HOn3 2-8-0 front coupler

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by kettlestack, Apr 13, 2002.

  1. kettlestack

    kettlestack Member

    Sumpter, I went back to drool and eat my heart out at the pic you posted of your 2-8-0. Still can't get over it!:cool:

    I tried a dry fit of the Kadee #714 (without the uncoupling pin) on the pilot. No chance will it fit without fouling the lead wheels. Is it a dummy coupler you used on your loco?
    I considered trying an N gauge MT coupler but I'm not much good at micro engineering when it comes to shimming to get heights correct. Also I'm not convinced the N coupler would be 100% in operation with the #714's.
    An extended coupler shank type would probably be needed to provide clearance for the uncoupling pin of cars which would engage it! (talk about catch 22??? :( ) Narrow gauge uses sharp curves so coupler operation with such an extended coupler would HAVE to be done on straight sections of track! Maybe I should saw off the "cow catcher" and fit running boards?
    It seems a terrible pitty to have such a great loco that can only PULL trains especially when I like switching operations.

    Does anyone else have a workable solution ?
    (I guess HOn3 narrows the field of possible responses to this question :( but I live in hope)

    Oh, I just remembered. Sumpter, your trees are sooooo perfect, I think I should just give up RR modelling.
    And to think Shamus asked if I (and others) are having fun !!!!

    I need a drink!!!! :D

  2. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    While I read your post on couplers, I'm enjoying a 12 year old single malt scotch, neat. The coupler on the pilot of the 2-8-0 is a Kadee HOn3 coupler which has been modified beyond belief.
    There is no spring in the "draft gear box", because that part of the coupler has been removed, and the coupler box ends at the rear of the mounting hole. The coupler works, but needs to be manually closed when coupled to something. I also used a brass pilot truck, rather than the stock MDC version, because of fouling the coupler. The minimum radius on the narrow gauge is 18".
    I left the "cow catcher" pretty much intact, but any loco, or rolling stock that I might switch with the 2-8-0, have had the
    uncoupling pins" clipped. Same with most of my standard gauge steam. I've actually started to clip the pins on everything, and use a manual uncoupling tool ( a 1/8" dowel sharpened in a pencil sharpener). I've even had problems with coupler pins fouling snow plows on my diesels.
    Next time you are planning a run to caboose hobbies, plan a layover in Chicago. I'll show you how easy trees can be. (Not quick, but easy)
  3. kettlestack

    kettlestack Member

    Thanks for responding Sumpter.

    I also figured on removing the rear end (spring enclosure) of the kadee but there would be no way of centering the coupler, that kinda bugged me coz I like auto coupling.
    I'm not totally opposed to 0-5-0 uncoupling but I would have to clip the pins on all my stock... not an enticing thought by my way of thinking.

    I think I'll try N couplers and see how that goes.

    I added a couple of details to my 2-8-0 and ran it for the first time in several months.... gee it's smoothe and quiet!
    I was so impressed I decided to get on with assembling my MDC HOn3 Shay using just one gear to drive the cranks... Wow! what a difference compared to my other HO Shay which has all gears fitted to the side drives! ... (big modification program on that one is due).

    HOn3 is so cute I decided to test my wifes brass 2-8-0 ... DEAD as a doornail! ... dismantled it and found the can motor almost seized from not running for nearly 20 years. Now it's running like a Swiss watch.

  4. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    Hello Errol, As I am typing this I am looking at an MDC Hon3 2-8-0 and a Kadee Hon3 coupler. There seems to be a good bit of material that could be removed from the Kadee coupler box especially at the front end and actually a small amount from the rear also. Looks like by slightly filing the front sides of the coupler box it could be made to slide right in to the coupler pocket on the loco. As to weather or not enough material could be removed from the rear of the box to avoid fouling the pilot truck seems to be questionable. But...could not the coupler and the box be placed slightly forward and secured with a small drop of epoxy. Or as an alternative a short piece of brass channel might could be fitted into the coupler opening on the pilot to extend the mounting area forward.

    Well anyway...just my two pennies worth...If you guys will pass me a double of whatever you're drinking I'll hush!

    Take Care:) and Have Fun!:D ...Vic
  5. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    You mentioned using brass to extend the coupler mount forward. There was an article on just that subject, I didn't add it to my cross reference sheet because I didn't like the appearance of the extended coupler, so I can't direct you to it now.

    Yes, the coupler does not center, and I have to guide it into position to couple up. I'm willing to sacrifice automatic operation, for the sake of more realistic appearance.
    Let me know if the N scale coupler works, and if it is compatible with the #714 Kadee.
  6. kettlestack

    kettlestack Member

    N with HOn3 couplers

    Pete I just tried mating the N coupler with the #714.
    I didn't fit the N to the loco yet but by hand on an N loco... pushing/pulling angle the N loco to simulate sharp curves,IT WORKS. Unwanted uncoupling is possible but most unlikely!

    Now all I have to do is grind away the MDC screw spiggot from the draft gearbox.

    btw ... I've heard of HOn3'ers using N couplers exclusively on all their stock.

  7. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    Thanks for the update on the couplers, when I get around to building the Sumpter Valley lumber flats I'll give the N scale couplers a go. I only have about fifteen pieces of narrow gauge rolling stock, so the changeover wouldn't be a major project.
  8. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    Just starting in HOn3 myself. I remember seeing an article in Model Railroader years ago about lengthening the trip pin on the N coupler by fastening a second trip pin. The result could be even looped back around the axle of a car truck or pilot truck. My question for my esteemed mentors (that would be you) is whether the N standard scale coupler trip pin is long enough just as it comes - assuming some adjustment for height, and using the normal "air hose" configuration? A chart I saw shows that the N scale coupler is the right scale size for the early Janney couplers, so I would like to go in that direction.

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