Microtrains Coupler Installation

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by Agatheron, Jan 1, 2006.

  1. Agatheron

    Agatheron Member

    I just acquired in a post-Christmas sale the starter kit for Microtrains Magnematic coupler system. So far of my locomotives and rolling stock, I have 1 locomotive and 4 intermountain cars that are already fitted with the MT couplers. In all I have 6 more locomotives that are fitted with either the Kato standard or with the Rapido couplers.

    In order to make everything compatible, I decided to go with the MT couplers. However, with that, comes a few questions... I know for the rolling stock, replacing the trucks with MT trucks is the way to go... or even do body-mounting if I want to get really fancy... However, my question isn't there, it's on my locomotives.

    Over the past while, I have acqured an Kato C44-9W, and three Life-Like GP9rm's (a Canadian only product). The MT 1015 coupler set is what is recommended for the GP9rm's, and one set of those came with the starter kit from MT.

    My trouble is that when I looked at the assembly instructions for the GP9rm and the underside of the locomotive, I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to actually remove the coupler assembly. Granted, I didn't have any tools on me, but it's clear this isn't going to be as straightforward as I first thought.

    This is also pressing, given that removal of the couplers is also necessary if I wish to remove the frame cover for both DCC decoder installation and if I want to spray down the shell with Dullcote in order to do some weathering...

    Does anyone have any expereince with this, or can refer me to a place that may have a step-by-step instruction on how this is done?

    Getting a move on with my layout is one of my new year's resolutions... so any help would be much appreciated.
  2. Tad

    Tad Member

    All you have to do on the Life-Likes is take a small screw driver and pop out the black clip that is holding the coupler in.

    Slide the 1015 through the pilot and pop the clip back in with the long post through the hole in the center of the coupler box.

    Then you need to check the height of the coupler with your gauge. You may have to use a shim to git it to the right height. If the height is right but the 1015 is loos e and moves up and down, put the shim on top and it will hold the coupler box steady in the pilot.

    It looks harder than it is. I remember the first time I did it on a LL SW. I was afraid I would mess it up or break something.
  3. Agatheron

    Agatheron Member

    Cool! Thanks!

    I do have 2 sets of mini-screwdrivers that I can do this with. Do I pop it out using a prying method just above the metal spring clip? I'm just a little worried about bending/breaking stuff... Usual first-time jitters...
  4. Tad

    Tad Member

    Slide the screw driver in under the black horizontal bar just above the bronze spring strip.

    You will not need the spring for the MTs.
  5. eightyeightfan1

    eightyeightfan1 Now I'm AMP'd

    Back in the day.......When I first started in N scale and manufacturers were putting on the Rapido as standard coupler, converting to MT's was rare and you just about needed a degree in engineering. MT did offer conversions for loco's to cover that big hole in the pilots.
    Things are so much easier today...Should of stayed in N scale......
    Sorry...Little bit of backflash there...
  6. ddavidv

    ddavidv Member

    I haven't done a GP9, but other LL's I've done sound similar. It's actually pretty easy once you get the hang of it. I actually was bragging to my local hobby shop guy last week that I should offer a LL coupler conversion service. Then I bought a set to do my Atlas RS-3. :eek: Not anything like the LL's!

    The MT should come with a metal clip that replaces the plastic one on the LL's. One tip I'd offer is that you don't want to make that clip tight, just snug, before bending the tabs over to lock it. Too tight and the coupler won't want to spring back to center.

    Have fun...be sure to review your curse word list before starting. It gets easy after the first two or three though. :wave:
  7. Agatheron

    Agatheron Member

    I've not tried it yet, but at least now I have enough couplers to do all three of my GP9rms... I'll let you know how it goes... The next task is to try to actually do the uncoupling once they're installed...
  8. HPRL

    HPRL Member

    When all else fails I have contact Micro Trains (MT) for advise. They are really great working one on one with installs. I had the same problem with the 1073 installing on the Kato Mac 70 and MT was so helpful that a part broke and they sent me a replacement overnight.

    Good Luck
  9. Agatheron

    Agatheron Member

    Well, with the advice I found here, I now have one of my GP9rm's upgraded to MT couplers. I had to use 2 shims on the rear fitting just to get it into place... but the other one didn't seem to need it. However, in retrospect, it probably does, because it appears to have room to "slide" downward.

    I didn't check with my LHS, but can one buy bulk shims without buying couplers??
  10. HPRL

    HPRL Member

    Agatheron: MT will sell you just the shims -- if you are nice to them they may even give them to you if let them know that shims are needed for the couplers/trucks.

    Good Luck!

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