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DT
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The other day I wrote up a little topic on installing Kadee #5 couplers to Hornby wagons. Here now, continuing on the theme, is an account of installing Kadees on a couple of Bachmann 12 tom ventilated vans. These are the vans:



They come with narrow tension-lock NEM couplings. I thought that I could just whip out the tension-lock couplings and replace them with some NEM Kadees, but alas, the height of the NEM pocket was wrong.



So basically, you have to lower the Kadee towards the track by about 1.75 mm. This is done quite easily by flipping the NEM pocket over as it has a thinner edge on one side. The pocket will also sit proud of the pocket holder, so a drop of contact cement helps keep it in place. It works fine and can be released with the tip of a screwdriver if required. It would be nice to rather have some adaptors allowing the correct height to be set. Perhaps there are NEM pocket adaptors out there, but I couldn't find any. If someone has a link to a shop, please post it.



The result is this:



And this is what it looks like when measured up to the Kadee height gauge:



And coupled to another van:



What Kadee to use? Well I measured the angle between two vans connected with the tension-lock couplings. In a very un-scientific experiment it looked like this:



I tried using a set of #19 long NEM Kadees. The result was thus:



I thought that I wouldn't need such a tight angle and would prefer them slightly closer so I settled for #18 NEM Kadees. Giving this result:



They now look quite good and are able to negotiate the sharpest curves on my track.

So you see, it's a bit of hit and miss or hit and score when fitting these things. You have to have a selection of couplers on hand and you have to experiment a bit. In the end, when all locos and rolling stock is correctly set with couplers at the right height, it will be fantastic.

One other tip. I'm starting to amass a collection of different sized Kadees. The paper packets these things come in are not great for keeping the parts in once opened, so I've transferred the contents of half used packets to a neat storage box:

 

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once more, we thank you Doug...

I haven't used the NEM kadees....they only came out after I ceased US modelling as an obsession...

but in the second photo, side view, I notice the kadee shank appears to be an offset one?? Is that right?

perhaps what is needed is a straight shank version?

( I am surprised Bachmann haven't followed NEM pocket height rules....or have they?}
the pocket height itself seems right for the height gauge?

or..are US NEM pockets always lower than Euro ones?
 

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I recommend making sure that those little capsules containing the spare springs are kept in a dry place. I suspect that they may be from the pharmaceutical industry. I've noticed that some of the capsules I have lying about in the attic are showing signs of being affected by moisture and become hard to open.

David
 

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QUOTE (alastairq @ 18 Aug 2007, 17:18) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>but in the second photo, side view, I notice the kadee shank appears to be an offset one?? Is that right?

perhaps what is needed is a straight shank version?

( I am surprised Bachmann haven't followed NEM pocket height rules....or have they?}

Bachmanns NEM pocket heights are all over the place - some are too high, some too low and amazingly some are right. On one loco I ended up gluing the coupling to the outside of the pocket to get it to the right height. Kadee only do the offset version. Bachmann virtally admit to having the socket height wrong by fitted dropped tension lock couplings to gain the right height.

More Kadee info can be found at

http://uk.geocities.com/shipleymodelrail/kadee.html
http://www.ukmodelshops.co.uk/other/mti_article.shtml
 

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Doug, that is a neat way of fitting them. Upside down is good after all

I fit the traditional #5 in its own box with a screw thru the middle,But which ever way suits the modeller, good.

Alastairq - your comment "or..are US NEM pockets always lower than Euro ones?:" To my knowledge, US models do not have NEM pockets but in most cases have a "standard" box to take the old style X2f & Kadee type couplers. The Kadee plug in couplers for NEM was designed for the standard in Europe as Europe did have a standard height for NEM boxes. It has only been recently adopted by DOGA for UK models as well.
 

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aaahh, I see....[when I exited US modelling, NEM couplers were just rearing their ugly heads.....it made me wonder...]

as a 'user' of kadees , and one of those responsible for the increase in space debris.....[the springs, for the uninitiated]

again I warn of potential probs.....with the #5boxes, be careful how titght the centre screw is done up, if using that method.

sometimes the'pillar' in the other part of the box is a tad short, thus by screwing in tight, the box pinches the spring, inhibiting the coupler's ability to self-centre.

I have found it useful to pass the box over a bit of wet n dry fine a couple of times.

also,the ears are not essential, and can be cut off.....or used to secure the two box halves, as the case may be.

check the bronze/brass/copper/not steel spring unit that goes in the box........sometimes this is not cut as exactly as is needed, and the flipper spring may get snagged,preventing free movement.......it is usually casued by the tiny 'turn-over' of metal created by the choppng process.

to improve coupler performance, with a file of a swiss nature, polish up the outer face of the swinging jaw...there is a casting parting mark that could do with removing....especially useful if the wagon is lightweight.

for lubrication of the couplers moving parts, do NOT use oil of any nature....GRAPHITE dust is the stuff...I used to use a 2B or 3B pencil!

The usual cause of failure is the loss of the loss of the jaw return spring.

There are usually spares in the packet.

the easiest tool to use to replace them is a Stanley knife blade,inserted through the coils...if you CAN see the coils, that is.

I have tried a small pinprick dab of superglue on the iner end....but am unsure as to whether this contributes to spring retention.......I'd be concerned about the glue travelling along the spring....cappiliary action, is it called?

for a ''go anywhere' uncoupler, there used to be a tool on the US market which is easy to replicate.

It consisted of a U-shaped [plastic?] frame, with two small bar magnets glued to the inside faces, facing each other.

the width of the U is such that it will pass cleanly either side of the couplers

a handle of whatever exotic material takes your fance is attached to the top of the ''U''....can be diamond-studded if you wish.

to uncouple two vehicles, simply reach over and insert the U shaped magnetic tool between them......the droppers are then swung aside, and with your third hand (you DO have 3, dont you all?), move the train as needed.

one downside to Doug's massive electric magnet from kadee,is the racket it makes on operation......as I recall it has a very loud buzz.
 

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The USA tool for uncoupling as mentioned by Alastair is Rix Uncoupling Tool HO 628-0014 & they are still made at US$3.50 but the buffers on UK stock may cause some problems - I will borrow one this coming Wednesday night from a friend here who models West Coast USA rail to test it out properly.
 

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QUOTE (Sol @ 19 Aug 2007, 11:34) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>The USA tool for uncoupling as mentioned by Alastair is Rix Uncoupling Tool HO 628-0014 & they are still made at US$3.50 but the buffers on UK stock may cause some problems - I will borrow one this coming Wednesday night from a friend here who models West Coast USA rail to test it out properly.

Sol,

You are right, the buffers of UK stock do get in the way of the Rix uncoupler.

Alastair,

The No.307 electromagnetic uncoupler does noy buzz if you supply it with smoothed DC power. You have probably heard one being supplied with half wave rectified power, or worse still, AC. You need a recifier and capacitor to smooth the current.

Colombo
 

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re the buffers....that was a reason for my suggesting 'making one'....the issue is the thickness of the U-shaped holder....perhaps some thinner material can be used?

or magnetic material such as that stuff that bends?

Doug..I haven't actually used the kadee jobbie, but seen it in action......all of.......15 years ago or so?

power supplies might have moved on a bit?

the other method of uncoupling, which doesn't involve lifting the vehicle, is a long thin bit of steel, with the end flattened like a screwdriver balde, to slip between the jaws of the coupler?

of course, if the main criteria is NOT automatic uncoupling, but simply, to gain a more compact, less obtrusive coupler, then the dropper arm can be snipped off below the coupler jaws...
 

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The Kadee number 58 is a good choice if a less obtrusive coupler is wanted - Its a slimmed down version of the original, mounts in a similar but less obtrusive coupler box aso it is much better looking and it will mate with original Kadees / 5's etc too.

No NEM versions though as far as I know....
 

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Is the Kadee #58 long enough to use with European buffers without having to move the draft box beyond the bufferbeam?
 

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QUOTE (72C @ 28 Dec 2008, 01:00) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Is the Kadee #58 long enough to use with European buffers without having to move the draft box beyond the bufferbeam?

The #58 is the "standard shank length" and head item for the new smaller sized Kadee line. There are as many models in this series as there are in the classic "#5" shape.

The whole #58 size series is here: http://www.kadee.com/htmbord/page24.htm

The long shank version of the #58 is the #156. http://www.kadee.com/htmbord/page156c.htm. I would imagine this will do the job you ask about.

(When I use Kadees in EU or UK stock I prefer to not use a long shaft as it I like wagons closer if its possible, so I also modify the buffers to have them partially compressed rather than at full extension. I do this on some by replacing them totally, but with luck and a very little skill many can simply be modded... ie by cutting off the buffer head + any visible shaft flush with the body, then drilling the buffer body and inserting/glueing in the cut off shaft end. Its a quick and easy conversion that most could manage OK if they wished)

Kind Regards

Richard
 

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Slightly off topic, but does the UK outline stock with the NEM pocket not have the centring mechanism as well? (ie is it screw mounted at a central point rather than having the wishbone attachment?

Cheers

John
 

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John, I have not checked Dapol's latest in 00 but Hornby, Bachmann & Heljan that have the NEM socket all use the swallowtail/wishbone flexible /centreing mount. Well, the stock that I have, has had them.
 

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QUOTE Slightly off topic, but does the UK outline stock with the NEM pocket not have the centring mechanism as well? (ie is it screw mounted at a central point rather than having the wishbone attachment?

You refer to the kinetic coupling mechanism? In short, no, the UK NEM pocket is rigidly mounted, the second pivot behind the coupler head allows for lateral movement. Chivers Finelines sell sprues of suitable adaptor mounts for updating older UK stock.

Richard,

Thank you, for answering my query over #58's, I will give the longer shank #156 version a try.

Tim
 

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Hi Kadee fans,im about to fit some to an o gauge atlas shunter and a parkside 7 plank wagon,having trouble with this as i have huge hands, so may invest in some appropiate tools, if succesfull my oo gauge fleet will have them.I'll let you know how I get on,(or you may hear me shouting and cursing) Frame in sunny Padstow.
 

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QUOTE (frame69 @ 2 Mar 2009, 21:25) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi Kadee fans,im about to fit some to an o gauge atlas shunter and a parkside 7 plank wagon,having trouble with this as i have huge hands, so may invest in some appropiate tools,

Hi Andy
You might want to use some model long nose pliers, small slothead and phillips screwdriver. I have put O gauge kadees on my lima 4f and mineral wagons and they work great.

Kind regards

Paul
 
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