Athearn N-scale hopper spacing

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Does anyone have a GOOD method to reduce the spacing between Athearn 40' N-scale coal hoppers? The coupler boxes protrude too far and leave large gaps between the cars. I took off the trucks and couplers and ground down the coupler pads. Then I screwed on a MT truck with short-shank couplers. This reduced the gap somewhat but is a lot of work for just a little gain. Any other ideas?
 




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