1. Bookbear1

    Bookbear1 TrainBoard Supporter

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    I am at my wits end, and ready to throw a pair of perfectly good Kato n scale F3's in the trash.:cry::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad:

    I successfully converted them to DCC, but the front couplers have fallen to pieces. I simply CANNOT get them back together, and an engine w/o couplers is worthless. To be clear, I am always going to be running these as a pair, ao at least one front coupler MUST function.

    Can I just junk the couplers and used some other coupler, MTL or??? I am only seeing 1128 as an option on the Mircotrains site, and it doesn't appear that it would actually work for a front coupler. (the back couplers are not a problem).

    Any help would be appreciated.
    Mark
     
  2. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Mark,
    Try this! It's a static coupler, meaning you cannot magnetically uncouple it, but the ol' 0-5-0 will do that nicely. It's great for covered wagon lashups, unit trains, and other sets that you don't want to come uncoupled. http://www.foxvalleymodels.com/images/FVM51060.JPG
     
    Hardcoaler likes this.
  3. Bookbear1

    Bookbear1 TrainBoard Supporter

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    Thanks! I'm not interested in magnetic coupling, so static would be fine... but will that coupler fit in the front of the n scale Kato F3??
     
  4. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Not sure, but I used them on my IM F7s.
     
  5. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Mark, have you looked at Kato’s site: http://katousa.com/N/general/Fcoupler.html

    These do take a bit of patience, at first, and it is almost always the spring in the clip which is the problem. I assume it isn’t he coupler, itself causing you problems
     
    MK likes this.
  6. Nick Lorusso

    Nick Lorusso TrainBoard Member

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    Mark the MTL front coupler is a 2004. Hopes this helps.
     
  7. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member

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    Usually a MT 2004 coupler fits the front of Kato E and F units. The 1128 coupler is for the rear of the A units and the B units.
     
  8. NorsemanJack

    NorsemanJack TrainBoard Member

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    Don't give up!! Getting those Kato couplers back into the pilots can be a bit of a challenge, especially for those of us with old/fat fingers. There are really only four parts involved (two coupler halves, spring and clip), but it takes at least three hands to do it. My only helpful hint is to remove the foam from the Kato jewel case and use it as a cradle to hold the locomotive upside down (that mostly removes the need for the third hand). After that, it's mostly trial and error. If you're not a proud man, you could ask a younger person to give it a shot. I haven't (yet) asked my daughter, but that day may come. It may be a "bonding" moment. LOL. Give it another shot and come back and tell us how it goes. You'll receive today's "he didn't give up" award and be well respected by all!
     
    Joe Lovett and MK like this.
  9. ns737

    ns737 TrainBoard Supporter

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    Micro-Trains N 00141050 (2000-1) Coupler Conversion Kit for Kato E8/9, PA-1 A, and F3/7
     
  10. Bookbear1

    Bookbear1 TrainBoard Supporter

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    Thanks, but that is not the coupler that came with the units. The couplers (which fell apart in 4 pieces when the shell was carefully removed) are Kato knuckle couplers, not the rapido type as pictured in the link. I am trying to reassemble the couplers (both F units pilot couplers). It appears to be impossible.
     
  11. Bookbear1

    Bookbear1 TrainBoard Supporter

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    Ha! :LOL: Thanks for the encouragement. Poor eyesight and fat fingers here. I am using a lighted magnifying gooseneck lens with "helping hands". No joy. I have spent well over 6 hours on this. The really sad thing is that the decoder install on both units went fine, and they run perfectly, with really smooth low speed crawl. No jackrabbit starts, either. But, without couplers (these will always be run as a two unit consist).... not much point.
     
  12. Bookbear1

    Bookbear1 TrainBoard Supporter

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    I finally found these about 10 min. before you post, but I thank you. It says they come 'assembled' Gods, I hope so.
     
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  13. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    The coupler spring is the same , whether for Rapido or Kato knuckle.
     
  14. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

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  15. NorsemanJack

    NorsemanJack TrainBoard Member

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    The difference being that the rapido is one piece that is easy to hold onto with fat fingers. Not so much with the tiny KATO two piece short shank coupler. I’m so danged stubborn that I refused to be beat by a kato coupler. It does get easier the more you do it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2020
  16. Bookbear1

    Bookbear1 TrainBoard Supporter

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    'Zactly!
     
  17. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

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    I made my own coupler jig. 2 pieces to assemble the coupler on and a curved dental pick and an Exacto Knife to set the spring. I will dig it out tomorrow and snap a pic.
     
    BNSF FAN likes this.
  18. atsf_arizona

    atsf_arizona TrainBoard Supporter

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    Hi, Bookbear1,

    For what it's worth, I used the Micro-Trains 2004 on the front of my Kato F units. It looks rather over sized but from a performance, ease of coupling, ease of swivel so as to not knock the car trailing the loco off the track, that's been my best coupler for the trailing Kato F unit nose end.

    Here's one link to a couple of our advertisers , I'm sure our other advertisers here could help you as well:

    https://www.fiferhobby.com/micro-trains-n-scale-conversion-couplers/ (search for "Micro-Trains 2004-1 couplers (short shank) assembled body mount Kato 2 Pair Part # MT00102052 (2004-1)

    Note: Don't get the MT00102051, that is same coupler but un-assembled.

    From an appearance standpoint, as others have stated, the MT Z scale 905 definitely looks better. It has less swing than the 2004, so that is the coupler I might put on the front of the Kato F unit that most often is the forward unit.

    Hope this helps.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2020
    MK likes this.

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