coupler..why dont they stay coupled

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Gil Finn, May 6, 2007.

  1. Gil Finn

    Gil Finn Active Member

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    I have several convertion cars for hoppers and general frieght. Works OK.

    In fack some kadee type and horn type work together quite well at times.

    I am just tired of fighting those barely visable microscopic knuckle couplers with my 10 thumbs and failing eyes.:(
  2. lionelfan

    lionelfan Member

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    On my HO layout, I run Kadee # 5, but I notice not all cars have the coupler pockets at the same height, sometimes you need to use shims under the coupler in order to have all the same height so the cars do not uncouple going around curves or on uneven track. I never have this problem on my O guage layout...
  3. Gil Finn

    Gil Finn Active Member

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    I am going to have to get with someone who can show me as well has tell me about all these types of couplers. I know next to nothing about them.
  4. IAIS 604

    IAIS 604 Member

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  5. toptrain1

    toptrain1 Member

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    An answere and their can be many.

    After reading all the threads. It seams to mean. If you do it right, It works right!
  6. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

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    When I got into the hobby a couple years ago, I spent a lot of time reading and researching many different subjects. Couplers was one of the subjects. There is plenty to find for free on the Internet, and there is plenty in hobby publications too. What I found I needed to do was the following:

    I put Kadees on ALL of my locos and rolling stock. On the cheapie cars that had truck mounted couplers, I ditched the trucks for new Atlas or Proto2000 trucks, and body-mounted the Kadee draft boxes.

    On cars like Athearn and Accurail, I usually cut the factory draft boxes off and replace them with Kadee draft boxes. Sometimes I leave the factory draft boxes, but only if the Kadee couplers work perfectly in them.

    I use the coupler height gauge to check everything and use a fiber washer between the truck and underframe if the coupler needs to be raised just a tiny bit. If the coupler needs to be raised significantly, I use a Kadee #47 coupler which is offset to be higher. If a car ends up with a coupler that is too high, then I place a shim between the underframe and the draft box.

    To me, perfectly working couplers are an absolute must to enjoy this hobby, especially if your layout is an "operations oriented" layout where you will be constantly switching cars, coupling and uncoupling them. It pays to spend a significant amount of time and money making everything RIGHT.
  7. riverotter

    riverotter Midwest Alliance Rail Sys

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    The spring that holds the "knuckle" closed can pop out or become stretched so it no longer works the way it was intended. As for that non-prototype wire hanging down -- I clip them all off! (So does one of my local model railroad clubs -- on the club-owned cars). I have several Kato diesels that came equipped with working knuckle couplers with no wire hanging down. I bought a bunch of them from Kato and retro-fitted a bunch of my rolling stock. I have never had an unintentional uncoupling problem, and they look sooooo much better.
  8. KCS

    KCS Member

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    These thing's are great. I've had less problem's out of them than I have Kadee's. Our club also use's Kadee's as the standard so I have 2 conversion car's that way I can couple into any train.
  9. 0-4-0 Steamer

    0-4-0 Steamer New Member

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    Kadee #5's are the way to go. They make shims to adjust the height. The instructions are on the package. Just replace them Gil. If the couplers are on the trucks, cut them off and get the Kadee coupler box and glue it on the frame. It's simple. I also have ten thumbs and bad eyes and I get it done.