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Couplers that dont uncouple all the time

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  • Member since
    February 2002
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Couplers that dont uncouple all the time
Posted by karmakreations on Sunday, February 24, 2002 1:36 AM
I am having problems with cars uncoupling all the time on my layout. I am modeling a big city layout and have quite a few 18R turns and a lot of elevation changes. I am running 8 to 10 car steam era passenger trains and dont do any yard coupling or uncoupling, so I am looking for couplers that will stay coupled under all conditions. I have mostly Rivarossi but also Con Cor and some IHC. Does any body have any sugestions as to which brand of couplers will stay coupled the best. Right now I am just using what ever came on the cars, but would like to change all to the same brand if it would solve my problem.
I appreciate any input that I can get.
Bob R.
karmakreations
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Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, February 24, 2002 5:15 AM
Is this HO scale or N scale ?
regards/Mike
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Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, February 24, 2002 5:52 AM
It sounds like you are doing HO.
I have the Rivarossi heavy weights and substituted the McHenry spring knuckle couplers(443-52,53 & 54) the easy way out versus the kadee #s 505 & 508.
I never had the uncoupling problem with horn-hooks.
My problem was I couldn't lift one car up, without taking a second car with it.
Unlevel elevated track will cause the knuckle part of the coupler to climb vertically and therefore disconnect.
Also, if HO, the Rivs may be 11 1/4 " long compounding your problem on 18" radius track.

You have problems going forward, you will have more going backward

A conversion over to another coupler may not resolve your difficulity because of the above reasons.
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Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, February 24, 2002 8:39 AM
A few months back Model Railroader published a good article on couplers. I don't recall which issue it was in, but I believe it was one of the 2001 issues(I'm not at home right now to check my back issues; maybe someone else reading this thread can help). They compared coupler types and brands, and pointed out the strengths and weakness of each.. You might want to locate the article; reading it might help answer some of your questions.

I use Kadees because when I made the switch from horn hooks (a long time ago) that was essentially all that was available. While there are now several different brands available, I 've stayed with Kadee just to ensure total compatibility.
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Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, February 24, 2002 9:42 AM
Three suggestions:

1. Use the SAME coupler for all cars (Kadee, or McHenry if you have to).

2. BUY and USE the Kadee coupler gauge to make sure both coupler and hose are at the right heights, thus all at the SAME heights! Use washers, etc. to adjust if not.

3. BUY and USE the NMRA gauge to check wheels, track, etc.

This should cure the problems!

- George
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Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, February 24, 2002 10:21 AM
There's probably a few articles, one being July 2000
a survey of the current crop of couplers. I think the article forcused on freight.

A more recent article, Install couplers properly.
Here again, I think it's just freight but on this home page,top left, click on model trains, then scroll down on the left and click on Layout Maintenance, and scroll down to #5, Install couplers properly.

Again the situation requires more than one resolution, elevation and car length.
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Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, February 24, 2002 7:36 PM
I don't think any of us have helped you here, as of Feb 24 at 8.30 EST..., in HO, full length passenger cars, with major elevation changes on 18" radius curves are a recipe for major difficulty....I wouldn't even try shorty Athearn cars around anything less than 22"radius...To me, only changing to something else will help. [ie: shorter 'old-time', or Harriman passenger cars...or freight only, with a 50' maximum car length,etc.]No coupler known will resolve your problem. good luck & regards /Mike
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Posted by karmakreations on Monday, February 25, 2002 12:29 AM
I am doing HO Sreamliner Steam era.
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Posted by karmakreations on Thursday, February 28, 2002 2:12 AM
Good news, I solved the problem by accident. I had previously purchased the Hiawatha hudson and a set of cars, it came with the original Rivarossi european couplers. I have been running it all over my layout for a couple of days now and it has not uncoupled once when I didnt want it to. I am now going to switch all my trains to the european style couplers, that will solve my unwanted uncoupling problem. Thanks for all of the input and I know I will be back here to check out other peoples questions.
Bob R.

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