I am thinking of converting my new Lionel 20" passenger cars to Kaydees.    But looking at the recommended Kaydee #747 coupler, I see that design is for the head above the shank.  Before ordering them, I was wondering if anybody there has used this model and if so how well they are working for you.  And do you have a better suggestion if not this model?

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PeterA posted:

I am thinking of converting my new Lionel 20" passenger cars to Kaydees.    But looking at the recommended Kaydee #747 coupler, I see that design is for the head above the shank.  Before ordering them, I was wondering if anybody there has used this model and if so how well they are working for you.  And do you have a better suggestion if not this model?

You might want to go to the Kadee website and view all their couplers in the 740 series. Not sure why one would select that 747 with the off-set coupler head, unless you had an issue with mounting a coupler at the proper height, according to the Kadee Coupler Height Gauge. Personally, I always preferred the Kadee #805 coupler for those applications where the coupler is not all that visible, as on passenger cars.

Also, for what it's worth, you had better have nice big curves if you are planning to install Kadee couplers on 20"/21" long passenger cars, i.e. larger than 072!

I do not know how much you change the make up of your passenger train or why you want to change couplers.  If you are going to Kadees to shorten the distance between cars and are not going to do a lot of switching, non-operating couplers are an option.  John in Lansing, ILL

Last edited by rattler21

If your cars have the new kinematic couplers you only have to move the coupler mounts inboard for closer coupling. Moving them inboard 1/4" will let the diaphrams touch and not compromise minimum radius one bit. It will only cost the price of a 2.5mm tap and appropiate drill bit.

Pete 

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Last edited by Norton

Peter,

Going to Kadee couplers?  That is very cool news.  Unfortunately I don't have any experience with anything outside of the 800 series myself.  Now if Kadee would introduce a Type-H tightlock coupler for passenger cars, I'd be buying a lot of those for my more modern cars.

Good luck with your project!

Last edited by GG1 4877

I've installed kadee 743's on my atlas trainman 60 foot cars because I was having difficulty with atlas couplers.  They really don't bring the cars closer together.  I should have gone with 805's for a more  realistic appearance.  

BTW,  kadee 700 series are Not compatible with Lionel lobster claws,  but 805's are.  You would have to make a transition car with kadees on one end and Lionel's on the other so you can couple the train to your locomotives without changing couplers on them also. 

With the included shims, you will want 747s. For some reason the shims are a bit thicker than they need to be, hence the underset shank. 

With the included shims, you will want 747s. For some reason the shims are a bit thicker than they need to be, hence the underset shank. 

Will, thanks, that is the information I was looking for.  Guess, I will go with Lionel's suggestion.

I must be the only one who hates Kaydee couplers. I must have dozens of tiny springs all hidden away in secret places on my shop floor.

 

AlanRail posted:

I must be the only one who hates Kaydee couplers. I must have dozens of tiny springs all hidden away in secret places on my shop floor.

 

One word -->  "tweezers"

My experience is that 80' - 85' cars that are close coupled really run best on 080 minimum.  I've had some larger cars jump the rails on 072 curves.  For whatever reason my GGD P70s don't like 072 curves while my Atlas 85' Comet cars do fine.  I think truck centering has something to do with it.

On the other end, 40'-50' freight cars run fine through 054 curves. 

Not completely related to this topic, but one of my favorite experiences running Kadee couplers on trains is hearing the locomotive pull the slack action out of the train since the couplers have a small amount of play in the knuckles.

Johnathan, as you know my layout has minimum of 36" radius curves, so I am hoping they will run well.  But the good news is that this conversion is reverseable.  If they don't track well, I will just reinstall the original couplers.  My main issue with the kinnematic couplers is that when stopped, the gap is pretty small.  But when running, the stress on the cars opens them up and all the close coupling is lost.  And to me, that destroys the illusion.  

FYI, on the older series passenger cars, I have cut back the coupler shanks on all my passenger cars to do the same closing of the gap.  Many years ago, I even posted a story here on OGR about how I did that.

Peter,

You have great track work so I suspect you will be fine.  My track work on my own modular layout?  Let's just say Penn Central wouldn't even be proud of it.   My 36" radius curves need a infrastructure investment program.

My interest lies in Pre War Standard gauge so I've not had experience with these couplers but I have a question out of curiosity. I assume that under normal speed the tension between the couplers keeps them from un-coupling while passing over the permanent magnet but what if you stall the train or pause over one of them for some reason . Does this lead to "accidental" un-couplings ? I'm guessing that's where the electro-magnetic version would prove superior. 

G-Man24, they have thumbtack uncouplers, so I presume if the magnet was strong enough, it could uncouple the cars, particularly if you stopped over one.

PeterA posted:

G-Man24, they have thumbtack uncouplers, so I presume if the magnet was strong enough, it could uncouple the cars, particularly if you stopped over one.

I see. The demonstration video I watched showed a permanent magnet that was  approx. 3" long  so that got me to wondering about accidental un-couplings.

Last edited by G-Man24

Question answered.  Turns out the black plastic piece with each car is the spacer as Will Ebert noted.  I installed one with a straight shank coupler I had and can now see why the lower shank version is recommended.  My 747's are on order.  Hopefully when in and are installed, I will be able to report on how well they are working.IMG_3708IMG_3709

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