Author Topic: Body mounting couplers on MT 33' twin bay hoppers  (Read 932 times)

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Bill H

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Body mounting couplers on MT 33' twin bay hoppers
« on: July 02, 2014, 08:08:08 PM »
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Group:
I am getting ready to convert another group of MT 33' twin bay hoppers to body mount MT 1015 couplers. To date, I have been using 080 MT screws to attach them with a moderate number of issues, but I am not really happy with the result. Since I am screwing into the front and rear sub frames, which are somewhat flexible and sort of snap into the main body of the hopper, it is not exactly a precise install.

Anybody have a different process that they have found that works for them?

Best,
Bill

bbussey

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Re: Body mounting couplers on MT 33' twin bay hoppers
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2014, 08:19:43 PM »
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That's basically the only option.  The Celcon plastic stirrups/frames stay in place because they are locked between the body and diecast underframe, and the front of the coupler rests against the ABS plastic body, so you shouldn't have any issues with couplers flexing out of alignment.  However, I'd recommend #00-90 brass screws over the screws supplied with the couplers.
Bryan Busséy
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Kisatchie

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Re: Body mounting couplers on MT 33' twin bay hoppers
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2014, 08:55:26 PM »
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Micro-Trains' body-mount #1027 coupler is a perfect fit for the 33' hoppers. And use 00-90 screws.


Hmm... I have a special
on 00-90 screws... 100
screws for one pound of
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"It works! It works!"

Shipsure

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Re: Body mounting couplers on MT 33' twin bay hoppers
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2014, 09:12:48 PM »
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The 1015's and all our couplers use 00-90's and they are generally included when you buy sets.  We have gone to using plastic pins to hold body mounts...I haven't tried it yet on the Hoppers.  I generally use Z 905's on all my final conversions again using the 00-90's trimmed off flush on hoppers so you don't have thread sticking thru...then paint to match the rest of the car.

Joe

Carolina Northern

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Re: Body mounting couplers on MT 33' twin bay hoppers
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2014, 10:12:37 AM »
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Any chance of a picture for this?

I've got a ton of hoppers that I need to do. Haven't looked into how yet - you might solve that for me.

TIA

bbussey

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Re: Body mounting couplers on MT 33' twin bay hoppers
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2014, 10:40:18 AM »
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Just disassemble the car, tap the existing hole in the stirrup/cross-bracing component and attach the #1015 couplers.  Temporarily remove the brake hardware from the B-end bracing before tapping.  Then reassemble.

The screws included with the MTL couplers are pan-head, which are visible when installed.  The advantage to using brass flat-head screws is that they are not visible under the coupler.  You also can purchase brass flat-head screws in 3/16" length, which alleviates having to nip the extra length.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2014, 10:42:54 AM by bbussey »
Bryan Busséy
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nkalanaga

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Re: Body mounting couplers on MT 33' twin bay hoppers
« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2014, 01:28:07 AM »
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Bryan:  I've been converting my hoppers to body mounts, using 1027s, after years of trying to figure out an easy way to use my favorite 1025s.   With 3/16 inch screws, and some care with the tap, it isn't hard to do the work without taking the end frames off the car.  Just don't tap so far that the brake details come loose.  They'll ride up a little, but can be pushed back down with a small screwdriver.

These are the only cars I've ever used 1027s on.  I have five packages from the 1970s, but are buying new ones, just to keep the "antiques" as collectibles...

If you have a lot of cars to do, J.I. Morris sells 00-90 screws by the gross and by the thousand, in both 1/8 and 3/16 inch lengths.  I have the 3/16, but should have also bought 1/8 for my 1025s.  A quick finger-twirl with a 3/32 inch drill bit and flathead screws hide nicely on the 1025s.
N Kalanaga
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bbussey

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Re: Body mounting couplers on MT 33' twin bay hoppers
« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2014, 09:21:54 AM »
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David:  The 1027s — the original Kadee couplers — have a great low-profile coupler box.  But the spring is behind the pivot post, which causes oscillation when moving in the forward direction.  Also, the 1027 coupler box is longer than the 1015 coupler box, which can cause issues.  If the thickness of the 1015 box is an issue, the 2001/2004 box is as thin as the 1015 box and works with 1015 knuckles.  But the 1015 box is the only one that will accept flathead screws.

But maybe the 1027 is better appearance-wise, because I've never been happy with the horizontal position of the 1015 coupler head on the MTL hoppers.  One thing I've never tried is using 1016 couplers and mounting them in the inner holes.  This works with the wood reefers, so it may work with the hoppers as well.  It's becoming less of an issue with me, as most of my MTL twin hoppers are being supplanted with Atlas offset-side hoppers, Atlas ribbed-side hoppers and Bachmann USRA ribbed-side hoppers — all of which are more accurate representations of the prototypes I require, as well as breaking up the uniformity.

J.I. Morris is an excellent source of #00-90 brass screws of various heads and lengths.  That is what ESM uses for the Made In America kits.  Good pricing, excellent quality and fast service.
Bryan Busséy
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jdcolombo

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Re: Body mounting couplers on MT 33' twin bay hoppers
« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2014, 01:09:56 PM »
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The 1027 coupler was the standard coupler for converting MT rolling stock to body-mount couplers.  If you look at the underframe of nearly all MT rolling stock, you will see that there is a pad with two holes.   The front hole needs to be tapped for a 00-90 screw, while the rear hole is there to hold the plastic pin on the rear of the coupler box of the 1027 to prevent it from twisting.   While the 1027 does suffer from the slinky effect, the plastic pin system is great for keeping the coupler centered.  When I mount a 1015 on other rolling stock, I nearly always use a very tiny dab of thick CA at the rear of the coupler box to keep it from twisting around the screw.  The 1027 doesn't have this problem because of the rear pin.

My recollection is that the 1027 has a slightly different coupler height than the 1015; it might not matter in most installations, but the 1027 is the "correct" coupler for converting most MT rolling stock to body mount.   Including the 33' hoppers, of which I've converted at least a couple-dozen.

John C.

bbussey

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Re: Body mounting couplers on MT 33' twin bay hoppers
« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2014, 01:44:02 PM »
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You're right — I was thinking of the 1023, which is the original coupler.  I never liked the 1027.  Far too bulky, and it has the extra thick top to fill the airspace needed for truck-mounted coupler clearance so that the coupler could be mounted at operating height even though the model rides high.  The 1015/1016/1023 is a much better solution.
Bryan Busséy
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jdcolombo

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Re: Body mounting couplers on MT 33' twin bay hoppers
« Reply #10 on: July 04, 2014, 02:26:44 PM »
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You're right — I was thinking of the 1023, which is the original coupler.  I never liked the 1027.  Far too bulky, and it has the extra thick top to fill the airspace needed for truck-mounted coupler clearance so that the coupler could be mounted at operating height even though the model rides high.  The 1015/1016/1023 is a much better solution.

Agree that the 1027 is bulky-looking.  I use the 1015 on everything these days EXCEPT Micro-Trains stuff that was designed for the 1027's coupler height.  But I haven't bought a new MT car in at least five years.   My rolling stock budget has been going to Atlas, FVM, Bluford Shops and Intermountain.

John C.

nkalanaga

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Re: Body mounting couplers on MT 33' twin bay hoppers
« Reply #11 on: July 04, 2014, 03:17:10 PM »
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John C:  Yes, the 1027 is designed for body mounting on MT cars - but if the car is already too high, like the PS-1s, that preserves the extra height.  I started out with the 1025s, the kit form of the first 1023, and by the time the 1027 was readily available had learned to mount the 1025 on almost anything.  For the PS-1s and similar cars I used shims, which made lowering them very easy.  File the bolster, remove the shim, reattach the coupler. 

The biggest problem with 1025s, and 1015s, on the PS-1s is that the holes are in the wrong place.  The 1027 uses two holes, one too close to the end, and one too far back.  Bryan's idea of using the 1016, and the inner hole, might work, but I haven't tried it.

For those who prefer the 1015, I'll concede that it works just fine, and I've used them on a few cars.  They seem to be standard on locomotives, and I've never had any complaints.  I've even started buying them, as they're cheaper than the 1025s when bought in bulk packs.  But I'm used to the older couplers, and having bought 500 pairs of 1025 boxes, can recycle the truck-mounted couplers instead of buying new ones.

As I commented before, flathead screws work very well with the 1023/1025 box if the hole is countersunk with a 3/32 inch bit.  Don't use a power drill, just hold the bit in your fingers and twirl it.  You don't want to drill past the end of the bit or you'll destroy the box.
N Kalanaga
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