Sunday, February 13, 2011

Installing Micro-Trains trucks on Bachmann passenger cars

I had two Bachmann passenger cars forever.  These are not the really small ones that are sold as the “old time passenger cars” nor are they as long as the standard passenger cars.  Something in between.  I can’t remember exactly what they were called.  Well, this is what they look like:

DSC06430_Bachmann passenger car conversion

DSC06431_Bachmann passenger car conversion

Anyways, these are extremely low quality cars.  The pickup on the metal wheels is shoddy at best and they derail very easily.  Also the wheels didn’t roll easily either.  I was going to eBay them off, but my son just fell in love with these and would not let them go.  So, I decided to make them serviceable.

Since the lighting was terrible, I decided to do away with it.  Also, these cars do not have any interior details so the lighting highlights that lack of detail and just makes them look worse.  Almost my entire collection has micro-trains couplers, so I decided the trucks on these cars with MT trucks.  I couldn’t find a conversion kit that was listed for this model, so I went with 1017-S passenger car trucks. I chose silver to match the roof and the underside of the passenger cars.

DSC06436_Bachmann passenger car conversion

The one thing that’s a little challenging is the screw head isn’t wide enough to hold the trucks in place, and the plastic plug that comes with the trucks doesn’t fit the opening under the car.  The closest thing you could do is use one of the adaptors that come with the kit.  Specifically, the one shown in the picture below:

DSC06433_Bachmann passenger car conversion

But the screw doesn’t fit through it, so I had to gently file the inside of the adaptor with a round file.  After that, the screw fit through the adaptor just fine.

DSC06435_Bachmann passenger car conversion

DSC06434_Bachmann passenger car conversion

Here’s a side-by-side shot of the two cars, one with the original trucks and the other with the MT trucks:

DSC06438_Bachmann passenger car conversion

And here they are on the track together after the conversion is complete.

DSC06460_Bachmann Consolidation

They roll on the tracks absolutely perfect with the new trucks and the looks improved substantially too I think.  Next, I want to do the following with these cars:

  1. Weather them so they look a little better.
  2. Install lighting.  I’d like to use the easy-peasy lighting kit from Rapido trains, but the model they have is way too long.  I’m hoping they can come up with a shorter version for N scale.
  3. Install interior details.

1 comment:

  1. Great info on the trucks for the passenger cars!
    I have three Great Northern cars that need new trucks. The originals are out of gauge, very narrow. Generally shot.
    Thanks again, Hawk