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Aristo-Craft's MKT double door box car.


Ted Doskaris


October 16, 2008


First - a little prototype information:


This yellow Aristo MKT car is prototypically authentic being described and shown in the following book:


Missouri - Kansas - Texas Lines in Color


By Raymond B. George, Jr.


Published by Morning Sun Books, Inc.


ISBN 1-878887-28-9


Unfortunately, the pictures in this book don't show a full side view, but on page 12 the description characterizes the car as a Katy 40 foot autocar converted to mail storage service.


Pages 12, 15 and 24 all show this yellow colored car as the first car behind a steam loco within a passenger train, circa 1943 - 1945.





The Aristo car:


The Aristo car is a nicely executed replica of the prototype with scripting that includes "New 10-45" and "Railway Express Agency Storage Mail". Aristo's Michael J. typically does an excellent job on the artwork and graphics, and this car shows it.


This car was made for the 2008 Midwest Large Scale Train Show - offered in 4 road numbers.


Thankfully, it comes standard with factory installed metal wheels - unlike its comparable standard Aristo offerings - and as such is a good value for the money.


Shown below is the packaging for two example Aristo MKT 40 foot double door box cars having different road numbers. I purchased the two examples in road numbers 45051 & 45057, and my thanks to Robby of RLD Hobbies for getting these for me.





Shown below is one of the two cars with its yellow box still factory wrapped in tissue paper.





Show below is MKT car road number 45057 with its clear plastic box in the background.


The factory now includes the little booklet within the plastic box with the car.





The side view of the car is shown below:





Show below are different views of the two yellow MKT cars coupled together:











Some factory problems:


Unfortunately, the floor assemblies on these example Aristo MKT cars are installed with the incorrect orientation! This is very disconcerting and disappointing.


This incorrect practice had gone on for more than a decade with many of Aristo's other 40 foot type freight cars that share the same floor assembly. But it seemed to have been corrected since the more recent, prior factory production run cars have been OK.


I am aware that Aristo's factory was moved not too long ago, so this may be a result of poor communication and lack of attentiveness associated with that move.


To wit, shown below is an underside comparison with the brown Cotton Belt car on the top and the yellow MKT car on the bottom.


It can be seen that the factory has reverted to incorrectly installing the floor assembly with the wrong orientation on these MKT cars. The large air tank should be closest to the NON brake wheel bulkhead like the correct Cotton Belt car shown at the top of the picture.





Also, note the metal washer is now positioned on top of the truck bolster for the MKT car.


Prior production run double door cars had the factory installed metal washer located under the truck over the floor bolster pivot post. Doing this will provide more car articulation for less than perfect track work - but may result in some car wobble during train operation. (So long as the factory continues to supply the washer as they should, it is not a big deal to change it to suit one's needs.)





Re-orienting the floor will be very easy to do with these double door cars as you can easily get your hand inside to help guide the long screws for R & R that retain the floor to the car body.





The interior is shown below








Bolster Posts:


The split floor bolster posts seem to be fixed compared to those that plagued the prior factory production run of double door box cars, but there is evidence of a potential problem. (The floor assembly is shared with many other Aristo freight car offerings - so any split post problems would be expected impact these, accordingly.)


In the way of an example, note the new MKT car shown below on the bottom of the picture does not appear to have a split floor pivot post like that of the Cotton Belt car on the top.





Shown below is a closer view of the split post on the prior production run Cotton Belt car:





RJ Deberg first reported this problem on the Aristo Forum sometime ago - so it appears the factory has since corrected this with this newer, second production run, example MKT car.


However, looking at the second MKT example car's bolster post shows some deformation with it - appearing to look like a split that was filled in!





The opposite end of this car is shown below:





Having examining many older production run floor assemblies on Aristo cars I have, they do not show such flaws - so it appears the factory process is still not as perfected as it once was.





For information about Aristo's 40 foot car type floors, including floor R & R and wrong orientation, see the article I wrote sometime ago that is hosted for me on Greg's web site at the below link:


Topic, "Lowered floors for 40' cars"


http://www.elmassian.com/trains-mainmenu-27/ted-doskaris-vignettes-mainmenu-157/lowered-floors-for-40-cars-mainmenu-189





-Ted
 

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Ted I also had received the new MKT car but forgot to look at the underframe orientation. Thanks for that info. I have also noticed that truck bolster pin looked like it had been repaired. I believe you are correct as to when they moved the factory the QC did not follow. Seems to be more problems since the move. My first double door the C&NW did have the washer mounted as the new MKT car. As usual good write up. Later RJD
 
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Ted,
They look like nice box cars.. nice to see ya over here on this forum..

Nick
 

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I am delighted with my MKT Boxcar which a kind friend obtained for me. It is very good value indeed: more so for us this side of the pond. Even with shipping costs, the price is still well below that for a similar car in the UK. (approx $90 against approx $140 with metal wheels added).

Fitting the Aristo TE RX has made mine into a battery car and I expect it to get very good use during the forthcoming winter.


Regarding the floor orientation. I realize that Ted can see his cars underneaths as he has an elevated railroad, but as mine is at ground level the only way I could see the underneath of the car floor would be to lie prostrate on the ground. So this is not very relevant issue to me.

Incidentally, I have no bolster post issues on any of my Aristo stock.
 

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Alan : Just curious as to how many of the AC cars you have that you have removed the trucks to check the post. Later RJD
 

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Alan, while your post is "technically true", your post could be misleading in my opinion.

May I quote your post from the Aristo forum, dated 3-15-08?


"In the light of this thread and as it is still raining here, therefore not a train running day, I decided to look at my Aristo boxcars, reefers, gonds and flat cars.

Unless I removed the trucks I found that I could not view the bolster posts.
So, following an old adage "let sleeping dogs lie" I decided instead to just gently move the trucks on the pivot and "feel" the response. I was quite happy with this method and I was unable to detect anything that might be a problem.

Should any problem arise in the future I know how to fix it - anyway if I don't, or forget, there is much good advice here. "
;)

So I submit you have no idea if any of your bolster posts are split or not.

I will agree that you do not have any trouble now, but you MIGHT have split posts that MIGHT split completely through as other have HAD happen.

It's your decision on how far you want to investigate your own rolling stock, and how "bothered" you might be with any cracks found.


But in the context of this thread, my opinion is that your post implies you do not have any split posts. Many people had them, but did not realize.

I submit that a split post could easily cause the truck bolster screw to loosen, fall out, and several people have reported that their posts eventually split enough to fall apart.


This is not Aristo bashing, but this flaw in the product is something that is not the norm for model trains.

It might be worthy of note that Lewis promised free replacements: (in the same thread on the 14th of March 2008)


Dear All,

By mistake, I deleted R.J.'s thread trying to merge it here. My sincere apologies for this error. Anyway, I will bring in free replacement bottoms in a few months. However, I wonder if this split is cosmetic only and does not affect the running of the car. We have never had a complaint or return due to a defect of this type and the screw should hold the truck in place anyway.

This doesn't make it right and we will do a running fix ASAP in the production line. We will also replace the bottoms when they arrive for free. However, I don't think you have to worry about the running of your trains at this time unless there are reports of problems that might now crop up.

All the best,
Lewis Polk

On May 28,2008, Lewis quantified the cause of the problem:

Dear All,

This car bottom is an old mold and an injection pin eventually broke. It got replaced by one too large causing the hole to be too small and thus the screw split the post. It's being changed now and I have ordered replacement bottoms that can be exchanged when the corrected version comes in. Thanks for spotting the problem as after 20 years we stopped checking.

All the best,
Lewis Polk


And, gave a schedule for delivery: (May 29, 2008)


Dear R.J.

The replacement floors are scheduled for production in August, which means late September delivery. The same for the Road Railer wheel assemblies.

All the best,
Lewis Polk



So, if the owner of the company acknowledges the problem and says he will supply free replacement parts, this is a good response and I commend Aristo. It does validate there is a problem, inarguably.


No one wants a damaged mold to continue to create this problem, and cause bad press.


I hope the new floors are available soon... I am assuming that Lewis meant September 2008.


Regards, Greg
 
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Welp if you cant fix them rite, cob um up with a quick fix and leave it like that, the customer dont care..........we sure dont, other wise we would have done a running fix like we said we would..............

P.S. by the way i have 9 of the DD's and 6 of the bearing equipt single doors and all have cracked bolster shafts.....
 

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During the late summer from curiosity, coupled with routine maintenance on a wet day, I decided to check over my Aristo stock.

I had twelve (now thirteen) items of Aristo 40ft. stock all of which were purchased over the last two years. Three items came direct from the States the rest were sourced in the UK. However, as I am at the point in life where I have given up worrying over small concerns - compared with the misfortunes and hardships encountered by many in the world - I rest content with what my railroad has.
 

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Ted,

The new arrivals PDF on the aristo site shows part number 29706 "Lowered Floors for 40' cars" arriving next Wednesday. Those must be the ones Lewis was talking about. I guess I should check my plug door boxcar to see if it need a new floor as well.

Mark
 

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I know about buying something new and having it cracked, I also know about scratchbuilding and using a spacer in that area and a longer screw.
to this day I have not checked to see if any are bad. If I have a car running bad then I check it.
But to take the time (for me) to change out a bottom for something that is not causing me any trouble just is not worth it.
Just my thoughts.
 

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Yep, I agree Marty, no need to do anything until/if it fails. No question.

The question I would pose is: Will a cracked "boss" last the life of the car, or will it eventually split all the way and require repair. Do you mind paying $55 for a car with this defect?

I think Aristo is doing the right thing, but if I had any cars with split posts, I guess I would request the replacement floor now, while "free", as I expect these cars to outlast me!

I guess I would be irritated in the future if they failed. Maybe if Aristo would warrant the floors for 5 years or so, I would do nothing.

Regards, Greg
 

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Ted,

I am glad you are continuing your vignettes. I appreciate the info on the prototype car. I got two of the MKT cars and they are sharp looking. Nice to know the history of the car.

I have one CNJ Plug Door car and one NYC double door car. Both have one end with the split posts. I have not yet checked my MKT cars. I have had all the trucks off of my freight cars for weathering and those are the only two cars with the split posts.
I am not too worried about the split posts but will get the replacement floors as offered by Lewis.
 

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I haven't taken mine apart to see. I have run it.

Oh, this one should have the new KayDee mounting pads.
 
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No it shouldnt, if its its cracked its cracked. ihave found a short term fix of putting JD weld in the hole then screw the screw in and let it dry, they seem to be fine then..
Nick..
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Posted By Ward H on 10/23/2008 7:16 PM
Ted,

I am glad you are continuing your vignettes. I appreciate the info on the prototype car. I got two of the MKT cars and they are sharp looking. Nice to know the history of the car.

I have one CNJ Plug Door car and one NYC double door car. Both have one end with the split posts. I have not yet checked my MKT cars. I have had all the trucks off of my freight cars for weathering and those are the only two cars with the split posts.
I am not too worried about the split posts but will get the replacement floors as offered by Lewis.


Thank you Ward.

Being new on MLS, I am still trying to get use to dealing with the mechanics of implementing the vignettes with the wisiwyg editor. Up till now I have not found it to be at all friendly for mass copy / paste as I do the source material off-line.

The next product review I am about to submit is about the Aristo 50 ton hopper car - maybe by tomorrow. Since I have been changed to a 1st class member, the wysiwyg editor is presented with more features, and I hope the preview feature will then work for me for showing the pictures.


-Ted
 

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Actually, the car does have the "new" "kadee" mounting pad.

The screw holes DO match the layout of only one Kadee draft gear, the right one, the Kadee 830.

But the "pad" is at the wrong height, and the screw holes are placed at the wrong distance from the end of the car, such that the 830 sticks out from the car by a huge and unacceptable amount, looks like one of the early "shock control" box cars with the extended draft gear.

Unbelievable. It's basically worthless, I used the "pad" on a new Aristo covered gondola with the same floor, had to mill down the "pad" which is 2 curved ribs, and then drill new holes. How can you get something so simple wrong?





Regards, Greg
 

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I use the 820 Coupler and the pad is at the correct height. No shims or cutting required. But you do have to drill new mounting holes.
 

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Interesting, maybe someone sent the #1 scale couplers to China instead of the G gauge ones!

Funny how the mounting holes are way off isn't it?

How to get something so simple done wrong?

Regards, Greg
 
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