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I've heard that many K-Line products are interchangeable with Lionel parts.  I need two sets of what was K-Line part number K-5001-E001.  This is a knuckle, spring and rivet for their K-5001 freight truck (picture attached).

Would anybody happen to know if Lionel has a knuckle, spring and rivet that I can use as a replacement?  I see Lionel has a 480-8 knuckle available but have no idea if it will work on the K-5001 truck.

Anyone have some insight on this problem?

Thanks so much.

TomK-line truck


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  • K-line truck
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"I've heard that many K-Line products are interchangeable with Lionel parts."

@TAGurit13, you heard wrong. The parts certainly look similar on first glance, but I assure you most of them are subtly different. Like in the case of the basic motor truck used by K-Line on their starter line of diesels. They look just like the Lionel motor truck assembly, but there are LOTS of subtle differences. Most notable the number of gear teeth on the Lionel DC motor and the K-Line DC motor. So you can't just easily swap out motors and have them work.

On the same type of locomotive, you can swap out a basic F-N-R Lionel e-unit AC/DC circuit board for a K-Line one. But the wires are all different colors, so you have to figure out where they properly go. And the lockout switch is different between K-Line and Lionel boards, so you may have to just cut that off and lose that feature. And the boards themselves are different sizes, so you cannot simply use the K-Line board mount to secure the Lionel board in the locomotive without making some alterations.

In the case of couplers, the K-Line knuckle rivet is a larger diameter than the Lionel one. So you cannot use a K-Line knuckle and rivet in a Lionel coupler, but you could use a Lionel knuckle and rivet in a K-Line truck. BUT then there's the issue of the shape of the underside of the knuckle that engages with the armature pin. The thumbtack coupler armatures are also slightly different between the Lionel and K-Line trucks.

So in summation, it's not impossible, but be prepared to get out the Dremel and having to do some cutting or grinding to make parts work. The shorter coupler arm parts K-Line used for their S-2 switcher and Alco FA2 have long been gone. So I've used other brand parts, but absolutely had to do some grinding and cutting to make them fit.

Last edited by brianel_k-lineguy

Brassuer trains (thetraindoctor) has the exact part number you are looking for that is the knuckle and rivet set for the k-5001 truck. I know this because I was going to purchase the k-5001 truck he has from him and saw the number you are looking for in stock but found what I needed elsewhere. I think it was only a few dollars but shipping may get you. This was just 2 days ago.


@TAGurit13 posted:

By the way Brad, did you buy the three K-5001 trucks from the guy on ebay?  They were there than gone 2 days

No I saw them and missed out. I did get my truck off ebay from the trainz ebay store. It looks identical to what I need. It came up when I search the K-5001 and also had a lionel part number of 620-1395-050 or just 1395-050. If I am getting what is pictured it looks identical and even has the "swirl" looking machine marks on the inside of the black wheels which I've only seen on some kline cars before. Should be here today so will see. I needed one for a 6 car kline coal hopper set that was converted to scale couplers. I need the first coupler to be an ogauge truck coupler. For a transition to prevent derailing as I am on o31 curves. Sorry for misleading you to the Brassuers trains website. Figured it was up to date. If you need one of these trucks I believe they had 5 in stock. They are $10.42 plus $5 shipping. I will look it up again and let you know the easiest way to find it and post back. If I can figure out how to copy the link I will. I'm pretty dumb with computer stuff.


Just a final update, should the topic ever arise again.  The Lionel 480-8 knuckle with  the corresponding spring and rivet are a PERFECT match for the K-Line K-5001 freight truck.  Direct fit, no trimming adjusting or hassle.

Thanks again all for your guidance and advice!

Just an acknowledgement to Jeff at  Wealth of knowledge, advice and parts galore.

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