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TO: Kadee Quality Products

On Sunday a discussion ensued on the Digitrax Forum regarding the following by a fellow named Terry I was interested at the time because I wondered if it pertained to #502 trucks which I have, but I see now how the self system works (a chap took the truck off a Kadee Box car to show me) and it does not.


Hi all, Sorry that this isn't a Digitrax question but can't get an answer on any other site that I'm a member of. I hope I'm not being out of line, and thank you in advance for any help. I just purchased some HO Kadee box cars and was surprised to find that they don't roll as well as some other cars I have with metal wheels. They also seem to make a noise as if something is rubbing as they are being pulled by a train. These are new cars, never used. I'm wondering if anyone has had the same experience or if they know of a fix for this problem. Thank you!! Terry

From: "Scott Subject: Re: Kadee box cars I just purchased some HO Kadee box cars and was surprised to find that they don't roll as well as some other cars I have with metal wheels. They also seem to make a noise as if something is rubbing as they are being pulled by a train.

I have 8 of these and have experienced the same problem. There is a tool that MicroMark sells (sorry I don't remember the name of it and many train hobby shops sell it) that is used to hollow-out the side frame journals to clean out molding material and to make it a better fit for the pointed end of the axle. I have heard that this tool is only supposed to be used on plastic trucks but I have used it with pretty good success on the Kadee metal side frames.

Then squirt a small shot of Kadee's graphite lubricant into the bearing area. Having done this, they will roll better but never as well as the equivalently weighted car with plastic truck side frames.

I also found that I had to remove the plastic centering boss where the truck retaining screws goes through the truck and cut off the centering "wings" to get derailment free operation. I use the heavier duty sprue cutters and small file to clean the cuts. Reinsert it and the screw. You no longer have the truck centering feature but you will be able to back the cars through curved turnouts.

The comments about our cars not rolling very well is not unusual. For quite sometime we had problems with our trucks getting tweaked during shipping. The shippers would slam the packages so hard that it would compress the springs in the trucks and cause the side frames to either come apart or get misaligned. The misalignment would cause the trucks not to roll properly. The misalignment is easily fixed and with a little fine tuning the trucks will almost as good as any others. We have done a bit of work on the side frames to help and we've added a retaining clip to the trucks on our PS-2 hopper cars so the slamming during shipping does not tweak the trucks.

The unfortunate thing is that many people will not contact us directly to find out what to do about the rolling problems. If what we tell them to do does not work, we'll replace the trucks that they can't get rolling properly.

Sam Clark Kadee Quality Products

-- ken ison (kvison @ shaw.ca), July 28, 2004.

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