Sunday, 16 December 2007

Wagon suspension systems

Having bought a set of MJT and Scalefour Society etched W-iron wagon compensation units, I'm nowthinking of going for springing instead! There are several reasons for this:
  • I don't like the fact that rocking W-irons require the springs at one end of the wagon to be seperate from the solebar - a minor detail maybe, but enough to be noticeable.
  • For open wagons (without loads) I like to fill the whole underside of the wagon with liquid lead for additional weight (particularly important with plastic wagon kits). Fitting a rocking W-iron would mean less space for this.
  • According to several members of the P4_talk discussion group, rocking W-irons tend not to perform as well as sprung, or even rigid wheelbase wagons. Of course, how 'scientific' the tests that back up this statement have been I don't know!
Interestingly, last night I happened across sheet 42.4.6 in the Scalefour Digest which outlines a couple of alternative methods of suspension including the Severs system of compensation which avoids the need to remove the existing moulded W-irons on plastic wagon kits. However, it's a bit of a bodge job, requiring a V-shape to be filed into the bearings at one end, and a piece of bent wire used as a pivot for the axle.

So I'm going to get hold of some Bill Bedford etched sprung W-irons and see how I get on with these.

1 comment:

  1. Matt, you dont need to separate the spring. Do an L shaped cut dorwn the front of the spring and backwards to separate the axlebox and the gap is hidden in that area.
    Having said that, I prefer the Bill Bedford irons myself. Be careful which bearings you used or the irons will be badly splayed. You need bearings close to the nominal 1.5mm depth. The Markits waisted ones are pretty good and the Gibson ones are ok. Avoid the Exactoscale ones which are closer to 1.2mm deep rather than the 1.5 shown on the drawings!