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The loss of my job it put the kibash on buying all new Kydee couplers for body mount. Need 450 sets. But I have enough Bachmann couplers to re outfit everything that doesn't have them already. So, what is your opinion of these couplers as far as duribility and dependibility? I know they won't be perfect size wise but I'm not a bolt counter anyway. If they would last a few years that would be fine to get through this period. As least while I'm going ster crazy at home until something happens I could be be reworking the trains.
 

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They work fine, just oversized. Some of them have a tendency to open up while running. If you do a search, you will likely find a few "fixes" for that problem. I just take the offender off and replace it with another, and that usually solves the problem. I have been using them for 10 years now. I started converting to Kadee's at one point, but it is a lot of work, and just not a high priority for me.

Man, if you need 450 sets of Kadees, I hope you find a good job! (and regardless, I do hope you and everyone else here in that boat can find a job soon).
 

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Doug,

I've standardized on Bachmann couplers and I like them just fine.

Best,
TJ
 

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Just a note: If you are needing 450 couplers, stay away from the earliest couplers. The early couplers had a hole that went all of the way through the lift pin.
Later versions seem to go only half way. And of course the newest couples have a lot of metal. I'm a KaDee fan and have been for many years so the economic
impact is small these days.

If you are interested, a custom sent me his idea on how to body mount the Bachman coupler. I was already committed to KaDees so it was of no interest to me. But it was a pretty clever idea. If you would like it please email me. [email protected]


Barry - BBT
 

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Some of them have a tendency to open up while running


Doug,
As Del says, they are fine except for that little problem. One reason is that they are mounted so low that anything on the track between the rails can jiggle the pin and release the coupler - even a dry leaf.

Two common solutions - one is to spray the coupler with paint. Apparently it makes them less likely to uncouple. I've never tried it, but I can imagine it might reduce the looseness.

The other is to add a spring, like this:



In this case, the older version with the hole right through is easiest to fit, but any of them can be drilled with a tiny drill in a pin vise.
The spring is a piece of phosphor-bronze wire (sold for gauge-O trolleys) bent around a screwdriver. It was pushed into the body of the coupler with a hot soldering iron (I think - years since I did one! Drilling and gluing probably work fine. Brass wire probably works too!)
 

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I have standardised my couplings using Bachmann Knuckle Couplers, very pleased with their operating capabilitires, some of the older units do have a tendency to open at inopertune times, but overall thay are a very practical and cost effective solution to the coupler interchangabilty proiblem, they will retrofit all other brands with no modifications at all. Highly reccomended.
 

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While I use Kadees exclusively if I was in your situation I'd have no hesitancy about standardizing on the Bachmann couplers at least temporarily. I used them for about 4 years while experimenting when I first decided to try railroading outdoors. I found that about 10-15% of them would come apart very easily while running. It was still much better than not running at all and I wasn't willing to put in the expense and time of converting to Kadees until I was sure I'd continue outdoors.

There are modifications that people have done to make them more reliable and to some that can live with the gross size of Bachmanns there's no reason for them to change to any other. That part depends solely on you.

I might add too that if you run your rolling stock mostly or partly in strings of cars as opposed to more intense switching ops that there's really no need for couplers at all on much of your rolling stock. Simply use fiber or plastic drawbars between the fixed strings of cars. Secure the drawbar with a screw to one end of each car and a pin or screw to the other end to receive the drawbar of another car. The cars can still be manually separated. Paint the drawbars black and they will hardly show up plus there's the advantage that you decide on the drawbar length allowing for closer spacing between cars. Set the strings up in strings consistent with the way you operate, say 6 cars or so with drawbars and a Bachmann coupler on each end of the string. A lot less work than putting floor mounted Bachmanns on each and every car especially if you intend to one day change them all to Kadees.

In the early days of HO before reliable or good looking couplers many modelers used drawbars on their passenger trains.
 

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If your not into rivet counting I'd go with them till such time that you can afford to change to Kadees. Like any other coupler it depends on the length of trains you run and the problems you may encounter with the particular coupler you are using. Later RJD
 
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