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I purchased an MTH drawbar collar directly from MTH and attached it to the tender post of my MTH premier big boy.  It seems to work better than heat shrink tubing. Has anyone had the same results with this MTH fix, and if so, does it hold up very long? Just curious to see what thoughts are out there on this issue.


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I hope the above photos help? The MTH part number is FB0000014, wireless drawbar (6P) (45mm) (vertical pug). Midge at MTH was, as always, very helpful in tracking my order down for me. I'm really hoping that this is a more permanent fix to the drawbar slipping issue. I've tried sink washers with some success and shrink tubing, with even more success, but this one is new to me, and since MTH manufactured them, I'm hoping for a longer running period before the collar slips down the tender post.

Not free, but this is what I gleaned from the MTH order site; when I typed in the product number that was on my order receipt, (FB-0000014), it led me to a 6-pin wireless drawbar, (see below), then to the drawbar collar #FB-0000015. The collar seems to work well, at least for now. Clem K's use of plastic tubing sounds good too. Thanks to all for the great comments.
Wireless Drawbar Cover

(plastic) (for 6-pin wireless drawbar) (42.0mm long) (is placed directly on the wireless drawbar) (for FB-0000014) product # FB-0000015

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I had this problem with my MTH Proto-3 PRR J1 for several years. Needless to say, it was very annoying. The worst experience was when the engine stalled out in the middle of my longest tunnel.

I spoke to the MTH team at the last October York Meet and they sent me several of these collars at no cost. I have yet to try one out, but I am optimistic that at long last there is a solution.


I've placed the collars on a big boy and on the challenger. For now, both seem to work well. MTH charged me $2.00 for each collar. If they keep on working, I'll order more. I believe if and when I have to remove the collar for servicing, I might lesson the collars strength. So having extra collar is a good fell safe. It's nice to know that MTH was so supportive of you. Thanks for the comment. Best, Lou

I’ve used the MTH part for about a year with no problems.  Before that, I used cable ties…still do on PS2 steamers with the wireless drawbar.  They aren’t easy to take off so I don’t think there will be a problem with them falling off.  And I do believe they are supplied with new steamers.  They are shown in some of the newer manuals.

Unfortunately, it only solves half the problem.  I've got one or two locos where the front plug at the cab comes loose on occasion.

Last edited by Lehigh74
@AlanRail posted:

the real issue is transmitting electrical signals thru a very thin moving connector while still looking scale.

The drawbar connector has to be small and permit "up-down and side to side" movement while still keeping contact with the connected ends.

LNL solved this issue with a sort of bulky optical connector.


Best description of the MTH drawbar connector issue I have heard. Accurate and succinct. I have yet to find a failproof solution for it. Whatever one may feel about the design of the Lionel connector, what I like about it is that it works flawlessly.


My Railking Imperial Berkshire came with one of these in the box. I believe it was from the 2017 run.

The manual said it was only needed if you have elevation changes on your layout so I never used it.

It stops running from time to time so I would reconnect the drawbar connector and I'm good for a little while.

Now I realize I need to use this drawbar collar next time I run it and I should be good.


Last edited by B rad
@Geojr posted:

Is the drawbar a replacement for the tether cord between loco and tender?? They are areal pain - the tethers that is!

Yes and no??!!

By that, I mean yes, they wanted to get away from the tether so at some point a major design change happened and engines after that production date are designed with wireless PCB drawbar systems. Again, this design is integral to the chassis and is signifcantly different so you are not going to just buy some kit and retrofit an engine with a tether.

Both systems have drawbacks.

Chief issue with the drawbar system is the connectors at both ends and just general pulling stress on the drawbar system.

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