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Discussion Starter #1
I have searched the forum and the internet and I found 100s of posts and or questions about couplers, but none answered my exact question. I searched MTL’s website and still didn’t get my answer! So either I can’t explain it right or what I’m looking for doesn’t exist but I sware I’ve seen it. So the question is a couple parts. First off I have 99% rapido couplers and most of, if not all are truck mounted. I have a few places on the layout with hard to reach places. By the time I get the cars uncoupled it looks like a horrible derailment scene locos and cars on their sides scattered everywhere! Everything off the track etc. So to fix that problem I took a little tiny switcher and cut the hook part off the coupler so I can push cars to these locations and then back away without pulling the cars back. Then I get them with an engine with an unmodified coupler. Everything seemed ok. Then my son in law bought me a new fox valley models NS engine and six cars with knuckle couplers. Now I have two different styles. That’s the first part of the question are all knuckle couplers the same? If not will they couple together? Then the main part of the question is, do they make a knuckle coupler that has that t shaped shank like the rapido that will mount into the rapido “box” with no modifications. I want to say I’ve seen them on the internet but I can’t find them again. I really don’t want to have to replace all my trucks if I don’t have to. I know I can make an adaptor car but I rather change everything to the same coupler if it’s reasonable. Thanks for any help and or advice.
 

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I have searched the forum and the internet and I found 100s of posts and or questions about couplers, but none answered my exact question. I searched MTL’s website and still didn’t get my answer! So either I can’t explain it right or what I’m looking for doesn’t exist but I sware I’ve seen it. So the question is a couple parts. First off I have 99% rapido couplers and most of, if not all are truck mounted. I have a few places on the layout with hard to reach places. By the time I get the cars uncoupled it looks like a horrible derailment scene locos and cars on their sides scattered everywhere! Everything off the track etc. So to fix that problem I took a little tiny switcher and cut the hook part off the coupler so I can push cars to these locations and then back away without pulling the cars back. Then I get them with an engine with an unmodified coupler. Everything seemed ok. Then my son in law bought me a new fox valley models NS engine and six cars with knuckle couplers. Now I have two different styles. That’s the first part of the question are all knuckle couplers the same? If not will they couple together? Then the main part of the question is, do they make a knuckle coupler that has that t shaped shank like the rapido that will mount into the rapido “box” with no modifications. I want to say I’ve seen them on the internet but I can’t find them again. I really don’t want to have to replace all my trucks if I don’t have to. I know I can make an adaptor car but I rather change everything to the same coupler if it’s reasonable. Thanks for any help and or advice.

they should be according to NMRA "rules"
 

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I have searched the forum and the internet and I found 100s of posts and or questions about couplers, but none answered my exact question. I searched MTL’s website and still didn’t get my answer! So either I can’t explain it right or what I’m looking for doesn’t exist but I sware I’ve seen it. So the question is a couple parts. First off I have 99% rapido couplers and most of, if not all are truck mounted. I have a few places on the layout with hard to reach places. By the time I get the cars uncoupled it looks like a horrible derailment scene locos and cars on their sides scattered everywhere! Everything off the track etc. So to fix that problem I took a little tiny switcher and cut the hook part off the coupler so I can push cars to these locations and then back away without pulling the cars back. Then I get them with an engine with an unmodified coupler. Everything seemed ok. Then my son in law bought me a new fox valley models NS engine and six cars with knuckle couplers. Now I have two different styles. That’s the first part of the question are all knuckle couplers the same? If not will they couple together? Then the main part of the question is, do they make a knuckle coupler that has that t shaped shank like the rapido that will mount into the rapido “box” with no modifications. I want to say I’ve seen them on the internet but I can’t find them again. I really don’t want to have to replace all my trucks if I don’t have to. I know I can make an adaptor car but I rather change everything to the same coupler if it’s reasonable. Thanks for any help and or advice.[/QUOTE/]

it was not meant for humans...
 

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I have searched the forum and the internet and I found 100s of posts and or questions about couplers, but none answered my exact question. I searched MTL’s website and still didn’t get my answer! So either I can’t explain it right or what I’m looking for doesn’t exist but I sware I’ve seen it. So the question is a couple parts. First off I have 99% rapido couplers and most of, if not all are truck mounted. I have a few places on the layout with hard to reach places. By the time I get the cars uncoupled it looks like a horrible derailment scene locos and cars on their sides scattered everywhere! Everything off the track etc. So to fix that problem I took a little tiny switcher and cut the hook part off the coupler so I can push cars to these locations and then back away without pulling the cars back. Then I get them with an engine with an unmodified coupler. Everything seemed ok. Then my son in law bought me a new fox valley models NS engine and six cars with knuckle couplers. Now I have two different styles. That’s the first part of the question are all knuckle couplers the same? If not will they couple together? Then the main part of the question is, do they make a knuckle coupler that has that t shaped shank like the rapido that will mount into the rapido “box” with no modifications. I want to say I’ve seen them on the internet but I can’t find them again. I really don’t want to have to replace all my trucks if I don’t have to. I know I can make an adaptor car but I rather change everything to the same coupler if it’s reasonable. Thanks for any help and or advice.[/QUOTE/]

it was not meant for humans...
neither was Omaha beach
but i do belive i saw one before i will try to find it.
 

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If your having trouble uncoupling the cars I would suggest not trying to replace the couplers. I believe the number is 1128, but it's not easy. Like I said replace the truck with MT trucks with couplers, you end up with a much better truck and coupler. You can also install a magnet to uncouple your cars without ever touching them. Most all knuckle couplers will work together except Kato, I toss mine in the trash.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
If your having trouble uncoupling the cars I would suggest not trying to replace the couplers. I believe the number is 1128, but it's not easy. Like I said replace the truck with MT trucks with couplers, you end up with a much better truck and coupler. You can also install a magnet to uncouple your cars without ever touching them. Most all knuckle couplers will work together except Kato, I toss mine in the trash.
Ok I was just looking at the trucks with the couplers already on them. Are these the ones? I noticed a lot of them have plastic wheels do you know if these are plastic? If so are metal better or not really a concern? Thanks
 

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Coupler questions

I have searched the forum and the internet and I found 100s of posts and or questions about couplers, but none answered my exact question. I searched MTL’s website and still didn’t get my answer! So either I can’t explain it right or what I’m looking for doesn’t exist but I swear I’ve seen it. So the question is a couple parts. First off I have 99% rapido couplers and most of, if not all are truck mounted. I have a few places on the layout with hard to reach places. By the time I get the cars uncoupled it looks like a horrible derailment scene locos and cars on their sides scattered everywhere! Everything off the track etc. So to fix that problem I took a little tiny switcher and cut the hook part off the coupler so I can push cars to these locations and then back away without pulling the cars back. Then I get them with an engine with an unmodified coupler. Everything seemed ok. Then my son in law bought me a new fox valley models NS engine and six cars with knuckle couplers. Now I have two different styles. That’s the first part of the question are all knuckle couplers the same? If not will they couple together? Then the main part of the question is, do they make a knuckle coupler that has that t shaped shank like the rapido that will mount into the rapido “box” with no modifications. I want to say I’ve seen them on the internet but I can’t find them again. I really don’t want to have to replace all my trucks if I don’t have to. I know I can make an adaptor car but I rather change everything to the same coupler if it’s reasonable. Thanks for any help and or advice.


Cousin Eddie:

Your problem with trying to uncouple rapido couplers is a common one. They couple well, stay coupled well, but are difficult to uncouple. There are/were uncoupling ramps for Rapido couplers. They pushed up the pins on the bottom of the Rapido couplers to raise them and uncouple them. The big problem is, you can only uncouple on the ramp, and you can't push a car off the ramp, or anywhere else, without recoupling to it. I like your idea about cutting off the hook part to make a "pusher" locomotive, very clever!
There is an old system for close coupling cars that rarely get uncoupled. It involved cutting most of the hook off leaving just a 'T' shaped piece sticking out. The other end of the same car had its Rapido coupler, spring, and metal retaining strap, all removed, leaving only the empty coupler box. A string of these cars could be coupled by lifting the empty coupler box end of one car over the 'T' end of the next car. (see photos of ore cars)

Micro-trains does/did make 'T'-shank couplers. They are used in locomotive conversion kits, and do fit into the loco's original Rapido coupler box, but usually involve inserting a M-T coupler box inside the Rapido one. These conversion kits are very expensive, and each kit only fits one specific locomotive.

I would suggest forgetting about Rapido couplers, and switching over to all Micro-Trains couplers. Yes, the easy way to do that for cars is to replace the original trucks with M-T trucks with their excellent couplers attached. Yes, the wheels that come in those Micro-Trains trucks are plastic, not metal. Micro-Trains wheels, plastic, or their new metal replacement wheels, are excellent and roll very freely. I don't think Micro-Trains offers their trucks with their newly-introduced metal wheels in them, at least not yet. I use Micro-Trains trucks, but replace the plastic wheels with metal ones.

That brings up another subject. If like me, you prefer metal wheels, you may want to keep the metal-wheeled trucks you have now, cut the Rapido couplers off them, and body-mount Micro-Trains couplers. Do you have any locomotives, or cars, that have their couplers mounted to the body, and not on the trucks? I suspect that new NS loco that came with knuckle couplers, has those couplers body-mounted. That seems to be the current trend. I have not seen a locomotive with truck-mounted couplers in years. Even some new freight ,and passenger, cars are coming with body-mounted couplers now. The thing is, you would need to decide,(If you were going to switch over to M-T couplers) whether to use those M-T trucks with the couplers already on them, or to body-mount M-T couplers and not pay for new trucks (reuse what you have) but only pay for couplers.
The thing to avoid is having some body-mounted couplers and some truck-mounted couplers. It needs to be all one way or all the other. Mixing the two mounting options is a worst case scenario. You are far more likely to have derailments, and coupling/uncoupling problems, if you mix the two. I suggest picking out a few of your longest cars and body-mounting M-T couplers on them, Then run the heck out of those cars and see if they cause any problems.

You asked if all knuckle couplers were compatible with each other. In theory, yes. In actual practice NO. I advise people to use whatever brand of knuckle couplers come on any new cars they buy, until those couplers cause problems. Then replace them with Micro-Trains couplers.

good luck, have fun;

Traction Fan :smilie_daumenpos:

rapido coupler mod 1.jpg

rapido coupler mod 3.jpg

rapido coupler mod 4.jpg

rapido coupler trick 2.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I have searched the forum and the internet and I found 100s of posts and or questions about couplers, but none answered my exact question. I searched MTL’s website and still didn’t get my answer! So either I can’t explain it right or what I’m looking for doesn’t exist but I swear I’ve seen it. So the question is a couple parts. First off I have 99% rapido couplers and most of, if not all are truck mounted. I have a few places on the layout with hard to reach places. By the time I get the cars uncoupled it looks like a horrible derailment scene locos and cars on their sides scattered everywhere! Everything off the track etc. So to fix that problem I took a little tiny switcher and cut the hook part off the coupler so I can push cars to these locations and then back away without pulling the cars back. Then I get them with an engine with an unmodified coupler. Everything seemed ok. Then my son in law bought me a new fox valley models NS engine and six cars with knuckle couplers. Now I have two different styles. That’s the first part of the question are all knuckle couplers the same? If not will they couple together? Then the main part of the question is, do they make a knuckle coupler that has that t shaped shank like the rapido that will mount into the rapido “box” with no modifications. I want to say I’ve seen them on the internet but I can’t find them again. I really don’t want to have to replace all my trucks if I don’t have to. I know I can make an adaptor car but I rather change everything to the same coupler if it’s reasonable. Thanks for any help and or advice.


Cousin Eddie:

Your problem with trying to uncouple rapido couplers is a common one. They couple well, stay coupled well, but are difficult to uncouple. There are/were uncoupling ramps for Rapido couplers. They pushed up the pins on the bottom of the Rapido couplers to raise them and uncouple them. The big problem is, you can only uncouple on the ramp, and you can't push a car off the ramp, or anywhere else, without recoupling to it. I like your idea about cutting off the hook part to make a "pusher" locomotive, very clever!
There is an old system for close coupling cars that rarely get uncoupled. It involved cutting most of the hook off leaving just a 'T' shaped piece sticking out. The other end of the same car had its Rapido coupler, spring, and metal retaining strap, all removed, leaving only the empty coupler box. A string of these cars could be coupled by lifting the empty coupler box end of one car over the 'T' end of the next car. (see photos of ore cars)

Micro-trains does/did make 'T'-shank couplers. They are used in locomotive conversion kits, and do fit into the loco's original Rapido coupler box, but usually involve inserting a M-T coupler box inside the Rapido one. These conversion kits are very expensive, and each kit only fits one specific locomotive.

I would suggest forgetting about Rapido couplers, and switching over to all Micro-Trains couplers. Yes, the easy way to do that for cars is to replace the original trucks with M-T trucks with their excellent couplers attached. Yes, the wheels that come in those Micro-Trains trucks are plastic, not metal. Micro-Trains wheels, plastic, or their new metal replacement wheels, are excellent and roll very freely. I don't think Micro-Trains offers their trucks with their newly-introduced metal wheels in them, at least not yet. I use Micro-Trains trucks, but replace the plastic wheels with metal ones.

That brings up another subject. If like me, you prefer metal wheels, you may want to keep the metal-wheeled trucks you have now, cut the Rapido couplers off them, and body-mount Micro-Trains couplers. Do you have any locomotives, or cars, that have their couplers mounted to the body, and not on the trucks? I suspect that new NS loco that came with knuckle couplers, has those couplers body-mounted. That seems to be the current trend. I have not seen a locomotive with truck-mounted couplers in years. Even some new freight ,and passenger, cars are coming with body-mounted couplers now. The thing is, you would need to decide,(If you were going to switch over to M-T couplers) whether to use those M-T trucks with the couplers already on them, or to body-mount M-T couplers and not pay for new trucks (reuse what you have) but only pay for couplers.
The thing to avoid is having some body-mounted couplers and some truck-mounted couplers. It needs to be all one way or all the other. Mixing the two mounting options is a worst case scenario. You are far more likely to have derailments, and coupling/uncoupling problems, if you mix the two. I suggest picking out a few of your longest cars and body-mounting M-T couplers on them, Then run the heck out of those cars and see if they cause any problems.

You asked if all knuckle couplers were compatible with each other. In theory, yes. In actual practice NO. I advise people to use whatever brand of knuckle couplers come on any new cars they buy, until those couplers cause problems. Then replace them with Micro-Trains couplers.

good luck, have fun;

Traction Fan


View attachment 525708

View attachment 525710

View attachment 525712

View attachment 525714
I will check next time I’m working on the layout, but I think most of my cars are truck mount. I really like that little trick for coupling cars that stay connected!! I have a 10 car coal train I might do that to. Thanks again for the help. Here is my little pushing switcher works good.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Ok I was just looking at the trucks with the couplers already on them. Are these the ones? I noticed a lot of them have plastic wheels do you know if these are plastic? If so are metal better or not really a concern? Thanks
Yes and these for older cars.

https://www.modeltrainstuff.com/micro-trains-n-00325021-1000-10-b-brown-bettendorf-trucks-with-short-extension-rda-couplers-10-pairs-assembled/
ok thanks how would I know what cars need what set? You said older cars is there a way I can tell by looking at them. I would venture to say most of my cars would be considered older but not sure.
 

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ok thanks how would I know what cars need what set? You said older cars is there a way I can tell by looking at them. I would venture to say most of my cars would be considered older but not sure.
Look at the truck that is on your car and match it up. They are usually either Roller Bearing or Bettendorf. You could also use RB trucks on old cars and if anyone asks just say you undated the car to the new style of trucks.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
ok thanks how would I know what cars need what set? You said older cars is there a way I can tell by looking at them. I would venture to say most of my cars would be considered older but not sure.
Look at the truck that is on your car and match it up. They are usually either Roller Bearing or Bettendorf. You could also use RB trucks on old cars and if anyone asks just say you undated the car to the new style of trucks.
Oh ok so it’s not one will work and one won’t it’s a matter of what would be on the real thing then?
 

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All or none

Cousin Eddie;

Even if all your cars have truck-mounted couplers, the real key to the "truck mount vs. body-mount" question is which coupler mounting system your locomotives, (including the newest one) use.
In your photo of two switchers, I see that they both have Rapido couplers. That very likely means that their (Rapido) couplers are mounted on the trucks of those locomotives. How about the new locomotive you mentioned? are it's (knuckle) couplers body-mounted? That's the common practice on new locomotives.
I suggest you do the test I recommended last time. Body mount Micro-Trains couplers on a few of your longest cars, and pull them behind that new, knuckle coupler equipped, loco; all over the layout. Try running that train backwards too, with the loco pushing the cars. If the cars stay on the track, then I suggest you start body-mounting Micro-Trains couplers on a few more cars at a time, and gradually convert your whole fleet of cars over to Micro-Trains couplers.
Those older locomotives are a different story. To mount Micro-Trains couplers on them, you have two choices.
If there are "Locomotive conversion kits" still available from Micro-Trains, designed to fit those specific models, then you could mount those conversion kits into the trucks of those old locomotives. However. that would mean ending up with a mixture of some truck-mounted couplers (on the old locos) and some body-mounted couplers, (on everything else.)
I know a locomotive with body-mounts can, and often will, derail a following car equipped with truck mounts, but I'm not sure if that happens the other way around. The best alternative would be to body-mount Micro-Trains couplers to the old locos, but there may not be room to do that.

Good Luck;

Traction Fan :smilie_daumenpos:

View attachment A lot about couplers.pdf
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Cousin Eddie;

Even if all your cars have truck-mounted couplers, the real key to the "truck mount vs. body-mount" question is which coupler mounting system your locomotives, (including the newest one) use.
In your photo of two switchers, I see that they both have Rapido couplers. That very likely means that their (Rapido) couplers are mounted on the trucks of those locomotives. How about the new locomotive you mentioned? are it's (knuckle) couplers body-mounted? That's the common practice on new locomotives.
I suggest you do the test I recommended last time. Body mount Micro-Trains couplers on a few of your longest cars, and pull them behind that new, knuckle coupler equipped, loco; all over the layout. Try running that train backwards too, with the loco pushing the cars. If the cars stay on the track, then I suggest you start body-mounting Micro-Trains couplers on a few more cars at a time, and gradually convert your whole fleet of cars over to Micro-Trains couplers.
Those older locomotives are a different story. To mount Micro-Trains couplers on them, you have two choices.
If there are "Locomotive conversion kits" still available from Micro-Trains, designed to fit those specific models, then you could mount those conversion kits into the trucks of those old locomotives. However. that would mean ending up with a mixture of some truck-mounted couplers (on the old locos) and some body-mounted couplers, (on everything else.)
I know a locomotive with body-mounts can, and often will, derail a following car equipped with truck mounts, but I'm not sure if that happens the other way around. The best alternative would be to body-mount Micro-Trains couplers to the old locos, but there may not be room to do that.

Good Luck;

Traction Fan


View attachment 526136
I’m starting to think a conversion car is the way to go. At least for awhile.
 
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