Plastic Knuckle Couplers

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  • Member since
    May, 2015
  • From: Iowa
  • 9 posts
Plastic Knuckle Couplers
Posted by FullerJ on Tuesday, March 14, 2017 6:45 AM

I have of 566-54 Plastic Coupler Knuckle where the plastic spring broke.  These are certainly easier to install than the cast ones, but apparently don't last as long.

I tried replacing the plastic coupler with a traditional one, but the spring wouldn't open the coupler.  Does anyone have any tips or tricks for replacing the plastic knuckle with something more reliable or do I just live with the fact they will need to be replaced more frequently.

 

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  • Member since
    July, 2003
  • 1,604 posts
Posted by cwburfle on Tuesday, March 14, 2017 6:52 AM

Do you mean the knuckles with the built-in hinge pins?

  • Member since
    May, 2015
  • From: Iowa
  • 9 posts
Posted by FullerJ on Tuesday, March 14, 2017 9:39 AM

Yes - the built-in hinge pins have broke off on several I have.  I'm looking for a better alternative versus putting new plastic knuckles in... if there is such a thing.

 

Thanks!

  • Member since
    December, 2005
  • From: Hopewell, NY
  • 2,648 posts
Posted by ADCX Rob on Tuesday, March 14, 2017 10:24 AM

I'm an operator, so I replace any broken ones with the cast knuckle, a black rivet, and the regular spring. They work just fine.

Rob

  • Member since
    July, 2003
  • 1,604 posts
Posted by cwburfle on Tuesday, March 14, 2017 10:53 AM

Those 566-54 knuckles are fragile. Not only do the built-in springs fail, the knuckles tend to snap off.
I guess reproductions have been available for a couple of years now, but they are rather costly.
I was luckly enough to get a small quantity from Madison Hardware (NYC) many years ago.

But I find those knuckles to be very challenging to install.

So I save the 566-54 knuckles I have for collector grade cars that are going into my collection. It's rare that one gets used.

For a runner, I use a plastic knuckle with a seperate spring and rivet. They work fine, and for me they are easier to install than the 566-54 knuckles.
As Rob wrote, you also can use a metal knuckle.
Some old the older Postwar lionel cars with plastic trucks have metal knuckles.

 

  • Member since
    May, 2015
  • From: Iowa
  • 9 posts
Posted by FullerJ on Tuesday, March 14, 2017 12:42 PM

I tried a metal knuckle with spring and the spring didn't open it.  I'll have to try again - maybe there was another issue biting me.

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