Coupler Conversions (February 2018)
It's already February, how many of you even remember your New Year's resolutions and how many of you are actually following through with them? This years Amherst Train Show in West Springfield, MA was another great show. We highly recommend attending this show, you won't be disappointed.
Some of the following is taken from my #128 Aug. 2017 article because there still is a constant flow of inquires from model railroaders that are new in the hobby and others that are returning to the hobby after retirement. So I thought I'd touch on some basics again that might seem redundant to experienced modelers.
Couplers, first there is no single coupler that fits all models, especially in HO-Scale.
For us to help when selecting Kadee® couplers we need to know the manufacturer, type of model (diesel or steam locomotive, passenger car, freight car, or caboose). The maker is very important especially with older models because most had their own proprietary couplers and coupler mountings that usually were different than each others. This is why we developed so many variations of couplers. Newer HO models that come with some version of a knuckle coupler normally will easily accept our #148 whisker coupler. However, always check the coupler heights with a coupler height gauge, this applies to all scales. For top coupler performance it is important to have all your couplers at the same correct height. The old X2F or Horn Hook coupler was at one time the "unofficial" standard coupler. Some of these couplers are still in use and still found on older models filtering into the used market. Also, in most cases body mounted couplers are much better than truck mounted couplers.
There are many old Tyco, Life Like, and other older makes of models with the common, what we call, the truck mounted Talgo coupler pocket. It has a thin flexible arm on the bottom with a nub on the end that the original coupler pivots on and the top has two plates coming inward with a gap between them. On this type of pocket we recommend using our #212 Talgo adapter, #230 insertion pick, and a #148 coupler at least to start with and a HO coupler height gauge. Remove the original coupler, set the #148 in the pocket and hold it as best you can to check the coupler height "before" you insert the #212 adapter because once the adapter is in place it's almost impossible to remove without breaking something. More than likely if the coupler height is not correct it is too low therefore use the #147 under set coupler to raise the coupler head. Again check the coupler height before you insert the adapter. The adapter twists down through the top and becomes the new pivoting post and locks everything in place. The #212 is also included with our 20 series couplers.
In "O" scale "we only make scale size couplers" (two rail) "we do not make" the over scale three rail couplers. Our O-Scale couplers, however, have been fitted to almost every three rail model made. We thank MTH because their models have a nice platform made for our couplers. Most other makes require custom fitting of our O-Scale couplers to the underbody of the model. It really is not difficult to do with a few basic modeling skills or a willingness to try.