Model Train Forum banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I recently upgraded my Kadee # 5 couplers with what was recommended by customers and clerks at my local hobby shop: the 158's.

They look better and work just as well.

Now I am thinking that the pins on the couplers for the uncoupling magnets (which I don't have, and don't plan to have) are looking pretty clunky. I use an uncoupling pick, and only on rare occasions resort to the "big hand".

I looked at a few youtube videos, starting first with the Colorado Model Railroad Museum. It looks like about 80% of the time those pins have been removed, both there and on some of the club layouts I looked at. I have both wire cutters (which I think are for copper electric wire) and nail cutters.

Any recommendations on how (or if) I should proceed?

Thanks, Ted
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,862 Posts
Many people who don't use magnetic uncoupled keep the pins for their superficial resemblance to the air hoses that would connect cars on a real train. Others think they just get in the way. I'm in the latter camp.

The best thing to cut them off with is a rotary tool with a cut-off disc (use eye protection). The pins are hard steel, and would likely damage both your wire cutters and nail nippers (both of these are designed for softer metals).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,355 Posts
I keep mine on, for the exact reason that CTV mentioned; resemblance of air hoses on the real cars.....and I must be lucky, for I have never had them get in the way of smooth operation....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
825 Posts
The uncoupling pins (I think of them as "curleyQ's") actually look a lot like air brake hoses when the cars are coupled.

In fact, I think they look better than the "air brake hoses" that some of the very detailed cars come with.

If you cut them off, the couplings just won't look right -- like a train going by with couplers but no coupled brake pipe hoses between them.

I've coupled up a few of those hoses for real back in my working days.... ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,038 Posts
Others think they just get in the way. I'm in the latter camp.
Likewise.

The pins often hang lower than the top of the rails and some places I have weeds between the rails that those pins hang up on. And I have wood grade crossings as in the picture that also cause trouble.

I have an old pair of rail cutters (that I nicked cutting stainless steel wire) that I cut 'em off with.


 

·
Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thanks all for your replies. To me the pins just don't look right, and only when I use a lot of imagination do I think they resemble the brake line hoses between cars. And when a car is sitting solo on a siding, or at the end of a consist, those pins are really obtrusive to me. But if they don't bother you, and you like them, that doesn't bother me!

All that said I started to nip them off. I'm using my "bad" wire cutters, the ones that got left outside in the rain and sat there for a couple of weeks before I found them. I bought a better one while looking for the missing one.

The older and somewhat rusty wire cutter seems to work fine. My nail cutter nips them off OK, but not quite as flush to the coupler as the wire cutter..

Cheers, Ted
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,355 Posts
Likewise.

The pins often hang lower than the top of the rails and some places I have weeds between the rails that those pins hang up on. And I have wood grade crossings as in the picture that also cause trouble.

I have an old pair of rail cutters (that I nicked cutting stainless steel wire) that I cut 'em off with.


You could have always adjusted/bent them so they wouldn’t snag.....just sayin’.....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,038 Posts
Could have. Could have otherwise damaged the coupler in the process.

In addition the practical reasons I stated, I don't think they look anything like prototypical air hoses. Had I adjusted/bent them they would even less.

Juuuuuust sayin'...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
When I first restarted my HO layout 3 years ago I bought a special kind of "plier" that is designed to shape those pins when they are too low. It worked well on the few occasions I needed to adjust the level of the pin. I did this thinking I might want to use the magnetic uncoupler, but now, 3 years later, I realize I won't need the magnets, and the pins on the couplers just irritate me.

Cheers, Ted
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
67 Posts
Could have. Could have otherwise damaged the coupler in the process.

In addition the practical reasons I stated, I don't think they look anything like prototypical air hoses. Had I adjusted/bent them they would even less.

Juuuuuust sayin'...

But your trains look more prototypical without them attached ??? More imagination needed without them then with,

Juuuuuuuuuuust sayin' :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
127 Posts
Last year I converted every locomotive and rolling stock that I own to knuckle couplers. More than two hundred pair. I bought the Kadee pliers. Worth the investment due to ease of use. Adjusted height during install. 1/32" above railtop. Used a small steel ruler of that thickness as quick height gauge. If a 'hose' needed adjusted for (whatever reason) to the point that end curled upward, then I just nipped off the end a bit.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,862 Posts
Appearance is in the eye of the beholder -- this is a clear case of "your layout, your rules" as far as appearances go. My personal opinion is that when the cars are coupled, the pins do resemble air hoses, but they are decidedly unprototypical looking (even worse than the already oversized appearance of most couplers) in uncoupled cars.

I have a bag of small rubber "hoses" with magnets on the ends that I intend to install some day. Of course, I have no idea where they came from, and no idea whether I can get more (I think I have a dozen pairs, not nearly enough for my whole fleet).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
304 Posts
if you are bound and determined to remove the ends of your kadee couplers, to make them look 'hose less', the the dremel with a grinder disk would be the most likely to not cause any damage to the cars in any way ...
just remember to blow off any grinding rsidue before you put them back on the track..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
I don't have a dremel, but my old wire cutters work well. There is a slight stub of the pin remaining, less than 1/32", but as it's on the bottom of the coupler it is barely noticeable. No damage to the cars. I agree that when the cars are coupled the kadee pins look "somewhat" right. But when a car is on its own, or the end of a consist, the pins really irritate me. Of the 60 pieces of rolling stock with the 158 couplers, I have removed the pins from about 20. I want to think and look it over before I do any more. I definitely would keep the pins off the diesel locomotives. Not so sure about the rolling stock , so I am on "pause" for now.

Cheers, Ted
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
My present, probably final, opinion is that I don't like the pins on the couplers of the locomotives or cabooses, so those will be without the pins.

The rest of the rolling stock: they are OK. I still think they look a bit clunky, but better than nothing. One of the most obtrusive things about the pins is that they have a kind of glossy sheen. So I mixed a little flat white and flat black paint to get a charcoal color and painted the pins. Without the glare, they look much better and are not so objectionable to me.

Cheers, Ted
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top