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Howdy folks. First time post.

I am just getting back into the hobby after a 20 year absence. I have a couple of Atlas/Kato ALCO units that I puchased new in the late 1980's and they still have the original horn-hook couplers. I would like to switch over to Kadees, but the screws that hold the couplers refuse to back out of the shell.

Anyone have a similar experience and willing to share their experience?
Thanks for posting and welcome.

I am not familiar with those in particular, but I had some older cars I switched to kadee and had trouble with the screws. They went into a metal plate in the bottom of the car.

Mine were boxcars and I sprayed liquid wrench on the screws inside.

Dont know if that helps but good luck


Don't strip the screw heads! How about grabbing them with a pair of pliers? Not sure if there's room. I'm not sure what Atlas/Kato units you're talking about, but the units available today are much improved over the 25 year old trains. You may find you don't like them much any more especially if you get to operating a new sound-equipped loco ;)

Thanks for the advice. I should have checked Kadee's website more carefully. The site included an excellent exploded diagram that defined the entire process. Both old Atlas/Kato ALCO's are running with Kadee's.


Coal Shoveler
You know, even the new Kato locos have their coupler screws really torqued down in there. I had problems with a SD70MAC I was working on. The phillips head was really shallow, and the jeweller's screwdriver needed to take them out didn't really have the strength. I've destroyed a couple in the past; stripping out the head. Fortunately, I bought a couple packs of spare coupler screws from Kato some time back.

I'd change them to something more available if they didn't insist on using those funky screws with a shouldered shank.....



Running the MC & Buffalo
You really have to get a good set of jewller's screwdrivers not the ones you see for a dollar. Welcome to the forum also !!!!


Coal Shoveler
I'd invest in the good ones, but I tend to misplace them, which is $$$ down the drain....

I remember once I bought those regular-sized dollar screwdrivers. The phillips head one was so bad, the steel screw was harder than the screwdriver, so it basically destroyed it. And, the flat blade bent as well.

So, what I did was use a file to reshape the phillips head, and a vise to straighten out the flat blade. Then, I used a propane torch to heat treat them both. Quench and temper, basically. Never had a problem again! I still use the flat bladed one today. The phillips head one, not as much because the shape was too damaged, but a smaller phillips head got the same treatment and it works fine....



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