Coupler Problem

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by MinnMonkey, Jul 25, 2005.

  1. MinnMonkey

    MinnMonkey Member

    Just reacently I have been having problems with a couple of my cars staying coupled together. There are a couple of places on my layout were the cars will uncouple themselves. I am using magnetic couplers. Is there anything that can be done to prevent this?

    Should I replace the couplers that are giving me problems? Or is it more likely the track?
  2. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    I would check both... If it is specific places on the track, I would start there. Check that joints between sections are smooth, with no sudden changes. Check your curves too.

    If it actually happens more randomly, then it is more likely to be the couplers. Try coupling the cars in different combinations to see if that makes a difference. That might tell you which ones are acting up.

  3. MinnMonkey

    MinnMonkey Member

    Thanks for the response!

    When you say "check the curves", what do you mean? Also, it does seem to happen in the same place on the track, and the same cars uncouple.

    Are there certian couplers that are more forgiving than others?
  4. George D

    George D Member

    I'm assuming that when you say magnetic couplers you mean Kadee or Kadee knock offs. Your problem sounds like a combination of track and coupler heights. What I think is happening is one coupler is rising above the other coupler and the cars uncouple. The height of coupler boxes varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. Kadee has a coupler height gauge that shows the proper height for a coupler and you should use it to standardize the coupler height of your cars.

    You add thin washers (Kadee makes them) between the truck and bolster to raise the car if the coupler is too low, or gently file the bolster if the coupler is too high. In extreme cases you may have to buy an offset coupler that is either offset high or low.

    I'm agreeing with Andrew that you also need to check track joints. If they have a vertical kink, one coupler will lift in relation to the other. If the cars don't have matching coupler heights, they will uncouple.

  5. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    I get the same problem with body mounted couplers and a few places where I have a hump in the track. It could also be a mixture of body and truck mounted couplers.
  6. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Check those places that the couplers are coming apart.

    "Check the curves" - if you've used flex track - check that the radius is not too tight for the length of your rolling stock. If you have body-mounted couplers, and the radius is too tight - it might derail and/or pull the couplers open enough.

    If it is the same place everytime, then follow the advice posted in this thread.

    As for couplers being more forgiving - this is Nscale? I am not overly familiar with the options in N, but others will be able to help. In any case, you are much better off fixing the track than relying on more forgiving couplers...


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