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Walthers 20th Century Limited not Ready to run

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  • Walthers 20th Century Limited not Ready to run

    I've been doing the subscription purchase of the Walther's 20th Century Limited streamline train.

    I've documented the difficulties in drilling #80 holes for the grabs, and given it up.

    Further I've received all the cars now and am in the process of getting them ready to run on my railroad. The Kentucky Southern is a fairly sizable layout with generous curves on all 300+ feet of mainline and #6 crossovers as well. Walthers labels their cars as capable of 24 inch radius capable except the RPO-Baggage that they say to allow 28 inches. With that in mind let me relate a few observations.

    First, the cars are beautifully finished and look terrific. The interiors are the typical Walthers tan plastic, well detailed but not that great looking.

    Secondly, the cars I've checked so far have some issues negotiating my curves. My first car to go on the test was the Lounge-Observation. It would derail consistently at the rear of the car. Closer examination determined that the framework of the rear truck was hitting the steps on the obs end



    To eliminate this problem I removed the truck and proceeded to mill the framework down to clear the steps.



    As fit was still tight I also tapered the inside of the steps slightly for just a tad bit more clearance.



    I then put the car back together and back on the tracks. The test was repeated, as were the results....derailed again. This time I discovered that a tiny piece of detail (brake line?) was hooking underneath the lower edge of the car side still preventing the truck to swivel enough. I trimmed about 1/32" from the detail part and it then cleared the side of the car.



    After all my mods the car was retested and performed as hoped. I found the little detail was a bit high on other cars as well.



    My next task was to work on the RPO. As per the intructions I notched the center sill to allow more truck swing. I found out, however, that the trucks still had a hang up and examination found that the roughly "U" shaped bracket for the couplers was catching the truck frame and preventing correct swing. I removed those brackets and tapered the edge of them and the trucks cleared.



    At that point I discovered that the little side detail mentioned above was also hitting the car side on this car as well, and I trimmed it.



    Finally I took one of the sleeper cars with 4 wheel trucks out of the box and discovered the same detail was hitting the car sides so trimmed it as well.


    Karl Scribner-Curmudgeon

    Cedar Swamp
    SW of Manistique, MI

    Avatar image by Savannah Lyn Burgess 7-15-2022

  • #2
    All in all they're pretty decent cars but take some tinkering to make them right.
    Karl Scribner-Curmudgeon

    Cedar Swamp
    SW of Manistique, MI

    Avatar image by Savannah Lyn Burgess 7-15-2022

    Comment


    • #3
      Karl

      Without question, you are to be congratulated for your perseverance and determination to get your Walthers 20th Century Limited car running as advertised and expected. It is hard to comprehend why Walter's quality control never uncovered all the 'errors' on the running end.

      Peter

      Comment


      • #4
        Don Mills replied to me on another forum I posted this on that his Walthers Empire Builder suffered similar problems and took considerable fiddling to get running right. At ~$60 each you would expect a bit more. I can't afford enough #79-80 bits to drill all the holes in all the cars for the grabs. Running as a train on my layout you really don't notice the car that I did, using about 6 bits.
        Karl Scribner-Curmudgeon

        Cedar Swamp
        SW of Manistique, MI

        Avatar image by Savannah Lyn Burgess 7-15-2022

        Comment


        • #5
          Hi Folks,

          Do the wheels squeek on these cars like on all my Walthers passenger cars? If so, any remedies? Thanks in advance.

          Comment


          • #6
            quote:


            Originally posted by HW


            Hi Folks,

            Do the wheels squeek on these cars like on all my Walthers passenger cars? If so, any remedies? Thanks in advance.


            Some place in the instructions it says to lubricate the trucks/axles. I did and have had no squeaking except one truck that was not assembled right. At times it sounded almost like one axle was locking up and dragging. I took the truck apart and fixed it, rearranged the axles and traded ends on the car and it SEEMS to be fixed. But a lube of the axles is a good thing.
            Karl Scribner-Curmudgeon

            Cedar Swamp
            SW of Manistique, MI

            Avatar image by Savannah Lyn Burgess 7-15-2022

            Comment


            • #7
              Hi Karl,

              I've done that with no change. I assume that the oil is applied where the axle needle point meets the truck. (?)

              Comment


              • #8
                quote:


                Originally posted by HW


                Hi Karl,

                I've done that with no change. I assume that the oil is applied where the axle needle point meets the truck. (?)


                Yes, I did take the wheels out to see that the oil did get into the point of the hole.
                Karl Scribner-Curmudgeon

                Cedar Swamp
                SW of Manistique, MI

                Avatar image by Savannah Lyn Burgess 7-15-2022

                Comment


                • #9
                  I spoke too soon - after continuous running for 30 minutes or more, the squeek has gone for the test car. I did actually try this when I got my first batch of these cars without success. I'm always wary of using too much oil; perhaps I should have been more thorough the first time. Thanks for your help.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thanks Karl, I also have bought the Walthers 20th Cen LTD set, and you have saved me hours of trying to figure out why I can't properly lay curved track. :erm:

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Karl, I'm glad you got your cars running properly but have to agree with Peter that this should long ago, be caught by "quality control" at Walthers. Its not like these are 5.99 tyco specials.

                      Now that we have seen the bottoms and their trouble spots how about a couple shots of the money side of the cars? Thanks Pat

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I encountered the same problem with the two cars marked "New York Central" instead of "Pullman" ... even on very large radius turns and discovered a somewhat simpler fix than the one described here. Simply remove the trucks from the car and use a small Phillips screw driver to open the four screws on the underside of each truck by two complete turns. This raises the car just enough so that the truck does not hit the side of the coach. Importantly this change results in no meaningful difference in coupler heights and is effectively unnoticeable when looking at the coaches from the side.

                        What's interesting, however, is that the 20th Century cars generally are much more easily upset by track issues than Walthers old heavyweight coaches. Super-elevated curves seem especially problematic, especially in reversing curves.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Oh my...expensive cars that don't work well out of the box--sad hit on the QC! It's not like we don't have 60 years experience with models and it's not like Walthers is new to the game, either! There's just no good excuse for poor performance other than "lack of attention to detail."

                          Thank you, Mr. Scribner, for your eye-opening review and "fix."
                          I live in my own little world, but it\'s OK--they know me here!

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