1. Tim Holmes

    Tim Holmes TrainBoard Member

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    Hi Guys:

    Ive got a bunch of cars that have old school rapido couplers on them -- so I have been digging in that giant auction site that we dont mention -- I can find lots of MicroTrains couplers, but the prices are kinda shocking -- 6.00USD + per pair -- in a lot of cases, thats more than I paid for the cars, and in the case of the cars that I am building myself... well.

    So I looked at Accumate couplers - -they look good -- do they connect to Microtrains? also how well do they work with magnetic un-coupling

    OR
    is there another cost effective solution?

    TIM
     
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  2. MK

    MK TrainBoard Member

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    You should take a look at MT couplers in the 10-pack packaging. You'll save a few dollars but yes, they can be costly if you have a lot of rolling stock to retrofit. Years ago, I've made a decision to not buy anything with rapido couplers at train shows because you'll come out behind after retrofitting the couplers, unless it's a car that I absolutely had to have. But so far, none falls into that category. :D

    Accumates couple perfectly with MTs. A few have reported Accumates exploding into parts but I have hundreds of Accumates and I have not experienced a single incident of that. If they were truly problematic on a grand scale, Atlas would not use them in their rolling stock.

    As for magnetic un-coupling I've read they work well too but I defer comments to people who have actually used them in magnetic un-coupling situations. I don't use magnetic, just a bamboo skewer. :)
     
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  3. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    I converted mine using M-T 1128 (aka 001 30 012) Universal Couplers Short T-Shank. You get four couplers for about $6. M-T also provides a 1129 (aka 001 30 013) Medium Shank and an 1130 (aka 001 30 014) Long shank. You keep your old trucks and use these to replace the Rapido coupler only. At $3/Car, the cost isn't too bad.

    upload_2021-1-18_13-49-50.png
     
  4. Tim Holmes

    Tim Holmes TrainBoard Member

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    COOL -- that looks much more reasonable!!!! I'll get some on order!

    TIM
     
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  5. Hansel

    Hansel TrainBoard Member

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    In the past I have bought the MTL pack of unassembled couplers. Yes, some might say I am nuts but I have using MTL couplers for the last 15 years and I have gotten used to putting the couplers together. Everything I run has MTL couplers, mostly truck mounted. I cut off all of the trip pins, that way if I have trouble using a pick to uncouple the cars I can instead just lift the car slightly and not have to worry about the trip pin of one car snagging on the coupler/trip pin of the other car and having both cars tip over. Just my 2 cents.
     
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  6. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    I'd be lost with coupler assemblywork without my Kadee/M-T 1020 tweezers:

    upload_2021-1-18_18-58-1.png
     
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  7. brokemoto

    brokemoto TrainBoard Member

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    You beat me to it. Those tweezers are indispensible when working with 1028/9 or 1133/34.

    The older Accumates did have a habit of discombobulating. Atlas has since addressed that problem. If you have the older ones, though, thanks to Kisatchie, a former poster on another forum, there is some salvation: Micromates. Many who have used especially the truck mounted MTs have had more than one coupler break at the shank. The truck is good if you want to trim off the extension and go body mount. There is, another use, though. If you slide off the top of the MT coupler box, remove the damaged MT coupler pieces, the Accumate pieces will fit. You then slide the top back onto the extension, and voilĂ ! ....Micromates! They do not discombobulate and you now have something useful.

    I am truly amazed at the opening bid/buy it now prices on FeePay even for used items.
     
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  8. Tim Holmes

    Tim Holmes TrainBoard Member

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    I assume that those are to grip the T shank and collapse the spring during assembly? -- I found pair almost identical to them at that FREIGHT store by the HARBOR and have the ability to put the gap in the jaws as needed etc.

    The coupler height gauge looks like a great Idea -- not too keen on the 59 dollar price for the starter set though --

    Thanks for the info -- looks great -- I couldnt find them in 10 packs -- are they there and I'm missing them or do they not offer that as an option?

    TIM
     
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  9. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

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  10. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    They're used to hold the Knuckle Shank and the Lip Shank (see above parts diagram) together. The Trip Pin extends through the notch you can see at the end of the tool. The tool holds these secure while you insert them into the Draft Gear Box with the Spring inside of it. You then lay the whole assembly into the coupler pocket.
     
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  11. Tim Holmes

    Tim Holmes TrainBoard Member

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  12. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

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    Never used one of them 'jigs'...but I imagine its the most expensive item in that kit.:whistle:
     
  13. mrhedley

    mrhedley TrainBoard Member

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    That's assuming you were lucky enough to have finally located the spring that goes into the draft gear box after it launched from your tweezers in the first attempt to load it into the gear box (and the ensuing second, third, fourth attempts, etc. ...) Unfortunately there is no simple tool I have found to make this step easier. After you've tried assembling these little suckers a few times you'll probably join me in agreeing that maybe $6 isn't so bad, after all!
     
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  14. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

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    I have found that an angled dental pick will pick up the spring and position it in the box. Using an exato knife with a #11 blade will easily slide the spring off the dental pick. A careful twist of the exacto blade to set the spring and a quick snapping of the lid on the coupler box works great. Patieice young grasshopper...patience...;)
     
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  15. Doug Gosha

    Doug Gosha TrainBoard Member

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    I put a curve into the tweezer jaws, near the ends, toward each other to clamp the two coupler halves more securely as the jaws then kind of wrap around the halves. That way the coupler can't swivel in the jaws.

    Doug
     
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  16. Doug Gosha

    Doug Gosha TrainBoard Member

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    For me, an X-acto blade works best. Get the blade between two coils near one end, position the one end of the spring into the box, put your index finger over the spring, and pull the blade out, leaving the spring in place.

    Doug
     
  17. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    I found myself nodding in agreement with your posts Doug. That's exactly what I do as well, with a slight bend in the Kadee/M-T tweezer tips and using an X-acto tool to work the spring. I converted well over 100 cars to M-Ts in the late '80s and had the process down pat. Though regarding @mrhedley's post supporting purchase of trucks at $6, my eyes were a lot younger then ...... ;)
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2021
  18. Doug Gosha

    Doug Gosha TrainBoard Member

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    Yes, when I first started converting in 1968, it was a snap to put the MT-5's together with my young eyes and hands/fingers. And later, even the T-shank ones were relatively easy. These days, there a lot more "words" said during assembly and pre-assembled ones are the oft more used.

    Doug
     

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