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OP wrote in #11 above (with pic):
"Here is one style I want to replace."

I'd try either a Kadee #5 (which uses the bronze spring) or Kadee #148 (whisker).

You want to be careful with that very small screw (don't strip out the threads).

For the exposed bottom, I'm wondering if it would be possible to "trim back" the bottom plastic cover (Kadee coupler sets come with plastic draft gear boxes), to clear the axle?

As mentioned above, you could also go to "body-mounted" couplers using the full Kadee draft gear box. This assumes it won't be too much of a job trying to get it affixed to the bottom of the car underframe...
 
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