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Thread: Micro-Trains coupler conversion Life-Like E8 locos

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    Default Micro-Trains coupler conversion Life-Like E8 locos

    I have a pair of Life-Like E8 locos. The front couplers are the factory installed generic knuckle couplers mounted with a small plastic pin. The rears are the truck mounted Rapido style couplers. I went to Micro-Trains website to try and figure out conversions. I got a valid part # for the rears - 1129 (001- 30-013. I can find that one. For the front, they are calling for part # 1021 (001-02 021). I can't find that part # anywhere. I got the part number from Micro-Trains' conversion chart for Life-Like. The stock front couplers are too high on both units. They almost instantly uncouple on curves (pulling cars with Micro-Train couplers. Any help on this matter would be greatly appreciated.

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    @smittykid

    You might be able to "shim" the front couplers to lower them perhaps?
    Cheers Tony

    "Knowing what to do is one thing ... being able to do it is another"
    "It is easy to criticize ... a lot harder when you have to justify it"

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    I thought about that, but I'm not sure what thickness of material to use. I have some Micro-Trains shims. Maybe I could trim them to fit? Thanks

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    A bit of trial and error I'm afraid
    Cheers Tony

    "Knowing what to do is one thing ... being able to do it is another"
    "It is easy to criticize ... a lot harder when you have to justify it"

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    Hi Smittykid,

    E and F unit front couplers can be frustrating. The distance from the truck center to the body mounted coupler causes it to "swing wide" on curves and turnouts. The sharper the curve, the wider the coupler swings. If the rest of your equipment has truck mounted couplers...it's probably causing your issues. Ever notice how many modelers run A+B units instead of A+A?

    The E and F front coupler shanks are also short, which means they can't swing very far on curves. Consider a "gender changer" car with body mounted coupler on the loco end and truck mounted coupler on the other. Make sure it's HEAVY(2-3 times the normal car weight). The added weight will keep it on the rails when negociating curves and turnouts.

    This problem also occurs on some long locos(Kato Trainmaster). The combination of long body, distance from truck center to coupler and short coupler shank causes uncoupling, even on 24" radius curves. I used the HEAVY car trick next to the loco to get rid of the problem.
    Happy Modeling

    Bruce

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    I ran into this same problem when I used LifeLike E7 shells on Kato E8 chassis. The couplers were just too high to the point they almost did not mate with any rolling stock couplers. Check with an MT coupler height gage and got same result.

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    Okay, I ended up using a 1015 coupler but I had to file down the bottom of the pilot to allow the coupler to be mounted low enough. Also have to add shims to the top of the coupler box. My suggestion is to fit the shims to the mounting area above the coupler, box with a hole drilled for the mounting screw. Once the alignment is correct and the coupler is at the right height glue the shims to the shell.

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