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Discussion Starter #1
First please forgive me for being an ignorant newbie. I have been ordering several locomotives and rolling stock but didn’t even consider that the older style cars would have different couplers than the locomotive. So basically I need to know the best way to change couplers and what brand to go with. Here are pics of the ones I have.
I want to go from this


To this
 

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I THINK? that that is a Micro-Trains "True Scale" coupler. Maybe someone can confirm this?
Will you need body mount couplers?
 

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Then u want truck-mounted couplers. Not sure if there is an MTL conversion but MAYBE somebody here has had dealings with those cars. I think Gra Far is made by Bachmann but it's not a US line. You may just have to make some couplers work... Try a little internet searching on the conversion.
 

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If no direct conversion maybe a True-Scale #1301 could be bashed onto the truck...Whatever you find, try just one on the first car so you have an adapter car to haul the rest. Just a suggestion.
Look on Micro-Trains website.
 

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First please forgive me for being an ignorant newbie. I have been ordering several locomotives and rolling stock but didn’t even consider that the older style cars would have different couplers than the locomotive. So basically I need to know the best way to change couplers and what brand to go with. Here are pics of the ones I have.
I want to go from this


To this
Pacecars;

No "forgiveness" is required! Newbies aren't supposed to know everything, they're new. I've been model railroading over half a century, and I certainly don't know everything. That's why I sometimes need to ask questions too. We may have had the odd member now and then, who thought he knew everything, but none of us really do. So don't sweat asking questions. That's what this forum is all about. 😊

The coupler in your top photo is a Rapido coupler. These were standard on most old N-scale rolling stock. They were replaced in more recent years by knuckle couplers, like the one shown in your bottom photo. There are several brands of knuckle couplers but the best, and by far the favorite, brand is Micro-Trains.
Truck-mounted couplers are most easily replaced by replacing the whole truck/coupler assembly with Micro-Trains trucks with their excellent couplers attached.
Couplers can also be body-mounted to the frame of the car. If you have any locomotives, or cars, with body-mounted couplers then you may have a problem. It is better by far to have either all body-mounts, or all truck mounts.
Having some of each will often result in the body-mounted coupler on a locomotive pushing against the truck-mounted coupler on the following car, and derailing it. This is especially common on tight curves. If you plan to use curves tighter than about 14" radius, I would definitely pick one mounting system, probably truck-mounted, if at all possible. New locos, and even some new cars, including Micro-Trains passenger cars, are coming with body-mounted couplers. So, while it won't be as easy as swapping entire truck assemblies, body-mounting seems to be the way the industry is leaning, particularly on locomotives.

The attached file has more information on couplers.

Good Luck & Have Fun;

Traction Fan 🙂
 

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"I THINK? that that is a Micro-Trains "True Scale" coupler'
And TractionFan, could you contribute here by confirming whether or not he has a Micro-Trains coupler on his tender?
Thanks!
Cid
 

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That makes 'em Micro Trains #1015.
If you're going to convert buy the pre-assembled units.
Unless you LIKE high blood pressure.:oops:

Btw, does it run well?
 

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Bli claims that's a MT 1015 or compatible, which means pretty much any brand will connect to it whether truck mounted or not. MT makes a gazillion coupler types so you shouldn't have any trouble finding replacements for your rolling stock. Preassembled truck mounts will definitely be the easiest option!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
So if I want to replace them with MT trucks which ones do I want. There are a cap load and I would just prefer to do it the easy way and buy them in bulk to save a little money. Here is a view of the trucks:
Bli claims that's a MT 1015 or compatible, which means pretty much any brand will connect to it whether truck mounted or not. MT makes a gazillion coupler types so you shouldn't have any trouble finding replacements for your rolling stock. Preassembled truck mounts will definitely be the easiest option!

So if I want to replace them with MT trucks which ones do I want. There are a cap load and I would just prefer to do it the easy way and buy them in bulk to save a little money. Here is a view of the trucks:



 

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The advantage of your existing trucks is the metal wheels...they roll easier than plastic wheels. But don't spend time worrying about that. I have some of the plastic-wheeled MT conversion trucks, and they work just fine. A little quieter too...less metallic clickity-clack.
 

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Just ideas, all I can offer. I think those trucks have plastic wheels. You might be able to swap in
your old plated wheels. New metal wheels from MTL would be much darker.
The 1133 is listed for Bachmann passenger cars, it might work. If the coupler
doesn't fit in the gear box, you would have to replace the box.

Good Luck !!
 

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Isn't it possible to simply move his existing metal wheels and
axles to the new trucks?

Don
 

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Thought I would just check a few:
New MTL metal axle overall length 0.529
New MTL plastic axle overall length 0.531
Used Atlas plastic axle overall length 0.555
Used Atlas plastic axle overall length 0.557
 

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And TractionFan, could you contribute here by confirming whether or not he has a Micro-Trains coupler on his tender?
Thanks!
Cid
cid;

It certainly looks like a Micro-Trains coupler, but since I haven't used any other brands of N-scale knuckle couplers, it may possibly be a different brand. Even if it is, that wouldn't affect the OP's idea. He wants to switch from Rapido couplers to a knuckle coupler, and I & others, recommended Micro-Trains.

Traction Fan 🙂
 

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So if I want to replace them with MT trucks which ones do I want. There are a cap load and I would just prefer to do it the easy way and buy them in bulk to save a little money. Here is a view of the trucks:



So if I want to replace them with MT trucks which ones do I want. There are a cap load and I would just prefer to do it the easy way and buy them in bulk to save a little money. Here is a view of the trucks:



pacecars;

The car in your photos is a Bachmann "Old Timer" wood-sheathed passenger car. It uses "archbar" type trucks with a long coupler mount. Micro-Trains makes a replacement for this truck. However, while archbar trucks are appropriate for this civil war era car. They were outlawed many years ago for safety reasons. If all your cars are this vintage, then archbar trucks would be appropriate. Freight cars from these Bachmann "Old Timer" sets also used archbar trucks, but with a shorter coupler mount.

Starting in the early twentieth century and lasting up to the 1960s, Bettendorf trucks were the most common type used. From 1960 to the present, roller bearing trucks have been used. Micro-Trains makes all three "era" types of trucks. Internally and functionally, all three are identical. The only difference is the outside appearance. More practical differences like that extended coupler mount on the Bachmann "Old Timer" car in your photos would be important.
The extended mount on that car lets the trucks be mounted closer to each other under the car, which lets it get around tight curves. With the trucks further in from the ends of the car, the long extended mount is needed. On other cars though, these couplers would stick out way beyond the ends of the car.
As some have pointed out, there are also trucks made for passenger cars more modern than this one. I model the 1920s when riveted, all-steel, "heavyweight" passenger cars were used. They rode on six-wheel trucks. Later lightweight "streamliner" type passenger cars rode on four wheel passenger car trucks.

So which kind of trucks you will need, depends on what era you're modeling, and what kind of cars you have. I'm afraid one size, and type, does not fit all. Can you send some photos of your cars, and tell us the time period your railroad is set in? That would help to determine the type of truck.

Traction Fan :oops:
 

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