Author Topic: M-T couplers for Athearn Tank Train cars  (Read 899 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Sharky_McSharknose

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 61
  • Respect: +31
M-T couplers for Athearn Tank Train cars
« on: August 29, 2019, 05:32:30 PM »
0
I was running my new-old-stock Athearn Tank Train cars on the Bay State Model Railroad Museum's N scale layout yesterday, and experienced a lot of unwanted uncouplings. Despite their Big McLargeHuge size, the McHenry boxing gloves wouldn't stay coupled on some of the cars. The coupler on one car would be angled up and the other down, so there was not a lot of surface area for them to hold on to. That's a problem on a layout with 3% grades...

The M-T Conversion list doesn't mention the Tank Train cars. Would the replacements be the good ol' 1015?

nkalanaga

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 6504
  • Respect: +270
Re: M-T couplers for Athearn Tank Train cars
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2019, 01:03:04 AM »
0
I don't know if Athearn's boxes have the little holes for the 1015's operating pins to fit in.  If they do, yes, the 1015 should work.  If not, I know older Accumates will fit, and if they haven't changed the shanks, newer ones should as well.  Put the 1015s in the Atlas boxes, and the Accumates in the Athearn.
N Kalanaga
Be well

jagged ben

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 2327
  • Respect: +200
Re: M-T couplers for Athearn Tank Train cars
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2019, 07:30:30 PM »
0
I've never seen the slots for the MT pins on Athearn products, only Atlas.  So no, 1015s will not be a simple swap.  Nick's suggestion of Accumates is as good as anything simple that I can suggest.   One other possible option, since this is a unit train that doesn't need to be switched, is to cut the pins off the 1015s and not install the centering springs.  But it would make it a little harder to set up and take down the train.

nkalanaga

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 6504
  • Respect: +270
Re: M-T couplers for Athearn Tank Train cars
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2019, 12:39:56 AM »
0
Also, if there's any slack action, the unsprung 1015s may not stay closed as well, leading to more unwanted uncouplings.
N Kalanaga
Be well

jagged ben

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 2327
  • Respect: +200
Re: M-T couplers for Athearn Tank Train cars
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2019, 04:17:32 PM »
0
That's a good point Nick.  For me, since I run mine with mid train helpers per prototype on Tehachapi, maybe I'll look for another option.

One thing would be to install the spring and just accept that it will pull the couplers off center when not coupled.  Another thing to try might be to drill holes in the Athearn coupler box for the MT shank pins.   It's very precise work but could be done using cut down parts of a 1015 box as a jig.

nkalanaga

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 6504
  • Respect: +270
Re: M-T couplers for Athearn Tank Train cars
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2019, 01:25:31 AM »
0
Do you run them as a unit train, or do you need operating couplers?  If you don't need the operating couplers, you could replace the spring with a piece of plastic or wood.  You'd end up with a dummy coupler, that couldn't open and uncouple.  Unlike gluing the pieces together, it could still be restored by putting the spring in.  It would still pivot, for the curves, and it would also eliminate the "slinky".

If you add and remove helpers during operation, and are willing to always put them at the same place, you could leave operating couplers there, and "dummy" the rest.
N Kalanaga
Be well

Ike the BN Freak

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 1205
  • Respect: +28
Re: M-T couplers for Athearn Tank Train cars
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2019, 03:29:01 AM »
0
If running as a unit train, could give the Fox Valley dummy coupler a try. https://shopfvm.com/collections/parts/products/n-static-coupler-box-mount

Mark5

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 9111
  • Always with the negative waves Moriarty ...
  • Respect: +181
Re: M-T couplers for Athearn Tank Train cars
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2019, 09:03:56 AM »
0
Yeah, Accumates are a super simple swap for the newer Athearn cars with body mounted McHenrys (that's what I do).

The Atlas Couplers are part number 23015 but Atlas has been struggling in recent years to keep them in stock.  :(

https://www.walthers.com/accumate-coupler-9adca3

jagged ben

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 2327
  • Respect: +200
Re: M-T couplers for Athearn Tank Train cars
« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2019, 10:24:05 AM »
0
If running as a unit train, could give the Fox Valley dummy coupler a try. https://shopfvm.com/collections/parts/products/n-static-coupler-box-mount

Thanks for that suggestion. 
Do you have the FVM PS gons?  Anybody have experience with how they perform with pushers on grades?

Ike the BN Freak

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 1205
  • Respect: +28
Re: M-T couplers for Athearn Tank Train cars
« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2019, 01:58:25 PM »
0
Thanks for that suggestion. 
Do you have the FVM PS gons?  Anybody have experience with how they perform with pushers on grades?

I have the gons, but no layout, yet...so no experience on the couplers

Sharky_McSharknose

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 61
  • Respect: +31
Re: M-T couplers for Athearn Tank Train cars
« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2019, 10:35:32 PM »
0
Thank you for all of the replies.

I noticed on one of the cars with the drooping couplers, the draft gear box cover wasn't on tight. I snugged it up. On a straight and level piece of track the McHenry now lines up with the M-T height gauge. The issue may be as simple as that (I hope!). I won't know if it works for sure until I bring the Tank Train back to the BSMRRM layout later this week. If not, I might need to make up some shims.

If running as a unit train, could give the Fox Valley dummy coupler a try. https://shopfvm.com/collections/parts/products/n-static-coupler-box-mount

I have two 6-car sets of the Athearn Tank Train cars. Each set consists of a lead car, a trailing car, and 4 intermediate cars. If I can't fix the drooping problem then I guess I could glue the dummies together and use them as drawbars. Just, not on every car. I'd hate to try and remove a permanently-coupled 6-car tank car set at once!

Ike the BN Freak

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 1205
  • Respect: +28
Re: M-T couplers for Athearn Tank Train cars
« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2019, 10:53:21 PM »
0
I have two 6-car sets of the Athearn Tank Train cars. Each set consists of a lead car, a trailing car, and 4 intermediate cars. If I can't fix the drooping problem then I guess I could glue the dummies together and use them as drawbars. Just, not on every car. I'd hate to try and remove a permanently-coupled 6-car tank car set at once!

The dummy couplers come apart just like the mchenry or MTs, not sure why you'd think they would be permanently coupled

Sharky_McSharknose

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 61
  • Respect: +31
Re: M-T couplers for Athearn Tank Train cars
« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2019, 11:01:20 PM »
0
The dummy couplers come apart just like the mchenry or MTs, not sure why you'd think they would be permanently coupled

Yep. What I meant was, if some of the couplers are still drooping after I convert them to dummies, the the problem is absolutely with the draft gear boxes. In that case, I could glue the dummy couplers together to act like drawbars only where the problem is happening. The rest would have the dummy couplers separable as usual.

ChristianJDavis1

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 350
  • Gender: Male
  • I almost killed DKS.
  • Respect: +66
Re: M-T couplers for Athearn Tank Train cars
« Reply #13 on: September 03, 2019, 03:30:35 PM »
0
Yep. What I meant was, if some of the couplers are still drooping after I convert them to dummies, the the problem is absolutely with the draft gear boxes. In that case, I could glue the dummy couplers together to act like drawbars only where the problem is happening. The rest would have the dummy couplers separable as usual.

Maybe put a small shelf on the underside of every-other coupler to allow for them to be uncoupled, but the shelf should keep the other coupler from “slipping-out” from under the other.
- Christian J. Davis

nkalanaga

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 6504
  • Respect: +270
Re: M-T couplers for Athearn Tank Train cars
« Reply #14 on: September 05, 2019, 01:57:07 AM »
0
For drooping couplers, 7you could also try shimming them.  That won't work for MT couplers, but for Accumates and McHenrys it can be done.  Excess vertical play will cause the coupler to droop. 

I found that out building extended coupler pockets for boxcars.  K&S 3/32 by 3/16 rectangular brass tube works great, but needs a 0.005 shim inside to keep Accumates from drooping.
N Kalanaga
Be well