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Coupler Centering springs

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Coupler Centering springs
Posted by joe323 on Monday, March 20, 2017 6:39 AM

As anyone else noticed that the centering whiskers on pastic Kadee clones just don't work as well as the metal whiskers on the 148's. I just acquired a few Bachmann cars Over the weekend and I have my work cut out this week replacing couplers.

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Posted by slammin on Monday, March 20, 2017 8:09 AM

Thats why inspite of all the clones, Kadees are still THE coupler in HO.

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Posted by BRAKIE on Monday, March 20, 2017 8:28 AM

There is only two good brands of couplers KD and Walthers Protomax coupler.This is a all metal coupler based on KD#5 coupler.

https://www.walthers.com/products/accessories/couplers-and-trucks/coupler/magnetic-knuckle-couplers-proto-max-tm-standard-4-pairs

Larry

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Posted by UNCLEBUTCH on Monday, March 20, 2017 8:35 AM

When I started foolin with operateions I had so many issues with coulpers. I ran each car thru the shop, they all got new 148. The old coulper came out regaurdless what itwas.May sound waste ful,butI know every car is equiped with a 148 now, and coulper problems have all but disapeared

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Posted by tstage on Monday, March 20, 2017 8:50 AM

Any new piece of rolling stock I assemble or purchase RTR gets Kadee #58s and Proto 2000 metal wheels.  The only one's I don't have to replace are Tangent and ExactRail.  Most of my locomotives - steam or diesel - are also outfitted with #58s.  Haven't been disappointed.

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Monday, March 20, 2017 9:33 AM

joe323

As anyone else noticed that the centering whiskers on pastic Kadee clones just don't work as well as the metal whiskers on the 148's. 

Yes, which is why people preach Kadee couplers over and over and over and over and ....

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Posted by joe323 on Monday, March 20, 2017 9:37 AM

Looks like I have my project for tonight.  I have half a dozen cars on the "RIP" track waiting for 148's

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Posted by rrebell on Monday, March 20, 2017 10:05 AM

Love you guys that replace everything, got 100 pair of Kadee #5's for 10 cents a pair as someone replaced them all for another Kadee coupler!

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Monday, March 20, 2017 11:33 AM

rrebell

Love you guys that replace everything, got 100 pair of Kadee #5's for 10 cents a pair as someone replaced them all for another Kadee coupler! 

Lucky you!

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

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Posted by MisterBeasley on Monday, March 20, 2017 12:00 PM

My philosophy used to be "replace on failure."  Now, I realized that failure is inevitable so I use "replace on purchase" instead.  When I assemble a kit, it gets Kadees and Intermountain wheelsets.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

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Posted by BMMECNYC on Monday, March 20, 2017 4:17 PM

rrebell

Love you guys that replace everything, got 100 pair of Kadee #5's for 10 cents a pair as someone replaced them all for another Kadee coupler!

 

Ive been giving #5s and 148s away to people in my club as they are needed (not handing out wholesale).  Ive got a 5lb bag of #5s Im probably never going to use again.

When you change out couplers, never glue coupler boxes shut.  You will invariably have to change one for one reason or another.  Always use a screw if possible.  Ive got about 30 cars left to change out from Kadees, and they all either came from the factory with glued coupler boxes (Intermountain) or I glued them shut on initial assembly when I first started in HO 5 years ago.  I thought, gee Kadees are the best coupler available, why would I ever switch to something else.  I found something better.

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Posted by BRAKIE on Monday, March 20, 2017 6:04 PM

riogrande5761
 
joe323

As anyone else noticed that the centering whiskers on pastic Kadee clones just don't work as well as the metal whiskers on the 148's. 

 

 

Yes, which is why people preach Kadee couplers over and over and over and over and ....

 

Here's the thing..Walthers Promax coupler is identical to a KD #5 coupler,all metal,brass centering spring and knuckle spring...The ones that are preaching KD only are looking with tunnel vision without seeing another worthy coupler that is on the market. I use both 148 and the Protomax since Walthers newer cars come equipped with these couplers.

I can't tell the difference between my KD 5s and 148s from the ProtoMax.

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Posted by mvlandsw on Monday, March 20, 2017 7:51 PM
Aren't the Protomax couplers larger than Kadee #5's?
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Posted by BRAKIE on Tuesday, March 21, 2017 7:27 AM

mvlandsw
Aren't the Protomax couplers larger than Kadee #5's?
 

If so,the couplers must have been measure with calipers because I can't see the difference between the #5s and the Protos..

Larry

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Tuesday, March 21, 2017 7:29 AM

BRAKIE
 

Here's the thing..Walthers Promax coupler is identical to a KD #5 coupler,all metal,brass centering spring and knuckle spring...The ones that are preaching KD only are looking with tunnel vision without seeing another worthy coupler that is on the market. I use both 148 and the Protomax since Walthers newer cars come equipped with these couplers.

I can't tell the difference between my KD 5s and 148s from the ProtoMax. 

Larry, I'm fine with Walthers Protomax couplers and for the most part, it is difficult to tell the difference between them and regular KD's.  Any rolling stock that I have that came with them I don't see any need to replace unless I find a bad one. 

That said, I'm not going to search out and buy Walthers Protomax couplers to replace plastic clones, like the OP wasn't happy with.  Most of the dealers I buy from stock plenty of KD's and I usually buy bulk packs of them.  While Protomax seem to be as good as KD, I don't find the need to search them out when KD's are right there in front of me and are usually easier to get, not to mention having a long standing reputation.  Add to that I'm starting to prefer the #58 semi-scale KD's more and more so if I go buy couplers, KD makes a type Walthers doesn't.

mvlandsw
Aren't the Protomax couplers larger than Kadee #5's?

Maybe, it's hard to tell.  They look pretty darn close to standard KD #5 coupler head.  If they are bigger, it's not by much and nothing that would deter me.  If it matters to have closer to scale couplers, I just buy KD #58 semi-scale couplers where there is a clear visible difference.

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Posted by BRAKIE on Tuesday, March 21, 2017 8:07 AM

riogrande5761
Most of the dealers I buy from stock plenty of KD's and I usually buy bulk packs of them. While Protomax seem to be as good as KD, I don't find the need to search them out when KD's are right there in front of me and are usually easier to get, not to mention having a long standing reputation.

Jim,Since the 148s became my standard coupler  I buy them by the bulk pack. I mention the Protomax as a option and come equipped on Walthers cars. 

I have always used wide vision in the hobby and look over new products or modeling ideas-not that I will hop on the newest hobby product or  trend because I've maintain my modeling style for the last 60s years..

In fact wasn't for MRC's Tech 6  I would not have DCC/Sound on my 1' x 12' ISL.IMHO the Tech 6 is the best thing since peanut butter and jelly for those of us with lots of DC engines and a small layout but,wanted to add sound and sound is much better with DCC.

Larry

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Tuesday, March 21, 2017 10:09 AM

The main reason I like the whisker couplers is that some kits I have built seem to have a tighter coupler pocket and the #5 type with the bronze centering spring tend to bind and not center well, where-as the whisker type work better in those pockets. 

On those models which the pockets don't bind, but are looser, and in fact the couplers come out a bit low on the height gauge, I have to shim them a bit to help correct the height.  I don't mind using the bronze spring in those cases because it acts as a shim if placed under the coupler.  I am aware that the bronze spring is "assymetrical" for the porposes of delayed action, but I don't use that feature and couplers seem to center about the same as if the bronze spring was mounted above the coupler.

I have nothing against buying the Protomax couplers but I haven't had any reason to search them out to outfit kits or replace plastic clones.  With KD brand, I have quite a few options available to me, whisker or bronze spring, standard or semi-scale head, offset head, short, medium or long shank etc etc.  If anyone wishes to use the Walthers Protomax, they should work just about as well as KD.

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Posted by joe323 on Tuesday, March 21, 2017 10:54 AM

I think you got to the issue I was trying to bring up I usually end up switching my Tropicana reefers in and out of the transfer facility and have noticed that the ez mate couplers were not lining up correctly.  I would loosen the coupler box a bit which helps but its not perfect and I can keep sending in a "helper" (bamboo skewers)  to correct.

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Posted by BRAKIE on Tuesday, March 21, 2017 12:30 PM

Joe,As far as the E-Z Mates file those under file 13 and get KDs-May I suggest 148s or maybe the 158 scale coupler?

I still use magnets for uncoupling because I like the delayed action and hands free uncoupling. The very two things that sold me on KDs way back in '66. Laugh

Larry

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Posted by joe323 on Tuesday, March 21, 2017 12:54 PM

Actually I keep the old couplers and use them for scrap loads or on a few of my shelf queens that had horn hooks now have glued in plastic coupler.  Mostly trainset stuff upgraded for display cause they were given to me by well meaning but misguided relatives or friends.

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Posted by BRAKIE on Tuesday, March 21, 2017 1:22 PM

joe323
Actually I keep the old couplers and use them for scrap loads or on a few of my shelf queens that had horn hooks now have glued in plastic coupler.

I have 4 or 5 knuckles from the E-Z Mates toss in the grass by the old wooden crew shed..I painted them a rust color..

Larry

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Tuesday, March 21, 2017 8:38 PM

Kadee, Kadee, Kadee. Maybe I do have tunnel vision when it comes to couplers and trucks, but those two pieces, along with the trackwork, are all that really counts if your want a model railroad that RUNS.

.

I wish Kadee made trackwork. I am about to start my final lifetime layout, and I have no idea what to do about track.

.

-Kevin

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Posted by BRAKIE on Tuesday, March 21, 2017 9:10 PM

SeeYou190
Maybe I do have tunnel vision when it comes to couplers and trucks, but those two pieces, along with the trackwork, are all that really counts if your want a model railroad that RUNS.

Kevin,Even before I changed to KDs in '66  I had a ISL with brass track, plastic wheels and X2F couplers and it worked quite well with 100% derailment free operation..I used a small flat tip screwdriver to uncouple cars..

Today,I use Micro Engineering track,Peco medium switches,Intermountain metal wheelsets(unless the car came with metal wheels) and KD and Protomax couplers and have 100% derailment free operation.I use KD magnets for uncoupling.

Nothing changed as far as derailment free operation between those early days and today--well,other then me growing older..

Larry

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Tuesday, March 21, 2017 10:07 PM

I too have enjoyed derailment free operation ever since I graduated from Tyco to Athearn in the early 1970's.

.

My best fomula as been, and will continue to be Kadee trucks, Kadee couplers, and quality track components.

.

The problem is trackwork. 10-15 years after construction the trackwork always becomes an issue. I would gladly sacrifice fine track detail for super heavy duty and reliable track components. Hopefully this last layout will be in operation for 20-25 years. I am losing the ability to perform fine adjustments and maintenance. I need perfect track.

.

-Kevin

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Posted by BRAKIE on Wednesday, March 22, 2017 2:57 AM

SeeYou190
The problem is trackwork. 10-15 years after construction the trackwork always becomes an issue. I would gladly sacrifice fine track detail for super heavy duty and reliable track components.

Kevin,That's one reason I went  with Micro Engineering track it seems stronger then Atlas. I also went against the flow and use code 100 instead of code 83.

Larry

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Posted by Medina1128 on Wednesday, March 22, 2017 5:57 AM

Whenever I got a new piece of rolling stock, the couplers were replaced on them. I used to install Kadee #5s until the 148 whisker coupler came out. Now, they ALL get the 148s installed. After which, the coupler height is adjusted. They also get metal wheels which are checked to ensure they are in gauge, weighed, weathered, etc. before even touching the layout.

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Wednesday, March 22, 2017 6:16 AM

Medina1128

Whenever I got a new piece of rolling stock, the couplers were replaced on them.

A lot of rolling stock these days comes with Kadee's factory installed, such as Intermountain, Moloco, BLMA, ExactRail, Wheels of Time and Tangent.  Now if we could just get Atlas and Athearn on the Kadee bandwagon.  Factory installed Kadee's is a bonus since I still have quite a few past items needing upgraded to Kadee's still.  Note, you still have to check coupler height as it can still be off.

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Posted by BRAKIE on Wednesday, March 22, 2017 7:49 AM

riogrande5761
Now if we could just get Atlas and Athearn on the Kadee bandwagon.

Hear! Hear!

Athearn may not join the band wagon because they own McHenry brand of couplers.

Larry

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Posted by Paul3 on Wednesday, March 22, 2017 11:06 AM

The problem I have with the Proto Max couplers is the shiny appearance compared to the matte finish on a Kadee.  Neither one is the right color (rust), but I do wonder why Walthers makes them so darn shiny.

Oh, and I don't think their centering springs are as good as a Kadee spring.  They seem weaker.

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Wednesday, March 22, 2017 11:35 AM

BRAKIE
 
riogrande5761
Now if we could just get Atlas and Athearn on the Kadee bandwagon.

Athearn may not join the band wagon because they own McHenry brand of couplers.

They may own the McHenry brand but I have to say in my personal experience, McHenry's are the clones I have had the most trouble with - they tend to get stuck in open or closed or something else.  I have quite a few Athearn coal cars with the older McHenry's that have sat "new in the box" for a number of years and when they get put on the track, they couplers fail to stay closed.

I sure wish Athearn would just face the music and realize McHenry's are the worst of the lot and just give in to the schwarz.  I'd gladly pay the extra couple bucks I'm going to have to spend on them anyway - so either Athearn installs KD's and charges a bit morer, or I buy KD's and install them myself.

Atlas has some deal with Accurail; they seem a bit better than McHenry's but they look awful.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

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