I have an Aristo Doodlebug and an old timer Bachmann observation car. Both have truck mounted couplers. The Arist coupler sits about a half inch higher than the Bachmann. Is there an 'easy' fix for this problem?
Some Bachmann couplers are at a radically different height... I'd select a standard you like and start shimming! It's easier to adjust coupler heights on body mounts in my opinion, but your minimum curve diameter needs to be above 8 foot or so.
I was hoping there was a 'magic' solution, but I guess not! Strange though, in 30 years of N guaging, this has really never been a problem. That is the relative height, whether truck, or body mounts. I'll play with them a bit, I'm thinking even a little heat carefully applied, one might warp them a bit.
The plastics used may react poorly to heat. If you want minimum effort, a kitchen "twist tie" will hold them together. Heating and bending, even if possible, would probably make the knuckle not parallel to the rails.
I did not suggest that, because I took simple to mean easy and low effort. That should mean changing one coupler only. Put an aristo coupler on the bachmann would be my simplest solution, as the bachmann is probably truck mount.
By the way, I do prefer Kadees and have them on everything. Here's another list of conversions, and the doodlebug is listed: Click here
It's a pdf file, so you should have Adobe reader installed (it's free).
(well Dean, I think we have really beat this one to death, don't you agree?
"Easy" is a very subjective word. "Easy" for one, is "expensive" to another, and "sheer magic" to yet another. The best "we" can do here is offer "alternatives" and the Original Poster gets to choose his/her own "easy".
I have converted a few Bachmann cars to Aristo couplers by just replacing the Bachmann coupler with an Aristo coupler. Like RJ and Greg have said, whenever I've done this they have lined up just fine. Sometimes when I install an Aristo coupler (can't remember whether it was a Bachmann truck or not) the coupler doesn't want to go on level until I work on it a little. If it is not level mounted on the truck, of course then it won't line up well.
If memory serves me correct...the LGB, Bachman, USA trains...not sure of the Aristo trucks are usually the same height..when you mout them truck mounted.
As far as the MODERN trucks I have NO clue as I do not run modern stuff..but the archbar, bettendorf and Andrews that all three of the aformentioned manufacturers produce will/should all mate with KayDee
My suggestion is to get away from the various variables from manufacturer to manufacturer......KayDee truck mounted couplers..which look better.
I know for sure that the LGB, Bachmann, and USA, again not sure about Aristo trucks will match up with very little difference, even if there is a little you can use very small shims to get them to mate.
One of my standards on my RR are the use of KayDee..they look much better and there is never a problem with mating.
Purchase or make a coupler gauge, KayDee makes a very nice one I use it all the time...OR you can make one, again I prefurr a nicely manufactured one.
Bachmann couplers are WAYYY to big just like the Aristo ones.