coupler conversion

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by Cactus, Oct 26, 2001.

  1. Cactus

    Cactus Member

    I just received a Lifelike EMD-BL-2 in Western Maryland livery. It's one of Lifelike's October releases. I love the locomotive, but it arrived equipped with Rapido couplers.

    I want to convert these to Microtrains couplers. Unfortunately, Microtrains offers a bewildering variety of couplers and I'm confused about which to choose. (My confusion is exacerbated by my never having guessed right in the past).

    Can anyone advise me properly?

    toot toot
  2. billk

    billk Active Member

  3. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    Hi Cactus!
    If ypu have a hobby shop near you, they should have a copy of the Micro-Trains Coupler Conversion Guide. (You can also download one off their website) This will tell you what couplers you need for any loco, or rolling stock, & if the store doesn't have them in stock, they can order them.
    Nothing improves the look, & performance of N scale more than getting rid of those big ugly Rapidos.
    Good Luck!
  4. Cactus

    Cactus Member

    Thanks, BillK and Charlie.

    I'll check the Microtrains web site.

    I have a month to play with, because although the loco arrived this past week, my wife is going to surprise me with it for my birthday. That's next month.
  5. K.V.Div

    K.V.Div Member

    Like all new Life Like releases with the full pilot, you should use the 1015 or the 1016 (if you are using tight curves).
    The 1135 is for the old BL2 which was released several years ago and features the truck mounted couplers sticking through an open pilot (The "Toothless Grin" as some modelers call it).
    Happy modeling.

  6. Catt

    Catt Guest

    Got a real close look at the "NEW" BL2 today. To bad it doesn't fit my era.Translation=I don't need no more stinkin' locos:D :D
  7. Cactus

    Cactus Member

    Thanks for the specifics, it's the type of information I was looking for.

    I checked the Microtrains web site catalog, it specified the 1135 as the only conversion for a BL-2 locomotive.

    The Walther's catalog on page 118 specifies Microtrains 1135, 1163, 1165 or 1166, depending on where you look on the page -- all for Lifelike BL-2's. :)confused:)

    So, you understand the source of my confusion. I'll certainly be looking for the 1015 or 1016.

    Just to see that I'm clear. The Walther's catalog lists the 1015 as a "wide angle short shank body mount coupler with draft gear box". Does that sound right?

    Thanks again.
  8. K.V.Div

    K.V.Div Member

    Hi Cactus,

    I take everything I read in the Walthers catalog with a grain of salt, as it can get confusing at times.
    The MT 1135 was designed for all the early Life Like units equipped with a plastic coupler retention clip and truck mounted couplers (the 0-6-0 switcher is a body mount), of which the BL-2 is included.
    The couplers are long enough to extend through the large gaping hole in the pilots of these units.
    The MT 1163 is a body mount conversion for the old style BL-2 and it is designed to fill in the gap in the pilot, and involves cutting the origional coupler mounts away from the trucks.
    The MT 1165 and 1166 are similar body mount conversions for the FA2 and GP-18 respectivly, however, it would not supprise me to find that some resourceful modeler had managed to graft one onto an old BL-2.
    The MT 1015 is a short shank, wide angle coupler which fits into a draft gear box and can be used on all Life Like and Atlas units featuring a full pilot, as well as on some earlier Kato units.
    the following Life Like units use the 1015 coupler:
    C Liner A/B
    BL 2 (2001 version)
    The MT 1016 comes with a longer shank and can be used if your curves are sharper than 12 inch.
    1015 couplers come either unassembled with 2 pairs of 1015 and one pair of 1016 per package as well a a bulk pack with 10 pairs of 1015, or you can get them assembled in either 1015 or 1016 with 2 pairs per package (more expensive that way).
    Note that the 1163 does come with 1 pair each of 1015 and 1016 couplers, however, given the cost of the kit as well as the fact that you can't use the pilot fillers, going that route will be a tad more expensive than going with just the 1015/1016.
    The Micro Trains web site does not mention the new BL-2 because it is updated only once a month and the new BL-2 has been out for only a couple of weeks.
    Expect to see a mention of it maybe after the site has been updated next week, if not next month.
    I hope that my reply is not too long winded:D , however, Happy Modeling!

  9. Cactus

    Cactus Member

    Ahhhh! Even better information! :)

    I'm saving a copy of your post, because I'm sure I will have a use for it down the line -- not just for the BL-2, but for other purchases.

  10. Cactus

    Cactus Member

    Ahhhh! Even better information! :)

    I'm saving a copy of your post, because I'm sure I will have a use for it down the line -- not just for the BL-2, but for other purchases.

  11. K.V.Div

    K.V.Div Member

    Glad to have been of help Bill:).
    As the manager of a model train store, I try to make it my business to find out what the couplers are for all the new releases (as well as the DCC conversion, if I can).
    Also, I have a policy of doing the coupler conversions for my customers free of charge and, as such, including my own large fleet of locomotives, I have done coupler conversions on many hundreds of locomotives.
    If you or the others on this list need any other Info that I can help with, I will be more than happy to help out:D.
    Happy modeling.


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