Old Rapido

SD75I May 21, 2022

  1. SD75I

    SD75I TrainBoard Member

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    Finally got glued roof off. Anybody work with these cars? Trying to remove bottom but already split end crossover. Also not having luck getting trucks off! I'm sure someone here has mastered these! Any help would be appreciated!
     

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  2. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    I looked at a number of my Arnold Rapido cars from the late '60s/early '70s and most of the trucks are held in place by carbody-mounted split pins, which are a cinch to use. Unfortunately, the trucks on Arnold's covered hopper and composite gondola are held in place by rivets. You'll need to drill these out if you wish to swap trucks.

    An alternate route may be to leave the trucks intact and attempt an install of M-T couplers using one of their universal kits. I've used these on bunches of my old Atlas cars over the years, but it could be fiddly work with the truck on the car and with Rapido's open coupler pocket, it may not work.
    • Universal Coupler 1130 Long Length, Prod. Code 001 30 014
    • Universal Coupler 1129 Medium Length, Prod. Code 001 30 013
    • Universal Coupler 1128 Short Length, Prod. Code 001 30 012
    With the difficulty in mind, I decided to set my Arnold cars aside and leave them intact.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2022
  3. brokemoto

    brokemoto TrainBoard Member

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    I am guessing that in addition to doing something with the wheelsets you want to repaint or re-letter it, at least, as that thar' lett'rin' ain't lookin' none too pro-toe-tip-ee-kull. It is missing car data and other stuff.

    If you want to strip it completely, take out the wheelsets, as you will want to replace them, anyhow. Take out the couplers and the springs. You will want to replace the couplers and, depending on what you use to replace them, you may or may not want to retain the springs. Strip, re-paint and re-letter. If the stripping process discolors the trucks, no big deal. Trucks tend to be discolored and have crud accumulate on them, anyhow. During the painting, glosscoating and clearcoating, you can put masking tape over the trucks. As others have indicated, you ain't gittin' thim trux offa' thar'.

    The only concern with the stripping process that you might have is if you use brake fluid, as that stuff will make some plastic turn brittle. Try to use anything but that.

    You have options on the couplers. If you go with Unimates, you use the same spring. Simply replace the Rapido coupler with the Unimate. In some cases, you may have to trim the T part of the Unimate shank so that it will fit into the coupler pocket. Further, some of the plastic that they used back then got brittle with age. You could damage the coupler pocket as you twist in the Unimate or twist out the Rapido. If that happens, all is not lost................more on that, shortly.

    As @Hardcoaler has indicated, you could go with 1128-30 truck mounts. If you go that way and you damage the coupler pocket while working with it due to its being brittle, all is not lost.

    You might prefer this, and, if the plastic on the coupler pockets/tongues is brittle and breaks, you will be pushed into it: body mount. You use 1023, 2004, 1015/16. I recommend purchasing the MT coupler height gauge and coupler tweezers (especially if you are going to work with 1028-30). If you go body mount, the height gauge is important, although I also check it against a car that has MT truck mounts. The 1015/16sa and 2004s come with shims in the blister pack. I forget if the 1023s do. You can fashion your own shims out of thin sheet stryrene or even use MT washers.

    You will need a pin vise and bits in order to tap holes for the coupler screws.

    I am not familiar with this particular car, but, in my experience with other Arnold Rapido cars, I have gotten them to accept MT wheelsets
    (even the low profile) or Fox Valley metal wheelsets. The funny thing is that if the truck will accept it, in my experience, the Atlas freight car metal wheelsets work best. This, of course, is not an option if you are running on smaller than Code 80 track. Those Arnold plastic Super Pizza Cutter wheels on metal axles never were the best.
     
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  4. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Mostly N Scale Staff Member

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    My go-to is usually denatured alcohol. From the grocery or drug store the highest percentage you can find. 99% is great. I buy it in the can from the paint department at Lows or Home Depot. Don't know what percentage that is but works fine for me. I have an old large plastic peanut butter container that I fill with the stuff and let the cars sit overnight. Scrub with a tooth brush whatever does not just fall off. Occasionally I will get a car that is a little tougher and you really have to let it sit a long time and scrub real hard but never had it degrade the plastic.
     
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  5. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks for that Russell; I'll keep that in mind. I've ruined numerous body shells in brake fluid. You just never know what's going to happen with the stuff.
     
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  6. SD75I

    SD75I TrainBoard Member

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    All of this is great info!! Thank you all. I am determined to get the trucks off. I am going to strip and repaint. I bought some 91% to strip car. I want to take bottom off but I am having trouble as both ends have crack in them. Nothing a little ca won't fix. It was a $6 car so I'm not too worried about trying a few things with it!
     
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  7. SD75I

    SD75I TrainBoard Member

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    Ok so progress made! Car is apart but not without some minute damage! Used screwdriver to slowly pry trucks off. 1 did and 1 did not cooperate! Cracks on each end of car trying to get bottom off!
     

    Attached Files:

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  8. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Mostly N Scale Staff Member

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    With one truck totally blasted you will undoubtedly need to replace it and should go ahead and replace the other too. In order to mount something like Microtrains trucks you will have to do some drilling. Either drill the same size hole as MT truck pins, #48, all the way through the bottom and then file the old bolster stump flush with the car bottom, or just file the bolster stump down till it is almost flush with the bottom of a truck when it is mounted and drill and tap a hole in that to insert a screw to keep the truck from falling off. You have to be careful to center the hole and be sure it is 90º to the car bottom.
     
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  9. MK

    MK TrainBoard Member

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    Those are either Denatured (100%) or Isopropyl (99%) alcohol.
     
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  10. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    Being fans of early N Scale, @Doug Gosha and I request a moment of silence in memory of this car, Arnold 0418 / Revell 2557. :)

    Fun Fact: This illustration is from my Revell Rapido 1970 catalog. Note the HO couplers on the car. HO models were sometimes used in Revell's catalogs to stand in for new N Scale products not yet produced in time for the catalog printing.

    upload_2022-5-21_17-51-12.png
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2022
  11. Doug Gosha

    Doug Gosha TrainBoard Member

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    It is very sad that it is being "mutilated". :D

    Anyway, be very careful with Arnold carbodies and alcohol. I don't know if Arnold used the same plastic as on their locomotives but I ruined a GP30 shell trying to remove paint from it. It got all distorted and brittle.

    Doug
     
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  12. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Mostly N Scale Staff Member

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    I used to be a member of this club as well. But due to my unruly behavior, bullying and just downright being ornery, I was booted out. Sniff, sniff.:( :cry:
     
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  13. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    Russell, you are merely opinionated, but lovable. :love:
     
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  14. SD75I

    SD75I TrainBoard Member

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    It may be a massacre as there are 4 more that will undergo makeovers if things turn out. How long did you soak it for doug?
     
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  15. Doug Gosha

    Doug Gosha TrainBoard Member

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    I am not sure, now, but probably about a day.

    Doug
     
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  16. Doug Gosha

    Doug Gosha TrainBoard Member

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    Oh yeah. Shall we say the practice was widespread in the N scale world of those days. Either the importers would jump the gun with their catalogs or the European manufacturers would fail to meet their promised availability dates. Probably more the former.

    Doug
     
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  17. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    I apologize to you and others here who have a fondness for early N! You've certainly been in N since the early days. I've developed a secret Rapido Coupler Handshake we'll all test at our next club meeting. :) The password to use at the door is "Arnold sent me."
     
  18. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Mostly N Scale Staff Member

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    Can he come too?
    Screen Shot 2022-05-21 at 8.54.58 PM.jpg
     
  19. brokemoto

    brokemoto TrainBoard Member

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    If the cracks are where I think that they are, between the two inner pillars on each end, they are easily repairable with styrene. Evergreen Styrene™ offers several suitable pieces.

    Some of that paint on those old cars will come right off; some of it is stubborn.

    I am surprised that the alcohol would harm the shells, but, if @Doug Gosha says that it can harm it...................if anyone would know, it would be he. I have not had any problems using ninety one per-cent on Arnold wood cabooses or the Arnold wood passenger/baggage car. What is funny is that on the RoCo wood caboose, which is similar to the Arnold, alcohol would not get off the paint and even when I used Pine-Sol®, I had to give quite the scrubbing. The caboose that I was stripping had the ATSF road name. It was small "ATSF" white lettering and a car number. There were no other markings. I thought that I might get away with simply erasing the number, but the eraser wore off even the base coat, so it was necessary to strip the whole thing. When I consider how easily the base coat erased, I was surprised that it was impervious to the ninety one per-cent.



    I use ninety one per-cent that I buy at CVS. It works in most cases. What it will not strip, Pine-Sol® usually does. The one or two that even it will not strip, I will use brake fluid, but I soak a rag in it and rub the paint with it until it comes off.


    I have yet to see alcohol or Pine-Sol® ruin plastic. The funny thing is that if you use the store brand pine cleaner, it does nothing . I had to buy a store brand once because the store was out of Pine-Sol®. Later, I got some real Pine-Sol®. I had a little of the store brand left, so I mixed it with the Pine-Sol® in the soaking container and the store brand discolored the real thing. There was a white precipitate, as well.



    I used brake fluid for my first few strippings and it worked well, so I became convinced that it was the best. A few years into it, I had a few shells go brittle. I once stripped two B-mann doodlebug shells with it. I made a trailer coach with the passenger ends and a box cab diesel with the cab ends. Both of them cracked after a few trips around the layout.



    Read and pay heed. MT offers several types of truck mount couplers. I am guessing that you would want Bettendorf or roller bearing, depending on your era. If you want to body mount, you can buy the trucks without the couplers. Some have replaced the MT plastic wheelsets with Fox Valley metal wheelsets and have been happier with them.
     
  20. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Mostly N Scale Staff Member

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    I had Pine-Sol turn a Bachmann "Old Timer" 4-4-0 boiler into a rubbery blob years ago. Old shells that I used it on still stink years later if I store them in a box. Never liked the smell. They abused in cleaning the Junior High School gym locker room.
     

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