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DennisT

1st conversion: AIMTruck's Sterling onto AMT AutoCar tractor: tips?

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Found the AMT AutoCar A64B tractor kit to go with my $80 American Industrial Model Truck's Sterling conversion.  So logic tells me to build the AMT frame and running gear and drop the Sterling cab on, right?  Before I head that way, does anyone have any tips or trouble spots to avoid?  I intend to build this up as a logging truck and I also have the AMT log trailer kit.    I recently built the AMT, "Construction Bulldozer," kit also in 1:25, using all the you tube videos I could find.  There were several pit falls in the building process, but it came out OK.  Still weathering it.  Interestingly, the bottom of the bulldozer kit's box had sprue diagrams with numbers printed to match instruction sheet.  AutoCar has the diagram on box bottom, but..........zero numbers.  Not much help.  Just go by photos.  

Thanks for comments,

Dennis

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I always decide what I want my wheelbase to be first. I usually look at reference pictures or sometimes brochures. I then build the basic frame and suspension and axles without any extras to get a look at it on wheels. Make sure that your front axle width doesn’t need modification. Then determine cab mounting before adding any tank brackets, battery boxes, etc. Before I finalize any mounting I get the radiator and engine position determined to “try” to resolve any clearance issues that will show up later. You may also consider adding a stinger to the rear or extended frame behind the rear axles as this type logging setup usually had them. Also decide how you are going to make your windows before final paint. 

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I agree with Brian.  Building a model outside of a total kit build is a lot like building the real thing.  Start with the frame and make sure it is straight and not warped in any way.  And yes check the front axle width.  You may have to take a section out of the middle so that the tires fit under the fenders.  Are you planning on using the chain drive or the later differential and drive shaft?  If it's a logging rig with tandem axles and you use the chain drive remember that there are two sets of chains and sprockets.

Keep us posted on your progress.  Sounds like an interesting build.

Edited by Chariots of Fire

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Thank you.  It's looking as if I'll be starting with what kits I have and modifying them to suit.  'Kinda, "winging it," as it were.  I am able to make up parts to some extent, so we'll see where it goes.  I suspect there are parts sources out there that I am yet unaware of - perhaps they'll show up as I pop in and out of these forums.  I do like the AITM's products so far and I am a big fan of the early Sterlings.  When young I lived adjacent to Highway 101 at the top of a long grade.  At might I would listen to the occasional trucks pulling up that hill.  I could always tell the sound of a chain drive truck.....

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I use a lot of tape to mock up constantly.  I'd tape the front suspension (or use white glue which will dissolve when soaked in water) and check the cab for fit to make sure the front axle will line up right.  AITM has a lot of great stuff but it's a higher level than just a straight out of box kit.  OTOH, some of those AMT kits don't go together very well.........

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AITM resin kit of the Sterling has separate fenders that need to be attached to the frame sides.  Since my Sterling is an East Coast version I cut about 1/4" off the bottom of the hood sides and cab.  that made the cab sit lower on the frame.  The fenders then can attach to the frame with the flat part flush with the frame top.

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A look from the bottom.  I attached a piece of Evergreen angle to the fenders and then drilled holes through both the angles and frame sides for small screws.  During building I was taking the fenders on and off all the time for one reason or another.  Attaching with screws made that much easier.

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Here you can see the top of the flat part of the fender set flush with the top of the frame.  In turn, the cab has a place to sit also.

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If you look close under the front and very rear of the fender that is under the cab you will see the screws that hold the fenders in place.  Once I knew they would be permanent I included CA to hold the fenders secure as well as the screws.  Much less chance of breaking off.  

Speaking of screws, I bought a whole selection of them from Micro-Mark a number of years ago.  They have been used a lot including holding wheels on axles.

 

 

Edited by Chariots of Fire

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