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Author Topic: Convert Hook and Loop couplers to Knuckle couplers  (Read 10426 times)
en4cer

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« on: January 01, 2015, 10:43:10 PM »

I would like to convert the hook and loop couplers on my Hogwarts Express train. Does anyone know what knuckle coupler conversion kits I would need to do the job? The Hogwarts train is from a Bachmann set from 2001.
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ACY


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« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2015, 10:45:40 PM »

What type of coupler boxes do they have?
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Len

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« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2015, 06:12:01 AM »

They don't. The Hogwarts Express couplers are mounted talgo style to the truck assembly to allow them to get around 18" radius curves. While similar to the couplers used on Thomas & Friends, they are slightly different.

Converting HE's to knuckles has been done, but it's not a simple project.

Len
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If at first you don't succeed, throw it in the spare parts box.
trainmainbrian

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« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2015, 10:01:57 AM »

Like Len stated..... It's a pretty involved Job to switch out those couplers.... I don't really have a solution to your issue I would just say to save yourself some migraines LOL... I would just buy some Rolling Stock with KD Style Couplers & a Loco as well... Or just keep running the Train Set AS-IS...
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If your not thinking of Model Railroading each day you must be having a bad day.....& do not leave your mind @ the station...
Len

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« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2015, 11:26:07 AM »

If the idea is to use the coaches with different locos, there is an alternative solution. Bachmann and Hornby make similar style coaches that use NEM coupler pockets. You might have to repaint it to match, but you could get one of them, and swap out the coupler on one end to make a hook & loop to knuckle coupler transition car. Put it between the Hogwarts coaches and whatever you're using as motive power. Or between the Hogwarts loco and any american type cars you want to pull.

Bachmann makes the 78035 EZ-Mate NEM shank coupler, which appears to have a long shank. And Kadee makes four NEM shank couplers. The Kadee's are: 17 - Short, 18 - Medium, 19 - Long, 2- Extra Long. For passenger cars you'd want either the long or extra long.

Then you don't have to do any surgery to your Hogwarts cars.

Len
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MilwaukeeRoadfan261


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« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2015, 07:46:44 PM »

The coaches in the Hogwarts Express set are based on the Bachmann Branchline BR MK1 coaches as those were the style of coaches used in the movies so to get a new one and repaint it would give you a good transition car as Len said. One I would recommend would be a Second Corridor (or SK for short) or a Second Open (SO for short) or even a First Corridor (FK for short) or even another brake coach like a Brake Composite Corridor (BCK for short) or a Brake Second Corridor (BSK for short) would look best as those appear to be style of BR MK1's used on the train in the movies with the Second Open or First Open not really being seen on the train until movie 6. As for the knuckle couplers, as Len stated there are several from Kadee that can be used. My personal favorite for use with BR MK1 coaches (if you get a Bachmann Branchline MK1 coach to repaint and use as a Transition Car) is the Kadee #19 Long shank coupler as it couples close but not so close it interferes with the coupling of coaches to locomotives or other coaches, but you would have to use a coupling with a higher knuckle (underset shank) on the engine (I assume you with add a knuckle coupling the back of the HE locomotive) to be at about the same height as the one on the MK1 coach and for that I would recommend the Kadee #27,#37 or #147 Medium Underset Shank knuckle couplers
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electrical whiz kid

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« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2015, 09:00:29 AM »

I have neve3r seen HE equipment, so I am sort of talking out of turn; but to me, Kadee is the way to go.  Not only do they have a wide array of couplers, trucks, wheel sets, etc; but they also have a pretty comprehensive lot of technical publication, as well as their own forum.  I would advise you to at least give it a look-see.
SGT C. 
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Len

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« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2015, 09:16:39 AM »

Coupler availability isn't the problem with the Hogwarts Express conversion. It's the amount of 'surgery' and modifications involved to get it done.

Much simpler to get one of the coaches MilwaukeeRoadfan261 mentions and make a coupler of 'hook & loop to knuckle' conversion cars using the Bachmann or Kadee NEM shank knuckle couplers.

Personally, I wish Bachmann would start using NEM pockets on the Thomas & Friends, and other European based, locos and rolling stock they're producing. It would make life a lot easier for us folks that keep getting asked to make it work with "American" equipment people already have.
 
Len
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If at first you don't succeed, throw it in the spare parts box.
Jhanecker2

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« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2015, 01:04:54 PM »

to Len :  I agree with you on the NEM  coupler pockets . Does anybody  make them for sale ?   I bought  some Maerklin  HE  cars since I wanted extra cars for the Hogwarts Express that I got at the time .   These came  with  NEM coupler pockets  which  bachmanns  couplers  fixed  nicely but I then had to replace the wheels sets  with 42 INCH   DC type  wheel set because   Maerklin   trains are  AC with  uninsulated wheelsets . They worked fine  after that.   Later I acquired two more   Bachmann  HE  trains .   I converted  one tender to the thomas line hook & loop coupler to pull Thomas cars  , and  one tender to pull knuckle couplers .    I currently have   six  bachmann   HE cars with unmodified coupler assemblies and am contemplating some form of conversion . I am considering body mounted Knuckle couplers  or to body mounted Thomas couplers.   
                I was looking  at the Bachmann  Branchline  passenger  cars  on the Hompage  and they  appear to have the same type of  talgo type couplers as the HE type cars . 
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Len

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« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2015, 01:20:13 PM »

This Ribu 502 adaptor might work: http://www.trainaidsa.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=156

I've never used one on a passenger car, only some Thomas freight cars, so can't say for sure it will work with the HE.

Len
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If at first you don't succeed, throw it in the spare parts box.
JimJim

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« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2015, 06:28:23 PM »

Hello All,

If these are indeed Talgo truck mounted couplers go to the Kadee coupler website and look at the #212 Talgo Adapter kit. It does not include the actual couplers. It does include the hardware and the tool to make the conversion.

While there get a coupler height gauge to determine which coupler best suits your needs: Centerset, Underset or Overset. They come in different shank lengths which you can measure from the original couplers.

The instructions are pretty straight forward and easy to convert without having to install gear boxes or do major surgery.

Hope this helps.
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“Uhh...I didn’t know it was ‘impossible’ I just made it work...sorry!”
MilwaukeeRoadfan261


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« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2015, 06:47:39 PM »

I have 6 Bachmann Branchline BR MK1 coaches like I had suggested earlier and they don't have talgo style couplings. They have a NEM 362 coupler pocket mounted to the coach frames and I have them fitted with Kadee NEM 362 Long Shank Knuckle couplings on the outer ends of the consist and the included brake pipe looking close couplings for between the coaches.
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Len

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« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2015, 06:57:20 PM »

These aren't talgo couplers like old Tyco and Life-Like used, that the KD 212 adapters work with.

The HE coaches have hook & loop couplers, something like Thomas equipment, mounted directly to the trucks. Major modifications are required to convert them to knuckle couplers.

The BR MK1 coaches MRfan261's has are similar, except the hook & loop couplers mounted in NEM pocksts, making them much easier to change out using EZ-Mate NEM shank couplers, or KD 19 or 20 NEM shank couplers.

Len
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Irbricksceo


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« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2015, 07:27:52 PM »

The HE coaches have the couples screwed to the trucks. behind the loop it makes a stair shape which slots into an indent in the truck and is secured with screws. Converting it would be a tortuous task. I'd see if you can find a way to attach coupler boxes to the car bodies, though this will increase the required radius from 18 to 22 or 24 I bet.

NEM's are great, would be nice if they used em. It would also be nice if we could GET them. The coupler on my SY's tender dropped the spring a while back but I cant find a suitable replacement. I bought some but both Kadee's and Bachmann's NEM's are too long, Its like the short variant is restricted to other countries.
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rogertra


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« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2015, 07:35:01 PM »

I believe these couplers are based on the old 1960s Tri-Ang couplers.

Hornby Dublo used the "NMRA" hook while competitor Tri-Ang used the hook and loop.  Unlike North America, UK model companies back then deliberately used different standards so their models were not compatible.   

Hornby were considered the "best" while Tri-Ang was second.

Cheers

Roger T.
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