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I found a HO train set in the basement. Engine is Athearn AMD-103, 3644 with 824 on engine. It runs good but I can't connect any car to the engine. I have a box car, tank car and caboose only. Don I need a tender? I can't get any car to coonect. Help please!
 

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I found a HO train set in the basement. Engine is Athearn AMD-103, 3644 with 824 on engine. It runs good but I can't connect any car to the engine. I have a box car, tank car and caboose only. Don I need a tender? I can't get any car to coonect. Help please!
Either the coupler is broke off or it's a hock horn coupler and your freight cars are knuckle couplers.
Can you post a picture of the back of the loco?
 

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If it is the one I am thinking of, it is probably an older "Blue Box" Athearn, in which none of the couplers and detail parts are installed. They usually come in separate manila envelopes.

Were there any small envelopes in the box? Do you still have the box?

As D&J Railroad said, some pictures would be good so we have a better idea of how to possibly help.
 

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Do the coupler pockets have the lids and screws on them?

If so you just need to get Kadee #27 couplers for it and install them (assuming you want knuckle couplers).

http://www.kadee.com/conv/pdf/ath32.pdf

Looking at the assembly drawing, the coupler box is part of the frame, so it should be there. The lid that comes with the #27 might work if yours is missing from the AMD-103, but I can't say for sure.

http://hoseeker.net/assemblyexplosionAthearn/Assembly Explosion Athearn AMD 103 1997.jpg

Hopefully this points you in a better direction. Not sure what else might be missing, these haven't been made in a long time, so parts are hard to find, unless you find another new old stock on eBay that still has everything for a reasonable price.
 

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ok, there definitely is no coupler on the engine, it's just a post, no screw. I have posted pics of the coupler on a box car (Erie Lackawanna 74163).
Questions: Do you know what coupler I should buy to put on the engine so I can connect to this car? In Johnfl68's post the part # of the coupler is 90601 but I don't know if that will connect to my car.
2. where can i buy it
3 will i be able to install it

Thanks for your help, you guys are great.
 

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You probably need the U shaped clip that holds the coupler on the engine. What you have on your car are called horn hook couplers. They work (kind of) and will do until you decide to change couplers down the road. I've been replacing horn hooks with Kadee #148's and have thrown away hundreds of the horn hooks. If you know someone local or a hobby shop, they will probably give you all you want. The coupler clips are available, but will probably have to be ordered.

Good Luck
Joe
 

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To answer your last question first: installing couplers falls under the list of "Extremely Basic Model Railroading skills". If you can handle small parts and turn a screwdriver, you can install a coupler.

Do you have a set of miniature screwdrivers? If not, that's your first purchase.

I would recommend simply installing a Kadee #27 according to the instructions John provided above. You can get them (and most of your model railroading needs) at www.modeltrainstuff.com. Walthers (www.walthers.com) is the largest distributor in North America. They list most of what is for sale, but always charge MSRP. EBay is popular with model railroaders, as is Amazon. There are also a number of other dealers, and some specialty ones as well. Your local hobby shop is also a good place to buy, just don't expect thrm to compete with internet ptices.

If you install a Kadee (knuckle) coupler on your loco, you will need at least one matching one on the car it will couple to, although I would recommend changing all of them out if they are hook horns.

Hook horn couplers (match PN90601): http://www.modeltrainstuff.com/Walthers-Cornerstone-HO-Horn-Hook-Couplers-p/933-995.htm

Kadee #27: http://www.modeltrainstuff.com/Kadee-HO-Medium-Underset-Shank-Coupler-Kit-p/kad-27.htm. Note that these come with all the parts you will need, including screws

2-56 screws: http://www.modeltrainstuff.com/Kadee-2-56-x-3-8-Screws-p/kad-1708.htm. These are 3/8" long. You may want to get a variety of lengths, just in case.
 

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Is it even an engine?

I would suggest backing away from the model and taking another picture of it, the first one is so close its out of focus and blurry. The reason I suggest that is I don't think its an engine. The silver color, the door in the end and the windows on either side of the door make me think you have an "RDC" which is not really an engine, its a self propelled passenger car.
 

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on the subject of couplers one of my engines has what looks like brass pins, slighly indented to hold the couplers/boxes in place. what is the best way to remove the pin.
 

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To me it looks like a P40 (AMD103). The P40s originally had rear hostler's controls and thus had an operator's window on the back end.


I would suggest backing away from the model and taking another picture of it, the first one is so close its out of focus and blurry. The reason I suggest that is I don't think its an engine. The silver color, the door in the end and the windows on either side of the door make me think you have an "RDC" which is not really an engine, its a self propelled passenger car.
 

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OP already said it was a ATH3644 (HO KIT AMD103/P40, AMTRAK #2).
 

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johnfl68 was kind enough to post this

http://hoseeker.net/assemblyexplosio...103 1997.jpg

If you know the number of the engine/car it lists it. I'm very new to HO, never had one before and I did not know there were like a zillion different couplers that don't match each other!
There are a zillion different couplers because they DO match each other at the business end. All knuckle couplers are compatible with each other as far as coupling; it is the zillions of different ways to mount them that requires the variety.

Buy a coupler height gauge (or an NMRA standards gauge) to ensure your couplers will mate with others after you install them.
 
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