Author Topic: Replacing Kato couplers with MT couplers?  (Read 1553 times)

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Albert in N

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Re: Replacing Kato couplers with MT couplers?
« Reply #15 on: December 16, 2022, 11:49:45 PM »
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 :D  Yes, I just wish that MTL would give us an assembled coupler that would easily convert Kato SD70 series.  Not everyone can assemble MTL coupler kits or mix MTL coupler parts and then reassemble.  For the record, here are two photos showing MTL 1015-1 and 2004-1 will both fit Kato NW-2 switchers. They couple nicely with a MTL hopper.  The 1015-1 needs to be screwed in and the 2004-1 will clip in with the Kato coupler clip (no filing needed).  No filing is needed to clip in a MTL 2004-1 on other Kato diesel locomotives, but the 2004-1 usually will sit high and over ride any MTL coupled freight car. 
 



ncbqguy

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Re: Replacing Kato couplers with MT couplers?
« Reply #16 on: December 17, 2022, 12:08:47 AM »
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I don't know if this is the first thread that addresses the change in Kato coupler mount height....but the problem reared its ugly head at the end of my tenure at Kato USA nearly 20 years ago!

I provided full documentation on the M-T coupler dimensions and recall the meeting where I pointed out the factory error...leadership did not want to see that and kept on looking at different dimensions that were not a problem.

I don't have copies of any of the documentation but the factory made dimensional errors in the coupler.  Rather than admitting their mistake, they decided to change the coupler mount dimension on all subsequent loco and rolling stock releases.  (Lower the river rather than raise the bridge).

Micro-Trains was likely never informed of the change. 

Charlie Vlk

peteski

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Re: Replacing Kato couplers with MT couplers?
« Reply #17 on: December 17, 2022, 08:27:34 AM »
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I don't know if this is the first thread that addresses the change in Kato coupler mount height....but the problem reared its ugly head at the end of my tenure at Kato USA nearly 20 years ago!

I provided full documentation on the M-T coupler dimensions and recall the meeting where I pointed out the factory error...leadership did not want to see that and kept on looking at different dimensions that were not a problem.

I don't have copies of any of the documentation but the factory made dimensional errors in the coupler.  Rather than admitting their mistake, they decided to change the coupler mount dimension on all subsequent loco and rolling stock releases.  (Lower the river rather than raise the bridge).

Micro-Trains was likely never informed of the change. 

Charlie Vlk

I don't think that back then MTL actually designed any of their couplers specifically to fit Kato locos.  As you mentioned, it appears that Kato designed their coupler pilot opening and mount to  easily accept the standard MTL coupler box (1015 and 1016), except they did mess up the mounting height. IIRC, the 1015/16 couplers predate Kato pilot mounted couplers.

I recall that  Kato's loco pilot coupler mount design goes back to when they first introduced the pilot-mounted rapido couplers.  Then later they replaced the rapido coupler with their knuckle coupler. I don't know if that change required mounting height change, but I don't think so.

I wonder if the mounting height of the pilot-mounted Kato couplers dictated by the height of the truck-mounted knuckle couplers Kato uses on their passenger cars (and not purposefully to be drop-in-fit for MTL conversion)?  After all, the pilot-mounted Kato knuckles perfectly match height of the truck mounted Kato couplers in passenger cars.  That might be why they ignored Charlies warning adaptability to MTL coupler conversion.

I do agree that it would be nice if MTL came out with a coupler using  the existing parts, which would be a drop-in fit for Kato locos.  Like jagged ben mentioned, they already have all the existing parts that are needed (1015 shanks in 2004 boxes).
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Albert in N

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Re: Replacing Kato couplers with MT couplers?
« Reply #18 on: December 17, 2022, 09:41:47 AM »
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 :)  A few more photos to illustrate MTL to Kato SD70 series N scale coupler conversions.  The first set couples SD70MAC to Kato AC4400CW which is coupled to MTL trucked Atlas hopper.  Then, a close up showing both locomotives with screwed on MTL 1015-1 couplers after filing Kato body to fit.  The other set shows Kato SP SD70M set coupled elephant style to the hopper.  The set has MTL Z scale 905 couplers.  Note the spacing between units and that no screwing or filing is needed,  The 905 couplers simply clip in using the original Kato coupler clip.  It works for me.  Photos are not the best, but it is what I have.
Thanks for the comments on Kato and MTL; I learned something. 






ncbqguy

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Re: Replacing Kato couplers with MT couplers?
« Reply #19 on: December 17, 2022, 11:07:00 AM »
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The Kato magnetic knuckle coupler should have been dimensioned to fit in the previous mounting configuration which worked with the 1015 etc.   An overnight recut of a part of the new coupler box would have fixed the problem. 

They could not acknowledge their mistake, so pretended it wasn't made.   Similar to the weak drawbar issues which caused problems dating back to the Con-Cor GN S2 4-8-4.   Instead of fixing it they designed elaborate cradle packaging to protect the weak drawbar ...in shipping.   

Charlie Vlk