I have a trio of the AristoCraft Streamliners and love the way they look. I’ve even modified one adding a drum head and rear flashing lighting that stays on when the engine comes to a stop.
But what I don’t love is the way they continually derail on me on the slightest trackwork imperfections. I know that improvement may be had by changing the springs, I think that there is an inherent flaw in the truck/body interface that exacerbates the problem.
I feel that the problem lies in the fact that truck pivot point does not lies midway between the axles, but rather just behind the front axle. The result is that changes in the position of the coupler from side to side that also pull the near axle over are “amplified” to the far axle forcing it further out in a curve making it want to/more prone to jump the rail head.
I cut a filler plate on the laser that will place the central pivot point where the rear “slide” point now resides, midway between the axles. Then I’ll design new bolsters with will capture a 1/4"-20 screw for use as the new pivot point. These will be done in three parts.
The lower bolster (closer to the body) plate will have about the same shape as the existing bolsters with the four screw mounting holes to meet the existing holes in the body. The center will be cut as a hexagon to contain a 1/4"-20 bolt head.
An upper bolster plate (further from the body) will be of similar except that the center hole will be 1/4" to let the bolt threads pass through.
A round disk will then be placed over the bolt to allow the trucks to rock and will compensate for the portions of the truck that would hit the bolsters.
Hopefully this will improve tracking, but if not, no damage done.