Scale Couplers for 1:20.3 Rolling Stock

JohnSol

JohnSol

Registered
24 Sep 2017
69
USA
Accucraft's 1:20.3 scale couplers appear oversized. Has anyone ever substituted 1:32 scale couplers and draft boxes on their 1:20.3 Narrow Gauge models?
 
Rhinochugger

Rhinochugger

Retired Oik
27 Oct 2009
27,737
North West Norfolk
I haven't :shake::shake::shake: but .............. the big issue is vertical movement. Unless your track is perfectly level, there will be some vertical movement, in addition, the couplers can sometimes sag just a small amount.

So, if I reduced the size of the coupler, I may encourage the accidental, automatic coupling.

Aristocraft introduced a sort of ridge in their coupler, so that it was not only locked by the buckeye, but it was also vertically gripped. Bachmann and Accucraft have not followed this rather excellent idea :confused:
 
JohnSol

JohnSol

Registered
24 Sep 2017
69
USA
I haven't :shake::shake::shake: but .............. the big issue is vertical movement. Unless your track is perfectly level, there will be some vertical movement, in addition, the couplers can sometimes sag just a small amount.

So, if I reduced the size of the coupler, I may encourage the accidental, automatic coupling.

Aristocraft introduced a sort of ridge in their coupler, so that it was not only locked by the buckeye, but it was also vertically gripped. Bachmann and Accucraft have not followed this rather excellent idea :confused:
Wouldn't 1:32 cars running on the same track have the same problem? Or maybe there's features on 1:32 models that are not found on the 1:20.3 models... I don't know. It's just that the OEM couplers give the Accucraft model the look of a toy. Also, there's a 1:20.3 Precision Scale caboose on Ebay. It appears to have smaller couplers
 
Last edited:
Rhinochugger

Rhinochugger

Retired Oik
27 Oct 2009
27,737
North West Norfolk
Wouldn't 1:32 cars running on the same track have the same problem? Or maybe there's features on 1:32 models that are not found on the 1:20.3 models... I don't know. It's just that the OEM couplers give the Accucraft model the look of a toy. Also, there's a 1:20.3 Precision Scale caboose on Ebay. It appears to have smaller couplers
To be honest, I don't know. I looked at a Precision Scale caboose (I was wondering whether to buy) and the bogie stretchers concerned me in that I wondered whether there was enough movement for my uneven track.

I'm an expert in badly laid track - it may be that with more carefully laid track, the 1:32 couplers would not have a problem.

The other issue for me is that I mix Accucraft with Bchmann Spectrum 1:20.3 stock, and sometimes they are not a perfect match height-wise.

I'll watch this thread with interest :nod::nod:
 
Homo Habilis

Homo Habilis

Registered
16 Apr 2016
19
54
USA
I have mostly the Bachmann Spectrum 1:20.3 locomotives. I have converted them, and all of the cars (wagons), to use the Kadee
AAR Type "E" #1 Scale couplers
.

I use the #1929 Type "E" Coupler Height Gauge (Gauge #1) to ensure proper mating for the couplers.

I run indoors and have not had any issues of them coming uncoupled. Since I'm modeling short line logging these look to my eye to be appropriately sized,
 
PhilP

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
26,166
Tamworth, Staffs.
Slight thread-drift, sorry!

For 'Short Line', can I read 'Narrow Gauge' as an English (British) rough-translation?

Thanks,
PhilP.
 
Homo Habilis

Homo Habilis

Registered
16 Apr 2016
19
54
USA
PhiliP

Yes you can, my oversight.

Mark
 
Rhinochugger

Rhinochugger

Retired Oik
27 Oct 2009
27,737
North West Norfolk
Slight thread-drift, sorry!

For 'Short Line', can I read 'Narrow Gauge' as an English (British) rough-translation?

Thanks,
PhilP.
rough - ish, as some short lines were standard gauge - but in the style of, yes because here in the UK we had very few private standard gauge lines apart from industrial complex sites.

Probably the closest UK equivalent to a US short line would be one of Col Stephens' enterprises.
 
PhilP

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
26,166
Tamworth, Staffs.
Thanks both...

"We now return you to the remarkable world of the Kadee coupler.." ;):nod:
 
F

Fred Mills

Registered
27 Mar 2017
2,128
78
Ottawa/Nepean, Ontario Canada
If I was looking for couplers for any North American, 1:20.3 equipment; I'd be looking at the Kadee "G" scale type "E" couplers. The so called Kadee #1 Gauge couplers are better suited to the smaller scales such as 1:29, !:24, 1:22.5, and 1:32 equipment, although only if good solid roadbed is used.
I'm operating a railway, using !:29, 1:22.5, and 1:24 scale equipment and have enjoyed the #1 Gauge, body mount couplers....for over 25 years.
 
  • Like
Reactions: tac foley
Fred2179G

Fred2179G

Registered
20 Apr 2017
476
USA
Accucraft's 1:20.3 scale couplers appear oversized. Has anyone ever substituted 1:32 scale couplers and draft boxes on their 1:20.3 Narrow Gauge models?
Yes. The East Broad Top 3' railroad used 3/4 size couplers, so I used the Accucraft 1/32nd couplers on all my coaches. Never had a problem with uncoupling, although most of the time they ran on live steam tracks that were well-maintained for the $$$ Aster steamers.
20190907_140756_resized-complete-ebt5sm.jpg


20190907_141035-complete-ebt5sm.jpg
 
  • Like
Reactions: JohnSol
JohnSol

JohnSol

Registered
24 Sep 2017
69
USA
Yes. The East Broad Top 3' railroad used 3/4 size couplers, so I used the Accucraft 1/32nd couplers on all my coaches. Never had a problem with uncoupling, although most of the time they ran on live steam tracks that were well-maintained for the $$$ Aster steamers. View attachment 269533

View attachment 269534
Yes, that is what I was wondering about. Thank you Fred. The flip side of your upbeat answer is.... Apparently Accucraft is sold out of 1:32 scale couplers. Now I'm wondering if there's another supplier of 1:32 scale couplers. Ideally, couplers that would function like the Accucraft 1:20.3 couplers, i.e., operate via a prototype (Accucraft type) cut bar.

...and, thank you for attaching photos of your exquisitely detailed EBT coach.
 
Fred2179G

Fred2179G

Registered
20 Apr 2017
476
USA
photos of your exquisitely detailed EBT coach.
I can't take all the credit. That's an Iron Horse Engraving kit of Miners Coach #5. A very nice kit to build and detail.
 
F

Fred Mills

Registered
27 Mar 2017
2,128
78
Ottawa/Nepean, Ontario Canada
Yes, that is what I was wondering about. Thank you Fred. The flip side of your upbeat answer is.... Apparently Accucraft is sold out of 1:32 scale couplers. Now I'm wondering if there's another supplier of 1:32 scale couplers. Ideally, couplers that would function like the Accucraft 1:20.3 couplers, i.e., operate via a prototype (Accucraft type) cut bar.

...and, thank you for attaching photos of your exquisitely detailed EBT coach.
I must add that the latest Kadee Couplers, the so-called "E" type, look better without the knuckle spring in full view. Those "Cut Levers" on the Accucraft couplers look great, and do operate well, BUT in actual operations, they sure do not like the "BIG" fingers that must use them. The Kadees allow the use of a long, small Philips style screw driver to un couple them, without the need of the magnets. They also have a "Delayed action" feature that when learned can be of great assistance....again, even without the magnets between the rails.
 
Fred2179G

Fred2179G

Registered
20 Apr 2017
476
USA
Those "Cut Levers" on the Accucraft couplers look great, and do operate well, BUT in actual operations, they sure do not like the "BIG" fingers that must use them.
Most of the 1:20 Accucraft cars have proper cut levers to the outside of the car which work. I could have put similar ones on my EBT coaches, and they used a special kind which I incorporated on some models.