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Author Topic: Changing from Rapido to magnetic couplers  (Read 12517 times)
Ron Zee

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« 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
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Ken G Price


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« Reply #1 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.
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Ken G Price N-Scale out west. 1995-1996 or so! UP, SP, MoPac.
Pictures Of My Layout, http://s567.photobucket.com/albums/ss115/kengprice/
skipgear


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« Reply #2 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.
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Tony Hines

Modeling the B&O in Loveland, OH 1947-1950
mhampton
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« Reply #3 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.
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Desertdweller

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« Reply #4 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
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RGW

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« Reply #5 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   
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Ron Zee

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« Reply #6 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?
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Franz T

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« Reply #7 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..)
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Franz T

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« Reply #8 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 Grin. 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...
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Desertdweller

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« Reply #9 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
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Ron Zee

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« Reply #10 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.
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GoCanes

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« Reply #11 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)
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Ron Zee

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« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2012, 04:40:51 PM »

Is there a part number for these trucks you mention?
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Bucksco

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« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2012, 09:24:53 AM »

42534 - Friction Bearing Freight Trucks (without wheels)
42535 - Roller Bearing Freight Trucks (without wheels)
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Ron Zee

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« Reply #14 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,,,, Grin
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