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I am taking the plunge into Kadee coupler conversion. I have mostly Atlas rolling stock mainly single sheath boxcars, war emergency and fish belly hoppers. Which would be the easiest to convert? I have bought the #805 couplers but still need to order screws, shims and the Kadee height adjusting tool. Will do so today.


If you don't do this and you press down on the car as these trucks have spring action, the sides might go flying or it may never happen. Anyway I would recommend this for the Atlas trucks

I'm not trying to prove anybody wrong just trying to help out the team. Wink

Gary is correct and the trucks done his way, which is the way I do it, have better rolling characteristics.  I quit using Pete's method when I noticed the trucks didn't roll as well as they did before the conversion.  That isn't to say that they wouldn't roll.


Concerning the Lionel truck "secret sic.", the problem occures when Kadee #805 couplers & boxes are used, because all that clap-trap steel stuff on the Lionel truck interferes with the rear of the Kadee box, when the truck rotates. When the "short box" Kadee couplers (#806 I think) are used, you do NOT have to cut all that crap off the Lionel truck.

Since I have long been using the Kadee #805 couplers (I purchase them in bulk), I have also had to use the Dremel to cut all that crap off the few Lionel cars/trucks I have up-graded, just as Laidoffsick has shown, above.

I agree with Hot Water.  I used 806's without cutting the Lionel truck.  After seeing Laidoffsick's method, I tried it, and was then able to use Kadee 805/740 couplers which have better action than the 806/743 couplers.

Originally Posted by Bob Delbridge:

IMO a Dremel cutoff disk would be the tool to use.  Vise grips have always left marks on everything I've touched with them.  The problem with using a cutoff disk is avoiding gouging the wheels if you don't take the truck apart.  I have plenty of used cutoff disks laying around and use one that's small enough to get between the wheels.

I agree with Bob's statement, i.e. I would NOT use a Dremel to remove the crap from the Lionel, or any other manufacturers, trucks. I purchased a pair of EXTREMELY heavy duty, LONG handle side cutters from Snap-On Tool Co. (item #312CP), and simply cut off all the unwanted crap.

FYI.  While it's been a while since the above posts I offer the following for what it's worth.  Reference the discussion and pictures in the January 2013 posts.  The posts about the small screws not attaching the two parts of the truck frame together.


I have found some Atlas O  3 rail trucks where both parts are threaded and so the screws DO attach the two parts.


And as shown above, I have also found 3 rail trucks where only the "top" part is threaded and so the result agrees with the pictures and words above.


To investigate further I examined a truck from an Atlas O car that came from the factory with 2 rail wheelsets and therefore without the big black coupler adapter bar as shown above.  This car has both parts of the frame threaded and has the small screws installed.  So, the two parts are connected and truck is rigid from the factory.

Last edited by Austin Bill

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