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Old 04-19-2017, 02:36 PM   #11
traction fan
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West Adjusting coupler height

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Originally Posted by jlc41 View Post
Speaking of Bachmann, I have two new cars with coupler height problems. I need to lower the couplers but when I shim them I can not tighten the coupler cover without binding up the coupler. The coupler box is molded to the car body. What or how do I fix this?? Thanks in advance.
jlc41;

There are a couple of ways to lower the couplers. First, and best, would be to cut off the molded-on coupler box, and replace the box, coupler, and cover; with Kaydees. If you don't want to do that then the box, not just the coupler, needs to be lowered. Since the Bachman coupler box is molded to the car's floor, you would need to lower the floor, and the entire car. This can be done by cutting away some material from the "bolsters." These are the cross-car beams that the trucks are attached to. Timing the bolsters, and maybe the tops of the truck centers too, will lower the car. However trimming them too much will let the wheels rub against the bottom of the car. You will need to look and measure carefully to see if the car can be lowered enough to cure the coupler height problem, without letting the wheels rub.

good luck;

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Old 04-19-2017, 02:58 PM   #12
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Makes me wonder how receptive we the public would be if our new automobiles had mismatched wheels, or if valves weren't adjusted to manufacturer standards. What about if all TVs showed a 36"-sized picture, no matter how large the screen? I'm sure we'd stop buying crap like that pretty quickly!

So why do we continue to buy mismatched stuff from model train makers? Why don't we send letters to them demanding that they fix what's wrong, or we'll stop buying immediately?

I have what I need for motive power and rolling stock. A manufacturer is going to have to go out of HIS way to sell me something else that I may want but not need. THEY are going to have to give me what I want, not what they want me to have.
So new cars, TV's and other things never need warranty work because something doesn't work quite right from the git-go? Everyone makes an occasional dog.

If you're going to refuse to buy things because we might get a defective one, you're going to be living like a hermit in a cave.

That said, if one manufacturer consistently produces junk, then I don't buy from them, but I haven't seen one of those lately (Bachmann used to be that way, but has stepped up to the plate in the last 5 years or so). And yeah, if I pick up something crappy, I usually let the manufacturer know about it.
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Old 04-19-2017, 03:00 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlc41 View Post
Speaking of Bachmann, I have two new cars with coupler height problems. I need to lower the couplers but when I shim them I can not tighten the coupler cover without binding up the coupler. The coupler box is molded to the car body. What or how do I fix this?? Thanks in advance.
You never want to shim INSIDE the coupler box.

You want to lower the height of the car -- the best way is to trim the trucks down.

For a little more work, you can cut off the coupler boxes and mount your own at the correct height.
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Old 04-19-2017, 04:11 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlc41 View Post
Speaking of Bachmann, I have two new cars with coupler height problems. I need to lower the couplers but when I shim them I can not tighten the coupler cover without binding up the coupler. The coupler box is molded to the car body. What or how do I fix this?? Thanks in advance.
The regular Kadee #5 or 148 are center set.
Kadee has both overset and underset couplers. I've
had to use both from time to time. The knuckles
are either higher or lower than the coupler shank
thus can put the car in vertical alignment.

It appears you need the under set. The draft
box stays as is and the lower knuckle does the job.

Don
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Old 04-19-2017, 04:46 PM   #15
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Some manufacturers are better than others about manufacturing to standards, but I think I've had a sample from pretty much every manufacturer having something out of spec (coupler height or wheel gauge). I always check. I've learned never to trust a new model.
So it sounds like this is a pretty common problem...Am I wrong?
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Old 04-19-2017, 04:48 PM   #16
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Kadee has both overset and underset couplers. I've
had to use both from time to time. The knuckles
are either higher or lower than the coupler shank
thus can put the car in vertical alignment.


Don
So why do the manufacturers make "repair" pieces instead of making things correctly in the first place?
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Old 04-19-2017, 05:31 PM   #17
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I have a question about the couplers on lionel rolling stock. My old 1973 couplers are supposed to open and close manually, but I don't want to break them so I just pick the car up and set it down coupling it to the car in front of it. Some of the cars I just bought, well, all of them, have a lever or something that springs the coupler open, then you close it the way a train does. You push the one into the other and the striking of one to the other springs it closed. How do you make the lever work to open the coupler.
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Old 04-19-2017, 06:43 PM   #18
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So why do the manufacturers make "repair" pieces instead of making things correctly in the first place?
KaDee makes "repair" parts to fix problems in cars made by OTHER companies.
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Old 04-20-2017, 12:33 PM   #19
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So why do the manufacturers make "repair" pieces instead of making things correctly in the first place?
Do we really want to get into this here?

Short answer is cost. The additional effort required to upgrade tooling and quality checks to avoid having some % of defective merchandise is not considered cost effective by the manufacturers.

My company makes nuclear submarines. We still can't manage 100% defect free. But we make sure there aren't any in the critical systems (life, property, and nuclear)... and that drives up cost HUGELY.

Bottom line: consumers want quality but aren't willing to pay for it. So we get what we pay for.
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Old 04-20-2017, 02:19 PM   #20
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Okay guy's I fixed the problem. I cut a piece of 3/16 i.d. tubing to fit over the pin that the truck screws into. I cut it .030 taller than the pin height slipped my shims over the tube and made a spacer gasket for the box cover to allow the cover to be tightened without clamping the coupler down. Works like a charm. Thanks for all the responses.
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