Remove of Lionel Thumbtacks

I picked up a bunch of Lionel Husky Stacks. They look terrific and run well but there is one problem, those thumbtacks under the coupler.  I can’t not see them.  They have to go.

Anyone have a good method of removing the thumbtack while keeping the arm that is required to keep the knuckle closed?  I used a hacksaw on one of them.  It wasn't easy or quick.  I don’t look forward to repeating that 19 more times.

Thanks,

George

Original Post

They new trucks and thump-tack couplers sure are horrible. The good news going forward, however, after talking to Ryan Kunkle at the Amherst Train Show, is that Lionel recognizes the mistake they made and will return to their die-cast sprung trucks and couplers with hidden uncoupling tabs, although it will likely be a gradual transition. The first step we will see will be with the freight-sounds PS-1 Boxcars in the current catalogue, which will probably have the current trucks, but will have couplers with hidden uncoupling tabs.  Based upon that, I ordered a couple of them, the first time I have ordered any new Lionel scale rolling stock since the decision to scrap the former trucks and couplers.

Most all of the armatures used are made of sheet steel and can bent without breaking. Lionel's newest ones are made of die cast and will break if bent. Not normally an issue but just know you have to be more careful when handling them.

Another lesson learned at the school of hard knocks.

Pete

"mistake they made and will return to their die-cast sprung trucks and couplers with hidden uncoupling tabs"

Oh, great - does this mean that the enormously-long coupler shafts will return so that their freight cars are about 100 yards apart again? Hard to watch; won't do. And the construction was rather delicate. Then there are the air hoses that get in the way of the tabs. (Snip. Snip.)

A tucked-under thumbtack is the proper way to go; short shafts, fixable, more durable and usable than the tab-type. K-Line (as usual) figured that out.

Those long shafts...trains don't look like that.

D500 posted:

"mistake they made and will return to their die-cast sprung trucks and couplers with hidden uncoupling tabs"

Oh, great - does this mean that the enormously-long coupler shafts will return so that their freight cars are about 100 yards apart again? Hard to watch; won't do. And the construction was rather delicate. Then there are the air hoses that get in the way of the tabs. (Snip. Snip.)

A tucked-under thumbtack is the proper way to go; short shafts, fixable, more durable and usable than the tab-type. K-Line (as usual) figured that out.

Those long shafts...trains don't look like that.

Sounds like your issue is with the "lobster claw" couplers that have been used for over 50 years in 3-rail. If that is the case, convert to Kadees. Hidden uncoupling tabs were used for many years by Lionel and are now used by both MTH and Atlas. The use of a thumb tack coupler does not increase the overall distance between cars. In fact, precisely the opposite is the case, in my experience. For example, I measured out the distance between Lionel PS-1 boxcars that have die-cast sprung trucks and couplers with hidden uncoupling tabs and it is 1 3/8 inches. I then measured the distance between some older Altas X-29 boxcars that have diecast sprung trucks but have thumb tack couplers, and the distance between those cars is 1 1/2 inches. I cannot speak definitively about the current Lionel partially die-cast trucks with the ugly thumb tack couplers, as I do not own any, but I seriously doubt they decreased the distance between the cars that include them. And you are also off base with your comment about air hoses, as Lionel has never made their freight cars with them. You may be referring to Atlas and MTH, as their freight cars have air hoses. I also disagree with your assessment that the hidden uncoupling tabs are less durable. I have run many freight and passenger cars that have them over the course of approximately 20 years without a single issue.  

You can find replacement trucks from previous run that match the ones on your new husky stacks. They have hidden uncoupling tabs and are sprung. They aren't cheap for a set though.

I'm glad I loaded up on the previous release husky stacks with no thumbtacks. And they included a bunch of BN and SF containers across the line which I don't see in new run.

I did get 1 new TTX EOT car to match my 5 TTX cars from the last run. Although not perfect, Lionel decided to go from 6 digit to 5 digit road numbers on the new TTX (black logo) cars. I'd like to remove thumbtacks also but it has power pickups and eot mounted to side of coupler.

I have already swapped out the new trucks for old on my new BNSF husky stacks so i only have the nice sprung trucks with hidden uncoupler.  These trucks are still available and come already with the roller pickup, which can be removed.

I did get an EOT husky stack, but havent converted that, too many projects ahead of it but i did get the trucks im gonna use.

As someone mentioned, there are SEVERAL versions of these trucks with different coupler lengths.  So watch which ones you are buying.

Bob

Lionel Fan and Super "O" Track Enthusiast

Lots of options here but don't overlook the fact that you now have to spend even more money to correct the inadequacies of an already way overpriced product. Not unlike having to purchase figures and paint interiors on $225 plastic passenger cars when these were included on $130 metal ones.

Pete

Norton posted:

Lots of options here but don't overlook the fact that you now have to spend even more money to correct the inadequacies of an already way overpriced product.

Pete

The irony being that the justification of the inferior thumbtack trucks is that it's easier for folks to remove the 3 rail coupler to swap out a kadee.

I can't remember the last time I puchased something new only to remove/throw part of it away ,aside maybe for a fruit of some sort.

Bottom line. The original functionally sprung ,ALL diecast , hidden tab uncoupler truck is the leader in 3 rail trucks and appeals to the vast majority of o gaugers who are fine with the "lobster claw".

I still wonder if it is /was more about production cost than kadee convert ability as to why Lionel switched over to the weaver style truck. Especially since they have obviously aquired some of the weaver tooling. Any time you can substitute plastic for steel. It's gonna be cheaper to manufacture.

 IMO Kadee convertability was just a coincidental positive excuse to justify an inferior truck design.

At any rate. I'm looking forward to the rumors of Lionel returning to the original trucks. I'll wait and see first. I'd like to see these reappear on the steel reefers with sound.

" No matter how far we travel, the memories will follow in the baggage car."

SuperChiefer84 posted:

You can find replacement trucks from previous run that match the ones on your new husky stacks. They have hidden uncoupling tabs and are sprung. They aren't cheap for a set though.

I'm glad I loaded up on the previous release husky stacks with no thumbtacks. And they included a bunch of BN and SF containers across the line which I don't see in new run.

I did get 1 new TTX EOT car to match my 5 TTX cars from the last run. Although not perfect, Lionel decided to go from 6 digit to 5 digit road numbers on the new TTX (black logo) cars. I'd like to remove thumbtacks also but it has power pickups and eot mounted to side of coupler.

I would be cautious concerning your comment in the first paragraph, as I had read on other threads on the Forum that you could not substitute the old Lionel trucks for their new ones for several reasons, although I cannot recall exactly what they were. 

RickO posted:
Norton posted:

Lots of options here but don't overlook the fact that you now have to spend even more money to correct the inadequacies of an already way overpriced product.

Pete

The irony being that the justification of the inferior thumbtack trucks is that it's easier for folks to remove the 3 rail coupler to swap out a kadee.

I can't remember the last time I puchased something new only to remove/throw part of it away ,aside maybe for a fruit of some sort.

Bottom line. The original functionally sprung ,ALL diecast , hidden tab uncoupler truck is the leader in 3 rail trucks and appeals to the vast majority of o gaugers who are fine with the "lobster claw".

I still wonder if it is /was more about production cost than kadee convert ability as to why Lionel switched over to the weaver style truck. Especially since they have obviously aquired some of the weaver tooling. Any time you can substitute plastic for steel. It's gonna be cheaper to manufacture.

 IMO Kadee convertability was just a coincidental positive excuse to justify an inferior truck design.

At any rate. I'm looking forward to the rumors of Lionel returning to the original trucks. I'll wait and see first. I'd like to see these reappear on the steel reefers with sound.

Well said. Many of us have made similar comments. The first step in the process is to see how the new Freight Sounds boxcars come out. Ryan indicated that they would have hidden uncoupling tabs as pictured in the catalog but was less certain whether they would have diecast metal sprung trucks.

irish rifle posted:
SuperChiefer84 posted:

You can find replacement trucks from previous run that match the ones on your new husky stacks. They have hidden uncoupling tabs and are sprung. They aren't cheap for a set though.

I'm glad I loaded up on the previous release husky stacks with no thumbtacks. And they included a bunch of BN and SF containers across the line which I don't see in new run.

I did get 1 new TTX EOT car to match my 5 TTX cars from the last run. Although not perfect, Lionel decided to go from 6 digit to 5 digit road numbers on the new TTX (black logo) cars. I'd like to remove thumbtacks also but it has power pickups and eot mounted to side of coupler.

I would be cautious concerning your comment in the first paragraph, as I had read on other threads on the Forum that you could not substitute the old Lionel trucks for their new ones for several reasons, although I cannot recall exactly what they were. 

I've already switched out the thumbtack trucks on my 6-83561 SF PS1 Express 50' double door boxcar. Very simple, just unscrew and install new ones. Side frames are exactly the same but trucks are sprung and have hidden tabs. They are heavier also and make the car feel a lot nicer compared to the plastic thumbtack trucks. 

irish rifle posted:

 Ryan indicated that they would have hidden uncoupling tabs as pictured in the catalog but was less certain whether they would have diecast metal sprung trucks.

Hmmm, lets hope Lionel doesn't simply modify the Weaver truck to have a hidden uncoupler mechanism.

" No matter how far we travel, the memories will follow in the baggage car."

SuperChiefer84 posted:
irish rifle posted:
SuperChiefer84 posted:

You can find replacement trucks from previous run that match the ones on your new husky stacks. They have hidden uncoupling tabs and are sprung. They aren't cheap for a set though.

I'm glad I loaded up on the previous release husky stacks with no thumbtacks. And they included a bunch of BN and SF containers across the line which I don't see in new run.

I did get 1 new TTX EOT car to match my 5 TTX cars from the last run. Although not perfect, Lionel decided to go from 6 digit to 5 digit road numbers on the new TTX (black logo) cars. I'd like to remove thumbtacks also but it has power pickups and eot mounted to side of coupler.

I would be cautious concerning your comment in the first paragraph, as I had read on other threads on the Forum that you could not substitute the old Lionel trucks for their new ones for several reasons, although I cannot recall exactly what they were. 

I've already switched out the thumbtack trucks on my 6-83561 SF PS1 Express 50' double door boxcar. Very simple, just unscrew and install new ones. Side frames are exactly the same but trucks are sprung and have hidden tabs. They are heavier also and make the car feel a lot nicer compared to the plastic thumbtack trucks. 

Great to know. Thanks.

Pat

maybe this question should be in another post,but I ask it here. I have several hidden uncoupling tab trucks where the coupler pops open at random. is there a fix? I was looking forward to the new truck myself as they play well with my manual uncoupling tool. oh well guess the hidden tab majority won out. 

Roger g.

Landsteiner posted:

I would think a Dremel with a cutoff wheel might work to remove the thumbtack.  Remember to use eye protection .

I took Norton’s suggestion and drilled out the thumbtacks. Very easy operation.  Just place the drill bit in the dimple on the opposite side of the arm from the tack, drill away and the tack will fall out.  Yes, I wore eye protection.

The cars look so much better.

RickO posted:
Norton posted:

Lots of options here but don't overlook the fact that you now have to spend even more money to correct the inadequacies of an already way overpriced product.

Pete

The irony being that the justification of the inferior thumbtack trucks is that it's easier for folks to remove the 3 rail coupler to swap out a kadee.

I can't remember the last time I puchased something new only to remove/throw part of it away ,aside maybe for a fruit of some sort.

Bottom line. The original functionally sprung ,ALL diecast , hidden tab uncoupler truck is the leader in 3 rail trucks and appeals to the vast majority of o gaugers who are fine with the "lobster claw".

I still wonder if it is /was more about production cost than kadee convert ability as to why Lionel switched over to the weaver style truck. Especially since they have obviously aquired some of the weaver tooling. Any time you can substitute plastic for steel. It's gonna be cheaper to manufacture.

 IMO Kadee convertability was just a coincidental positive excuse to justify an inferior truck design.

At any rate. I'm looking forward to the rumors of Lionel returning to the original trucks. I'll wait and see first. I'd like to see these reappear on the steel reefers with sound.

Speaking of the reefers with sound, have they shipped yet? I thought about pre ordering them but the couplers turned me off. 

Trainlover9943 posted:

Speaking of the reefers with sound, have they shipped yet? I thought about pre ordering them but the couplers turned me off. 

Ro's website says May.

" No matter how far we travel, the memories will follow in the baggage car."

Lionelzwl2012 posted:

maybe this question should be in another post,but I ask it here. I have several hidden uncoupling tab trucks where the coupler pops open at random. is there a fix? I was looking forward to the new truck myself as they play well with my manual uncoupling tool. oh well guess the hidden tab majority won out. 

I believe that is a manufacturing/design issue where the tab cannot return far enough forward to firmly prevent the knuckle from opening. If you lightly file the tab where it hits the stop that may solve your problem.

SuperChiefer84 posted:
irish rifle posted:
SuperChiefer84 posted:

You can find replacement trucks from previous run that match the ones on your new husky stacks. They have hidden uncoupling tabs and are sprung. They aren't cheap for a set though.

I'm glad I loaded up on the previous release husky stacks with no thumbtacks. And they included a bunch of BN and SF containers across the line which I don't see in new run.

I did get 1 new TTX EOT car to match my 5 TTX cars from the last run. Although not perfect, Lionel decided to go from 6 digit to 5 digit road numbers on the new TTX (black logo) cars. I'd like to remove thumbtacks also but it has power pickups and eot mounted to side of coupler.

I would be cautious concerning your comment in the first paragraph, as I had read on other threads on the Forum that you could not substitute the old Lionel trucks for their new ones for several reasons, although I cannot recall exactly what they were. 

I've already switched out the thumbtack trucks on my 6-83561 SF PS1 Express 50' double door boxcar. Very simple, just unscrew and install new ones. Side frames are exactly the same but trucks are sprung and have hidden tabs. They are heavier also and make the car feel a lot nicer compared to the plastic thumbtack trucks. 

Aren't the old/good metal tab trucks side frames different than the new fangled un-sprung ones?

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