Author Topic: BLMA PS 4000 Covered Hopper - Bad Coupler  (Read 3346 times)

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Kisatchie

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BLMA PS 4000 Covered Hopper - Bad Coupler
« on: May 31, 2014, 01:52:49 PM »
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I just bought 4 of these covered hoppers, and they are very nicely made. However, one of the cars had a coupler that wouldn't swing from side to side properly.

Well, fool that I am, I figured I could fix it. I unscrewed the coupler box cover and watched the coupler fall apart. That's okay, I thought, I'll just put it back together. HA HA HA HA HA. You need 3 hands to do that. Somehow, after about 5 minutes, I got the coupler back in its box and mounted on the car. It still doesn't swing right, though, and I can't send it back because I tampered with it and didn't get the coupler box lid back on perfectly straight. Rats!


Hmm... and this happened
after Kiz spent 1/10 of
his N scale life assembling
Micro-Trains couplers...


Two scientists create a teleportation ray, and they try it out on a cricket. They put the cricket on one of the two teleportation pads in the room, and they turn the ray on.
The cricket jumps across the room onto the other pad.
"It works! It works!"

nkalanaga

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Re: BLMA PS 4000 Covered Hopper - Bad Coupler
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2014, 02:31:36 PM »
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Did you happen to look at the shank?  I've found an occasional MT 1025 with a bent shank, and it jams in the box because it's "too thick".  Straightening the shank fixes the problem.  If that's not the problem I'd guess it's flash on a part, but wouldn't have a clue which part without looking at it, probably with a magnifier.  Good luck!
N Kalanaga
Be well

Denver Road Doug

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Re: BLMA PS 4000 Covered Hopper - Bad Coupler
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2014, 02:32:11 PM »
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Problem with returning it (which I think you would be well within your right to do since it was a "factory defect") is it might cost you as much to ship it back as it did for the thing initially.   I would just contact BLMA and see what they say...they might be able to send you a new coupler or something like that.
NOTE: I'm no longer active on this forum.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.

Kisatchie

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Re: BLMA PS 4000 Covered Hopper - Bad Coupler
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2014, 02:41:49 PM »
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Did you happen to look at the shank?  I've found an occasional MT 1025 with a bent shank, and it jams in the box because it's "too thick".  Straightening the shank fixes the problem.  If that's not the problem I'd guess it's flash on a part, but wouldn't have a clue which part without looking at it, probably with a magnifier.  Good luck!

These don't look like MTL couplers... more like Chinese knock-offs. I may build up the courage to take the coupler apart once more and check it for a bent shank and/or flash.


Hmm... if you don't hear
from Kiz for a few days,
he's probably been put
in an asylum...


Two scientists create a teleportation ray, and they try it out on a cricket. They put the cricket on one of the two teleportation pads in the room, and they turn the ray on.
The cricket jumps across the room onto the other pad.
"It works! It works!"

MichaelWinicki

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Re: BLMA PS 4000 Covered Hopper - Bad Coupler
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2014, 02:44:13 PM »
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It takes some imagination to overcome a bent shank.

Kisatchie

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Re: BLMA PS 4000 Covered Hopper - Bad Coupler
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2014, 02:59:39 PM »
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Well, I took the coupler apart again, and I didn't see any bends in the shanks. I did see a very tiny speck on one shank (not the little bumps that are supposed to be on the shanks) that I cut away with an X-Acto knife. Unfortunately, it didn't help. I did manage to get the coupler back together in about a minute, so practice pays off, somewhat. The coupler sticks even more now. Grrrrr...


Hmm... what is Kiz doing
with that sledge hammer...?


Two scientists create a teleportation ray, and they try it out on a cricket. They put the cricket on one of the two teleportation pads in the room, and they turn the ray on.
The cricket jumps across the room onto the other pad.
"It works! It works!"

Catt

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Re: BLMA PS 4000 Covered Hopper - Bad Coupler
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2014, 03:06:11 PM »
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How does the cover attach? is it held on with a screw? Or just a press fit ?
Johnathan (Catt) Edwards
Sole owner of the
Grande Valley Railway
100% Michigan made

Kisatchie

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Re: BLMA PS 4000 Covered Hopper - Bad Coupler
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2014, 03:10:30 PM »
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How does the cover attach? is it held on with a screw? Or just a press fit ?

It screws on.


Hmm... Kiz'll screw up...
I just know it...




Two scientists create a teleportation ray, and they try it out on a cricket. They put the cricket on one of the two teleportation pads in the room, and they turn the ray on.
The cricket jumps across the room onto the other pad.
"It works! It works!"

Catt

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Re: BLMA PS 4000 Covered Hopper - Bad Coupler
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2014, 03:13:24 PM »
0
Have you tried loosening the screw to see if that makes a difference? Could the cover be warped and putting pressure on the coupler its self?
Johnathan (Catt) Edwards
Sole owner of the
Grande Valley Railway
100% Michigan made

Kisatchie

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Re: BLMA PS 4000 Covered Hopper - Bad Coupler
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2014, 03:31:56 PM »
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Have you tried loosening the screw to see if that makes a difference? Could the cover be warped and putting pressure on the coupler its self?

Loosening the screw was the first thing I tried. It didn't make any difference. The cover looks okay to me through the Opti-Visor, though I guess it would be easy to miss on something that small.


Hmm... and I just went
and changed to Z scale...


Two scientists create a teleportation ray, and they try it out on a cricket. They put the cricket on one of the two teleportation pads in the room, and they turn the ray on.
The cricket jumps across the room onto the other pad.
"It works! It works!"

peteski

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Re: BLMA PS 4000 Covered Hopper - Bad Coupler
« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2014, 03:32:27 PM »
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If these are knockoffs (I hate to see yet another company do this when MTs are readily available), could you simply replace it with the genuine MT coupler? Unless the pocket is not compatible or deformed, you should end up with a properly working coupler.
--- Peteski de Snarkski

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Kisatchie

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Re: BLMA PS 4000 Covered Hopper - Bad Coupler
« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2014, 03:50:51 PM »
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If these are knockoffs (I hate to see yet another company do this when MTs are readily available), could you simply replace it with the genuine MT coupler? Unless the pocket is not compatible or deformed, you should end up with a properly working coupler.

I just bought a ton of MTL 1015 couplers, so replacing the problem knock-off coupler shouldn't be much trouble. I'm building up the energy to take the coupler apart for the 3rd time.


Hmm... take a deep
breath... that's it, relax...


Two scientists create a teleportation ray, and they try it out on a cricket. They put the cricket on one of the two teleportation pads in the room, and they turn the ray on.
The cricket jumps across the room onto the other pad.
"It works! It works!"

Kisatchie

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Re: BLMA PS 4000 Covered Hopper - Bad Coupler
« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2014, 04:15:11 PM »
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If these are knockoffs (I hate to see yet another company do this when MTs are readily available), could you simply replace it with the genuine MT coupler?


I went and replaced the coupler with a Micro-Trains coupler, and the problem is solved. When I had the coupler lid off, I did notice a tiny bit of flash on the inside, which I removed. I bet that was the problem, although I'm not going to put the original knock-off coupler back in to test my theory.

Thanks for the suggestions, everyone.


Hmm... all's well that
ends well...



Two scientists create a teleportation ray, and they try it out on a cricket. They put the cricket on one of the two teleportation pads in the room, and they turn the ray on.
The cricket jumps across the room onto the other pad.
"It works! It works!"

nkalanaga

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Re: BLMA PS 4000 Covered Hopper - Bad Coupler
« Reply #13 on: June 01, 2014, 01:31:48 AM »
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Good!  If you want to test whether the flash was (part of) the problem, you could put the original coupler in a 1015 box.  If it works there, it was probably the flash.  If not, it's probably the coupler.  Either way you don't have to take the car apart again, and you do have spare box now.  If it works, you can reuse it on another car.
N Kalanaga
Be well

eja

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Re: BLMA PS 4000 Covered Hopper - Bad Coupler
« Reply #14 on: June 01, 2014, 02:01:55 AM »
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Kiz... Dee,


Relax ... I'm sure Craig will chime in at some point.  Now, take a deep breath, go work on that banana train , and wait to hear what he has to say.

eja