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.