Replacing Couplers with MTs

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by OwenCPR, Aug 9, 2004.

  1. OwenCPR

    OwenCPR Member

    Just wanted to vent (and also sympathise with the "older crowd" on the forum).

    Am in the process of replacing Kato and Rapido couplers on my rolling stock in a piecemeal process. Am replacing the whole truck assemblies for most of the rolling stock (freightwise anyhow) which is straight forward.

    The kicker comes when replacing some of the passenger stock (the Kato Budd cars - the trucks are great - just not the couplers) and the Kato couplers on my E8s.

    The latter is causing me the most grief. The Pilot coupler was a snap (literally) as the whole unit just fits into place. The issue is the rear coupler and the two piece assembly of the Microtrain coupler. The instructions are longwinded and confusing, there are too few diagrams for each step, and the parts are extremely small and fiddly for even my hands and perfect eyesight (I'm in my mid thirties)

    My sympathies go out to the older crowd without good eyesight and handling skills - I always knew N Scale had some pitfalls!!! I just don't know how those in their seventies and older (and some younger!!!!) cope sometimes. My admiration to those who do struggle and succeed!

    As for the rear coupler on the E8 - I will persevere and triumph!!!!
  2. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    One thing I love about my Atlas and Life Like locomotives is the ease of installing MTs with coupler boxes..You remove the old coupler and slide in the MT coupler..Now this is held in place by a 00-90 screw..Thankfully at 56 years old I can still SEE these TINY screws even with my glasses off. :D Thankfully I do not own any passenger cars----------yet. :D

    I wonder if that has anything to do with all of the carrots my Mother made me eat when I was a kid?? :confused:
  3. OwenCPR

    OwenCPR Member

    Another question......why do MT make the coupler in two pieces and not just one unit to try and wiggle into the box?????
  4. Muddy Creek

    Muddy Creek Member

    May I add another question to your list?

    I'm planning to buy 30 or so pairs of MT unassembled body-mount couplers for a fleet of logging cars I need. How hard are these going to be on my tired old eyes? Should I just hand them off to my daughter to assemble?


    (First post. Hello all!)
  5. OwenCPR

    OwenCPR Member


    I'm no expert at this by any means (although I think I will be after the dust settles and I stop swearing!!!)

    It'll depend on the uncoupler box and type of of MT uncoupler, but given they are unassembled (for the most part) I suggest you are going to have the same issues as I am......give it to your daughter if she is willing (she too may curse you in the long run!)
  6. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Guys,I found its best to buy the assemble couplers with coupler boxes..I tried assembling those MT couplers and I found for me it worth the extra price to buy those things assemble then try to put them together.. Now for those with young eyes and steady hands go fer it. :D
  7. Muddy Creek

    Muddy Creek Member

    I guess I'll order one pack of 10 and see how it goes from there. Trying to shave some costs where possible. Just started a new layout in a new era so everything from benchwork to cars will be new. Same old eyes, though.

  8. OwenCPR

    OwenCPR Member


    How do you fit the assembled coupler boxes into Kato locos and rolling stock? Is some trimming required in the shell or body boxes?
  9. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Owen,I can't help you there..I do not own any Kato engines or cars in N scale..The reason being Kato does not make anything I can use on my C&HV unlike Atlas that makes to much that I can use but,thankfully I am able to resist temptation..I stopped at the NS GP38s and B23-7s..I have all the C&HV power I need except for 2 more GP40s that I may add some time in the future.
  10. OwenCPR

    OwenCPR Member

    Success at last!!!!! That was extremely painful. I still have 10 1/2 Budd passenger cars to go!!!!

    I think if I buy the ConCor Budd passenger cars that I will replace the entire truck and coupler assembly (I've heard that the trucks aren't as good as the Kato ones - anybody have any comments on this???)
  11. lsk040365

    lsk040365 New Member

    I always try to buy everything with the knuckle couplers already installed. I go to plan B if they don't--The guy at my LHS puts them on for 5 bucks which I can honestly say is worth it because the the amount of time and sanity I lose is worth more to me.

  12. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    If you're assembling MT couplers, some tips.
    They make a tool for assembling them that holds all the bits for you. Don't go overboard with the glue, but make sure they're stuck together. Get the 00-90 tap and drill set.
    Put a length of fine thread through the coil spring, leaving 6" to 12" at each end. It won't fly nearly as far.
    The 2-piece coupler was an ingenious way of doing it without having to make a N-scale knuckle. They used it from HOn3 down.
  13. Muddy Creek

    Muddy Creek Member

    Thanks for that tip, David. I'll look for that tool to give to my daughter, who thinks she's just coming for a visit. (Heh, heh.)

  14. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    I used to do mine with a pair of self-closing tweezers!
  15. OwenCPR

    OwenCPR Member

    Is the tool on the MT website?
  16. sschaer

    sschaer Member

    might be a silly question. why do you want to replace the couplers on e8 and passenger cars ? i assume they run together most of the time.

    if you have problems with these couplers uncoupling then call kato. they had replacement couplers for free. seemed to be a production problem. anyway, i replaced the original kato couplers with these replacement things. no more unwanted uncoupling since.

    have fun
  17. CNJ

    CNJ New Member

    I finally have bought an optivisor. It should be an improvement over wearing two pairs of glasses. Once you learn how to use it, the MT assembly fixture makes assembling couplers a good bit easier. Until the skill is achieved however, that same fixture is nothing but a better way to send coupler parts all over the room.

  18. OwenCPR

    OwenCPR Member

    Thanks for the tips guys. Sandro.....I had forgotten that I had read re Katos replacement couplers. I have had unwanted uncoupling. In any event, I prefer the MT couplers as I have some far to reach areas where I have installed the uncoupler magnets and I wish to break up the passenger consist at times.

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