Dismantling will be necessary to install the lighting, and possibly to correct the problem of drawbar jamming.
The chassis is one piece with the body. The roof can easily be removed by passing a nail through the gap with the bodywork, but the clips are small, fragile and too “claw-like”: for one coach, three were broken during the operation. To avoid this, press the roof towards the centre of the coach during the operation.
The bogies are not easy to remove: here again, the clips are too claw-like. I didn’t dare insist. You can — not always — achieve it by levering it off with a flat-bladed screwdriver, at the risk of damaging the chassis infrastructure.
After removing the roof, I managed to unclip a bogie by passing a 3.5 mm dia. tube through the hole in the floor of the interior fittings. This tube allows the two clips to get closer to each-other and release.
Once the bogies have been removed, it is advisable to take advantage of this to soften the pivot clips.
Dismantling the interior fittings is delicate and risky. Based on the “Renato method” of the Loco-Revue forum, but with a little modification, I managed to remove the interior without any breakage on four coaches: a B11, a B9, a B5D and an A3B4. Indeed, given the wide variety of layouts of these coaches, several trials have to be made.
In fact, the main difficulty comes from the fact that the lugs attached to the interior floor are snapped in both under the glazing and under the wall linings, and are mostly hidden by the seats, which are themselves glued in place. Note: these lugs are evenly distributed every 35 mm.
In BD coaches, the van part is not fitted with linings, so the lugs are fairly accessible: they can be released by simultaneously pulling on a wall fixed to the floor. But for the others, it is almost obligatory to unglue and remove the linings and then access the lugs. The glue used is not very strong, but it is rubbery: when the wall is reassembled, there is a risk that it will no longer stick properly, unless all the glue residue is scraped off, which is excessively painful.
With a thin blade (X-Acto) slipped between the outer wall and the lining, I release the tenons from one end.
Progression along the wall. In this case there are tenons every 30 mm approximately.
Starting at one end, I gradually lift the parts. In this photo, one lining has already been removed, the other is in the process of being extracted.
Attention: you have to go over some sort of lugs moulded with the glazing, as shown in this detail visible by clicking on the photo.
Once the linings have been removed, it becomes relatively easy to remove the fittings, even if they remain more or less snapped in, using a flat-bladed screwdriver to move them away from the sides of the body.
Depending on the coach type, there are very few grips for pulling the fittings out.
Personally, I used a small tool normally made to hook a spring, made with a safety pin! By slipping it between the body and the fittings, and then rotating it, you manage to grip the floor and lift it up.
Here is an example of the use of this “extractor”.
Sometimes, as here on this A3B4, it is sufficient to remove the liners on one side only.
It is interesting to be able to detect the coaches concerned without having to do a full trial. Here is a simple manual test for this purpose. By pulling slightly towards you, i.e. towards the bottom of the coach, make the drawbar go back and forth. If it gets jammed before the return to the centre, you have to intervene.
Start by removing the bogie, see Dismantling the bogies. Next, try to clip the protrusion that causes the jamming by scraping it off with, for example, a small screwdriver blade.
In case of failure, there are two options. The first is milling from the outside, with a milling bit with a maximum diameter of 1.5 mm.
Be careful not to completely destroy the drawbar stop!
Another option: milling from the inside. This of course requires the dismantling of the interior fittings, which allow access to the drawbars. Take advantage of this to eliminate any unnecessary relief, such as that caused by the release ejectors.
After that, running in curves, counter-curves, pulling or pushing (at moderate speed in this case) can be done without any problem.