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Author Topic: Couplers  (Read 140 times)
Ray Z

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« on: February 28, 2021, 11:00:43 PM »

Just getting into the hobby after 60+ years. Setting up a layout with two grandsons. We need to replace several couplers. My question is what size couplers come standard on the entry level Bachmann train sets. On-line I see 20 mm, 17.3 mm, 9/32 replacements. What size do I need? Second, I have some old (40 years) Tyco train diesels and rolling stock. The couplers are different from the Bachmann couplers. Can I convert the Tyco to Bachmann?
Thanks in advance for any insight, suggestions, recommendations...

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« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2021, 11:26:44 PM »

When I replace couplers as they fail I usually replace the plastic ones with the much more robust Kadee #148 couplers. Kadees are the standard which all the others copied once the patents expired. The older Tycos used the then standard horn hook style of coupler. On older cars with truck mounted couplers like Tyco replacing them with knuckle type couplers can be problematic as oftentimes the coupler height won't match the standard. And on Knuckle type couplers, height is critical.

The easiest solution, if you want to use the older cars and locomotives, is to make a coupler of "Conversion cars" with a knuckle coupler on one end and a horn hook on the other. If you go that route, the easiest way to do this is to buy an older Athearn (blue box) or MDC/ Roundhouse car kit. Those should come with the horn hook type couplers, and the Kadee #148 should be a drop in replacement, though you may need to adjust coupler height slightly. Kadee sells bolster washers that will raise the height of the entire car slightly to adjust the height.

Jeffery S Ward Sr
Pittsburgh, PA
Terry Toenges

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« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2021, 12:45:19 AM »

If you choose to go with all knuckle couplers instead of a transition car, you can buy under shank and over shank couplers that will give you different coupler heights.
You can also remove the couplers from the trucks and get couplers with pockets to body mount them.
There are also things called talgo adapters which you can use to put knuckle couplers in the truck mounted coupler slots.
Bachmann sells couplers but they don't have the conversion options that Kadee has.

Feel like a Mogul.
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