How do you convert American Flyer, American Models, etc. couplers to Kadee? I tried mounting a set to the body of a 961 style passenger car, but they'd derail on my 20 inch curves. Sorry if this has been covered in another post....I couldn't find it if it had. Thanks.



Original Post

 I'll try to answer this. I'm not familiar with S Scale . But have done numerous 3RS conversions.

 I'm guessing your using an S Scale Kadee for this. From your post. It sounds like you only did one car. You pretty much can't run a passenger car with body mounted couplers mixed in with truck mounted couplers and not have a derailment. At least scale length ones.

 Not familiar with a 20 inch curve. They seem a little tight. Even if you body mounted all your cars. 3RS you need at least an 072 curve. Preferably with easements to run Scale length passenger cars. Not really sure what a 961 passenger car is. I looked them up. They appear to be  close to scale length cars.

 I have no experience in S as far as Kadee's. Have done numerous 3RS conversions. Asumming youare doing this for one or two reasons. Either couplers on the cars are not reliable as far as staying coupled. Or you desire more of a scale look. If it's just a reliability thing. Can you use O Scale Kadee's. A little bigger. But more options. They offer a long shank coupler that will give you a lot more swing.


The radius is too tight for that length of rolling stock. I have run 40 SHS box cars on a flyer 19”radius, but something that length will not work. They probably wouldn’t work on the 24” radius either… not sure about the 29”.

You might be able to get way with tango mounted Kadees, however backing moves could be a problem.

Tom Stoltz

For the O gauge people, a 961 Gilbert car on 20"R track is similar to an 18" O gauge passenger car on O54. 

Body mounted KD's will not work. A truck mounted coupler will. I have minimum 30" R curves with easements and body mounted couplers on the 13" long cars are not desirable. 

Thanks guys for all the information. I was looking for a more scale-like look and I like the simplicity and reliability of the Kadees, not that the Flyer couplers were particularly troublesome. I had heard the term Talgo mounted couplers, but didn't know what they were until Tinplate Tom clarified. Anyway, thanks all for your inputs.



If you're looking for a more scale appearance, American Models has a more scale sized dummy coupler that takes the place of their large Flyer compatible ones.  Mounting them on a Flyer truck may be a bit harder, though.  In any case, talgo mounting is the only way to go on tight curves.  I have a train with talgo mounted dummy couplers and it negotiates tight curves just fine.  I don't concern myself with operating couplers on this train since it's a passenger train, and runs as a unit.


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