Kadee Couplers

BakerJohn

BakerJohn

Baker, Modeler, Flour Ambassador
I need to buy some new couplers for my stock, and I am looking for advice with Kadee couplers. I'm not sure weather to go with truck mount or body mount and what design to use. So, what do others use for their stock? I'm leaning more towards truck-mounted center shank couplers.
 
maxi-model

maxi-model

UK/US/ROW steam narrow gauge railways 1:1
27 Oct 2009
4,408
57
Bucks/Oxon/Northants area
I use Kadees to deal with coupler height mismatches between stock and provide a coupler where a working one isn't installed with my Fn3 scale stuff. Some people standardize on Kadee on all their stock because of their magnetic decoupling system.

Use body mounts if you want if you have nice wide radius curves and points. Truck mount when you need that little bit extra swing to get around them or if that is the normal mount on the stock you have. Shank offset will depend on what height you standardize your coupling height at and what heights you started at - e.g. Bachmann Big Hauler stock needs converting if you want to hook up to and mix Spectrum (without their adaptors) or AMS stock. You will probably end up with a mix because your stock will in all probability will require different heights to mount the coupler's gearboxes/pockets.

Check the suggestions on Kadee's website to get an idea of what you may require. They do some specials and conversions to get over some common mismatches from mainstream manufacturers, like LGB and Bachmann. Kadee - Large-Scale Coupler Conversions Max
 
Last edited:
The Tinker

The Tinker

Every day I wake up is a good day
6 Feb 2014
241
0
Whangamata New Zealand
I body mount mine Best thing i Did. Also I used a Kadee height gauge it is 4 or 5 tools in one My trains easily negotiate R3 points, pushing or pulling though them. Also great couplers to shunt with if you need to
 
BakerJohn

BakerJohn

Baker, Modeler, Flour Ambassador
I body mount mine Best thing i Did. Also I used a Kadee height gauge it is 4 or 5 tools in one My trains easily negotiate R3 points, pushing or pulling though them. Also great couplers to shunt with if you need to
Do you have any R2s? Unfortunately I have to have a 180* curve using them on my line.
 
maxi-model

maxi-model

UK/US/ROW steam narrow gauge railways 1:1
27 Oct 2009
4,408
57
Bucks/Oxon/Northants area
What defines the minimum radius you can get around with a body mounted knuckle coupler is the combination of 1) The distance from the bogies' pivot to the point where the knuckles join between cars/wagons - i.e. how much the end of body of the wagon deviates from the centreline of the track (overhang) in the curve and 2) How much side to side movement the couplers have in their pockets. The only way you are going to find that out is to experiment. Unless anybody knows a formula to predict it or there is something on the Kadee site to tell you.

I know when I run my Bachmann Spectrum/AMS stock with their standard body mounted couplers I am very much on the limit going through the one R3 (a Piko curved point) on my layout. which is why I sometimes drop in my Fn3'ised Aristo' 20' gon', with Kadees into the consists - very short overhangs. I have also pulled the trick of moving the bogie pivots as far towards a car end to get some pretty long cars with body mounted couplers round a "too tight" curve. Max
 
The Tinker

The Tinker

Every day I wake up is a good day
6 Feb 2014
241
0
Whangamata New Zealand
I find the Kadees are at their limit when a consist is pulled or pushed thru two R3 points side by side where curves reverse to each other.
 
Greg Elmassian

Greg Elmassian

Registered
8 Mar 2014
2,577
103
San Diego
www.elmassian.com
I think that observation must be tempered with body mount or truck mount, length of car and also which coupler you are using... note the radically different gearbox styles between the "normal" body mount with slack action, vs. the coupler most people are familiar with that is normally to be used on truck mount couplers.

The type 906 can even be easily modified for even more swing.

Greg
 
The Tinker

The Tinker

Every day I wake up is a good day
6 Feb 2014
241
0
Whangamata New Zealand
My couplings are all body mount. The one thing I have noticed is I now have very few derailments. And yes Greg I have modified a few Kadees to get a bigger swing. Kadees have made operating my rail road a lot less stressful.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Sean.
Greg Elmassian

Greg Elmassian

Registered
8 Mar 2014
2,577
103
San Diego
www.elmassian.com
I was just trying to point out that the "limits" you have found on your railroad may not be the same "limits" as others will find on theirs. Too often a newcomer gets a piece of advice, and assumes it is immutable, and applicable to all cases.

With Kadees, I have found long term users that always use the "slack action" models for their rolling stock and have very good luck, and then others that use the mounts that have no "give" in them and are completely unaware of the slack action types, especially the pro's and con's of them.

So, was just trying to put a little "give" into your statement for the benefit of the OP who is clearly not as experienced with Kadees.

If you took any of it as an affront, please accept my apology, it was all meant to help Bill with examples.

Greg
 
The Tinker

The Tinker

Every day I wake up is a good day
6 Feb 2014
241
0
Whangamata New Zealand
No offence taken I was just trying to clarify and be some help
 
BakerJohn

BakerJohn

Baker, Modeler, Flour Ambassador
So, based on everyone's input I've gotten thus far... I'll be truck-mounting (because R2 curves) the g-scale couplers (because of the grades on my RR) to my stock. Kadee recommends 831 for all stock I have and 790 for my Forney. Does anyone have suggestions/opinions/comments on this? Thanks again!
 
F

Fred Mills

Registered
27 Mar 2017
1,195
46
76
Ottawa/Nepean, Ontario Canada
I am fully equipped with Kadee #1 couplers, and have over 300 cars so equipped...all body mounted straight shanks (820', and 1906's).
The Kadee coupler gauge is the best tool for use when converting.
I would never promote trying to "Mix & And Match" couplers of different manufacturers; that would lead to much frustration, if attempting to "Operate" a railway.
Yes, body mounting is limited to curves of more than 10 foot diameter, and matching switches (Points).
I also do coupler conversions for friends, and have probably converted over 600-800 pieces of rolling stock over the years. The success of the conversion is dependant on the proper mounting and shimming...and not being afraid to cut the car if need be (Without making a mess of it).
Usually the need to cut the car in order to mount the coupler, if done properly ends up with the car looking much closer to the prototype than the original coupler.
Many will disagree with my statements, and have different opinions...they are free to do so, with my best wishes.
Fred Mills
 
F

Fred Mills

Registered
27 Mar 2017
1,195
46
76
Ottawa/Nepean, Ontario Canada
Couplers seem to be a very personal choice. Just about everyone has opinions on what couplers to use, for their pleasure. Each has their reasons for choice. Usually their choice is based on cost, on their skills, and on their friends' choices. Coupler choice has been a never-ending debate, not only for you guys "Across the pond", but here in North America too. I imagine we might as well include the rest of the known World also. Choose what you like, and have fun...it is entirely up to YOU...but please choose wisely, with a fair amount of research, and testing by purchasing a pair of (For example) Kadee couplers, and try them out (Mounting them properly). Try mounting one, on the end of each of two cars (Wagons) and test them out... ENJOY...
Fred Mills
 
D

Dan

Registered
28 Jan 2010
197
2
Eastern MA
If you have short cars like LGB FRR or the HLW kit cars, you can body mount Kadees and I run these on a 29 inch DIAMETER circle. YES!! diameter not radius!! Longer cars do need larger radius. Also, my circle of track is one 8 foot flex track bent into a circle, and has only one clamp per rail.
 
Matthias

Matthias

Registered
13 Apr 2019
1
0
Switzerland
www.beathis.ch
I installed Kadee 907 body mounted in my WP&YR container wagons (LGB 40850, 42850, 43850) and it works perfect down to LGB radius R2 (765mm). The WP&YR passenger wagons (LGB 36800, 36805, 36807, 36809, 36810, 36815, 36816, 36845, 36846) run well with the same installation.
 
Greg Elmassian

Greg Elmassian

Registered
8 Mar 2014
2,577
103
San Diego
www.elmassian.com
One thing that should also be considered, the phrase "will body mount work on R2 curves" is a poor question to answer, and those of us with experience need to help out a bit.

Question: 1: Will a train with Kadees body mounted run fine on R2 curves...

Answer: yes and with 50' cars and sometimes over, long locos might need a short car coupled..

But another question is: "can I use the remote uncoupling magnets" with body mounts and R2 curves:.

Answer: well, maybe but it might be iffy, and definitely no cars over 40' and that is pushing it.

And the final question in will it work: "can I couple cars on R2 curves with body mounts"

Answer: no they will not align on an R2 curve, so you will have to couple them by hand.


So these are 3 different ways to answer "will body mounts work on R2 curves".... it's all in the concise definition of the word "work"...


Therefore to the OP: if you don't need to automatically couple and uncouple on the curves themselves, go body mounts, you will get more reliable operation, R2 curves are fine.

If you want to couple automatically on the curves, then go truck mounts



Greg
 
BakerJohn

BakerJohn

Baker, Modeler, Flour Ambassador
One thing that should also be considered, the phrase "will body mount work on R2 curves" is a poor question to answer, and those of us with experience need to help out a bit.

Question: 1: Will a train with Kadees body mounted run fine on R2 curves...

Answer: yes and with 50' cars and sometimes over, long locos might need a short car coupled..

But another question is: "can I use the remote uncoupling magnets" with body mounts and R2 curves:.

Answer: well, maybe but it might be iffy, and definitely no cars over 40' and that is pushing it.

And the final question in will it work: "can I couple cars on R2 curves with body mounts"

Answer: no they will not align on an R2 curve, so you will have to couple them by hand.


So these are 3 different ways to answer "will body mounts work on R2 curves".... it's all in the concise definition of the word "work"...


Therefore to the OP: if you don't need to automatically couple and uncouple on the curves themselves, go body mounts, you will get more reliable operation, R2 curves are fine.

If you want to couple automatically on the curves, then go truck mounts



Greg
Thank you, Greg. I appreciate the thought you put into responses, such as this one.
 
Gavin Sowry

Gavin Sowry

Garden Railroader and Raconteur
27 Oct 2009
5,985
83
65
Hutt Valley, NZ
Do you have any R2s? Unfortunately I have to have a 180* curve using them on my line.
Ah, I see you can't find the ° button on your keyboard..... hold down the ALT key at the same time as typing the numbers 248.
While we are at it, same trick for ½, this time the number is 171.