KD's work fine on my 26-28" radius (you can do the math...) tightest loop running a Weaver RS-3 and 40' cars as well as my NW-2 and all of my steam up through the 2-8-0's in 2- and 3-rail operation. I have one curve that is much tighter that limits use to just an 0-4-0 switcher. It's really dependent on your choices of rolling stock and motive power as well as era modeled. If you're going to ruin anything larger, you'll probably need larger curves or you're going to have "problems" using car mounted couplers that are limited in their swing motion by the their box. I put that last limitation in since the use of radius couplers in trolley operations permits the use of far tighter curves than one might normally consider possible.

There are many mysteries in this universe, big and small. Like, why do clowns make us laugh? Why do we love puppy dogs? And why, why do little blue midgets hit me with fish?

I just mounted a #805 on the rear of my MTH GTW steel caboose. IT was a little un-nerving to cut the coupler mount off the MTH truck, you can not put it back together. The car does have 2 mounting holes, but I do need to get some shims. It needs one, but for now it is close. It really vastly improves the appearance of the car and I am definitly will be doing some more...This has been a great thread and would make a great article for OGR. I am sure that that would spread the word to alot more people...

Marty

"Buy another round of track for the boys"

quote:
Originally posted by DaveJfr0:
Spread the word indeed...maybe Kadee will make multi-packs for O-scale to save us some cash...I don't get how HO has like 80 types of kadees(atleast it seems that way when I walk into a well-stocked HO hobby shop) and we only have...well 800-806...which is more or less 2 types (short and long) in various colors and materials.


Once upon a time, right after we moved up from the bronze age, we only had the 804 and 805, and there would be 1 of each on the wall hidden amongst the 80 other packets of the other KD products...ask at the counter, "I think we have one packof those....somewhere...", Big Grin

There are many mysteries in this universe, big and small. Like, why do clowns make us laugh? Why do we love puppy dogs? And why, why do little blue midgets hit me with fish?

Since AZ is still in the stone age a response from a typical local LHS is something like this:

O gauge LHS: "What's a Kadee Coupler?"

HO / N gauge LHS: "What's O scale?"

Walthers online is a great source of these even at the non-sale price of $3.50 each.

Jonathan

 

Which vendors at York sell the Kadee 805's? Would the same vendor also carry the kadee height gauge and shims?

Thanks so much.

Paul

btw - Peter thanks for those excellent pictures and step by step directions

... still have my fare - with just a trifle to spare...

 

 

quote:
Originally posted by guttlaw:
This is a wonderful set of Q & A; just what the doctor ordered, answering many of my questions . But my layout is largely 042 and 054 curves, with turnouts to match ( It's C shaped in 13 x 14). Any thoughts on the best way to use kadees in this sharp curve environment, using 40 foot cars, RS 3s, Geeps and SW1 switchers + Lionel 0-8-0,K-Line 0-6-0 and the like ( PRR & NYC, thank you very much). Also, are you converting the engines or using them as is, with KDs on the cars only ?
Thanks,
Rubin


Rubin, my layout will be mostly 042 and 054 too. Having converted several cars with body mounted kadees and testing on 031 and 036 carpet layout, I'm fairly confident I'll have no trouble on the layout. I haven't tested anything close to an S curve, but I'm not planning on anything too close to an S on my layout either. I'm planning to stick to 40 footers and shorter. Even backing up two 40 footers kadee coupled together works on 031. Very close, but still clears.
Does anyone use the 2 side mounting holes on the Kadee coupler pocket vice using the 2 centerline holes?

Also, does anyone cut off the "air hose"? I have had to bend practically every one of mine so they won't snag on the track. The only reason I haven't cut them off yet is because I had plans for using the between-the-rails magnets, but so far I haven't used them (does anyone?).

When I converted my rolling stock it seems like I had 1 or 2 Atlas cars that had to be done differently, because of interference with underbody details. They may have been older Atlas cars, I'll have to check.

MODELING SOUTHEAST VIRGINIA

4+ years and STILL Having A Blast Running BPRC

I use the two side mounting holes on occasion, depending on the type and manufacturer of the car. Although I prefer the center mounting hole with a
#2-56 machine thread screw or #2 self taping sheet metal screw, I have used
#1-72 machine thread screws for the side mount holes.
quote:
Originally posted by Bob Delbridge:
Does anyone use the 2 side mounting holes on the Kadee coupler pocket vice using the 2 centerline holes?

Also, does anyone cut off the "air hose"? I have had to bend practically every one of mine so they won't snag on the track. The only reason I haven't cut them off yet is because I had plans for using the between-the-rails magnets, but so far I haven't used them (does anyone?).

When I converted my rolling stock it seems like I had 1 or 2 Atlas cars that had to be done differently, because of interference with underbody details. They may have been older Atlas cars, I'll have to check.


Yes, I cut most all of the "air hoses" off the Kadees. "someday" I'll get to imitation operating air hoses, and have cut the already ones off. IF they are dragging on the rails, they are too low. A tool that most any train modeler should have is a Kadee Coupler Gauge



Don't assume that the car you are lineing up to is correct.

Ed R
Ed,
I actually had a couple out of the bag that were straighter than others and would catch on the track. I had one that even fell out of the knuckle!!! I don't think that one was pushed in far enough because I re-seated it and it's been fine since.

I used to cut them off on my HO stuff, but haven't done so yet on the O items.

MODELING SOUTHEAST VIRGINIA

4+ years and STILL Having A Blast Running BPRC

The new Walthers monthly sale catalog/flyer has 805's on sale at $2.98 per pair, so i just ordered 10 pairs from my dealer. I have converted alot of Atlas and MTH 3 rail cars to 2 rail using the MTH 2 rail scale trucks and 805 couplers, but i want to try converting my 3 rail fleet to scale couplers for better switching with no banging. I am confident in this type of conversion...The real question is has anyone converted their expensive Atlas or MTH 3 rail locos to scale couplers, [i may have missed the threads on this]. I'm kind of hesitant on maybe ruining the loco...I'm not a collector and do not care about re-sale values...When I go to that train layout in the sky, my wife and kids can worry about re-sale values...lol

Frank Verrico

Yes I have converted many MTH Premier Steam and Diesel loco's to Kadees. I just completed a Atlas MP15DC in which I also closed in the pilot. Almost all MTH hood diesels take a 1/8" shim between the coupler box and the bottom of the cast pilot assembly. MTH F units are quite a bit different.
Just finished a set of MTH F3's ABBAs for a friend in which I ran the MU tethers through the end doors and installed Kadees thru-out. Maybe the owner will take photos of the conversion and post.
I have not converted my Lionel SantaFE E6's or PA's, but did install Kadees between my Lionel F3's to shorten the gap.
quote:
The real question is has anyone converted their expensive Atlas or MTH 3 rail locos to scale couplers


Yes:

SD 40:



Dash 8-40BW



GP 60



GP 60M

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To add to Rich Montague's answer above, YES I am currently converting ALL my "expensive" 3rd Rail brass steam locomotives AND "expensive" MTH Premier steam locomotives to Kadee couplers! I already have over a dozen converted, including my Lionel Legacy UP FEF-3 and SP GS-4 4-8-4 models. Some are MUCH easier to convert than others, however what also takes a LOT OF TIME is removing that damned diecast mounting extension on the rear truck for the big electro-coupler on MTH models! I have already taken two truck bolster pieces to the vise in the garage and hack sawed off that extension! In most cases, if you do NOT remove that extension on the rear tender truck, it will NOT clear the Kadee coupler box assembly, thus the truck swing will be restriced on curves (my "sharp" curve is 072).
quote:
.The real question is has anyone converted their expensive Atlas or MTH 3 rail locos to scale couplers,



yes! Every single 3rd Rail loco I own get's a kadee coupler the moment it comes out of the box. Basic 10 step procedure here is:

#1 - open 3rd rail box
#2 - unpack it carefully
#3 - stare in awe over the details for 10-15 min.
#4 - power up on test track
#5 - take it apart and install kadee couplers
#6 - head to the layout.
#7 - blow the whistle
#8 - have fun
#9 - tell wife "I'll be up in a minute"
#10 - get yelled at by wife 3 hours later.

--2 Railer with really sloppy track work that left rail laying around the middle.

quote:
Originally posted by Dtrainmaster:
Rich Montague,
Did you add the fixed pilot to the #4030? Could you retain the regular (large) couplers with it?
Thanks


Yes, I did add the fixed pilot. No, you cannot retain the large coupler. It just won't fit. The picture of ATSF 4030 is a little dark, so look at the picture #116, the GP 60M that follows. Both use the same pilot. As you will see, there's not enough room for the large tinplate electrocoupler to fit through the pilot. Even if that were not a problem, the large coupler mounts to the truck. A truck mounted coupler will foul in a fixed pilot and keep the truck from pivoting in turns. And as the guys point out, its kind of self-defeating to install a prototypical fixed pilot but retain an unrealistic coupler.

I'm guessing the reason you ask is that you like the fixed pilot, but don't like the idea of losing the electrocoupler's convenience. For me the scale accuracy is well worth uncoupling by hand. Remember, uncoupling is only part of the functionality equation. For all the ease of uncoupling with tinplate couplers and electrocouplers, they're not so hot when it comes to coupling, especially with a small cut of cars. That and appearance are where Kadees shine. And coupling must be at least half the equation, I should think.

RM

Member of the [URL=http://www.jcstudiosinc.com/Archive]J&C Studios Archive[/URL] - building a permanent archive of great O-Gauge content!
Check out [URL=http://www.jcstudiosinc.com/BlogCategoryMain?catId=659]My Blog[/URL] on the [URL=http://www.jcstudiosinc.com/Archive]J&C Studios Archive[/URL].

quote:
Originally posted by John Pignatelli:
Great tread, is there any photos or diagrams on how the spring attaches and how install them?
Thanks
John P


Go back to page 1, post #1........picture with diagram of how to assemble a KD coupler, insert spring, etc is right there.

There are many mysteries in this universe, big and small. Like, why do clowns make us laugh? Why do we love puppy dogs? And why, why do little blue midgets hit me with fish?

quote:
Originally posted by Billsrr:
Rich, I would like to convert my atlas diesels to kadee's. What are the steps to mount the pilot and mounting the kadees?


Bill,

It varies a little from engine to engine. I found that Bill Serratelli at Atlas, who was a tremendous help to me, didn't even realize all of the parts involved, so there was some trial and error. What follows is a general overview. If you have questions about a particular engine, I'll try to answer them. I'm calling up the steps and parts from memory. I can probably run down specific part numbers from my order lists, if needed:

For the Dash 8s (both standard and wide cab) you re-use the three rail pilot and fix it using a plastic spacer part that fits between the pilot and the frame. An additional part having a name like "coupler mount" or something like that provides the mounting area for the scale coupler and also fills the oversized hole in the pilot. These parts are unpainted plastic, so you will have to paint. Basically the steps required are:

1. Remove the three rail pilot. You either have to drop the trucks or cut it off right where it mounts to the truck block. (Since it is extremely tight inside the Dash 8 shell, I opted to cut it off).

2. Regardless of how you remove the three rail pilot, you then have to cut off the tab that mounts to the truck block or that will foul the truck.

3. You probably will need to tap the mounting screw holes the frame (although a unit I bought in the last run came with these already tapped). Use a 2.5 mm tap. The screws to mount the pilot, spacer and coupler mount are available from Atlas. I don't recall the length, but I think its getting up around 18 mm (pretty long).

4. The Atlas scale coupler uses a single screw to mount. To mount Kadees, I drilled my own hole in the coupler mount (a pin vise will work; the part is plastic). You will need to shim it to the correct height. Because of the differences in the coupler box width, I also shim the Kadee box on the side to keep it in position.

5. For hand rails, you can order new ones from Atlas (if in stock -- they are not always) or make your own from wire or even paper clips. In addition be prepared to paint the parts to match the locomotive.

Most of the parts for the Dash 8s are available on the Atlas website, but be aware that the wide cab Dash 8s use a different spacer, and that is not available. Bill Serratelli at Atlas was kind enough to scrounge me some for my projects.

For the GP 60s, 60Bs and 60Ms as well as the SD40s, no spacer is used. Instead you buy a new full pilot, which you may have to paint. You also need to order the top steps. The other steps and most of the detail parts can be reused from the three rail pilot. Be aware that for the GP 60 series of engines, the front and rear pilots are slightly different. The rear pilots seem never to be in stock, so I used from pilots. The difference is where the MU recepticles mount. Its hard to explain, but they will be off slightly if you use a front pilot on the rear, but you can trim the MU recepticle parts to fit and look good. The MU recepticles are separate parts (three front and three rear) for the two rail model. Look close and you can see them in the picture above of ATSF 116.

In addition to the pilot and other parts, the GP 60s use a coupler mount or spacer. Its basically just a thick shim.

To mount the pilot you tap the holes in the frame (2 mm) this time. I can't recall the length of screws involved; about 6 or 8 mm, I think. Locations for the coupler are already tapped in the pilot. Like other Atlas products, the mount holes are off for Kadees, but you can use them anyway just by carefully working down the screws in alternate fashion. This comes out at the correct NMRA recommended height. To take off the three rail pilot you likely will have to drop the trucks.

The SD 40s also use a separate pilot (again order the needed top steps). The coupler mount piece is both a shim and it fills some of the pilot front. This one attaches to the pilot with its own set of screws (I don't recall the dimensions). Again, you have to tap holes in the frame (2mm again). I believe I mounted mine with 2 by 4 or 5 mm flathead screws. For the SD 40 you absolutely must cut off the large three rail coupler mounting lug at the front of the truck or it will foul on the fixed pilot. Like the Dash 8, I drilled my own hole to mount the Kadee; the Atlas scale coupler extends too far out in my view and Kadees are better in any event.

RM

Member of the [URL=http://www.jcstudiosinc.com/Archive]J&C Studios Archive[/URL] - building a permanent archive of great O-Gauge content!
Check out [URL=http://www.jcstudiosinc.com/BlogCategoryMain?catId=659]My Blog[/URL] on the [URL=http://www.jcstudiosinc.com/Archive]J&C Studios Archive[/URL].

I just realized the couplers that came with the Atlas Adjust-a-coupler set have shanks that are approx 1/8" longer than the Kadee #804. They fit fine in the Kadee pocket and work well with Kadee springs. Might be just the answer for a long car that has interference issues.



I have some data to share in case there's others out there in trainland that are doing this.

I have 2 Atlas single-sheathed boxcars with cut levers on each end. I attached the Kadee pockets as close as possible to the endsills and used a 1/8" styrene shim to lower the pocket to specs.

I was going to use Kadee couplers in the pockets, but found that the cut levers interfere with the Kadee knuckles because of the short shanks. I HAVE to use the long-shank Atlas couplers unless I (1) remove the cut levers or (2) add more shim to lower the pocket to less than 11/16" centerline to top of rail or (3) move the coupler out more from the endsill.

This combination of Kadee pocket and Atlas coupler (with Kadee spring) works fine on this type of boxcar.

I have an Atlas Woodrack car that does not have cut levers and the Kadees work fine as is.

MODELING SOUTHEAST VIRGINIA

4+ years and STILL Having A Blast Running BPRC

quote:
Originally posted by Old Goat:
quote:
Originally posted by John Pignatelli:
...is there any photos or diagrams on how the spring attaches and how install them?
John P



Lots of quality information on the Kadee website:



An X-Acto knife with a #11 blade or a small, flat blade screwdriver works fine too.

Matt


Thanks Matt, that is what I was looking for.
John
http://home.earthlink.net/~mcjackson/angelsgate.htm Charter member of the greatest RR Club in the World. "Angels Gate Highrailers"
I don't know if the following applies to Atlas cars with 3R couplers. All but one of my Atlas cars (first one ten years ago) were bought as 2R cars with 2R wheelsets and Atlas scale-sized couplers mounted to the carbodies. But if this may help anyone:

A few days ago I spent some time swapping out Atlas couplers with broken knuckles & experimenting with KDs on some boxcars and reefers. I found that the Atlas coupler box holes will accept 2mm diameter machine screws. 2x8 or probably better, 2x10 work well--AND because they are a bit narrower than 2-56, they can be used to attach a KD box to the Atlas carbody WITHOUT drilling or tapping any new holes.
woody
quote:
Originally posted by jwmathews:
I don't know if the following applies to Atlas cars with 3R couplers. All but one of my Atlas cars (first one ten years ago) were bought as 2R cars with 2R wheelsets and Atlas scale-sized couplers mounted to the carbodies. But if this may help anyone:

A few days ago I spent some time swapping out Atlas couplers with broken knuckles & experimenting with KDs on some boxcars and reefers. I found that the Atlas coupler box holes will accept 2mm diameter machine screws. 2x8 or probably better, 2x10 work well--AND because they are a bit narrower than 2-56, they can be used to attach a KD box to the Atlas carbody WITHOUT drilling or tapping any new holes.


That's interesting. Does the front of the draft box line up with the end of the car properly? BTW, most of the 3-rail Atlas cars are pre-drilled for the scale couplers while a few (89-foot flats, cushioned underframe, etc.) need additional parts.

Matt Jackson
"The best service you can provide for the hobby is to pass on what you have learned."

 Angels Gate Hi-Railers San Pedro, California

"Celebrating over 20 years of moving freight and passengers from Point A to Point A!"
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quote:
Originally posted by jwmathews:
A few days ago I spent some time swapping out Atlas couplers with broken knuckles & experimenting with KDs on some boxcars and reefers. I found that the Atlas coupler box holes will accept 2mm diameter machine screws. 2x8 or probably better, 2x10 work well--AND because they are a bit narrower than 2-56, they can be used to attach a KD box to the Atlas carbody WITHOUT drilling or tapping any new holes.


Yes, I am wondering why people are drilling and tapping for 2-56 when there are 2mm holes?
After buying my first atlas car (55 ton) in '03, I began installing Kadees' with 2mm screws (2x8's). It is the easiest conversion ever! Yes, Matt, you are correct the 89' flats have an additional piece that mounts between the carbody and draft gear. The 53' Evans box cars have that too.

quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Delbridge:
Does anyone use the 2 side mounting holes on the Kadee coupler pocket vice (versus?) using the 2 centerline holes?


Sometimes, when I create a custom mount for cars that have no real mounting platform for Kadees. Or I don't have a short shank coupler and have to cut the back of the gear box. Like K-Line's 40' diecast box cars(custom mount), AND.... when I mess up the center line holes Frown

quote:
Also, does anyone cut off the "air hose"? I have had to bend practically every one of mine so they won't snag on the track. The only reason I haven't cut them off yet is because I had plans for using the between-the-rails magnets, but so far I haven't used them (does anyone?).


NO, absolutely not. The "trip pins" are there to make automatic uncoupling possible and kinda-sorta look like air hoses. I have painted a few of mine to look like air hoses. If they are catching on the rails or grade crossings, bend them up slightly (as you are doing), Kadee makes a special tool for this:
Kadee Coupler trip pin tool #237
$12.35 gets you the good life!

I do have the 'between the rails' magnets #809, only one installed for testing at the moment. It works great! Since I really don't like the gap needed to install the magnets with Gargraves track and did not want to cut the ties, I cut the bottom magnet to fit in between the ties and put the top magnet over it. By placing some metal below the magnet, it increases the strength (I read that someplace).

quote:
When I converted my rolling stock it seems like I had 1 or 2 Atlas cars that had to be done differently, because of interference with underbody details.


I found that my Atlas PS-4427's interfere with their own brake detail on O54 curves and that's what the car is rated for! Usually I cut off the 'ears' on the draft gear boxes so that the wheels don't rub on them and fill in the gap so they look better.

For uncoupling; I use the 'larger/better' free chopsticks one gets for Chinese take out. I put them in the pencil sharpener and then dull the tip. The oval shaped ones work great! Just insert between the couplers, rotate and voilà!
The are apart as silently as they went together. They are plenty long and since there are two, you have a back up. Smile


On a side note: my Girlfriend is wonderful! (she wanted me to post that, and she is wonderful too!)

I hope I helped someone out there-

Photo: The chop job I had to do on my MTH Center I-beam car.
I'm just about to start the conversion. 2 questions using 072 curves can I body mount Kadees to all cars including scale length passenger cars. I'm familiar with the magnetic uncoupler for Kadee (from former HO days) how does it work, or does it work with 3 rail track?
DK5,

The pre drilled Atlas holes do not line up for Kadees, thus they drill new ones. If the existing holes are used, the coupler box sticks out a bit.

Terry,

You can body mount kadees to all freight cars for 072. Passenger cars it is on a case by case basis, but many said it works.
Body mount on full-length passenger cars is iffy. The idea posted above about cutting out the sides of the box will help.
I prefer to mount the coupler in a length of rectangular brass tube and pivot the assembly about the inner end of the tube with a spring to center it(H/T B&O Joe). You can select the pivot point to suit. John Armstrong used something similar, but more complicated; his design pivoted on the truck pivot.
Post
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