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DT
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After a few topics recently, I thought that it may be useful to post a few stories about converting UK OO stock to Kadee couplers. We have talked about this before, but I think that it would be great if we create a list of topics on this subject and store them in the Resources section allowing people in the future to easily find them.

I have bought a whole stack of #5 Kadee couplers. These are going to go on my wagons that are of various origin, shape and size. The #5 is a nice all-rounder that can be screwed or glued as required.



I have also bought a selection of NEM pocket Kadees, #17, #18, #19 & #20. I initially bought one pack of each and tried them out with various locos and other items that had NEM pockets. I found that most British stock required #20 (extra long), some could use the #19 (long). I ordered more packets of the #19 and #20.

Private owner wagon conversion

So here I have three private owner wagons from Hornby.


Great little wagons, but IMHO, spoilt by the unsightly big coupler that is standard on these wagons.

I remove the standard coupler:


Remove the axle for easy access and hack away at the screw mount. I have determined that the mount has to go to bring the Kadee coupler to the right height? You'll see just now how this is measured.


The mount is now off and filed flat. This is the #5 Kadee in pieces as it is supplied.


The Kadee is assembled as per instructions. I've glued a small piece of material just behind the screw hole. This is to raise the coupler a fraction and keep it level - I find that is sinks a little if glued directly to the chassis of the wagon. Use plasticard or in this case some thin rubber.


Kadee screwed and glued onto the chassis. Use the original screw if it is long enough. See update below where the screw is not used and the coupling distance is slightly reduced.


Using the #205 Kadee height gauge, check the height of the installed coupler. In the US and for HO, they go for 25/64ths of an inch (centreline of the coupler). I find this works fine for my OO gauge stock so I stick to it.


Here are some shots showing comparisons between the standard coupler and the Kadee coupler. Make your own mind up as to which looks better.








With the standard coupler, the distance between the buffers when the wagons are pulled is 10mm; with the Kadee coupler it is 8.5mm; the distance when pushed is a little less with the standard couplers, but this is not a major factor.




I have added Kadees to quite a few of my stock and I think that they look good and work fine. I'm experimenting with various ways to un-couple and will report back any findings. I'd like electro magnetic uncouplers all over the place. I'll see if I can make some up, similar to the one supplied by Kadee. More later.
 

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thank you, Doug, for putting the issue so clearly into the limelight.

Those comparison pix are ideal.

however, sadly, I feel in some respects, swapping to kadees on such a small vehicle as the open wagon, is much like jumping out of the frying pan into the fire?

Not from an 'operational' point of view, but from one of 'appearance?'

I noted this in my own efforts....kadees look quite inconspicuous on a larger model, yet on such a small vehicle they still stand out.
sadly, with such small prototypes, no matter how appealing, we have a problem in this respect........any coupler which is practical in usage is bound to be conspicuous.

''Alex jackson' or other thin wire couplers, whilst fitting the bill regarding appearance, certainly require high maintenance, and are far from user-friendly in terms of fitment.

3 link couplers are a fiddle...and themselves can be overscale, thus noticeable.

Back in the dark ages, when Triang were head to head with Hornby dublo, I had a small OO layout..or plank, as they are now usefully called...(''shelves'' bring too many DIY nightmare images)....and I used Triang TT couplers quite effectively...but there weren't any sharp curves..even on the pointwork.

Continental couplers in my view look like mousetraps strapped to a British wagon.......

The problem with the trade's hook and bar couplers is, in my eyes, the thickness of the plastic used.

what about wire?

[but then we'd need a buffing strip..or sprung buffers?]

I've offered this one before, but has anyone tried , say, kadee or Microtrains, or whatever, N gauge knuckle couplers?

would these be more suitable for the smaller British wagons?

or is the issue the length of the coupler shank?
 

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QUOTE (alastairq @ 16 Aug 2007, 18:43) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Continental couplers in my view look like mousetraps strapped to a British wagon.......

Not all of them of course - have a look at the Fleischmann Profi-Coupling ;

Similar to a buckeye in appearance & visually not too obtrusive.
Pre-uncoupling possible.
Reliable.
NEM version fitted to Roco close coupling conversion gives truely close coupling.
You can lift stock vertically off the track without uncoupling.
2-pole conductive version available from Viessmann.

IMHO a very underrated coupling.
 

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DT
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I was slightly lazy and just used the existing screw to position the Kadees.

The distance between these wagons can be reduced further if the Kadees are recessed a little more. They wouldn't stick out as much then.
 

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Since I have decided to standardise on Kadees, I am going to build all my wagons from kits. So far it appears that the top of the Kadee coupling box ends up being flush with the underside of the buffer beam. That looks to be the same for Doug's Hornby wagons too. I use long shank couplers from the 30 series Kadee range. They are more expensive than the number 5 but the drawbar box does not protrude beyond the buffer beam. Here's a picture I took last December to show how much "swing" I could get.
Scale Rectangle Office ruler Tape measure Measuring instrument

I mount the coupling so that the inside edge of the "cup" is level with the buffers.

As mentioned in the class 2 review, I was surprised to find that the short shank no 17 was long enough on the tender; and yes, I have done some "pushing" with it without any problems.

David
 

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QUOTE (Doug @ 16 Aug 2007, 18:17) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I have bought a whole stack of #5 Kadee couplers. These are going to go on my wagons that are of various origin, shape and size. The #5 is a nice all-rounder that can be screwed or glued as required.

The mount is now off and filed flat. This is the #5 Kadee in pieces as it is supplied.

Two comments - A longer version (eg 46) would allow the draft box to be set back behind the buffer beam. As an alternative to hacking off the tension lock mount a hole can be drilled in a 19 or 20 and it screw fixed in place (amazingly the height is right) so allowing the tensionl lock to be refitted.
 

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Very useful, Doug. Excellent photos too. Thanks for doing that. All my US stock has Kadees and I love them. About the only drawback I've found is their reluctance to couple on curves [without assistance] I plan to convert all my UK stock to Kadees

Mike
 

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Hello Doug

Just looked at your photo's of Kadee - a good useful set of images that I'm sure many will find very helpful.

Have you thought about the Kadee #58? especially on the smaller wagons....It was introduced by Kadee a while ago and is closer to scale for the HO models, and is as a result quite a bit physically smaller than the good old #5. It looks very good in comparison to a #5, even though still a bit wrong for most UK stock....

It will mate just fine with your #5s though, so no problem there - and it is a far better looking coupler.

additionally Kade have now introduced versions of the 58 and 5 with "whiskers" each side of the coupler shank - no need for the spring any more - very easy to assemble and fit and just as reliable.

Regards

Richard
 

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DT
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
QUOTE (Richard Johnson @ 17 Aug 2007, 18:28) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>...Have you thought about the Kadee #58? ...

I have seen the #58, there was one with the height gauge. It does seem slimmer.

The reason that I have the #5 Kadees is that I picked up a very good deal on a web site recently where they were getting rid of stock. I managed to get 20 packets. I'll use them on all my old wagons that I have lying around
 

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the #58 does seem a better bet for smaller 4 wheel wagons, which somehow seem overpowered by all that ironmongery on each end.

Kadee used to suggest miminimumum?weights for vehicles....how heavy do typical 4 wheeler opens need to be?

I wonder...how long it would be before someone replaced the dropper arm....said to replicate air hose/vacuum hose....with teh same shaped solid chain..to replicate the hanging 3 link coupling, on non-fitted stock?
 

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Hope this thread is still active.
I've recently returned to a model railway after a many year gap and so far have a very small incomplete layout.
I'm just on the verge of fitting kadee couplings and am wanting first to mod. a Hornby wagon (W.Laugharne Morgan)
current production.
The present coupling is very simple and appears to be part of the chassis.
It looks as though I have to cut off the coupling and then build up 'something' to get to the correct mounting height.

I don't want to botch this so am seeking guidance on the best method. I have read several threads but didn't find any answer.

Hope someone can help.

agander.
 

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buy the kadee height gauge this will help a lot.

with the older style wagons I often fit a no 5 directly in place of the coupling holding to the wagon with a self tapper (best to buy some on ebay)
if it's a nem pocket like on thatest wagons then just use a no 18 to stop coupler droop use double sided tape.
UK model shops have several guides on their site to assist you.
With coaches I use a lot of diferent techniques depending on the bogie newer designs of course have nem fittings.
 

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QUOTE (Makemineadouble @ 7 Jul 2016, 06:52) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>buy the kadee height gauge this will help a lot.

with the older style wagons I often fit a no 5 directly in place of the coupling holding to the wagon with a self tapper (best to buy some on ebay)
if it's a nem pocket like on thatest wagons then just use a no 18 to stop coupler droop use double sided tape.
UK model shops have several guides on their site to assist you.
With coaches I use a lot of diferent techniques depending on the bogie newer designs of course have nem fittings.


Thanks, I already have the gauge.
The present coupling has no box/pocket. There is a thin vertical plastic piece dropping down and attached to the chassis below the buffers. Once I remove that, all that's left is the chassis. I'm thinking of, say, 5mm ply glued on possibly with a shim to get the correct height.
 

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That is one of the Hornby "Fictitious" Long Wheel-base Open Wagons. The round indent in the end was to fit the "Troublesome Truck" face for the "Thomas" range models...

Good to experiment on. The chassis is the one designed for the Goods Brake Van, and also used with the 4-wheel coach...

There is a compromise fitting...fit NEM pockets, and NEM Kadees...then any NEM coupling could be used, and you are not stuck with Kadees...

If you were to sell a wagon on, for example, you can keep the Kadees, fitting British Standard NEM tensin Lock Couplings!


In the post below, NEM Couplings are Fitted...using Parkside Dundas NEM mountings (PA34) on plastic card spacers.

The Parkside adapters are intended to be used with the cranked couplings like Bachmann have used, but It is better to pack the adapters down a little using plasticard spacers between the adapter and the wagon floor, spaced to give the "correct" height for the couplings, and use straight couplings.

http://www.parksidedundas.co.uk/acatalog/P...S_FITTINGS.html

http://www.gaugemaster.com/item_details.asp?code=PA34

The coupling pocket and hook are Hornby parts. (X.9289)

I am working on fitting NEM pockets on most of the Ffrwd Locks Rolling Stock...I may later fit NEM Kadees....all options open!


Kit Built CCT...



Wrenn (Ex Hornby Dublo) CCT...




http://www.modelrailforum.com/forums/index...st&p=475529
 

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Many thanks. A very useful response and I'll certainly give it some serious consideration.

Meanwhile, I've bitten the bullet and removed the tension lock coupler. Next is finding the best way to fit the kadees. I hadn't considered using NEM stuff there. The wheels on my wagon are closer to the buffer beam, so I'll need to look at the sizes.

agander
 

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No Problem.

There are other sources of information RE: fitting couplings.

The Bachmann Collectors Club havs recently run a series on fitting NEM pockets and varius couplers, including Kadees and the Bachmann "equivilent"....

A good search on the 'net will turn up a lot of info!
 

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QUOTE (A Anderson @ 7 Jul 2016, 02:00) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>...am seeking guidance on the best method...
There isn't a single 'best method' in my opinion. There is so much variation in both prototype configuration and model construction that a variety of methods have to be employed.

The NEM pocket route is probably simplest where there is adequate space.
Temporarily screwing on a draft box to assess the correct packing for gauge height, before finalising with a screwed and cemented assembly, where space is somewhat constricted.
Extremely fiddly modification to the coupler and mounting where there is 'no space at all', on such as Lowmacs, some bogie freight vehicles and loco tenders.

Start on the more straightforward and work up to the awkward squad...
 
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