Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Going Downhill

(Photo by Chuck Amstein)
Does it look to you like the 36 is literally going downhill -- slightly?  That's not an optical illusion, the car is actually not quite level.  One end is higher than the other for a couple of reasons.  One is due to the truck swap which took place in a hurry back in 2003 during the preposterous attempts to run cars like this in regular service on the Cleveland RTA.  Shims between the center casting and the car frame had to be adjusted when the 36's motor truck was exchanged with the 303, and in the process parts were misplaced.  Now that the car has its correct truck, that's a problem.  Another is that it appears the car was not perfectly level even when it was in service on the CA&E, as evidenced by photos.

The 36's two trucks are the same design, but they have different size wheels: the motor truck has 33" wheels, and the trailer truck has 37" wheels.  The trucks have two different sets of holes for attaching the brake rigging, depending on which size wheels you've got.  Furthermore, the two body bolsters are completely different in design, for reasons I cannot explain.  The current difference in height is not enough to keep the car from operating, fortunately.

But of course we would like to correct this.  Rod Turner and I came up with a design for a pair of steel shims to correct the height, more or less, and these have been made.  At some point when we have time and there's nothing of higher priority to do, we'd like to jack up one end and install the shims.  The car should then look much better.

So if you had wondered whether you were imagining things when looking at recent pictures of the 36, I just wanted you to know you weren't.

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