The online magazine on the history and operation of vintage scale model trains in American OO gauge

Saturday, November 29, 2008

A roller bearing truck for OO

Today I attended the annual "Turkey Meet," the main Phoenix area TCA event. I saw one OO gauge item (only!), a Lionel 003T tender missing two wheelsets for $75 that I did not purchase. But I did spot one item new to me, a roller bearing truck convertible to OO.

This truck was sold originally with cars in a Tyco HO train set. I have modified a number of the similar Bettendorf version of this truck for OO but have not before noted this version, roller bearing, perfect for more modern cars.

In this post I describe the process to do this conversion. The idea is that the sideframes are heavy and can be trimmed enough on the inside so that OO gauge wheelsets will fit. The process will only work with certain HO trucks; standard Athearn trucks for example won't work, the sideframes are not heavy ("thick") enough to be re-worked in this manner. Normally I have used Athearn 36" wheelsets on their original axles, widened out to OO.

I will modify these Tyco trucks soon, I now have three pair of these on three cars that only cost me $1 each. Not bad!

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