Folks,

I’ve always used 2 screws to attach a Kadee to an Atlas frame despite the hole spacing being approximately.035” too narrow and forcing both screws to engage at an angle.  Anyone have any experience/success pulling trains using a single coupler screw?

Thank you

Original Post

 I usually enlarge the Kadee mounting holes with I believe a #44 bit. Gives the screws a little wiggle room. By using longer screws than needed. Works in a boxcar where they will be hidden. The screws will start straight by holding the coupler high and at a slight angle. By alternating between tightening screws. The coupler will walk its way on straight.

 One screw would probably hold up as far as pulling the car. A piece of stripwood placed tightly between the lip of the coupler box cover and the carbody will keep it from pivoting sideways. Once you find the right size. You can glue it to the lid with CA.

I take a # 50 drill and elongate the rear hole toward the middle of the box using a power drill motor.    Usually it takes to almost remove the inside hole lining.    Then I break off the inside pieces so they do not foul the rear of the Kadee shank.  

I have not tried to use just one screw on Atlas cars because the front lip of the box does not butt up against the end beams or anything like that.   

I use 2x8 mm screws.

Why doesn't everyone just drill and tap correct holes for screws and be done with it?


Not captains of industry, not makers of things, keep your vulgar monies! We are a justice sandwich, no toppings necessary. Living rooms of America, do you catch my drift? Do you dig?

Martin is right, whats the big deal drilling a couple of holes and taping them . Most of the cars are plastic and this is not rocket science.  Probably easier then trying to force screws in on an angle. Also easier to maintain and service when necessary. Try it its easier then you think

AMEN Martin   Just drill the new holes to get the coupler pocket location and height closer to prototype.   Then send an email or call Kadee to request they manufacture a conversion kit for AtlasO cars set up for the pre drilled/tapped Atlas mounting holes using externally accessible centerline machine screws.  .  I don't know how deep the market is for such a produce - but there must be tens of thousands of Atlas 1970's (Austria) and later Chineese AtlasO rolling stock running around with less than optimum appearing and functioning "scale" couplers.  Who among us hasn't at one point sworn at that grossly wide Atlas draft  gear pocket with hidden mounting screws and nasty to remove snap lid.   

 

 

 

 

Ed Rappe           PRRT&HS 421

2mm x 8mm screws are very easy to find and buy in real hobby shops or on line.    The holes on the Atlas cars, new Atlas are tapped for 2mm screws.    So just enlarging the rear hole on the coupler box gives you a 2 screw mount with correct threads.

The problem with drilling and tapping new holes is that you only have to move one hole a few thousandths of an inch.    So the new hole would essentially be elongating the old hold on new Atlas cars.

Also most of the New Atlas cars do not have plastic underframes.     They are cast zamak and fairly hard version of the alloy.    They do hold threads very well.

The original "old" atlas from the 80s have holes sized for Kadee boxes.    They do mount the box sticking out a bit, so you could drill new holes to remount them closer.    Otherwise to use the existing mounting holes you can push a 2-56 nut into the inside hole on the frame which is sized for it and then mount the couplers with 2-56 screws which are even much more common than the metric screws.

Yea and if  you buy some tools, next thing you know, you'll need a work bench and then you'll want a place to put it - ie work shop and what's a work shop with a paint booth.    and since  you have the shop, why not a power saw and drill press - -

It is a slippery path that can only lead to ruin!

While I personally drill and tap either 1-72 or 2-56 holes for mounting Kadee's, there is always more than one way to get things done.    Lots of tricks out there, as mentioned, each with some considerations for the modeler.   

It's awesome that companies like Lionel and MTH are including Kadee gearbox mounting pads on their newer tooled equipment.  I wish atlas would move away from their larger gearbox and either make a scale gearbox or use a standard kadee gearbox.  Hate to see such a large oversized gearbox on incredibly detailed cars like the Trinity 5161.   

Thank you,

Mike

rex desilets posted:
mwb posted:

Why doesn't everyone just drill and tap correct holes for screws and be done with it?

Fer cryin' out loud: that requires using tools and stuff


Not captains of industry, not makers of things, keep your vulgar monies! We are a justice sandwich, no toppings necessary. Living rooms of America, do you catch my drift? Do you dig?

mwb posted:

Why doesn't everyone just drill and tap correct holes for screws and be done with it?

To be honest I just never thought of doing that. It's actually not a bad idea. I have tapped and drilled other projects and I like doing it. I find it gratifying if I can tap something and the threads work perfectly. With the Atlas cars what I did in the past is I drilled the coupler box out with a 3/32" drill bit and then I used 2mm screws. I had to screw them down together and not screw one of them all the way down but it worked with minimal effort. By the way, this only works with the metal box. I never tried with the plastic box so I don't know about that but I once tried on a K-Line box (Kadee knockoff) and because it was die cast the box fell apart when I tried to drill out the holes.

However, as noted, on some Atlas cars the coupler box sticks out unrealistically. I guess maybe I wanted to keep the car original. I think someday I go back and drill and tap for 2/56 screws like Atlas should have done in the first place this way the coupler will look better. Thanks for the suggestion.

Phil

TCA Member

NYCHS Member

MTH RR Club

Fellas,

I’m back to doing what I’ve always done i.e. using two screws albeit at an angle to installing Kadee 801’s.  While the 2mm tapped holes are .035” closer than what the Kadee template requires, using 2X12mm screws enables enough slop to make it work.  While I HATE doing this, the end result works.  Analogy: Using a sledgehammer to crack eggs is ridiculous, in the end, it too also works.  

These newer Atlas cars with the aforementioned Zamak frames have two bosses that are tapped for the screws which are .050” above the base of the frame.  (See pictures)  I’ll assume the bosses were cast so as to discourage re-drilling new holes.

I found that using Marty Milner’s .025” laser-cut shims enabled the perfect height though I did trim some off the front to help keep it hidden.  

 

3CD91D89-40A9-4FFA-A0C5-69A165319B622A3C9145-A618-45F5-992F-B2CEC0A4CDAC73DC2AA4-E369-486C-86BB-E5612ED9EEFDB9AB7DB1-36D1-48CD-BD7D-A4745BADE5E1A4E959ED-EEC7-4CE7-A889-336953161D1C

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I use the Kadee 745's since the boxes are plastic and have some give to them. I add a MicroMark shim and walk the screws in. On the occasionally stubborn car, I enlarge the center hole in the Kadee box slightly (3/32" as I recall) and it mounts. I use the 2mmx8mm screws from Micro Fasteners.

My New Year's resolution is to get all of my early Atlas hopper acquisitions converted from the hi-rail couplers to Kadees and eventually to 2-rail. There are a lot of them, plus five Lionel PS4427's that I have to switch over.

Matt Jackson
"The best service you can provide for the hobby is to pass on what you have learned."

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PRR 5841 posted:

8A7D815F-6233-49CB-ACA4-315C53FB2275These are leftover 801’s that I had from a previous project.  I will soon be working on my PFE cars and intend to use 745’s on them.  

My issue with doing that, was always having the Kadee gear box sticking out too far from the end-sill of the car, as in your photo. Sure, drilling and taping new holes was/is a pain, but the end result looks much more prototypical, in my opinion. 

Hot Water posted:
PRR 5841 posted:

8A7D815F-6233-49CB-ACA4-315C53FB2275These are leftover 801’s that I had from a previous project.  I will soon be working on my PFE cars and intend to use 745’s on them.  

My issue with doing that, was always having the Kadee gear box sticking out too far from the end-sill of the car, as in your photo. Sure, drilling and taping new holes was/is a pain, but the end result looks much more prototypical, in my opinion. 

The car spacing with Kadee’s installed as I’ve done is almost identical to the spacing provided by OEM couplers.  While drilling and tapping new holes requires more work but is not very difficult since zamak is only slightly harder than cheddar, the aforementioned tapped bosses that extend .050” would have to be eliminated, probably by grinding to create a level playing field, (No pun intended) so new threaded holes can be  made.  Also, the coupler would have to be shimmed an extra .050” to recover the distance lost by removing the bosses.  The car spacing with either coupler installed is approximately 4’, I’m assuming that the correct distance is 3’ like diesel locomotives.  If  my assumption is correct, than the holes would have to be relocated .125” further back from the sill.  Is there a generally accepted spacing for freight cars or do they vary greatly?  

I've been quietly converting cars to 2-Rail for years it's not rocket science I don't know why there is so much talk about it compared to some of the jobs I do this is easy. I get a new car look at for a few minutes and just do it.  I did the same with the Blast Furnace I did research had virtually no help from the forums and just done it no fuss no talk just did it and I'm just a bumbling fool and an old one at that nothing special about me except maybe I feel grumpy today but at my age that's my right to be like that. Roo.

Photo: Ore cars Atlas, Gondolas MTH, Gondolas AHM, Hoppers MTH, cabooses Weaver and Atlas everything has been converted new trucks wheels and Kadees and this is just a small selection mutiply by 5 you might get close.  Oh ! that's right, I built and operate a layout as well just do it.

DSC04507

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Roo,

Since you’re obviously an expert, please share your thoughts on how to correctly do this with regards to the correct height and prototypically correct spacing especially where the newer Atlas cars which have the .050” tapped bosses to contend with.  Anyone can slam Kadees on any Atlas car, the trick is to try to do it while respecting the above parameters.  The point here is to flesh out ideas, techniques/work-arounds so as to triumph over a manufacturer’s not-so-secret agenda of forcing us to use only their barely adequate couplers.  

Please, I’m all ears.  

PRR 5841 posted:

Roo,

Since you’re obviously an expert, please share your thoughts on how to correctly do this with regards to the correct height and prototypically correct spacing especially where the newer Atlas cars which have the .050” tapped bosses to contend with.  Anyone can slam Kadees on any Atlas car, the trick is to try to do it while respecting the above parameters.  The point here is to flesh out ideas, techniques/work-arounds so as to triumph over a manufacturer’s not-so-secret agenda which forces us to use only their barely adequate couplers.  

Please, I’m all ears.  

Yeah I thought I would get a smart comment like that and I repeat I said I'm I'm a bumbling fool read my message, how many bumbling fools are experts not to many, that just shows how easy it is to do this work the point I'm making is you don't have to be an expert to change cars to 2-rail instead of talking all the time just do it and there have been many threads on this look back so why keep hammering away with endless thread.

And just remember this is O scale everything has to be modified the market just doesn't rate enough sales for 2-railers you think I like it?

I notice you don't have a name so do yourself a favour and sign your name on the message.

Please I'm all ears. Neville Rossiter

While not ideal, these molded on raised bosses, if not workable (as you point out often turn out not to be unless you use one of the workarounds noted above for mounting Kadeee's in the existing holes) receive the grinder/cutter and I end up shimming the gearbox as appropriate to achieve the correct ride height.  From there drill and tap for 2-56 holes.  

Crazy thing, sometimes I end up cutting out entire sections of underframes, especially MTH and either completely rebuilding with Styrene or just styrene blocks.  Not just for couplers but to mount trucks in correct loctions, adjust ride height, etc. 

Thank you,

Mike

Mike DeBerg posted:

While not ideal, these molded on raised bosses, if not workable (as you point out often turn out not to be unless you use one of the workarounds noted above for mounting Kadeee's in the existing holes) receive the grinder/cutter and I end up shimming the gearbox as appropriate to achieve the correct ride height.  From there drill and tap for 2-56 holes.  

Crazy thing, sometimes I end up cutting out entire sections of underframes, especially MTH and either completely rebuilding with Styrene or just styrene blocks.  Not just for couplers but to mount trucks in correct loctions, adjust ride height, etc. 

The most important thing I need to know first is what the correct spacing between box cars/reefers is.  While I agree with HW that the protruding Kadee box is unsightly, I would tolerate it if 4’ spacing is correct.  Like E and F units, I suspect that it may be as little as 3’ but I’m still checking on it.  If anyone knows, please chime in.  If in fact 3’ is correct, then the holes can be moved back .125” or 6 scale inches which just clears the bosses which may not have to be removed as they could provide support.  Keeping the bosses intact also eliminates the need to shim an additional .050”.  Sounds like you have a lot of experience with under-frame modifications.  

Thanks for your response.  

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