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Author Topic: Ho Couplers  (Read 6872 times)
rickho

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« on: August 07, 2007, 08:44:12 AM »

Just getting back into the hobby it has been since 1980's since I have had a layout. Alot has changed I just bought some DCC engines and I noticed that the couplers have changed to the EZ-matt couplers my question is are these couplers good since all my old cars have the old style I will have to change them over to the newer couplers. Also what couplers will I need for my cars I see there are center, short, and long couplers I would guess that the center shank are standard. Also since I have to change over 100 couplers is there anything out there better than the ez-matt couplers.
Thank All for replying, Rickho
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SteamGene

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« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2007, 09:04:36 AM »

Center shank is standard.  You want Kadee Number 5 couplers.  You can buy them in a 20 pack, which is just the coupler and the spring, at a much reduced price. 
Gene
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Chief Brass Hat
Virginia Tidewater and Piedmont Railroad
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FallsvalleyRR

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« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2007, 03:40:22 PM »

I toss all plastic couplers on sight. Have thrown them away for the last 15+ years.

The old standard in my home was number 5 from Kadee.

Now I use number 148 whiskers as I am getting older and those brass plates are a PAIN.

I still toss ALL plastic couplers... mchenrys, 1996 Bachmann plastic couplers, any other plastic couplers ON SIGHT.

The plastic couplers go straight to the trash can and thence to the landfill to sit for 5000 years buried, sometimes still in the little baggie or cardstock they arrived on.

Whenever I buy rolling stock kit or RTR, I automatically buy Kadee as well without any qualms on the excellent quality. Metal wheels too but not on topic for this thread.

Never had a Kadee fail. Not ever in my 30+ years in the hobby.

I keep a pile of kadee couplers at the workbench whenever I run trains, I usually see it part when a el-crappo plastic coupler finally parts and breaks. It only takes moments to replace never to have the same problem ever again.

If the HO scale manufactors will quit trying to save a dollar on something that we the buyer have to fix... and use Kadee at the factory, I will imagine sales will improve because we see the quality. Especially when they pass the gauge test the first time without modification.

Lesson: Buy a pile of Kadees and install them yourself right away, save yourself the headache of plastic couplers. We are trying to enjoy trains and de-stress from troubles not fix them because factories trying to be cheap.

To see a new HO scale model have a little "Kaydee-compatible" couplers line in the spec sheet means:

We have crappy couplers, YOU buy Kadees and put em on yourself."
« Last Edit: August 07, 2007, 03:51:08 PM by FallsvalleyRR » Logged
Guilford Guy


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« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2007, 04:46:40 PM »

I hope you know where plastic couplers will find an even worse home  Wink
*cough* mememememememe *cough*
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Alex

Craig

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« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2007, 04:58:59 PM »

1980's... Nobody has explained to rickho how he's supposed to install Kadee couplers on the proprietary talgo trucks that came with his old, poorly detailed, underweighted 1980's rolling stock.

rickho, unless your cars happen to have coupler pockets (with covers) you will have some work to do in order to change coupler style. You'll probably have to add some weight, too. May as well ream the truck journals and install some metal wheel sets while you're at it.
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FallsvalleyRR

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« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2007, 05:52:42 PM »

Good catch Craig.

I think there are replacement trucks or couplers equippted to go on the old horn and hook style of those days.

One idea to ease the transition is to convert a car with one end kadee and the other left as a horn and hook and use it to pull the older stock until you either upgrade em or replace them with newer stock.

Sorry for the soapbox on Kadee, something about plastic couplers tips me into the abyss.
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Craig

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« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2007, 07:41:00 PM »

Quote
One idea to ease the transition is to convert a car

I agree completely, and rickho will probably have to buy a car with coupler pockets to use, unless he has purchased some newer stuff along with his new locos. I suppose some of his 80's stuff might be Athearn, in which case the upgrade/update would be fairly straightforward.
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Conrail Quality


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« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2007, 09:15:51 PM »

I have a bunch of old Tyco rolling stock, and what I did was cut off the truck-mounted horn hook, and installed a Kadee #5 in the "black box". I did this by drilling a hole in the bottom of the model. The height was incorrect though, that was a pain to fix.
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Timothy

Still waiting for an E33 in N-scale
Craig

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« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2007, 09:58:34 PM »

I have a bunch of old Tyco rolling stock, and what I did was cut off the truck-mounted horn hook, and installed a Kadee #5 in the "black box". I did this by drilling a hole in the bottom of the model. The height was incorrect though, that was a pain to fix.

It really can be a great deal of work. And, in the final analysis, what does one have to show for the time and expense? Many of those old cars are grossly out of scale and are poorly decorated/detailed. The transition car is a better choice until the roster can be improved. I know in some cases sentimental value can outweigh practicality.
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rickho

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« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2007, 10:11:21 PM »

thank you all for reaponding I do have some newer cars as well so I will change the couplers so I can pull my old cars and will buy the kadee couplers so I can change over my stock.

Thanx again Rickho
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Woody Elmore

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« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2007, 08:23:41 PM »

Just don't get frustrated getting couplers the right height can be maddening. Be sure to get a coupler height gauge - Kadee makes a beauty and Micro-mark has a very simple design that works well.

I suggest you do a transition car for the time being. Putting Kadees on some poorly manufactured 20 year old car might be a waste of good money!
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Conrail Quality


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« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2007, 03:08:17 PM »

I have a bunch of old Tyco rolling stock, and what I did was cut off the truck-mounted horn hook, and installed a Kadee #5 in the "black box". I did this by drilling a hole in the bottom of the model. The height was incorrect though, that was a pain to fix.

It really can be a great deal of work. And, in the final analysis, what does one have to show for the time and expense? Many of those old cars are grossly out of scale and are poorly decorated/detailed. The transition car is a better choice until the roster can be improved. I know in some cases sentimental value can outweigh practicality.

You're right, I did it pretty much because of the sedemental value (I inherited those Tyco's from my grandfather).
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Timothy

Still waiting for an E33 in N-scale
Summertrainz


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« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2007, 12:32:46 PM »

this may sound a little barbaric but i use the old hook couplers and i still find a
way to get them on the knuckle. i just sort of push them together
they give me no trouble while running
its just a hassle when hooking and unhooking
u have to walk over and do some sort of manuver with the couplers...
it may sound dumb and i may be lazy to go to the hobby store and find replacements but they will stay together if you try.
if u got 20$ i still suggest buy them...
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Stephen Warrington

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« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2007, 04:48:25 PM »

IHC makes a conversion coupler called a Magic Mate 2000 that will couple to both the  horn hook and knuckle types they are sold in 8 packs . I still have a few on some of my old timer work cars from IHC and their locomotives comes with them equiped most of the time.



Stephen
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Doneldon

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« Reply #14 on: August 15, 2007, 10:39:44 PM »

I'm surprised to see that no one mentioned dummy couplers.  They are ideal for permanent diesel lashups (ABA or such like), unit trains and many passenger trains.  In addition to staying well coupled, they look much better because they are closer to scale.  They're no good for cars which need to be coupled and uncoupled a lot but they are great where they can be used.
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