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Old 01-11-2020, 12:56 PM   #1
MikeB
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Kadee Coupler question

I've got some Santa FE cars, one which needs it's couplers changed because it doesn't couple. I've been searching the Kadee site and see I need #22, 32 or 142 which are medium overset shanks. I'm leaning towards the #142 which is a whisker shank.
I couldn't find info on there site, so I'm hoping someone here can help. What's the difference between these series 20, 30, 140? Is it design, materials or what?

Thanks.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Santa Fe Coupler side.jpg (2.28 MB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg Santa Fe Coupler bottom.jpg (1.86 MB, 7 views)
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Last edited by MikeB; 01-11-2020 at 01:03 PM.. Reason: add pictures
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Old 01-11-2020, 02:04 PM   #2
CambriaArea51
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Right from the website. Very bottom 5,9,58 series all metal.
https://www.kadee.com/images/large/chart_LRG.jpg
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Old 01-11-2020, 02:09 PM   #3
DonR
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In addition to your coupler purchase be sure
to order a Kadee coupler alignment tool...get the
plastic version that you can use on a 'live' track.
I prefer the Kadee 'whisker' centering spring versions. Much
easier to install.

Don
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Old 01-11-2020, 02:45 PM   #4
traction fan
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West "Fluctuating coupler height"

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeB View Post
I've got some Santa FE cars, one which needs it's couplers changed because it doesn't couple. I've been searching the Kadee site and see I need #22, 32 or 142 which are medium overset shanks. I'm leaning towards the #142 which is a whisker shank.
I couldn't find info on there site, so I'm hoping someone here can help. What's the difference between these series 20, 30, 140? Is it design, materials or what?

Thanks.
MikeB;

Others can advise you on the best Kadee coupler for your situation, but there is another potential problem that I see in your photos. Those long arms, sticking out from the trucks, that hold the couplers. They are free to move enough vertically to get the two mating couplers out of vertical alignment with each other. No matter how well matched the couplers are to the Kadee gage Don recommended, if they can bounce up and down, they may uncouple. Have you ever had this happen? Maybe on turnouts? Of course if you have perfectly flat track, maybe you have never had any unwanted uncouplings.

If you have had them, there are two remedies I can think of. Which one will work best depends on how sharp the curves on your layout are. If you have broad curves say, 24" radius or larger, then you could body-mount the couplers on your passenger cars. If you are using 18" or 22" radius curves, you may be better off keeping the couplers mounted on the trucks, as they are now. You can limit the vertical play of the "talgo truck's coupler mounting arm by adding a piece of stiff music wire bent into the shape of a large staple. One slightly above the swing area of the arm and another just above. These wires will prevent the arm from moving as much vertically but will still allow it to swing horizontally.

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Old 01-11-2020, 03:33 PM   #5
MikeB
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CambriaArea51 View Post
Right from the website. Very bottom 5,9,58 series all metal.
https://www.kadee.com/images/large/chart_LRG.jpg
Thanks, I must have missed that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DonR View Post
In addition to your coupler purchase be sure
to order a Kadee coupler alignment tool...get the
plastic version that you can use on a 'live' track.
I prefer the Kadee 'whisker' centering spring versions. Much
easier to install.

Don
I will order one, has I have a few other cars that will eventually get changed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by traction fan View Post
MikeB;

Others can advise you on the best Kadee coupler for your situation, but there is another potential problem that I see in your photos. Those long arms, sticking out from the trucks, that hold the couplers. They are free to move enough vertically to get the two mating couplers out of vertical alignment with each other. No matter how well matched the couplers are to the Kadee gage Don recommended, if they can bounce up and down, they may uncouple. Have you ever had this happen? Maybe on turnouts? Of course if you have perfectly flat track, maybe you have never had any unwanted uncouplings.

If you have had them, there are two remedies I can think of. Which one will work best depends on how sharp the curves on your layout are. If you have broad curves say, 24" radius or larger, then you could body-mount the couplers on your passenger cars. If you are using 18" or 22" radius curves, you may be better off keeping the couplers mounted on the trucks, as they are now. You can limit the vertical play of the "talgo truck's coupler mounting arm by adding a piece of stiff music wire bent into the shape of a large staple. One slightly above the swing area of the arm and another just above. These wires will prevent the arm from moving as much vertically but will still allow it to swing horizontally.

Traction Fan
I see what you mean about the vertical movement. This car always uncouples when going up an incline. All my curves are either 18" or 22", so I'll keep the truck mounted couplers. That is another reason I'm going to get a little longer coupler, than the short ones on the car now. The long passenger cars look unnatural going around them, but they were given to me as a gift.

Thanks a ton for the advice.
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Old 01-11-2020, 05:00 PM   #6
Dennis461
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Would a "shelf" coupler work better in this situation?
https://www.kadee.com/ho-scale-coupl...hank-p-288.htm
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Old 01-11-2020, 06:39 PM   #7
Murv2
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Kadee's plastic couplers are a little larger than metal. Less accurate but more forgiving. The shelf coupler may be a better solution; I bought a pair by accident and they are a pain to separate!
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Old 01-11-2020, 08:03 PM   #8
traction fan
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West All or none

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeB View Post
Thanks, I must have missed that.



I will order one, has I have a few other cars that will eventually get changed.



I see what you mean about the vertical movement. This car always uncouples when going up an incline. All my curves are either 18" or 22", so I'll keep the truck mounted couplers. That is another reason I'm going to get a little longer coupler, than the short ones on the car now. The long passenger cars look unnatural going around them, but they were given to me as a gift.

Thanks a ton for the advice.

MikeB;

Another thing about truck-mounted vs. body-mounted couplers. It's far better to have all the couplers on your railroad either truck-mounts, or body-mounts. A mixture of the two different mounting systems is all but certain to cause some derailments. I like that shelf coupler Dennis461 recommended. once you get all your couplers at the same height, that shelf coupler should help prevent those unplanned uncouplings on the grade. Using all shelf couplers on these passenger cars, you could probably skip the vertical movement limiters I suggested.

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Old 01-11-2020, 08:06 PM   #9
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West great idea!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis461 View Post
Would a "shelf" coupler work better in this situation?
https://www.kadee.com/ho-scale-coupl...hank-p-288.htm
Dennis461;

That shelf coupler is a great idea. I don't suppose the're available in N-scale.

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Old 01-11-2020, 09:14 PM   #10
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I've always had a great deal of disdain for Talgo trucks, particularly for this very reason.
It's mostly why I like the Rivarossi & Con-Cor Branchline heavyweight passenger cars... their abbreviated length makes 18" radius curves a non-issue, while looking very realistic, even in the longest trains.
BTW, the Con-Cor Branchline cars (they have Kadee couplers) are too expensive. The Rivarossi's though are quite affordable.
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