Trucks and couplers

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by n_gineer, Sep 19, 2003.

  1. n_gineer

    n_gineer New Member

    I have several cars that I want to change over to better quality trucks and couplers. Looking through what is available has me confused. There are long, medium and short extension couplers. I know what that means but I'm not sure what length goes with what type of car.

    Most of my cars are hoppers and boxcars. What do I use,long medium or short extension couplers ? Also, there are the Atlas Accumates and the Microtrains, which is the best way to go ? Lastly, I hace several Bachmann dash 8-40cw's and I would like to change them to the Micro trains couplers and fronts. I have looked and looked all over the internet and all I managed to do was further confuse myself. Need some help from someone that has been there and done that.

  2. absnut

    absnut Member

    My advice would be this: for most 40' and 50' box cars, the regular (short) extension will do as they will for most hopper cars. If you model before 1960's, use bettendoff or others specific to your model or era. From the 60's on, roller bearing would be appropriate. I'm a little fuzzy on exact dates but my "rule of thumb" suits me. For the Bachmann GE loco, MT lists two conversions: #1134 for the "Bachmann" edition, #1164 for the "Spectrum" model. I found them to be quite easy to install as I have two of them. Hope this helps.

    I have a few cars with accumates. The extensions are a little too long for my tastes and others have had problems with them falling apart. I have had no such trouble. Accumates mounted to trucks are cheaper than MT's but, overall, I prefer MT's for looks and operation and variety.

    For more information, try here:

  3. n_gineer

    n_gineer New Member

    Thanks for the info. I know those were stupid questions but I don't want to waste what train money I have buying the wrong things. sometimes the easiest things are the most difficult to find. Thanks again.
  4. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Check the prices on the MT body mounted couplers. I always used those with no problems on cuves; you just have to cut the original coupler off the truck. I found that the MT trucks didn't always want to fit in the floor. You can also replace the wheels with other ones. This might be cheaper than all new trucks.
  5. absnut

    absnut Member

    You're welcome, n-gineer... glad I could help. There are no such things as stupid questions on this forum. Every question deserves an answer..... we ALL had them at one time or another.:D

  6. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    These count as easy questions -- things that a lot of us have had experience with. You may find that with this sort of question you'll get half a dozen different answers -- "and every single one of them is right".
    Now if you ask a question like "How do I scratchbuild a potash mine?", it may take a little longer. :D

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