The FedEx guy came today and left a package for me. It contained the Aristo trucks that I had ordered a week ago. These trucks are far better built than the ones from Bachmann as they have true bearings to hold the wheels. I can put a truck on the track and give it a hard shove and it will go completely around the entire room. The hubs on the outside of the truck turn with the wheels giving them a good look of realism. And, the wheels are mounted in authentic spring loaded frames so that they are true replicas of a real train truck.
The real reason that I bought the Aristo trucks was in hopes of replacing the trucks on the performer car. The performer car has electric pickups that are simply metal brushes that drag on the outer diameter of the wheels. This makes a whistling noise all the time and is quite annoying. It also puts a lot of drag on the engine. So, the new trucks have electric pickups like the tender car that are in the races for the bearings and so you get a good frictionless wheel that still picks up power. I had no problem replacing the trucks as they fit the car mounts perfectly. But, the Aristo knuckle does not fit smoothly with the Bachmann knuckle.
The second set of trucks that I bought have short arms on them for the knuckle and they sit about 1/8 inch lower than the Bachmann truck. The result is that the arm on the truck does not clear a part of the Bachmann train car edge. So, out came the dremel tool and away went some plastic. After that little bit of work, I was able to put the truck on the yellow giraffe flatbed car. I only put one truck on so that the car made the transition between Aristo and Bachmann knuckles. This won’t do for long as the Bachmann trucks are silver colored while the Aristo ones are black. The car looks off balance. I’ll fix that later.
With this small change, there is considerably less noise on the track and the engine doesn’t bog down in the curves at low speeds. So, overall, it was a good move….expensive at $25 for a pair of trucks, but a good move.