The Kadee 803 couplers do not work particularly with the Bachmann On30 couplers. Any suggestions as which kadee to use to replace the Bachmann couplers as the 803 doesn't fit well in the draft box.

Bradford, Bordell and Quinns Railway Co.  (BB&Q Ry)

"Those rails are 1 ft  8 1/2 inches too far apart"

Original Post

The shank on Kadee couplers is a bit thicker than the BAchmann shanks, enough so that fully tightening the screw when using the Kadees will impede their centering action. You can try not tightening the screws all the way, but then they are likely to work loose and fall all the way out, dropping the coupler in the process. Filing the Kadee shanks to make them thinner will work, but you must be careful to file them so they remain flat and true, and don’t hang slanted or drooping. I replace the ones that have the plastic leaf springs on the knuckles with the more recent Bachmann EZ-Mates that have coiled metal knuckle springs. They seem to work pretty well and will still center properly. Just don’t park the cars for long periods on a curve, or the plastic centering springs will develop a “set” and not work properly. My favorite coupler is the KD148 with the whisker springs, I just wish the fit the Bachmann draft gear boxes better.

Bill in FtL

"Seeing that Bachmann designed their On30 products to use HO couplers, Kadee HO couplers like the #5 will work.  If you want to use the 803 and raise the coupler to On3 standards, you're going to have to modify the frames and replace the coupler box.


I agree with Rusty 100%.  Depending on the car, it is reasonably easy to replace the B'mann coupler box with a Kadee 803 box at On3 height.  The most difficult was the steel hopper which required some grinding.  I had my locos done professionally at a reasonable cost.

Pete in Williamsburg, VA

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