Modifications to Bachmann Big Hauler passenger cars

Southwestforests

Registered
2 Nov 2021
85
11
58
Missouri
Country flag
Hello again; the Big Hauler train set locomotives are not alone in getting altered to my tastes, the passenger cars from those sets are getting modifications too.

Some were done a few years ago but there is plenty left to do on all the cars.
In 2009 - 2011 Bachmann offered additional passenger cars as kits and some of those were acquired to add to the sets.

Anyway, on today's menu are the coach and observation from the Durango & Silverton set.

In the intervening decade since buying the set on of the 2 factory bulbs inside the observation has burned out.
And I want more than 2 light sources.
And I want LED instead of bulbs.

And ... the observation has the platform railing and lighted drumhead at the end of car which has heating stove and toilet compartment.
How odd.
That changes.

So ...

Last night I removed the previously repainted car floor, unsoldered the drumhead light leads, and swapped railings.
Then with a bit in a pin vise since a power tool would be a bit excessive drilled hole in end beam for light wires to pass under car floor.
They originally re-entered car body through one of the snap tab slots for that car body, that practice is being copied at the new end.

Drumhead light bulb will get replaced by LED when I decide the details of the LED installation.

Yesterday my idea for installing interior lights changed and was dramatically simplified.
Instead of soldering recovered solar yard light LED with Plastruct lamp shades to brass rods then mounting that assembly in the clerestory,
a string of battery powered Christmas lights was dug out of the "lights parts stash" and cut up to suit.
The one string will provide 5 lights each to 4 cars.

The manner of installation is 5 led being contact-cemented to a .040 by .250 styrene strip from Evergreen Styrene then that being secured inside clerestory
with excess wire length coiled and secured out of sight.

A 9 volt battery in molded box under car floor powers the train set cars.
Some level of resistor will be needed since the Christmas string made of what looks to be Surface Mount LED encased in drop of epoxy only uses 1.5 volts.

-> To be added later are train-end marker lanterns on the observation. Whether to buy or build has yet to be determined.

51672137716_6c5da5a8bd_z.jpg


51672137666_74387dee60_z.jpg
 

Southwestforests

Registered
2 Nov 2021
85
11
58
Missouri
Country flag
Another thing to decide: whether to use Bachmann's existing electrical conduction system to get power to the LED I'm putting in or to replace the whole Rube Goldberg/Heath Robinson thing with probably rather more reliable direct wiring.
With my health the mess it is, the simpler work is usually the better choice.
But direct wiring would be so much more reliable.

51674978986_331fa16c97_z.jpg


51675217033_1f0b2b5693_z.jpg
 

Southwestforests

Registered
2 Nov 2021
85
11
58
Missouri
Country flag
Decision made. Action taken.

Going with wiring.

Removed metal strips can be employed to make make wheel wipers on another project.

51675950609_691706c65e_z.jpg
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Southwestforests

Registered
2 Nov 2021
85
11
58
Missouri
Country flag
managed to run both wires down the central column where one of the strip resided.
Ah, that's an idea.
Being unsure if the wire I'm using would fit the initial plan was to let the wires come up through the toilet compartment and with enough slack to be able to lift off the not-screwed-back-on roof, then unplug it from a small plug added, set it aside, and have access for slowly placing people in the car as figures are gradually acquired.
 

Chris Vernell

Certified
24 Oct 2009
7,072
1,377
75
Nepean, ON
Country
Canada
Country flag
I have a couple of Bachmann kit coaches I bought a long time ago and haven't done anything with. Perhaps it is time :wondering:. If I can find them :think:.
 

Southwestforests

Registered
2 Nov 2021
85
11
58
Missouri
Country flag
Sunday newspaper headline: "Improved Coach Lighting Illuminates Profound Paucity of Paying Passengers."

Photos are a 15 second exposure & though looking quite bright in them the lights are too dim to be noticeable in daylight.

51696865069_02796671b2_c.jpg


51696463973_e87c2c51c1_c.jpg


Looks like I need to go take out a second mortgage for cash to go buy G scale passengers for these, the Pennsy cars, and the V&T cars.
Oh, wait, I rent an apartment.
 

Southwestforests

Registered
2 Nov 2021
85
11
58
Missouri
Country flag
Now, if Bachmann's factory folks hadn't glued the windows in with a quarter-mile long bead of glue each, I'd remove the transparencies and paint the car interiors.

Yes, I have already tried, several years back, only accomplished cracking bits off lower edges of transparency parts.

Decided it wise and advisable to abandon hope before one cracked right up the middle of a window.
 

Southwestforests

Registered
2 Nov 2021
85
11
58
Missouri
Country flag
In contrast to the Durango & Silverton coaches with their long beads of something very strong securing the window transparencies the Pennsylvania coaches have 6 drops of some adhesive on which Bachmann totally wasted their time and money.
But that makes life a lot easier for people like me who want to paint the inside of the car body.

51710284872_bd3401970b_c.jpg


51711345688_05bf7ee8ce_c.jpg


51711069086_055e547535_c.jpg
 

Southwestforests

Registered
2 Nov 2021
85
11
58
Missouri
Country flag
Progress today! :smileycat: took advantage of Bachmann's bad window glue and the good weather outside my windows to go outside and get the PRR cars' window inserts painted.
Masked what needed to remain clear and sprayed the inside surface of the inserts with a wood-ish color.
Somewhat lighter than I've read was usually used back in the day, but, hey, the cars are non-prototypical from the word go anyway.
Painting inside surface of inserts leaves outer surface of them and inside of car side free from paint which might interfere with the glue I'm going to use when it comes time to make the cars operational.

51714010571_b55e35bec4_z.jpg


Eeeww, look how much dust got in through the open clerestory windows in several years of shelf-sitting.
:fearscream:
51714880495_5ee9c17b04_z.jpg


51714880440_0e0844dfac_c.jpg


51714673164_d5cea60705_c.jpg


51714673129_3edc8a4a65_c.jpg


51714010436_ae246625b0_c.jpg