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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter #1
OK....let's say you just bought a new car and it was delivered by USPS or UPS. If I wanted to develop a checklist to get the car from that new, in-the-box status it had when it arrived to a ready-to-run status, what should be checked, adjusted, lubed, etc? I know of a few things...coupler height, back to back wheel gauge, etc.

What would be a good list of things to check, adjust, and lube before operations?
 

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Super Modulator
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Inspect for broken or loose detail parts.
Check bolsters for play holding the trucks (and possibly remove truck and inspect) - too much car rocks, too little car derails
check for interference between coupler draft gear and axle if truck mounted coupler
check for interference between coupler and body if truck mounted coupler
check operation of draft gear of coupler
check up and down and side to side motion of coupler
check weight (some cars are too light)
check rolling resistance / journals

That's a start
 

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A Steamed Elder
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If you're into modeling Colorado narrow gauge like I am, what's to check?!! Baling wire and chewing gum!
 

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Hi Mike,

Sounds like you're after an in-service checklist, not a maintenance list.

The in-service stuff has been pretty well covered, but here's some general maintenance stuff to look at. Some of it depends on how and where you store your equipment...

Loose detail parts, some things mysteriously detach themselves after being used for a while.

Condition of paint, touch up derailment damage if needed.

Wheel journal/bearing wear. Maintain as needed, if they're sealed like mine, RTF.

Wheel buildup/wear. A good time to scrape the buildup off of the wheel treads if there's any. If you put on many miles, make sure they are not dished.

Make sure the screw holding the truck to the car isn't loose or working it's way out. If it's already fallen out, you know it since you're holding the car. My freight cars rarely get fingered and I occasionally find one where the carbody has been riding around on the truck by gravity for who knows how long.

Couplers, make sure they haven't started sagging for some reason. Also, make sure one (or both) springs haven't gotten weak or somehow managed to escape the coupler pocket.

That's the normal stuff I check, YMMV.

Regards,
pk
 

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Premium Member
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Mike,

The things I check are:
1. Do the trucks rotate freely and easily? As an example, I bought two NH boxcars. Both were from the same run, different numbers. On one of the cars, the washers were missing. This prevented smooth rotation of the trucks.

2. I swap out all plastic wheels for metal ones. I don't measure the wheel gauge.
3. Secure loose detail parts.
4. Install either LGB or aristo couplers.
5. Put a spot of oil on all the axles.


But, your topic question: What should be on it? is a bit vauge, since we all approach this slightly differently. In other words, what is important for you is not as important for me, so therefore I do not necessarily consider things like checking the back to back spacing of the wheels as critical for me. Know what I mean?
 

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I usually put metal wheels on, then put it on the track.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
This is getting better....what other things? Perhaps I should have called this a car "quality assurance check"...instead of a maintenance check...but I was really after what should be done when you FIRST get a car. (I've been astounded by some of the stuff I've heard.) The stuff I was looking for included QA for items that could be screwed up...and things that should be done before placing it into service.
 

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A lot of these guys are a lot more meticulous than I am. Like a couple of others have said, I just look it over to make sure it looks okay, and put it on the track and start pulling it! So far that has been all it has taken out of roughly 60-70 cars.

Ed
 
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