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Freightliner cabover

41 posts in this topic

Posted · Report post

Just started on my Freightliner, assembled the frame and the cab and small misc so far. I read on this forum about the short comings of this kit, which helped tremendously. BUT, I mocked up the front axle and it is WAY too wide for the cab. probably a third of the tire assembly is sticking past the cab sides.

I had seen something mentioned the first time I read this forum, and I looked in vain for the info. I need to work with what I have, is shortening the axle the best way to remedy this problem?

I look forward to any suggestions in this matter and to any issues I might need to know about. Thanks!

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Posted · Report post

William,

The WF is a great subject to build. But can be troublesome if don't think and plan the build through. The width of the front axle on many AMT kits is a problem. I tend to use the 1/25 metal axle from KFS because its about 3/16" narrower so wheels sit under cabs and hoods. This gives a much more realistic appearance. The only down side is that you have to buy an axle kit. I know one or two people who have used the kit axle. To get the wheels in the right place they have trimmed the actual hubs. This can be very effective and is at no extra cost.

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Posted · Report post

Dave, thanks for your suggestion. The point I am at with this kit I can remedy this problem, but am limited to what parts are in the box or I must create. With the front axle and wheel/tire mocked up I have this width issue. The correct width can be obtained without the brake hub, backing plate but that won't do. I do have room to section the axle, I suppose pinning it for support would work the best, then use what the kit supplied.

Another option I looked at was thinning the brake hub and enlarging the centering hole and making a super thin backing plate with non-rotating wheels. That would be acceptable but not preffered.

I have seen many builds of this kit here and most have an acceptable wheel spacing, just hoping to get some experienced thoughts to ease the pain. Thanks again.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

i would trim down the brake hub or maybe not even use them.You dont really see that kind of stuff any way after the model is complete. The after market axle I am sure would work but that stuff gets costly.No offense ment towards you dave. I always just work with what i have. You can always cut the center of the axle out 3/16 isnt that much to remedy.Just some suggestions.All these kits have different issues .You just learn to alter or deal with it accordingly.I stay away from aftermarket or resin parts as one part tends to cost more then the kit you bought.I would have to quit building these if i had to buy extra parts for every issue on a kit.I couldnt afford it. LOL Good luck if you need anymore suggestions ask glad to help.

Edited by pete3522

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Posted · Report post

Billy,I just looked at my freightliner build up and think sectioning the brake drum would work the best.The tires should realy be tucked under the cab a bit not flush,not sure if you can cut enough from the middle with out making the axle mount flanges too out of wack.Removing the brake drums all together is a option and would be correct because sometimes these oldies didn't have front brakes.Laws of the day required brakes only on 4 wheels.

This is something I'll address on my next freightliner build.

Oh, the cab jack pump should be horizontal between the frame and left tank not vertical behind the tank like the instuctions suggest.Watch the tank fillers,its easy to get them mixed up and on the wrong side

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Posted · Report post

good point kevin i forgot to mention that . I think alot of 1980 and earlier didnt have the front brakes just on the rears were brakes so leaving off the brakes in the front is probably the option i would take before cutting the axle ,

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Posted (edited) · Report post

good point kevin i forgot to mention that . I think alot of 1980 and earlier didnt have the front brakes just on the rears were brakes so leaving off the brakes in the front is probably the option i would take before cutting the axle ,

Not sure when the law changed, '74???.I also think Canadian laws were changed later.I'm saying that because my dad had what I think was a '84 that had a steel disk mounted to the hub so it looked like a brake drum when looked at through the holes in the wheel.This was to fool the scale man,well not a full inspection.This maybe was a california thing because that truck was suposed to have a dedicated run to cali.For some reason the guy who ordered it never bought it ,my dad did

Edited by mistermodel

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Posted · Report post

cool i just read pre 1980 somewhere on the net cause i look at alot of truck sites for pics and reference for future builds. Also havent built one of these kits since i was a teen but i think the cab was a issue to where the seam is in the middle i think you could make that a day cab or sleeper? also read on here it tends give you problems

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Thanks for your input on this matter. I prefer to use what the kit was supplied with if possible. I checked out Dave's builds and they are very very nice. The aftermarket axle is right on. Most likely I will have to both section the axle and trim some brake hardware to get the results I need.

The cab really wasn't an issue, as I sanded both halves and glued small sterene strips to the inside for alignment. My seam is minimal and should be able to fill with putty and smooth out if I am carefull. My plan is a black cab with gold striping, alclad the wheels and give the truck a owners pride look, but well used. The interior will be a dark red or maroon, hopefully I can make some accessories to add to both the interior and exterior for added appeal.

I have two older trailer kits which prompted this build, a '50's car hauler and the two trailer kit, unfortunately neither is actually a good fit, for this kit or my Ford Aero, which really looks like a nightmare to build.

Thanks to all who input on these forums. The information is priceless for our hobby. The pics are fun too!

Edited by Hary Bare

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Posted · Report post

sounds good hopefully you will post some pics anxious to see this

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Posted · Report post

I am going back to the bench to ponder the issue, I will take some pics and post if interested. I am a slow poke but am looking forward to this build.

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Sectioned the front axle, got it where I want it. Started to putty body seams and cleaning up mold lines. If all goes well tomorrow I can put the chassis on wheels and mock up the body. Looking for an air conditioning unit to put on the roof. Any ideas where to find one or is it easier to just build one? Going to look at some builds to check ride height front wheels to body .

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Please post some pics when you can i am in the middle of one of these had to stop for a while got to ticked off had to walk away for a while
Edited by camaro68

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Posted · Report post

i would build one some stryene and some screen in the front

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I will post some pics Sunday afternoon. Did some more seam work and prepped and light primer coat on cab. As careful as I was the top has a noticeable line across the roof. Not a seam but noticeable. Hopefully second prime and sand will reduce it more. Pretty good luck keeping rivet detail, hopefully will stay that way.

Front axle is stable now. Did some filler work on it. Got the front wheels to support the chassis, body mounts on and adjusted. Had to raise them a smidge to get a level cab. Thinned the front of the cab somewhat to get the grill to fit flush with the front panels. A little more work needed here. When finished should have reall nice cab tilt and cab mount detail should be nice.

I am really having fun with this build so far, put the engine block together and am wondering about the color it should be? The box art shows a pale federal yellow shade, is it even close? Is the chrome on the engine correct? (?) I am going to look around here but is someone knows, please share lol.I have a ton of questions but I will address them as the build progresses. Have to look at air conditioners so I can make a dandy. Thanks for sharing and your suggestions! Billy

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Posted · Report post

Hey Billy, the engine in that kit is a Cummins, just like the one I built and posted pics of. These engines were painted "Cummins beige". It would be highly unlikely to see any chrome anywhere on them. You could leave the parts chrome for a custom look though. I used Tamiya XF-55 Deck tan which has a little bit more a gray color than Cummins beige but it gives the engine a used appearance. It's also flat based so your engine will look more realistic. Don't ever go by the pictures on the box, they are incorrect pretty much every time!

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Thanks for the input Ben. Gunna try to load some pics.

th_9c512d02.jpg

th_ef11bc5e.jpg

th_436db5c1.jpg

A little more filling on front axle, Cab supports good with interior tub in, shifter mount lines up nice. The top seam still shows a line after second primer coat, I don't like it but,,,,,? Had to use what filler I had that wasn't dried up, have to get some bondo putty tomorrow. Axle will be finished then.

Edited by Hary Bare

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Posted · Report post

The cab does have some issues. I make sure that my cab sections fit as tight as possible by sanding them on a flat surface. Any fill that I do, is done from the rear to minimize the amount of front sanding. The instructions indicate attaching the grill to the body in the body assembly stage, and then connecting it to the chassis. This can be troublesome. I attach the grill to the chassis in the chassis assembly. I then slide the body onto the grill in the body assembly stage.

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Thats all I've done in the mock up stage so far. The body isn't flush with top of grill in pics, I put the interior tub in for shfter alignment, that was my focus. Time to the the paint stirred up!

Edited by Hary Bare

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Posted · Report post

I will add one other thing- aside from the too-wide axle, if you aren't careful attaching the side steps, they'll contact the tires.

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After working on this kit off and on I finally have made some progress. The cab is painted black with gold striping. I had a little bleed thru which I hope will touch up and I will be satisfied with the finished result. The interior is finished and installed in the cab and I am now adding tanks, bumpers, stacks,,,,. Speaking of stacks, I am unhappy with the look of the kit supplied stacks, is replacement with tubing the way to go? I would prefer to put clackers on the tops or bolgna cut the ends instead of straight cuts.

I am also thinking of putting some flares on the front wheel openings. Any experiance with these? My front axle sectioning seems to be just right but to get the "well used owner/operator look " I want I think this would be a nice touch.

I plan on weathering this model soon, looking for the "nice truck but needs a good cleaning and polish and touch up" any suggestions would be welcome. I will post some pics soon. Thanks in advance!

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Posted · Report post

Show us some pic"s please Mine is still on the shelf unfinished ! :blink:

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"Speaking of stacks, I am unhappy with the look of the kit supplied stacks, is replacement with tubing the way to go?"

It depends on what you want to replace. If you don't want to use aftermarket parts for the whole muffler/end pipe assembly you might want to use a minimum of parts. I suggest cutting the end pipes to a short stub right after the muffler and adding larger diameter aluminum pipes that fit right over those stubs for added realism. When polished with some mild automotive compound, these pipes will look great! At least make them bigger cause the kit pipes look like bicycle handle bars.

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Thanks for the suggestion Robert. From the muffler and guard up, a larger diameter pipe seems in order. I will take a side to the hobby shop and see what will look "right". Still debating over straight, bologna cut or maybe clackers on top?

Put the steps together,,,are you kidding ?? Made sure the notches were correct per side and they just don't jive! Any alternative suggestions? These look terrible. I am not building a show quality model here but this kit is kinda cranky! Did I pick the the most finicky kit of the bunch for a first truck build lol?

I will take pics sunday. Lots done since last pics. I did touch up my bleed thru tonight and the color is right and stripes are straight.

installed the tanks and test fited the fenders to see how they look. slowly but not surely.

Edited by Hary Bare

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Hey Billy, I know ehere you're coming from! My first build was the same kit. Yes that front axle was and still is too wide, the cab joint is almost impossible to get rid of without killing some of the rivet detail, the headlights sit too high on the front end, the step are clunky... The instructions don't say much about the rear suspension and the cab lifting lever is not at the right position on the frame.

Oh, and nobody really knows how and where to put the cab grab handles. Else from that? It's not so bad. For the exhaust pipes, may I suggest a standard 3/16 diameter pipe, in scale it comes up to a little more than 4 1/2 inches. It should look good without looking customized unless that's the look you want and go bigger.

I had some trouble keeping those stacks parallel on mine so I put a brace between them at the top, it helped a lot at keeping them straight and vertical.

For those pesky steps... I don't know what to say, they look stupid even when you get them right. By the way, the top step is boxed into the cab, you could make them a look a little better if you stick a body colored panel behind that top step up to the top of the step mounts,the kit doesn't provide any.

You talked about front wheel opening flares earlier, a lot of real Freightliners have them. Plastruct and or Evergreen have the right size quarter round materials to make these.

Another suggestion, find pictures of the real truck such as Hanks truck pics, that should help a bit in figuring out how to build this beast. Hang in there, it looks good once its built! Oh, and show us pics of that progress too.

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