Kato E8 set

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by Herc Driver, Apr 29, 2006.

  1. Herc Driver

    Herc Driver Active Member

    Quick question for anyone who has purchased the Kato E8 A/A unit set...I tried running them in a more classic "end to end" configuration and joined with the Kato passenger set, the lead passenger car would derail in the first turn every time. It seems to me that the pilot coupler on the trailing "A" unit doesn't move to the right and left far enough for the passenger car truck to stay on the track. Did anyone have this problem too? I noticed what looks like a longer shank coupler added to the Kato box under the packing...I'm guessing this might just be the reason? If anyone that has run into this problem and fixed it...pass on your valuable knowledge please...I sure would like to get this train moving around the layout. BTW, when you hook the diesels to the passenger cars with both diesels facing forward, the passenger cars never derail, again cementing my thought that the pilot coupler is too short and limits the angle causing the derailment. Thanks everyone!!!

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  2. atsf_arizona

    atsf_arizona Member

    Hi, Herc Driver,

    Do you have easements entering your curve?

    The base cause of your problem is as you described, the stock Kato coupler is a bit stiff (stiffer than Micro-Trains couplers), and combined with the fact the nose coupler is body-mounted, combined with the fact that most Kato passenger cars are a bit light from NMRA-recommended weight, and most importantly.....

    Combined with either a too-sharp curve or, a non-easemented curve (i.e. abrupt change from straight to curve)....

    You'll get the problem you describe.

    Some resolutions (may take a combo of all of them):

    1) Best result will come from curves that are 15" radius or larger. From my experience on my layout, you can just barely get away without easements at that radius.

    2) Putting in easements into the curves will help greatly (if you can do that, assuming the track is not already rooted down). On my layout, the easemented 12.75" curves don't have the derail problem - the non-easemented 12.75" curves in the tunnel *did* have the derail problem.

    3) The above give the best benefits. Some things that can help if either of the above cannot be done (results may vary):

    3a) Install Micro-Trains 2004 coupler on the nose of the E8 and a MT coupler on the lead Kato passenger car. MT couplers have much more swing.

    3b) Weight the lead passenger car more heavily. Helps to keep it on the rails.

    I hope all this helps!

    BTW, to see a track plan of my layout from which this experience was (hopefully accurately) gathered, you can go to my web site below and look near the end for the link to the layout, which has a track plan with radius's noted.
  3. Herc Driver

    Herc Driver Active Member

    Outstanding Ideas.......Thanks

    I don't have easements prior to the curves, but have not had a problem with any other Kato passenger car consist either. This is my first layout in many years and (for the kids sake) I used Bachmann EZ track for speed and ease of use - and they didn't have any other radius than what I bought at the time. But the easement idea is a good one. As for the car weight, I'll have to get out the scales...they seemed as heavy as the Kato UP passenger set I have - which means both are probably too light and will need weight. I'll dig into the NMRA standards and see what needs to be done there. Another good idea to check, thanks. And finally, the coupler situation...I've noticed that many people switch out the Kato couplers for MicroTrain and maybe this is partly why. Most of my Kato engines are more current diesels (AC4400 and the like and therefore lengthy diesels) and have almost no problem negotiating the entire layout, as do all of my Bachmann, Atlas, and LifeLike diesels...but I have noticed that some of the Kato's rear and most of the nose couplers have less side to side allowable swing in them than any other manufacturer. I could be off base here (I haven't actually measured the movement) but I think that is the crux of my problem - the nose coupler of the E8, so that's what I'll try to fix first, and I might justs try to measure the coupler swing of all my diesels to see if that theory is valid..it may not be much, but a degree or two less could make all the difference. Thanks for the good ideas - I really appreciate it!

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