Author Topic: Converting Atlas Front Runners to MT couplers, any thoughts?  (Read 2055 times)

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VonRyan

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Converting Atlas Front Runners to MT couplers, any thoughts?
« on: March 10, 2013, 02:20:28 PM »
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I have 5 Atlas Front Runners that my friend intrusted with me to convert to MT couplers. The "boxes" for the rapido couplers are molded into the metal frame.

My quandry is,
Is there a dedicated MT conversion for these cars?
And...
Should I convert all of them, or just one end of two cars to make them a dedicated block of 5?

I my self have never converted anything to MTs outside of just pulling the bolster pin and replacing trucks with MT trucks with mounted couplers.
I have repaired a few broken MT couplers in the past and found it quite easy, so hopefully I shouldn't have too much trouble converting these.

Thanks again all!

-Cody F.
Cody W Fisher - Modeler of the PRR, PRSL, GWR, SZD, and DRG

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Wardie

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VonRyan

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Re: Converting Atlas Front Runners to MT couplers, any thoughts?
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2013, 03:06:51 PM »
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Right then...

How exactly should I go about converting them? (Google wasn't much help)

Is there anything specific that needs to be done in order to prep the car(s) before hand?


-Cody F.
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Zox

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Re: Converting Atlas Front Runners to MT couplers, any thoughts?
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2013, 03:41:10 PM »
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Right then...

How exactly should I go about converting them? (Google wasn't much help)

Is there anything specific that needs to be done in order to prep the car(s) before hand?

Micro-Trains provides instructions for its conversion kits in each package. Since the "Conversion Notes" space on the MT site is blank for that particular car/coupler combination, those "default" instructions should be adequate in this case.

According to the description of the MT 1049 on Klein's web site (Googled "micro trains 1049" and took the first likely link to see a picture) (http://www.modeltrainstuff.com/Micro-trains-N-1049-Coupler-Conversion-Kit-p/mtl-00130003.htm):

Quote
Kit includes unassembled T-shank couplers with adaptors to be used in existing draft gear boxes of pilots and cars.

While I haven't used this particular kit, the description suggests that the coupler is a drop-in replacement--the contents of the conversion kit replace the current contents of the box.


« Last Edit: March 10, 2013, 03:43:15 PM by Zox »
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VonRyan

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Re: Converting Atlas Front Runners to MT couplers, any thoughts?
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2013, 04:01:55 PM »
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Oh, sounds easier than I thought.

Now it's just a matter of determining whether or not I should convert all 5 of them or just one end of two of them...

-Cody F.
Cody W Fisher - Modeler of the PRR, PRSL, GWR, SZD, and DRG

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artpics

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Re: Converting Atlas Front Runners to MT couplers, any thoughts?
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2013, 05:29:15 PM »
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Ask Erik.

VonRyan

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Re: Converting Atlas Front Runners to MT couplers, any thoughts?
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2013, 07:40:25 PM »
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I think Erik is still too astounded by the fact that they run as good as they have thus far.  :D
It's mostly up to Nick, but he said whatever I think is best... because I clearly must know whats best.

-Cody F.
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central.vermont

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Re: Converting Atlas Front Runners to MT couplers, any thoughts?
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2013, 08:45:25 PM »
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Cody,
My suggestion too you is to convert one end of two cars to MT couplers and then use the existing Rapido couplers to make draw bars between the other cars. If the existing Rapidos are to short for this I'm sure some of us here on TRW might have a few of the long shank couplers kicking around not in use.
They are quite easy to make and work just fine. I have done this on the Atlas ore cars.

Jon

daniel_leavitt2000

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Re: Converting Atlas Front Runners to MT couplers, any thoughts?
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2013, 12:08:46 AM »
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One helpful hint. When you convert to the "T" shank MTL couplers, you will need to file down the raised portion of the plastic retainer plate between the mounting pins that came on the Front Runner. The raised portion interferes with the metal spring retaining box included with the MTL conversion kit.
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nkalanaga

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Re: Converting Atlas Front Runners to MT couplers, any thoughts?
« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2013, 12:16:11 AM »
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If you can find them, another option is the old Precison Masters dummy couplers.  They also directly replace the Rapidos, using the original springs, and will couple with working knuckle couplers.  They have to be coupled and uncoupled by hand, by lifting one car, but it's still handier than permanent drawbars.

I'd try installing a pair of MTs, as was suggested before, then try them out.  If they work well, you can always convert the rest later, or go to drawbars, or leave the Rapidos, whichever you and your friend prefer.
N Kalanaga
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eja

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Re: Converting Atlas Front Runners to MT couplers, any thoughts?
« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2013, 12:25:57 AM »
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Where did you find Front Runners  ??

VonRyan

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Re: Converting Atlas Front Runners to MT couplers, any thoughts?
« Reply #11 on: March 11, 2013, 08:12:52 AM »
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Where did you find Front Runners  ??

TF Trains had them at the last Greenberg show in Somerset, NJ.
$40 for all 5.

If you can find them, another option is the old Precison Masters dummy couplers.  They also directly replace the Rapidos, using the original springs, and will couple with working knuckle couplers.  They have to be coupled and uncoupled by hand, by lifting one car, but it's still handier than permanent drawbars.

I'd try installing a pair of MTs, as was suggested before, then try them out.  If they work well, you can always convert the rest later, or go to drawbars, or leave the Rapidos, whichever you and your friend prefer.

I might have some of the roundhouse version, probably plenty of them. Though if not and if the drawbars don't pan out, and the budget willing, all five mind as well get MTs.

One helpful hint. When you convert to the "T" shank MTL couplers, you will need to file down the raised portion of the plastic retainer plate between the mounting pins that came on the Front Runner. The raised portion interferes with the metal spring retaining box included with the MTL conversion kit.

Good thing you mentioned that because I probably would have left them there...  :facepalm:

Cody,
My suggestion too you is to convert one end of two cars to MT couplers and then use the existing Rapido couplers to make draw bars between the other cars. If the existing Rapidos are to short for this I'm sure some of us here on TRW might have a few of the long shank couplers kicking around not in use.
They are quite easy to make and work just fine. I have done this on the Atlas ore cars.

Jon


I'll have to double check the existing rapidos, but I do believe that they are too short.


-Cody F.
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bbussey

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Re: Converting Atlas Front Runners to MT couplers, any thoughts?
« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2013, 09:35:50 AM »
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Where did you find Front Runners  ??

If interested, check with Atlas directly.  Last time I was in the warehouse, they still had some undecs - not many, but some.  You might get lucky in that they still may be there.

Bryan Busséy
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Catt

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Re: Converting Atlas Front Runners to MT couplers, any thoughts?
« Reply #13 on: March 11, 2013, 11:18:11 AM »
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jagged ben

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Re: Converting Atlas Front Runners to MT couplers, any thoughts?
« Reply #14 on: March 12, 2013, 12:46:22 AM »
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Well, converting front runners is also on my to-do list.

I have hesitated to purchase the 1049 because they seem to be expensive and because I keep wanting to investigate whether another T-shank coupler would work.  For example the 1128 seems to come in a package with 2 pair for the same price that the 1049 comes in one pair.   The diagrams really do not indicate what the difference is between the various adapters.

So I have kept procrastinating.  More information would be helpful.

BTW, lately there has been a relatively steady stream of front runners available on the bay, and there are some lots right now as well.