Dec 2, 2019
Okay, things are looking up. I mated the Life-Like FA-1 and FB-1 together with hand-assembled 1015s (which have a slightly larger mounting hole than the factory-made 1015s, so fit over the FA coupler mounting pins with ease) and they traverse my Unitrack 282mm (11.1") Radius curves without any trouble at all and they stay coupled. I put a hand-assembled 1016 on the "train end" of the B, though a 1015 would have probably been fine. I thought the 1016 might be better with heavy trains on my curves. The 1016 looks fine. The M-T coupler mounts a wee bit low, but I don't think it will be a problem.
I continue to despise Life-Like's ridiculously tight fitting shells on these units. I did file the nubs down a bit to perhaps ease access next time. Heaven forbid I ever need to remove the shells again.
Sorry about the lousy photos (I'm too lazy this morning to set up better lighting), but here's how things turned out with the L-L FAs.
Coupling distance using 1015s at each end:
1015 on end of A (nearest) and 1016 on "train end" of B (furthest):
"Train end" of B with coupler a bit too low. I'm not sure if this will be a problem, nor how I might be able to fix it. There's just no room to lift the coupler box. Maybe I can bend it upwards somehow.
If you didn't mind always running the first car behind the loco as the same car, change the coupler height on the loco end of that car,
That's a good idea and that can be my fall back plan. Right now, I'm attempting to fashion a spacer from thick plastic strip to lift the coupler box as much as possible. It'll be perhaps three times thicker than the M-T spacers. Not sure if it will work, but it's worth a shot. The good news is that I can access the coupler assemblies even with the body shells in place.
On the back of my LL E8's and E7's I installed the couplers at an angle because of the same problem (too low) and they work fine. The angle is not that noticeable.
I completed my home-built spacer a few minutes ago. The L-L coupler still isn't quite at the proper height, but it's much better than before. I think it'll be okay now. Thanks for everyone's help with this.
So what exactly did you end up doing? Not sure where you put the spacer? I have some of these so appreciate the thread also,
I placed it under the coupler box, basically a square-shaped piece with a hole drilled in the center. The L-L coupler holder's tiny rod pierces through both the spacer and the coupler box. It fits in where the arrow points. I'd take a picture from a different angle, but it's painted black and is nearly invisible.
Thanks, so it sounds like there was room for the coupler box to move up and the spacer made that happen?
Yes, it seems to have helped. My aging eyes struggle to see small things, but there was definitely space there.
the one on the left side
Since couplers are something we probably only do once in a while..I watch this video to refresh my memory. What little there is of it. ;-)
The actual assembly process starts at about 7:00.