Kadee or Maby ??

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by who_dat73, Apr 25, 2005.

  1. who_dat73

    who_dat73 Member

    Hey everybody I am thinking about switching to kadee couplers on my layout for the ease of uncoupling and to get all the rolling stock and locos on the same page but after figuring the nuber of sets I am gonna need I am talking BIG Money and when working with a budget that is hard.
    My question is, is there any other setups that I can go with a little cheaper and fitting all my different rolling stock and locos? I have everything from IHM Life Like Bachman and walthers:confused:
  2. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

    who dat sayin' who dat when I say who dat? :wave:

    There's two ways to go at this.

    #1: Bite the bullet. Buying in bulk you can supply 100 cars with Kadees
    for about USD120.00 (Trainworld or Kadee direct discount)

    #2: A transition car with a Kadee on one end only. Install new couplers on
    the rest of your fleet as money permits.

    If you search around you just don't find many good comments on long-term
    reliability of other brands. I guess it all depends on how fast you want it
    to happen vs. the cash outlay. Ya pays yer money and ya takes yer choice :D :D
  3. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    All of the other couplers except the McHenrys with metal springs use a plastic leaf spring to close the nuckle. I bought a new Bachmann Spectrum consolidation at a GAT Show and used it with the original couplers which were made by Bachmann. I was only running 8 to 10 car trains with it, but within a little while the nuckle springs got tired and the nuckles would open up under load. The McHenrys with metal nuckle springs might be ok. I would not reccomend any other of the "Kaddee" knockoffs. As Cidchase said, make one car a "transition" car with a Kaddee on one end and a horn hook on the other end. Then buy Kaddees as you can afford them.
  4. who_dat73

    who_dat73 Member

    that is a good idea

    Now that I think about it that makes sencesince my main concern is I want all my locos to be able to take my stock for a ride and some need to be fitted with special couplers that I dont have. Also I am using a MRC sound master on my first car behind the loco for my speker so all I will need to buy right off the bat is one set for that and the locos :thumb: so I think we have a solition to the problem for the time being :) thanks for the food for thought guys.
  5. stuart_canada

    stuart_canada Member

    I had the same problem. I had a ton of non kit cars, bachmann, life like, model power and yes even tyco that a standard kadee style coupler would not fit on easily. so i did the following i took all the athearn, roundhouse, walthers cars and converted them first to kadees along with the locomotive fleet that was athearn, bachmann plus and sepctrum units. I looked over the other cars in my fleet and decided what cars would be made to take kadee couplers. I cut the old coupler box off and added kadee coupler boxes to the car, make sure you have the kd height gauge first so you know that all cars will have couplers at the same height. I retired a whole lot of cars. they were given to friends or the local club who did not use kd style couplers. it was costly but well worth it in the long run. I now only buy cars that come with kd style couplers, use them till they fail then switch to #5 kd couplers. I did have a car with both styles of couplers for a while till the whole fleet was changed over. all that is left to is the cranes and a couple other cars then everything is done.

    if you get the walthers sale book in the mail every few months you will see that bulk packs of kds are on sale. I would buy them in bulk as you do the switch over.
    do as many as youc an afford to do at one time
  6. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    You should be able to convert the "problem" cars by mounting a coupler on the floor. You have to chop the coupler and mount off the truck to do this. The only ones I have trouble with are tank cars that don't have a mounting pad in the middle or where the screw would come up and be visible.
    I have used a baggage car as a transition vehicle, something that can be used at the front of the train.
    Or pick a diner that can show up in the middle.
  7. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    What I have done with tank cars or hoppers and covered hoppers where a screw would come up through the middle and be visible is to use the Kaddee plastic screws and cut off the excess with flush cutting rail nippers.
  8. KCS

    KCS Member

    I started the same way. With little money I was able to convert "about" 10 car's a week over to Kadee's but that's been a while ago. I completed everything and kept adding them as I bought new things. I'm on a new trip though. Kadee came out with the new #58's which I now have on all of my locomotives for a more realistic look because they are more to scale and have better detail. Kadee has just come out with the "shelf" type coupler's with either shelf's on the top, bottom, or both. I am using these on my tank car's and grain hopper's for a more "realistic" look. I like them and the new look it give's. There is also a guy in Tenn. that is producing his own line of coupler's that work like the real thing so they look real. I'll have to look u the web addy and post it. These coupler's are more expensive at about USD$7.00 a pack with enough to complete two car's/locos. They use a ball that lock's the knuckle closed. A magnet that can be bought is used to raise the ball inside allowing the knuckle to open and stay open until coupled back up to. They are great and to me easier to work with. If he make's any plan's to produce them with the "shelf's" on them then I will convert everything I own over to them. But yea, Kadee is the best way to go. STAY AWAY from that cheap wanna be Kadee's because they are more trouble than they are worth. Oh on one last note: Kadee has to line's material plastic and metal. The metal one's are the best but you have to watch out. Athern loco's have metal coupler box's and when coupling two of them together they will short out because the current travels through the couplers threw the frame's but I highly recommend not going with plastic because they break easier under load. I have many Athern locomotive's and the one's I had the most trouble with are the AC4400's. I'm not sure of how long and heavy of train's you run but I do run some train's that are up to 150 or better car's at time's, so strength is a big key roll when I run because I've seen plastic coupler's on someone else's car's and watched them break then piece's and part's shoot off flying across the room bouncing off wall's because of the stress from the load.
  9. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    A way to avoid shorting problems with Athearn locomotives is to use Kaddee's coupler draft gear boxes and secure them with the Kaddee plastic screws. I cut the "ears" off of the boxes, and mount the couplers with the screw going through the center of the coupler and box. The plastic screws are overkill, because the top of the coupler box and the plastic sleeve cast into the center of the box will insulate very well, but with the plastic screws I can run them all of the way through the mounting tab on the frame and then cut them off flush on top of the mount. Athearn coupler tabs mount the coupler too low. You can get Kaddee couplers with the the coupler's offset high or low, but I prefer to use a file to remove material from the bottom of the mounting tab. This raises the coupler up to correct height with the standard #5 or #58 couplers.
  10. jetrock

    jetrock Member

    It is possible to buy Kadee #5's and some other standard moels in bulk for a slightly lower price. They're not cheap, but it is worth it in the long run to bite the bullet and buy a lot of Kadees--it's cheaper than buying Kadee knockoffs that break into pieces and then have to be replaced again and again until you finally break down and buy Kadees.
  11. eightyeightfan1

    eightyeightfan1 Now I'm AMP'd

    Want some EZ-Mates?
    Athearn uses them on thier latest rolling stock and locos.
    I repalce them with Kadees.........

Share This Page