Couplers problem

ModelRailroadForums.com is a free Model Railroad Discussion Forum and photo gallery. We cover all scales and sizes of model railroads. Whether you're a master model railroader or just getting started, you'll find something of interest here.


Maxitrains

Member
Lately I was looking at all my cars, box cars, coal trucks etc etc, and I noticed that since I bought them from different brands ( mostly because of special offers ), I have different couplers which do not fit with one another.

Mainly I have some from lima, some Roco, others liliput, etc etc... I was wondering if there was a way how I could change all to be the same, it doesn't matter for me which kind of coupler it is, the most important thing is that they match and I could easily change them all.

N.B. some are old stock, especially the lima ones.

Kindly help, and suggestion and tip will help.
 

rlundy90

Armchair Engineer
Kaydee couplers are probably your best bet. I am not sure what kind of couplers are on your stock, but they do list Roco and limited Lima( Mainly 1steam and 1 Deisel), butyou can probably change the couplers on any of your rolling stock if the old coupler boxes are cut off and new kadee type are installed. I have changed a lot of Triang for a friend of mine by grinding off the old metal couplers and replacing with #5 kadees. I am not sure how they mate up with other rolling stock but they work fine together. Some rolling stock may be harder or impossible to change over. This is their website for more info. www.kadee.com They have all the info on what can be changed and which coupler to use. Ron
 

HaggisKennedy

Coal Shoveler
Roco and Lilliput, if they're the euro prototypes, probably have those NEM couplers. There is a Kadee replacement for them. SusHob has/had them, I got a few for my Roco 4-6-2 I got recently.

Kennedy
 

Maxitrains

Member
Ok, I took a pictures of all the different couplers I have, here they are.



Kindly help me on how I can fix this problem without dumping all these cars
 

Maxitrains

Member
I would also want to change some of the cars wheels which are plastic, and I would like to change them to metal, because with all the friction created while being pulled, they leave dirt on the rails, and also little layers of plastic, which in turn collects dirt
 
Last edited by a moderator:

HaggisKennedy

Coal Shoveler
Well, the one on the left is a NEM. The one next to it looks like a horn-hook. There appear to be a couple of hook and loops, probably based on the NEM coupler box. Dunno what the last one is.

If I had to guess, they're all based on the NEM-style box, though the horn-hook should be a regular US-style Kadee-type box. I would recommend buying one pack of the Kadee couplers that fit the NEM, and one pack of the #5s, and test fit to each of the cars you have. Between the two, I'd say you should be able to fit everything you have.

BTW, Malta huh? Can you see Valletta Harbor from where you live? I have a really nice picture of the HMS Invincible entering Valletta Harbor from about 10yrs ago....

:D

Kennedy
 

Maxitrains

Member
Kennedy:Actually I cannot see it, because I live in the very center of Malta, and even though its small on the map, we cannot see from side to side, not even from center to border :)

I mostly have aircraft pictures since I am also a great enthusiast of aircraft + photography.

Here are a very little selection of the aviation photos I take myself
http://users.onvol.net/113050/Aviation.htm

OK I will take a couple more pictures from the bottom side, maybe it can help you more to recognise them.
 

Maxitrains

Member
OK, here are my couplers in more detail:







I think now you should identify better the couplers and if they can be changed / fixed
 

Old 97

Hogger
Hey Maxitrains,

Those couplers look easy enough. Any truck mounted coupler can be trimmed flush to the frame of the truck and then a coupler box mounted on the car body. Be sure you have a coupler height gage to keep them all the same height.

Here's some links:

1st one is for coupler tips:
http://www.girr.org/girr/tips/tips2/kadee_tips.html

2nd is for European rolling stock:
http://www.worldrailfans.org/Articles/Modelling/KadeesForEuroStock.shtml

3rd is for a coupler height gage:
http://www.trainsetsonly.com/page/TSO/PROD/380-205

That should help you get started. :)
 

Maxitrains

Member
Thanks for the links, I will start reading and working on the problem, but my other problem is that I went into KADEE site and got more puzzled then I was in the begining. As I got in the site, I saw so many types of couplers that it confused me more.

http://www.kadee.com/htmbord/coupler.htm

BTW, which brand produces detailed cars and that has these type of couplers ready fitted?
 

JeffShultz

Stay off the tracks!
Intermountain uses authentic Kadees (I think), as does Kadee of course. Both are very detailed, both are very expensive...

Any American manufacturer is going to ship their rolling stock with something that will couple with a Kadee, even if it isn't a Kadee itself.
 

Maxitrains

Member
So you suggest I go with these Kadee couplers for all my cars, expensive but good. Any ways in between :p ;) ?

I think I'll start a fund named "Couplers fund" and start dropping in some coinds :) so by the time the layout is ready I will have, maybe , enough for hal my cars, unless I dump all of them and buy everything ready with good couplers :p
 

HaggisKennedy

Coal Shoveler
Well, it was a shot. I know the island isn't very large, and you could be just about anywhere on it. But, you never know.

As far as Kadees are concerned, the standard ones, #5s and #58s come in 20packs. As in, 20 pairs. You don't get any coupler boxes with these, it's just the couplers with springs.

Most folks don't need the box, so this is the cheaper way to go. But, for you, since it may well be that you need a box on each end of each car....

Kennedy
 

Maxitrains

Member
Thanks for the advise, about the couplers, all I could find were packets of 2 pairs. Do you have any rough estimate on teh cost of this 20 pack, so I can would know the range I'm going at?

I'm still trying to understand how this system will work, I mean how I should fid these things. Still reading those pages trying to understand how is it done.

(I will reveal the bad side of me. Sometimes even if I read something 20 times I still cannot undserstand what it means :(, All I do, I learnt by watching and trying. I have some kind of phobia for books and literature :(, I buy books to read then end up piling them on my shelves because I cannto read them. When I started dating my actual wife, she used to laugh at me when I told her that my eyes get crossed when I try to read something, but now she understands :S )
 

HaggisKennedy

Coal Shoveler
The Kadee #5 20pack is $25.75 and the #58 scale-size is $29.95, both from the Walthers site. Walthers site sells at full retail, so if you find some other online source, you should see a lower price. Though that could be eaten up in shipping to Malta.

As far as explaining how this system will work, it's kinda hard to explain exactly since it may be different for each type/brand of car you have. That's why it's been in generalities so far.

For the NEM-type couplers, you might be able to get away with a drop-in replacement that Kadee offers. That means you can reuse the existing mounting; all you're doing is removing the current coupler and replacing it with the Kadee version. I can't say how to remove the coupler because I need to see the car (not to mention not ever having to convert one).

For the others, what we're saying is that however they're mounted, you remove everything associated with the coupler mount, and replace with the Kadee box. Since the box needs a flat surface to mount to the underbody, you might have to do some filing to get it flat. You might also need to drill a hole for the mounting screw, if the current hole is in the wrong location. The Kadee mounting box will tell you where the screw hole needs to go.

Kennedy
 

Maxitrains

Member
AH! ok, that's more specific. Most of my big box cars and flat racks, have the coupler attached to the bogie ( if this is teh correct word for the 4 swiveling wheels), then the small box cars have it attached directly to the car itself, this would be more easy I guess to attach.

Well lemme get some KADEE couplers first, then we start experimenting :)

And what is the difference between #5 and #58? SIZE!!!

BTW OLD97 mentioned an 's' after each number, does that stand for S-curve?
I saw many #5 and #58 on e-bay but not #5s and #58s.
 

Maxitrains

Member
Hi, Is it a good price to get 7 pkts of 4pcs each ( 28 couplers in all ) of #5 kadee couplers at US$ 17.63 ( + US $ 7.30 shipping )??

according to the above mentioned prices, there's a great difference since it was mentioned that a pkt of 20 costs US $ 25.75


These are the couplers, I guess these are the ones I need, right?

69_1.jpg
 




Affiliate Disclosure: We may receive a commision from some of the links and ads shown on this website (Learn More Here)


ModelRailroadForums.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com

RailroadBookstore.com - An online railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used railroad books. Railroad pictorials, railroad history, steam locomotives, passenger trains, modern railroading. Hundreds of titles available, most at discount prices! We also have a video and children's book section.

ModelRailroadBookstore.com - An online model railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used books. Layout design, track plans, scenery and structure building, wiring, DCC, Tinplate, Toy Trains, Price Guides and more.

Top