Installation Tips - Athearn 40' Box (old blue box style)

Here's a car that has been around a while. There's something comforting about these old blue box models.

Here's the starting point. It's odd by today's standards. The lid that holds the coupler on is a steel clip. The hook horn coupler that was supplied by the factory was replaced long ago with a Kadee coupler. Years later, we'll replace the coupler again.
Here's the WRONG way to remove the coupler clip. If the knife slips you'll cut yourself and with all that rust around you'll be trying to remember when you had your last tetanus shot. See below for a better way.
Remove both trucks, then pull the underframe completely off. The clips will be much easier to remove then.
Now the clips can be removed without risking life and limb.
That wasn't too hard.
The weights on these cars are steel. Unfortunately, the Sergent Engineering uncoupling wand loves steel. You can save yourself some frustration later by cutting them back a some with a hacksaw. There are no critical dimensions here. Put the weight in a vise and cut away. File away any sharp edges afterward. The picture shows before and after.
The weights bend easily. Put the weight on flat surface to make sure the weight is flat. If not, encourage it a little in the right direction.
The uncoupling wand loves these steel clips that hold the couplers on as well. Bending the front tab of the clip over itself will prevent the magnet from seeing it for the most part. Use pliers for this job.
You will probably have to thin the Sergent coupler shank slightly down to about 0.057" so the clip won't interfere with the movement of the coupler.
Here it is again with the clip installed. Notice the bent back lip of the clip.
Here is the model reassembled and ready for action. Not bad for a 20 year old model.