Couplers Old vs New

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Amrap1, Dec 4, 2006.

  1. Amrap1

    Amrap1 Member

    Is it better to change couplers on older rolling stock to match the newer knuckler couplers on NEW locos? Or the other way around? The only advantage that I've heard of with the new couplers is that you can uncouple them with a magnet in the track. Is there any other reason?

  2. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    I also think they look better and more realistic, that is just my opinion:)
  3. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    they work, look, and operate better than the hornhooks. horn hooks will only get in your way. just make the switch. not point in keeping those old junky hornhook couplers, because there is no valid arguement to keep them. they might hold together well, and thats it.
  4. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    It'a always good to change over to the magnetic knuckle couplers. Kadee has made it very easy to do so. My suggestion would be not to use the talgo conversion kit, which is the likely one you need, and go for body mount. The stresses of coupling directly applied to the trucks in the talgo conversions makes for many derailments. Any number of Gaugers, myself included, can walk you thru basic body mounting techniques. Go for it---think of it as a marketable job skill.:thumb:
  5. Amrap1

    Amrap1 Member


    Ok...tell me how to do it.

  6. jbaakko

    jbaakko Active Member

    I allways say, screw em all, Buy Sergents!
  7. Roger Hensley

    Roger Hensley Member

  8. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    An important note I don't see here...

    Have you ever had any success backing up a train with horn-hooks? With Kadees, it isn't a problem.
  9. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    It isn't a problem if the couplers are body mounted. I've never tried to back with body mounted hornhooks because I've always gone directly to Kaddees in all kits and when converting from talgo to body mounted couiplers. If you are running talgo (truck mounted) couplers, it doesn't matter which type of coupler you use, they will derail when backing around a turn.
  10. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    I've got a couple I need to do, I'll take pics as I'm going then I'll post them for you:thumb:
  11. Amrap1

    Amrap1 Member

    Wouldn't be easier and cheaper to just buy NEW cars?

  12. KCS

    KCS Member

    I'm with jbaakko on that one. announce1 Sergents rule!:thumb:
  13. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I think it depends on where he is operating his trains. Most of my operation is done on a modular layout when the club sets up at shows. So called "scale sized" Kaddee #58s don't work reliably on a modular set up because of variances in floors and whoop-de-do's between modules. I don't think it would be possible to get a set of Sergents to stay coupled all the way around the layout even once. My home layout, when we get done with the house remodeling so that I can build the layout, will be run with Sergent's couplers.
  14. Amrap1

    Amrap1 Member

    Today I bought 2 Athearns "assemble them yourself" cars. They have the knuckle couplers and are mounted on the body and not the truck. It's been along time since I put a "model" together but with patience and some duct tape ( just kidding ) they both came out real nice! I went down to my layout with a big grin and started to line em' up with one of my Bachmann Locos. The Bachmann's coupler is higher! Just enough to uncouple even at slow speed. SO, I tried the other Bachmann...same thing!

  15. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    You need to get a Kaddee coupler height gauge. Athearn cars tend to have low couplers, but the Bachmann cars could have high couplers. If the rest of your couplers all line up and the Athearn cars are the only ones low, you can get shim washers from Kaddee in red and grey color. The grey ones are thinner than the red ones. You put a shim washer between the truck and the car body and the coupler height is automatically raised up to make it match the rest of the train. I don't remember the price, but a package contains 100 or so shims and is very cheap. I bought a package of each size 30 years ago and still haven't used them all.
  16. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

    I just got a shipment of 15 blue-box Athearn freight cars myself from Toy Train Heaven this week and got done putting a lot of them together.. At less than $6 a pop I couldn't resist. :D

    Compared to older BB kits with the chronic low-coupler problem as Russ mentioned, I find that most of the ones in my shipment have good coupler height.. Looks like Athearn did some retooling with their most recent BB kits.

    The only ones in my BB shipment with low coupler heights are the cabooses... I had to use Kadee #47 underset couplers to get the right height with those.

    I'd say it's most likely those Bachmanns have couplers mounted too high. Maybe you should get overset Kadees for them.

    One of the reasons why I bought those BB kits was because I was setting up a Christmas Tree circle.. Very pleased with the result. I got an Athearn BB Super Weight F7 (which also required underset Kadee #47s) pulling a string of BB kits on a 15" (!) radius around the Christmas Tree, and by golly does it look good doing it! :thumb:

    (BTW the F7 has the close-coupling mod I did, and it looks mighty good, even on 15"r!) train97

    Attached Files:

  17. jbaakko

    jbaakko Active Member

    They stay coupled WAY better then anything else, try it out, buy two of the assmbled 5 packs, and run a 5 car train :thumb:

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