Body mounted coupler issues

vince p Apr 3, 2020

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  1. vince p

    vince p TrainBoard Member

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    See pics

    I'm trying to add MTL scale couplers to an Atlas 3560 covered hopper.

    Added fvm metal 36" wheels to the stock trucks after I cut the truck mounted coupler box off.

    Now the screw head is not letting the axle sit like it should how would I rectify this problem.

    Any help will be much appreciated as this might just make me change scales.
     

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  2. eposte12

    eposte12 TrainBoard Supporter

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    D239EFD4-8AF3-407F-A357-8B2D2ECD938B.jpeg Some times I use a screw from atlas couplers when I have had similar problems to some success
     
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  3. vince p

    vince p TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks I'll look into that.

    Looks like the coupler box might also be to fat/thick.
     
  4. porkypine52

    porkypine52 TrainBoard Member

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    To me it's worth the hassle. Slowly converting rolling stock over to body mounts. Check out several magazine for suppliers of SMALL screws/bolts. Some even have small washers[lock also] and nuts available.
    You may have to cut into the car frame to recess the coupler box, just a tiny bit. The MTL Coupler Gauge will tell you the height needed.
    Some Walthers GOO applied with a toothpick[careful here] can help with coupler box mounting. I always use GOO with a screw for mounting. Some people like GOO alone with NO screw, but that is their preference.
     
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  5. bill pearce

    bill pearce TrainBoard Member

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    I converted completely to body monts years ago, but there are challenges. When body mounting, I often lowered the cars to a more prototypical ride height. That makes the clearance issue even more critical. First thing is try a FH screw. And yes, MT couplers are not made with body mounting on lowered cars a consideration. They are just barely thin enough for not lowered cars. So it may be necessary to try several different couplers. I think the new TruScale couplers might be an improvement.

    And of course body mounting on hopper cars and tank cars is even more of a challenge. I used the cast metal boxes from N Scale of Nevada. Oh how I miss them. I believe there are similar products on Shapeways.
     
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  6. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member

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    Just out of curiosity, I would like to ask the OP (vince p) what are the curve radii on your layout?
     
  7. Ike the BN Freak

    Ike the BN Freak TrainBoard Member

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    I've been using flat head screws that fit flush with the counter sink in the box. I got mine from aliexpress
     
  8. NorsemanJack

    NorsemanJack TrainBoard Member

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    That's a great question. I would like to hear that as well.
     
  9. vince p

    vince p TrainBoard Member

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    Very broad 24 maximum if I stay n scale.
    28 if I go back to the darkside on the curves.

    Something isn't sitting right the coupler box is to tall might try using an Evergreen rectangular tube for the coupler and if the doesn't work.

    Back to the darkside.
     
  10. vince p

    vince p TrainBoard Member

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    Only problem on this hopper is I can't cut into the frame as the floor is part of the end cage of the car.
     
  11. NorsemanJack

    NorsemanJack TrainBoard Member

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    I don't believe that 24" is anywhere close to what you will need to use body mounted tru-scales's, especially if you don't use significant easements into and out of your curves. The tru-scales are great for cosmetics on the front of locomotives. Good luck trying to get them to work reliably between cars without ripping themselves off of the curves. I'll strongly encourage you to do some real testing before committing to any more tru-scale conversions. The Z scale 905 couplers would likely work better, but those bring another set of challenges.
     
  12. DarylK

    DarylK TrainBoard Member

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    On the UPRR Geneva Subdivision, I have used CA to attach couplers. In a few cases, I have filed the underside of the coupler box to provide clearance for axles. Also the original 1025s have a slimmer profile than the 1015s.
    Daryl
     
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  13. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

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    A hopper car is a difficult one to attach body mounts unless a pad is provided. That is why a lot of them have truck mounts. One solution would be to use unimates, the screw type, if running permanently coupled cuts of cars. Simply attach a pad to the underside to attach the unimates and leave a MT truck mount at each end of the consist.
     
  14. DCESharkman

    DCESharkman TrainBoard Member

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    Unimates was what I have done for this very same reason
     
  15. vince p

    vince p TrainBoard Member

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    These cars are not for unit trains as I model the fall of 1979.
     
  16. James Fitch

    James Fitch TrainBoard Member

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    Unit trains ran in 1979, at least they did on the DRGW.
     
  17. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member

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    This discussion got me thinking about minimum radii for railroads. So I did some research. Here is what I found. The absolute minimum radius for curves on standard gauge US railroads is 288 feet (21.6 inches in N scale). This is for "Absolute minimum radius; not on lines for general service." Minimum radius for general service is 410 feet (30.75 inches in N scale). The "preferred minimum on freight main lines is 574 feet (43.05 inches in N scale). That is really tight.That information may be dated however, as the AAR lists minimum radii of 350 feet with 717 feet as preferred. Now I know some industrial area had tighter radii. The docks and warehouses in Baltimore as well as tracks in ports and ship building centers are examples. I've been to Horseshoe Curve and heard the flange squeal as trains proceeded through the curve. The radii there is over 600 feet. So obviously N scale radii are a lot tighter. There is not many layouts that feature 43 inch minimum curves. Even NTRAK standard four foot corner modules have smaller curves. To compensate for tighter curves, N scale went with truck mounted couplers which enabled the couplers to always be aligned with the track centerline and allowed coupling on curves. With body mounted couplers the coupler is aligned with the centerline of the car not the track. Two cars, with body mounted couplers, on a typical N scale curve will not couple. I've had cars uncouple on NTRAK curves. Backing the train will usually couple with truck mounted couplers (provided none of the cars derailed) But not so with body mounted couplers. That has to be done on straight track. Body mounted couplers is the current fad along with metal wheels and the TruScale couplers that the OP mentioned. The only caveat I have with the TRU Scale coupler is that your track work should be perfect. I tried them on an NTRAK layout and they were a disaster. Granted this was an extreme test as NTRAK layouts are famous for bad track especially when the modules are 30+ years old and have absorbed a lot more wear and tear than a more permanent layout. Of course Model Railroading Rule #1 applies here so its your railroad to do as you will but generally,when it comes to curves, bigger is always better.
     
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  18. NtheBasement

    NtheBasement TrainBoard Member

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    The OP pic clearly shows that only two of the truck's 4 wheels touch the rails on a straight flat segment of track because the truck pitches downward toward the end of the car, leaving the inboard wheels up in the air. That being the case I would expect derails everywhere, especially at turnouts. So I'm puzzled by the references in this thread to curve radius. What am I missing?
     
  19. vince p

    vince p TrainBoard Member

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    Exactly has nothing to do with radius.

    It has to do with all feet touching the rail..

    Why I thought of using rectangular evergreen tubing.

    If I can get small enough material to build my own coupler box framing.
     
  20. jpwisc

    jpwisc TrainBoard Member

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    I do the same as @DarylK, a little CA holds the box in fine. I use the screw to hold the box till the glue dries and then I pull it out. They hold up on even the linear trains.
     
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