Kawai Conversion page

> main > modeller's corner > couplers > Kawai

Kawai's freight cars are again relatively easy to convert, but a little more work is needed. The MT couplers you need are eitehr MT #1131 (4 short, 1 long) or MT #1133 (4 medium). These will fit the Kawai 4 and 6 axle bogie wagons. I have not found out a conversion for Kawai's B6 tank loco as I do not own one.

4-axle bogie wagons

These are easy conversions, just follow MT's instructions. To fit the couplers to the bogies, it is useful to take out the outermost wheelset, the fit the new coupler, then put the wheelset back and then test coupler height and operation. I used MT #1133 on the Taki 43000 tank wagon, but found out that the short MT #1131 gives closer coupling without excluding the tighter curves. So MT #1131 is the proper choice for the Kawai 4-axle bogie wagons.

6-axle bogie wagons

The conversion follows the lines of the 4-axle wagons, but is a bit more tricky. Firstly, remove the centre wheelsets of the bogies, then take off the bogies. Then take off the outer wheelsets, remove old rapido coupler and fit new MT coupler. Then put back outer wheelset and test coupler height and operation. Then place back the bogies under the wagon and then put back the centre wheelset. I found that the bogies are distorted easily, so be careful. Check for proper running of the all wheelsets!
These 6-axle bogie wagons (class Taki 50000 tank car) take MT #1133 (medium length). They are a match fit!

4-wheelers (2 axle wagons)

These are again very easy. Use the MT #1133 coupler kit. To fit the couplers, firstly disassemble the wagon, leaving the chassis and the body apart. To disassemble the wagon, pry out the sides of the body slightly until the chassis falls out of the notches. Then take out the wheels from the chassis. This is a good moment to blacken the wheels if you want.

Then assemble the MT #1133 couplers and clip on the new coupler pocket, including the MT coupler into the chassis, leaving the old coupler pocket and the old Rapido coupler in your scrap box. If you want you can put in extra weight, just glue lead balls onto the existing metal insert. These lead balls are available in shops where they sell fishing-tackle and are relatively cheap. NMRA standards recommend a total weight of 24 grammes for a 70mm long wagon.

Then reassemble the wagon, test coupler operation and coupler height and off you go!

Pages written by Mark Veneman

Back to the MT conversion page

butrood Modelling Layouts Modeller's Corner Train Simulators Various