Trip pin pliers question

BNSF FAN Sep 23, 2020

  1. BNSF FAN

    BNSF FAN TrainBoard Supporter

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    Hi all,
    Found this in my old tool box last night. Don't even remember when I might have acquired it. Anyway, here is my question. Even though N is not listed on the package, does anyone know if it will be fine for N scale?

    20200922_180747_resized.jpg
     
    Doug Gosha likes this.
  2. Doug Gosha

    Doug Gosha TrainBoard Member

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    It should work. The HOn3 coupler isn't much bigger than the N scale version.

    Doug
     
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  3. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    It should work. You probably have something in your parts boxes, which could be used as a test/sacrifice.
     
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  4. MK

    MK TrainBoard Member

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    Depends on how big of a round the tip is. It should work.
     
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  5. NorsemanJack

    NorsemanJack TrainBoard Member

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    I never understood why a MT trip pin would have to be "rebent." I think these are the cure for which there is no known disease.
     
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  6. SteamDonkey74

    SteamDonkey74 TrainBoard Supporter

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    I re-bend them if they're hanging so low they catch on things. There is a standard for trip pin height I don't recall off the top of my head but I think the NMRA adopted it or developed it. I mistly leave them alone unless there is a problem.
     
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  7. NorsemanJack

    NorsemanJack TrainBoard Member

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    Why not just shove them up a bit further through the coupler body?

    Also, I've bought hundreds of MT cars and never had one from the factory that had a bad clearance. Am I just "lucky?"
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2020
  8. Maletrain

    Maletrain TrainBoard Member

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    I have one of those and sometimes use it to bend N scale trip pins, or even Z scale trip pins to make them work on N scale.

    The NMRA standard for trip pin clearance is 0.010" above the rail heads.

    I have received many that were not at that height. Most were too high, but a few were too low.

    Too high is only a problem if you are trying to use the magnetic uncoupling feature.

    Too low catches on turnout parts, roadway crossings, etc. etc. etc.

    The curve in the tool's jaws is not intended to be the proper shape for the trip pin curve, so don't just put the pin in the jaws and squeeze hard. For N scale, I often want a smaller tool for bending the curve tighter. For opening the curve a bit, this works fine.

    Shoving the pin up or down in its hole in the coupler parts is another technique for changing clearance. But, if the lower end of the trip pin is not horizontal, then you will need to bend it so that it is horizontal to get the best magnetic performance. Many of mine came with the trip pins bent more than 90 degrees, so that they ends of the pins were headed upward.

    I guess I should also point out that it is important to look for other causes when the trip pin is not at the right height. Sometimes, the coupler box is not mounted properly, or the shell is not seated on the frame properly, etc. So, the first step is to make sure that the coupler knuckle is at the right height, so that it fully matches the height of the knuckle on the check gauge. Once that is correct, then make the trip pin the right height with its end horizontal.

    Or, if you are not going to use magnetic uncoupling at all, you can just remove your trip pins and sell that tool on eBay.
     
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  9. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

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    (y)(y)(y)(y)(y)
     
  10. Rich_S

    Rich_S TrainBoard Member

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    Hi SteamDonkey 74, If you own the Micro-Trains coupler height gauge, then you should also have the Micro-Trains trip pin gauge. The gauge is a thin piece of stainless steel that is included with the coupler height gauge. All you do is lay the trip pin gauge on top of the rails, if the trip pin clears the sheet steel the height is OK.
     
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  11. Rich_S

    Rich_S TrainBoard Member

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    Nothing in this world is perfect and sometimes the trip pins are mounted in the coupler too low. One method is just pushing the trip pin up slightly but on some cars you have to be careful the top of the pin does not catch on cross over walkways or other details. The second method of adjusting the trip pin is using the Trip Pin Pliers. Like you've mentioned, I don't remember ever having to adjust the trip pins on Micro-Trains cars, but I've had to use my Trip Pin Pliers on some of the Micro-Trains compatible couplers trip pins.
     
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  12. logging loco

    logging loco TrainBoard Member

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    Does anybody still assemble their own Kadee/MT couplers? I believe my assembly fixture also came with the .
    0.100" shim stock.
     
  13. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    I, too, have owned hundreds. It has been quite some time, but in the past I did need to "adjust" a few.
     
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  14. MK

    MK TrainBoard Member

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    If you run at train shows, you'll encounter other people's track work, which may not be perfect. Trip pins sometimes need to be bent slightly higher to avoid catching. But more importantly, for T-Trak and N-Trak modules, they may not be at the same level at the junction. This causes a "speed bump" which often catches a pin.

    You can not remove a MT trip pin otherwise the coupler will explode into its parts. The trip pin holds everything together. You could clip them short and leave a stub.

    However you could remove the trip pin on an Accumate coupler with no consequences.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2020
  15. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

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    Sorry MK...Not true. I have 'pulled' the trip pins on all my MT couplers. They still couple...they still uncouple (manually)...and none have 'exploded' The trip pin does not hold the parts together. Just Sayin. :whistle:
     
  16. Run8Racing

    Run8Racing TrainBoard Member

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    I have MTs on everything but the cat (so far !!!). I have used my pliers maybe a dozen times. It's kinda' like a pistol. I'd rather have it and not need it, than need it and not have it !!!
     
  17. BNSF FAN

    BNSF FAN TrainBoard Supporter

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    I envy you my friend. I don't have many cars with issues but I do have a few that catch on turnouts. I've tried pushing them up just a tad but not always successful.

    I have magnetic uncouplers on my layout, not that I use them much but they are there so keeping the trip pins in place is a better option for me.

    Hate to say it but Mtntrainman is right.:D They work without the pins. I have never pulled out a trip pin on my own but do occasionally find one on the track on the layout where it fell out of a car on it's own and those few cars are still running as is for now.
     
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  18. MK

    MK TrainBoard Member

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    OK, maybe explode is too strong of a word.

    Posts #2 and #3
    https://www.trainboard.com/highball/index.php?threads/purpose-of-the-trip-pins.4573/

    Posts #9, #10, #11
    https://www.therailwire.net/forum/index.php?topic=26910.0

    My club does A LOT of train shows, running trains for the public, in our local area but we also go to the big regional ones like Altoona, Egghead Harbor/Atlantic City, and Amherst. A lot of the N-Trak and T-Trak clubs attend and MANY of the veterans have warned me about pulling the pins off MT couplers as once I suggested that when I was new to the hobby. Some of these guys run 75-100-125 unit trains and reliable coupling is what their top priority.

    As such I never tried it as why risk it since so many of the more veterans not recommending it.
     
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  19. Rich_S

    Rich_S TrainBoard Member

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    I own the Micro-Trains Coupler Assembly Fixture, but mine did not come with the Trip Pin Height Gauge.

    DSCN2299.JPG

    Only my 5 tools in 1 Coupler Height Gauge came with the Trip Pin Height Gauge, which according to the packaging is also available as a separate item, old part number 1056.
     
  20. Maletrain

    Maletrain TrainBoard Member

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    Just to be clear, the trip pin gauge is one one-hundredth of an inch thick, not one tenth of an inch. It is 0.010", not 0.100".

    Pretty much any material that is a flat sheet 0.010" thick can serve as a gauge.

    The metal ones that MTL supplies have the drawback that they short the rails when used to measure trip pin clearance. A piece of plastic sheet is sometimes better to do a quick check when a car is on the layout and there is a question about its trip pin height. Theoretically not as precise, but fine, in practice. You just need to see the car roll so that the trip pin goes over the gauge without shoving it. How close it comes to shoving it is an "eyeball" adjustment if you want to make it close.
     
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