Older Spectrum

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by kchronister, Feb 10, 2006.

  1. kchronister

    kchronister Member

    I have several spectrum passenger cars, that I quite like.

    I have the opportunity to buy a large lot of them, at a good price.

    But they are the older ones that have horn-hooks rather than knuckles.

    Does anyone know if these older models still have the feature where the couplers swivel with the trucks to assist in better tracking?

    Also, has anyone got a read on how difficult it would be to swap out the hornhooks for knuckles? I've never messed with the swiveling knuckles on my current spectrum cars, so I'm not even sure how the coupler boxes are set up...


  2. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    I don't know for sure if they have the truck-mounted couplers (like Athearn), "post" mounted couplers that pivot at the same point as the trucks, or the "real" body mounted couplers. However, Kadee does make a coupler for almost every situation, and McHenry has a variety of passenger car knuckle couplers too. I would not be too concerned about finding something to replace the ol' horn-hooks.

  3. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I converted my old Spectrum passenger cars to Kaddee's, but I run on a club with a 36 inch minimum radius, so I just body mounted the couplers. If you need to have the couplers swivel for tight radius turns, cut a piece of fairly thick styrene just wide enough to mount the Kaddee coupler box at one end, and wide enough on the other end to mount between the truck and the body. Paint the "tongue" flat black to make it disappear, and drill & tap the end for a #2-56 screw. Then mount the couplers with one of Kaddee's plastic screws that come with 50 series couplers. They may be available separately from Kaddee, most of their other stuff is available separately. Once you have the coupler boxes mounted to the tongue, cut the end of the screw that sticks up off with flush cutting rail nippers. If the tongue sags, you can glue a piece of styrene across the end of the car right behind the coupler box to support the tongue and let it slide. Paint everything flat black to make it disappear.
  4. ed acosta

    ed acosta Member

    I have six of the older Spectrum passenger cars that I fitted with the common Kadee #5 couplers. These cars, which I purchased in 1994, have the swiveling coupler box. The coupler swap is extremely easy. Just remove the single screw and bottom plate of the coupler box, yank the horn-hooks and drop in the Kadee with centering spring in the box, then replace the bottom plate and screw.
  5. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    you can buy conversion kits, that come with little plastic rings, that you slide insid the coupler. when you put the coulper on the peg, it will hold straight.

    buy a pack of Kadee #20s. they will work.

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