Bachmann knuckle couplers

DVS4G

DVS4G

RR Dave
25 Apr 2020
49
58
Idaho
Ok, so, I have read all the old forum posts I can find on Bachmann knuckle couplers. All seem to be from a few years ago. I have been trying to figure out the difference between the types I have discovered on some old rolling stock. Some Bachmann couplers have a plastic uncoupling shaft while others have a metal one. I'm talking about the shaft that drops when the knuckle closes. After my reading here, I will have to go look at the couplers again and see if the whole coupler is plastic and the other whole coupler is metal. I had complaints of random uncoupling on a display railroad I take care of. So I modified the couplers so that the knuckle will not open at all. I did this by drilling a small hole through that shaft that drops down when the knuckle closes. This is when I discovered that some were plastic and some were metal. I then inserted a small cotter pin through the hole so the shaft could not lift and release the knuckle. It's a simple fix. It seems like it would be reversible just by removing the cotter pins if someone ever wanted to have the knuckles open again. And now, you just lift one coupler up out of the other to uncouple a car. Hopefully, it will solve the uncoupling problem as they run all day at very slow speeds. When looking at ordering Bachmann couplers, I don't seem to see them listed as plastic or metal. How do I be sure? I would think the metal ones wold be more expensive.

I also have a bunch of aristocraft couplers and am intrigued by someone mentioning that they filed part of them down to mate better with the Bachmann couplers. Anybody know exactly what they filed down? Aristocraft couplers seem to have a flat horizontal piece that does not let the knuckles slide up and down like the Bachmann ones can do. Seems like a bunch of you have modified couples to work in specific situations. What do you know and what have you tried?

Dave
 
Gavin Sowry

Gavin Sowry

Garden Railroader and Raconteur
27 Oct 2009
6,540
66
Hutt Valley, NZ
I've used two 'solutions' to the unwanted uncouplings.
1. I took a razor saw to the drop pin on the underside of the coupler. It was usually stray ballast that would hit the pin and lift it.
2. I then also tried dabbing hot glue to the pin. This option is recoverable, as the glue can be peeled off if you want to restore operation.
 
M

mickb

Registered
11 Nov 2009
51
winmalee
The ones with the plastic shafts are the earlier ones the current ones have metal shafts.
 
Rhinochugger

Rhinochugger

Retired Oik
27 Oct 2009
28,137
North West Norfolk
Ok, so, I have read all the old forum posts I can find on Bachmann knuckle couplers. All seem to be from a few years ago. I have been trying to figure out the difference between the types I have discovered on some old rolling stock. Some Bachmann couplers have a plastic uncoupling shaft while others have a metal one. I'm talking about the shaft that drops when the knuckle closes. After my reading here, I will have to go look at the couplers again and see if the whole coupler is plastic and the other whole coupler is metal. I had complaints of random uncoupling on a display railroad I take care of. So I modified the couplers so that the knuckle will not open at all. I did this by drilling a small hole through that shaft that drops down when the knuckle closes. This is when I discovered that some were plastic and some were metal. I then inserted a small cotter pin through the hole so the shaft could not lift and release the knuckle. It's a simple fix. It seems like it would be reversible just by removing the cotter pins if someone ever wanted to have the knuckles open again. And now, you just lift one coupler up out of the other to uncouple a car. Hopefully, it will solve the uncoupling problem as they run all day at very slow speeds. When looking at ordering Bachmann couplers, I don't seem to see them listed as plastic or metal. How do I be sure? I would think the metal ones wold be more expensive.

I also have a bunch of aristocraft couplers and am intrigued by someone mentioning that they filed part of them down to mate better with the Bachmann couplers. Anybody know exactly what they filed down? Aristocraft couplers seem to have a flat horizontal piece that does not let the knuckles slide up and down like the Bachmann ones can do. Seems like a bunch of you have modified couples to work in specific situations. What do you know and what have you tried?

Dave
The plastic ones tend to be on the Big Hauler 1:22.5 range - generally (not exclusively) bogie mounted.

The metal ones are from the Spectrum 1:20.3 range and are designed with body mounting pockets. They come in two styles, straight shank and stepped shank - the latter drops them down to the height of the bogie mounted stock.

They are not directly interchangeable (plastic to metal) as the fix differently to their mounting shafts.

I am an expert in automatic, unwanted un-coupling :cool::cool::cool:
 
Fred2179G

Fred2179G

Registered
20 Apr 2017
500
USA
As Gavin said, one solution to random uncoupling is to raise the bottom of the pin. In the garden, any dead leaf will cause the pin to lift and uncouple.
One solution I heard years ago is to paint the coupler - spray it with flat black paint. I suspect it makes the pin more reluctant to move?

Aristocraft couplers are designed to stay coupled and not to move up and down. They work as advertised together but are tricky to couple with Bachmann or Accucraft.
 
RkyGriz

RkyGriz

Registered
13 Feb 2019
142
Silver Springs, Nevada
Hi. Frankly, I have given up on Bachmann knuckle couplers, and have switched over to Kadee #831 and #1831 knuckle couplers.
They stay together.
I have run Large Scale trains for over 15 years, and I have found no better knuckle couplers than the ones made by Kadee.
My advise to you would be to forget the untrustable Bachman couplers, and invest in Kadees'!