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I just bought one and it did not have coupler mounting pads included. I was going to figure out how to make one, but I wasn't sure if anyone here had a lead on where to find this part or if you did the same how did you do it? I did email Atlas, hopefully they have something but we will see.

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Not familiar with this car. To modern for me. I did look on some reviews and the car looks like Atlas tooling. Wasn’t sure if was an MTH as you mentioned coupler pads not provided. Atlas has never offered pads or shims for mounting Kadee’s. They use their own 2 rail coupler which is a bit off from a Kadee as far as mounting holes. But you can get a Kadee to work by enlarging it’s mounting holes with a #43 drill.

Are there holes in the chassis for some sort of mount ? You can always make your own mount or shim. Out of styrene or aluminum.  Can you post a picture of the car end.

At least there’s something there to work with. I looked on Atlas’ site but there was no parts diagram. They do sell parts but no pictures or anything as far as a mount. Generally Atlas uses 2mm threaded holes. The 2 holes that are inline. If you set the Kadee box over them. Where are the holes in relation to each other and where is the coupler in relation to the cars end ?  If they are the same. You might get by with the longer shank Kadee and a shim.

  Looking at the design of the car. The coupler is going to have to be mounted a ways from the car body. Have you backed the car up to the height gauge to see what you might need as far as thickness for the mount which will also be used as the shim ?

Just looking at what you have. I like working with aluminum. It drills and taps easily. You can by it in strips. 1/8 is plenty thick and you can buy it in different widths. I would drill 2 holes to match the 2 in the Atlas chassis. Trim it to fit. Then figure out where to mount the Kadee. Drill and tap your holes. You may still need the longer shanked version seeing this is a 60 ft. car.  I’ve made mounts for a lot of conversions. Just not this particular car. I can give ideas. But without the car in front of me it’s hard to tell you what will work.

The two inline holes are not for a kadee, its for some sort of insert. The spacing is too close together. I found an article where someone is replacing the atlas o coupler with kadees and I think this is the piece that I did not get. https://rices-rails.blogspot.c...ees-on-berwicks.html

I think the best option for me is drill and tap two new holes slightly back of the existing ones. I have not done that yet, so it will be a new adventure. I suppose I could make a shim that would need to be drilled through anchor the screw, but I think that might be more a headache than its worth.

I looked at the thread you posted. That piece looks fairly thick. I would look into a piece of aluminum. Home Depot sells strips. No need to drill into the chassis. Drill the holes to match what’s in the chassis. You may need to countersink the holes and use a flathead screw. Mark where the Kadee is going to mount on the aluminum stock. You can drill and tap the holes off the car. The problem with mounting the Kadee directly to the chassis. The hole at the cars end has nothing to grab if you just use a spacer. In the posted thread it’s a 2 rail car. You will need a bit thicker mount than what’s shown. I think the 1/8 thick stock may work.

This picture is a Lionel milk car. The idea is the same.



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Just wondering how your making out. Adding Kadee’s is a hobby within a hobby. I ended up with a drill press, bits, a saw for cutting brass and aluminum, tap sets, shim assortments and a good supply of hardware. The Dremel I already had for cutting up trucks if needed. I’ve done numerous cars and each one requires something different. The Weavers are by far the easiest. Easy coupler removal. You really just have to play with the truck and coupler height. I think the Atlas cars are the  biggest challenge at times with their own unique coupler and different mounts unique to each car.

Well, not great so far. I found the tap set I need but promptly broke the drill and the tap. Frustrating. I did find another bit that works and I have self tapping sheet metal screws which will take the aluminum. The problem I am having is getting the holes perfectly aligned. Even when using the draft gear box as a guide I cant quite keep the holes straight. Then when added the additional 2 holes to screw into the frame I  cant get those aligned either. I am thinking at this point it might be easiest to use the aluminum as a shim and support and drill new holes into the frame. If i need additional spacers I have those in various sizes. I have done all my "easy" ones from Lionel and Atlas, this is my first challenging one, so a learning curve, no doubt.

You might want to give this coupler a look. Part of the problem on that car. Is the 3 holes in line on the Kadee box are to close to the cars end. This has the same box with just a longer shank coupler. This would allow you to bring the box further back where there is some meat to tap into. Once you settle on a spot that will work. You just need a shim with a through hole. The only threading will be the car itself. It’s best to use a 2mm threaded screw. Which I think is a #52 bit. Use thread cutting oil if you have some for the tap. Any oil is better than nothing. I know some have just used sheet metal screws. If the body can be removed easy enough. You can always just drill right through and secure with a nut. This is right off of Kadee’s site. They are used more in passenger cars. But it will allow you to mount the box back further. Often times. I only mark and drill one hole. Sock it down with a screw to hold it in alignment. Then drill the second hole with a secured box.


Don’t beat yourself up on this. I often end up making 3 mounts just to have two usable ones. It’s tough to get consistency with basic tools. I’m sure there are some sharp guys on the Forum that could easily 3D print the parts. Unfortunately. I’m not one of them.


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Last edited by Dave_C

Drilling and cutting the stock aluminum was good practice for the real thing. I have 746 couplers on hand right now (others on order). I went ahead and drilled holes into the frame. Using 1 - 2 mm all nation shim and 2 screws did the trick. The bit I used was 1/16 - made for a tight and secure fit for 2-56 sheet metal screws. I did order some metal draft gear boxes to replace the plastic ones.


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I typically use Dave C's method of only marking/drilling one hole then locking down the Kadee box to drill the second hole.  I also tend to use a punch--especially on metal surfaces--before drilling the first hole.  This prevents the bit from "walking" off the center line mark.  And always use oil when drilling/tapping metal, no matter how soft it is.  I learned that the hard way very early in my Kadee adventures!

Last edited by CNJ #1601

While not a Kadee project. If I didn’t already have Kadee’s I wouldn’t have even looked at some 2 rail brass milk cars. They already came with Kadee’s mounted. All the trucks were flimsy and didn’t roll that well and were a derailment waiting to happen. Could happen anywhere. I decided to try and lower the Lionel milk trucks. I used some brass stock I had. Once I drilled and tapped one hole. I could position it straight and drill the next one. Once the screws were tight I drilled out the holes for the 4 mounting pins. Multiple measurements and doublechecks found the new mounts center. In order to get the truck under the car and clear some details. I had to offset the mount. The ends were filed for a snug fit. The tapped holes were not needed for assembly. Just for fabricating. They were drilled out as the side frames were threaded. Lionel has new milk car trucks that are much easier to do. If I new they were going this route. I never would have cut up those now prized trucks.


PapaBear, glad you got it on and working. That’s a nice looking car. The more you do the easier they get.


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