Author Topic: BLI P70 - Correcting Coupling Distance How-To  (Read 2236 times)

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muktown128

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Re: BLI P70 - Correcting Coupling Distance How-To
« Reply #15 on: September 10, 2019, 08:27:11 PM »
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Chris,

Thanks for the detailed "how to" explanation for fixing this egregious coupling distance issue.

Scott

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Re: BLI P70 - Correcting Coupling Distance How-To
« Reply #16 on: September 10, 2019, 09:04:26 PM »
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I don't think I have any track with a tight-enough radius to really check. Still pretty tight, I believe.

Fix the couplers on about 6 of them, then send them to me.  I'll test them on the Retro Rig.  I'll report the results.... eventually :trollface:

Lee
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Point353

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Re: BLI P70 - Correcting Coupling Distance How-To
« Reply #17 on: September 10, 2019, 11:15:07 PM »
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For $48-60 per car you might imagine that BLI could have included a pair of shorter shank couplers as an option for those using larger radius curves. 

peteski

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Re: BLI P70 - Correcting Coupling Distance How-To
« Reply #18 on: September 10, 2019, 11:47:55 PM »
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I have no use for this car, but all these cool modifications make me want to buy one so I can play with it myself.  :D
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chicken45

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Re: BLI P70 - Correcting Coupling Distance How-To
« Reply #19 on: September 11, 2019, 10:35:34 AM »
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I have no use for this car, but all these cool modifications make me want to buy one so I can play with it myself.  :D


@peteski how about I just send you the 8 I bought?
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robert3985

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Re: BLI P70 - Correcting Coupling Distance How-To
« Reply #20 on: September 11, 2019, 12:04:12 PM »
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To get rid of the the "slinky effect" on my passenger cars, I am mounting MTL True-Scale couplers...but, I am converting my entire rolling stock and motive power roster to True-Scales. 

However, adding working diaphragms from American Limited both makes the passenger train look much more prototypical, and they also eliminate the "slinky effect" on passenger cars equipped with regular N-scale couplers.  Since you're going to replace the couplers anyway, and maybe you'll be installing working diaphragms, if you want more realistic looking couplers and maybe less cutting to get them to fit and work, maybe MTL Z-scale 905's would work and look better...the working diaphragms getting rid of the "slinky effect".

However, this thread is excellent, even though I don't have a use for these Pennsy passenger cars on my layout...just a couple of 10-6 "Rapids" sleepers for COLA and COSF trains.

Cheerio!
Bob Gilmore

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Re: BLI P70 - Correcting Coupling Distance How-To
« Reply #21 on: September 11, 2019, 02:27:07 PM »
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I'm not totally sold on Z scale couplers for two reasons. You track needs to be good, and while they mate witn N scale ones, it's not ideal.

Running them on things like NTRAK modules...whoo baby was I disappointed real fast. I had those sweet brass PRR F25 flats that basically couldn't run because they were too fine for the wild west that is NTRAK.
It may have been better if I had a transition car with N on one end, and Z on the other, but alas, I didn't. You can't really do ops like that, either.

So, the next time someone says "slap on a Z!" remember these things!

Have others had better luck?
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peteski

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Re: BLI P70 - Correcting Coupling Distance How-To
« Reply #22 on: September 11, 2019, 02:32:42 PM »
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@peteski how about I just send you the 8 I bought?

Sorry!  Too late. I just bought *ONE* to  experiment with.  :)
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davefoxx

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Re: BLI P70 - Correcting Coupling Distance How-To
« Reply #23 on: September 11, 2019, 02:33:44 PM »
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I'm not totally sold on Z scale couplers for two reasons. You track needs to be good, and while they mate witn N scale ones, it's not ideal.

Running them on things like NTRAK modules...whoo baby was I disappointed real fast. I had those sweet brass PRR F25 flats that basically couldn't run because they were too fine for the wild west that is NTRAK.
It may have been better if I had a transition car with N on one end, and Z on the other, but alas, I didn't. You can't really do ops like that, either.

So, the next time someone says "slap on a Z!" remember these things!

Have others had better luck?

Well, there's your problem.  Leave the finer scale things to home layouts and not the roller coaster NTrak layouts.

That reminds me: hey, @Ed Kapuscinski, do you remember the time we jumped a 1/4 - 1/2" rail gap between two modules on the BANTRAK layout with Lil' Puddy and my Juice Train?

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Re: BLI P70 - Correcting Coupling Distance How-To
« Reply #24 on: September 11, 2019, 02:41:17 PM »
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Have others had better luck?
I'm not sold on them, either. I body-mounted 905's a fleet of Athearn coalporters, and they tend to randomly uncouple on my layout, and they don't reliably couple with each other. My track work is pretty solid, too. Meanwhile, Fox Valley RD4's (factory body-mounted 1015's) will run indefinitely without issue. I wish I could figure out a way to body-mount 1015's on the coalporters without interfering with the truck. TSC's were DOA for me from the start. They're not ops/switching friendly.
Chris Broughton

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OldEastRR

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Re: BLI P70 - Correcting Coupling Distance How-To
« Reply #25 on: September 11, 2019, 03:12:46 PM »
+2
Wondering if BLI went to the longer shank after finding that their kinematic design did not succeed in getting their cars around their intended minimum radius curve.  Whatever, it seems a shame to make the effort to produce a very prototypical car of a particular type, and then make it have a very toy-like coupling distance.

"Now from BLI -- it's a toy train! No, it's a scale model! You're both right! Very expensive like a scale model, goofy coupling and lighting like a toy train! Now everybody can be happy! (not)"

robert3985

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Re: BLI P70 - Correcting Coupling Distance How-To
« Reply #26 on: September 11, 2019, 07:01:35 PM »
+1
I'm not totally sold on Z scale couplers for two reasons. You track needs to be good, and while they mate witn N scale ones, it's not ideal.

Running them on things like NTRAK modules...whoo baby was I disappointed real fast. I had those sweet brass PRR F25 flats that basically couldn't run because they were too fine for the wild west that is NTRAK.
It may have been better if I had a transition car with N on one end, and Z on the other, but alas, I didn't. You can't really do ops like that, either.

So, the next time someone says "slap on a Z!" remember these things!

Have others had better luck?

I remember virtually the same negative points being talked about among Ntrakers when we started converting to MTL N-scale couplers from Rapidos.  Now, MTL N-scale couplers are the standard.  Back in "the day", compatibility between Rapido and MTL couplers was accomplished with "transition cars", with a Rapido on one end and a MTL on the other...but isn't necessary if using both MTL N & Z scale couplers interchangeably if the Z scale 905's are mounted at the correct height.

I don't recommend MTL 905's without having had decades of experience with them, including use on Ntrak setups. 

If they gave me persistent, repeatable problems, I wouldn't recommend them.  In my 30+ years of N-scale coupler experience, both the MTL Z-scale 905's and regular N-scale couplers have given me equal service and reliability. 

Although coupling up a car with Z scale couplers and one with N-scale couplers isn't always as easy as coupling cars with the same couplers, it certainly has not been a "problem" for me since I did not convert my entire roster of engines and cars to Z-scale couplers all at the same time. 

I've had problems with MTL N-scale couplers on bad portions of Ntrak setups due to bad track on visitor's modules, but no more, or less, than I've had with MTL Z-scale couplers.  On my own Ntrak modules, or adjoining club modules, I never had a problem with either. 

On my portable (decidedly NON-Ntrak) sectional layout, the Z-scale couplers work just as good as the N-scale couplers do, and look a whole lot better...both at shows and at home.

I don't use the "Magnematic" feature of either MTL's N or Z scale couplers, so I can't comment if there's a difference there...particularly mixing them on the same layout. I clip the Magnematic dongles off of every car and engine I run and use RIX Pick N-scale uncoupling tools.

The only thing I know that the regular N-scale couplers exceed the Z-scale couplers in, is durability when transporting cars to shows and back.  If I didn't secure a Z-scale 905 equipped car in its box when transporting, sometimes a coupler would break and need to be replaced from hitting the box ends.  Putting a piece of foam between the box lid and the side of the car keeps the car from slamming around in the box, and saves couplers.

Now that I'm getting rid of both MTL N and Z scale couplers and converting both motive power and rolling stock in my roster to MTL True-Scale couplers, modified with aftermarket coupler boxes from Great Western Car Shops at Shapeways here: https://www.shapeways.com/product/ZB89BKJWG/standard-true-scale-coupler-box?optionId=63910924  , with long-shank TS couplers modified to be more sensitive and easier coupling, the whole subject of N-scale vs Z-scale MTL couplers is moot for me.

Modified MTL TS long-shank couplers and GWCS coupler boxes provide what I consider to be the ultimate, best-looking, most prototype operating N-scale coupler system ever made for N-scale modelers who can lay smooth track and are concerned about eliminating that damned "slinky effect" inherent with every MTL non-TS coupler, as well as a more prototype appearance of their rolling stock and motive power.

I don't know if the MTL True-Scale coupler in their present iteration will ever take off like the MTL N-scale coupler did, and I don't give a rat's weenie if they do or not, just as long as they stay available for those of us who use 'em and love 'em.  For me, they're the best, and their advantages far outweigh their imperfections.

But, that's just me...and I, along with our entire club, quit Ntrak a looong time ago, so Ntrak is not very relevant in my opinions stated in this century.  I was always bending Ntrak rules anyway (with permission) and none of my "bending" produced less reliability or less compatibility than their usual standards...just the opposite, and looked exponentially better.

Cheerio!
Bob Gilmore

« Last Edit: September 12, 2019, 12:24:43 PM by robert3985 »

Cajonpassfan

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Re: BLI P70 - Correcting Coupling Distance How-To
« Reply #27 on: September 11, 2019, 07:57:31 PM »
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My day to day layout fleet is generally standard MT’s, but I do use 905’s on some “special” equipment, brass heavyweights, cabooses, steam pilots and a handful of superdetailed freight cars. While they do work reasonably well with standard N scale couplers, I do experience occasional random break-in-twos on a long freight on grades, and it’s always the 905 that’s the first to snap under strain. They do work well on my cabooses and passenger cars, but midtrain freight on a steep grade, not so much. It’s just physics...
Perhaps flatlanders have better luck with them.
Otto K.

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Re: BLI P70 - Correcting Coupling Distance How-To
« Reply #28 on: September 11, 2019, 10:10:32 PM »
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I do use the Magne-Matic functionality, so 905s are a non-starter for me. And that’s aside from going through a conversion en masse to MTLs in the 1980s. I wouldn’t go through that again even if a more accurate magnetic-operating coupler (such as the Arnold mini MTL clone) became generally available, because it would be cost-prohibitive.
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Re: BLI P70 - Correcting Coupling Distance How-To
« Reply #29 on: September 11, 2019, 10:50:29 PM »
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My day to day layout fleet is generally standard MT’s, but I do use 905’s on some “special” equipment, brass heavyweights, cabooses, steam pilots and a handful of superdetailed freight cars. While they do work reasonably well with standard N scale couplers, I do experience occasional random break-in-twos on a long freight on grades, and it’s always the 905 that’s the first to snap under strain. They do work well on my cabooses and passenger cars, but midtrain freight on a steep grade, not so much. It’s just physics...
Perhaps flatlanders have better luck with them.
Otto K.

That’s why the 1:1 railroads don’t use delrin couplers.