I am going to go over coupler mounting height again and again, until I stop seeing or hearing about peoples conversion video’s posted on the internet that show people mounting couplers at the incorrect coupler mounting height on “how to videos”. Couplers barely hooked together and then bending the trip pin is not acceptable; even if the coupler is off 20 to 30 thousands checked with a coupler height gauge is not “good enough” for trouble free operation. If you don’t want your cars coming apart when you are running them then you need to take care you have the coupler mounting height correct. “Scale” couplers make this even more critical because the coupler pulling face is smaller.

Example: When you go over that transition on your layout pulling your favorite cars the couplers knuckles will raise and lower keeping the cars connected if you have set the mounting height of the couplers at the centerline, this gives the most available coupler movement without the couplers slipping apart. If the transition on your layout is “rough” (bad track) there may not be a pulling face large enough the coupler to keep the couplers from slipping apart (you have to fix the bad track). Some people use our shelf couplers available in HO-Scale to try to fix “bad track”; but then wonder why their cars derail instead of come apart. Even shelf couplers can’t fix “bad track”.

Things you should take away from this months tech tip.
1.) The Coupler Height Gauge for the scale you are modeling is your best friend. (Take the guess work out of proper coupler mounting. Don’t use another car.)
2.) Always measure to the coupler centerline not to the top or bottom of coupler. (Provides the most available coupler movement without knuckles slipping apart.)
3.) Trip pins are factory set and should not need to be bent if coupler is mounted correctly. (If you need to bend the trip pin then your coupler is probably at the incorrect height.)
4.) When the coupler height gauge is used correctly whether for mounting uncouplers or mounting and fine-tuning couplers; your couplers should operate trouble free*.
(*Coupler height gauge or coupler design can’t fix bad track or incorrectly setup equipment.)