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Absolutely agree the 816 is what you want right now. If you can wait for the new AAR type E couplers, might be nice...

If you already have an 804 and 805 couplers, you can use the 804 box with the metal 805 coupler. The 804 coupler box is plastic (as with the 816) which is easier to trim the back portion off to allow the clearance of the truck.

You certainly could use and 805 metal box but you'll need to cut the back of the box off with a dremel or some other method. Another path is to cut the loop of the truck to allow clearance of the full 804/805 box.

I know guys who use the 806 which is the short box but I don't like it because the coupler is plastic and the the shank is short which doesnt' work well with tight curves.
Last edited by Mike DeBerg

816's work great.  The plastic gearbox may require just a little trimming off at the back of the box, unless you just cut the 3R pilot loop off the trucks for clearance.   Otherwise, IMO, you'll enjoy a much better experience than if you went with the 806 short shank.


If you think you might go with the new E style couplers for more of your equipment, consider experimenting with the 745 couplers as they are exactly the same as the 816's (medium centershank metal coupler/plastic geabox) but with the new e head on them.  Just keep in mind they may require a little more work when uncoupling if you're using a pick type of tool.

Yes they will.  As noted in other threads, depending on how your uncouple your equipment, a little more work required to get the new E style coupler to open with pick style of uncoupling tools.  What worked with the older 805's such as a round bamboo skewer doesn't work or work as well.  I've shaved down a bamboo fork end (flatter) with more consistent results.
Originally Posted by clem k:

Will the new type E mate with the old


I use the 3 rail, between the rails magnets from kadee and they work great. Not everyone likes the looks of them once they have been installed, but they do allow hands free switching operations on my layout. They have the same type of magnets for 2 rail track and they perform the same.

Switch and ballast


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