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Just for fun I thought I try my hand at building an auto rack kit. Not knowing much about them, or trains in general, I emailed an eBay seller who assured me this was an open rack. To my disappointment... It is not. None the less, for $15 I figured what the heck.

Now I guess I was expecting something a little closer to the model car kits I used to build. This was lacking decent instructions, mounting tabs are mostly not existent and it comes without trucks or couplers. Kind of annoying in my mind, but I'm new here, so maybe that's normal?

Now that it's mostly together, this thing is LONG AND TALL! Surprisingly it goes around an r15 180 pretty well, although the coupler didn't line up right and will need a shim as it decoupled a few times. But it never derailed.

So here's the questions... I'm using some 4 wheel trucks a got in a bulk buy with some other supplies. No idea on the brand, but they seem fairly cheap, but effective. Would this large of a car had a 6 wheel truck? I'm sure I mounted these wrong, they feel a little tight. If 6 wheel is better, what's a good source?

Paint, yes I should have painted before assembly, but we didn't. It's a $15 model. Paint I can handle, but maybe some decals would help, registration numbers or something? Like I said I don't know much about trains, but there has to be registration numbers of some sort?

Finally, couplers. I have plenty of couplers, but they are slightly high and only making about half contact. Is there a safer made for this, it just shim it up best I can?



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Not "each" - the combined capacity of the car would be ~70-100 tons, not 200.... but 100 ton trucks have 36" wheels and some modern autoracks actually have 28" wheels since their loads are comparatively lightweight and bulky and to help lower the car to max out the loading space while staying within height restrictions and the capacity is actually less than 100 tons for these cars.

Six wheel/three axle trucks are found on heavy weight cars designed for large, heavy loads like depressed center flatcars.
 

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Discussion Starter #22
Well what I thought was oil based is actually water based acrylic, so that's what's giving me the paint issues. So I need to smooth the red down a little and redo it. In the mean times I got the panels done. Hammered silver is an almost perfect representation of galvanized steel.

We are also having issues with leveling. I'm fairly sure I put this out together wrong, I just don't know what right looks like here. I had a few trucks in a box of spare parts and put them in in what looks to be an obvious solution, but the whole car just tilts one way or another. So is there another part I'm missing to keep it level?





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Those auto racks roll past my house all the time. I’ve seen articulated ones but have never seen a three axle truck under any of them.
 

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Discussion Starter #25
Is like to get one of those automax cars to do as well!

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Looks great. Just like the cars that would roll past the house on the L&N railroad. In some consists, these were the only cars in the 80 car train.
 

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Discussion Starter #28
I think it looks great!

What did you do to solve the "tipping" issue?
Different trucks seem to have largely solved it. Balancing the weight will probably help too. I didn't get it squared perfectly when I put it together. So I think that accounts for what's left.

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