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Hello. I have been wondering how can build a steam locomotive with front traditional O gauge couplers that center on their own. Self centering coupler plates can be pretty expencive, so how can I modify a dummy coupler to center itself? This would also work with the MPC bobber cabooses. Some pics would be nice. thanks.

Last edited by Matt Bollinger
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You need to provide a lever on the coupling, either the coupler shaft itself between coupler knuckle and  the pivot point or add a lever after the pivot point if you have enough room.

Then you need to provide a motivate means to each side of the lever, like two weak springs or two pieces of elastic cord.  They should be attached to the lever and to two anchor points one on each side of the lever.  

You might also use one thin piece of weak flexible springy metal as the new lever and provide a limiter on each side of the lever to provide the anchor while letting the lever move lengthwise.

There is not a single solution that will work on every coupler.  You will get to be innovative and creative.

I have had some success adding two pieces of elastic cord on each side of the coupler shaft on a switcher engine.  Examine the front coupling of your switcher engines, if you have any, for examples


Last edited by Choo Choo Charlie

I don't have a photo, but my go-to method is pretty simple; as stated above, no single solution will work well everywhere.

I bend a strip (1/4" wide or so) of relatively thin brass in a flat-bottomed "U" shape, slip it under the coupler shaft and attach the flat bottom to the car or loco frame with Goo or epoxy (Goo seems fine). You will have to play with the brass thickness, "U" width, appearance and so forth. They seem to work fine. If one ever fails or falls off, it is simple to re-attach or replace.

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