Help with Minitrix depressed center flat

jimk Aug 7, 2019

  1. jimk

    jimk TrainBoard Member

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    I bought a Minitrix depressed center flat car with a transformer load many years ago, 40 years maybe. It's a German prototype but I think it looks good on my layout. I was looking to see if I could replace the Rapido couplers with some type of knuckle couplers, Micro Trains preferably. I can't seem to get the coupler pocket open. I don't know if I need to apply more pressure to pop off the cover or if there's some other way to get it off. Does anyone have any experience doing this?
     
  2. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    I too have one of these, packed away somewhere. I agree it's a fine looking car. My notes read "Car Number DB 980985, Postage Stamp 4888, German Prototype, Very Hard To Convert To M-T Couplers". :unsure: I was never able to figure out a way. Maybe someone can help us both.
     
  3. Larry E Shankles

    Larry E Shankles TrainBoard Member

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    The buffers on the car ends are brass castings. They pull out of the cast metal truck frames, (not very easily). This frees up the end railing/stirrup pieces. This exposes the top of the coupler box, hidden beneath the end railing platform. It is then an easy matter of bending the tabs, which hold the metal coupler box bottom, on. MTL makes several T-shank coupler conversions which fit into the old Rapido coupler box. Compare the length of MTL conversion 1128, 1129, and 1130 to determine the one that fits best. I can't remember which one I used.
     
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  4. jimk

    jimk TrainBoard Member

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    Larry, thanks a lot for the info. I just tried it using a utility knife blade to pry out the buffer and it came out easily. Note, the little buffers are separate pieces and small and if they let gravity get ahold of them, may be hard to recover! I was able to unbend the tabs for the coupler cover and they pop it off. I took off the wheels and unscrewed the truck from the body to make it easier. Just for fun, I screwed in a 6 wheel MT Buckeye truck in its place. It works fine but it could probably use a platform above it. Maybe two pairs of 4 wheel trucks and a platform would work too. There's a lot of possibilities here! I might try to pick up a few of these at train shows. I saw one last November but didn't get it, kicking myself now. None on ebay currently but they would probably ask a high price since they're so "RARE." I'll bring it with me on my next hobby shop trip to test which one to use.

    Thanks again Larry,
    Jim
     
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  5. jimk

    jimk TrainBoard Member

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    I'm glad I mentioned watching out for the buffers so you don't loose them. But the coupler spring can be just as elusive! I watched it go up into the air, then gravity took control, hit me in the lap then it was gone. I searched for it to no avail. On the bright side, I found a resistor and a truck mounting pin, and a structure window! I have a lot more springs from trucks I've replaced with MTs so I gave up looking for it. I put a dummy knuckle coupler in for now, but want to replace it with a MT one anyway.

    Jim
     
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  6. bill pearce

    bill pearce TrainBoard Member

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    I am unfamiliar with this ar, but let me make some suggestions.

    If it came with talgo coupling, it most certainly sits too far above the rails, which for a car like this will look goofy. This cries out for body mounting. First, you can file down the bolsters as much as possible just before the flanges of the FVM wheels you use scrape the underside of the car. Then use the MT gauge to determine the correct height, and shim if needed. If it's still too high, you can use the dremel to makes groves in the underframe, but be very careful. Now you will be the envy of all your friends.
     
  7. jimk

    jimk TrainBoard Member

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    Bill, if you are unfamiliar with this car, how can you make any suggestions?
     
  8. bill pearce

    bill pearce TrainBoard Member

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    I can suggest things based on principals that apply to all N scale cars. Virtually any car with talgo couplers rides as if on stilts. It's a problem that can be rectified in no more than an hour with just a bit of experience. I feel that this is a perfect time to make improvements to the flatcar. Body mounts will improve reliability as well.
     
  9. jimk

    jimk TrainBoard Member

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    Not all N scale cars have talgo couplers. This car doesn't so your suggestions don't apply.
     
  10. bill pearce

    bill pearce TrainBoard Member

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    Perhaps there's a mixup in terminology. I have often seen the term talgo used for truck mounted couplers. As this is an older European N scale car, it most assuredly has truck mounted couplers, which I and a number of others consider an ugly piece of our past. Perhaps this was an incorrect assumption, but only recently have body mounts from the factory become more common.

    You posted a question asking for assistance. I attempted to provide that. You don't want it, so you must have some idea you keep hidden from us that you want affirmed. Goodbye.
     
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