coupler height issues and wheel sizes

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by YmeBP, Jan 28, 2007.

  1. YmeBP

    YmeBP Member

    I bought a bunch of rolling stock from various places. I've finally gotten to the point on my layout where ic an put them on the track and give them a whirl. One problem :), the decouping hooks are too low catching on everything in sight. The coupler boxes are mounted differently for various stock i have. I'd like some suggestions as to how to get these things at the right height ;). I've exerimented w/ a larger wheel and that seems to work o.k. but then i have to go out and buy wheels :( not really my preferred route.

    Here is one car i did that is correct this box car and the one directly below have the same sized wheels:

    O.k. here is one where it's a bit low:

    The box is mounted at the end of a long plastic rib that goes down teh center of the car. I can cut the box and use the plastic boxes that come w/ the kadee #5's i have but ... i'd have to then either shave the box down, or mill out the metal weight to get to the correct height:

    Here is a metal bottomed frieght car w/ the box at the end of it.

    and here is how this one lines up:
    I have no idea how i would modfy this box to be at the correct height. I did notice int he picture though that the metal part isn't straight and level w/ the plastic part of the car.

    The wheel on the right is the smaller wheel from the 3 cars pictured. Not sure where i got the larger wheel from but .... :)

    So i measured them:
    I did some math, 33"/87 = ~.3793 which is just about what my calipers are saying on the above.

    Now these .... .37*87=32.19 is that correct? These are the wheels on the cars that are too low w/ the their current coupler boxes.

    Any suggestions?
  2. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

    Just grab some Kadee #47 couplers.

    They would bring a low-hanging coupler to the right height without you having to do any mods. :cool:
  3. YmeBP

    YmeBP Member

    I have about 30 packs of #5's :) hahaha :)

    sheesh i can't win for losing!! :) I'll pick some up at my LHS tday or tmrw.
  4. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    That washer you have on your coupler gauge? You can also put those between the truck and the car body. That will raise the body up and also raise the coupler.

  5. YmeBP

    YmeBP Member

    That is a great idea .. i think i have a couple more of those washers.

    The trucks have a decent sized hole in the center though i dunno if that washer is going to fit around the hole .. I wonder where i can get some washers w/ the right sized holes....

    Did a quick bit of research on the #47's and i'm gonna try that too.

  6. radar

    radar Member

    What grewsome said get some kd washers they make 2 thickness get both some times i end up using 2-3 washers!!
  7. radar

    radar Member

    the washers fit around the screw some times I have to file around the bolster nubbin and or drill the washer and I've also just cut the nubbin off!
  8. YmeBP

    YmeBP Member

    I tried shoving things inside the coupler box to bring it up :), didn't work i'd have to whip out the file/dremel/xacto to remove material to get the coupler up high enough.

  9. radar

    radar Member

    the SP box has a metal frame It looks twecked IE bent lay it on a flat surface like a mirror or glass and gentle bend it back
  10. radar

    radar Member

    the washers fit beteen the trucks and the body
  11. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    Yummy, you said you put things inside the coupler box. Does that mean the coupler its self is drouping down?
  12. YmeBP

    YmeBP Member

    I tried to cheat :), and just shim up the coupler but it's not the coupler that is low it's the car itself so the truck shim plan or #47's or bigger wheels or redoing the coupler mountigns themselves are options.

    I ordered some more shims from teh LHS. I'll play w/ the ones i have already. The height gauge came w/ some. The hobby shop said they only have .015 and .010 so we'll see how many i need to move things around.

    I'll have to straighten that car out and see if that corrects the problem for that guy completly.

    Thanks for all the suggestions :). I'll some more pix of the different trys.
  13. yellowlynn

    yellowlynn Member

    I've used flat washers from the hardware store to shim up the wheels.
    Adds a tad of weight to the car, too.

  14. YmeBP

    YmeBP Member

    The red washers did the trick something rightous !! I ordered more. I thik some of my cars are going to need #47 couplers though, i have 3 .015 washers on one, and it looks like i'm going muddin' in my jacked up f150 :).
  15. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    You said something about "decoupling hooks"(trip pins) catching on everything. Are you speaking of the curved wire on the coupler? If so, those can be adjusted(there is a special pair of pliers or you can make your own). the coupler height gauge that you are using has a little shelf on the end that is used to set the trip pin height.
  16. YmeBP

    YmeBP Member

    I've been adjusting the trip pins w/ 2 pair of pliers. I've also noticed that in this hobby there is a tool for just about anything you can think of hahah. How would i go about making one? I'm interested as i'm concerned that i'll bend the actual coupler if i'm not careful.

  17. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Yummy: there are two forms of trip pin pliers. One has one leg that has a series of graduated cylinders while the other leg has hollows that fit around them. The other has one very thin leg and a double leg. Both work by pressing the first leg into the second with the trip pin between and forcing it to be more or less round. Takes a bit of trial and error to get the hang of it. Before them we used long nosed pliers. one leg on the top of the pin (above the coupler) and the other along the bottom end of the pin and squeeze very gently. (Too much force and the pin folds). Putting the pliers along the pin will let you straighten it so that it hangs lower. One nice thing: there's a fair amount of tolerance for pin heights and shapes.
  18. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    A comment on wheel sizes: replacement wheels are usually available in 26", 33" and 36" diameters. that's 7.6mm, 9.625mm and 10.5mm. Changing wheels would give you at most 1.5mm of lift if the originals were 26". 33" is the most common --about .5mm lift (remember lift is the difference in radius). And bigger wheels might scrape on the underframe.
    What you might have is a difference in bolster height. (Bolster is the bar across the truck that the screw goes through, also the bar on the underframe that it goes into.) Not all manufacturers follow the same standard.
  19. YmeBP

    YmeBP Member

    No kidding, i'm finding that the one good thing about standards is there are sooo many to choose from :). I found out that even though all the wheels are ho gauge they have different axle lengths, wheel sizes, flange sizes, ribbed, smooth, one insulated wheel, 2 insulated wheels, chocolate, strawberry, banana hahaha.

    I called the hobby shop and the guy there was like .. uh .. i can't just send you wheels :) me .. well why not!? is it ho gauge aren't they all the same :). He must have had a good laugh after we hung up :D hahahaha.

    I've taking measurements and i think my wheels are a little different 26"/87=~.2988" smaller than my wheels by almost .075". I may be measuring wrong, i'll have to remeasure and see if my numbers are more consistent becuase i know the two wheels i have are different sizes but they aren't fitting neatly into my calculations.
  20. msowsun

    msowsun Member

    Most freight cars come with 33" wheels.

    Don't forget that if you use a larger diameter wheel, the height will only change by half of the difference in diameters.

    eg. Changing from a 33" (9.625mm) to a 36"(10.5mm) will only give you 0.437 mm more height. (10.5-9.625= .875( ( .875/2= .437)

    It is better to use washers or offset couplers.

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