coupler height issues and wheel sizes

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

  1. YmeBP

    YmeBP Member

    I think the person who owned these cars before me had code 83 track. It looks like that is the difference in height w/ all the cars. so technically all the cards would then be .027" too short.

    Related kinda :), how do i clean the plastic wheels on my rolling stock?
  2. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    Coupler height is measured above the rail, isn't it? Anyway, if two cars' couplers line up on one rail height, they will line up on any other.
  3. YmeBP

    YmeBP Member

    You have a very good point ;), but all these cars are exactly the same height and based on the quality etc of the cars and the consistency of how off they all seem to be i have to assume that my height gauge on code 100 track is different than on code 83 track.

  4. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    First you need to get your coupler to the correct height like this:


    You might have to use a thin washer to get the correct height.
    Also check the frame to insure its not bent.
  5. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    No..The KD coupler gauge measures the same on any size rail.
  6. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    I presume that that person simply set all his cars' couplers to match each other but not a height gauge.
  7. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    No..The picture he posted shows a KD coupler gauge..He just needs to make some minor adjusts in order to get the correct height..Of course we all started at that point.sign1
  8. YmeBP

    YmeBP Member

    I am using a hieght gauge and i'm going to use the washers to get it up to the correct hieght, it is just odd that all the cars are off by exactly the same amount. I mean they are different brands etc somone had to make them all the same height ...

    I have another question, if i put so many washers on that the truck doesn't fit over the little nipple and can now move from side to side on the screw .... what are the potentials for derailments becuase of this?

    Sorry, i didn't say thanks :D, this is awesome ahhaa. My wife is amazed that i "come up w/ the answers" so fast ahhahhahah .

  9. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Yme: there is a point where you start looking for other solutions than washers. If you completely eliminate the boss, you will get truck slop problems. At that point, get an offset head coupler and start again.
  10. YmeBP

    YmeBP Member

    O.k. i have slightly larger wheels and #47 couplers as Long Island Tom suggested in the mail on the way to me. I'll take some pictures and post my progress.

    I have probably 4 cars that are compeltely off the "boss" but they don't seem sloppy, this last one i did is flopping about like mad.
  11. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    Atlas trucks have a hole that is sized for a 2-56 screw. This may be a fix for the "sloppy, bossless" rolling stock.
  12. msowsun

    msowsun Member

    It looks like it is alright but, is it possible that your Kadee height gauge has not been assembled properly?

  13. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member


    You beat me to it. I finally realized that the question involved numerous cars all coming in at the same distance low on his gauge.

    Possible problems with the gauge:

    - Studying the picture, I can't tell whether the coupler gauge is using an offset coupler or not. The Kadee gauge uses a coupler with a center-mounted on the shank.

    - I've never seen a Kadee gauge that needed a washer under a screw to hold the coupler in position. That suggests to me that the gauge in question is not using the standard parts.

    - The coupler on the gauge does appear to be a little high in the picture. The trip pin on the gauge coupler also appears to be high from the distance it is above the measuring plate. Normally, the coupler sits flush in the gauge (my older version has a cover over the #5 coupler), and the trip pin kisses the plate.

    - Can't tell for sure from the picture, but both sides of the gauge need to be sitting on the rail head properly. It appears to be some very old fiber tie track being used, so it's possible the tabs on the far side of the gauge are sitting on the railhead instead of straddling.

    Sorry I didn't pick up on this earlier.
  14. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    I can see the COUPLER IS TO LOW! You need to use a thin washer between the boster and the frame to raise the car up..There is NOTHING WRONG with your gauge..Compare your gauge to mine.
  15. msowsun

    msowsun Member

    We all know that the car is too low. In fact he has many cars that are all low by the same amount. That is why we think the guage may be at fault.

    If you compare gauges, you can see that his IS different.

  16. YmeBP

    YmeBP Member

    I assembled it according to the instructions :), the washer on the top is just because i like the way it looks ;). A little weird i know but hey to each their own :D.

    Here is a link to the full sized picture of my hieght gauge:

    The other thing is the track section i have this installed on is a hand made section of track i aquired ;). I'm going to take it off this section of track and put it on a piece of steel track and see what i get thanks for pointing that out!!
  17. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    yummy, after looking at all your photos again, including the blow-up of your gauge, it still looks like the coupler is hanging down. Can you push the coupler up a little bit and it then fits the gauge? Leave everything on the track and lift the coupler with a little screw driver or something. It does not take much movement to throw the coupler off like that.

  18. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Well my KD gauge dates back to the late 80s so you may have a newer one.

    Anywho KD makes thin washers they are the 208s

    and the 209

    using one of these washers should bring your coupler up to the correct height.
    IF those are Athearn cars be sure the frame isn't warp or the weight not bent.Both can be easly bent back into shape.
    IF these are Accurail cars check the floor and make sure its not warp.
  19. YmeBP

    YmeBP Member

    I am using brand new out of the package #5's. It seems that it is more the trucks/wheels than anything else.

    I thought about that as well and measuered a couple for consistnecy and they all seem to be in tolerance.
  20. YmeBP

    YmeBP Member

    the copuplers and washers should be here tmrw to test w/ i have a bag of wheels i bought from ebay of various sizes.

    I have a different section of track i plan to attach the gauge to to double check. I have a feeling it was just how this person wanted their cars to look.

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