the car body. I'm something of a minimalist when it comes to weathering. I like a car to look used, but not abused.
 

flyboy2610

Loveably weird
#20
While doing my normal payday errands (ie: spending all the money) I stopped by Harbor Freight and bought a package of 1/2 oz. and 1/4 oz. weights. I also picked up a package of cheap CA glue. Some reviewers say the adhesive on these weights isn't real strong, but it sure seemed strong to me, so in the end I didn't use any CA.
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The weights come attached to a strip of plastic tape. Cutting the tape with a hobby knife frees the weights.
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The original plan was to use 1 1/2 oz. weight on either side of the middle bar, but it turned out that that would not allow clearance on the ends.
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Management therefore decided to use 2 1/4 oz. weights stacked 2 high on either side of the middle bar. This worked out well.
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The car was then reassembled and weighed. Target weight was 3.75 oz. I think it came out pretty close. Wally helped me check it.
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When I get out the paintbooth and airbrush, I'll do something about the nice clean paint on this car.
 



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