Uncoupling Tools

MS Wand An MS uncoupling wand is required to operate the couplers. This wand is simply a custom made industrial strength magnetic rod which lifts the internal steel ball in the coupler allowing it to open. The wand has a wire attached to one end aid in aligning couplers in preparation for a tie as well. We don't recommend building your own uncoupling wand from magnets you may have lying around. Customers who have tried this have reported less than satisfactory results. A magnet that is too strong will prevent the couplers from later locking after uncoupling. A magnet that is too weak won't unlock the couplers reliably. These wands are constructed using the same material and techniques that Sergent Enginnering used. Click here to see how to use the uncoupling wand.

Part # Description Price Status Buy Now
MS Local Uncoupling Tool $10.00 In Stock

MWRY Wand The MWRY uncoupler is provided specically for uncoupling passenger cars that have diaphrams prototypically positioned above the couplers. The plain side of the uncoupler slips in from the side between the top of the couplers and the bottom of the diaphrams. The round end of the tool can be used to open knuckles in preparation for coupling. The predecessor to this tool was actually designed by long time Sergent Engineering customer Larry Mowery.

Part # Description Price Status Buy Now
MWRY Passenger Car Uncoupling Tool $15.00 In Stock

Coupler Height Gauge

Height Gauge Type E couplers are pretty forgiving as far a coupler height goes. Tightlock couplers (type F and H) are not. This Prototype Couplers coupler height gauge is a go/no-go type gauge so there is no need to guess whether or not coupler height is close enough. If the knuckle slips into the groove on the gauge, you are good to go. Limits for the gauge are of course based on the 32.5" to 34.5" prototype limits. The gauge is made out of 3D Printed UV Resin and should be kept away from UV light to prevent dimention creep or warpage. The bottom of the coupler has guides on the bottom that can be used to attach directly to rail. These are designed to be tight on purpose as a semi-permanent mounting solution for a car assembly track that you can use to gauge your cars as you put couplers on them. If you wish to use the gauge on your main layout track we recommend just shifting the gauge a little to the left or right so that the rail is resting outside of the guides on the bottom of the gauge. This will still give you the proper height limits while letting you easily move the gauge around the track to test individual cars.

Part # Description Price Status Buy Now
HG87 Coupler Height Gauge $5.00 In Stock

Assembly Fixtures

AFC, AFRC, AFRN, AFRNB, AFRS If you plan to assemble lots of EC87K kits, you'll want an AFC Assembly Fixture. This fixture is used to hold the coupler together as it is assembled. The AFC is also very handy for holding the coupler if it becomes necessary to thin the shank of the coupler for certain installations. Note that this fixture works for EC87, SBEC87, double shelf, and tightlock couplers, but not short/long shank couplers.

A separate fixture is offered for the RC87K Sharon coupler kit. The AFRC fixture fits only the RC87 style coupler.

The AFN fixture is very useful when assembling EN87K kits.

For the Sharon coupler kits, an assembly fixture is not really an option, but a requirement. The RN87K and RNC87K share the same fixture. The RNB87 requires a different fixture because of its shorter shank.

You'll probably want a couple of extra ball and spring packets, too. Even though Prototype Couplers will gladly replace these small parts at no charge if they happen to get lost during assembly, you might want them more quickly than we can send replacements. These are cheap and nice to have on hand. Each pack comes with 12 balls and springs.

Part # Description Price Status Buy Now
AFC Resin EC87K Assembly Fixture $5.00 In Stock
AFM040C Resin EC87M040K Assembly Fixture $5.00 In Stock
AFP100C Resin EC87P100K Assembly Fixture $5.00 In Stock
AFP130C Resin EC87P130K Assembly Fixture $5.00 In Stock
AFRC Resin RC87K Sharon Assembly Fixture $5.00 In Stock
AFN Resin EN87K Assembly Fixture $5.00 In Stock
AFRN Resin RN87K and RNC87K Assembly Fixture $5.00 In Stock
AFRNB Resin RNB87K Assembly Fixture $5.00 In Stock
AFRS Resin RS1P87K Assembly Fixture $5.00 In Stock
BP87 Spare Ball Bearing and Spring Pack for EC87/EN87 $2.50 In Stock
BPR87 Spare Ball Bearing and Spring Pack for Sharon Couplers (same balls, much lighter springs) $2.50 In Stock

Detail Parts

BCL87 Couplers that have the cut lever attached on top are referred to as "top operating" Couplers that have the cut lever attached at the bottom are referred to as "bottom operating". The type E coupler modeled by the EC87 was always available as a bottom operating coupler, even though the top operating version seems to have been preferred initially. Prototype Couplers offers items to assist the modeler in adding these special details.

The BCL87 contains 10 etched brass cut lever linkages. These linkages fit into slots on the bottom of the coupler as shown in the picture. These brass etchings fit the E, SBE, and SE style couplers. The cut levers (not included) should be inserted through this linkage in a manner that allows the coupler to swing from side to side.

Type F couplers are almost always bottom operated and the linkage is mostly hidden by the coupler casting. A "J" shaped small diameter wire can be used to simulate the linkage for these couplers. The Prototype Couplers type F coupler head provides a shallow locating hole for this wire.

For those that desire to model top operating type E couplers, Prototype Couplers offers drilled top coupler castings which will accept lift rings. This option should be ordered at the same time coupler kits are ordered. Lift rings should be installed prior to assembly of the couplers since there is a risk that glue used to attach the rings may also make its way to the locking ball inside the coupler. For this reason, the drilled tops are only an option for kits - not assembled couplers.

Holes in top castings are created with a #80 drill. We recommend either bending your own eyebolts from 0.010" wire or using Grandt Line #5085 eyebolts (or #86085 if you would rather have the equivalent in brass) for this application.

Part # Description Price Status Buy Now
BCL87 10 Etched Cut Lever Linkages for Type E Couplers $2.50 In Stock
DRLEC Drilled Top Option for one pkg EC87K $2.00 Add 1 week for delivery

Draft Gear Boxes

N scale draft gear box Prototype Couplers is pleased to release a draft gear box that allows our narrow shank HO scale couplers to be used in a N Scale setting. Concepted by long time Sergent Engineering customer John Niemeyer, and designed and made by us to allow N scale modellers to use more prototypically accurate couplers, without the time consuming work of modifying existing draft gear boxes.

Part # Description Price Status Buy Now
DGB160 6 - N Scale Narrow Shank Draft Gear Boxes. Replacements for Micro Train Lines 1025/1029 Draft Gear Boxes. Used in conjunction with our RNB87 Couplers to allow for prototypical operations in N scale products. Couplers sold separately. $5.00 In Stock

Pricing last revised: February 12th 2024