Below are a few steps on how to convert one of these to 2R:
- Remove Lionel Trucks. With the loss of NWSL, you can no longer buy slip in wheelsets that would fit the Lionel trucks and accept the plastic roller bearing caps.
- Tap the existing holes that held the trucks with a 4-40 tap. You can buy the necessary screws from Lowes. Ensure you get the round-head ones for this.
- Remove the airlines from the ends. These will get in your way. Also, file down the rivets that are where the Kadee will go.
- Remove the existing screws near the ends, and tap them for 2-56.
- Place your first Kadee onto the end, screw it in place, and then drill out the second hole using the rear hole of the Kadee as a guide. Ensure the Kadee is straight aligned before doing so. *NOTE - When doing the B-end, go slow as to not damage the brake gear.
- Remove the Kadee and tap that second hole for 2-56. Remember to file any burrs off the top or bottom of any holes you create.
- Repeat step 5 and 6 for the other end. At this time, you can decide what to do with the air hoses. Either cut a groove in the shims to place it back in the original hole, drill a new hole in the underframe, or drill a hole into the unused screw pocket on the Kadee Coupler Box and bend/cut the airhose appropriately to fit.
- Using two shims (either from Micromark or Scale City Designs), and what I remember to be 3/8" 2-56 screws, screw in both Kadee couplers. into the underframe.
- Using 4-40 screws of any length, go ahead and screw the trucks back into the car. Screw the screw in just enough to keep the truck from wobbling, but loose enough that the truck can turn freely. It is easy to see the difference when your screw is almost all the way there.
- Place it by a Kadee height gauge to verify you did it right. If you're good, you can go back and put some loctite threadlocker on the 4-40 screw if desired.
- Paint the coupler boxes, weather the coupler, and/or add magnetic air hoses if desired.
Before final assembly.
After final assembly.
This last photo shows another one of these cars I did many years ago with NWSL wheelset inserts into the Lionel trucks. The car is repainted into Southern, has a custom styrene shim, weathered coupler, and magnetic airhoses. Yes - the coupler box color is off. I was less particular in those days.