My Kinematic couplers are beginning to pitch upward as the post bends on kinematic plate

All of my new Lionel 21" passenger cars are beginning to have the couplers pitch upward as the pull and weight of the heavy cars gradually bend the coupler post on the Kinematic plate.

The rising couplers damaged the Diaphragm on my Amtrak Dining Car.  The Up Excursion car couplers are all moving upward.  My Southern Pacific cars with the Full Diaphragm are also doing it, though the Full Diaphragm keeps the bending from being noticed as much.

My C&O, NYC, and Wabash cars from the first-run did not show this trait because they have Full Diaphragms.  They were probably doing it, but I did not notice because of the Full Diaphragm.  The couplers rub on the plastic bottom of the Full Diaphragm, keeping them from raising more.  I am not happy because I have already detailed all of these cars with painted Preiser people.

The metal chassis of the 21" passenger cars is heavier than the 89' Auto Carrier and 86' Box cars.  The extra weight gives a little more of a tug as the kinematic couplers when they swing side to side and the centering spring bungee cords the cars occasionally. 

I ran three of my UP cars with seven of the Southern Pacific cars to see the length of the Pennsylvania Broadway Limited I ordered.  Ten cars will create a lot of pull on the coupler posts where they join the Kinematic Plate.

The photos may be blurred because the train was moving forward to put a load on the couplers.

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Kadee Couplers may be the only option. I would recommend Kadee for the Amtrak Dining Car and any rubber Diaphragm with the plastic plate attached at the end of the car.  The coupler hits the plate.  The CSX set has two cars.  There are probably a few in the Penn Central series like the dining car.  I don't see the plates on the Pennsylvania Broadway Limited.

Probably most of the folks who bought these cars had no intension of going to Kadees.  For those folks what is going to happen now since it looks like all 21" passenger cars may have this issue. Will it result in eventual coupler failure?  Is it fixable?

If all of a sudden Lionel is going to see hundreds of cars returned, what will be its reaction?

The only cars that I have with these couplers are the new AFT cars.  This consist could conceivably be 26 cars some day, so now I'm a bit worried they will not hold up.  Send them back now before the rush?

Ron

 

TCA, TTOS, NCT, LCCA, PRRT&HS

 

Volunteers don't get paid, not because they are worthless, but because they are priceless!  Author Sherry Anderson

Lionelzwl2012 posted:

Has this happened on engines that have the kinimatic couplers as well? Would be curious to know.

I Have a milw road s3 and chessie T-1 and this feature works great on those applications.

LCCA memeber

Appalachian Model Railroad Society.

 

In my world there is a cold beer and vision big boy for everyone.

AmeenTrainGuy posted:

Well if that is the case then Kadee should start thinking of manufacturing an extra long shank for those with tighter curves. I am guessing 072 would not work out well for a 21" car and the Kadee long shaft the cars would be too close.

Check the thread where Rich Battista posted pics showing his Kadee conversions on the UP Excursion cars.  I'm sure his Black Diamond RR has some O-72 curves, and I don't recall him noting any operational problems since there was still a noticeable gap between the cars (which helps on relatively sharp curves).

David

From what I see in the pictures provided, the "claw" is not bending, the POST it attaches too is doing the bending. Whether it be sub-standard Chinese pot metal, or under-designed for the load it needs to carry, the POST is the issue here, therefor, installing Kadee couplers or any other coupler is not going to fix this issue. The attaching post needs to be stronger to withstand the forces being put on it by the weight of the consist it is intended to support.

Either the post needs to be made stronger, or the plate it attaches to needs to be thicker in case the attaching plate is the actual culprit in this bending issue. 

The irony of the whole thing is the kinematic couplers are supposed to provide closer coupling.

However, photos from  one of the AFT threads show the truck mounted couplers KLINE provided with these cars actually coupled closer and of course....no ugly thumbtack.

 

RickO posted:

The irony of the whole thing is the kinematic couplers are supposed to provide closer coupling.

However, photos from  one of the AFT threads show the truck mounted couplers KLINE provided with these cars actually coupled closer and of course....no ugly thumbtack.

Here is a photo showing the difference.  The Lionel cars are in front, the K-Line cars are in back.

DSC_0282

Ron

 

TCA, TTOS, NCT, LCCA, PRRT&HS

 

Volunteers don't get paid, not because they are worthless, but because they are priceless!  Author Sherry Anderson

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Yes, running the cars I noticed the pivots of the actual couplers are locked. they do not swivel about their pivots.

Thus when the cars are motioned fore and aft they ride onto this V slot that looks very awkward.  If the V slot was cut away will this "Monkey Motion" of the coupler be avoided?

And I believe using the 746 Kadee and mounting them back 1/4 inch on the car floor will eliminate this John.

 

I am going to mount these and throw the rest of the "poop droop dumb tacks" in the garbage...

 

kadees 2

TCA Number 16-71884

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D&H 65 posted:

From what I see in the pictures provided, the "claw" is not bending, the POST it attaches too is doing the bending. Whether it be sub-standard Chinese pot metal, or under-designed for the load it needs to carry, the POST is the issue here, therefor, installing Kadee couplers or any other coupler is not going to fix this issue. The attaching post needs to be stronger to withstand the forces being put on it by the weight of the consist it is intended to support.

Either the post needs to be made stronger, or the plate it attaches to needs to be thicker in case the attaching plate is the actual culprit in this bending issue. 

I haven't even taken mine out of the box yet, but if this is the case, it sounds like post reinforcement would be the answer.

There's a fix for this problem that costs all of about 10 cents and takes just a few minutes. I guess I should do a video showing how to do it.

-Eric Siegel

Hey Eric,  I guess you should at least give a brief description of what we need to do to fix this.  It would be appreciated.  Step 1, Step 2, You know. 

I can always bend the coupler back, and bend the coupler back, and bend the coupler back. 

Did I mention that I could bend the coupler back?  Metal fatigue will surely come along with my mental fatigue.

Great series of videos.  Keep up the great work.  

Sincerely, John Rowlen

RickO posted:

The irony of the whole thing is the kinematic couplers are supposed to provide closer coupling.

 

 

Clearly...  The European HO Manufacturers (Fleishmann, Marklin, Roco and others) have been using this type of system for decades (since the late 80's-early 90's) on passenger cars, freight cars, locomotives and tenders.  Their passenger cars have very little space between the buffers and diaphragms on straight track and expand nicely for 18" radius curves.  There's no reason this couldn't be duplicated on 21" passenger cars for O72 curves.

It's not rocket science.  Lionel's used this system correctly on some of their steam locomotives to shorten the tender gap in the past, even on the Flyer Y3.  Somewhere out there there's a design engineer that doesn't quite grasp the concept.

Rusty

Eric,  I keep returning to this post looking for your Ten-Cent Repair Tip.  The price is right.  If I send you a dime, will you repair my car?

The price makes the fix sound cheap, easy and trivial.  No Problem.  But, you are more skilled, have more equipment, better eyesight, are more clever than the rest of us, except for the Super Technicians at Lionel Service.  Those guys at Lionel really know their stuff.

ericstrains.com posted:

There's a fix for this problem that costs all of about 10 cents and takes just a few minutes. I guess I should do a video showing how to do it.

-Eric Siegel

Eric-

Would that be adding a dummy coupler and discarding the rest? Count me in.

TCA Number 16-71884

John Rowlen posted:

Hey Eric,  I guess you should at least give a brief description of what we need to do to fix this.  It would be appreciated.  Step 1, Step 2, You know. 

I can always bend the coupler back, and bend the coupler back, and bend the coupler back. 

Did I mention that I could bend the coupler back?  Metal fatigue will surely come along with my mental fatigue.

Great series of videos.  Keep up the great work.  

Sincerely, John Rowlen

I'm not sure if it applies to everyone's situation, but with mine the problem is not that coupler itself is bending or that the post is bending. The problem is that the metal plate/tab (the piece with the spring on it) that the coupler attached too is bending a bit under strain. What I did on one of my cars was to shim the post up with a very thin piece of sheet styrene placed under area where the post rides. This pushes the post and coupler down a bit, leveling it off, while also providing less room for the post to return to the off-kilter position that the strain of pulling the train caused in the first place.

I haven't filmed a video on how to do it yet because I just did the fix a few weeks ago and so I wanted to run the cars for a while to test the long-term viability of the fix. I was planning to shoot a video of the fix if it still holds up after a few months of run-time. So, if you do this fix, just keep in mind that it hasn't been tested long term. But then again, the reason for this problem in the first place is because Lionel probably didn't do extensive long term tests of the current design to see how it would hold up under stress. 

Thanks,

Eric Siegel

 

Eric,  Thank you very much for the information. I will re-read your instructions with a passenger car in front of me. 

Even if the fix is not long term, I will make sure that my installation can be removed in the future and re-done; in other words, not too much glue to hold the piece in place.  Tires wear down on our cars as we use them, so will some friction-wearing parts on our trains, just like traction tires.

The little extra thickness of the plastic under the sliding path of the coupler post makes a lot of sense. The additional crescent moon-shaped piece attached to the bottom of the floor of the car would pitch the post downward as it rides across the piece.  Perhaps an inspection of the "slide-wings" on the flat kinematic plate holding the post would also be in order to make sure the original plate was truly flat, not warped. 

If I have misunderstood your instructions, please correct me.  I really appreciate your help.

Sincerely, John Rowlen

As I reported in the thread on the Daylight cars, I didn't replace the springs, but took each off and spread it out some to give it more tension.  But perhaps just as important, I replaced the paper (?) washer with a metal one.  The original washer allowed the spring to cant which meant that it was not really holding the coupler level.  I've had no problems since (hopefully!!)

Dear Eric, For those of us that are visional learners, I hope you do a video ASAP. Also I hope you are able to show how Petera replaces the “paper”washer with a metal one . Also please address whether the plastic spacer you install requires any  lubercation .  Thanks

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