American Flyer compatible S gauge trains from American Models


American Models

Quality American Flyer compatible S scale model trains.

10087 Colonial Industrial Drive
South Lyon, Michigan 48178
248-437-6800 - Fax: 248-437-9454    
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Choose your situation:
Heavyweight trucks | S-12 Locos | 4-6-2 Sound | 50' Box Sound
Hi-Rail Cars | Derailments | Installing a reverse unit | Identification of Gear Box type
GG-1 Wiring Diagram | Exploded 4-6-2 picture view | AF Track Trip
Installation of DCC | How to Mate AF track to AM track | ID Gear Box Electric Parts




Identification of Gear Box type






Gear Box Electric Parts






Exploded 4-6-2 picture view

AF Track Trip

Improve Heavyweight truck performance!



Due to shrinkage, molding variables and time the Ø 1/8" "equalizing shaft" may need adjustment to allow easier movement to 4 and 6 wheel sideframes. See the pictures below to greatly improve the performance.

A. Two basic adjustments can be made. Follow pictures 1 and 2 to get sideframe out of bolster. If the side frame does not sit level file in a level plane the angled notch a little with the edge of the file see photo 3. Now snap back into the bolster and check if its now level. If not take note of what side to angle and file again.

B. If the sideframe does not swivel easily when connected into the bolster you may want to free it up. Before doing this step make sure modification "A" above is completed if needed. File as shown in picture 4. Re-install before filing any more or the sideframe may be too loose. If too loose the wheels axles now may be too loose also, so bend the sideframes from the ends in until they almost touch. Now install wheelsets, they should be tighter.

Photo 1

Photo 2

Photo 3

Photo 4

On tight radius track it may be necessary to allow the coupler to swing more. This is an easy modification taking about 3 minutes. Just remove the screw holding the coupler in the bracket, pull it out, and round file some notches in the appropriate place to match the front bracket wall. Re-install coupler but do not tighten the screw all the way. Now the coupler will move independently of the engine or car it is attached to.

S-12 Locomotives



It has been noticed that most of the S-12 hi-rail engines in the past have had the coupler mounted in the wrong hole. This position may pull the car attached to the engine off the track on curves. The coupler should be mounted in the hole closest to the outside end. This hole should be tapped before moving coupler. (If anyone would like us to do it, just send with note and we will return ship free).

Troubleshooting 50' Box Car Sound Problems.



Our sound units require a two-button controller for horn and bell. For the bell a one-second hold down is required to start or stop and only works in lower speed. To adjust the volume the shell must be removed. (50' boxcar may not be necessary to remove body; you may adjust through the hole). When viewing down on the sound board look for the device (pot) which looks like this pictured. With a small screwdriver turn clock wise to increase sound level, we cannot warranty units turned up near or at the highest position as the speaker may be damaged.
Note: On our 2 speaker sound board another adjusting pot (usually red colored) is on the other end of the board. This pot is used to adjust the "ramp up" threshold of the engine sound. One using an MRC transformer will need to adjust the threshold of "ramp up" of engine sound to come in at about 50% of power. At the normal "pot" setting the "ramp up" engine sound will occur almost immediately at start up using an MRC or some other transformer, so an adjustment is necessary for proper sound.

Troubleshooting American Flyer Hi-Rail cars.


Derailments on curves:
A. First thing to check is the "free swivel" of the truck. If not easy back out the screw 1/4 turn, retry and push car by hand.
B. Wheel back to back gauge.....Should be .725 to .735" (with hi-rail wheels) Check for side to side play of wheelsets when on track. Must have some play.
C. Some manufacturers track is too narrow in gauge. Should be minimum of .865" between rails. K-line and Gargraves track is known to often be too narrow. Spread apart using pliers in reverse fashion.
D. In some cases of S curves the radius may be so sharp that the couplers cannot move enough to prevent binding. Installing a 1/3 or 1/2 straight section between the S curve sections will usually solve this problem. American Models .148 turnouts are designed for close siding tracks, i.e. distance from main line, as they are a 1/2 curve section of 27" radius track. The S is much more gentle, realistic and trouble free.
E. Six wheel passenger trucks are prone to derailing if the coupler is too high, check to see if the coupler isn't touching the bottom of the car.
Derailments or uncoupling over switches or crossings:
A. This problem is almost always with the coupler "lock pin" hanging too low. Bend up with pointed pliers or by taking truck off and bending the coupler tongue up slightly.
B. On American Flyer items with metal weights pressed onto the lock pin, make sure the weight is all the way into the metal part, super glue into position. If still too low bend up coupler mounting tab.

Click for a printable version of this image.

Cars uncoupling on curves:
Some American Models passenger cars have smaller scale size couplers, squeezing the knuckle somewhat with pliers will usually narrow the gap between coupler knuckle and outer coupler wall, this will eliminate any unwanted uncoupling.
Heavyweight passenger cars derailing on curves:
On tight radius track it may be necessary to allow the coupler to swing more. This is an easy modification taking about 3 minutes. Just remove the screw holding the coupler in the bracket, pull it out, and round file some notches in the appropriate place to match the front bracket wall. Re-install coupler but do not tighten the screw all the way. Now the coupler will move independently of the engine or car it is attached to.
The most common adjustment needed is Squaring Up the Body. (This may be required because of the slamming and throwing of packages by the shipper). Place the car on a flat surface such as a formica top or other surface that is flat. Carefully look at all the wheels if they are on the surface, try the car to see if it rocks. If wheels are not all on the surface then hold each end of car on ends and "rack" or "twist" the car slightly to re-set the roof in alignment. Check wheels to see if you twisted it the right way. Car will now stay in correct alignment unless it falls on the floor or other accident.

Using American Models cars and engines on tight AF curves.
When running on AF 19 1/2" radius track some of our engines (with frame mounted couplers) will pull a freight car off the track. This can be easily remedied by modifying the coupler mounting tab. Modify an American Models or SHS car, (you can not modify an AF car this way).

Take the screw out of the truck you like to run next to the American Models engine. Notice the coupler mount (which mounts onto the bolster of the truck) is held in position on top of the bolster with 4 small "lugs" 1 mm in diameter (.040 ) and about 1.5 mm in length. Bend all 4 off with pliers, make smooth. Remount coupler and truck as it was. Loosen screw a little so the coupler moves easily.

Now the coupler can swing and eliminate pulling off the cars. The coupler will still keep in proper position as it is in a recessed area on the coupler mount.


Typical reverse unit installation

(Click for larger image)


GG-1 Wiring Diagram





Mating AF track to AM track


click here

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