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Adding Couplers to Roco’s new 0-6-0’s with Tender

From Al
Hi Guys,

I have been asked seveal time, what coupler do you use on the new Roco 0-6-0’s with tender. I was told by someone that the 1128, 1129 or 1130 couplers will work… with the 1128, being the shortest; the 1129 a medius and the longest would be the 1130.


I have been suffering with some new leg problems (not in the leg in which I lost feeling last year, but my right one). After taking some time off my feet, I decided to tackle the coupler delima.

Here is how I converted mine in about a hour of easy work. (Instructions for Roco 33230, 33231, 33232 and 33233 and similar locomotives)

Items Needed

  • Micro Train 1023 Couplers (That’s Right, 1023’s)
  • Flat Xacto File
  • Flat Miniature File (about half the size of the Xacto file)
  • Small Flat Screwdriver
  • Small Phillips Screwdriver
  • Xacto #215 Keyhole saw blade
  • Xacto Knife
  • Dremel Mini-Mite (or better)
  • Dremel 196 Cutter
  • MicroTrain N Scale Tap and Drill set
  • Rail Nippers (Not Xuron’s, they are too large)
  • Scrap plastic square stock

The Conversion


  1. Get a soft towel and lay the tender upside down on it so as not to damage the top while working. Carefully insert the small flat blade of your screwdriver between the underframe and the tender top. Carefully pry outward, so as to loosen the top from the bottom. You may need to insert a toothpick in one sport, to hold the side away from the frame, while you do the other side. Once the top is removed, set it aside.
  2. Remove the weight from the top of the frame to see what you are working with. Once you understand the construction of the frame of the tender, you can either put the weight back in or leave it off for now.
  3. Pull outward on the existing coupler and it will pop off of the post inside of the coupler pocket. The post, in the pocket is going to be removed. I used the Xacto keyhole saw blade, holding it in my fingers and sawed the post from the frame. I then filed the pocket smooth with the large Xacto file.
  4. I used the Dremel tool, with the 196 cutter, to enlarge the length of the coupler pocket. The pocket need lengthening, so the coupler mounting screw hole is completely inside of the coupler pocket At the slowest setting, I put the flat bottom of the cutter in the pocket and started working the pocket towards the center of the tender frame. I only lengthened the pocket about 1/16″, but that was all it needed.
  5. I now sanded everything again, to make a smooth platform for the 1023 coupler.
  6. Use the large file again and file the bottom of the opening ONLY ENOUGH SO THAT YOU CAN SLIP THE 1023 COUPLER INTO THE COUPLER POCKET.
  7. Mark and drill the hole to mount the 1023 coupler throught the frame. Once the hole is drilled, then tap the hole with the MicroTrain tap. Now,
    you should be able to insert the couper mounting screw and tighten it carefully, as to not strip out the threads in the plastic.

  8. (OPTIONAL) Cut some pieces of square plastic square stock to fit in the notches between the 1023 coupler and the underframe of the tender. Glue these in place sparingly, you may need to remove these if you damage the coupler in the future. These can be painted to match the loco you have.


  1. Using the loco’s box for a work tray, turn the loco upside down and insert the loco so it is protected and stabilized.
  2. Remove the front coupler by pulling it out of the pocket, as on the tender.
  3. Don’t attempt to use the keyhole saw on the pin on the front… IT IS METAL and you will get tired after awhile… I did. If you do attempt to cut it this way, you will saw for about 20 strokes before you see the silver metal beneath the paianted posts. If you loco is red, 20 strokes… if you have one of the silver/gray ones, you may not see it for an hour.
  4. Use the thin rail nippers (which look like sprue cutters) and go though the front of the pilot and cut off the post.
  5. Once you cut off the post, you will need to carefully remove the two phillips screws, which hold the bottom of the axle cover plate on the loco. I suggest you poke a couple of tiny holes in the box foam and press the screws into the foam so they don’t get lost. Carefully lift the front of the axle cover plate and remove the post from the coupler box. Now, put the screws back into the cover plate.
  6. There isn’t enough room to file flat with a normal Xacto file, so use a miniature file, so you don’t file away the frame’s opening to the coupler
    pocket. It will take you about five minutes of filing to get the pocket smooth, but it needs to be done to get a flat mount.

  7. File the bottom of the pocket opening in the frame, as you did on the rear of the tender. Do this very slowly and keep testing the coupler in the opening. When you can force the coupler into the coupler pocket, your are done. You may elect to glue it in place, but it isn’t necessary. The pressure of the screwd down cover plate will hold the coupler in place. If you do attempt to glue it in place, use Walther’s GOO. It can be removed later if necessary. I PULLED 10 MICROTRAIN LOG CARS UP A 2% GRADE BY THE FRONT COUPLER AND IT NEVER MOVED.
  8. Turn the loco over, put it in the box an go to bed. You’re done. And so am I.

Good Night,


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