Model train nostalgia - coupler holder repair

This is a part of Model train nostalgia site.

[coupler holder 1]

One of the common problems with model trains is a missing coupler. If the coupler is just broken, the replacement part can be easily obtained and the replacement procedure is usually straightforward. Indeed, in some cases the latter requires disassembly of the undercarriage, a rather tedious and complicated process.

[coupler holder 2]

In a more unfortunate case, just like for this Mehano undercarriage, a part of the undercarriage is chipped off. Here we see the pin that goes into the coupler hole, but the plastic part that keeps the coupler in place is missing.

[coupler holder 3]

The coupler holder is in fact a plastic strip, which is an extension of the undercarriage box. The location where plastic strip has chipped off is just barely visible on the box.

[coupler holder 4]

In order to make a repair, I cut a strip of 0.5mm thick copper with dimensions 6.5mm x 18mm and bent it into the L form 14mm (4mm) from the edge. On the other hand, I created a rectangular hole of dimension 6.5mm x 1.5mm on the undercarriage box at the place of the missing coupler holder. To create a hole, I drilled a couple of 1.5mm holes and connected them together.

[coupler holder 5]

Then I pushed the copper strip with a shorter end through the hole and glue it to the undercarriage box from inside using a two component adhesive.

[coupler holder 6]

After assembly of the undercarriage, the metal strip holds the coupler in the place. The Achiles heel of the undercarriage has become the strongest point.

[coupler holder 7]

The locomotive is ready for a ride!

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