Converting Bachmann Trucks for Low Slung Look

By Alan Carroll

Alan Carroll came up with this technique for achieving a low slung look on Bachmann freight cars. Basically this consists of swapping the original trucks "#29901" supplied with the cars to the new "#29904 Low-Frame 4'-1" Arch Bar Trucks". Alan shows us how he did it:

"I model in On30 with a slant towards the Maine Two Footers. Recently I tried converting one of my Bachmann Freight Cars using these new trucks and found that I really liked the new look and feel of the cars. Here is how I accomplished this."

Two original Bachmann freight cars

Original Bachmann stock car on left, modified stock car on right.

On the new trucks (29904) you need to remove those vertical stabilizers on the outside edges. Next file flat the bolt heads on the top of each side frame.

Left is original (29904) truck, right is same truck with vertical stabilizers removed

Original Bachmann frame

First cut off the original pockets at the frame. Glue in a filler piece of styrene. Drill a pilot hole and screw mount the new coupler and pocket. I used Kadee No. 27 Medium UNDERSET shank couplers.

On the freight car frame, shortened the center shaft that the truck screw goes into by about 1/16". This is to remove extra play when the new truck is mounted. I shortened the truck screw by the same amount to make sure it did not poke through the top deck.

All cutting is completed and styrene filler piece in place.

Trucks and couplers installed.

These cars now have the look I have been wanting for sometime. If you like the low riding look this is the easiest conversion I have tried. Please give it a try and enjoy.

At the recent Gardiner New York Meet hosted by Allen Littlefield I converted 17 cars and ran a 20 car train around a loop using 18 inch radius curves and had no problems.

- Alan Carroll

An Alternate Method for Lowering Bachmann Cars

"The washer allows one to use the regular Kadee #5 instead of the raised head #27. It does make the car a bit higher but still a lot lower than the original. I like my first way the best. I just wanted to show people an option".

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This page updated August 18, 2009
Webpage © Lawrence Rickert
Photographs and text © Alan Carroll