Metal Couplers And Diesel Locos

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by Gary S., Jan 8, 2006.

  1. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    Are there any concerns about using metal couplers with diesels, specifically P2K, Athearn, Spectrum, or Kato?

    If these diesels are MUed back-to-back with metal couplers, can it cause a short circuit? I've heard that some manufacturers use the metal chassis as part of the circuitry.

    I'll get out the ohm-meter and check this out, but thought I would ask the experts first.
  2. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    Athrean yes P2K haven't had any problens mu them as to the sprectrum and atlas don't know about them.
  3. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Use the Kaddee coupler boxes that come with the #5 couplers and they will insulate the metal coupler from the locomotive frame. The other alternative on Athearn is to cut the coupler mount off the frame and use styrene to make up mounting pads glued directly to the Athearn body. Mount the couplers to the body of the locomotive instead of the frame and there won't be any issues with shorts.
  4. Ray Marinaccio

    Ray Marinaccio Active Member

    I have used the plastic KD 20 series couplers with no problems.
  5. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    Thaks for the input. I am going to consider the plastic Kadees. On the other hand, after checking, my P2K GP30, P2K GP60, and Athearn CF-7 all have plastic coupler boxes so they will be fine with the #5 metal couplers. All these are new, I guess the manufacturers are making it easy on us now that DCC is here.

    The Kato accepted a Kadee coupler box after the ears were cut off.

    I've got an older Spectrum and an older Athearn that I still need to look at.
  6. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    On the older Athearn, the coupler will be a little low if you mount it directly to the mount. What you want to do is drill and tap the mount for a #2-56 screw and mount a kaddee coupler and check it with a coupler height gauge. Then use a file to remove material from the bottom of the mount a little at a time until the coupler lines up with the gauge. A trick I use with the Kaddees is to assemble the coupler into the pocket with the spring installed, and hold it together with a screw and nut. Then with it held together with a screw and nut, I use Testors liquid plastic cement to glue the boxes together. Now I can install the couplers, check height, adjust the mounts and reinstall the couplers without having to worry about them coming apart.

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