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Offline Frankenbahner  
#1 Posted : 11 July 2010 11:19:12(UTC)
Frankenbahner

Germany   
Joined: 15/09/2006(UTC)
Posts: 581
Location: Nuremberg, Bavaria
Some time ago I converted several old Varney freight cars for Märklin with the support of a fellow club member, using the bogies of Märklin’s first generation US cars.

There are actually two generation of Märklin US cars: those of the first generation, produced between the early 1960ies and early 2000s, which loop and hook couplers (Märklin calls them “Relex couplers, but to be honest, I prefer standart terms instead of “Maerklinish”); and those of the second generation, produced ever afterwards.

Märklin always had only a small number of different US car types. To add more car types to a train consisting of “second generation” cars, just take models from a US brand, fit them with AC wheels and install Symoba Kinematics with Märklin short couplers.

To convert US brands for trains of “first generation” Märklin cars, however, can be more difficult.

I decided for some 40 feet box cars and reefers, which were tin plate models from Varney.

The crossmembers of the underframe, on which the bogies are mounted, had to be filed down. Some of the tapped bushings, which held the original srews of the bogies, had to be replaced. More of the trusses had to be sanded down to create enough room for the Märklin wheels with their larger diameter and higher flanges.

Some cars have a wooden car floor with metal trusses srewed on it. Just remove the trusses and cut off the exterior sections - those with the cross members which held the original bogies. To install the new Märklin bogies, I used self-cutting wood screws.

The old coupler pockets have to be removed too. Sometimes they can easily be dismantled just by unscrewing, sometimes, they have to be filed down.

These onverted cars made test runs through a track with several R1 S-curves - actually, they passed this test excellently: nothing derailed.

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Of course there are easier ways to convert US cars Märklin, with Mehano loop-and-hook coupler fors example; the idea however, was to convert cars to look "Märklin-like", morever, these Märklin couplers are more robust than Mehano's plastic couplers.

The original bogies of these cars were, in fact, metal all over. I still have several of them lying around, which are for sale now. If you are interested, contact me.

Regards,
Florian

Edited by user 11 July 2010 11:36:59(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

H0 3-rail AC with DCC, MM and mfx, 2-rail DC streetcars, and N gauge
Offline kimballthurlow  
#2 Posted : 11 July 2010 12:30:34(UTC)
kimballthurlow

Australia   
Joined: 18/03/2007(UTC)
Posts: 4,179
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Hi Florian,
Very nice job. Those old Varney or other metal cars would be hard to find. Athearn and Fleischmann made some in the 1950's/60's.
I belong to a US prototype model club, so I can appreciate the work you have done here.

regards
Kimball
HO Scale - Märklin (ep III, C Track, digital) - 2 rail (USA and Australia) - 3 rail (English Hornby Dublo) - a few old O gauge.
Offline Frankenbahner  
#3 Posted : 11 July 2010 14:16:26(UTC)
Frankenbahner

Germany   
Joined: 15/09/2006(UTC)
Posts: 581
Location: Nuremberg, Bavaria
I got my Varney cars via ebay.com, where I also acquired an Ambroid reefer with a wooden body.

However, I didn't want to replace the bogies of this car, so I had to find antoher solution.

Previously, Roco cars had no kinematics ex works. They had a coupler shaft with a NEM coupler pocket, but that was all. If you wanted to run them with short couplers, you had to buy a special kit which consisted of all the necessary parts. The cars were of course, prepared for the installation of that kit, which also included a new coupler shaft. This meant that the original coupler shaft became overzealous.

I still had some of them lying around, so I cut of the NEM coupler pockets and cut the shafts into the right lentgh; then I attached a Märklin loop and hook coupler. The shafts were attached to the Ambroid metal bogies afterwards.

I used the rear couplers from Märklin F7s, which had been fitted with special short couplers.

Finally, the car needed AC wheel sets. I tried different wheel sets and finally decided for those of Märklin's first generation US cars. The same wheel sets are used for the 1:110 (or "24 cm" how Märklin calls them) coaches and the tenders of many steam locomotives.

Pictures of the converted Ambroid car are coming soon. It is running excellently toghether with Märklin and converted US brands' cars.

Regards,
Florian
H0 3-rail AC with DCC, MM and mfx, 2-rail DC streetcars, and N gauge
Offline Frankenbahner  
#4 Posted : 11 July 2010 14:35:36(UTC)
Frankenbahner

Germany   
Joined: 15/09/2006(UTC)
Posts: 581
Location: Nuremberg, Bavaria
Two pictures of the converted Ambroid car.

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Regards,
Florian
H0 3-rail AC with DCC, MM and mfx, 2-rail DC streetcars, and N gauge
Offline kimballthurlow  
#5 Posted : 12 July 2010 08:26:34(UTC)
kimballthurlow

Australia   
Joined: 18/03/2007(UTC)
Posts: 4,179
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Hi Florian,
These must be nice but unique addition to your fleet of cars.

Do you notice that the Carnation Milk car has a straight body sill (staright edge on underside of the body). This is correct. The other cars have the different height sill corresponding to the cross frames.

The straight sill is a feature of many refrigerator (reefer) cars, and is often not modelled correctly in HO.

regards
Kimball
HO Scale - Märklin (ep III, C Track, digital) - 2 rail (USA and Australia) - 3 rail (English Hornby Dublo) - a few old O gauge.
Offline Alfa V8  
#6 Posted : 12 July 2010 10:48:01(UTC)
Alfa V8


Joined: 20/01/2007(UTC)
Posts: 206
Location: , Mpumalanga, South Africa
Hi Florian

Very nice conversion, gives more variety, you could not perhaps supply a part number for the old type bogie's, perhaps they are still available from "M"

Hannes
Every day provides new opertunities. H0 mostly Marklin, still using my 6021, LGB in Gauge 1, live steam in larger gauges.
Offline Frankenbahner  
#7 Posted : 17 July 2010 23:20:38(UTC)
Frankenbahner

Germany   
Joined: 15/09/2006(UTC)
Posts: 581
Location: Nuremberg, Bavaria
A few pictures of my latest US freight car projects.

Let's start with a Model Powever Metaltrain hopper, several material had to be removed, moreover, new tapping and some paintwork became necessary, which was carried out by a fellow club member.

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The original bogies were plastic all over, with plastic axle bearings, I just wondered how long this would last, carrying the metal car body.

Regards,
Florian
H0 3-rail AC with DCC, MM and mfx, 2-rail DC streetcars, and N gauge
Offline Frankenbahner  
#8 Posted : 17 July 2010 23:23:00(UTC)
Frankenbahner

Germany   
Joined: 15/09/2006(UTC)
Posts: 581
Location: Nuremberg, Bavaria
Alfa V8 wrote:
Hi Florian

Very nice conversion, gives more variety, you could not perhaps supply a part number for the old type bogie's, perhaps they are still available from "M"

Hannes


Spare part number is 323110, I already got several of these bogies from "M"

Regards,
Florian
H0 3-rail AC with DCC, MM and mfx, 2-rail DC streetcars, and N gauge
Offline Frankenbahner  
#9 Posted : 17 July 2010 23:41:44(UTC)
Frankenbahner

Germany   
Joined: 15/09/2006(UTC)
Posts: 581
Location: Nuremberg, Bavaria
This Fleischmann flat car came once together with several other cars. It already had been converted to Märklin bogies by its previous owner - in a more or less brutal way, however. Unluckily, he had drilled large holes for new countersunk head srcews (with large heads, of course...), visible on the car.

Personally, I would never convert a Fleischmann car to Märklin bogies - using the Fleischmann loop-and-hook couplers is a far better and easier choice in this case.

As if this wasn't enough, there were ugly adhesive spots on the top of the car. Two of the four side steps were broken. So put the car into a box to use it for spare parts eventually...there, it remaind until today.

Today, however, I decided to restore the car. I cut of the remaining steps and made new ones of metal wires, for which I drilled small holes.

Then, I decided to model the car top with "real" wood - with Balsa. I cut it into small strips to model the wooden boards, and glued them on the top of the car with instant adhesive.

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I think this doesn't look so bad now!

This was the work of this evening. Tomorrow, the car will start for its first test runs.

Regards,
Florian
H0 3-rail AC with DCC, MM and mfx, 2-rail DC streetcars, and N gauge
Offline Frankenbahner  
#10 Posted : 20 July 2011 11:28:27(UTC)
Frankenbahner

Germany   
Joined: 15/09/2006(UTC)
Posts: 581
Location: Nuremberg, Bavaria
A little video, showing some of the converted cars running in a train toghether with Märklin cars.


Regards,
Florian
H0 3-rail AC with DCC, MM and mfx, 2-rail DC streetcars, and N gauge
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