Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by jimnrose, Aug 2, 2002.

  1. jimnrose

    jimnrose Member

    I'll be needing quite a few coal & gravel hoppers and was wondering if there was a preference on brand. Upgrading to metal wheels and Kaydee couplers adds expense, so I was hoping to start with a good hopper.
    Thanks, Jim
  2. rockislandmike

    rockislandmike Active Member

    I know they don't have metal wheels, but I just put together a quintuple-set of Athearn ATSF coal hoppers last night (arrived from eBay earlier in the day). I usually consider Athearn 'adequate' and 'good value', but these hoppers are very very nice. And like most Athearns accept #5's quite easily in their pocket. I had to add some extra weight inside the hoppers, but other than that, they do look very smashing.

    Other than that, you might wanna upgrade to Walthers or Intermountain, but I'm not sure what kind of hoppers either makes.
  3. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    Accurail makes nice hoppers also, but think with all these brands you will want to change to metal wheels and kadee's. The Accurails come with knuckle couples, but I don't like them. I use Kadee almost exclusively, I leave the Proto couplers in place till I have a problem with them, then install Kadee.

  4. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    You may also want to check the boswer line of hopper cars also.these are sharp looking cars.
  5. NYCentral

    NYCentral Member

  6. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    If you mail order bulk, couplers are less than a buck per car Part Number: 380-11. Rarely need the draft gear box, but it's only $2 for 20 Part Number: 380-232.

    Wheelsets are also about a buck a pair for smoothies Part Number: 380-520 or wibbed Part Number: 380-523 . It sounds like you won't get metal wheels even with some of the "quality" cars.

    So depending on what you charge yourself for your labor :D you can't come out ahead if you spend too much trying to get those features. You also need to add I think 7.50 for shipping if you were to order from 1stplace.

    To me, it's easy and enjoyable work to upgrade. I do find The Tool is very helpful in gertting metal wheels to spin freely in palstic trucks.

  7. jimnrose

    jimnrose Member

    Thanks everyone for your inputs. I decided to go with Phil's recommendation and order the Stewart Hoppers @ $5/ea, not only for the low price but also I'm from the Hudson Valley and the name selections have good NE selections plus the couplers look like Kaydee. All I need to do is change the plastic wheels.
    Take care, Jim
  8. NYCentral

    NYCentral Member

    Jim, when you do change the wheels use P2K, they fit, also I (like Jon) recommend, when you can, pick up The Tool. Great investment.
  9. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    Are the P2K's the best metal wheelsets? I've only used Kaydee.

  10. jimnrose

    jimnrose Member

    I was having a lot of problems with metal wheels on IHC trucks after trying Kaydee and P2K & was told to try Intermountain. They are more money (bulk rate is about $50/100) but sure work great. I don't know anything about 'The Tool". Does it reshape the truck pockets & /or confirm the axle length & bevel?
  11. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    Sorry I broke the link. It's fixed now:

    The Tool

    My understanding is it forms the 60 deg taper and smooths/deburrs. I know before use, the wheels are "sticky" then after wards they spin freely like a nice ball bearing. You can actually spin the wheels, then set the car down on the table and it starts to take off :) That's with old tyco and new Model Die trucks that came with cheap ore cars. Funny, the hobby store guy didn't want to sell it to me. I guess he wants to sell new trucks :)

    Only prob. I've had with it is the little rubber thumb grip rubs on the coupler on the tyco talgo type trucks and makes it hard to impossible to turn. It works so well on the others that I just can't bring myself to cut off the grip. I'll probably convert those to chassis mounted couplers anywho.

  12. marty w.

    marty w. Member

    About Kadees wheels. I have a few sets of them and Kadee blackens every part of their wheelsets including the treads. This comes off the wheels and onto the track. I buffed it off with my dremel tool.

    I use P2k's now and have no problem with them.
    Other people use Intermountain or Jaybee wheelsets because they are heavier than P2k's.

    About The Tool. The Tool has a cutter on one end and the other end has a point on it like the end of a P2k's axle. To use it you insert it into the truck like you would a wheelset. Squeeze the sideframes together and spin the cutter. The cutter will remove any flash in the journal. Flip it end for end and do the other side.
    Works great on Walthers trucks.

    I think I bought mine from MB Klein, but I'm sure other places carry it.

    No only will the metal wheels keep your track cleaner, the "clickty-clack" sound is cool.:cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool:
  13. NYCentral

    NYCentral Member

    The Kadee wheelsets will not fit the Steward hoppers (or at least they didn't the last time I tried, too long). It isn't a matter of which company makes the best metal wheel sets, I use almost all of them. My personal preference does happen to be P2K's.

    The Tool cleans and smoothes out the bevel on your trucks. even a relatively free rolling car will roll much better. I can add about 50% more cars to a train if they all were "tooled" than if they were not. Only problem, your cars will roll on grades that you thought were flat before.:eek:
  14. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    Jay Bee makes a lot more diameters too, but it looks like the wife would have to get a 3rd job fop me to convert :D :D :D

  15. marty w.

    marty w. Member

  16. marty w.

    marty w. Member

    Seems like we are all answering at the same time.
  17. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    It's so EXCITING!!!

  18. NYCentral

    NYCentral Member

    Ok, if you think so. At least we all agree in general anyways!!
  19. marty w.

    marty w. Member

    Hey Phil - Just be glad he's not "MOIST".:D :D :D :D :D :D
    Just kidding-jon:D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D
  20. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    :D :D :D LOL:D :D :D

    NO MOISTURE: It's leads to corrosion problems! :eek:


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