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Kadee #26 and #28 not working for Athearn Genesis SD70M

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Kadee #26 and #28 not working for Athearn Genesis SD70M
Posted by UnionPacific8444 on Saturday, July 25, 2020 8:56 AM

I tried to convert the couplers of my Athearn Genesis SD70M to Kadees, and since Kadee's website said to use a #28 for the front and #26 for the rear, I bought them and tried to put them on. However, when I assembled the coupler according to the Kadee conversion instructions, the coupler were locked in the center and did not move at all. This happened for both the 28 and 26. Am I applying the couplers the wrong way, or are the conversions wrong?

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Posted by tstage on Saturday, July 25, 2020 9:08 AM

Did you tighten down too much on the screw that holds the draft gear box to the chassis?  Try backing off the screw a 1/4 turn.

I tighten my screws until the couplers stop moving.  I push the coupler over to one side or the other then back off on the screw until the spring pulls the coupler to the center - without any binding.

Tom

http://www.newyorkcentralmodeling.com

Time...It marches on...without ever turning around to see if anyone is even keeping in step.

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Posted by UnionPacific8444 on Saturday, July 25, 2020 9:18 AM

It is either completely attached or very unstable..

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Posted by csxns on Saturday, July 25, 2020 9:56 AM

UnionPacific8444
Athearn Genesis SD70M to Kadees

I use #5 and the scale ones and they work are the 28 and 26 different.

Russell

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Posted by Lastspikemike on Saturday, July 25, 2020 10:02 AM

 

From memory when I last tried to fit a Kadee into an Athearn the coupler pockets are too shallow. The spring clip on the Athearn coupler pocket will jam the coupler. 

If you fit a screw on lid instead then the final turn of the screw to close the lid will jam the coupler tight. 

I use Bachmann EZ Mate II instead, they are thinner shanked. 

To  fit the Kadee you need to use the Kadee coupler box as well:

https://www.kadee.com/hocc_athearn_genesis.htm

Although Kadee conversion chart is not updated to include the whisker coupler version I recommend that over the standard #232 brass spring version. 

The recommended couplers are the plastic shank because Athearn coupler boxes are clipped to an all metal part of the chassis and are integral to that chassis so the metal shank will short the coupler to the next car. 

If you use the 232 or 242 snap Kadee box and metal shanked coupler there will not be a short but the couplers will be too low. An underset coupler may be right to correct this. 

https://www.kadee.com/ho-scale-couplers-c-274_276_284/141-ho-scale-140series-whisker-metal-couplers-with-gearboxes-long-2564-underset-shank-p-291.htm

Kadee also makes the bottom half coupler pocket with a centre screw hole and coupler bushes but must be used with plastic shank couplers if the possibility of shorting is an issue.  

https://www.kadee.com/ho-scale-couplers-c-274_276_284/213-ho-scale-20series-gearboxes-sleeves-p-321.htm

Or, you could file down the plastic coupler shank by just the right amount to free it up while keeping it from slopping around. 

You can get that thickness by putting a micrometer on the shank of an EZ Mate II, just before you give up and realize that using an EZ Mate II is a simpler solution. 

Alyth Yard

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Tuesday, July 28, 2020 10:53 AM

I always try to use Kadee couplers in Kadee coupler boxes whenever possible.

On Athearn locmotives this usually means filing off the coupler box and just leaving a tab on the frame. I drill and tap the tab for a 2-56 screw and mount the coupler box.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by UnionPacific8444 on Friday, July 31, 2020 6:45 AM

A pack of Kadee #158s I ordered arrived at the mail today, and I was able to put them on my SD70M. Although the couplers are still a bit wobbly and unstable, it is much better than the 26s and 28s. I made the loco haul some freight, and the coupler held on just fine. I guess I shouldn't overly trust the Kadee website conversions, the Kadee #5 series works for pretty much any loco from my experience.. Thank you all for your helpSmile

RLP
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Posted by RLP on Friday, July 31, 2020 12:41 PM

I was about to order the Athearn SD70M and planned to install Kadee couplers. I hit pause on that order when I saw this string of posts. UP8444,why did you select Kadee #158 instead of #148?  Is your SD "newer" as the Kadee conversion page mentions?  I wonder what they mean, specifically, by "newer"?  Can you ampliy what you mean by wobbly and unstable?  Do you mean loose in the horizontal plane as in drooping shank? By unstable, do you mean like a weak spring action that flops side to side?  You could be a big help to me and save me lots of frustratio. I'm new to this stuff and performing surgery on locomotives and rolling stock is way above my pay grade right now. Thank you for any additional comments you cate to make. 
Best regards

rick

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Posted by Lastspikemike on Friday, July 31, 2020 5:05 PM

#158 is the "scale" version of the #148 (or #5 for that matter). The head is smaller. 

To fix coupler droop caused by the wrong size of bushing try these:

 https://www.kadee.com/ho-scale-couplers-c-274_276_284/213-ho-scale-20series-gearboxes-sleeves-p-321.htm

Or fabricate your own from styrene or abs tubing of the appropriate size. 

Alyth Yard

Canada

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Friday, July 31, 2020 6:13 PM

I don't think the #213 sleeves will help with sagging couplers.

These are intended to bring the ourside diameter of small fasteners like 00-90 or 1-72 up to the correct size for the center of the coupler shank for special installation circumstances.

I have used them with great success on Athearn tank cars by removing the cast in center stud and drilling/tapping for 0-80 and using the sleeve in the Athearn coupler box.

Coupler sag is best corrected by using a genuine Kadee coupler box, which is pretty easy on Athearn locomotives.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by UnionPacific8444 on Friday, July 31, 2020 6:33 PM

I have an older yellow box Athearn Genesis loco, so the information here may or may not apply to the newer versions like the blue and gold box locos. I wish this would be helpful to you.Big Smile

I chose the #158 simply because the #158 looks better. It is a bit smaller than the #148 and has added details to make it look more realistic. It works fine coupling with the #148s and #5s, though. I'm sorry, but I have no idea if its the "newer" ones Kadee mentions. I think its not, because my SD70M is a used Yellow Box "Union Pacific 'Building America' SD-70M #4527" G6166 from 2002.

Well, the coupler socket is a little too big for the coupler "whiskers" to work perfectly. Although the coupler works fine hauling cargo and stuff, the "whiskers" do not work so well "centering" the coupler, which is what the "whiskers" are meant to do. However, the coupler "whiskers" should be able to work fine with gentle handling.

When you screw the coupler "lid" on, don't screw it all the way in! That would make the coupler completely fixed on. Instead, first screw it all the way in, and then screw it back a turn or so until the coupler "whiskers" start working. This is important!!Surprise

 

P.S. The "whiskers" are the metal bars attached to the sides of Kadee #148s and #158s, and the "whiskers" make sure the coupler moves back at the center of the coupler socket when the coupler is "dislocated" (Sorry, I don't really know how to describe this..). #5s do not have the "whiskers", so instead, they use a metal plate to "center" the coupler. I would recommend using #148s or #158s because from my experience, the metal plates are a little big for the SD70's coupler socket, and although it is possible to apply them, the couplers will be a bit more wobbly and unstable.

I wish this helped!Smile

RLP
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Posted by RLP on Saturday, August 1, 2020 9:27 PM

Thank you to everyone who posted on this thread. I'm new to the hobby and couplers and turnout wiring are most challenging things to understand right now. I need to get my hands on some hardware and your comments help me make better choices. 
Best regards

Rick

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Posted by Lastspikemike on Sunday, August 2, 2020 8:11 AM

Occasionally the whiskers can get trapped by the coupler box lid when you tighten it down, or escape into the tiny gap if the lid is not fitted flush to the Athearn cast in coupler box. Either way the whiskers then can't work properly.  

Alyth Yard

Canada

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