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Author Topic: Weaver Express Car Rebuild
Ed Bommer

Posts: 263
Post Weaver Express Car Rebuild
on: March 24, 2017,
Quote

When Weaver introduced their troop sleepers and the express car versions in 2004, they were a hit. The only other models of such would be in expensive brass. I bought one in REX livery.Further, I got a kit made by Rod Miller for narrowing the Weaver Allied trucks and replacing the air and steam lines with brass parts. Research on REX cars informed me that Weaver chose a wrong number for their car. It was for an iced troop sleeper conversion, instead of one for a dry lading car, which the model represents.

Image

After 6 years or so, owners of Weaver troop/express cars were discovering the die cast floors and under frames were 'growing' and curling. This led to the ABS car bodies being split in half in some cases. In response, Weaver offered a small refund on such damaged cars for a while. Replacement floors and under frames were not available for these Chinese made models. The die cast parts(which in some cases also included the Allied full cushion trucks)were suffering from internal corrosion caused by impurities in the zamak, called 'zinc pest.'

On learning this, I disassembled my Weaver car in 2010. I was lucky. The die cast floor and the underframe were only slightly bent. For the next several years, my Weaver REX remained in pieces. The trucks seemed to be OK, but the floor casting was curling ever more lengthwise as well as crosswise, sort of like a potato chip. The die cast underframe got longer by almost 1/16" and had a slight bend in it.

Atlas bought the rights to the Weaver tooling for this model when Weaver went out of business. They plan to re-run the troop sleepers and express cars. But getting additional replacement floors and underframes castings for earlier models needing them is an open question at this point.

With no hope of salvaging the floor casting, I set out to make a new floor from ABS sheet and styrene to the same thickness as the die cast floor. A slab of plywood was used to add back weight lost from the die cast floor.

While the model was in pieces and I wanted a B&O C-17class express car, alterations were made to the car body to bring it closer to B&O. I put up a photo album on this work, incase anyone wishes to see what was done. It might be more than some may care to do. My ability to take photos good enough for a printed article have become very limited, so I wrote this photo-story. All major work on the car has been done. What remains is painting and lettering which will also be added to the album.

Image

Ed Bommer

BruceB

Posts: 35
Post Re: Weaver Express Car Rebuild
on: March 24, 2017,
Quote

Nice job Ed. I enjoyed the photos. Glad to see some modeling.

Martin
Administrator
Posts: 1315
Post Re: Weaver Express Car Rebuild
on: March 25, 2017,
Quote

My ability to take photos good enough for a printed article have become very limited,.......

Try sending me a few and we'll see about that.

Also, love to see a few photos of the underbody that you built up as a replacement as this seems to be an endemic problem that is going to surface for many cars.

Perhaps one might consider making a good master suitable for resin casting that the deail and brake parts could later be appended to for others in a similar predicament?

Want a balloon?

GP-9

Posts: 251
Post Re: Weaver Express Car Rebuild
on: March 31, 2017,
Quote

I just saw this posting and I pulled out my 2 cars from Weaver, still in the box,one is ok for now. The other car is bad the floor expanded so much that it actually broke apart. As for the body of the car it broke at the center door, there is a slight bow in the car at that point. Any suggestions on how I can get it somewhat straight, right now it is sitting upside down on a shelf with a heavy weight at that point. Also one(1)of the trucks broke apart.
I will be making a new floor, where I can get replacement trucks?

Thanks
Bill

Ed Bommer

Posts: 263
Post Re: Weaver Express Car Rebuild
on: March 31, 2017,
Quote

I was lucky to get the floor out of my Weaver express car before it deformed the body.
Since your car body snapped at the doorway and has a slight bow to it, I think it could be bent back into shape by using a jig set up with pieces of wood and clamps to pull it back into line and make certain every thing stays square.

I mention this because putting a weight inside to push out the roof may also affect alignment of the side walls.
Treating the model while pressed or clamped with some heat on the roof area may help, like setting it out in the sun on a hot day for an hour or so. You just need enough heat to reduce tension in the bent plastic, not melt it!

Once the roof has been brought back into line, a styrene patch could be applied to the underside of the roof to help support it. Patch repairs can also be made on the inside surface where the lower sill had broken apart at the doorways. Securely cementing the side doors back in place may also help strengthen the car body walls.
With care, these repairs might be accomplished without damage to the paint and lettering.

For the Allied trucks, Atlas is planning to make them available separately sometime soon, as they are now selling troop and express cars built from Weaver tooling.

Allied trucks have been made in the past by Lobaugh with cast bronze side frames. Grace Line also produced them back in the late 1940s, but these trucks are hard to find!

Ed Bommer

GP-9

Posts: 251
Post Re: Weaver Express Car Rebuild
on: April 1, 2017,
Quote

Ed
Thanks for the information. As for where my car snapped it was at the bottom of the door at the stirrup step on both sides.
Just a couple of questions could/would hot water, or possibly a hair dryer be better? And do you know if this problem was only happening to the express cars?
I have a couple of Weaver's American Flyer cars and a baggage car packed away, and I was wondering if I would be finding the same problem?
By the way I did pick up one of the ATLAS troop sleepers I hope they didn't use any left over floors from the Weaver cars. But I heard that it was all new tooling.

Bill

Robert

Posts: 338
Post Re: Weaver Express Car Rebuild
on: April 1, 2017,
Quote

Ed...very informative rework of your Weaver troop car. As much as I enjoy building models, I'm not sure I have the desire to do such a rebuild. I do understand anything B & O is your passion, and therefore will cause you to chase after the extra prototype fidelity that distinguishes your models...but following your photo build leaves me quite amazed frankly. Exceptional modeling!

Robert

Ed Bommer

Posts: 263
Post Re: Weaver Express Car Rebuild
on: April 2, 2017,
Quote

Thank you for your kind comment.
In my photo album about the Weaver express car, the first few photos and captions describe making and fitting the new floor. It reasonably matches the Weaver die cast floor in thickness, detail and how it mounts to the car body.

Work on the body beyond that shows what I did to bring it closer to a replica of a B&O C-17 class express car. Not many would desire to plow though all that fussy work. But I am of the 'let's see if this will work' persuasion, as well as a champion of sorts for lost causes. My ideas work sometimes, but I will not say anything about what departed from my workshop in trash cans over the decades.

I sometimes take photos of the 'before' the work process and the 'after.' If it seems to work out OK, I might share the project in the photo album section for a while. I will be taking off the express car album about 6 months or so after I've posted the last photos about paint and lettering.

The same was done in the past. One was about the rebuild of an early 1940s Walthers kit built 'junker' observation of the early 1940s. It became a model of the "Virginia City," Lucius Beebe and Charles Clegg's private car of the 1950s-60s. Also, working over a Plasticville depot into a small northeastern style suburban station for my layout, which has its own album.

Presently three Kusan-Auburn tank cars in pieces are being 'scale-ized' with corrected details and modifications. They have been boxed up lay-abouts in my stash for over 25 years. Time to either do some work work on them or toss 'em out. They've been far surpassed in detail and accuracy by the Red Caboose and Intermountain tankers.

Yet as old shipyard hands used to say in the days of wooden hulls and lofty sails, "Putty and paint makes the Devil a saint." Until of course, that ship got into some very heavy weather at sea! For me, the expression is "It's all Hollywood" when it comes to making and finishing models, regardless of the materials used.

Ed Bommer

Robert

Posts: 338
Post Re: Weaver Express Car Rebuild
on: April 3, 2017,
Quote

There seems to be something about resurrecting old models that drives some of this hobbies veterans forward into the realm of fractured metals, poor glue joints, and ill conceived paint application. Both you Ed and Marty are great example of those who will sit at their workbench in quiet pursuit of an acceptable success. Old railroad cars from the early days of limited availability are somehow very deserving of todays materials and techniques and the quality builder who have mastered the use of same. For me the enjoyment comes in the follow-up descriptions of the restorations which are generously rendered. So thank you for being of such a mindset.

Robert

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