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I've got 6 MDC covered hoppers on which I'd like to install #1 gauge Kadee couplers so as to be compatible with my 1/32 scale locos and other cars.

Cutting off the MDC coupler is the easy part.

The problem for which I don't see an immediate solution is that the "coupler pocket" molded into the car body is used as the primary location and support of the car frame. If I just cut off the "tang" on the frame that enters the pocket, I lose a major piece of the frame-to-body connection and strength.

The pocket is at just about the correct height to couple with 1/32 scale locos and cars, so it would be nice to be able to use it.

Does anyone have a nice tidy installation that I can copy?
 

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I made my own knuckle couplers from so "O" gauge stuff, mounted in a rectangular brass tubing. I could mount the tubing to either the top of the tang on the wheel truck (where the MDC hook'n'loop one were attached with a screw) or a single screw into the bottom of the body directly under the simulated pocket you speak of. Both types end up at the correct height to mate with the coupler on the tender of my Aster Mikes. I would assume the Kadee's would fit under the pocket just as well.
 

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Jeff

A body mount solution that has been used on about 100 MDC hoppers (that I know about) is below:

1] remove trucks and cut off the talgo mount for the hook-and-loops
2] separate the under frame from the body shell (hopper)
3] file the bottom side of the plastic tab/slot that holds the under frame to the shell so that the bottom is FLUSH with the bottom of the under frame
4] mount a Kadee #1836 #1 coupler (has a small vetical offset so the coupler shank is lower thyan the center of the coupler) to the under frame. The box should almost be flush with the end of the tab that inserts into the body shell. I mount the box using two crews on the centerline of the car. The front screw will almost hit the body shell. I use the 2-56 screws that come with the couplers and Loctite the nut so the coupler doesn't get vibrated loose. If you install the common Kadee 820 with a straight shank, the couplers will be too low for the standard.

The couplers will be just a little high for the standard centerline height of 1 and 1/16th in if you leave the oversize MDC plastic wheels on the trucks. If you use Gary raymond 1/32 wheels or Sierra Valley #3 wheels you will at the the standard height.

This conversion takes about 15 minutes for the first one, less than 10 after you know where to drill the holes in the under frame for the 2-56 screws

Good luck

Jim
 
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