Bachmann Message Board

Discussion Boards => N => Topic started by: Ron Zee on February 16, 2012, 07:17:18 PM



Title: Changing from Rapido to magnetic couplers
Post by: Ron Zee on February 16, 2012, 07:17:18 PM
I've looked on here for some time and have yet to find an answer to my question of, "Is there any magnetic couplers that will go right into the T shank rapido couplers without having to replace the trucks? "

I would soon like to be able to couple and uncouple cars and right now all of the ones I have have Rapidos on them. And it seems that the hobby store near here has mostly newer style magnetic couplers and those wont connect to what I already have. I really don't want to replace all the cars I now have.

Thanks for any answers!
Ron Z


Title: Re: Changing from Rapido to magnetic couplers
Post by: Ken G Price on February 16, 2012, 07:33:17 PM
There sure are. Micro Trains makes them. The coupler is two pieces with the tee the same as the Rapido coupler
Don't ask me what number though as since 2007I have only bought engines and cars with the knuckle couplers never ones with Rapido's.

Some of the much older ones with Rapido's I changed out the truck and coupler as they were made in the 1970's.


Title: Re: Changing from Rapido to magnetic couplers
Post by: skipgear on February 16, 2012, 10:22:44 PM
Micro Trains 1129 through 1133 couplers are T-shank style. Fair warning, they are very entertaining to assemble.


Title: Re: Changing from Rapido to magnetic couplers
Post by: mhampton on February 17, 2012, 11:59:03 AM
Micro Trains 1129 through 1133 couplers are T-shank style. Fair warning, they are very entertaining to assemble.

I had to smile when I read this reply.  I bought some 1129's and decided it would be well worth the extra cost to go ahead and replace the trucks on my rolling stock.


Title: Re: Changing from Rapido to magnetic couplers
Post by: Desertdweller on February 17, 2012, 03:32:16 PM
Very entertaining indeed!

Back around 2001, I replaced all my Rapido couplers with MicroTrains, mostly 1129's.  I had about 300 cars and locos at the time, and the patents had not lapsed on the K-D design.  There were no alternate products then.
Fortunately, my LHS was able to direct order coupler components in bulk.

If I were to do this again, I would have put long-shank couplers on my passenger cars.  The length of the coupler shank on the 1129's is a little short for good coupling on passenger cars.

These MT couplers are T-shank, but they are much thinner than the Rapido couplers, and are not a drop-in conversion. They have to be used with their own little springs (less than 1/2 the size of the Rapido springs), and their own little cast metal coupler pockets.  The coupler mounting on the trucks has to be modified:  the internal pin the Rapido spring seats on has to be cut off, and the slot in the front of the coupler mounting has to be widened.  Often, the top of the coupler mounting has to be opened up so the coupler does not ride too low.

Buy a MT coupler jig to get proper height.

Each 1129 consists of 5 tiny parts.  Get a few extra, you are going to lose some parts in assembly.  At least, they usually give you a few extra springs.

I like the MT couplers, they do work well.  But, if I were to convert a huge number of cars again, I would get couplers from another manufacturer that would be a drop-in conversion using the original coupler pocket and spring.

Thankfully, for he past 10 years or so, most equipment in N-scale beyond the most basic train set stuff comes with knuckle couplers that will mate with MT or any other brand.

Les


Title: Re: Changing from Rapido to magnetic couplers
Post by: RGW on February 17, 2012, 09:07:11 PM
I have the same problem.I have replaced the trucks on many older cars with MT trucks they roll better than many older ones.You can also replace rapidos with dummy Knuckle couplers.I used some Bachmann 's,but I filed down the sides so they did not look so big.Another possibility is the old Intermountion trucks they are dummys also,but couple and uncouple nice,however they seemed to derail often so I replaced the wheels with Mts they seem to roll well. Only some ideas

RGW   


Title: Re: Changing from Rapido to magnetic couplers
Post by: Ron Zee on February 17, 2012, 09:46:27 PM
thanks for the replys guys! Desert, you mention that if you were to do that many cars again, you'd go for a direct replacement. Is there such an item as yet out there or do I need to go to the 1129's-1133s? Which of these would be the longer coupler? And RGW, do these "dummy knuckles" magnetically connect and disconnect?


Title: Re: Changing from Rapido to magnetic couplers
Post by: Franz T on February 17, 2012, 09:53:09 PM
I never had any luck with the Intermountain dummies. Although the worst had to be the dummies from Model Die Casting. they would absolutely refuse to stay coupled to each other but seemed to work reasonably well when coupled with MT's. Go figure.
I finally bit the bullet and body mounted 1015's to all my cars; about 10years or so ago I came a cross a hobby store going out of business and I scooped up their entire supply of 1015 kit 10-packs. Bit of a learning curve, but using MT's coupler assembly jig, I found that I can put one together in under 3 minutes. (like Desertdweller I had in excess of 300 cars to convert as well as 120 locos - not all locos took 1015's BTW) Never regretted the time nor the money involved in making the switch. Crapidos suck!! Body mounted couplers work better, especially during backing moves while switching...
(Your mileage may vary..)


Title: Re: Changing from Rapido to magnetic couplers
Post by: Franz T on February 17, 2012, 10:00:50 PM
Ron, dummy couplers will connect either with each other or magnetic couplers; however, they will NOT disconnect magnetically, not from each other, not from any flavor of magnetic coupler. That being said, I must admit that I have about a 50% success rate getting my magnets to work when I want them to. Plus there never seems to be a magnet where you REALLY want to spot that car ;D. Usually I use an uncoupling tool (Rix makes one, and there are others out here). I am seriously considering cutting my trip pins off and just using the pick to uncouple them, but right now I kinda lack the ambition...


Title: Re: Changing from Rapido to magnetic couplers
Post by: Desertdweller on February 17, 2012, 10:48:13 PM
I don't have part numbers.  After my massive coupler conversion, I have just avoided buying anything with Rapidos.

I have found that the knuckle couplers that come on Kato and Walthers cars seem to work pretty well, although they do not uncouple magnetically.

Don't try to eliminate the trip pins on the MT couplers.  They are what hold the couplers together!

The Rapidos were actually not too bad in their day.  They allowed a standard design to be used in the industry (even Soviet-made N-scale equipment used them).

There were differences in how they mounted and were sprung.  As long as all cars in a train used the same brand, they would work dependably.  When you mixed various brands, they tended to come apart.  This was caused by a lack of uniform height above rail between manufacturers.

I hated how they looked, but they were no more unrealistic than HO horn-hook couplers.

Les


Title: Re: Changing from Rapido to magnetic couplers
Post by: Ron Zee on February 18, 2012, 12:42:27 AM
Thanks for the info. I guess the next step is to go see what the hobby shop in Wilson has in stock and what they might have that I can use. At least now I have an idea what to look for. Thanks again and I'll keep you all posted.


Title: Re: Changing from Rapido to magnetic couplers
Post by: GoCanes on February 18, 2012, 08:41:10 AM
Switched out all Rapido coupler Model Power and Bachmann stock, with those Bachmann trucks -w- EZ Mate magnetic couplers installed, and love 'em.

 

(Those Bachmann couplers are  easy (slip in wheels and screw in) so I will not hesitate to buy older Rapido equipped stuff if I like the particluar car)


Title: Re: Changing from Rapido to magnetic couplers
Post by: Ron Zee on February 20, 2012, 04:40:51 PM
Is there a part number for these trucks you mention?


Title: Re: Changing from Rapido to magnetic couplers
Post by: Bucksco on February 21, 2012, 09:24:53 AM
42534 - Friction Bearing Freight Trucks (without wheels)
42535 - Roller Bearing Freight Trucks (without wheels)


Title: Re: Changing from Rapido to magnetic couplers
Post by: Ron Zee on February 21, 2012, 08:50:03 PM
Yardmaster, these trucks will fit on my cars that came with the Yard Boss set? If so, the next stop is the Hobby Barn in Wilson,,,, ;D


Title: Re: Changing from Rapido to magnetic couplers
Post by: Franz T on February 22, 2012, 08:55:51 AM
Bachmann trucks are a "drop in " replacement. MicroTrains trucks will need the hole slightly enlarged since the "kingpins" on Bachmann truck bolsters a bit too large for the opening, (one more reason why I went to body mount couplers on my conversions)..


Title: Re: Changing from Rapido to magnetic couplers
Post by: GoCanes on February 22, 2012, 02:43:56 PM
Love those Bachmann trucks with magnetic EZ Mates!  (I know I say that a lot, but it's true.  I love them  :) )

 


Title: Re: Changing from Rapido to magnetic couplers
Post by: Ron Zee on February 22, 2012, 06:06:56 PM
Thanks guys!. Next stop, the hobby store!! (Maybe I should call them first,,,,,)

By the way, will the MT 1037 trucks work on these cars? If all I need is to do is enlage the mounting hole, I got tools for that. (I race R/C cars, lots of little tools to use!)


Title: Re: Changing from Rapido to magnetic couplers
Post by: James in FL on February 22, 2012, 10:39:14 PM
The 1037ís will work.
The 1035ís will give you closer coupling and work just as well on most all Bachmann cars.
Whichever you choose, the bolster hole will need to be reamed to 9/64ths.

You may want to consider a transition car, (Rapido on one end and knuckle on the other), while you are converting.


Title: Re: Changing from Rapido to magnetic couplers
Post by: Ron Zee on February 22, 2012, 11:49:08 PM
Sounds like a good idea about the transition car. Called the hobby store, they don't have Bachmann trucks in stock but they have the MT's. This is sort of odd to me as they have so much Bachmann stuff. Trains, cars, Plasticville, track, and switches. Of coure I got the "we can order it for you" line.

God, I'm starting to love e-Bay!


Title: Re: Changing from Rapido to magnetic couplers
Post by: skipgear on February 23, 2012, 01:45:32 AM
The MT trucks are generally prefered over the Bachmann in the industry. Micro-Trains couplers and trucks have become the defacto standard for most clubs and large layout owners due to reliability. It's hard to get people to change away from something that has worked for many years. Many people will change a car to MT couplers and or trucks before it even hits the layout.


Title: Re: Changing from Rapido to magnetic couplers
Post by: Ron Zee on February 25, 2012, 01:08:53 AM
Thanks to all of you for the help. Now to start switching parts out.  ;D


Title: Re: Changing from Rapido to magnetic couplers
Post by: Ron Zee on March 04, 2012, 11:51:30 PM
Although,,, there is an idea rolling around in my head of something simpler than switching anything. Maybe I should start fabricating and testing,,,,,  :o