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Thread: Coupler Conversions 101 Part 1

  1. #21
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    Hi Bill S

    Welcome to the site. I know someone here will have made the conversion and will help. Could you possibly post a picture of your locos? I am pretty sure if you are dealing with the late 90s version, you will need the old MT Part Number 1130, new part number 001 30 014. If you are worried about the differences between 1128, 1129 and 1130 don't be. The difference is short, med or long shank. Depending on how you plan on using them (shelf queens, automatic uncoupling, etc) you can choose accordingly. I hope that helps.
    Best,
    Tony

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    Here is a picture of the 2 locos. TheLife-like numbers from the box are 7841 for the BN and 7848 for the D&H.
    GP38s.jpg

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    There is also the possibility that you would need the 1135 coupler. But I'm being redundant, aren't I? Just ignore me and carry on.
    Last edited by mhampton; 6th Jan 2011 at 06:34 PM.

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    Thumbs up Thanks for the tutorial!

    Thanks for the tutorial! I'm a newbie on the forum, & have been hanging around N scale for about 20 years (not counting the set I got for Christmas 1969 that never got built) without a layout. Now our son is pushing me to get something built, but I've been trying to get up the courage to convert some of the couplers in the meantime. This is very helpful. Now were did I leave that magnifying glass?

    Two questions: is it worth purchasing a coupler starter kit? And do you have a tutorial for rolling stock?

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    Very helpful tutorial. Thanks for taking the time to put it together.

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    I hadn't considered Lifelike products. Maybe I can get into this hobby for less cost than I had thought possible. $20 for a loco! I paid more than that for a boxcar.

  7. #27
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    Hi GuysAllow me to introduce myself. I have been a lifelong model railroader in Australia who has always followed US prototype railroading. I have been to the USA several times to see the real thing. I became interested in N scale many years ago and built a layout using hand laid track and the first Con Cor US outline locomotives and rollingstock that came out. There was a long hiatus in my modelling but 20 years ago became interested in HO brass collecting. I also purchased a few brass N scale items as well as a Kato GE loco. Lately I have amassed quite a few Kato, Atlas and Intermountain locos and freight cars plus a reasonable amount of Kato Unitrak for my planned layout.Seeing this article is about coupler conversions, I was wondering if any members have any experience in using Z Scale couplers as these are closer to prototype size than any of the current N scale couplers such as described in this article. I have deliberately purchased locos etc with auto couplers to avoid having to convert from Rapido couplers but the attraction of having more prototypical size couplers is quite compelling. Any help would be appreciated.CheersRod G (Sydney Australia)

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    Welcome, Rod!

    I think a few here have done Z scale couplers. I'm considering doing the same myself. That should probably be the "201" course, though.

    I've got a Kato NW2 that I'm about to put MicroTrains #905 Z scale couplers in, but I'm also considering going with the Full Throttle/Bowser Buckler Z scale coupler. Unfortunately, the Full Throttle/Bowser Buckler is only available as a talgo-mount truck/coupler combination in Z scale, so it's relatively expensive, and with a lot of waste. Hopefully Full Throttle and Bowser will seperate things out, but for now, I understand that parts were consolidated on the same sprue. Either we take the waste, or Full Throttle takes the waste. There have been special orders to ommit the wheels, but it's not a regular product.

    I think interested parties should e-mail Mr. Wright and let him know of your interest in these couplers being made available as a stand-alone product for those of us wishing to use them in N scale. As I mentioned, he has been willing to bend the rules a little bit, selling the trucks and couplers without wheels if he can get enough orders to make a batch without wheels.

    In the mean time, I think I'm going to stick with MTL Z scale couplers. As soon as I get some time to work on the NW2, I'll post a report.

    - Arved
    From just a little too close to milepost 666 (CSX A-line)

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    I just have a quick question: I know it says on the Micro Trains website, but I bought an 1135 conversion kit for a Life-Like Gp38 a while ago (since disposed of because it was too ugly ). I'm curious now, though, if anyone knows whether the 1135 kit might work for, oh say, a Life-Like SD9?
    Director of Operations of the Kettle River Railway

    See photos of the original owner's layout here:
    https://m.flickr.com/#/photos/about-...7603977732928/

    It sounded like a good idea at the time... too bad the caboose wasn't in on the plan.

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    Thank you Tony for an exceptional article on Coupler Conversions. Having just joined the forum and starting to get back into N Scale this is a big help in trying to get all of my rolling stock converted to a single coupler. I'm sure I'll be researching a whole lot more on this forum.
    Mark Twain: "But I reckon I got to light out for the territory ahead of the rest, because Aunt Sally she's going to adopt me and sivilize me, and I can't stand it. I been there before."

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    And thanks for bringing this back up, BAR. I was just looking for info on switching out the rapidos on my SW9.

    Welcome aboard!
    PW&NJ Railroad

    The Resourceful Route!



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    OK, Newbie alert on coupler installations! I have two Atlas steamers, a Santa Fe and an 0-8-0; Minitrix 0-6-0 Switcher and a Model Power Pacific that I want to put MTL couplers on, both the tenders and the engines. Any suggestions?

    Thanks in advance!

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    The Microtrains site has coupler conversion charts that should provide a match for your engines. Welcome aboard!
    Jim
    TWA & DRGW - GONE, BUT NOT FORGOTTEN.

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    Thanks very much for taking the time to post this tutorial for us newbies. I am new to the n gauge scene and really appreciate your efforts in presenting this topic very clearly with excellent photos and a great narrative of the process.

    Barry

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    Oh my word! I have been away from trains since they were referred to as gauge instead of scale. The lot I bought has two idententical Locos with the micro train couplers. I thought I was crazy. All the cars (32) have the rapido type. My first thought was how do I get the ones on the loco changed, but now I see I need to change all the rollers. I guess I'll keep reading.

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    Thanks for this excellent tutorial! The detailed instructions and photos help us overcome that fear of destruction you mentioned. And I for one certainly can relate to the eyes that don't work so good anymore, and the fingers that seem all thumbs . If nothing else, you've given us the message that it can, in fact, be done. Don

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    Default Thanks For The Post...

    I guess this is my 1st post. I recently decided to get back in to model trains. Back in the 60's I was one of numerous kids who got a Tyco HO set at Christmas time. Unlike many of my peers back then, I collected the old junk, no one wanted. The kids would be "dumping" those good/broken trains a few months after Christams. I collected HOs all the way through my second hitch in the Navy.

    Then I discovered N Gauge in the mid-80s. I sold and traded all my HO items for N gauge. Matter of fact, I too, have slowly fading eyesight. But I am determined to see this through.

    Although I have started many layouts, laid alot of track, I never fully finished any of them. Lots of starts, never finished. After my last attempt to build a layout, I ended up throwing everything in a box just before retiring from the Navy. So, I have carted this stuff all over the country for almost 20 years.

    Here I am pushing 60, and I am going to start again. The difference is, I will finish this one.

    Meanwhile, thanks for the articles and useful information on couplers. I am a bit lost as to how to convert all my locos & rolling stock over to magnetic couplers. I just didn't know where to start. God bless the internet.

    Again, thanx!
    N-joy!
    Tred - (USN-Ret.)
    Kansas City, KS
    (Sent using @ 1000Mbps)
    "No matter where you go, there you are!"

  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tred View Post
    Here I am pushing 60, and I am going to start again. The difference is, I will finish this one.

    Meanwhile, thanks for the articles and useful information on couplers. I am a bit lost as to how to convert all my locos & rolling stock over to magnetic couplers. I just didn't know where to start. God bless the internet.

    Again, thanx!
    Welcome to the site, Tred. Like you, I am pushing 60 but will pass it in July this year - then I'll be dragging it behind me.

    Changing couplers on the cars can be quite easy. MicroTrains sells assembled truck/coupler combos, so you can simply remove the old trucks and install new ones. Not much of a problem even with our failing eyesight! Locos are a different story. Many of the newer locos with body-mounted couplers will accept MicroTrains #1015 couplers (which can be purchased pre-assembled). If you are retro-fitting older locos, MT has coupler conversion charts on their website.

  19. #39
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    Great tutorial. I have been considering converting some locomotives but had no idea where to start.

    As someone new to modelling (well had HO when I was a kid but that was a very long time ago) this info gives me a little confidence.

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    Default New member, question on tutorial

    I've been into N scale trains for 15-20 years, on a seasonal basis. Built a small layout on a 2' X 4' table that would fit atop an entertainment center at the holidays. Added a new piece or two each season. Finally built a similar but larger layout, 3 X 5 feet, with 10 switches, one crossover, and separate switchable power to each circuit of track. I can run 3 trains at once and route them from the inner figure 8 to the intermediate oval to the outer oval and back again. Lots of fun with all three running at once. All of my Locos and rolling stock are Rapido equipped. This year my purchase will be a Model Power 4-6-2- Lackawanna Semi Streamline Loco. It comes with knuckle couplers. I want to make up a transition car so I can connect my Rapido stuff to the new Loco for now, as I have quite a few cars and Locos that would need to be converted to knuckles. I found this great tutorial (and forum) on a web search. My question is, the original tutorial posts had photos but I can't view them, either due to age of the posts or my newbie status on the forum. Are the tutorials placed anywhere else on the site, where the photos might be viewable?

    Thanks for the great forum.
    Norm

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