Heavyweight disassembly tips

These cars are easy to take apart, it's putting them back together that is tricky!

 

Removing the roof

There are just 2 screws at each end of the roof securing it. You can remove these 4 screws and the roof without taking anything else apart. You have to open the vestibule doors and you can see them inside, small heads adn about an inch from the outer wall.Get a long shanked philips driver so the shaft can rest against the steps and remove them carefully since you are at quite an angle (who designed this??).

The roof should now lift off. Some cars that were assembled while the paint was not completely dry might take a bit of prying.

I normally write inside the roof to indicate which way it went on with a felt marker.

Removing the end caps / vestibules:

You need to remove the trucks first, remove both pivot screws, and GENTLY move the truck off center to let things clear. BE CAREFUL, do not pull hard or you will tear off the track pickup wires.

Remove end cap:

remove the 2 screws near the bottom of the end, on either side of the bottom of the diaphram. The picture below shows one screw already removed.

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Once the 2 screws are removed, you pull out at the bottom edge, and it swings out. Do not try to pull straigh out. You will see that the top edge has 2 lugs that engage the roof of the vestibule.

The steps will come out with the vestibule end. If they are stuck wedge GENTLY between the step and the rest of the car. Note well: The steps are NOT identical, but are slightly different so do not mix them up!!

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Now you will remove the rear bulkhead:

Now with the removal of 2 screws underneath, you can slide the bulkhead, with the vestibule doors out.

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It should puill straight up, but this can be tricky:

    • make sure the door in the bulkhead is closed, if it is open it can block the removal
    • make sure you pull it up evenly side to side
    • often they stick, so use a flat blade screwdriver between the top edge of the bulkhead and the roof, and again do it evenly.

After removing you can clear the grooves in the body, and even a small drop of oil in the groove to make things easier.

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Now is a good time to wick some CA into the back sides of the windows to keep them from popping out, just a tiny drop at the crack between the door and the window, let it wick in.

Now the end of the car is open:

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There are 4 screws that hold the roof to the body shell. They are at the ends of the roof. See the picture below.

Use a long shank #2 Philips driver. It helps to have a magnetized driver, that way, you have a chance to pull the screws back up the holes on certain cars.

You have to "feel around" a bit for the screws. If the car you are working on has doors you can peek through them to see where you are. The new baggage and RPO cars do not have working end doors, as the body shell is different.

If you drop the screws inside, no worries, just find them when you take off the roof.

The roofs are NOT glued on, but often are assembled while the paint is not cured, and will "stick" a bit. If you pull up on one end of the roof, you can see that there is a tab on the roof that engages the body about halfway down, but NOT in the exact center. A small flat blade screwdriver here can help.

After you have pulled the roof off, any paint stuck to the body can be lightly scraped off.

Here's a diner car opened up:


(Notice that this car has 3 of the 4 possible power connections between roof and body used. why?)

To reassemble, you have 2 problems:

One, any sliding doors are held in by the roof, so you need them to stay in place. Here's my trick:


Be sure to check that the roof seats fully down. If it does not, you do not have the doors up against the body, or the bottoms are not in their groove.

Next trick is getting the screws back in. Make sure you have a magentized screwdriver. Then slowly lower the screw into the hole, and try to orient the car so you can see inside, or use a flashlight. It takes some time.

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