Best N scale cars for switching?

Decided to return to N scale. Any opinions on the the best rolling stock for switching. No long "let 'em run" trains here.
Years ago, MRC (or MDC?) made great boxcars - they had some weight to them, and great wheels.
A lot a freight cars to seem to be well-detailed, but are as light as a feather. MTL cars are detailed great, but seem too light. Athearns new cars seem terrific, but have plastic wheels (?).
Any thoughts?
Thanks.
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Weston spake thus:

Yes; it's trivially easy to add weight to, and change wheels on, any rolling stock.
And it was MDC (Model Die Casting, aka Roundhouse) you're think of.
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Weston wrote:

Buy yourself a set of postal scales and some lead and weight your wagons up to the weight of those that you consider to run best. Plastic wheels are actually more likely to be correctly spaced than metal wheels and therefore usually run better. On the down side they collect rail gunk more quickly and therefore need cleaning regularly.
The manufacturers job is to produce models that sell well - that means appearance, packaging and _adequate_ operating qualities. Hell, if the manufacturers got it right the smaller industries producing couplers, wheels, trucks and details would go out of business and all the people who say "wow, how do you get your trains to run so well?" would have no-one to look up to.
Regards, Greg.P. NZ
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------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
When MRC (Model Rectifier Corp.) offered their N scale trains, some of their freight cars had metal bottoms. These were made by Sekisui (Kato, Japan) around 1970. The early Con-Cor freight cars were also made by Sekisui and had metal bottoms. MDC/Roundhouse cars came along later in the seventies and offered unpainted metal bottoms.
Bill Bill's Railroad Empire http://www.billsrailroad.net
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com says...

------
NMRA recommended practice says that an n scale car should weigh .5oz plus .15 oz per inch of body length. I just weighed a 50' Roundhouse boxcar w/MT trucks and body mounted couplers; it weighed in at 1 oz even. NMRA says it should weigh 1.08 oz... pretty close! Their Husky Stack cars are a whole different story!
fl@liner
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Weston wrote:

Check nmra.org for recommended weights for N scale cars. It's a good guide.
For good switching you need good track, with no humps and bumps and twists; all couplers mounted at exactly the same height above rail; no mixing of truck mounted and body mounted couplers; and good engines. Car weights in my experience are less likely to be a problem than those three factors. Most important in car weights is consistency.
The main issue with switching N scale cars is _un_coupling. Magnetic knuckle couplers work fairly well, but are not as reliable as in HO scale. I do not recommend Rapido couplers, but some people have had good results with them.
--
Wolf
'Just because it's true doesn't mean it's the right answer.'
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*snip*

I was having good results with a skewer and knuckle couplers.
Puckdropper
--
Wise is the man who attempts to answer his question before asking it.

To email me directly, send a message to puckdropper (at) fastmail.fm
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For what it's worth, I've found Micro-Trains couplers are the smoothest operating.
== Quote from Puckdropper ( snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com)'s article

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For what it's worth, I've found Micro-trains couplers are generally reliable and probably the smoothest of the lot.
== Quote from Puckdropper ( snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com)'s article

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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com says...

Virtually all n scale rolling stock is underweight. Get a digital scale and some shot and get busy. You'll be surprised how much better your cars track.
fl@liner
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First, thanks to all of you for replying. Some pretty good, and honest answers here.
Can I follow up by asking about the difference between Accumate and Micro-Trains couplers? Is it really a big deal? Do they work together OK?
And some modellers swear they never put magnteic uncouplers on mainline track. Do many modellers out there use those electric under-the-track uncouplers made by Kadee?
Thanks for your replies.

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Micro-Trains (MT) couplers are the "real thing". All others are copies. If you like to operate and automatically uncouple, MT ones are the best. Especially when lubbed with a puff of graphite lubricant (and left unpainted of course).
All the other "clone" couplers are compatible with MT couplers but aren't quite as smooth in operation. Their springs are bit stiffer, so they don't operate very smoothly. At least in my experience.
And weight of a car is not all that important for switching layouts. It is more important when running very long trains (especially over curving or uneven track) over the main line.
Peteski
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I am building my first N scale layout and I just converted my loco and one freight car with MT couplers. Now as I watch the train go by, it looks like an inchworm. It's like the wheels on the car don't roll good enough and it causes the coupler to stretch out and then snap forward.
I've been reluctant to purchase any more of them because of this. Is this normal and is there a fix for it?
Also, why do you not suggest painting the coupler? I really hate that bright metal look on the coupler (the trip pin). I was at a train show lately and I noticed a lot of N scale cars had the bright metal showing on the couplers. I thought they had just been hastily put together for the show, but now I'm not sure.
If they have to be that way, I may go back to HO scale.
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CATHY KELLER wrote:

It's because the truck-mounted Micro Trains couplers' springs are in compression when the cars are hauled. The best solution is to convert to body-mounted #1015 couplers that have the spring built in differently. Have a look at http://www.modelbaneteknik.dk/n-scale/kobl/konvert-e.htm for some descriptions of coupler conversions.

When buying Micro Trains #1015 couplers in bulk packs the trip pins come blackened, that's very good. Most assembled couplers I have bought, have the ghastly bright trip pins. I think it is possible to paint the bright trip pins using more layers of matt paint very sparingly. I'll have to try it some time as I have some of them, too.
--
Venlig hilsen / best regards
Erik Olsen
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Thanks for the reply!
You just answered my next question too. I was wondering which was better, the truck mounted coupler or the body mounted coupler.
I was thinking the truck mount was OK because it's not that noticeable in N scale, and it would allow coupling in a curve since it would allow the couplers to stay in alignment.
But now I see I am going to have to go the other way. I'm glad I've only converted on freight car so far.

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On Sun, 08 Jul 2007 16:39:16 GMT, "CATHY KELLER"

FWIW, I have painted all trip pins on my couplers and I have had no problems with them.. You might be better off using body mount couplers, the spring set-up is different so that you are not pulling against the spring. Also, body mounts are more reliable, especially when backing longer trains. As an added bonus, they are MUCH cheaper, you can get 3 ten packs of 1015's for less than 1 ten pack of trucks. You will have to assemble them, but M-T sells a jig for that. HTH,
Franz T
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I didn't write not to paint the trip pin. I wrote not to paint the coupler. Big difference. As someone already mentioned, some couplers have blackened trip pins. If one has the copper color, it can be safely painted.
The couplers are made from very slippery plastic. That property gives them the easy coupling/uncoupling ability.
But sice the couplers are molded in shiny black finish, many modelers paint them rust color (to make them look more realistic). Usually using matt paint. Doing that defeats their ability to work well during coupling/uncoupling operations. They still work, just not as smoothly.
If someone is really interested in frequent and dependable coupling/ uncoupling (as on a switching layout), then unpainted couplers work the best.
Peteski
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That makes sense.
The couplers are so small that I would probably never paint that part of the coupler anyway.
But I just couldn't understand why I was seeing entire 50 car trains running around an otherwise great modular layouts with these bright shiny trip pins at the train show. It really had a negative impact on the scene they were trying to create.
wrote:

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wrote:

I work in HO scale, but.... You could use 'blacken it' to dull the trip pins. or a wash of a dark rust. The trick is to keep the fluid outside of the moving parts of the coupler. I use a blue paint marker on my HO equipment so I can find it in a yard full of other's rolling stock. The paint does not interfere with the magnet. You might try that on one end and see if the paint has any effect.
--

Frank Rosenbaum
Please note my new email address: farosenbaum at comcast dot net.
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Peter W. spake thus (regarding the business of painting couplers):

Wouldn't it be OK to paint just the outside of the couplers, taking care not to get paint on any of the working/sliding surfaces? After all, it's only the knuckes that make contact. Then they would both look good and work well.
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