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Discussion Starter #1
If you want great-rolling cars
Quick and easy.


You can buy the more expensive locomotives; you can add weight to the ones you have; you can put on traction tires; you can fastidiously clean up all the running gear; you can even try swapping motors.
But the quickest and easiest way to 'improve locomotive pulling power' is to employ a TruckTuner on the truckframes of your rolling stock.

It's not a mystery...
If axle points are to spin freely, they need clean/smooth bearing cones to ride in.
If there's even the slightest amount of plastic 'spit slag' or burrs in a cone, the car will not roll to its potential.
Even a microscopic amount of 'junk' in just one cone is enough to keep a car from being a good roller.

A TruckTuner, (available from MicroMark, eBay, or wherever) will quickly eliminate any slag or burrs, and turn an average roller into a premium 'glider'.

I have dozens of Accurail cars, and every one of them gets TruckTuned during assembly.
Also, many brands of RTR cars may need it as well... it's just a simple fact of statistics -- some bad ones will slip through the process.

TruckTuning your rolling stock will immediately help your locomotives pull more cars.

Of course, this also assumes that your cars have metal wheelsets.
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I would also think there's alignment that could be done. But this little do hickey does look interesting.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
"Alignment"??
Eeesh!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
BTW, if you need to replace trucks on your freightcars, Accurail has Andrews, roller bearing, and Bettendorfs in black, mineral red, oxide red, gray and silver, in quantities of 12, 50, and 100.
MSRP is $17 to $110. LHS prices are much lower.
The mineral & oxide red make a good base for weathering.
Tichy has very nice archbar trucks.
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I believe that the Accurail trucks are the best aftermarket trucks available......even Intermountain uses them for their rolling stock now....
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I believe that the Accurail trucks are the best aftermarket trucks available...
Totally agree.
Tangent and InterMountain are the only brands of RTR freightcars that I haven't needed to replace a truck on.
And as good as Kadees are, the occasional sprung truck gets bound up, and needs replacing.
TruckTuned Accurail trucks to the rescue!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Speaking of wheelsets...
InterMountain metal wheelsets are my 'go-to', and are the most popular in these parts, so for that reason they are sometimes out of stock.
From time to time I've gone with Walthers Proto, Kadee, Tangent, and even Athearn.
With very few exceptions, they all seem to work and perform equally well.
But I'll always stubbornly look for InterMountains first.
Other than running across a few discolored brown ones at times, I've never found a bad one.

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I have had fairly good luck with trucks ... I use Tichy archbar trucks [the glue together ones], with Intermountian semi-scale 33 inch plain back wheelsets that I usually get in a 100 pack,, it's a fair bit cheaper ..
I do have a truck tuner, well someplace, but it's been years since I have had to use it, especially with the combination that I have now, don't even know who it's from right now ..
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The trucks are cast. But who knows if they are "square".
Well if a truck isn't "square", e.g., a parallelogram, then we'll need to explore the physics of motion, the effects of internal friction, and the variations of manufacturing tolerances, because all of those would come into play.
I'm (almost) willing to accept that an 'out-of-alignment' problem could possibly exist, but I'm not sure model railroading is ready (or even inclined) to address it.
I'm sure the manufacturing process takes squareness into account, but in the consumer realm of overall truck issues, it's likely at the bottom of the list.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Truck defect:
One truck defect I've noticed in the past few years is an occasional pinhole (or even a 'blowout') through a journal or two.
I've found this problem in a few Athearn RTR and Bowser trucks, and even a few 'in-the-box' Accurails (not in bulk packs).

It's obviously a casting issue, but I'm not sure if it's temperature or pressure related.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well if your measuring devices don't measure up...
I'm not sure what to tell you.
 

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Well it's been on my list to get a good pair of calipers for quite some time.

A lot of folks on various website seem to push this brand/model -- Mitutoyo 500-196-30
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Well it's been on my list to get a good pair of calipers for quite some time.

A lot of folks on various website seem to push this brand/model -- Mitutoyo 500-196-30
Those are digital, and they're probably very good. Mitutoyo is a very popular brand.
Digital are better than dial-types because they're easy to 'zero', and are very easy to read.
That model is on eBay for around $50.
If you want to check overall truckframe 'squareness', measure the outside corner-to-corner (diagonally) in both directions. They should be fairly equal.
But that won't tell you if the axle journal cones are in square alignment, and that's really the only thing that matters.

[Edit]:
The manufacturing (casting) process is rigid precision tooling, and not changeable. Any out-of-squareness condition would be inherent to that set of dies for the entire production cycle.
If one out of ten sets of dies is producing a dimensional defect, then 10% of the entire production cycle is dimensionally defective, which would be intolerable.
At a production meeting, even 1 in a hundred would likely cause actionable concern... that's ten per thousand, or a hundred every 10,000. Not good for PR.
 

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BTW, if you need to replace trucks on your freightcars, Accurail has Andrews, roller bearing, and Bettendorfs in black, mineral red, oxide red, gray and silver, in quantities of 12, 50, and 100.
MSRP is $17 to $110. LHS prices are much lower.
The mineral & oxide red make a good base for weathering.
Tichy has very nice archbar trucks.
View attachment 547563
This may be basic stuff for some of the old hats, but I really appreciate this thread. The amount of options and styles available can be intimidating.

To be clear, are these 12 packs for 12 individual trucks, or does 12 pair mean 24 trucks to complete 12 cars?

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Discussion Starter #17
To be clear, are these 12 packs for 12 individual trucks, or does 12 pair mean 24 trucks to complete 12 cars?
The first photo in post #7 (the InterMountain pack) shows a clear picture of a 12-pack.
A 12-pack is 12 axles, and will do six trucks, or 3 cars.
A 100-pack will do fifty trucks, or 25 cars.
 

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As a retired musician when I read the OP title I started to think what tunes/songs there are about trucks. Not RR trucks, but truck trucks like pickups, belly dumpers, cement, fire, semis, etc. Odd, the seemingly lack of songs about trucks, huh !? God knows there's train songs !
Then the correct meaning of the title became clear..
🏭🛤🌄
 

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The first photo in post #7 (the InterMountain pack) shows a clear picture of a 12-pack.
A 12-pack is 12 axles, and will do six trucks, or 3 cars.
A 100-pack will do fifty trucks, or 25 cars.
For the wheels, yes. My question is about the trucks.

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
For the wheels, yes. My question is about the trucks.
Okay then...
A pack of 12-pair of truckframes is 24 trucks for 12 cars.

[Edit]:
My bad, I didn't pay proper attention to the quoted portion of your query.
 
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