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Kadee installations - Bachmann wagons

18919 Views 23 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  Giovanni Pasta
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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Hi Paul,I've gathered up all of my micro tools for the job,I may start it tomorrow but Im going to a catering show so the free food and alcohol may get the better of me! Also a friend has a spot of bother that he needs a hand with.He has been in India for 5 months with his Canadian girlfriend and when they got back this morning she was refused entry to the uk,something to do with visa I imagine so hes off to Canada tmrw and may need a lift to London
Too far to go up and back in one day so may get a room for the night.This has messed me up a bit as all their bellongings are in my garage and I cant get my cortina out ready for the better weather
Never mind,I very seldom use a car anyway...sorry we were talking about kadees,talk soon
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I've found the Symoba nem pockets particularly the cranked one (107) very useful in converting my Bachmann LMS 57ft coaches.
This provides a useful hole to allow screwing to the bogie beam. I then can use a kadee 17 to join the coaches together. The
Kadee's are at the correct height, so one has all the advantages of kuckle couplers. Using Symoba corridor extension reduces the gap
between the coaches. I find the Symoba height gauge particularly well designed and far more useful than the kadee 206 height gauge.
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I have a problem with the Bachman couplings on the 104 Tonne Thrall Coal Hoppers; they come fitted with Bachmann Knuckles but they don't line up at the right height to my Bachmann Class 66 coupling, which I find very odd as they are the same make. If anyone has had the same problem and has sorted it; please let me know. Thanks.

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