The great Kadee vs the rest debate

 
  allan Chief Commissioner

Anzac - depending on what you're modelling you might want to consider #53s or #153s ("scale head", centre set, short shank). If you're going to all the effort, may as well get some closer coupling which looks a whole lot better.

Unfortunately Kadee doesn't make bulk packs of the short shanks at all (and I've asked each time I see them at a show Smile.
SAR523

I completely agree, here.  My "standard" coupler is a #153.

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  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
I completely agree, here.  My "standard" coupler is a #153.
"allan"
+1
  allan Chief Commissioner

OK. So I'll go beyond that. My favorite coupler is a #153 in a #232 coupler box.

When Kadee, in all of their wisdom, introduced the #242 coupler box, the "Black Box" clip together coupler box (a huge improvement, in itself), they made a coupler box that had a geometry different to the #232 coupler box (the one that comes with #5 couplers), pushing the pivot point forward by a bit more than a smidgeon, meaning that the "standard" #158 coupler was effectively longer than a #58 coupler in the supplied (#232) coupler box.

The rub, here, is that a #242 coupler box is not readily interchangeable with a #232 coupler box. That said, a #153 (or for that matter) a #158 coupler is fully interchangeable with a #58, or a #5 coupler: just omit the centering spring, which is now redundant.

So, to repeat myself, my favorite coupler is a #153 in a #232 coupler box.
  comtrain Chief Commissioner

Location: Near Albury Wodonga
My SDS short U vans arrived today Smile




So why put it here?
Well this picture does represent both of my present day coupler horrors Sad

First thing is the obvious low coupler height that Auscision have used since their first rolling stock models were introduced. They did get their height wrong, and we all sat back and copped it sweet.
I checked the SDS height and it is well within the limits imposed by a KD Coupler height gauge.

The SDS couplers appear to be KD #5's and the Auscision ones being scale head hybrids.
At last count I have to replace 165 pairs of Auscision couplers with KD scale Medium underset shanks. Only problem is that they only make them in standard not in scale heads Sad Well another problem is the money It would cost me at $87 a pack of 50 .....heaps to do it.

The underset shanks raise the coupler head to the correct height.

But I have a great idea Idea

Why not ask Auscision to produce a fix for the problem they presented us with Very Happy Build scale head underset shanks and GIVE them to us so that we can fix the problems. I know you can lift the wagon on its bogies and have a non standard floor height ( Wink ) but on my U Van the fix would not be so easy.

But not only that, ensure the coupler head does mate properly with KD's and the coupler loses its stiff mechanical action Smile

Now that would make me happy at least. Very Happy
Cheers
Rod Young
Edit
KD say and I quote
"Knockoff" knuckle couplers from "China" that are now more expensive than ever (many are more costly than Kadee® metal couplers). "Knockoffs" "imitate" in appearance at first glance, but none "fully function" in one way or another like Kadee® couplers. "Knockoff" couplers break, bend, droop, fatigue, relax, take set, slip, stretch or flat don't work. Causing endless failures, trouble & frustration. This is their "overseas quality & performance guarantee".

However this does not have to be so!  Anybody that can produce this U van can surely build a damn coupler?
  comtrain Chief Commissioner

Location: Near Albury Wodonga
Here is an interesting product from KD
These couplings are on our tank cars too, as well as many container flats used for hazardous freight

KD Products Shelf Couplers
Cheers
Rod
  allan Chief Commissioner

"Knockoff" knuckle couplers from "China" that are now more expensive than ever (many are more costly than Kadee® metal couplers). "Knockoffs" "imitate" in appearance at first glance, but none "fully function" in one way or another like Kadee® couplers. "Knockoff" couplers break, bend, droop, fatigue, relax, take set, slip, stretch or flat don't work. Causing endless failures, trouble & frustration. This is their "overseas quality & performance guarantee".

However this does not have to be so! Anybody that can produce this U van can surely build a damn coupler?
comtrail

There are very different technologies involved in plastics injection molding and powder metal sintering. While both are highly mechanised, plastics injection molding is a standardised process run in plants all over the world, but powder metal sintering is a much more specialised process, akin to alchemy.

Some one at Kadee has done the hard yards...
  NSWGR1855 Deputy Commissioner

My SDS short U vans arrived today Smile




So why put it here?
Well this picture does represent both of my present day coupler horrors Sad

First thing is the obvious low coupler height that Auscision have used since their first rolling stock models were introduced. They did get their height wrong, and we all sat back and copped it sweet.
I checked the SDS height and it is well within the limits imposed by a KD Coupler height gauge.

The SDS couplers appear to be KD #5's and the Auscision ones being scale head hybrids.
At last count I have to replace 165 pairs of Auscision couplers with KD scale Medium underset shanks. Only problem is that they only make them in standard not in scale heads Sad Well another problem is the money It would cost me at $87 a pack of 50 .....heaps to do it.

The underset shanks raise the coupler head to the correct height.

But I have a great idea Idea

Why not ask Auscision to produce a fix for the problem they presented us with Very Happy Build scale head underset shanks and GIVE them to us so that we can fix the problems. I know you can lift the wagon on its bogies and have a non standard floor height ( Wink ) but on my U Van the fix would not be so easy.

But not only that, ensure the coupler head does mate properly with KD's and the coupler loses its stiff mechanical action Smile

Now that would make me happy at least. Very Happy
Cheers
Rod Young
Edit
KD say and I quote
"Knockoff" knuckle couplers from "China" that are now more expensive than ever (many are more costly than Kadee® metal couplers). "Knockoffs" "imitate" in appearance at first glance, but none "fully function" in one way or another like Kadee® couplers. "Knockoff" couplers break, bend, droop, fatigue, relax, take set, slip, stretch or flat don't work. Causing endless failures, trouble & frustration. This is their "overseas quality & performance guarantee".

However this does not have to be so! Anybody that can produce this U van can surely build a damn coupler?
comtrain

Hi Rod,

The SDS wagon in your picture has Kadee 'scale head' couplers fitted. A good example of why standards are necessary.

Cheers,

Terry Flynn.
  allan Chief Commissioner

The couplers on my SDS U vans are Kadee #158.

Well, they were...
  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
One old dodge to fix low couplers is to place larger wheels on the model to lift the coupler up a bit. It might be easier and a bit cheaper to do than change all the couplers on the Auscision cars. That is if you can get a larger wheel on it. A scale 33 inch dia wheel changed to a 36 inch dia wheel can some sometimes do wonders to coupling heights! It probably won't get noticed either unless you point it out!
  comtrain Chief Commissioner

Location: Near Albury Wodonga
The couplers on my SDS U vans are Kadee #158.

Well, they were...
allan

Thank you Allan,
And they still are Wink
I seem to have become confused with the Auscision coupler being so much lower, missing the large portion of the Auscision one hanging below the SDS one.

I just set an Auscision coupler up at correct height and it is marginally smaller than the KD one.
And looks nicer, pity it doesn't work better Smile
Cheers
Rod Young
  allan Chief Commissioner


And they still are Wink
comtrai

No. I've fitted #153s...
  comtrain Chief Commissioner

Location: Near Albury Wodonga
No. I've fitted #153s...
allan

Fair enough Smile I would use the short shanks too, but you just got to stop somewhere, I guess
Cheers
Rod
  Roachie Chief Commissioner

Location: Kadina SA (formerly NSW)
All this talk about short shanks has had me thinking and looking at some of my locos!!!

One of the many things I love about the Auscision 422 locos is the way they close couple.....their diaphram/buffers actually do touch/rub when 2 (or more) are coupled together.

Then I looked at my fleet of Trainorama 44 class locos and noticed that, by comparison, they are quite a distance apart.

So, I've ordered 6 packs  of # 153 (I will probably decide to close-couple some other locos too....47, 49 etc) and will see if these have the desired effect.

Roachie
  allan Chief Commissioner

Great. Another masochist. Welcome to the fold...

You'll find that substituting #153s on your 44s will hardly make any difference! The couples will still hang out by a country mile. On my 930s I've ground out the backs of the coupler mounts and drilled new holes 3 or 4 mm away from the ends - and then fitted #153s. The tread plates, which should be sprung (and maybe will be) almost touch.

But, I suspect that you have those go awful buffer beams to cope with: they should touch. I'd try to mount the beam on working buffers, such as those from Bachmann.
  Roachie Chief Commissioner

Location: Kadina SA (formerly NSW)
Great. Another masochist. Welcome to the fold...

You'll find that substituting #153s on your 44s will hardly make any difference! The couples will still hang out by a country mile. On my 930s I've ground out the backs of the coupler mounts and drilled new holes 3 or 4 mm away from the ends - and then fitted #153s. The tread plates, which should be sprung (and maybe will be) almost touch.

But, I suspect that you have those go awful buffer beams to cope with: they should touch. I'd try to mount the beam on working buffers, such as those from Bachmann.
allan

Yes, the buffing plates on the Trainorama locos are sprung, so that isn't an issue. What IS an issue is with locos such as the 42 class, which had individual, oval-shaped buffers......if I close couple those together I will suffer from "buffer-lock", but with the full-width arrangement on the 44/47/49, this isn't an issue.

I'm not keen on the idea of having to follow your lead of grinding-out the backs and drilling/tapping new holes.

Bill
  allan Chief Commissioner

C'mon. Bite the bullet and get on with it...
  allan Chief Commissioner

You might also consider Kadee's excellent (and inexpensive) #252 coupler boxes...

http://www.kadee.com/htmbord/page252.htm
  Roachie Chief Commissioner

Location: Kadina SA (formerly NSW)
Okay....the verdict.....

I've just converted 4 of my Trainorama 44 class over to the short shank Kadees #153 (as discussed above).

Whilst they are a very slight improvement over the previous standard length shank couplers, the difference is negligible and probably not worth the effort. The buffer plates still do not come anywhere near each other like those of the Auscision 422 do.

As Allan mentioned, I guess the only way to really overcome this would be to drill/tap new holes a couple of mm inboard from the existing holes and see how that works out. I will give it some thought and see if I get motivated enough to have a go. If I do, it will be with either 10ba or M2 I guess. I'm not sure whether that mounting pad is solid metal all the way through or just a relatively thin surface? Anybody know?

Roachie
  allan Chief Commissioner

I used the Makita! There's a lot of mazac for the drill to bite on. A 5mm deep hole is more than enough.

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