Author Topic: Body Mounting the couplers.  (Read 4476 times)

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2-8-8-0

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Body Mounting the couplers.
« on: April 14, 2010, 10:18:08 PM »
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Hello Margaret, its me again...

*ahem*

Ok, so ive slowly aquired quite a hopper fleet. They are all trix OS quads, atlas os twins (only like 4 of these, i hope they do more C&O arch end ones!) and a bunch of micro trains twins. And them truck mounted couplers gotta go.

My layout is gonna be a smallish affair, so no big long trains (20 cars will be the max) but as it will be a coal branch, there will be plenty of running in both directions, with cars on either or both ends of the loco (this was pretty common, oddly, on the C&O...cars ahead and behind a loco, or pushing backwards).

I want my trains to stay on the tracks, so im definately upgrading to good metal wheelsets (a bit more weight) and going to standardize my couplers (havent picked a brand yet, but likely MTs) and want to body mount my couplers. I figure its something I can do over the next few weeks, as finals time approaches.

My question, i suppose...how? Do you just snip the coupler box off the truck and glue it under the ends of the sill of the hoppers? Not much surface area there for glue, but i suppose CA is strong stuff. Anyone have any advice on this? Also, should I buy, say, a bunch of MT trucks, so I have allthe same coupler boxes? Or are they pretty standard?

PS. Bachmann, in the hopes you look at this forum more than you do your own, stop putting dummy couplers on the front of engines that push as much as they pull please, thanks.

Also, another question, does anyone know C&Os designation for the USRA med tender? The G-7/G-9 2-8-0s used a "7-RB" tender, thats smaller than the med USRA one the model comes with. Wonder if a USRA shorty can be made into a convincing clone...
« Last Edit: April 14, 2010, 10:32:17 PM by 2-8-8-0 »
Just say no to dummy couplers.

ednadolski

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Re: Body Mounting the couplers.
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2010, 11:10:24 PM »
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One consideration if you are thinking of MT couplers is the potential to hit the 'pogo' problem (a.k.a. the slinky effect).   This can be especially evident on grades and at low speeds.  You might want to try doing some tests to see if it happens in your specific case.   The pogo is an inherent part of the MT design, because of the where the internal spring is positioned.   For that reason, I am in the process of converting to the new McHenry coupler.

It's straightforward enough to cut the coupler box off a truck with a pair of flush-cutting pliers, but the box probably won't be suitable for body-mounting in any case.  I'm not sure if CA or epoxy will bond strongly enough with the kind of plastics that are used in the MT couplers, anyways MT makes a variety of body-mount couplers that are designed to attach to the car with a small screw.  You have to drill & tap a hole for the screw.  Depending on the car, you may need a shim to get the correct height.

Another alternative is, a few years ago Brian Bussey wrote a great article in NSR about making body-mount coupler boxes from K&S #262 rectangular brass bar, 3/32" x 3/16".   In the article he used the Accumate coupler but it should work the same with the McHenry.  Nice thing is, you can make the box length and the screw locations to be whatever you need.  They can attach with screws, but if you prefer epoxy I don't see any reason why that wouldn't work, and it would save some drilling/tapping effort.  It would also beat having to buy a whole bunch of body-mount couplers just to get the coupler boxes, and the brass would take paint better than the coupler box plastic.

If I can find my copy of that NSR, I'll post more info.

Ed




ednadolski

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Re: Body Mounting the couplers.
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2010, 11:15:09 PM »
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Ah, here it is: NSR Sept/Oct 2007:




2-8-8-0

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Re: Body Mounting the couplers.
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2010, 11:32:36 PM »
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Thanks much Ed, ill look for that magazine!

Part of the problem with the hoppers is the fact they dont really have a "floor" to speak of; nothing to put a screw into. There is the horizontal sill "bar" (i have no idea what it is called) at the end of the car, and thats it; hopper frames sadly dont run the full length of the car in N. My alternatives seem sort of limited (make a full length frame...uh, no...or just glue some sort of housing in place, which dosent sound ideal, but i dont know if Ill have a choice?)

I will definately try mchenrys, I used those when I did HO and rather liked them, so Ill give those a try. Almost certainly will be cheaper than the MT ones!

Thanks, Tim
Just say no to dummy couplers.

bbussey

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Re: Body Mounting the couplers.
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2010, 01:06:41 PM »
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You can also buy the MTL "Hopper Brace/Brake Hardware" in black or brown at $5.20 MSRP, which is enough to convert 9 cars.  Installing the MTL bracing allows you to body-mount whatever coupler you prefer to the bracing.  I have done that on the MDC (Athearn) car.  For open hoppers of all makes that aren't of current 21st-century design (Atlas, Bluford), it's probably easier to go that route.

   
Bryan Busséy
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Mark5

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Re: Body Mounting the couplers.
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2010, 03:24:49 PM »
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You can also buy the MTL "Hopper Brace/Brake Hardware" in black or brown at $5.20 MSRP, which is enough to convert 9 cars.  Installing the MTL bracing allows you to body-mount whatever coupler you prefer to the bracing.  I have done that on the MDC (Athearn) car.  For open hoppers of all makes that aren't of current 21st-century design (Atlas, Bluford), it's probably easier to go that route.


I recently picked up a set of these - to experiment with on my 20th century hoppers. ;)

I assume you glued the bracing in place.

Mark

bbussey

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Re: Body Mounting the couplers.
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2010, 03:37:27 PM »
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Yes.  Also carved out notches inside the existing frame of the hopper bodies to get the MTL brace/stirrups to fit in properly, and cut the little cylindrical tab in the back of the brace so it can fit properly in front of the hopper bolster.  I'll try to get a close-up pic posted later.
Bryan Busséy
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bbussey

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Re: Body Mounting the couplers.
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2010, 03:47:08 PM »
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... My question, i suppose...how? Do you just snip the coupler box off the truck and glue it under the ends of the sill of the hoppers? Not much surface area there for glue, but i suppose CA is strong stuff. Anyone have any advice on this? Also, should I buy, say, a bunch of MT trucks, so I have allthe same coupler boxes? Or are they pretty standard? ...

In answer to this - no, I would use the standard body-mount coupler boxes (whether MTL, ATL or McH) screwed into the appropriate hole in the MTL bracing.  Tap the hole for a 00-90 screw first.  Then nip the protruding part of the screw with rail-cutters and paint the exposed metal the appropriate body color.  On the B-end brace, remove the brake hardware parts (they snap in/out) prior and reinstall after the coupler is screwed in place and the excess screw threads are cut.

If you are going to buy MTL trucks, get either Bettendorfs or Andrews w/o couplers.  No sense paying for components that are not as good a fit.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2010, 03:54:57 PM by bbussey »
Bryan Busséy
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wm3798

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Re: Body Mounting the couplers.
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2010, 04:24:11 PM »
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The coupler box on the MT trucks is too wide.  Not a problem when it swivels with the truck, but if it's body mounted, it blocks the truck from swinging enough to make it around even a modest curve.

Lee
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Denver Road Doug

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Re: Body Mounting the couplers.
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2010, 05:02:00 PM »
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You can also buy the MTL "Hopper Brace/Brake Hardware" in black or brown at $5.20 MSRP, which is enough to convert 9 cars.  Installing the MTL bracing allows you to body-mount whatever coupler you prefer to the bracing.  I have done that on the MDC (Athearn) car.  For open hoppers of all makes that aren't of current 21st-century design (Atlas, Bluford), it's probably easier to go that route.

Sounds like a great tip.  I guess this is pretty much a substitute for the old Precision Masters parts that provided a similar function?  Or am I thinking wrong?
NOTE: I'm no longer active on this forum.   If you need to contact me, use the e-mail address (or visit the website link) attached to this username.  Thanks.

inkaneer

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Re: Body Mounting the couplers.
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2010, 05:06:07 PM »
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How does one bodymount a coupler using Atlas trucks and still have a reasonable coupling distance?  Seems to me that the coupler box would interfere with the outboard axle in the truck and thats why Atlas had to extend the coupler beyond the axle and increase the coupling distance. 

Mark5

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Re: Body Mounting the couplers.
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2010, 05:18:15 PM »
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I think the Atlas coupler sticking out has more to do with them accomodating people that still wanted cRapido couplers.

Lee Weldon takes the accumates from his Atlas 55 Ton hoppers and body mounts them.

(How about a pic Lee?)

Mark

2-8-8-0

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Re: Body Mounting the couplers.
« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2010, 05:20:30 PM »
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Thanks much for the responses, I didnt know MT had a "kit" for this, let alone that it would be such a reasonable price. Ill order that, and think ill try couplers and boxes from Mchenry; I dont like derailments or spontaneous uncouplings.

Inkaneer, I noticed the rather long coupler boxes and coupler shank on the Atlas hoppers; I dislike it as well. I will have 18" radius at a minimum and dont need (or want) an extra 1/4 inch on either end of the car. hopefully a different truck, box, and shorter shank coupler will cure this.

I want metal wheels as well, but will probably go to a standard truck as well. Converting my hoppers looks to be a pricey proposition, but as I only will have 100 or so when all is said and done, I suppose Im getting out of this much easier than those with many hundreds or thousands of freight cars.

A pic of how the parts all fit together would be really appreciated bbussey, so I have some idea what Im dealing with!

Tim
Just say no to dummy couplers.

wm3798

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Re: Body Mounting the couplers.
« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2010, 05:25:59 PM »
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Route of the Alpha Jets

Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

bbussey

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Re: Body Mounting the couplers.
« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2010, 05:53:44 PM »
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The coupler box on the MT trucks is too wide.  Not a problem when it swivels with the truck, but if it's body mounted, it blocks the truck from swinging enough to make it around even a modest curve.

These cars all have body-mounts, and they are traversing Atlas c55 10" radius trackage in this photo.  And I even have the couplers mounted inward more than normal on the two MTL cars, because the standard mounting hole pushes the coupler out too far for my liking. The Atlas hopper on the end has Accu-Mates in an Accu-Mate coupler box; MTL 1015s on the other three cars.  No problems with truck swing.



I recently picked up a set of these - to experiment with on my 20th century hoppers. ;)
I assume you glued the bracing in place.

Yup.  Use 1016s.  The B&A hopper has the full MTL bracing/stirrups, with the MDC body carved out to keep the MTL stirrups.  The C&O hopper has just the MTL bracing with the MDC stirrups intact.  With both cars, the bolsters have to be lowered some more, as the cars and couplers sit about .020" too high.  Since both cars have FVM wheelsets, there is room.  Accu-Mates on the B&A, which still suffer from the same problem as the MTL hoppers regarding placement.  The C&O has MTL 1016s instead, which I recently discovered solves this issue, so I have about a dozen MTL New Haven hoppers to switch from MTL 1015s to 1016s.  Regardless, both cars currently traverse 10" radius with no problems.






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