Trains.com

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Kadee couplers for a blue box F7B

1204 views
13 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    September 2006
  • 6 posts
Kadee couplers for a blue box F7B
Posted by wm6410 on Tuesday, July 26, 2022 7:42 PM

What kadee coupler should I use to get close coupling on an Athearn blue box F7B dummy?

  • Member since
    January 2017
  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
  • 15,950 posts
Posted by SeeYou190 on Tuesday, July 26, 2022 8:20 PM

The easiest first step is to try the #23 short shank coupler in the original Athearn coupler box.

-Kevin

Living the dream and happily modeling my STRATTON AND GILLETTE Railroad in HO scale. The SGRR is a freelanced Class A railroad as it would have appeared on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954, in my personal fantasy world of plausible nonsense.

  • Member since
    January 2009
  • From: Maryland
  • 11,778 posts
Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Wednesday, July 27, 2022 5:40 AM

    

  • Member since
    January 2017
  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
  • 15,950 posts
Posted by SeeYou190 on Wednesday, July 27, 2022 11:02 AM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL
This is the best way to put Kadee couplers on older Athearn F7's.

The picture of the product does not really give a good idea how it is different from just using Kadee coupler boxes. What are the special features?

-Kevin

Living the dream and happily modeling my STRATTON AND GILLETTE Railroad in HO scale. The SGRR is a freelanced Class A railroad as it would have appeared on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954, in my personal fantasy world of plausible nonsense.

  • Member since
    December 2004
  • From: Bedford, MA, USA
  • 20,554 posts
Posted by MisterBeasley on Wednesday, July 27, 2022 11:03 AM

On any Blue Box Athearn engine, remember that the frame may be part of the electrical path from the track to the motor.  Even on a dummy engine, the frame will still be "hot" if the engine has metal wheels.  Because Kadees are metal, they should be isolated so they can't form unwanted connections between two locomotives.

I always remove the metal coupler boxes from old BB frames and replace them with plastic Kadee draft gear boxes, which isolate the couplers.

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

  • Member since
    January 2009
  • From: Maryland
  • 11,778 posts
Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Wednesday, July 27, 2022 5:20 PM

SeeYou190

 

 
ATLANTIC CENTRAL
This is the best way to put Kadee couplers on older Athearn F7's.

 

The picture of the product does not really give a good idea how it is different from just using Kadee coupler boxes. What are the special features?

-Kevin

 

I know the picture is bad and I don't know if they have the instructions on line. It is a molded coupler box the fits on the Athearn frame but moves the pivot point back to lessen the gap between the locos. Hard to explain, but the body shell helps lock it on and it looks more realistic because it visually completes the coupler hanger that Athearn molded on either side of the coupler. 

Later I will try to take some pictures, I have them 5 or 6 locos.

Sheldon

    

  • Member since
    February 2008
  • 7,979 posts
Posted by maxman on Wednesday, July 27, 2022 6:35 PM

According to the net instructions are included on back of packaging.

  • Member since
    January 2009
  • From: Maryland
  • 11,778 posts
Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Wednesday, July 27, 2022 7:45 PM

Here are the instructions:

 

Here are some photos:

 

 

 

This product has been around a long time, they work really well.

Sheldon

    

  • Member since
    January 2017
  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
  • 15,950 posts
Posted by SeeYou190 on Wednesday, July 27, 2022 10:12 PM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL
This product has been around a long time, they work really well.

Count me as impressed. That is a mighty clever solution.

Thanks for the pictures.

-Kevin

Living the dream and happily modeling my STRATTON AND GILLETTE Railroad in HO scale. The SGRR is a freelanced Class A railroad as it would have appeared on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954, in my personal fantasy world of plausible nonsense.

  • Member since
    January 2019
  • 1,928 posts
Posted by John-NYBW on Tuesday, August 2, 2022 4:13 PM

One option which somebody suggested to me earlier this year is to fabricate a drawbar between the A & B units. I had done this once before on a set of F3s but had completely forgotten it. If you are always going to run them together, you won't have a need to uncouple them. You can make the drawbar out of a narrow piece of styrene or do what I did many years with the F3s and use a cut up credit card. I found that the new credit cards with the chip have a thin metal layer sandwiched between the plastic making them difficult to cut but if you have any old credit cards or something similar laying around, the plastic is perfect for this. The best part is you can make the drawbar any length you want. I don't think F7s ever used drawbars but if you add diaphragms, that will hide the fact you have a drawbar instead of couplers. 

  • Member since
    January 2013
  • 866 posts
Posted by PM Railfan on Tuesday, August 2, 2022 10:52 PM

(Just for reference in conjunction with what Kevin (SeeYou190) already posted.)

 

Kevin posted a picture of Kadee's coupler shank reference. What Im adding is from Kadee's conversion reference which lists the actual coupler number:

 

For Rubber band drive F7A & B:  #31

According to Kadee this is a metal, long shank, underset head, coupler. To shorten this by one step you could use the #37. This is the same coupler except medium shank - a pinch shorter. To go two steps shorter use the #34. Again, same as the above yet this is the shortest shank available in underset head of metal. 

 

For Gear drive F7A & B: #37

As you can see by the upgrade in model powering ability, Athearn already shortened the coupler by one step. Kadee recommends the medium length shank, underset head, in a metal coupler. So you only have one step left to go which is the #34 to get a shorter coupler on the geared drive F7s.

 

Now, all Ive said so far applys to 'direct replacement' or 'direct swap' of couplers. No filing, grinding, hacking, bending, torching, welding, sawing, glueing, or any other form of fun type explosive manufacturing process needed.

All bets are off if you change the coupler mouting pedastal in dimensions. Such as the 'American Limited' kit listed above, or similar. Plus, once its cut, its cut for life.

Dont forget to test things out before you do any cutting. Be a real pain in the caboose if you cut your pedastals, mounted shorty-short couplers, that when the units are lashed up looked really really good..... until they hit that tight radius curve!

 

Kadee has 3 'references' pertaining to their couplers you can download. Will be all you ever need to know concerning Kadee couplers. The 'conversion' list will be your goto the most!

[If any Kadee employee is reading this.... Thank You(!) Kadee for producing those references.... and IMO the best dam coupler on the market bar none!]  

 

Green over Green!

PMR

  • Member since
    January 2009
  • From: Maryland
  • 11,778 posts
Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Wednesday, August 3, 2022 8:53 PM

PM Railfan
Now, all Ive said so far applys to 'direct replacement' or 'direct swap' of couplers. No filing, grinding, hacking, bending, torching, welding, sawing, glueing, or any other form of fun type explosive manufacturing process needed.

All bets are off if you change the coupler mouting pedastal in dimensions. Such as the 'American Limited' kit listed above, or similar. Plus, once its cut, its cut for life.

Dont forget to test things out before you do any cutting. Be a real pain in the caboose if you cut your pedastals, mounted shorty-short couplers, that when the units are lashed up looked really really good..... until they hit that tight radius curve!

OK, for all you skeptics, 22" radius snap track:

 

And for good measure, front coupler close coupling done with a Kadee 30 series, also on 22" radius.

 

 

 

Sheldon

 

    

  • Member since
    January 2021
  • 217 posts
Posted by Attuvian1 on Thursday, August 4, 2022 7:08 AM

As they say, Sheldon, "A picture is worth a thousand words".  Well done. Geeked

(And a nice touch throwing in a Stratton and Gillette car.)

John

  • Member since
    August 2006
  • From: Franconia, NH
  • 3,108 posts
Posted by dstarr on Thursday, August 4, 2022 1:20 PM

Kadee publishes a "what fits what" list for their couplers into every piece of rolling stock manufactured in the last 75 years.  You can warp a #5 Kadee into almost anything but the Kadee recommened coupler will go in with a lot less filing, hacking, and cussing.  For hot chassis locomotives, all the older ones are hot chassis, you want insulated couplers to prevent short circuits.  You can do this with plastic Kadee couplers, or metal couplers in plastic coupler boxes secured with plastic screws.  A very tiny tiny dab of Duco cement on each end of the knuckle spring will prevent loss of spring.  If the coupler is hanging up on turnouts and crossovers it is likely that the coupler is mounted too low.  A #6 flat washer under each truck will usually correct this.  Most Athearn blue box cars will need the washers.  You will need a coupler height gage to check this.  I made my coupler height gage from wood and an old coupler.  

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Users Online

Search the Community

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Model Railroader Newsletter See all
Sign up for our FREE e-newsletter and get model railroad news in your inbox!