Bachmann Message Board

Discussion Boards => HO => Topic started by: jjdog33 on December 25, 2014, 02:12:38 PM



Title: bachmann to tyco couplers/controllers
Post by: jjdog33 on December 25, 2014, 02:12:38 PM
I have a Bachmann overland limited set and recently received a lot of Tyco cars.  The Bachmann has ez mate couplers.  How do i get the old tyco cars to connect to the Tyco?  Also, I have noticed that the controller that comes with the set is, well, crappy, and is only a 1 amp controller.  Does anyone know of a good 5-10 amp controller that will hook up easily to the ez track, that is reasonably priced?


Title: Re: bachmann to tyco couplers/controllers
Post by: ACY on December 25, 2014, 02:48:28 PM
You throw out the Tyco cars unless they are of sentimental value. If of sentimental value, you can replace the trucks, wheels and couplers. Remove the existing trucks, depending on the particular car you will have you will need to determine a good set of replacement trucks. Then glue a piece of polystyrene to the bottom of the car centered at each end large enough to glue on a Kadee coupler box. Then using a drill tap, tap the bottom of the car and styrene for the size screw you intend to use to secure the coupler box. Then assemble the coupler box with a Kadee #148 or #5 coupler. Be sure to glue the coupler box to the styrene and then screw the box in place to secure it. Then purchase 33" Intermountain or your favorite brand 33" metal wheels and insert them into the new trucks and finally secure the new trucks in place with an appropriate sized screw. You can adjust the coupler height by adding washers to the truck assembly or by varying the thickness of the styrene you mount the coupler box to. The total cost of this would be approximately $12-15 per car you want to upgrade. My suggestion is to just throw them out since it is cheaper to buy better rolling stock such as a Athearn Blue Box kit or even a newer Bachmann car at a train show/flea market. You can find fine rolling stock for $6 or so, much cheaper than upgrading a poorly detailed car and more time you can use for scenery or something else.
MRC makes some good power packs but you would need to splice a Bachmann wire to use it with the EZ-track connector. I would not suggest a DCC system since your locomotive is standard DC and is not worth upgrading in my opinion unless you are experienced with installing DCC and good at soldering.


Title: Re: bachmann to tyco couplers/controllers
Post by: Len on December 25, 2014, 03:15:26 PM
The simplest way to convert your Tyco cars is to order a pack or two of Life-Like knuckle couplers from Walthers. They come in a pack of 10 pairs, item 433-1427, and a pack of two pairs, 433-1436. They are designed as a direct replacement for the small hole horn-hooks used in old Tyco, Life-Like, and other older cars.

This will get you running until you can do some of the upgrades mentioned by ACY, and body mount EZ-Mates or get some newer cars. The bodies on the Tyco's are comparable to older Athearn blue box kits, and Tyco did some paint schemes no one else has done. If you keep the original trucks, you can improve the rolling charateristics using a 'truck tuning tool'. They are available from Micro-Mark and Rixx, and even make the original wheels work better.

Len
 


Title: Re: bachmann to tyco couplers/controllers
Post by: jjdog33 on December 25, 2014, 03:29:51 PM
my biggest problem is not with the rolling stock, rather with the engines.  I have 3 Tyco engines all of which are much better and more powerful than the engine that came with the overland limited bachmann set.  I definetly dont want to toss those out.  The couplers on the Tyco engines seem to sit slightly lower than the ezmate couplers on the Bachmann rolling stock.


Title: Re: bachmann to tyco couplers/controllers
Post by: ACY on December 25, 2014, 04:54:23 PM
The simplest way to convert your Tyco cars is to order a pack or two of Life-Like knuckle couplers from Walthers. They come in a pack of 10 pairs, item 433-1427, and a pack of two pairs, 433-1436. They are designed as a direct replacement for the small hole horn-hooks used in old Tyco, Life-Like, and other older cars.
Len, although a much simpler "solution," those couplers are not very reliable in my experience, but your results may vary. And talgo-trucks (truck mounted couplers) generally are a bad idea especially if he has to reverse his train and they tend to randomly derail or uncouple more often than if you do the modifications I suggested.
my biggest problem is not with the rolling stock, rather with the engines.  I have 3 Tyco engines all of which are much better and more powerful than the engine that came with the overland limited bachmann set.  I definetly dont want to toss those out.  The couplers on the Tyco engines seem to sit slightly lower than the ezmate couplers on the Bachmann rolling stock.
The coupler height on the Bachmann rolling stock is either correct or a little low even so making the couplers lower on the Bachmann rolling stock is not an option. To raise the couplers on the locomotives you need to install washers inbetween the trucks and the locomotive body to make the whole body and thus the couplers sit higher. If this is not possible or does not work then the next thing to try would be use a dremel to cut off the existing coupler boxes if they have them or to body mount a kadee coupler box and use over set shank couplers.


Title: Re: bachmann to tyco couplers/controllers
Post by: Doneldon on December 25, 2014, 04:56:04 PM
jj-

I would probably scrap the Tyco cars unless they are something special.

As for the locos, I'd go directly to Kadee couplers. There's no logical reason to use temporary couplers if you will eventually go to
Kadees. Check the Kadee web site for the couplers you need for your locos. Buy those and install them. They will come with excellent
illustrated instructions.While you're at it, get a Kadee coupler gauge and make sure that all couplers are at the exact same height.
Any deviation will increase the likelihood of unwanted uncouplings.
                                                                                                    -- D


Title: Re: bachmann to tyco couplers/controllers
Post by: Len on December 25, 2014, 05:09:38 PM
ACY,

While I agree with the sentiment, and have converted many Tyco cars to body mount couplers and better trucks, some folks may not have the $$, or the skills, to do the modifications you suggested. While not in the same class as EZ-Mates or Kadee's, I've found the Life-Like's to hold up fairly well as an interim step. They are definate improvement on horn-hooks, even when backing up using talgo type trucks. Just don't park on a hill, since they do use a plastic 'knuckle spring' that can take a set if the knuckle is held in an open position too long.

Len


Title: Re: bachmann to tyco couplers/controllers
Post by: jjdog33 on December 25, 2014, 07:00:38 PM
Okay, so do the Kadees hook up to the ez mount couplers or do i need to replace those with kadees as well?


Title: Re: bachmann to tyco couplers/controllers
Post by: Irbricksceo on December 25, 2014, 07:43:04 PM
Yes, they do. Kadee is just a brand, a well liked brand, but a brand. I've used EZ-Mate, Kadee, and Mchenry together with no problems. Sure, the Kadee reputation is that they are better but, in my experience, they all do the job fine on trains of 2-14 cars. I've never had occasion to run longer trains than that and therefore haven't tested.

ACY's suggestions are good if you have the time, money, and ability. However, you do need those things. Its not cheap. ACY has a tendency to recommend spending a fair amount. It is certainly true that cars roll a lot better with newer metal wheels but the Tyco cars do work. I used them for a long time. Plus, In my opinion, detail level is not as important on cars as it is on locomotives.

Remember, a lot of the hobby is subjective, you should do what makes you happy. If you can, by all means, replace or upgrade your rolling stock. They will perform a lot better. However, if you are happy as is, there is no need. You could also just upgrade one car on one side to use as a conversion car. Its all about what makes you happy.

Regarding controllers, for block control on DC, what you have is fine. You would almost never be operating more than 1 or 2 at a time. The locomotives you have could be tricky or not worth it for the DCC upgrade.


Title: Re: bachmann to tyco couplers/controllers
Post by: ACY on December 25, 2014, 10:50:44 PM
Okay, so do the Kadees hook up to the ez mount couplers or do i need to replace those with kadees as well?
Kadee, EZ-Mate, Accumate, and McHenry are all inter-compatible as long as they are all at the right height. I personally prefer Kadee metal couplers because I tend to run longer trains that often break the plastic couplers or lead to derailments/uncoupling. The Tyco Locomotives won't be DCC ready (motor will not be isolated) and would need quite a bit of work to convert to DCC so I would not suggest doing the conversion. 


Title: Re: bachmann to tyco couplers/controllers
Post by: Doneldon on December 26, 2014, 02:41:20 AM
Kadee, EZ-Mate, Accumate, and McHenry are all inter-compatible as long as they are all at the right height.

ACY-

I believe the outcome of Model Railroader's coupler test a few years ago was that most knuckle couplers worked pretty
well with one another but best with others from the same manufacturer. This was especially true when coupling on a curve.

Kadees were marginally the best. To me, MR neglected another Kadee advantage: In addition to their "universal" couplers. Kadee
makes dozens of couplers for special applications or when the universals don't quite make the grade.
                                                                                                                                                      -- D


Title: Re: bachmann to tyco couplers/controllers
Post by: jbrock27 on December 26, 2014, 11:58:36 AM
Without a Kadee coupler height gauge jdog you are going to have a much more than needed difficult time getting all the coupler heights to be the same.  So my suggestion is get one first before you start this project.

Brick, I agree with your observation of ACY.


Title: Re: bachmann to tyco couplers/controllers
Post by: jward on December 26, 2014, 12:12:28 PM
most of us here are biased against tyco equipment. .



but if you want to see what others who don't have this bias have done you may want to checque this site out. it is amazing the lengths some will go to in getting those beasts to run better.

http://www.tycoforums.com/tyco/forum/portal_content.asp?sectionid=6


Title: Re: bachmann to tyco couplers/controllers
Post by: Len on December 26, 2014, 12:29:52 PM
If it wasn't for Tyco, I never would have been able to afford getting into HO as a kid "back when" and grow into the better stuff offered by Bachmann and others later. Don't forget, it wasn't that long ago even Bachmann's entry level offerings didn't have all that great a reputation either.

Tyco's car bodies weren't any worse than 'Blue Box' Athearn, the main difference being Athearn offered body mount couplers at an early stage. Personally, I enjoy upgrading Tyco cars to Athearn 'Blue Box' standards, but that's just me. I like upgrading old 'horn hook' Bachmann equipment too.

If that's not where your interests lie, fine. I'm sure there are other aspects of the hobby you enjoy. That's the nice thing about model railroading, there's an "interest niche" for just about everyone.

Len


Title: Re: bachmann to tyco couplers/controllers
Post by: electrical whiz kid on December 26, 2014, 02:37:03 PM
Doneldon;
What is a Kadee "universal" coupler?  Are you talking about the old #5s? 
Rich (SGT C)


Title: Re: bachmann to tyco couplers/controllers
Post by: jbrock27 on December 26, 2014, 03:44:17 PM
I agree, there are some very talented modelers on the TYCO board that go to lengths to get junk to run.  A number of them, still use brass track.  I have even posted here that people should check things out over there.  But to be non-PC, to me, it cannot be worth the time or effort or resources to do some of these things they do.  And to be frank, a lot of folks over there seem to spend a disproportionate amount of time chasing down junk at tag sales, yard sales, estate sales and train shows, just to be able to post "hey, look what I got".

Sorry, but there is no comparison of even old Athearn Blue Box rolling stock to TYCO rolling stock, for the most part.  Exception, really old TYCO rolling stock, maybe.  And this from a guy who has his share of TYCO rolling stock from years ago.  I am no snob or elitist.  But, last I checked, Athearn never molded their stirrups on a solid fashion like many later model TYCOs were.  You can keep those, but I still see people who continue to buy them.  I have no idea what posses them to.


Title: Re: bachmann to tyco couplers/controllers
Post by: jbrock27 on December 26, 2014, 03:52:33 PM
And you want to talk about talent in getting beasts running?  Check out some of the stuff Darth Santa Fe does.  Talk about holy cow!  He looks like he about 14, has a flat 4 x 8 in 2 loops but talk about mechanical skill and ingenuity!


Title: Re: bachmann to tyco couplers/controllers
Post by: ACY on December 26, 2014, 03:54:06 PM
you can keep those, but I still see people who continue to buy them.  I have no idea what posses them to.
Most likely because they don't know any better and don't realize they are purchasing a model that has undesirable trucks and couplers and isn't not as detailed or well made.


Title: Re: bachmann to tyco couplers/controllers
Post by: jbrock27 on December 26, 2014, 04:03:14 PM
Agree. 
And if you have noticed, there are some here that post pictures that have recently bought them as well.


Title: Re: bachmann to tyco couplers/controllers
Post by: jward on December 26, 2014, 08:31:49 PM
those would be train collectors rather than modellers or operators. collectors are a different breed. rather than trying to create the real world in miniature, they seem to want to recreate the old train catalogs. I see it as similar to what the tinplaters are doing, but in HO.


there are a few old train set cars, like the 60 foot boxcars tyco made, that I could see upgrading. but the days when everything had to be built are over, so there is no incentive for me to buy cars that need to be upgraded when I can get good running stuff that's ready to roll when I take it out of the box. I think my days in n scale, trying to assemble and body mount hundreds of micro trains couplers has cured me of that kind of work.


Title: Re: bachmann to tyco couplers/controllers
Post by: jbrock27 on December 26, 2014, 08:47:03 PM
How was that on your eyes??


Title: Re: bachmann to tyco couplers/controllers
Post by: jward on December 27, 2014, 12:00:34 AM
I finally got them uncrossed, but I wear glasses now.....


Title: Re: bachmann to tyco couplers/controllers
Post by: jbrock27 on December 27, 2014, 12:03:12 AM
LOL! :D

I have as well, for a looooong time now.  Have an appt after the New Year to get them checked.  Seems that seeing things closer, is getting a little harder than it use to.


Title: Re: bachmann to tyco couplers/controllers
Post by: Doneldon on December 27, 2014, 12:20:33 AM
Doneldon;
What is a Kadee "universal" coupler?  Are you talking about the old #5s? 
Rich (SGT C)

Rich-

Yes, and the #58 couplers which seem to be the whisker equivalent.

                                                                                            -- D
 


Title: Re: bachmann to tyco couplers/controllers
Post by: Len on December 27, 2014, 09:34:04 AM
The Kadee #58 is the scale replacement for the #5. If you have a lot of 'vertical transitions' from pier sets, or other grades in the 3% or greater range, I don't recommend them. Unless you like seeing your trains left at the bottom of the hill while the loco goes up. The heads are small enough to bypass each other on standard pier set transition points. They're fine on layouts with 2%, or less, grades.

In a break from their normal numbering scheme the #148 is the built in centering spring 'whisker' coupler equivelant of the venerable #5 with bronze spring.

A couple of things to watch with Kadee's:

Some newer cars have "steps", what carpenters would call rabbets, around the coupler box lid. This lets them set lower into the coupler box so plastic couplers, with thinner shanks don't droop. When using Kadee's on these cars, flip the coupler box over, so it sits on the coupler box rim, instead of down into the box. This makes room for the thicker Kadee coupler shanks and springs.

Along those lines, Kadee whisker couplers shank are thicker than their standard couplers. This is so the shank equals the thickness of a standard coupler with bronze spring in older coupler boxes. Sometimes, even after flipping the cover in new cars, you have to hit both sides of a whisker coupler about 3 times with a fine file or emery strip to keep it from binding. Do both sides to keep it centered.

With Kadee's, EZ-Mate's, or other knuckle coupler using metal knuckle springs, sooner or later a spring is going to pop out. Run a piece of thread through the length of the replacement spring before trying to install it, long enough to let you hold both ends. That way if the new spring pops out during installation, 3, 4, or 10, times if you're like me, it will not go flying and get lost.

And here's the trick if you drop any parts and the floor and can't find them no matter how hard you look. After dark, walk across the floor in bare feet, with the lights off. Guaranteed you'll find the parts. ;D

Len


Title: Re: bachmann to tyco couplers/controllers
Post by: jbrock27 on December 27, 2014, 12:42:41 PM
I like the 148s.
Len I have read about the thread trick thru the knuckle spring many times but never had any luck doing so.  What do you do to get the thread thru the center of the spring?  Use as small needle?  Spit on the end of the thread?
I don't think my feet are sensitive enough to recover a spring in the dark, but I heard the dark approach is a great way to find LEGOS :D


Title: Re: bachmann to tyco couplers/controllers
Post by: Doneldon on December 27, 2014, 12:56:37 PM
Len I have read about the thread trick thru the knuckle spring many times but never had any luck doing so.  What do you do to get the thread thru the center of the spring?

Jim-

You don't have to, nor do you want to, run the thread through the length of the spring. Doing so will often result in pulling
the spring off of the nubs that hold the ends of the spring. All you have to do is run the thread across the spring's length and
maybe wrap it no more than once if you want a little more security. This is enough to corral an errant spring.
                                                                                                                                                                  -- D


Title: Re: bachmann to tyco couplers/controllers
Post by: jbrock27 on December 27, 2014, 01:12:58 PM
Ok Doc thanks.  But isn't the space between the coils too small for that?  Would not trying to get the thread in between result in the same thing?-launching the spring into nowhere land because of exerting force of the thread downward onto the spring and if you don't hit it right...  What size thread are we talkin?  Regular sewing thread?
I have learned to use CA gel on the end closest to the car to hold the spring to the coupler.


Title: Re: bachmann to tyco couplers/controllers
Post by: Len on December 27, 2014, 02:32:34 PM
I use regular sewing thread with a bit of bee's wax rubbed in to stiffen it. You'll find the wax with the thread in most grocery stores. And I run it through the length of the spring, and never had any problem pulling it out after installing the spring. YMMV.

Len


Title: Re: bachmann to tyco couplers/controllers
Post by: jbrock27 on December 27, 2014, 02:45:05 PM
The ticket sounds like the bees wax.  Thank you again Len !


Title: Re: bachmann to tyco couplers/controllers
Post by: Doneldon on December 27, 2014, 11:45:35 PM
Jim-

It's not difficult at all. You just slide the thread across the spring
and maybe wrap around once and you're ready to go.
                                                                                 -- D


Title: Re: bachmann to tyco couplers/controllers
Post by: Catt on December 28, 2014, 12:24:18 PM
The reason some of us buy those old Bachmann and TYCO cars is we would rather do the modeling ourselves than pay someone else ridiculous prices for stuff that will break off if you handle them very much.By the way those TYCO cars with the solid stirrups were made while General Mills (think cereal) owned the company.


Title: Re: bachmann to tyco couplers/controllers
Post by: jbrock27 on December 28, 2014, 01:35:40 PM
Meow, you can do the same to your little heart's desire on other models that have much better detail and weight that are no where near "ridiculous" prices as you say.  Maybe I should ask you to define reasonable from ridiculous, as in cost?  I understand if these cars are already on hand from some years ago purchase, but would not make it a practice to buy either old Bachmann or TYCO today, in order to do that.  Thanks for the info on the cereal (Meow Mix), but I really could care less who makes them-they are ugly, da cheese and would never buy one. 


Title: Re: bachmann to tyco couplers/controllers
Post by: jward on December 28, 2014, 04:47:09 PM
The reason some of us buy those old Bachmann and TYCO cars is we would rather do the modeling ourselves than pay someone else ridiculous prices for stuff that will break off if you handle them very much.By the way those TYCO cars with the solid stirrups were made while General Mills (think cereal) owned the company.

that was consolidated foods/sara lee who owned tyco. I can understand your point about paying top dollar for cars with fragile details. but you'd have to invest a lot of time and effort just to get a tyco car up to the standards of an athearn or roundhouse kit from the same era. to me, those would be much better candidates for an upgrade, as all they need are some kadees, metal wheels and a little weight. you can get a car which needs half the work, for about the same price at a train show.


Title: Re: bachmann to tyco couplers/controllers
Post by: jbrock27 on December 28, 2014, 05:50:51 PM
In addition to knowing what Catt's standard is for a "ridiculous" price, I would also like to know what brand cars he is referring to with the fragile details.


Title: Re: bachmann to tyco couplers/controllers
Post by: Irbricksceo on December 28, 2014, 08:02:45 PM
Ridiculous Price is subjective. I am not willing to go above 15 for a freight car personally, with a few exceptions however Bachmann cars and many athearns can be had in that area. Likewise, while I dont use them as much, I wanted a passenger train so I got older Athearn cars where I got 4 for 35 bucks. sure, the quality was far lower than newer equipment both in looks and running style, however i felt that laying out 200+ dollars for four coaches was way too much.


Title: Re: bachmann to tyco couplers/controllers
Post by: jbrock27 on December 28, 2014, 09:12:54 PM
Ridiculous Price is subjective.

Of course it is, which is why I asked him what his version of this subjective figure is, as his comment makes little sense until he quantifies it.  I've said, again and just recently, I am not paying $20 for a freight car, new or otherwise.  So their is my "ridiculous".


Title: Re: bachmann to tyco couplers/controllers
Post by: Len on December 28, 2014, 09:13:54 PM
A 'truck tuning' tool http://www.reboxx.com/Tools.htm (http://www.reboxx.com/Tools.htm) does a lot to improve the rolling performance of older cars with plastic trucks. Even if you leave the original wheels in. Micro-Mark also offers a similar tool. Replacing plastic wheels with metal ones also makes a big difference. And can effect how often you have to clean your rails.

I got into refurbishing old Tyco, Life-Like, Athearn, etc., when the uncle who got me into HO as a kid passed away several years ago. He left me three boxes of the stuff, and the first thing I wanted to do was add knuckle couplers. This was before Life-Like came out with their small mounting hole knuckles.

There was definately a learning curve at first. But know I can do the basics, body mount coupler, screw mounted trucks with metal wheels, in about an hour. Cars I decide to go all the way with, trim off the molded detail and install wire grabs, etc., take an afternoon. Not counting repainting. I don't do a lot of those, when the trains moving you don't really notice anyway.


Now I pick up the Tyco, etc., cars for $1 or so at the local train shows and refurbish them for kids who don't have the skills, or budget, yet.

Len


Title: Re: bachmann to tyco couplers/controllers
Post by: jbrock27 on December 28, 2014, 09:22:08 PM
Len, I agree with your whole first paragraph.  I have the Micro-Mark version-a very good tool, handy especially if you are going to modify, tune up or revamp any cars that have plastic trucks.


Title: Re: bachmann to tyco couplers/controllers
Post by: wiley209 on December 28, 2014, 09:36:58 PM
The original poster mentioned having "powerful" TYCO locomotives. What kind were they? Most TYCO diesels made until 1975 came with the Mantua MU-2 truck-mount drive, which was a pretty good motor. TYCO diesels and any newly-released steam engines (like their Chattanooga ones of the time) had their PowerTorque motor, which was a crummy pancake motor (sort of like the pancake motors seen on older Bachmann locomotives) that was famous for being rather unreliable. In other words, the PowerTorque drive apparently killed TYCO's model train business.
I do like TYCO's rolling stock. I've upgraded most of them with knuckle couplers, either using the Life-Like ones, or by using E-Z Mate couplers with Kadee talgo truck adapters. Whichever one is used, the whiskers do need a bit of trimming on the ends so they will fit nicely into those Hong Kong-made talgo coupler pockets. A few of them I've even upgraded to metal wheels, and it's made quite a difference.


Title: Re: bachmann to tyco couplers/controllers
Post by: ACY on December 28, 2014, 09:52:22 PM
I do like TYCO's rolling stock. I've upgraded most of them with knuckle couplers, either using the Life-Like ones, or by using E-Z Mate couplers with Kadee talgo truck adapters. Whichever one is used, the whiskers do need a bit of trimming on the ends so they will fit nicely into those Hong Kong-made talgo coupler pockets. A few of them I've even upgraded to metal wheels, and it's made quite a difference.
Why upgrade a piece of rolling stock that is not very detailed when you can buy one cheaply that has more detail and requires minimal work?
Bachmann economy line rolling stock and Athearn kits have better detail than most if not all Tyco rolling stock (not counting any that was actually metal and made by Mantua). They both also lend themselves to easy Kadee coupler installation. Tyco cars have plastic bolsters which are unreliable, have talgo trucks (truck mounted couplers), plastic wheels, X2F couplers and are not detailed. Bachmann economy line and Athearn Blue Box kits both have decent trucks that accept metal wheels without using a truck tuner which you often need for Tyco. I can't think of a single advantage to using Tyco rolling stock except for if it was of sentimental value.


Title: Re: bachmann to tyco couplers/controllers
Post by: jbrock27 on December 28, 2014, 11:05:47 PM
I've upgraded most of them with knuckle couplers, either using the Life-Like ones...

Life-Like makes knuckle couplers?


I would not go through the expense of buying Kadee talgo truck adapters for TYCO freight cars.  I have to agree with ACY for the most part.  While I would not say no TYCO car is ever worth upgrading, I would say most are NOT and most are not worth buying during these times.  The few I have done, were mine bought and paid for about 35 years ago and they made good test subjects for my upgrading.  I would rather save up my $$ and buy 2 decent cars, than have 4 TYCO ones for the same cost. 
I think regardless of whether you are upgrading older, cheap stuff, the truck tuning tool is worth having in the train tool box.


Title: Re: bachmann to tyco couplers/controllers
Post by: jjdog33 on December 29, 2014, 10:41:02 AM
Wiley;  The Tyco engines are as follows:  The GP 20, the Plymouth Yard diesel, and the F-9 diesel.  I don't know what motors are in them, all I know is that they easily outpull the engine that comes with the Bachmann overland limited set. 


Title: Re: bachmann to tyco couplers/controllers
Post by: Len on December 29, 2014, 11:34:19 AM
I've upgraded most of them with knuckle couplers, either using the Life-Like ones...

Life-Like makes knuckle couplers?


Yes. http://www.walthers.com/exec/productinfo/433-1427 (http://www.walthers.com/exec/productinfo/433-1427)

They are designed to be direct replacements for the horn-hooks with the small mounting hole use in old Bachmann, Tyco, Life-Like, etc. cars with talgo mounted horn-hook couplers. For Tyco, and a couple of others, you need to clip 1/16" - 1/8" off the end of the whiskers to fit the coupler box correctly and not bind.

Len


Title: Re: bachmann to tyco couplers/controllers
Post by: jbrock27 on December 29, 2014, 11:44:31 AM
Once again, thank you for the info Len.   You are a wealth of information.  Do they employ a metal knuckle spring or plastic one? 
I did not know about these as I do not bother to install knuckle couplers in Talgo trucks.  I also don't reuse Talgo trucks but rather, replace them with real trucks.  I save any replaced Talgos for scenery.

jdog, how much do these locos weigh compared to the Bachmann one?  And how do they sound when they are running?


Title: Re: bachmann to tyco couplers/controllers
Post by: ALCO0001 on December 29, 2014, 12:45:19 PM
Some of the old tyco cars are unique and a good thing to practice your skill to build them up , there is no such thing as junk ,just some are better then others and we as model railroader that have acquired skills through trial and error and I myself would emphasize error , but we learn from that and it is a good thing to build rather then just RTR .So rater then per say throw the junk out like some would say  and many would agree ,take a little time and look over some old articles from model railroader or any of the others to see what can be done building some of these older jems .Some of them seems to have good detail but is covered up with a scale 3 inches of paint.I have dunked a few in a jar of brake fluid to strip them down to find a very good mold to start ,add couplers wheels , trucks ,paint and decal and the reward is great in having something unique that nobody else has and that you did it yourself!Also if it is a good runner that is what matters in the hobby .
jACK


Title: Re: bachmann to tyco couplers/controllers
Post by: Len on December 29, 2014, 12:56:47 PM
jbrock27 - Unfortunately the LL knucles use plastic springs. So don't park a train going down hill, so the couplers are pushed open, and leave it over night. The spring will take a set, and not keep the knucle closed. Sort of like the original EZ-Mate couplers. Other than that, they work fine until you get around to upgrading to body mounted couplers. Even backing moves are less likely to derail than using horn-hooks.

ALCO0001 - Couldn't agree more. If nothing else, you don't have to worry about practicing your modeling techniques on a $1 Tyco car before getting into upgrading old Bachmann, Athearn, etc.

Len
 


Title: Re: bachmann to tyco couplers/controllers
Post by: jbrock27 on December 29, 2014, 01:15:58 PM
Some may be Jack, as I have said as much, but sorry to disagree, but there is such a thing as junk.
Try using 91% Isopropyl Alchohol as a paint stripper, it works very well on plastic Athearn loco bodies.  Don't know why it would not work on plastic car bodies.

Thanks Len ; one added reason to pass on them.


Title: Re: bachmann to tyco couplers/controllers
Post by: Doneldon on December 29, 2014, 01:52:03 PM
...while I dont use them as much, I wanted a passenger train so I got older Athearn cars where I got 4 for 35 bucks. sure, the quality was far lower than newer equipment both in looks and running style, however i felt that laying out 200+ dollars for four coaches was way too much.

Irb-

Believe it or not, this is a time to be looking at brass! While Walthers asks $60-70-80 for plastic cars (no lights or interiors on most), you can usually find Balboa, Soho, Westside or other brands of brass passenger cars on eBay. These have great factory paint, lights and seats. Most will have adequate metal trucks and wheels but no couplers. On occasion, you might find Central Valley trucks with snap off bolster mounts. I've often seen five-car sets in the $100 area. The Tenshodo "shortie" lightweights can be found for around $10 each.

Heavyweights (Lambert or equivalent) usually cost more. Forty dollars per car isn't unheard of, but you will likely need trucks and couplers at that price point. And the heavies are unlikely to be factory painted or even painted at all.

These older brass models are unquestioningly superior to plastic in detail, paint an operating characteristics, especially the lightweights. They are also much more durable. Don't expect Coach Yard, W and R, Overland, Division Point or Glacier Park level models at these prices (or anything Harriman for some reason) but you'll find lots of cars to make a sleek lightweight train for a very reasonable price. You won't find everything everyday, of course, but some careful shopping and a little patience can really pay off.
                -- D


Title: Re: bachmann to tyco couplers/controllers
Post by: Irbricksceo on December 29, 2014, 10:19:37 PM
Wow, who knew brass ever became economical! I've often admired some of the nicer brass Locomotives, They sit on my list of things I would love to be able to have.

I'm enjoy Wiley's ongoing post where he shows his layout, he's done some great things with older models, both locomotives/rolling stock and scenery. I didn't know Tyco ever made Locomotives with any sort of quality actually, I had an old tyco I acquired for free and it could barely pull itself!

I will say this, if you are going to do any sort of upgrades, go for the metal wheels. The difference in what you can pull and the smoothness of operation is obvious. The coaches I got are an excellent example. Each axle has one metal wheel and one plastic wheel. This was for lighting kits. These cars make a lot of noise and are nowhere near as free-rolling  as my freight cars. My SY 2-8-2 can't haul three of em on level track yet it can easily deal with my silver series freight cars.


Title: Re: bachmann to tyco couplers/controllers
Post by: wiley209 on December 29, 2014, 10:26:59 PM
They are designed to be direct replacements for the horn-hooks with the small mounting hole use in old Bachmann, Tyco, Life-Like, etc. cars with talgo mounted horn-hook couplers. For Tyco, and a couple of others, you need to clip 1/16" - 1/8" off the end of the whiskers to fit the coupler box correctly and not bind.

Len


Yep, I learned that was the case for TYCO and the Hong Kong-made Life-Like cars. For A.H.M., newer Life-Like and I.H.C. cars you don't need to do any trimming. Though I haven't really been able to install them on the old Bachmann cars yet; their horn-hook couplers have an odd-sized hole that's held in by a screw.

I remember another problem serious model railroaders have with TYCO's freight cars is how some came in fictional brand names and such. The only one I have for layout use is a Baby Ruth reefer, like this:
(http://tycotrain.tripod.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/tyco_355c_bill_reefer_babyruth.jpg)

Though to be fair, during this time Bachmann also had similar cars showing off brands like that. But that was when TYCO was one of Bachmann's biggest rivals.


Title: Re: bachmann to tyco couplers/controllers
Post by: Irbricksceo on December 29, 2014, 11:45:39 PM
Interestingly, while having box cars like that is incorrect, Reefer cars from that era would perfectly at home. Reefers were usually privately owned by companies that specialized in them and had ads for the companies using them on their sides. In the 30's, the ICC banned those ads.


Title: Re: bachmann to tyco couplers/controllers
Post by: Len on December 30, 2014, 01:05:51 AM
Wiley,

For the old Bachmann cars with the odd size hole in the horn hook, drill out the Life-Like coupler mounting hole. There's enough extra plastic around the hole to do it.

I haven't done one in a while, so don't remember the drill size off the top of my head. If you have a set of 'number' drill bits, find the one with a shank that just fits the LL coupler mounting hole. Use the next larger size to drill out the hole, and the Bachmann mounting screws should fit. If not, go up one more size.

Len


Title: Re: bachmann to tyco couplers/controllers
Post by: jbrock27 on December 30, 2014, 09:13:08 AM
The above Baby Ruth car is a perfect example of a car with filled/molded in stirrups.  It totally takes away any redeeming qualities the car may have had.  If anyone can tell me how to improve that look w/o spending as much as the car cost, I am all ears.


Title: Re: bachmann to tyco couplers/controllers
Post by: Len on December 30, 2014, 09:34:46 AM
The above Baby Ruth car is a perfect example of a car with filled/molded in stirrups.  It totally takes away any redeeming qualities the car may have had.  If anyone can tell me how to improve that look w/o spending as much as the car cost, I am all ears.

You need a pin vice, small drill bit, and jewelers file set. Combine with a bit of patience, and voila! Open stirrups.

If you're in a hurry, and have a lot of those type cars, a mini-drill press used at low speed is handy. But not absolutely essential.

Len


Title: Re: bachmann to tyco couplers/controllers
Post by: jbrock27 on December 30, 2014, 10:08:45 AM
Thank you Len.  That was my initial thought, thanks for confirming.  It is possible to use a hobby knife, #11 blade, to do some trimming after the initial hole is made?


Title: Re: bachmann to tyco couplers/controllers
Post by: jbrock27 on December 30, 2014, 10:10:57 AM
I didn't know Tyco ever made Locomotives with any sort of quality actually...

Brick, you didn't know bc they are so understandably rare :D


Title: Re: bachmann to tyco couplers/controllers
Post by: Len on December 30, 2014, 11:20:48 AM
Thank you Len.  That was my initial thought, thanks for confirming.  It is possible to use a hobby knife, #11 blade, to do some trimming after the initial hole is made?

You might be able to drill a hole in each corner, then score between the holes with the #11 blade and clean up with the files. Since I ran a train repair shop for 14 years, I invested in one of those mini-drill presses a while back. With that I just drill rows of holes around the edges, trim a bit with a knife, and clean up with the files.

Even when doing it by hand, I take the body off and use a block of wood as a "backer" when I'm drilling to keep the stirrup from snapping off.

Len


Title: Re: bachmann to tyco couplers/controllers
Post by: jbrock27 on December 30, 2014, 09:15:35 PM
Thank you again Len.  Yes, when I do work on this, I planned on using a piece of wood for a backer.  A good suggestion.