IHC Passenger Cars

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by justind, Nov 2, 2001.

  1. justind

    justind Member

    Well my first passenger cars arrived back on the 31st, and I had my first chance to open and run them last night. Of the 4 that I opened, 3 had trucks that fell to the floor the moment I lifted the cars out of the packaging. On the tracks, the cars lean and wobble horribly. I read that on larger cars you need a 3-point suspension that means one truck will allow the car to sway. I figured slightly, but this is crazy. My observation car wobbles horrendously even on the straights. On the curves some lean as far as 30 - 35 degrees outward. When they are sitting by themselves on the tracks I can use a finger to cause them to lean side to side 30 degrees. As these are my first passenger cars I thought I would ask if this is normal??? If not, how do I shim up where the trucks connect to the frame to take out this looseness.
    On another note, these are the IHC Heavyweight Passenger Cars. The appearance is great and they track extremely well. In fact, I was running them on 18" radius last night with no derailments (though they did look funny). I am reluctant to do much to take out the sway only to find out the cars can no longer track on some of my tighter radius curves.

    Thanks in advance for any help
  2. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member

    Weebles wobble and sometimes they fall down

    I had a similar problem with some cheapo Model Power streamlined passenger cars I got. I can't complain too terribly much, because I paid like $7 for a coach, a vista dome and an observation car. The problem was that they came with bent axles! Right out of the box! The vista dome wobbled so bad that it would come uncoupled. They couldn't even handle the rigors of going around a 19" radius curve (N-scale).

    I replaced the trucks and couplers with Micro-Trains, and after a little bit of tweaking (MT doesn't make a truck that precisely fits these cars) they run like champs! Very smooth, and very quiet. Altogether I still only spent about $15, I think.

  3. justind

    justind Member

    They don't wobble enough to come uncoupled (I am still using horn couplers on them). But they do lean far enough (especially if you are going fast enough) that I am worried about them derailing themselves around curves. For the most part I was wondering if it was normal for these long passenger cars to wobble out of necessity (in order to help them stay coupled on curves, handle tight radius, etc). Someone suggested using nuts and bolts instead of the clip setup that holds the trucks to the underside of the cars and I might give that a try. As I am limited in curve radius I am only running the baggage and observation cars and occasionally a sleeper, not long consists so a little wobble won't bother me. If I can live with the way they look on the curves, I can live with this...
  4. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member

    Are they topheavy? Maybe adding weight to the bottom might help...

  5. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member

    Oh, and try removing the trucks from the models, put a truck on the rails and hold your finger on top of it firmly and push it along. If you feel vibration, then you've surely (I know, don't call you Shirley) got bend axles. If you give the truck a good push and it doesn't roll very far, that's another indication. Trucks with good axles should roll freely as long as the axles can turn freely.

  6. kf4jqd

    kf4jqd Active Member

    Same problem


    I had the same problem with mine IHC passenger cars! Here's how I solved the problem, only temperory. I taped nuts to the inside of the cars. Sounds crazy but it works! Why did I say it is only temperory? Because I want to add the "guts" to it. The end car I added a flashing LED to it. I use "AA" batteries to power it. I am haveing balancing problems with it. I think I will add the watch batteries instead and put back in the nuts.

  7. IMRL393

    IMRL393 Member

    If you ever want to replace those horn hook couplers, and assuming you are not going to replace the IHC trucks, I recommend going with McHenry Couplers (Walthers # 443-52). These were both cheap and easy to replace. I've put them on my IHC ROCK Pullman Standard observation car - works well with my Walthers Budd ROCK passenger and Diner cars. Adding a P2K E8A in Rocket colors makes a nice Quad City Rocket train !!!


    You said the trucks fell off when you took them out of the box - is there a probem with truck connection that results in such a tilt ??

    Good Luck!

    - George
  8. kf4jqd

    kf4jqd Active Member



    You must have the same IHC cars as I do. Look at that BIG red lense on the end car. I added a flashing LED there. I also replace those darn couplers!


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  9. justind

    justind Member

    I think the cars are a little top heavy and I plan to weight them. The looseness in the trucks I feel is the biggest problem. I have some that are so loose when you pick the car up off the tracks, the truck falls off. I sent an email to IHC today so I will see what they suggest. In the end, I may ask to have some of the trucks replaced as it seems the pin that holds them in place is the problem.
  10. IMRL393

    IMRL393 Member

    Justind -

    I think you are on the right track (pun intended!).
    Hope it works out - let us know what IHC says.

    Besides replaceing the couplers (those horn hooks HAD to go!), I also WANTED to up-grade the trucks - but IHC's better trucks are on infinite backorder at Walthers! Maybe someday ......


    Are you going to buy the "insides" also ?
    I got the observation car insides, but it will need some paint to get rid of the "dayglow" color! Even for the ROCK, SCARLET is a bit much for the passenger seats and floor !!! :eek:

    Would hate to be a passenger in THAT color scheme!

    Andy - I have ALMOST the same car - only mine is in the silver instead of the red. I think I want to put a "Quad City Rocket" tailsign on the end of my observation car. I like your idea, too! Will try that if my idea doesn't pan out.

    Have a good evening, all!

    - George
  11. justind

    justind Member

    new pins

    I wrote IHC and told them the problem and specifically that the trucks were falling off and asked if I could have some new pins for the trucks were they join the car. They took my address and will ship out 4 of 'em with washers and that should work to fix a couple of the more wobbly-wagons like my poor observation car. The rest I think can be fixed with a few well placed pennies for weight. My dad still wants to chop about 4" from the center of them, but I put a stop to that. I got a flyer in the mail yesterday that was advertising a pack of 6 old time Mantua freiight cars for $23. They aren't the heavies (at least they weren't advertised as heavies) so is this a deal worth investing in...they also have a package of modern cars (I think 5) for $23 as well. I can't remember the company but I can find out for anyone interested.
  12. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    wobbly passengers


    They should not wobble. Period. They should not wobble so much that it is disconcerting, and especially if you pick them up, the trucks fall off! Send them back for replacement. I mean they might wobble a little bit, but certainly not to the exctent you describe. Especially if you can push them to one side with your finger and they stay in that position. Send them back and demand replacements.

    As for the length and looking funny on the curves? Welcome to tight curves! Mine look the same. :(
  13. George

    George Member


    First, ditch those 18" radius curves before you go any further, unless your space allowance doesn't allow for anything larger.

    Those passenger cars will handle 18" curves, but they look like Lionel cars round a sharp curve when they hit one at speed. Go for a minimum of 22" radius curves, or move into using Flextrack, giving yourself a MINIMUM curve radius of 24". Go for 30" or higher if you have the space, you will be glad you did!

    Also, you do have to add weight to them. First, put in an interior for a little weight. Next, you may try and switch to metal trucks which may solve the entire problem. After you've done that, if they still rock around the curves, get some flat weights for under the interior floor.

    You will have to play with it a bit, but the curve radius you're using is the biggest part of the problem. Believe it or not.
  14. kf4jqd

    kf4jqd Active Member

    Not listening to the experts!


    This is what happens when you don't listen to the experts. I have a 4ft x 4ft spur on my layout. I used 18" raduis. I was warned by the local modelers, when I purchased my IHC cars. They warned me I WILL have problems. I sure did!

    Look at my picture very carefully and you will see what I mean. To make matters worst. I added a tunnel! That was a stupid move. After some modifications, it doen'st derail as often. Next time I wont be doing something like this! I learned by not listening and making mistakes.

    Best of luck,

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  15. kf4jqd

    kf4jqd Active Member

    Another stupid move part 1


    Here is another stupid move. I wanted a loop inside of line 2. The track is 18" raduis. It works fine for small frieght but not the IHC cars!


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  16. kf4jqd

    kf4jqd Active Member

    Stupid move part 2


    This is part 2. Look at that stupid move I had done! I put my main passenger station in that darn loop! I could never use it because the train would derail! Since then I moved it out of there. Works alot better.

    I have learned alot. Most of the time it's poor planing. With being on a budget, I can't just rip it out and start over. Even though I wanted too! So what is the loop being used for? It's being used for storing extra rolling stock. (Didn't add a yard..another dumb move). And storing my extra locos in the round house.

    I know the experts on here would laugh at my mistakes but I did learn from them! I guess over time, that's what makes us experts! Would I do it ALL over again with different planning. Most diffenately. I know have computer software to help me lay the track unlike when I started.


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  17. George

    George Member

    Hello Andy!

    Try installing 2 rerailers inside your tunnels, out of sight just inside from the ends. That will dramatically reduce running downtime, but it's no cure for bad trackwork, or a contributing clearance factor.
  18. kf4jqd

    kf4jqd Active Member

    Fixed problem!

    Hello George:

    I fixed my problem! Yesterday, I was running my IHC cars. Darn things kept derailing outside the small tunnel. So I sat in a chair and watched it as it was coming out. Here's what a found. I few specs of ballast on the inside rail. I removed it with my hobby knife. NO MORE derailments. I ran the train for almost 2 hours with no problems. I still wont add the turn in my next layout!

  19. justind

    justind Member

    I would love to ditch the tight radius, but I am in a 1-bedroom apartment and this is power-loc track on carpet. Curves are certainly aggrevating the issue, but some are just bad cars. I am going to weight them and replace the pins on the worst ones.

    Andy, I have actually been able to run them on 18" with S curves and although it looks hilarious, they track well and I have yet to derail (except on those stupid lifelike switches, but that is because those are pure trash). When the time comes to build a layout if space permits I will shoot for a huge radius on the mainline and run point to point (hate duckunders) but might rig a movable section. Off of the mainline I will probably stick to 18" though...

    Anyway, overall I am satisfied with them. Like I said, I am running powerloc track on carpet so my expectations aren't really very high sometimes :) . When school is over I can ditch this apartment (hopefully) and then we will see...

    Thanks for the advice guys,
  20. George

    George Member


    Also, inspect the wheels carefully. If they're plastic, they may have flash or spurs that can be trimmed down properly with a blade or hobby knife.

    A lot of plastic wheels are broken off of sprues at the factory, and have a small spur on them at one point. Dirt and carpet fuzz can produce the same problem as well.:)

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