Another Coupler Question

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by Play-Doh, Feb 27, 2007.

  1. Play-Doh

    Play-Doh Member

    Hey Guys!

    The other day I attended a swap meet and picked up some great cars in the bargain bin. One of my favorite parts of this hobby is to rebuild old freight cars.

    Well, I went about swapping out the plasic wheels for metal, and painting the trucks, and then adjusting the coupler height. Now ive done this before and first couple cars came out great. If it were a little low on one side, I would add a shimm below the truck screw and usually that would solve the problem. Well, ive come across one that just wont mesure will take more than six shims to get the height right and that really wont work....the car will be high centered and plus the screw wont have much bite to keep the truck in place.

    Are there any more way to raise a car besides putting shims between the truck and the car? Ive consulted the archives and couldnt find quite what I was lookin for.

    Thanks guys.

  2. Play-Doh

    Play-Doh Member

    A little more info guys...some specs would help.

    HO Scale
    Kadee #5 Couplers
    Body Mounted Couplers
  3. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    TJ: can you tell us more about the car? I'm having trouble picturing wht could have happened ther. Pix?
  4. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    TJ, you may have to use a combination of shims and a Kadee 20-series overset-shank coupler to get the right height.
  5. Play-Doh

    Play-Doh Member

    Well...Ill tell you what I can...and its not much since it was a bargain box special.

    Its a 40 ft Box car. Its a bachman (im assuming by the styles). I attatched Kadee #5 to the ends after some filing to get the coupler box right.

    Sadly...thats all I can tell you right now..

    But here are some pics if they are any help

    And I mean to say washers when I said shims....their are allready about 5 paper kadee washers between the car and the truck in that bottom pic next to my height guage.



    Attached Files:

  6. TJ, Try either # 24 or # 27 by Kadee. Either should work. If you purchase and keep handy # 22 or # 25, You'll be ready for those too high and too low cars ! Between these offset couplers, the washers ( on the bolsters ) and the shims ( same shape as the coupler box), you can pretty much solve any mounting height problem. Joe
  7. Play-Doh

    Play-Doh Member


    Could you tell me a little more about these shims? Do they go into the coupler box?
  8. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    The shims you are talking about are the washers that go over the bolsters to raise the car body (and therefore the coupler & box). There are red (0.15"), and grey (0.10"). They are designed to raise the car body.

    #22, 24, 25 & 27 are from the 20-series line of couplers designed to replace "talgo" or truck mounted couplers. Which brings me to a question...

    Are your couplers body mounted or truck mounted? Obviously, if they are truck mounted, putting shims on the bolster will not raise them at all...;) If truck mounted, you would be better off cutting them away, and using the #5 with the Kadee draft gear box (coupler box) mounted to the body. Then adjust as appropriate, and use the under- or over-set couplers if you find that too many washers are needed to make the height right.

    Try for more information. They have a list of just about all the conversions you can think of, as well as some tips for replacements.

  9. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    Bite my tongue! I meant under-set shank! It puts the coupler higher than the draft gear box.

    MasonJar, while the 20 series comes with an adaptor for talgo trucks, they also come with the standard #5 draft gear box. I think the only difference between the 20 and 40 series is that the 40's are metal, while the 20's are plastic.
  10. The afore mentioned shims come in 3 thicknesses. They are they same shape as looking down at a kadee coupler box lid. Made to shim between the coupler box and the car. thus lowering the coupler box. There are 2 thicknesses, .010 & .015 made in plastic. The third thickness is closer to .025 made of a fiber paper type material. The latter is by Micromark. The 2 former I believe are by Kadee. The washers mentioned (2 thicknesses )go between the car and the truck, thus raising the car from the rail. Joe
  11. Play-Doh

    Play-Doh Member

    Thanks everyone for your advice, youve been very always!!

    Body mounted. I learned long ago from the guage that body mounted is the way to go. And i live breath and eat Kadee em!

    Ive got my problem its on to the next freight car!
  12. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    The unasked question is: are the trucks the right ones for the car? the bolster heights rea supposed to be standard, but that doesn't mean they are. Compare the trucks on the car to other ones.
    Is the body height similar to other cars or is it all riding low?
  13. Play-Doh

    Play-Doh Member

    Im not sure if they are standard...the cars all seem to be the same height.

    What is the "Standard" for trucks? I had assumed they were all standard and usually just pull them off old unusable freight cars and put them in my parts drawer till they can be of service. Is the truck standard listed on my NMRA guage?
  14. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    Most trucks now come with a fairly standard bolster and hole. They're designed to locate on a pin from the bolster on the freight car (like Athearn and Proto), but way back when, MDC (Roundhouse) trucks had a slightly different bolster arrangement. MDC cars didn't have the pin, so the hole in the truck was smaller, and the top of the truck bolster was a broad, flat disc.

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