KD HO Coupler #5 Discontined

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


I went & picked up my bulk #148's this morning - they were loaded with loose springs - I refused them and drove 80 miles to a different LHS that had two bulk packs 50 pairs of #5 which I bought - now I am set for a long time.
Hmm, so you refused them because the springs fell off? The springs fall off easily when they're rubbing against the inside of the envelope. They're easy enough to put back on.

I end up replacing trucks on MDC and Athearn with new trucks from Athearn (as long as they have the metal axles) or from Accurail or Walthers and use Intermountain wheelsets.

I've found using #5 Kadees necessary for Athearn Blue Box kits because the whiskers of #14s will poke out around the sides of the metal coupler cover and the underframe and get stuck.

I have started looking at more prototypes and found that many bulkhead flats, some 100 ton boxcars, and others use a longer shank coupler than what the #5 and #14 are.
MDC trucks need a LOT of shimming to get to the correct height.

If installed correctly, the Blue Box snap-on coupler pocket lids should not be drooping or allow any space for the whiskers to get caught. If there is a gap for the whiskers to get caught on, then the cover is not in all the way.

The longer shank is compensated for by the larger coupler head. Atlas bulkhead flats for example, have a shorter coupler pocket so that a medium shank Kadee would fit and have the correct coupling distance. You'll see what I mean if you use the #58 scale head Kadee couplers. The 100-ton box cars should have a cushion coupler pocket which sticks out from the end of the car. Atlas and Athearn RTR cars have the pockets with the mounting post further out to compensate for this and to create a prototypical coupling distance.


New Member

I find those springs to be a real pain to put back on with my not so steady hands and eyesight that's not the best (for close up) even with a magnifying glass and light.
I bought the MicroM spring tool & I lost as many with it as I do my MicroM tweezers.

Just Me maybe,

John - RunningTrains 24/7


My hands aren't very steady either, but with some practice, I am now able to replace springs with an Xacto knife. (no fancy spring picks or tweezers required)


New Member

I've lost enough springs around here to be walking on them, but have only come across two out of many.
I see you do Pan Am Railways - Do you by chance do anything with Maine Central?
I am in Gardiner, Maine.



Maine Central is now part of Pan Am. I model the present day, so I only have Maine Central cars, and Pan Am Railways locos with Maine Central reporting marks.

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.