Couple dilema

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by ezdays, Apr 2, 2004.

  1. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    I need an opinion from you N scalers. I disussed my recent aquisition in another thread that included 137 cars and 29 locos. I bought another layout a few weeks ago that also included cars and locos. I started to convert my own equiment to MT couplers and have bought cars that mostly had them already on.

    Now my delima, only eight of the cars and none of the locos that I bought recently have them on. To convert them all would run me quite a bit, say around $3.50 a car and a bit more for each engine, not to even count the endless hours of fooling around with them. What would you do? Convert all to MT or run with both types? How many of you run with one type or the other, or both? Hey, a poll, I'll do a poll.
  2. Will_annand

    Will_annand Active Member

    Well, seeing as all I have is one MiniTrix 2-10-0 Decopod and zero rolling stock.

    I don't even know what couplers are on the Decopod :confused: but when I could get it as a trade for an old Cable Digital Box I was not using. All I know is it ran smooth on the guys layout and was pulling about 15 cars.

    I am at the bench building phase so I don't even have any track down, or even a power source. I have ALL the track, crossovers and turnouts I need. Only need 2 turntables to complete the right of way.
  3. YakkoWarner

    YakkoWarner Member

    I have a few cars with a horn-hook on one end and an knuckle on the other. I plan to have all knuckle couplers at some point, but I don't think it is a high priority, because the "interface" cars let me run all of my rolling stock.
  4. Waytech

    Waytech New Member

    I use Atlas Acumates on 90% of all my cars, and all Loco's (15) except one.
  5. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member

    I have about half and half right now (with a couple of engines that have Kato knuckle couplers). I've been converting them over little-by-little when I have money and time (and when I can find the couplers I need). I have currently have one interface car, and one of my engines (SW9/1200) has a Rapido on one end and an MT on the other. As long as you can use a coverter car here and there you can probably manage until you get the whole fleet up to date.

    You can get a pack of 10 pairs for around $10, if you're willing to assemble them. Those are some mighty small pieces, though. But my biggest problem right now is availability. There are no hobby shops close by (the closest ones are about an hour away), and they don't always have what I need in stock.
  6. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    Hi Don, I use N scale couplers on my HOn30, so I thought I would participate, and voted as having both. Those litle "C" shaped ones? I have 'em, but won't be using them for appearance. I'll be using MTs, what absnut calls "Poor Man's MTs" or homespun link and pin.

    You may wish to enquire about these poor mans couplers, depending what you intend to do. They are bown plastic and have a knuckle coupler appearance, but are not functional (they have to be lifted apart, the knuckle does not open/close). In other words, they should be fine for "running trains" not good for operations and switching.

    Assuming you want MTs all the way around, and you lack time and money like me :D:D:D I would go out and buy $10 or $15 worth of MT's. Then take 2 cars and convert one end of each so you have "transition cars" alowing you to mix coupler types and run trains with all your current rolling stock and loco's. Then I would, at a leasurly pace, take the remaining MT's and convert as many loco's as you can. If any are left, do Rollin' stock with those. If any Loco's are particularly difficult, might skip those for now. Might be nice to have one or 2 loco's of the other type for now. After those are all used up, I would get another $10 or $15 and continue the process as time and money allows. The dollar amount might vary, depending on what's available in bulk packs. I know Kadees are a lot cheaper in bulk if you get $20 worth.

    Keep in mind, you also have the option of packing up any loco's or rolin' stock and mailing them to me, and I will make interesting narrow gauge HOn30 gagets out of them and be very appreciative and reward you with photo's and credit :D :D :D LOL j/k
  7. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

    MTs are the best and I am almost there with conversion. Pricey yes but it sure is worth it. I have been very dissapointed with Accumates. They look good but just aren't equal to the MTs when it comes to operating.
  8. GNRail

    GNRail Member

    I have been slowly converting to MT's. I tried the conversions once. I decided it was worth the extra money to buy the whole truck and coupler assembly aready together. Much reduced frustration factor. As a matter of fact I was just about to convert a bunch of qre cars.


  9. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Thank you all for the input. I have a tendency to want to change over to them all as well. It seems as if most of you have done that already. I like the appearance of the MT couplers and suppose I should take my time and convert as my funds allow. Yeah, I think I prefer to spend the extra money and buy complete trucks. Assembling the couplers from parts is one of the most frustrating things I've ever done. Hmm, I wonder if anyone would give me a good price if I were to buy about 200 sets of trucks all at once... maybe I could teach my wife how to change them out...:D :D
  10. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member


    If it's practical, I would avoid the Talgo style,


    and go with body mounted, preassembled MT's:


    Not sure if this is the exact one to get:

    That way you can replace the trucks and/or wheelsets only if they are substandard, and you get body mounted couplers which most regard as the more reliable way to go.
  11. b28_82

    b28_82 Member

    i'm prolly about half and half on my n scale stuff. Recently when i was home last there was a hobby shop that the guy was retiring and he was almost exclusively n-scale. I got a lot of stuff for 40 and 50% off whatever price he had. One of which was that $41 pack of MT couplers. He had those for 40% off as well. I think he had 2 but I only took one of them. Prolly shoulda taken both.:rolleyes:
  12. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    I have a lot of the truck mounted MTs that I'm going to convert to body mounts. MT couplers, as far as I'm concerned, are to N what Kadee #5s are to HO, and are my couplers of choice.

    P.S. I use #5s on my On30 also.
  13. Cinnibar

    Cinnibar Member


    To my way of thinking it all boils down to how much aggravation one wants to put up with. MT's have finally been installed on all of my stuff and I encounter far less problems than with Rapido or any of the "dummy" knuckle types on the market. Money is certainly a factor , it ain't cheap to convert a bunch of rolling stock but I did it graduallly over a few years and I'm now glad I did because I have far fewer derailments and coupler problems. :p
  14. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    I equipped all of my N scale locos with MT couplers and my freight cars with MT trucks/couplers. :thumb: I am toying with the idea of building a N scale layout rather then HO due to my limited space.Thankfully I kept most of my Atlas engines and cars as well as my MT cars..
  15. rcwatkins

    rcwatkins Member

    I have MT's on my rolling stock, but not quite yet on the loco.
  16. Bill Pontin

    Bill Pontin Member

    Converted my entire string of smoothside passenger cars, seventeen total to Micro Train 1015s. Rather than buy new trucks I just clipped the rapido couplers off the existing four wheel truck and mounted the M/T couplers to the car underside. (Some did require shimming.) Ran the entire 17 cars at the clubs last train show most of the day with only one car giving me grief. Belive I have to replace the truck on it. I like to buy the bulk pack of unassembled couplers to save money.

    Attached Files:

  17. plbab

    plbab Member

    I have a question on couplers. How do you know which coupler to use. Body mount ,truck mount looking at the MT site there are many styles to choose from. Paul
  18. absnut

    absnut Member

    I have all MT's or Accumates (Atlas) except for a few Unimates (non working knuckle couplers that will mate with MT's by hand) on some older locos. Atlas Accumate trucks and couplers are a little less expensive than MT's and, in my opinion, work as well. Unimates might be a cheaper "transition" for you while you're converting. They will mount in the Rapido pocket.

  19. seanm

    seanm Member

    You will need to come to some sort of standard for your railroad. Once you establish a system and stick to it you can evalute purchases bases on your standards. If someone wanted to sell me 300 RR cars with rapido couplers, I would have to conside the cost conversion in my offering price.

    You can always run then together with some "conversion" cars as mentioned above. That will get tiresome and eventually you will want them all in one or the other. I would bet you will lean tword MT.

    One thing you COULD do is if you got a good price is sell them on Ebay and then buy rolling stock with the proceeds with the couplers you want to make your standard.
  20. Brewer

    Brewer Member

    Although I don't have much of a roster, I have MT couplers on everything except for a Con-Cor SW 1200 Switcher I have not converted yet. I have a couple of cars by Atlas that have their versions of MT couplers, though. I am not a fan of the rapido couplers.

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