AN AMERICAN FLYER® REPAIR CLINIC
From Port Lines Hobbies
LC REMOVAL: The pin needs to be popped backward through the coupler. There is a Gilbert "tool" to do this which we have re-manufactured and improved upon. It consists of two parts....a post which drops down over the LC pin, leaving about 1/8" of the pin uncovered, and a hollow tube the same diameter as the head of the LC pin. Against a vise, you tap on the top of the post until the pin drops backward down into the tube. The tool is currently priced under $10, and I would recommend it. Lacking this simple two-piece tool, you can try the following removal technique:
(a) pop out the wheel-and-axle set from the truck, to get it out of the way;
(b) using a pair of needle-nose pliers, squeeze between the tip of the pin and the sheet-metal flange of the truck, which the pin is passing through (you can just barely get hold of the edge of it). If you squeeze between these 2 points 2-3 times, it will usually pop the pin backwards through the coupler.
(c) After removing the link coupler, usually that truck coupler sheet-metal flange gets bent a bit, and also needs a little un-bending, First, it's a little low for the KC, so using the pair of needle nose pliers, slightly straighten out the 'dog bone' in the mounting shank, not by much, about a 1/16" change or less. Then make certain the shank is parallel with the truck sides, and the tang w/ the hole in it is vertical. This way, your coupler will fit squarely and you won't have to bend it up at an angle to get the hanging lift-weight to clear the track by 1/16" in the closed position.
(d) The replacement KC has a slot in it. With the car upside-down, the slot drops over that s/m flange, and the KC is held there with the split pin by pushing it through the hole that the LC pin used to go through. Just spread the pin's sides a bit, and you're in business! Don't get too ambitious with bending the split pin either, just enough to keep things in place will do. Believe me, this is all a LOT easier and simpler than it sounds! Now, putting the LC's back again is another story. To do that, you really DO need a special tool in order to crimp the pin back onto that flange.
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