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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I decided to collect the American Flyer 301 series set I was given as a kid in the mid-1950s. Unfortunately, the set was lost. I have located the same steam engine with the gondola and the same cars that were part of my original set. I would like to determine if I can change out the knuckle coupler on the coal tender gondola car to a link coupler. Do the couplers simply unscrew or does the rear carrier have to be replaced. If so are the carriers interchangeable?

Old Smokey
 

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Can you provide the numbers on the cars and engine you have purchased? What is easily possible depends on the type of truck. There was no set with the set number of 301. There was an Atlantic (4-4-2) #301 made that was used in cataloged set number 5301T as well as in three very rare uncataloged sets.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for responding. I have purchased the 630 caboose, 631 green gondola, 625G Gulf tanker cars all with the link style couplers, I have bought them online, they haven't arrived yet so I don't know if they have the later weighted couplers or if they are the thicker 1/4" link. At this point, my question pertains only to the engine and coal tender. I have found a number of possible 303 knuckle style operable engines and I am trying to find if I can convert the truck on the tender to a link style. The 301 engine I had as a kid od course was the link style.

If the tender truck cannot be converted from the knuckle to the link can the entire truck be changed? I realize the truck has a rivet and is I suspect is wired for one rail ( I may be wrong on the wiring). If I must change the entire truck can you tell me if the two styles are they interchangeable, will a 301 link truck fit on a 303 knuckle style tender?

Smokey
 

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If your original tender has a split rivet holding the KC just squeeze the split ends together and push through to remove it. Port Line has replacement links of various types, pins and installation tools to reinstall. Barry
 

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A 625G (as opposed to a 625) will have a link coupler with a black weight. The other two cars (630 & 631) could have any one of four link coupler types depending on the year of manufacture. Your origininal 301 was made in 1953 only so it would have had a link coupler with a black weight.
The 303 is a knuckle coupler engine. To put on a link coupler would require changing the rear tender truck. That can be done with the right tools and parts, I would not do it if it were my engine. I pull link coupler cars with knuckle coupler engines on my layout. To do that I made some transition cars that have a link on one side and a knuckle coupler on the other end. There are split shank knuckle couplers made for this purpose. They allow easy conversion of link coupler trucks to knuckle couplers.
 

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Sagas is correct. If your tender truck was a link converted to knuckle, you will be able to convert back to link with proper tools. In general, a link can be converted to a knuckle, but an original knuckle can not be converted to link. And yes, the whole rear truck can be changed. They would take the same rivet and rubber spacers.
Tender trucks have to be isolated in most cases.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks, gents, the conversion is possible.
I have another question as well unrelated to the couplers.

I've come across a 300 model engine with the reverse on the boiler, I'm also interested in because a family member had one. In 1952 the tenders were both stamped metal and plastic. Was there quality difference back in the day? Was the change to the lighter plastic a problem in the operation in any way? Both are available today, which is more preferred?

Smokey
 

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Thanks, gents, the conversion is possible.
I have another question as well unrelated to the couplers.

I've come across a 300 model engine with the reverse on the boiler, I'm also interested in because a family member had one. In 1952 the tenders were both stamped metal and plastic. Was there quality difference back in the day? Was the change to the lighter plastic a problem in the operation in any way? Both are available today, which is more preferred?

Smokey
Hello and welcome...A 300 numbered engine should have a tin tender with it to be original. The 300 engine would have the reverse unit in the boiler,and just a weight in the tender, with 2 wires going from the tender to the jack panel in the back of the cab..No smoke in this one.. I believe the change to a plastic tender happened after the 300 Atlantic, starting with the 301.To change the truck, you will need a new rivet, part#PA10235-A, and a insulating bushing, part# PA10209..If you're going to change the truck from a knuckle coupler truck to a link, you will also need the front truck as well as the trucks from a knuckle coupler are of a different design than a link. I mean it would work, but it will look funny. I have the tools needed as well as the parts. Send it to me with the trucks and I'll do it for you at no charge, just pay the shipping both ways. You're a new member and I want to extend a helping hand out to you. I'm not the brightest or the smartest guy here, but I'll always help out where I can.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Referring to the 300 model engine some have just 300 on the engine cabin side while others have 300 AC. When an engine just has 300 with no DC or AC on it do I assume it is DC? I have read most transformers are AC unless they have a rectifier to make them DC? Should I be concerned if the engine is DC or AC? Will a DC engine run on an AC transformer?

Old smokey 47
 

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All Gilbert Atlantic style engines (4-4-2) were made with universal motors regardless of the number on the cab. So all Atlantics will run on AC or DC. The only engines Gilbert made that are DC only are certain Northerns (4-8-4) and Switchers (0-8-0). Most of these were just numbered as 332 and 342 so it is not possible to tell by those two specific numbers what type of motor it has. Some DC only engines were numbered as 332DC, 334DC and 342DC. If an engine has an AC suffix then it always has a universal motor that will run on either AC or DC.
 

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Hello and welcome...A 300 numbered engine should have a tin tender with it to be original. The 300 engine would have the reverse unit in the boiler,and just a weight in the tender, with 2 wires going from the tender to the jack panel in the back of the cab..No smoke in this one.. I believe the change to a plastic tender happened after the 300 Atlantic, starting with the 301.To change the truck, you will need a new rivet, part#PA10235-A, and a insulating bushing, part# PA10209..If you're going to change the truck from a knuckle coupler truck to a link, you will also need the front truck as well as the trucks from a knuckle coupler are of a different design than a link. I mean it would work, but it will look funny. I have the tools needed as well as the parts. Send it to me with the trucks and I'll do it for you at no charge, just pay the shipping both ways. You're a new member and I want to extend a helping hand out to you. I'm not the brightest or the smartest guy here, but I'll always help out where I can.
Hi All, I have a 521T set that includes a number 300 Atlantic with plastic boiler and plastic tender. I know the tender is original to the locomotive as I received the set for Christmas in 1952 and it has been in my possession ever since. I will attempt to post pictures tomorrow.

PHM
 

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It would be really interesting to know the production date stamped on the inside of that 300 boiler shell. The only 1952 engine I am aware of that is documented to be made with a plastic tender is the uncataloged 292. You have an unusual variation of a 1952 300 Atlantic.
 

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It would be really interesting to know the production date stamped on the inside of that 300 boiler shell. The only 1952 engine I am aware of that is documented to be made with a plastic tender is the uncataloged 292. You have an unusual variation of a 1952 300 Atlantic.
The production date is somewhat smudged. I believe it is 1952. Trouble is the last digit is the one that is least legible. Hopefully I can post pictures tomorrow when I have more time to dig out the camera. I just assumed 300s came with metal or plastic tenders until I read Flyernut's post. After reading the post, I checked my references Doyle is not clear on whether or not plastic 300s came with plastic tenders. Doyle, page 19 lists a "Type VI" 300 as late 1952 with plastic boiler but does not list tender information for it. Greenberg's 2nd edition, page 73 paragraph (F) lists a 1953 plastic boiler 300 with plastic Atlantic-type tender body.
 

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The production date is somewhat smudged. I believe it is 1952. Trouble is the last digit is the one that is least legible. Hopefully I can post pictures tomorrow when I have more time to dig out the camera. I just assumed 300s came with metal or plastic tenders until I read Flyernut's post. After reading the post, I checked my references Doyle is not clear on whether or not plastic 300s came with plastic tenders. Doyle, page 19 lists a "Type VI" 300 as late 1952 with plastic boiler but does not list tender information for it. Greenberg's 2nd edition, page 73 paragraph (F) lists a 1953 plastic boiler 300 with plastic Atlantic-type tender body.
My best guess according to my info 1951 was the last year for the 300, but it's anyone's guess.
 

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My best attempt at images of the shell and date stamp. I have family chores that need my attention today but would like to get back to this subject later in the week. Removing the shell to access the date stamp has motivated me to overhaul the set. I will try to post more images later this week. Thanks. PHM
 

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That is interesting, there is no month stamped under the shell. 300's were made in 1952 and used in the 521T set. The wrappers may have been stamped 300AC but the 1952 Catalog lists the engine as a 300 under the set contents heading. Supposedly they all had metal tenders but it is not impossible for some to have the new plastic tender.
 

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I have more info regarding my 300 Atlantic with plastic tender. i will start a new discussion thread on it. Stay tuned.

Thanks,

PHM
 
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