MTH: Passenger Car Modifications page:






MTH Passenger Car Modifications:

Modifications/Topics list:





Kadee coupler:  Install body mounted Kadee coupler 789:

To install body mounted Kadee couplers is very straight forward.  First, unscrew the existing MTH coupler arm that is bolted to the truck (2 screws). 

(It is recommended to screw the screws back into their spots after removing the arm in case you need to use them again later.)


Next, position the assembled 789 Kadee coupler as desired.  Drill holes as necessary.  You will be able to use the provided screws in the 789 package to bolt to the frame.  The inside end of the coupler will require some shimming so use one or more washers for level mounting of the coupler body.


You will be able to allow for very close coupling of the cars with this coupler and in this position and may want to do some tests that you can run the cars on your diameter curves before doing all the cars.  (Be sure to test by backing up the consist.)



Finished result.





Turn your MTH Passenger car into a track cleaning car:

Keeping with my practice of having one car per consist setup as a track cleaner to ensure the track rail tops stay perfectly clean, I reworked one of my MTH Passenger Cars to add track cleaner pads on one of the trucks. 

I've found the easiest way to add track cleaner pads to any truck is to cut some properly sized pieces of wood and hot glue them to the bottom of the truck between the wheels.  I make sure I paint them black before installing them to ensure they stay masked from view.  Once the blocks are glued in place, I then apply a strip of this Scotch outdoor double-stick tape to hold the finishing pads in place.

I use 3M finishing pads for the cleaner pads and have found these work best compared to some other brands I've used.  If you can't find them at your local hardware store, I ordered a big box from - (Item # 17672).

Photos of the installed cleaner pads:

You will need to periodically replace the pads.  All you do is pull the finishing pad and adhesive off and apply new. 




Adding Light on/off switch, Polyfuses and Inductors:

The MTH Passenger cars I purchased (American Freedom and Daylight) were first production runs and did not come with on/off switches for the lights as later runs did.  Since I prefer to have the lights off during the day I decided to add a light switch to each car and also add resettable polyfuses to protect from accidental shorts that might occur. (see for more info)  In my case I also added inductors to the pos and neg wires to eliminate the reductions in track signal on my digital control system.


To start, I removed the top of the car by removing the screws holding it down. (accessed through the bottom)  I then cut the pos and neg wires that run to the power transfer post that provides power to the roof wiring.  At the end of each of these four wires (that run to the trucks) I added a single polyfuse to protect against shorts. 

Source for the fuses:

From there, I then added the selected the switch and added two inductors (Choke Coils), one to each center post.  (This is where the power wires will be run to the overhead lights)  (I added heat shrink to the inductors.)  The wires with the poly fuses are added to one side of the switch terminals.  (two per terminal - two left rail pickup wires on one terminal and two right rail pickup wires on the other. 


Next, I selected where I wanted the switch to be but still fit the switch with inductors and polyfuses.  The formed tank on the bottom of the car worked perfectly.  I drilled out a slot for the switch head and the screws. 

When you're finished this is what it should look like.


Instructions for Observation Cars:

The first run observation cars did already come with light switches.  The only thing I wanted to add was inductors and polyfuses to protect against shorts. 

The voltage control board is located in the rounded bar area.  Once you remove the floor you can get access to it.

The red and black wires that run to the left bottom side of the board are the power feeder wires to the board.  I removed the wires from the board and added one inductor to each location in the board.  I then added two polyfuses per wire end (only one each are pictured) and wired the other end of the polyfuse to the inductor.  I then reinstalled the board and reassembled the car.



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