Adding 5th Wheels to BLMA Trinity Spine Cars

I thought I would add this quick and dirty tutorial on how to build the 5th wheels for these cars.  Small dabs of super glue and good magnifying goggles, tweezers and patience are all you need.  Oh, and a #70 drill bit.

Please forgive the photography, this is all macro work and I don’t have my light diffuser handy :(

The Parts you will need for each stand up hitch you want to do and the orientation of them.  Note the orientation of the parts, please.  The saddle has the “notch” facing away from the tread plates on the car.  That is how the truck bodies are loaded and the 5th wheel keeps them from moving about on the car.  If it was reversed, the trailer could possibly slide out under acceleration… bad thing.

The body of the car itself.  Note that I opened the holes a bit with a #70 drill bit.  Not much, just enough to get the extra paint away.

Install the longer of the two support braces.  The piece fits nicely into the hole with just a dab of super glue, it becomes very solid.  Don’t worry too much about the angle here, just try to get it near what I show.  When you glue it to the other support, the angle will mend itself as this is very soft stuff.

Ok, now for the upright.  Again, it slides nicely down into it’s holes if you have taken the time to open them up a bit with the #70 (or even a sharp knife).  I glued the bottoms in first, then I glued the piece from the previous step to this.  The arms fit nicely into the upright and kind of “lock” into the notches in the upright.

Now comes the saddle of the 5th wheel.  It is tricky, since it just glues to the upright in two very small places.  As you look at the bottom of the 5th wheel, you will just be able to see the notches that the saddle fits into.  They are not in the middle, but rather in the back 1/3rd of the saddle.  The smooth side goes up :)

And there is the completed upright 5th wheel for these amazing cars.

Hope that helps!

Added: 10 July 2011 – Note that when you add the uprights to all your cars, they no longer fit into the original packaging.  You have to cut away some of the flimsy plastic on the package to allow them to lay in the wells.  A strange thing, since one of the cars has a “bubble” for the 5th wheel, the rest don’t.

8 thoughts on “Adding 5th Wheels to BLMA Trinity Spine Cars

  1. You’re a hero! I just bought two sets of these cars today and was dimayed to find out there were no instructions for these. I had my first hitch installed thanks to your page! You rock!

    I kind of wished BLMA made these parts out of metal, they look so delicate. Also a metal hitch might be able to be switched out between folded and raised versions. Maybe an aftermarket manufacturer might make one.

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  2. Yes I agree that was very helpful. The one thing I would like to see added is if you install all five
    5th wheels in the upright position they do not fit back into the original package. I had to cut a slit out to allow the other 2 cars to fit so they would not brek any pieces off. You will notice that BMLA did allow in the packaging for only one car. The main question would be why did they not all for all the cars. Thanks again for the post.

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    • Good point about the packaging! I found that out myself. It does make one wonder why they didn’t add that little bulge for all the cars??

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