Bachmann Message Board

Discussion Boards => General Discussion => Topic started by: Dan S. on October 14, 2014, 09:50:56 AM



Title: New style Bachmann magnetic couplers vs. older horn style
Post by: Dan S. on October 14, 2014, 09:50:56 AM
Good day Folks,
I have been out of model trains and layouts for 30+ years now, but just starting to get back in to it. I have a question concerning purchasing some of the older/earlier bachmann rolling stock with the old style horn couplers? Can these cars be converted over to the new style magnetic Bachmann knuckle couplers with out much trouble? I purchased a new Bachmann starter set and would like to increase my rolling stock to mate with the new silver series rolling stock, is it possible? I would appreciate any help in this matter. Sincerely, Dan.


Title: Re: New style Bachmann magnetic couplers vs. older horn style
Post by: jbrock27 on October 14, 2014, 12:05:42 PM
How much trouble depends on how old the rolling stock is that you are referring to.  Does it have talgo trucks, which are the trucks and couplers together in one or are the couplers and trucks mounted seperately with the couplers mounted in boxes that are attached to the body of the car?


Title: Re: New style Bachmann magnetic couplers vs. older horn style
Post by: rogertra on October 14, 2014, 12:44:11 PM
The question should be: -

"Why are you purchasing equipment that old and that doesn't come up to the standards expected today of model railroad equipment?"

Buying for price in old model railroad equipment can only lead to disappointment, as we've seen numerous times on this board, especially when it comes to what were considered "entry level" products.

Cheers

Roger T.



Title: Re: New style Bachmann magnetic couplers vs. older horn style
Post by: Dan S. on October 14, 2014, 01:13:13 PM
Thanks Gent's,
I just wanted to increase my rolling stock and as we all know with any hobby you can get over budget in a hurry. There are many Bachmann H/O railcars on e-bay that are of excellent condition but have the older type couplers, these cars are of the Bachmann brand name, but didn't know if I where to bid on items that I could change the couplers out to the new style knuckle couplers of today. I don't know if the coupler and truck set are together or separate as there is no mention in ad, I have not bid yet till I find the answer I'm searching for. Thanks again. If typically that the older series Bachmann rolling stock is not able to handle the new magnetic couplers of today, that info would be very appreciated. Dan.


Title: Re: New style Bachmann magnetic couplers vs. older horn style
Post by: jonathan on October 14, 2014, 01:41:39 PM
http://www.bachmanntrains.com/home-usa/board/index.php/topic,18567.0.html

Dan,

The short answer is, YES, you can put knuckle couplers on old equipment.

The LONG answer has to do with what the present coupler boxes look like.

The link above demonstrates upgrading old rolling stock with new trucks and couplers.  It's a bit of work, but if you like your present equipment, it may be worth it to you.

What others are trying to tell you:  it may be cheaper to buy new rolling stock than upgrading older rolling stock.  The choice is yours.  I've done it to some sentimental value equipment.

Regards,

Jonathan


Title: Re: New style Bachmann magnetic couplers vs. older horn style
Post by: Dan S. on October 14, 2014, 02:46:09 PM
Thanks Jonathan,
I understand now! the light went on in my head. I didn't know that some of the older bachmann cars had the trucks and couplers mounted as 1 piece units, but I see now that may be the case. Greatly appreciated. I also see that the older Bachmann rolling stock has plastic wheels and axles on trucks, this may be the reason why these cars sell for $1.00 each on e-bay! Thanks for saving me the pain of finding out the hard way. Happy modeling to you. Dan.


Title: Re: New style Bachmann magnetic couplers vs. older horn style
Post by: Doneldon on October 14, 2014, 03:40:07 PM
Dan-

You can most certainly put knuckle couplers on older rolling stock. This can be quite a big deal with some cars but most Bachmann equipment goes pretty smoothly. However, you might want to ask yourself how much work and expense you want to invest.

Older cars tend to have plastic wheels which contribute to track maintenance issues. They can be changed out for metal wheelsets but that runs a couple of dollars per car. If you have Talgo trucks, with the couplers mounted on the trucks themselves, you really ought to change the trucks for regular ones and mount replacement couplers to the car's body. This introduces more time and cost. Yes, you can cut the Talgo arm off and replace the plastic wheels, but you'll still have to do a coupler change so you'll still be spending at least $5. If you replace both couplers and trucks, plan on a good $8 or more. That's quite an investment in a car which may have cost $5 or less. And you'll still have an obsolete level of detail and paint quality.

Whatever you do, get rid of the Talgo trucks and horn-hook (aka, X2f or NMRA) couplers. I strongly urge you to consider replacing your old couplers with Kadees. Kadee is the gold standard for knuckle couplers. They've been making them much longer than anyone else, they have a large array of couplers for hard-to-adapt rolling stock, and they also have some which are an easy install in most cars. You don't need to remove other brands of operating knuckle couplers unless they fail in some way, but do use the Kadees for all new installations.

Welcome back to the hobby and good luck with your project.
                                                                                            -- D


Title: Re: New style Bachmann magnetic couplers vs. older horn style
Post by: jward on October 14, 2014, 11:10:02 PM
my personal opinion is that it is better to have a few good running cars and locomotives than a boatload of poor ones which will only frustrate you.

if you are going to buy older stock in the hopes of bringing it up to silver series standards, you'd be better off buying old athearn or roundhouse cars. they already have coupler boxes designed for drop in replacement of couplers, and decent trucks. to get them up to standards all you need to do is replace the couplers, possibly add a small washer to th truck bolsters to get coupler height correct, add metal wheels if you so desire, and add a little bit of weight.

from my extensive experience, it is more important that any wheelsets conform to nmra rp25 specs than it is that they be metal. with that in mind, older 1970-1980s era athearn and roundhouse cars had rp25 wheels, tyco, ahm, Bachmann and lifelike cars did not.



Title: Re: New style Bachmann magnetic couplers vs. older horn style
Post by: rogertra on October 15, 2014, 12:37:30 AM
my personal opinion is that it is better to have a few good running cars and locomotives than a boatload of poor ones which will only frustrate you.

if you are going to buy older stock in the hopes of bringing it up to silver series standards, you'd be better off buying old athearn or roundhouse cars. they already have coupler boxes designed for drop in replacement of couplers, and decent trucks. to get them up to standards all you need to do is replace the couplers, possibly add a small washer to th truck bolsters to get coupler height correct, add metal wheels if you so desire, and add a little bit of weight.

from my extensive experience, it is more important that any wheelsets conform to nmra rp25 specs than it is that they be metal. with that in mind, older 1970-1980s era athearn and roundhouse cars had rp25 wheels, tyco, ahm, Bachmann and lifelike cars did not.


Agree 100%.  See my previous post on this matter.

With the exception of Athearn and Roundhouse rolling stock, and locomotives as well for that matter, the older stuff falls into the toy train, entry level stuff at best and is not worth purchasing, nor even accepting as gifts.

The vast majority of my current rolling stock is 20+ year old Athearn and Roundhouse cars and nothing by the other manufacturers mentioned above.  Mind you, they all now have metal wheels and, of course, Kadee couplers.

The fleet is supplemented by newer cars but really, in a 20+ car freight train of weathered cars or a freight yard with 30 plus weathered cars on assorted tracks, you're hard pressed to tell the more modern models from the older Athearn and Roundhouse cars as all the cars just become part of the scenery.  :)

It's the locos and slightly behind them, if you'll excuse the pun, cabooses that you spend more time looking at.

Cheers

Roger T.


Title: Re: New style Bachmann magnetic couplers vs. older horn style
Post by: jbrock27 on October 18, 2014, 04:43:38 PM
**Footnote

I would like to add something here, lest there be any misunderstandings or misconceptions.  Not all "old" Bachmann rolling stock is the poorly detailed and poorly painted talgo truck junk:  in between and just prior to the release of the Silver Series rolling stock that comes with metal wheelsets, was Bachmann rolling stock that was set up the same way as the Silver Series with the exception of having plastic wheelsets instead.  They are out there.  This is why I asked the question in the way I did in my first post on this topic.  For these Bachmann rolling stock, all you need to do is replace the wheelsets with metal ones and if you don't like the plastic spring type EZ mate knuckle couplers that come stock on them, you just loosen the draft gear box screw and replace them with EZ Mate Mark IIs or Kadees, with the metal coil spring.
My friend whose SDP40 I worked on for him, gave me a Bachmann 4 bay Hopper in return for my help and this is all I had to do to it to get a nice running, looking piece of rolling stock.  No big deal as Richie the G would say.


Title: Re: New style Bachmann magnetic couplers vs. older horn style
Post by: Jerrys HO on October 18, 2014, 04:48:18 PM
Another foot note would be to add one knuckle to one side and leave the other side matching the older cars so you can use them whilst you save time and money to upgrade along the way. Thank Jeff Ward for that one I believe some time ago.


Title: Re: New style Bachmann magnetic couplers vs. older horn style
Post by: jbrock27 on October 18, 2014, 05:10:06 PM
Ahh yes, ye old transition car...


Title: Re: New style Bachmann magnetic couplers vs. older horn style
Post by: Jerrys HO on October 18, 2014, 05:19:23 PM
Ahh yes, ye old transition car...

Yeah that's it!


Title: Re: New style Bachmann magnetic couplers vs. older horn style
Post by: jbrock27 on October 18, 2014, 05:25:48 PM
An old tried and true concept.  Although, I suspect less and less folks these days employ one these days.  I can say, I for one, no longer prefer/like HH couplers.


Title: Re: New style Bachmann magnetic couplers vs. older horn style
Post by: jward on October 18, 2014, 06:45:59 PM
I don't think there were many things more reviled in model railroading than the old horn hooks. most of us switched to kadee couplers fairly early. kadee was the standard from which most knuckle couplers in use to-day were derived. but for many years kadee's design was patented, and knuckle couplers only started to appear on new cars & locomotives when those patents expired and others could copy the design. back in the day, kadees were expensive, nd many cars were not designed to accept them. thus, the conversion car, a cheap way around the problem of running 2 incompatable types of couplers. with a couple of conversion cars, you could run what you had while budgeting the time and money to eventually convert all cars and locomotives to kadees.


Title: Re: New style Bachmann magnetic couplers vs. older horn style
Post by: rogertra on October 19, 2014, 12:22:25 AM
Ahh yes, ye old transition car...

That doesn't work if you use a system of prototypical car forwarding, does it?

Works fine where you just grab a bunch of freight cars and like like to run trains with no purpose but not very well if you try to emulate the prototype.  The prototype blocks trains by destination so you never know what car will be coupled next to or between what car.

Speaking as someone who has around 200 freight cars in general service.

Cheers.

Roger T.


Title: Re: New style Bachmann magnetic couplers vs. older horn style
Post by: jbrock27 on October 19, 2014, 07:48:52 AM
Indeed.

Can I surmise you are also addressing your point to Mr. Ward as well as anyone else who may employ a transition car?

One of the distinct differences I guess, between model railroaders and railroad modelers.

Now if you'll excuse me, I am going to run some old time passenger cars behind one of my technotoaster, 6 axle diesels... ;D  


Title: Re: New style Bachmann magnetic couplers vs. older horn style
Post by: rogertra on October 19, 2014, 02:10:10 PM
Indeed.

Can I surmise you are also addressing your point to Mr. Ward as well as anyone else who may employ a transition car?

One of the distinct differences I guess, between model railroaders and railroad modelers.

Now if you'll excuse me, I am going to run some old time passenger cars behind one of my technotoaster, 6 axle diesels... ;D  

Have fun, that's what it's all about.

Cheers

Roger T.


Title: Re: New style Bachmann magnetic couplers vs. older horn style
Post by: jward on October 19, 2014, 02:57:41 PM
Ahh yes, ye old transition car...

That doesn't work if you use a system of prototypical car forwarding, does it?

Works fine where you just grab a bunch of freight cars and like like to run trains with no purpose but not very well if you try to emulate the prototype.  The prototype blocks trains by destination so you never know what car will be coupled next to or between what car.

Speaking as someone who has around 200 freight cars in general service.

Cheers.

Roger T.

obviously you've never herd of idler cars. a good example of this would have been the high and wide loads, or the current oil trains. certain loads require spacer or idler cars for reasons of safety or weight distribution. those could easily be adapted to model railroading.
 


Title: Re: New style Bachmann magnetic couplers vs. older horn style
Post by: jbrock27 on October 19, 2014, 04:22:02 PM
Roge, I will,  thank you.  Just not with either of those as I don't have either one to run ;)


Title: Re: New style Bachmann magnetic couplers vs. older horn style
Post by: jbrock27 on October 19, 2014, 10:41:10 PM
I may be causing some confusion here-I used the word "transition" in conjunction with the word "car" not meaning to use it as a proper name (noun) to refer to the car bearing that proper name.  
I call "conversion" cars "transition" cars bc they transition or join, cars that have HHs to ones that have knuckle couplers bc they are set up at one end with a HH and the other w/a knuckle coupler.  My apologies for any confusion.

This is what I mean if I was not clear: http://modeltrains.about.com/od/tmodelrailroadterms/g/Transition-Car.htm

I don't know I have ever heard them called "conversion" cars.


Title: Re: New style Bachmann magnetic couplers vs. older horn style
Post by: jward on October 20, 2014, 11:13:17 AM
Growing up in a model railroading family we always called  them conversion cars. Transition cars were bilevel passenger cars with low end doors on one end which were used to connect single level and bilevel cars.


Title: Re: New style Bachmann magnetic couplers vs. older horn style
Post by: jbrock27 on October 20, 2014, 12:21:55 PM
Growing up in a model railroading family

So you have mentioned many, many times in the past.  Congratulations (?) I guess.  I suppose this is why I never heard them referred to as "conversion" cars.  I feel such a loss...but I learned a new term today so thank you.

I wonder if the guy who wrote the above article I posted the link to, grew up in a "model railroading family"?  Or, does it really matter one iota?  


Title: Re: New style Bachmann magnetic couplers vs. older horn style
Post by: jward on October 21, 2014, 03:04:47 AM
a bing search for transition car turned up these:
http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=transition+car&id=54ED5899940006BB777F79F938128C3DAC3C81A8&FORM=IQFRBA


Title: Re: New style Bachmann magnetic couplers vs. older horn style
Post by: jbrock27 on October 21, 2014, 06:43:24 AM
For real Jeff??

And a GOOGLE search under "conversion car" turned up these:

https://www.google.com/search?q=Conversion+Car&rlz=1C1OPRA_enUS586US586&es_sm=93&biw=1366&bih=667&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=3jVGVLjCHc

Did you not look at the first link I provided?

But beside that, does any of this make either of us "right"?  Or either of us "wrong"?  And does that matter to anyone?

Does anyone really care what to call a piece of rolling stock that has 2 different kinds of couplers at either end? 

Seriously ::)


Title: Re: New style Bachmann magnetic couplers vs. older horn style
Post by: jward on October 21, 2014, 11:05:22 AM
nice. i like your conversion cars


Title: Re: New style Bachmann magnetic couplers vs. older horn style
Post by: jbrock27 on October 21, 2014, 01:09:32 PM
Thanks, and I like your transition cars.


Title: Re: New style Bachmann magnetic couplers vs. older horn style
Post by: Jhanecker2 on October 21, 2014, 08:06:55 PM
to Jbrock27 & jward your searches  were both interesting .    It however does bring up the point that  one must always be careful how one phrases a question to a search engine .  Marvels  that they are they are not really intelligent and one must truly  meticulously  define the exact parameters of what we are really searching for . Though it is interesting to see how machine logic interprets your request .  Have fun every answer opens up new questions . John 2 .


Title: Re: New style Bachmann magnetic couplers vs. older horn style
Post by: jward on October 21, 2014, 08:53:46 PM
yes it does open up new questions. sometimes i think we all take this hobby too seriously, and lose sight of the fact that it is supposed to be fun.  it is possible to get the details correct down to the last rivet, and still lose the context for its very existence.


Title: Re: New style Bachmann magnetic couplers vs. older horn style
Post by: MarkInLA on October 22, 2014, 05:46:12 AM
 ::)
The question should be: -

"Why are you purchasing equipment that old and that doesn't come up to the standards expected today of model railroad equipment?"

Buying for price in old model railroad equipment can only lead to disappointment, as we've seen numerous times on this board, especially when it comes to what were considered "entry level" products.

Cheers

Roger T.


Dan, Roger is spot on here ! If you think buying old old MRR rolling stock with horn hook couplers is a good way to save money, you are sadly mistaken.. Not only do old cars and engines have those horrid couplers, their wheels have flanges we now call pizza cutters. A real flange is about 1.5 to maybe 2 inches above the wheel tread. Pizza cutters scale out  in HO to be around 6 to 8 inches deep. If you begin buying modern Atlas or more expensive track your flanges will hit the spike heads if not worse. You've been out of touch for 30 years ! Forget that old clunky stuff and ease back into the hobby following today's standards: In HO, buy code 83 or smaller rail height track. Buy contemporary cars and locos which have way way more realistic appointments and detail on them: Engines with great motors and pick up, well rolling cars with operating knuckle couplers like the 1:1 scale has, and all having today's flanges. Even analog power to tracks and motors is slowly disappearing in favor of digital command  control, DCC. Too much to explain this here so I'd advise you purchase a few 'how to' books or mags at the train shop or on-line so you are up on the current state of the art..No put down meant here. We are giving you a heads up so as you don't make too many disappointing decisions; decisions most of us have had to learn the hard way from, too.. Welcome aboard, Mark


Title: Re: New style Bachmann magnetic couplers vs. older horn style
Post by: jbrock27 on October 22, 2014, 06:48:52 AM
I agree with Jeff that some, sometimes, take the hobby too seriously.  I think it is as much, that some people take themselves too seriously.  Myself, I would be one of the last on those lists.

Mark, I'm in agreement with some of the things you say, but not all.   Having HH couplers does not always equate to a lost cause.  For example, older Athearn rolling stock and locos come stock with HH couplers and are easily replaced with knuckle style couplers.  As Mr. Ward is fond of pointing out, the wheels on Athearn rolling stock are RP25 and don't need replacing, unless you want to roll them over a Kadee magnet uncoupler.  Also, older Life Like P2K locos came with HH couplers on them and neither their locos or the Athearn ones mentioned above, have the pizza cutter wheel flanges.  Same goes for older Atlas locos.   You should cite specifically the locos and rolling stock you are referring to, so as not to give the wrong impression.
While 83 code is more realistic than 100 for a lot of people, 100 is more tolerant of running older stock if that is what folks have in their inventory.  And by the way, right now, Dan is using EZ track (code 100) and is trying to find ways to figure out what radius fits where.  He's complained about buying a lot of track in his attempt to do this, so I doubt he is now going to go out and buy code 83 track. Of course, that is up to him.
And while more details are nice, it also makes those finer details more breakable and not appealing to those with kids sharing the layout and those prone to breaking such fine detail parts.
Lastly, while I agree DCC is growing, this does not mean analog (DC) is "disappearing". 


Title: Re: New style Bachmann magnetic couplers vs. older horn style
Post by: Doneldon on October 22, 2014, 02:05:36 PM
Mark-

Jim makes a good point about some older models being worth updating but I think he would agree that most older things aren't worth the time and expense unless the item has some other less tangible value. I've updated a few old cars from when my brother and I first got into HO 55 years ago, for example, just because of the sentimental value. And, you know, as part of a train running by, I don't really notice that the ladders are molded on and the reporting marks aren't as precisely printed as what we see with today's outstanding models.

By the way, even modern RP25 wheel contours don't exactly match the prototype. They, too, are oversize and a slightly different contour than the twelve-inches-to-the-foot wheels. Both the larger-than-scale flanges and altered contour help keep our tiny trains up on the iron (which isn't prototypical, either, regarding material and often size). I have to admit that I admire with awe the true scalers who run their trains with prototypical wheels and rails. They must have some genuinely outstanding track laying skills.
                                                                                                                                                          -- D


Title: Re: New style Bachmann magnetic couplers vs. older horn style
Post by: jbrock27 on October 22, 2014, 07:38:39 PM
I would agree Doc that many, depending on make, are not worth purchasing and then updating.  I also agree w/your point about sentimental value, when it does not drain the wallet.  There is a diminishing point of returns.


Title: Re: New style Bachmann magnetic couplers vs. older horn style
Post by: Dan S. on October 23, 2014, 08:45:30 AM
Thanks for all the help with information which I requested. After looking into this in more detail I now see exactly what you all have been saying and I will gladly take your advise and move up to the digital world and the newer Silver Series rolling stock. I guess it really goes back to the old adage "You get what you pay for"! Thanks again Everyone.


Title: Re: New style Bachmann magnetic couplers vs. older horn style
Post by: Trainman203 on October 28, 2014, 10:54:46 PM
When I was 16 back in the 60s and didn't have any money I decided to convert to Kadee couplers. I couldn't do it all at once of course.  I figured out that, with the "horn hooks", if you trimmed the trip portion off just below the knuckle and trimmed the extended "horn" back to the knuckle, you ended up with a coupler that would most of the time manually mate with the Kadees.  I had to secure the modified coupler in the center position but it let me get through the transition period and run my cars in any order I chose no matter what coupler was on adjacent cars.

 


Title: Re: New style Bachmann magnetic couplers vs. older horn style
Post by: rogertra on October 29, 2014, 12:41:29 AM
When I was 16 back in the 60s and didn't have any money I decided to convert to Kadee couplers. I couldn't do it all at once of course.  I figured out that, with the "horn hooks", if you trimmed the trip portion off just below the knuckle and trimmed the extended "horn" back to the knuckle, you ended up with a coupler that would most of the time manually mate with the Kadees.  I had to secure the modified coupler in the center position but it let me get through the transition period and run my cars in any order I chose no matter what coupler was on adjacent cars.

 

I did about the same thing, using a hobby knife.  :)

I trimmed the knuckle so that it mated easier with the Kadees, I also removed the trip pin.  However, I left the centering spring in place.

To uncouple, I used a sharpened wooden skewer, something I still use today with Kadees.

Cheers

Roger T.



Title: Re: New style Bachmann magnetic couplers vs. older horn style
Post by: jward on October 29, 2014, 11:17:23 AM
a while back ahm/ihc sold something called a mate a matic or magic mate coupler. they could mate with both types of couplers, but had a serious drawback. they tended to uncoupler when slack rain in on a train, which made them unreliable to say the least. you may still be able to find them online or at a train show. if you do, pass on them, they are not worth the trouble.


Title: Re: New style Bachmann magnetic couplers vs. older horn style
Post by: beast101 on November 09, 2014, 02:22:09 PM
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Title: Re: New style Bachmann magnetic couplers vs. older horn style
Post by: chieffan on November 09, 2014, 02:41:12 PM
Growing up in a model railroading family we always called  them conversion cars. Transition cars were bilevel passenger cars with low end doors on one end which were used to connect single level and bilevel cars.

Conversion cars is all I ever heard them called also.  They convert you train from the HH couplers to the knuckle type coupler.


Title: Re: New style Bachmann magnetic couplers vs. older horn style
Post by: jbrock27 on November 09, 2014, 11:04:46 PM
...And now you have heard them referred to by another name.

I personally like transition as the word used to describe them, as in going from one thing, to the other; opposed to converting which implies changing one thing to another.

transition: the process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another.

conversion: cause to change in form, character, or function.


Title: Re: New style Bachmann magnetic couplers vs. older horn style
Post by: Doneldon on November 10, 2014, 05:08:30 AM
Dan-

I agree with Jim's preference for transition as opposed to conversion because I believe it  more accurately describes what we're doing with cars having two kinds of couplers. But I've certainly heard both words widely used and understood.

I do urge you to consider your transition/conversion cars as temporary solutions to the daunting and sometimes expensive task of changing the couplers on a whole fleet of railcars. This is especially true if you plan to operate your railroad like the real ones with switching yards, dropping off and picking up rolling stock at sidings, exchanging cars at interchanges and so on. Having to work all of that around different coupler types quickly becomes not fun. But it won't matter so much if you get your enjoyment out of watching your trains run. There are folks on this board, me included at times, who think that is a less than ideal use of our hobby but, let's face it, sometimes it's a gas just watching our trains run, even if they do pass the same spot every few minutes.
                                                                                                                       -- D


Title: Re: New style Bachmann magnetic couplers vs. older horn style
Post by: jbrock27 on November 10, 2014, 08:13:27 AM
I agree with Doc, whether you want to call them either of the above, or late for supper, they are temporary solutions at best.


Title: Re: New style Bachmann magnetic couplers vs. older horn style
Post by: jbsmith on November 18, 2014, 12:58:23 AM
and then Again,,,,
If you have a large fleet of horn hook rolling stock, it would be more cost effective to just install horn-hook couplers on a new loco or two.
If you enjoy casual continuous running the horn-hooks still work well for that.
If you are into serious switching operations, knuckles are the way to go.


Conversion Cars, already mentioned in earlier posts work well too.



Title: Re: New style Bachmann magnetic couplers vs. older horn style
Post by: jward on November 18, 2014, 03:00:15 AM
you might run into problems doing that. newer locomotives are not designed to accept horn hooks so you'd probably have to make modifications. plus, as far as I now, only lifelike still sells horn hooks, and theirs have a small shank like a tyco coupler. most draft gear boxes require  larger shank because they pivot around a 2-56 screw.


Title: Re: New style Bachmann magnetic couplers vs. older horn style
Post by: jbrock27 on November 18, 2014, 08:22:39 AM
I agree with Jeff's sentiment JB.   I can't say I would bother going what I would consider backwards and converting from knuckle couplers to horn hook.  I like you, still have several hh outfitted cars and but I don't think hh's even work well for casual running, not to mention the looks, compared to the looks and performance from knuckle couplers.  If an hh car has decent enough looks, it should be considered a candidate for updating (with a cost/benefit analysis.)  If it doesn't meet the criteria, then....


Title: Re: New style Bachmann magnetic couplers vs. older horn style
Post by: jbsmith on November 24, 2014, 02:26:06 AM
http://www.athearn.com/Search/Default.aspx?SearchTerm=horn+hook

I have installed HH on modern locos,,,no problems,,,sorry naysayers  :P


Title: Re: New style Bachmann magnetic couplers vs. older horn style
Post by: jward on November 24, 2014, 03:26:24 AM
well no wonder. you are using the ones with the larger pivot hole. those should work anywhere that you can use a kadee #5. I wasn't aware they still made those. I must have thrown out hundreds of those over the years. I can say I have not seen these in a hobby shop recently.



Title: Re: New style Bachmann magnetic couplers vs. older horn style
Post by: ACY on November 24, 2014, 06:18:25 AM
http://www.athearn.com/Search/Default.aspx?SearchTerm=horn+hook

I have installed HH on modern locos,,,no problems,,,sorry naysayers  :P
JB, on some modern locomotives you can get away with the old Athearn X2F/Horn-Hook couplers. However, that is not always the case, and I can think of a lot of locomotives off the top of my head that would be extremely difficult or impossible to install X2F couplers. It also does not help matters that the Athearn X2F couplers were not available from Horizon and going to be discontinued in the near future when whatever is left of the couplers is depleted. At which point that would leave you in a bind and with no recourse once you run out of the Athearn X2F couplers because the other manufacturers couplers are not made with the centering spring but rather snap into the talgo trucks found on Life-Like cars. Also there also many pieces of rolling stock that I c as n think of that cannot be converted to X2F couplers.
Basically any locomotive or piece of rolling stock that requires long shank couplers would be impossible to convert in almost every case. Any locomotive or piece of rolling stock that has an NEM coupler box, Rivarossi for instance, cannot be converted to X2F couplers because the X2F couplers made to go in NEM coupler boxes have been out of production for over 10 years now, and tge tooling does not exist anymore. So once all old stock was depleted at your local hobby shops if they even have any left, you would have no choice but to utilize a mchenry knuckle coupler because it is the only coupler still in production that fits in NEM boxes. Of course you could break or cut off the NEM box and probably lose some detail pieces in the process but you would be stupid to do so because it would permanently void your warranty.
In short you can definitely get away with using the Athearn X2F couplers on some locomotives and rolling stock, however, there are many cases where conversion to X2F couplers is not practical or possible and you will end up causing more trouble for yourself in the long term when the Athearn couplers are out of production.


Title: Re: New style Bachmann magnetic couplers vs. older horn style
Post by: jbrock27 on November 24, 2014, 08:25:29 AM
I have installed HH on modern locos

JB, the question is why spend the time to bother, instead of taking the same time to convert to knuckle couplers?  Maybe, instead of constantly buying more cars to have every week for COTW, it would better to spend the resources on conversions...

I have not seen these in a hobby shop recently.

Jeff you need to look outside the LHS, there is a whole great big world out there.

It also looks like some folks are warranty obsessed ::)