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Discussion Starter #1
OK, so I have Accucraft narrow gauge rolling stock. On my ground level garden railway, these cars give me the most trouble. Uncoupling and derailing frequently. They are stock, with stock wheels and the couplers are original. On the other hand, all my Aristo, and LGB cars are converted with sierra Valley wheels and KayDee couplers. Those run without a problem. Sounds like an easy, but expensive fix would be to get the kaydee couplers and sierra valley wheels. But before I do that, I was wondering if anyone else ran into this, and what you did to correct it. The factory couplers and wheels do look nice on the Accucraft cars, if I could fix it and keep those I would...
 

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Not sure if these would be the older version of rolling stock, but if they are they may not have the L brackets on the inside of the trucks. The brackets help stabilize the trucks. I had some that had issues similar to yours and they were the original version that did not have the L brackets. Accucraft sent me some free of charge.

-Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #6
as far as Kadee couplers go, it looks like 835 is the correct ones? what is everyone using on these?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
haven't used these cars much because of the derailing issues. I counted them up. 8 tank cars, 4 refers, 4 cattle, 4 box, two short cabooses, 4 high side gondolas, 4 flat, and 4 navy supply pearl harbor. 34 cars that need L brackets. would need 34 sets of kadee couplers too.
 

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Tim,
Not that I am criticising, but how many humps and dips do you have on your railway?
If that is contributing to your problems, fixing any obvious problems might be a less expensive way to go.
If the railway is perfect, then it must be the cars that are the issue.
It doesn't take much for one coupler to dip and the other car to rise and cause uncoupling.
Have you tried pushing a few cars around to see if they always have a problem at the same spots?
All the best,
David
 

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Discussion Starter #9
David, my other cars perform perfectly. So it is the cars. I have done extensive track work trying to fix the problem. Only the Accucraft cars seem to give trouble. I am trying the Kadee couplers and I have the L brackets coming from Accucraft.
 

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A few other variables may be involved. Maybe worth trying a couple of things.
SV wheels are considerably heavier than Accucraft's. SV wheels also have a significantly different profile - deeper flange, wider tread, etc. The back-to-back wheel spacing could be the problem as well with Accucraft wheels. You might also check the overall length of the axles. Acc or SV could be too short or too long.

To check if weight is the problem you could just put some weights on top of the car(s) and pull them arounds. Or just apply by your hand on top a little down force to minic added weight.(easier than swapping out the wheels.) If the derailing problem goes away with added weight you've save considerable money on SV wheels. Lead weights are really cheap. They come with adhesive backing and little squares for balancing car tires/wheel rims and they could be added underneath the car. And they come in very small weight increments so it's not like you can only add a pound block of lead.

How much weight? Weight the same type of car with SV wheels, then the Accucraft wheeled car. The difference is the weight to add. Or simpler if you have extra wheels laying around compare those.

I have some Euro style Accucraft cars that also tended to derail. They all work just fine with a little lead.

You also might save the cost of new couplers by trying the weight experiment first.

The weight problem is typical with plastic cars. Lightweight (plastic) cars are very unforgiving of any anominaly with trucks, wheels, couplers or track.

If the wheel specs are off, like back-to-back spacing or axle length again the fix is easy and cheaper than new SV wheels.

Then again you just might want the physiological justification for having all of your rolling stock with new shiny steel wheels. Something I think many of us can relate to. Go for it.

One other thought, do your derailing cars derail on any friends layouts? If not, there is one source of the problem. We all think our layout is just right-to-prefect when in reality it isn't but we're blind to the flaw.

Good luck, hope you don't have to spend all that money on new wheels. They are a heap of money.
 

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Tim,
Any or all of the things mentioned about track, trucks, wheels, or couplers are a possibility.
But, I can say for sure if you have the early cars and no angle brackets on the trucks the side frames will tuck in and cause the axles to bind,causing the problems you mention.

Rick
 

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I have many Accucraft cars. The wheel sets on the early cars had prototypical flanges and caused frequent derailments.

I took apart the trucks, removed the brass inserts, installed ball bearings (perfect fit) withthe result that the axle hole would take the 1/8" diameter standard wheelsets. I use the Bachmann fine scale ones. Now no derailments and very smooth running cars.

Stan Ames
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Stanley what size ball bearing races did you use? I was thinking of turning down the original Accucraft wheelsets to make the flanges taller.....
 

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I think David and Stanley are on the right track.

I had the same problem on my track when I got the Accucraft cars. It is a combination of the small prototypical flanges and the length of the cars. I found that the problem was where the track was twisted slightly and my Bachmann cars had no problem but the Accucraft would raise one corner enough for the flange to jump the rail.

I took a straight 2x4 the length of the cars and slid it around the track. If I found a section where it was rocking like a chair with a short leg, I corrected the problem by shimming it up or adding ballast.

This fixed the problem and I now have prototypical cars running on the layout.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
My #835 Kadee couplers showed up, as well as the L brackets from Accucraft. All cars now have the kadee couplers, and the ones that were missing the L brackets now have them. One big difference on the Kadee couplers, was the amount of travel from left to right or swing, that the couples have compared to the Accucraft ones. Secondly, was the way they moved more freely. The Accucraft ones have stiff springs. With this additional movement, and no sticking in position like the old ones, the cars can go around curves without pulling or binding the next car. The result is no derailments. I did not alter the wheels what so ever. While the Kadee couplers are not as prototypical as the Accucraft ones, they sure took away a lot of headaches.
 
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