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  • Topic: Idler Car Coupler Height

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    • March 3, 2016 3:44 PM EST
      • Post Falls, Idaho
         
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      Idler Car Coupler Height

      OK i know it has been asked and answered a million times. I think I have even asked before. But with all the different scales and types of couplers and types of mounting options it has me wondering. I want to make a simple idler flat or some other transition car (yes I made the fire car I know) that I can use to take to other peoples houses to put behind my 1:20.3 link and pin loco that will allow me to play nice with most anything I encounter. I will be using body mount Kadee G couplers since I already have a start on them with some acquired stock.

       

      Now my thought is if I take my GP9 that I got from Chuck which he gave me the Kadee conversion for mount that all up and then just match everything I have to that then i know my stuff will work. I am also assuming this will play nice will most everyone elses stuff. Is this a practical solution.

       

      Or is their a good height above top of rail to the center of the knuckle that is "standard" ( I know nothing is standard)?

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    • March 3, 2016 5:15 PM EST
      • Denver, Colorado
         
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         I have a question: is there a way of installing, say, Kadee body-mounted couplers, so that it can be adjusted up or down, say and 1/8 of an inch? maybe by turning a screw (let's call it an adjustment screw or bolt?) or something like that? That way you can adjust quickly on the fly to anything, at least if the other modeller is using Kadees.

       

       

       

       

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    • March 3, 2016 8:21 PM EST
      • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
         
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      Kadee will, with a little finessing, couple with most anything out there. Many are set close to the same height, but the G coupler would give you more forgiveness for different heights, since its larger then the #1 coupler.

      I have not heard of couplers on an adjustment system/platform, but I guess it could be done.

      ____________________________________

      Shannon car Shops
      Home of the infamous leg lamp

      I.A.R.R.R. Member #12

      and King Butt Modeler

    • March 3, 2016 8:30 PM EST
      • Coeur d' Alene,, Idaho
         
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      It's called using a Kadee height gage so you set everything to the same height as everyone else.  Simple solution for under 20.00.

      This post was edited by Chuck Inlow at March 4, 2016 1:01 AM EST
    • March 3, 2016 8:32 PM EST
      • Coeur d' Alene,, Idaho
         
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      Double post.

       

      This post was edited by Chuck Inlow at March 3, 2016 8:33 PM EST
    • March 3, 2016 8:48 PM EST
      • Spokane Valley, Washington St.
         
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      I made a KD link and pin coupler for my loco that has l&p pocket. A KD with a link. No idler needed. I'll get a pic for you later.

    • March 3, 2016 11:00 PM EST
      • Ottawa/Nepean, Ontario, Canada
         
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      Chuck said it all, and nothing could be more simple than that:   Set the durn thing to the Kadee gauge, and be done with it...if you are visiting someone that uses Kadees, and doesn't set them to the gauge, then, he or you, or both of you will be rather frustrated, and not have much fun. It will be a lesson for both of you.....

       

           Oh......some say: "We don't need any dammed standards"......well, couplers, wheels, and track need to stick to some standards, or there won't be much fun, in the old town next week....!!....and FRUSTRATION will rule supreme.....

       

       

    • March 4, 2016 12:05 AM EST
      • Post Falls, Idaho
         
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      That's exactly what I am hoping to avoid is the frustration of me setting to one standard and then going to someone else's house and not being able to couple with their equipment. I have every intention of standardizing my equipment to kadee g scale couplers set at kadee height for modern rolling stock. My issue is not what I should set my stuff too.

      This is about adapting to others. So ideas like using a kadee g coupler becuase it's bigger and kadee usually works with others is a good piece of information. An adjustable height for an idler would also be smart. And I am curious about what John is doing to avoid the idler all together.

      I just want a good system that will help eliminate frustration on the road. One issue is a total lack of experience. Is this a mute point. Do all the manufacturers couplers work well enough togwther? Are most stock heights on different manufacturers close enough?

      Just trying to think ahead and make it easy on myself.
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    • March 4, 2016 12:50 AM EST

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      what Fred said...

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    • March 4, 2016 1:23 AM EST
      • Denver, Colorado
         
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      Devon Sinsley said:
      That's exactly what I am hoping to avoid is the frustration of me setting to one standard and then going to someone else's house and not being able to couple with their equipment. I have every intention of standardizing my equipment to kadee g scale couplers set at kadee height for modern rolling stock. My issue is not what I should set my stuff too. This is about adapting to others....

       

         Exactly, Devon, I hear you. I can set my couplers to the "right" height, but that's surely doesn't mean everyone else will. In a perfect world, everyone uses the right Kadee setter and executes their installation to meet the right standards. My experience is that a lot of guys are off quite a bit, which may not matter much to them because ALL of their equipment is off and therefore works together great.

       

         That's why I was asking if there were not some way of installing an adjustable-height coupler box on the back of, let's say, the tender, or your first car in the line-up.

       

       edit: on the other hand, I will say that Kadee couplers are darn forgiving when it comes to differences in height. I have some cars that somehow got out of whack and they stay coupled. Also over a mini-hill on bad trackwork. It looks a little strange with one coupler 1/4" higher than the one it's coupled to, but they usually stay hooked.

       

       

      This post was edited by John Passaro at March 4, 2016 1:29 AM EST
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    • March 4, 2016 4:33 AM EST
      • Ottawa/Nepean, Ontario, Canada
         
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      ......of course, anyone can set the couplers to the Kadee coupler gauge standards, but "How" they may have done it, often makes the difference.

        I can safely say, that I have at this point in my life, probably converted over 800 cars to body mounted Kadee couplers. The latest project has been for another fellow's, 100 or so cars.

      I mount the couplers on properly mounted Styrene shims, with proper screws, "After" checking, both the under-frame, and trucks for any faults in mounting or construction. This prevents the couplers from experiencing any height changes in service, to the greatest extent, except for abuse, or very rough handling.

      I also have seen the very shoddy methods, others have used for body mounting couplers. It amazes me how they ever could expect to enjoy the use of their rolling stock with such poor methods...seeing everything from Balsa wood slivers to card stock, and paper used for shims, and very much oversize wood screws to white glue used to "Secure" them.  Then of course there are others that seem to think that using nuts and bolts, along with glue, is going to make it easy to replace a coupler, if it gets broken, which can happen on a very active, OPERATING railroad, even with good handling and storage.

      As far as visiting other people's layouts, and hoping to have matching couplers, or coupler heights; it's just the luck of the draw. Before I would worry about matching the "Unknown", I'd just set my own couplers (Whatever brand I choose) to whatever the proper height is, for my chosen coupler, and not worry at all, about what height the other sod sets his. It will be his loss, not mine, and I will just write visiting him off from further visits with my equipment.

      Bothering to waste time, engineering an adjustable height coupler mount, rather than just getting my own rolling stock finally built, with my properly installed couplers, seems like a fools' game....although I must admit, that some of the people I most admire, seem to enjoy very much the challenges of such engineering projects......I think we all would like to see pictures of such a device, even though few will ever build, or use one.

      Here on "Our" railroad, we inform all potential visitors, what our couplers are, and explain that if they care to use their locomotive(s) in an operation; they are most welcome, but....their locomotives must have the same couplers, properly set. This opens the door for them to enjoy our fleets of rolling stock, and the fun of OPERATION.  Bringing their rolling stock here for display is always welcome, but not needed.  This also saves transporting a lot of extra equipment. We also do not provide track power.

      This post was edited by Fred Mills. at March 4, 2016 4:39 AM EST
    • March 4, 2016 5:16 AM EST
      • West Grove, Pennsylvania
         
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      The size of the coupler will make a difference, too. I replaced all the smaller KD's on my engines with the larger 1906's. They'll match up well with the larger  Accucraft, A/C, Bachmann, USA couplers, plus the smaller KD's I have on my cars and what Fred uses on his.

      Since I run on a couple of different layouts during the year, the 1906's match up well with what everyone else uses.

      ____________________________________

      "Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --Martin Luther King Jr

    • March 4, 2016 7:28 AM EST
      • Hendersonville, North Carolina
         
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      Devon,

       

      Is this the kind of thing you're looking for?

       

       

      Hope this helps.  If you want more detail let me know.

       

      Doc Watson

    • March 4, 2016 10:38 AM EST
      • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
         
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      I have seen pictures of that being done on the prototype. I just wonder how many men it would take to heft a knuckle coupler into the link and pin coupler pocket.

      ____________________________________

      Shannon car Shops
      Home of the infamous leg lamp

      I.A.R.R.R. Member #12

      and King Butt Modeler

    • March 4, 2016 10:59 AM EST
      • Denver, Colorado
         
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      Fred Mills said:

      ......of course, anyone can set the couplers to the Kadee coupler gauge standards, but "How" they may have done it, often makes the difference.

        I can safely say, that I have at this point in my life, probably converted over 800 cars to body mounted Kadee couplers. The latest project has been for another fellow's, 100 or so cars.

      I mount the couplers on properly mounted Styrene shims, with proper screws, "After" checking, both the under-frame, and trucks for any faults in mounting or construction. This prevents the couplers from experiencing any height changes in service, to the greatest extent, except for abuse, or very rough handling.

      I also have seen the very shoddy methods, others have used for body mounting couplers. It amazes me how they ever could expect to enjoy the use of their rolling stock with such poor methods...seeing everything from Balsa wood slivers to card stock, and paper used for shims, and very much oversize wood screws to white glue used to "Secure" them.  Then of course there are others that seem to think that using nuts and bolts, along with glue, is going to make it easy to replace a coupler, if it gets broken, which can happen on a very active, OPERATING railroad, even with good handling and storage.

      As far as visiting other people's layouts, and hoping to have matching couplers, or coupler heights; it's just the luck of the draw. Before I would worry about matching the "Unknown", I'd just set my own couplers (Whatever brand I choose) to whatever the proper height is, for my chosen coupler, and not worry at all, about what height the other sod sets his. It will be his loss, not mine, and I will just write visiting him off from further visits with my equipment.

      Bothering to waste time, engineering an adjustable height coupler mount, rather than just getting my own rolling stock finally built, with my properly installed couplers, seems like a fools' game....although I must admit, that some of the people I most admire, seem to enjoy very much the challenges of such engineering projects......I think we all would like to see pictures of such a device, even though few will ever build, or use one.

      Here on "Our" railroad, we inform all potential visitors, what our couplers are, and explain that if they care to use their locomotive(s) in an operation; they are most welcome, but....their locomotives must have the same couplers, properly set. This opens the door for them to enjoy our fleets of rolling stock, and the fun of OPERATION.  Bringing their rolling stock here for display is always welcome, but not needed.  This also saves transporting a lot of extra equipment. We also do not provide track power.

       

       

         I've changed my mind. I agree with what Fred's saying. Unless I wanted to take on an adjustable coupler just for the challenge and satisfaction of it, the actual time and effort involved in a project like that doesn't outweigh the very limited potential benefit.

       

       

      ____________________________________

    • March 4, 2016 11:15 AM EST
      • Spokane Valley, Washington St.
         
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      Devon, I did what Don Watson did.

      And like the above posts, myself and club members have been using the height gauge for years, (Well, most of the members. There are a few wildcats.)

    • March 4, 2016 2:13 PM EST
      • Ottawa/Nepean, Ontario, Canada
         
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      Ken;  you might want to edit your comments. The 1906 couplers are the small ones, while the large ones are the 906's.....

      Don;  you might like to start using the newer line of Kadees.....the new ones have hidden knuckle springs, and look much better......

    • March 4, 2016 3:14 PM EST
      • West Grove, Pennsylvania
         
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      You're right Fred. Looked at the label and didn't turn it over to see what size they were...........

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      "Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --Martin Luther King Jr

    • March 4, 2016 10:34 PM EST
      • Branchport, NY
         
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      Don Watson said:

      Devon,

       

      Is this the kind of thing you're looking for?

       

       

      Hope this helps.  If you want more detail let me know.

       

      Doc Watson

      I would like some more information.

      Thanks

      Tom

       

    • March 5, 2016 7:34 AM EST
      • Hendersonville, North Carolina
         
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      I agree with you Fred but I did this conversion about 10 years ago before the new Kadee couplers were available.  I only buy the new versions now.

       

      Tom, I will put a brief description together of how I accomplished this conversion.

       

      Doc Watson

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