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Kadee #5 vs #148

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Kadee #5 vs #148
Posted by hbgatsf on Wednesday, November 23, 2022 3:22 PM

I know that the #148 fits in some coupler pockets were the #5 will not and that is when I have used them, but I always try using the #5 first.  Is anyone aware of a difference in performance between them?  

Rick

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Posted by wvgca on Wednesday, November 23, 2022 4:28 PM

i do prefer number 5s, at least the small parts are seperately changeable if they ever wear out or become damaged ..

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Posted by tstage on Wednesday, November 23, 2022 4:40 PM

Rick,

While I prefer and use #58s on my locomotives & rolling stock, I have a few outfitted with #158s (whisker equivalent) and haven't noticed any difference in performance.

Tom

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Posted by Southgate 2 on Wednesday, November 23, 2022 5:46 PM

I use mechanically lifted magnets  that come up under the ties to actuate the magnetic uncoupling.

I find that while this method uncouples both the #5 and #148 couplers, the #148s work better for Kadee's "delayed ucoupling". They more consistently open a little wider, a little easier. I've been replacing #5s only for that reason.  Both couple the same. Dan

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Posted by hbgatsf on Thursday, November 24, 2022 9:35 AM

Thanks for the replies.

tstage

Rick,

While I prefer and use #58s on my locomotives & rolling stock, I have a few outfitted with #158s (whisker equivalent) and haven't noticed any difference in performance.

Tom

 

 
Since you brought up those couplers maybe you can give me some advise.  I have some Tangent boxcars on the way that come with #158.  Are they going to work with the #5 and #148 couplers that I am using, or should I plan on changing them?

Rick

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Posted by MisterBeasley on Thursday, November 24, 2022 10:50 AM

I originally started replacing my horn hooks and junky knuckles that broke with #5s.  I started using #58s when they came out, but left the #5s in service.  I'm happy to say that there is no problem with interoperability between them.

I use Kadee between-the-rails magnets, a few Kadee under-the-tracks magnets and a couple of Kadee electromagnets for remote uncoupling, but I've grown to prefer bamboo skewers, mostly for the ability to uncouple anywhere.

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

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Posted by jjdamnit on Thursday, November 24, 2022 11:07 AM

Hello All,

hbgatsf
I have some Tangent boxcars on the way that come with #158. Are they going to work with the #5 and #148 couplers that I am using, or should I plan on changing them?

The first thing I do with all my motive power and rolling stock is to standardize the couplers to either a #5 or #148, depending on the coupler gearbox configuration.

When I need to body mount the couplers I prefer the #5 and the standard gearbox.

If the truck frames are OK I will use the Micro-Mark HO Truck Tuner (#82838) to clean out the bearing seats, then replace the wheels with Intermountain metal wheels.

When the trucks need replacing I use Accurail Roller bearing trucks, again using the HO Truck Tuner to clean out the bearing seats.

This gives consistent coupling and uncoupling along with smooth rolling.

Hope this helps.

"Uhh...I didn’t know it was 'impossible' I just made it work...sorry"

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Posted by BN7150 on Thursday, November 24, 2022 11:13 AM

Forgive me for being a little misguided.
Among the important differences between #5 and #148 are some the following two. One is the mounting dimensions of difference in the gearboxes (pockets). As shown in the cartoon, the protruding margin of the coupler head is different. (Since the dimensions numbers were measured with a ruler, I would like someone to re-measure them with a digital caliper.)

Therefore, if #5 is installed in #242, the phosphor bronze centering spring will protrude.

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Posted by jjdamnit on Thursday, November 24, 2022 11:35 AM

Hello All,

Check out the Kadee online Digital Catalog.

Page "HO 3.0" might have the information you are looking for.

Yes, the phosphorous bronze spring does protrude beyond the end of the gearbox.

If this visually bothers you a black Sharpie will do the trick.

Hope this helps.

"Uhh...I didn’t know it was 'impossible' I just made it work...sorry"

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Posted by PRR8259 on Thursday, November 24, 2022 11:53 AM

Absolutely yes.  #148 performs better on the layout for me than #5.  I do still have some #5 couplers on some rolling stock, but I greatly prefer the spring action of the #148.

If it's any indication, my local train store cannot keep #148 or especially #158 in stock, but they always have #5 couplers in stock.  So, clearly most of the customers now are embracing the whisker spring couplers.

Actually much of my rolling stock and loco's have #158 couplers.  I only rarely have any separation issues with the smaller head couplers. 

John

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Posted by BN7150 on Thursday, November 24, 2022 12:12 PM

I'm in trouble because Kadee's catalog doesn't show the measurements numbers in this cartoon.

jjdamnit, what do you think is another important difference between #5 and #148?

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Posted by hornblower on Thursday, November 24, 2022 1:13 PM

BN7150

The numbers in the cartoon refer to the coupler boxes, not the couplers.  

Hornblower

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Posted by jjdamnit on Thursday, November 24, 2022 1:33 PM

Hello All,

BN7150
jjdamnit, what do you think is another important difference between #5 and #148?

When choosing a coupler, I consider the limitations of the installation.

If a #5 will fit in an OEM coupler pocket great!

With some installations, a #148 will drop in with no problems.

I had to modify the coupler boxes in four (4) Bachmann GP40s.

At first, I tried to use the #148s as a drop-in replacement.

For some reason, this installation caused the whiskers on the couplers to break off. I did send back all the faulty couplers to Kadee for inspection.

I ended up filing out the coupler pockets to accommodate the #148s and #262 Gearboxes.

Removing the needed material from the body to install a #5 and #242 Gearbox would have taken unnecessary time and effort.

Using the #148s made more sense.

If I am adding body-mounted couplers to an existing piece of rolling stock or scratch-building a car I will install #5s with #242s.

Each coupler has their plusses and minuses.

It's up to the user to determine the best application for optimum outcome.

Hope this helps.

"Uhh...I didn’t know it was 'impossible' I just made it work...sorry"

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Posted by BN7150 on Thursday, November 24, 2022 1:34 PM

Hornblower, the basic concept of terms is different between Japanese and English, so it's difficult to express. Is "measurements" appropriate for "numbers"?

I'm in trouble because Kadee's catalog doesn't show the measurements in this cartoon.

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Posted by tstage on Thursday, November 24, 2022 1:43 PM

hbgatsf

Thanks for the replies.

tstage

Rick,

While I prefer and use #58s on my locomotives & rolling stock, I have a few outfitted with #158s (whisker equivalent) and haven't noticed any difference in performance.

Tom

Since you brought up those couplers maybe you can give me some advise.  I have some Tangent boxcars on the way that come with #158.  Are they going to work with the #5 and #148 couplers that I am using, or should I plan on changing them?

 
Rick,
 
I have not had any issues with #58/#158s coupling or staying coupled to the few #5s I still have on a handful of rolling stock.  If you want to be consistent, you can always swap out the semi-scale couplers on your Tangent boxcars with #5s.
 
Tom

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Posted by jjdamnit on Thursday, December 1, 2022 10:37 AM

Hello All,

tstage
I have not had any issues with #58/#158s coupling or staying coupled to the few #5s I still have on a handful of rolling stock.

This past week I replenished my stock of #148 couplers- -directly from Kadee.

Along with the couplers, Kadee included the flyer; HO-Scale Coupler Primer Handout in the shipment.

On the second page, they talk about the compatibility of their "Standard" and "Scale" coupler heads.

For optimum operating performance, they note that the couplers should align along the horizontal centers.

They even go so far as to say...

"Kadee® recommends "standard" coupler heads over "scale" coupler heads. This will help with rough track issues."

Hope this helps.

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Posted by ricktrains4824 on Friday, December 2, 2022 3:55 PM

tstage

 

 
hbgatsf

Thanks for the replies.

tstage

Rick,

While I prefer and use #58s on my locomotives & rolling stock, I have a few outfitted with #158s (whisker equivalent) and haven't noticed any difference in performance.

Tom

Since you brought up those couplers maybe you can give me some advise.  I have some Tangent boxcars on the way that come with #158.  Are they going to work with the #5 and #148 couplers that I am using, or should I plan on changing them?

 

 
Rick,
 
I have not had any issues with #58/#158s coupling or staying coupled to the few #5s I still have on a handful of rolling stock.  If you want to be consistent, you can always swap out the semi-scale couplers on your Tangent boxcars with #5s.
 
Tom
 

Like Tom, I have not had issues with 5/148 & 58/158 staying coupled together.

If you have smooth trackwork, and the couplers are all at the correct height, there really shouldn't be any issues. 

IMO, if trackwork or coupler height issues are a problem, then the scale/oversized head is not the problem. The trackwork or coupler height issue itself is the problem. Fix the actual problem, and the size of the coupler knuckle will not matter at all.

Ricky W.

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Posted by MisterBeasley on Friday, December 2, 2022 5:30 PM

Indeed.  I never have problems with properly installed and adjusted couplers, because the third component is always the trackwork.  I'm very fussy about mine, and I keep everything as level as possible and even try to avoid grades.  I have very few derailments and even fewer unexpected uncouplings because I am probably over the top meticulous about trackwork.

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

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Posted by Autonerd on Friday, December 2, 2022 10:45 PM

I vastly prefer the #148s to the #5s. In my experience, with enough use, those spring plates will eventually wear out (ie stop springing) and the couplers won't center. This doesn't happen with the 148s. I have found installtions where a spacer helped with the 148, and on the (new) Walthers Mainline Horizon cars I just bought, for some reason the 148s won't sit at the right height and the pseudo-5s they have will. In most cases, though, for me it's whisker all the way.

Aaron

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Saturday, December 3, 2022 7:33 AM

hbgatsf
 Is anyone aware of a difference in performance between them?  

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

I started building train cars before the 148 was manufactured. The #5 in a Kadee box works perfectly well for me. I have never had to raplace one because of poor performance.

The 148 in a Kadee box seems to be a superior design, so that is my go-to now.

I know that neither works perfectly in a Life-Like Proto-2000 coupler box on an 8,000 gallon tank car without shims inside the box.

Bang Head

-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.

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Posted by richhotrain on Saturday, December 3, 2022 8:16 AM

I have had a supply of #5 Kadees for as long as I have been in the hobby. The #148 Kadees may be the equal of the #5 Kadees, but they are not superior.

Every time I acquire a new locomotive or piece of rolling stock, I switch out the coupler for a Kadee. The only time that I do not use the #5 is when I need a non-standard coupler such as a long or short shank or an overset or underset coupler.

Rumor has it that Mr. Kadee invented the #5 coupler before scale model railroading was invented. Meanwhile, he simply waited around wondering what to do with his invention. Smile, Wink & Grin

Rich

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Posted by doctorwayne on Saturday, December 3, 2022 1:40 PM

When I got my first HO scale layout, this is what Kadee couplers looked like...

...the straight pin extending down from the knuckle was for remote uncoupling, with a sprung push-button on the layout's control panel.  Pressing the button caused a diamond-shaped device in the middle of the track to rise, and as the train passed over it, the device spread the pins, opening the knuckles and uncoupling the car.

When the magnamatic couplers were introduced, the original ones were discontinued...much to my dismay.  When I needed more couplers, I had to settle for #5s, which wouldn't uncouple on the original uncoupling ramps, so I used sidecutting pliers to remove the magnetic version of what was supposedly intended to represent an air hose...unbeknowst to me, that was the revised version of automatic uncoupling.

I do like the looks of the smaller coupler heads, but can't afford to replace the #5s on over 500-or-so freight and passenger cars, along with a bunch of locomotives.

Wayne

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Posted by FRRYKid on Sunday, December 4, 2022 2:49 AM
The main advantage, at least to me with the 148s is that they are a one piece design. (No metal spring piece to worry about.) Anytime I do a new piece of equipment*, I put 140 series in.
 
 
*There have been a few times where I do have #5s: One I have some Accurail composite side hoppers that came to me with #5s in them already. (Gifted from solmeone who could no longer model.) I replaced any needs with the same #5s and turned them into sugar beet hoppers. Second, a set of Walthers idler cars have #5s as the car end details don't let the 148s swing enough to couple and uncouple properly.
 
Slightly OT but the 140 series have the 252 boxes (30-series equivalents) which are so much easier to work with.)
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Posted by John-NYBW on Sunday, December 4, 2022 8:07 AM

The #148 has become my go-to coupler. A lot of my older cars still have the #5 couplers and they continue to work just fine. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. A couple years ago my LHS was out of #148 so I bought a package of #5 and still have a few left. It's just an extra step to install the spring and get the coupler seated properly but once installed, it works just as well as the #148.

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Posted by The Milwaukee Road Warrior on Sunday, December 11, 2022 11:38 AM

hbgatsf

I know that the #148 fits in some coupler pockets were the #5 will not and that is when I have used them, but I always try using the #5 first.  Is anyone aware of a difference in performance between them?  

 

Last week at my LHS I noted that they had many different Kadee couplers, but the two that were out of stock were #5 and #148.  I found that kind of amusing.  I'd never looked at couplers in the store before; I was really surprised how many different kinds they make, and find it hard to believe there is a need for so many different ones.  I'm totally green on couplers at this point, having focused entirely on getting the basics of benchwork and track work done.  This has been an interesting thread to read.  As I get closer to actually running trains I'm sure I will be back to threads like this.  

Andy

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Sunday, December 11, 2022 1:07 PM

The Milwaukee Road Warrior

 

 
hbgatsf

I know that the #148 fits in some coupler pockets were the #5 will not and that is when I have used them, but I always try using the #5 first.  Is anyone aware of a difference in performance between them?  

 

 

 

Last week at my LHS I noted that they had many different Kadee couplers, but the two that were out of stock were #5 and #148.  I found that kind of amusing.  I'd never looked at couplers in the store before; I was really surprised how many different kinds they make, and find it hard to believe there is a need for so many different ones.  I'm totally green on couplers at this point, having focused entirely on getting the basics of benchwork and track work done.  This has been an interesting thread to read.  As I get closer to actually running trains I'm sure I will be back to threads like this.  

 

Coupler boxes and car floors are much more standardized now that 50 years ago.

Even so there are still needs for many different types of mounting. For example, this is how I put Kadee coulpers on most of my passenger cars.

These are Kadee #36 couplers, long shanks with a small box that provides a wide swing for long cars.

Years ago many wood cars had no coupler box, and die cast metal cars typically had narrow boxes with a small cenrer pin. 

The typical large pin coupler pocket today was not developed unti lthe mid 50's and was by no means quickly adopted.

Sheldon

 

 

    

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Posted by jjdamnit on Sunday, December 11, 2022 4:07 PM

Hello All,

The Milwaukee Road Warrior
I'd never looked at couplers in the store before; I was really surprised how many different kinds (Kadee) make(s), and find it hard to believe there is a need for so many different ones.

ATLANTIC CENTRAL
Coupler boxes and car floors are much more standardized now that (SIC) 50 years ago.

Even with modern "standardization", there are still situations where an "out of the norm" coupler is required for reliable operation.

Some examples...

  • I scratch-built a 60-ton Gunderson Well Car because none were available in HO.
    The coupler pocket was too low for a center-set coupler.
    I have asymmetrical curves comprised of 15- and 18-inch sectional track.
    The solution was a long shank under-set whisker coupler (#141).
  • The Dapol Motorized Cleaning Car I purchased uses NEM European couplers. For added swing through the dreaded "S" curve, comprised of Atlas #4 turnouts, required #20 couplers.
  • Recently I added four (4) 60-foot flat cars; both bulkhead and non-bulkhead types.
    To negotiate the previously mentioned Asymmetrical curves, and accommodate the OEM gearboxes I used #146 couplers.
  • The Märklin/Trix Class G 2000 BB Vossloh heavy diesel locomotive with symmetrical cabs uses the NEM European couplers too but only required the #19 couplers.
  • On the Roco Slewing Crane TT Close Couplers are used. These slide vertically into place.
    I could not replace these so I made transition cars with the Kadee NME couplers on one end of the car, and on the other end used Roco OEM couplers. 

With their variety of couplers, there are few- -if any- -coupler situations that can't be remedied with the extensive variety from Kadee.

Hope this helps.

"Uhh...I didn’t know it was 'impossible' I just made it work...sorry"

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