First time with accumate couplers

NtheBasement May 26, 2012

  1. NtheBasement

    NtheBasement TrainBoard Member

    I just got some N-scale Bluford hoppers which are beautiful, but... I'm not happy with the couplers. These are body mounted Accumates. Normally I add Micro trains trucks to my rolloing stock. The Accumates look great but the function so far is lacking.

    i had to adjust the trip pin height on half of the couplers, but with only three cars out of the box so far I've spent about an hour and can't get them to couple/uncouple with any kind of reliability. I am trying it over an MT between-the-rails magnet which I know is perfectly aligned and trouble free on my MT-equipped cars. Used the graphite lube etc but it seems half of them do not open all the way over a magnet, and one of them doesn't go back to center all the way so re-coupling is a problem. There is a detent that keeps the coupler straight during backing moves and they may be getting caught on that.

    Is this a hopeless cause and I should invest in MT 1015's, or is there light at the end of the tunnel? I have 7 more cars to go here. I have to uncouple each of these cars to run them thru the dumper during operating sessions.
  2. nscalerone

    nscalerone TrainBoard Member


    I have NEVER had good luck with "Accumates"!! Couplers work with varying degrees of reliability, trip pins fall out, couplers disintegrate..........I've decided they are banned from my RR. I swap everything over to "MT" straight out of the box.
    A friend tried to talk me into running them until they caused trouble to save a bit of $$$, but more frustration than they were worth..........out they go!!!
  3. Ike the BN Freak

    Ike the BN Freak TrainBoard Member

    The bluford hoppers box is designed for an easy swap over to MT 1015s. Just stick the guts of the 1015 into the bluford box, it has the slots molded into it for MTs.
  4. country joe

    country joe TrainBoard Member

    I agree 100%, though I am taking my time replacing the Accumates. I pull the trip pins out so they don't fall out on their own and cause other problems. I uncouple manually so I don't miss the trip pin. My plan is to replace them all as soon as I can. They are more trouble than they are worth.
  5. Carl Sowell

    Carl Sowell TrainBoard Supporter

    I too agree 100%, or is that 200% by now, that these couplers are crap. Cars I have purcahsed with them have not even been able to operate the first time because the coupler box fell apart with parts on the track. For now, good ole MT couplers for me.

  6. NtheBasement

    NtheBasement TrainBoard Member

    It seems unanimous then. Thanks for the adivce everyone, 1015's here I come.
  7. Flash Blackman

    Flash Blackman TrainBoard Member

    I use Accumates on the rear of my hood diesels. I put a small amount of heat on the top of the coupler to fuse it together in a closed position. I use it as a substitute for the old Red Caboose Unimates as I run all my engines in pairs.
  8. brakie

    brakie TrainBoard Member

    I have no problems with Accumates on my dining room table switching layout and I use a Unitrack magnet to uncouple cars but,I'm only pushing or pulling 12 cars or less at a time.

    The only reason I like Accumate couplers is because they don't slink and kill the realism like the MT coupler.
  9. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member

    I tried the Accumates as well as the McHenry's. I will stick with the MT's. None of these are perfect. All are oversized to begin with and each has its failings. But the MT's have provided me with the most consistent operation of all and I use the truck mounted couplers. The main detriment to the MT's seems to be the yoyo'ing caused by the inline coupler spring. I model both transition era [with caboose] as well as modern [no caboose]. By increasing the drag on the caboose the slinky action is eliminated. Sometimes all I need is additional weight in the caboose. In the modern era I use an MT truck with a self contained F.R.E.D. unit. These units are patented and made by a member of our club. You will find them listed on EBAY. They produce enough drag to reduce the slinky effect or totally eliminate it. One more thing, I run Ntrak and that means long trains. MT's are the only coupler that will stay together on a hundred car train. The Accumates are good for about 25 cars. After that bad things start to happen.
  10. brakie

    brakie TrainBoard Member

    By increasing the drag on the caboose the slinky action is eliminated.
    Excellent idea for the roundy roundy types but,for us slaves to the industrial switching layout not a feasible answer.

    So,for realism while switching I'll stick with the Accumates ---at least for the time being.

    I found the new McHenry coupler worked to well and would uncouple every time it passed over the magnet and that was unacceptable so,I changed those out to the Accumates.
  11. ken G Price

    ken G Price TrainBoard Member

    Thank you, Brakie for a dose of reality.
    I wish I had bought more Accumates and McHenry's, instead of going for the MT trucks with couplers when I replaced a lot of the Rapido and older Bachmann trucks and couplers.

    I have never been and never plan to be a roundy roundy, boring runner.:rolleyes:
    MT couplers work is all I can say for them.
    I do not need magnetic uncoupling and never will.

    Long live ISL.

    Now back to the world of the forums and our regular program.
  12. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    From my experiences with Accumates, I stick with the M/T coupler.
  13. MRLdave

    MRLdave TrainBoard Member

    I've said this before, but I'll repeat it again. I use what comes out of the box......until it gives me reason to change. And for me MT's have actually been worse than Accumates. When I go to club events I take all my new cars for a shakedown run. Anything that has issues immediately goes back in the box for tuning/fixing. Time after time the biggest percentage in the fix pile are MT's. My point here is not to badmouth MT's, because I do (and will continue to) use them, but at least for me, they aren't an automatic fix, so I won't waste money changing to MT's simply for the sake of change. And I have changed MT's to Accumates to get a car to run right. Bottom line is you'll get bad couplers from every manufacturer.......they can usually be fixed/tuned to work right. Frequently the problem is just a burr/flash that needs to be cleaned up.
  14. jhn_plsn

    jhn_plsn TrainBoard Supporter

    My issue with Accumates is they don't couple and uncouple easily. Now if they are under a heavy load they tend to come uncoupled more readily than anything else.

    I wonder if I roughed up the inside of the coupler with a fine file or sand paper to give the knuckle more bite?
  15. DCESharkman

    DCESharkman TrainBoard Member

    Accumates and McHenry's are banned in my Ntrak club because of really poor reliability. And while this is an Ntrak layout, there is plenty of switching going on as well. We have even had to ban certain Kato couplers because the always seem to break apart. So it is MT only couplers for us.
  16. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member

    Well, we haven't banned Accumates from our club layout but the general rule is that if an unwanted coupling occurs between the same two cars twice then both cars are removed. Most of the time that occurs with Accumate equipped cars in the middle of a train.

    One more thing. Switching with MT's is no different than the other couplers. In fact it is easier. And for those who object to the slinky effect please tell me why you object to the slinky but the ten foot coupling distance of Accumates is not objectionable to you? At least with MT's the two cars are in the same ZIP code. Heck even Rapido couplers coupled closer than Accumates.
  17. papahnash

    papahnash TrainBoard Member

    I've had the most problems with magnetic uncoupling with all types. I eliminated that and 95% of the problems and frustration went away.:happy:
  18. TrainboySD40

    TrainboySD40 TrainBoard Member

    I've had problems with MTs, and they mainly seem to come from the spring. Accumates seem like they're better designed, ignoring the internal spring, but they pull apart SO EASILY it's ridiculous!
  19. ken G Price

    ken G Price TrainBoard Member

    This has never been a problem for me.
    I read others stating this also.
    What am I doing different that makes my Accumates not do this?
    I do lots of switching and have a 2 to 2.5 grade around 20' long that I will move 10 to 25 cars up.

    It is so weird that there can be 20 modelers with the same items and get 20 different things happening.
  20. MichaelWinicki

    MichaelWinicki TrainBoard Member

    They work fine for me too Ken.

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