I have an O gauge latch coupler that is missing it's spring.  Can a new spring be installed on the existing coupler? If yes, how?

Or do I need to drill out the rivet and install a new spring and rivet?

Or do I need to buy a new coupler? 

Thank You

Ken

Original Post

It can be done but realize that Lionel stopped putting spring on as a cost saving measure later on. I have simply gently punched out the original rivet and then reinstalled it as it is not heavily peened in place, andthat is the simplest way. You can try to gently wind the spring over the rivet but it is tedious. Or go with no spring at all.

It's not that difficult to replace the spring, but you do have to remove the rivet.  The rivets and springs are readily available, I replace those with some regularity.  Lionel also has the "cheap" version, the plastic knuckle with the little "spring" tab, but that loses it's spring pretty quickly so I tend to avoid those.

I don't see anywhere that Lionel has stopped putting springs in, all the newest Lionel stuff I have still has springs.  I don't know where that idea comes from, but it's certainly not true!

The problem is couplers without springs come uncoupled when running. Very early latch couplers and cheaper reproductions don't have springs and are fine for display, but don't work so well when operating. The better quality reproductions have springs and work much better in operation.

gunrunnerjohn posted:

It's not that difficult to replace the spring, but you do have to remove the rivet.  The rivets and springs are readily available, I replace those with some regularity.  Lionel also has the "cheap" version, the plastic knuckle with the little "spring" tab, but that loses it's spring pretty quickly so I tend to avoid those.

I don't see anywhere that Lionel has stopped putting springs in, all the newest Lionel stuff I have still has springs.  I don't know where that idea comes from, but it's certainly not true!

Yes speaking historically as typical cost cutting measures occurred, First one even had a small metal stamped spring keeper that was discarded once they notched the rivet and so forth.

Some repros come without springs also and are less expensive. If you are running a train and not switching cars out use a twist tie to keep the latches closed and couplers connected.

The latch coupler trains were toys and required a lot of hands on care to keep going, connected  and  on track.

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OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653
330-757-3020

www.ogaugerr.com
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