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Author Topic: Help with used 65' Passengr Coaches and Combine  (Read 3490 times)
Maletrain

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« on: February 02, 2014, 10:42:42 PM »

At a recent model train show, I purchased a pair of used 65' Standard Coaches and a 65' Standard Combine (item numbers 74264 and 74164).  I need to do some work to make them acceptable for use on my layout.

First, I need to change the Rapido couplers to a knuckle type. Does anybody know how to best remove the cover on the existing coupler pocket and what number Microtrains coupler to use?

Next, I need to do something about the lighting in these cars.  It is very intermittent and, whenever it is working, it is very flashy.  I cleaned the wheels but that was not the cure.  It is also too bright and shines through the black roofs.  Can somebody tell me how to get the bodies apart?  I tried taking a screw out of one truck until I heard something inside the car drop loose, after which the lights stopped working in that car altogether.  So, I assume I will need to disassemble it to fix it, as well as to make the lighting more even and less intense in all of the cars.  I can see two tabs sticking through the car floors, but was not able to make that release the roof or whatever it is that comes off.

Anybody?
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Country Joe

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« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2014, 11:00:30 PM »

The roof and window glass are one piece and are press fit on the car. Gently pry the roof off and you will have access to the inside of the car. I took the lights out of my cars and replaced the trucks and couplers with Micro Trains 4 wheel trucks and couplers.
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Maletrain

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« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2014, 11:40:35 PM »

Thanks for the disassembly info.  I got it apart and cleaned-up the contacts as well as getting them off the metal weight, which may have been creating an intermittent, high-resistance short circuit.  Now the light is pretty steady (but still too darn bright).

As for changing the trucks to change the couplers, I want to preserve the lighting, so I need trucks that have electical pickup that will work through the mounting screw.  Does MicroTrains have those?  If not, does anybody else have some advice on coupler changes using the existing trucks?
« Last Edit: February 03, 2014, 12:37:24 AM by Maletrain » Logged
skipgear


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« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2014, 12:44:20 AM »

Those trucks are set up for half axle pickup with a wiper on the axle. They will never have flicker free opperation without some sort of lighting circuit with a capacitor. If you are worried about having a somewhat correct truck the MT trucks are not a good option, they are for lightweight streamline cars of the 50's, not a 1900's car.

The easiest solution is to cut off the rapidos and body mount the couplers. If you want to keep the lighting, look into the Rapido brand (not the same as the couplers) batery powered lighting kits. They can be cut down to length and will never flicker. They turn on and off with a magnetic wand that you wave over the car. If you want to keep the track pickup power, seach the net for Richmond Conrols. He sells lighting modules that will cure the flicker and replace the lights with LED's.

I have a batch of these myself to convert, just haven't gotten around to doing anything with them yet.
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Tony Hines

Modeling the B&O in Loveland, OH 1947-1950
brokemoto

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« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2014, 08:00:23 PM »

If you want to preserve the truck mount, these things take 1133, which, at one point, was almost the universal MT for B-mann.  If you plan to operate these on really sharp curves, you can use 1134, which is simply a longer shank version of the 1133.  The 1133/1134 come with a new coupler box.

To remove the old coupler box, simply pinch it lightly with a small to average size pair of needlenose pliers, and pull it from the tongue on the truck.  Put the together the 1133/1134 according to the instructions, grip the whole business in the pliers, then put it onto the tongue.  You can seat it in a preliminary fashion like this.  Finally, use fingers to seat the whole business properly.
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Maletrain

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« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2014, 11:07:19 PM »

Brokemoto, Thanks for the MT coupler info.  I will definitely be doing that on at least one end of one car.

But I am thinking of just swapping most of the rapidos for some of the short shank Bachmann dummy knuckle couplers because I will be running these cars together all of the time.  But I am having trouble finding those dummies in-stock.  The link at the top of this forum says "Sold Out."  Any suggestions for sources for them besides E-Bay?
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skipgear


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« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2014, 02:18:13 AM »

Red Caboose Unitmates also work in this situation if you can't find the Bachmann coupler. The unimates are a little more universally adaptable anyhow. The Bachmann couplers end up being the wrong height.

Also, you may have a different style coupler box than Brokomoto mentioned. Early cars had the simple twist out system on the Rapido's. I that case, you are pretty much stuck with the dummy couplers or some custom rigging to make MT T-shanks work.
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Tony Hines

Modeling the B&O in Loveland, OH 1947-1950
brokemoto

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« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2014, 11:20:34 AM »

Yup, skipgear, I had forgotten about those earlier versions of those cars.  I have a couple of those, ee-VUNN.

You can use 1128/1129 in those older cars, but it does require some work and even some sort of glue to help keep the couplers in place.

Maletrain, you can tell the difference between the two by looking at the coupler box.  If it is closed and has slots to accommodate it, it is the newer version.  If the sides and top are open and the spring is clearly visible, it is the very early version.

Skipgear is correct:  If you do not use the MT, your best bet is the Unimate.  They are reliable and compatible with almost anything.  If you have the older versions, and are not up to the surgery, the Unimate is the best bet.  In fact, even if you are up to the surgery, the Unimate may be the better bet.  Whether you use the 1133/1134 or 1028/1029, their use will require more work than simply replacing the Rapido with Unimate, or other knuckle coupler.

If you are going to operate the passenger train in both directions, it is not necessary to turn the combine and put it at the front.  In many cases, the railroad would run the train from one terminal to the other with the cars arranged in what we would consider the 'usual' fashion.  The combine would be the first car, or the first car behind the express box car and the baggage  section would face forward.  When the train came back, the coach that was the last car on the other trip would be the first one and the combine would be last with the baggage section facing backward. In many cases, even if there were no combine, but the train had baggage, RPO and coaches, the railroad would  not re-arrange the cars during the layover.  In one direction, the cars had the 'expected' order:  RPO, baggage, coaches.  On the trip back, the coaches were behind the locomotive, and the RPO was last.

 In fact, on milk trains that carried a combine on the end, it was usual practice to have the baggage section at the end.   I am not sure why this was the common practice, but it was, especially on NYCS milk trains.   Some milk trains used the combine to carry a few sacks of mail and express in the baggage sections.  Some milk trains did carry revenue passengers, some used the combine only as a crew car.  

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