Walthers Amfleet Truck Modification

Since I am such a fan of the Walthers amfleet and horizon passenger cars, I’ll post the howto to modify the wheelsets to make them roll significantly better.  Normally, a locomotive would have trouble pulling three stock cars.  Using this brash bushing modification, train consists of eight or more cars are easy.

The picture above is the default inside bearing truck of an HO scale amfleet passenger car.

You will need a few tools to begin the modifications:

  • Dremel tool (or similar) with cutting disc
  • Long tweezers
  • 1/8” Brass tubing
  • Plastic reaming tool
  • Slow cure thick gel superglue
  • Lubricant (I originally used a graphite based one, but later switched to Labelle #108, a light weight oil, which was less messy and longer lasting).

Begin by reaming out the truck holes to approximately the same size as the brass tubing.   Test fit the tube into the holes to check for a tight fit.  Do this frequently to ensure that the holes do not get too big.

Next, cut the brass tubing into small segments approximately 1/8” long using the cutting wheel.  I find it helpful to do this process all at once.  Remember that each truck requires four bushings.

Use the flat side of the cutting disc to smooth out any abrasions left over from the cutting process.  Additionally, an X-Acto Knife can be used to further clean the inside of the bushings.

Tweezers can be used to insert all four bushings into the plastic truck.  Unless the holes were reamed too large, the bushings should stay in place by pressure fit alone.  Ensure that they don’t go anywhere by using a thick superglue on the top as shown.  Be very careful to not allow it to get inside the inner surface of the bushing.

Wheels can be split by pulling them apart with two hands (this is not easy) into a wheel/axle and insulated wheel side.  Reinsert the wheel into the truck, and press fit the insulated wheel back onto the axle.  Having a piece of test track handy can be useful for checking gauge.  Use a small amount of oil to lubricate the inside of the wheel bushing.  When done, reinstall the truck back onto the passenger car without the metal retaining clip.

-td

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