Couple dilema

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

  1. ausien

    ausien Active Member

    All the locos and rolling stock we buy here new has rapido couplers, most of us here like to run with KD`s. so the cost of converting sometimes influences what we buy and how many...have a good one ..steve
  2. tillsbury

    tillsbury Member

    Same here in New Zealand, but that's only because the stock's so old. Some of the US e-tailers are still selling Atlas freight cars with rapidos, though Atlas say they don't.

    In the poll, it would be interesting to have more detail. I'm in the process of converting to MT body-mounted throughout, on the basis it's easier to do it right and do it once. Have never got Accumates to work reliably, and don't like the look or the thought of changing out all the trucks (and haven't found MT truck-mounted couplers to be as reliable, anyway). It sounds as though some others in these replies are doing the same thing...
  3. tillsbury

    tillsbury Member

    ...and what does the 'both types' option on the poll mean? MT and Accumate? MT and Rapido? Or something else?
  4. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    I'm in the process of selling off all my N scale stuff...I always prefered to switch the couplers out in favor of MT's., but I didn't get around to it on a lot of stuff because of sheer laziness!:sleeping: :rolleyes:
    ..The truck-mounted type are a quick & easy solution...the locos, however, generally require some surgery...but the results are worth the effort IMHO...If you're interested in the body mounted type, those are product # 1015...There's a Z scale version of this one too, that a lot of N scalers like because of its more scale appearance...
  5. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    When I did this poll a year ago, I kinda just wanted to know what percentage of modelers used magnetic couplers and how many didn't, and did anyone mix the two. At the time, I was converting all my stuff to MT couplers when I bought a collection of about 150 cars and 30 locos, and only two or three of those cars and none of the locos had MT couplers on them. An expensive proposition if I wanted to convert all of them, but from the respose here, it looks like it's no big sin to use both on a layout.:)

    I guess I could have asked it differently since I can see now where it might be a bit confusing.:confused::confused:
  6. Bikerdad

    Bikerdad Member

    Ahhh, old poll, resurrected. So, Don, update us and let us know what you've done in the intervening year regarding your couplers.

    As a general rule now, I don't buy anything with Rapidos without considering the conversion cost. A lot of rolling stock that's equipped with Rapidos is older, lower quality stuff anyhow, so that works against it as well. With locos, we don't have as much choice, so if it has Rapidos, I'm resigned to changing them out.

    I haven't had significant problems with Accumates yet, although I have had a few self-detonate. When that happens, I simply replace them with MTs. I know I have one Woodchip Car that has a bad Accumate, have to hunt that down someday and resolve it. Otherwise, if a loco or car comes with operating knuckles, I don't mess with replacing them. I've got enough Rapido and dummy knuckles to deal with to keep me busy. All replacements are MTs. For future activities, I may replace Rapido equipped trucks with MT trucks and body mounts, "may" be the operative word.
  7. Trbulnc

    Trbulnc New Member

    I just purchased a new Kato SD80 and am not having the best of luck with the coupler. The engine runs great, smooth and strong it just doesn't seem to keep the cars coupled. Currently using the Atlas couplers. Can you install a different type (MT) on the Kato which will help? There is a small metal flexible stripe in which the coupler pivots but the knuckle just seems really small.

  8. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Well, I'm kinda stuck in a time warp that's what. I still have mostly cars with Rapido couplers, the same on most of my locos mainly because both collections I bought dates for the most part back to the 70's and I don't think there was much of anything else available back then. These are not cheap cars by any means, one collection included several commemorative cars from the 70's. I'm not sure what the conversion costs will be, but considering I would need to convert about 160 freight cars, close to 50 passenger cars, and around 45 locos, I'm rethinking this whole thing, both from a time and cost standpoint. I've got a few cars modified as transition cars for now. My main focus has been to get my layout running again, and finishing it up. I lost some time last year when we moved, and again when I was recovering from shoulder surgery, so the coupler problem has to take a back seat for a while longer.

    The good news is that I've gotten my layout cabinet rebuilt and the track and wiring repaired (major damage during the move) and I'm starting to work on the scenery and structures once again.:thumb::thumb:
  9. tillsbury

    tillsbury Member

    MT sell Kato-specific coupler conversions for most, I believe the SD80 is the same as the F3 set (or is it the RS-2 set?). On the ones I've done (which doesn't include the SD80 to be fair), the conversions are disappointing. Each time I've thrown those away and fitted standard 1015's, which work great. On the F3 this entailed chopping a little from the rear truck cover and the coupler itself, on the RS-2 this just needed some subtle filing of the opening in the shell. Sometimes I drill for screws, and sometimes supplement this with a touch of CA. They come out working, and at the correct height.

    Some of the special conversion kits leave you with a coupler that has up/down play, which is the worst thing possible. The coupler tends to move down towards the magnet instead of sideways, which means they don't uncouple properly, and they uncouple going forwards when you don't want them to.

    So I'd always try for 1015's first before using the special kits...

  10. Zman

    Zman Member

    As I've only started in the hobby recently, I don't yet have very many engines and rolling stock, but I do have several different types of couplers on them. The problem with MT couplers for me is that I model 19th century, and MT couplers look less prototypical than small knuckle couplers.
  11. tillsbury

    tillsbury Member

    Well, they don't look right for modern ones either, but at least they work... If you prefer more accurate scaled couplers, have you tried MT Z-scale ones? They look great on N-scale cars and locos, and couple reliably too. I don't know how well they work with magnetic uncoupling though, if at all?


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