Reply to "Step by Step Photos: How to Put Kadees on Atlas Cars"

Originally posted by jwmathews:
A few days ago I spent some time swapping out Atlas couplers with broken knuckles & experimenting with KDs on some boxcars and reefers. I found that the Atlas coupler box holes will accept 2mm diameter machine screws. 2x8 or probably better, 2x10 work well--AND because they are a bit narrower than 2-56, they can be used to attach a KD box to the Atlas carbody WITHOUT drilling or tapping any new holes.

Yes, I am wondering why people are drilling and tapping for 2-56 when there are 2mm holes?
After buying my first atlas car (55 ton) in '03, I began installing Kadees' with 2mm screws (2x8's). It is the easiest conversion ever! Yes, Matt, you are correct the 89' flats have an additional piece that mounts between the carbody and draft gear. The 53' Evans box cars have that too.

Originally Posted by Bob Delbridge:
Does anyone use the 2 side mounting holes on the Kadee coupler pocket vice (versus?) using the 2 centerline holes?

Sometimes, when I create a custom mount for cars that have no real mounting platform for Kadees. Or I don't have a short shank coupler and have to cut the back of the gear box. Like K-Line's 40' diecast box cars(custom mount), AND.... when I mess up the center line holes Frown

Also, does anyone cut off the "air hose"? I have had to bend practically every one of mine so they won't snag on the track. The only reason I haven't cut them off yet is because I had plans for using the between-the-rails magnets, but so far I haven't used them (does anyone?).

NO, absolutely not. The "trip pins" are there to make automatic uncoupling possible and kinda-sorta look like air hoses. I have painted a few of mine to look like air hoses. If they are catching on the rails or grade crossings, bend them up slightly (as you are doing), Kadee makes a special tool for this:
Kadee Coupler trip pin tool #237
$12.35 gets you the good life!

I do have the 'between the rails' magnets #809, only one installed for testing at the moment. It works great! Since I really don't like the gap needed to install the magnets with Gargraves track and did not want to cut the ties, I cut the bottom magnet to fit in between the ties and put the top magnet over it. By placing some metal below the magnet, it increases the strength (I read that someplace).

When I converted my rolling stock it seems like I had 1 or 2 Atlas cars that had to be done differently, because of interference with underbody details.

I found that my Atlas PS-4427's interfere with their own brake detail on O54 curves and that's what the car is rated for! Usually I cut off the 'ears' on the draft gear boxes so that the wheels don't rub on them and fill in the gap so they look better.

For uncoupling; I use the 'larger/better' free chopsticks one gets for Chinese take out. I put them in the pencil sharpener and then dull the tip. The oval shaped ones work great! Just insert between the couplers, rotate and voilà!
The are apart as silently as they went together. They are plenty long and since there are two, you have a back up. Smile

On a side note: my Girlfriend is wonderful! (she wanted me to post that, and she is wonderful too!)

I hope I helped someone out there-

Photo: The chop job I had to do on my MTH Center I-beam car.
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