Life-Like Coupler exchanges

mr.dean Apr 7, 2014

  1. mr.dean

    mr.dean TrainBoard Member

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    Hey guys,

    I recently acquired some Life-Like engines in really great condition and would like to change out the old horn hook couplers to Micro-Trains couplers. They all use body mounted couplers and it looks to me as if the B units would use the same couplers as the A units. Two of the units are A/B E6s, one is an FA2 single unit, one is an E8 single unit, and the last set is an FA1/FB1 set. I was wondering if the MT 1015-1 assembled couplers would be a ready fit? If not, what assembled coupler will fit these engines? I am not as worried about the front couplers on the A units but I am curious what to use there as well.

    Thanks in advance for your help on this!

    Dean
     
  2. 17fixer

    17fixer TrainBoard Member

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    Well, from the last person you thought you'd be hearing from, it looks like you would be able to use the 1015/1016 if all of those models are the 2000 and later releases according to the MT conversion tables. Any prior to then would need pilot conversion kits. I'd be glad to swap them out for you but it would take about a five weeks to get'em back to you...;)

    All is well here, hope you guys are the same.

    Dennis
     
  3. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

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    If the rapido body mount coupler is retained by a clip and a small brass strip that serves as a spring for the rapido coupler then a MT1015/16 will be a drop in fit. The center peg on the clip goes into the MT1015 screw hole in the coupler box and the brass strip is discarded. I am also remembering that the clip had a small peg on either side of the center peg that had to be clipped I believe to give the coupler box clearance. But due to age and time since I last messed with one I could be wrong.
     
  4. mr.dean

    mr.dean TrainBoard Member

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    Wow, Dennis! Glad to hear from you! How is life "overseas"? Ran into a couple of your AF buddies here the other day, will have to tell you that story when you get back home. Kind of funny. Very much looking forward to your return home!

    Some of them are 2000 or later models.. not sure on all. Is there a way to tell that?

    Thanks for the tips y'all. I'll pick up some 1015s. Now, I just was looking at them again and realized that they were not all body mount. I was thinking that they all were... :eek:hboy:. Two of them are truck mounted couplers. They list the 1128, 1129 and 1130 couplers for these, but they have to be assembled. Is there a coupler that will slip into the pocket on the truck that is ready made? I simply don't have the eyes to assemble these guys plus you need a jig to build them and I/we don't have one at our club.

    Thanks again!
    Dean
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 7, 2014
  5. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

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    The short answer is no. And the differences in the coupler numbers is the difference in the coupler shank length. The 1128 is short while the 1129 is about medium and the 1130 is the longest. About the closest to assembled you get is sometimes a pack that has the trip pin already mounted which can in itself be a pain. Basically the coupler set has a metal U shaped piece that holds the spring and then the two halves are put together and slipped into the coupler box and the U shaped piece with the spring is slipped over them. Back when Sunrise was in business at least the front could be simpler because they made a replacement pilot that was ACC'd in place of the original. That pilot took a 1015 and the original truck coupler bracket was cut off. Still had to use the assembled 1128,29,or 30 in the rear.
     
  6. mr.dean

    mr.dean TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks John. I guess that answers my question! I checked and the jig itself isn't expensive. I may get one and donate it to our club and then one of the guys with "better" eyes can assemble some of these. I am not the only one needing them!

    Dean
     
  7. Pete Nolan

    Pete Nolan TrainBoard Supporter

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    They are not exactly easy even with the jig, when I was doing it a few years back. Maybe I should try them again, as I've been assembling some of my own small stuff for the past year or so. I think, once you get used to the size of the parts, it gets easier.
     
  8. hnipper

    hnipper TrainBoard Member

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    I know you said you wanted MTL couplers, but you might want to take a look at Kato knuckle couplers. They are out of stock at Kato USA, but on the auction site, try search for "[FONT=Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Kato 11-702 coupler" - not very expensive and they fit into the coupler pocket of the LL truck mounted coupler frame. The coupler is in two pieces, and you will have to fit the two pieces together. In my experience this is best done under a magnifier with a good light. NOT AS HARD AS ASSEMBLING MTL COUPLERS! No little springs to fly all over the place!

    Now the down side (to some). The Kato couplers are not twins of MTL, but I have used my LL engines with Kato couplers for many years on our Omaha N-Track layout and cars stay coupled very well. Your mileage may vary.

    Henry
    (Out here in Uncle Pete's land…..)
    [/FONT]
     
  9. MRLdave

    MRLdave TrainBoard Member

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    Although they aren't "automatic", unimate couplers will fit in the rapido pockets. I used them on my set of FA2/FB2/FA2 locos between the A and B units and used the MT pilot mount conversions an the front of the A units. I always run them as a set, so it's not an issue to have the fixed couplers on the inside.
     

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