With this installment, we continue with the change out of the couplers. Fortunately, the grotesquely oversized Atlas coupler boxes are merely screwed on, making for easy removal. After drilling and tapping new holes that line up the new Protocraft coupler boxes, they too mounted on with screws.
Just for comparison, here are the original (Atlas) and new (Protocraft) couplers side-by-side:
I decided to go with the Protocraft couplers on this build after the frustrations of trying to reliably assemble the San Juan couplers. Their brass construction and reliable bottom-operating uncoupling mechanism were the main motivations and the fact that they come assembled sealed the deal for now.
Getting the couplers installed back on the underframe was painstakingly slow as I realized all of the tools I needed for this level of work and I didn't own. Thankfully, "the internet" delivers relatively quickly. :-)
A few shots follow to show the completed installation of the Protocraft couplers and wheels with narrowed bolsters from Lincoln P48 Engineering.
I've started on prep work for upping the detail on the body. The plastic stirrups were clipped off in anticipation of building out the sill plate to the end and mounting new brass ones. As mentioned before, part of the extra reinforced needs to be trimmed back to only be under the door. Also begun was the process of removing the molded on ladders -- this will be a slow process and sure to result in the need for some repainting work. Matching GBW yellow will make for an interesting project as well.