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Discussion Starter #1
I bought an MTH Dash-8 Diesel loco and some Aristo rolling stock. They all came with AAR Kadee couplers. I tried to hook up my Bachman stock but the couplers won't mesh with the Aristo. Do I change the Kadee to suit the Bachman or Vice Versa?

I like the AAR coulpers, can I get some to change onto the Bachman rolling stock?
 

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You can go to the Kadee site, and under large scale conversions, there is a list of what coupler to use for what rolling stock.

You did not mention what size of couplers you have, in large scale, Kadee makes a #1 size (for 1:32) and a "G" size (for larger). Some people use the #1 size in G scale because of the smaller size, but there are also disadvantages, the smaller knuckle size is more prone to slip over each other on trackwork with abrupt vertical grades, or roller coaster trackwork.

I use Kadees, since I like the remote uncoupling features, and they don't come apart (pop open under load) like some other couplers.

Regards, Greg
 

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You have to pick a coupler and change everything that's different. I have AAR couplers since almost all my equipment is Aristo, but KD is a very popular choice.
 

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I agree with the comment below to change everything to Kaydee. While you're at it, purchase the correct coupler height gauge for the scale you're working in. The little work you have to do to mate all the couplers using shims or shaving a little off a buffer will pay dividends in the end.
 

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All my engines and rolling stock are Bachmann. I have heard that Bachmann couplers have a tendency to pop open. I have not run my trains outside yet as I do not have any track down. I only ran the trains around a small circle of track on the floor. I did not have any trouble with couplers releasing. Should I expect problems when I start to run outside? I don't want to incur the cost to switch them all to Kaydee. Is there something I should be doing to them to keep the Bachmann couplers connected?

John
 

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Any coupler that has a release pin that's actuated from below--which is a fair number of 'em--has a tendency to open up unexpectedly from debris on the track tripping the pin from below. I can't say which brand is the worst offender, as they're all perfectly capable of splitting the train at the most inopportune moment. That's one of the strongest arguments for switching over to Kadees--they don't open that way, so once they're coupled, they tend to stay so.

Having said that, there are some things you can do to the Bachmann couplers to make them a bit more reliable. One fellow removed the spring that forces the knuckle open, and that seems to have helped. It still opens, but--like the prototype--you have to manually pull it open to couple to it. Others have reported improved operation simply by painting the coupler. Perhaps the paint makes the pin a bit harder to bump up and open, I'm not sure.

Hope that helps a bit.

Later,

K
 

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I've never tried Kadees--seems like a lot of expense and trouble to me, it seems like every mount is an adventure, you need to match heights, which model is the right model etc.,but then everyone who knows better than me seems to like them better. I like the Aristo couplers. They're too big, and the tangs are too long, but they work very well for me otherwise and rarely uncouple
 

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I use Kadees!:D (The "G-scale" ones).
-And if "a picture's worth 1000 words", what are a couple of 10-minute videos worth?;)


Maybe these will answer some of your questions!/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/wow.gif Tom
 

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If you use 831's they mount on everything. Very easy to do, unscrew the old coupler, cut off the little round piece, mount new coupler. It an get much easier then that!
 

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The discussion so far has emphasized couplers that stay coupled. And at least some folks really do not care what they look like. For this situation, hook and loops are likely the best.

But most of us do care what they look like and let's face it, h&l look like sh**. And a good many of us actually operate our trains and do some switching with them. So uncoupling is as important as staying coupled. We all buy equipment from more than one manufacturer. Given the dreadful amount of proprietary couplers out their, along the way some couplers will have to be changed. The only coupler available that looks good, stays coupled, uncouples readily when needed in both manual and remote mode and is available in a variety of mounts to suit all equipment is Kadee. It also happens to be the de facto standard in the smaller scales as they travelled through the same history as large scale is travelling now only it was 50 years ago.

Some couplers mate with Kadee and share some of its properties. Accucraft for example is the best looking and stays reliably coupled. However, it will not uncouple remotely and requires a good bit of ingenuity to install in certain situations.

In short, I always recommend Kadee as the only coupler that meets all the known requirements of a good coupler.

Regards ... Doug
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thank you so much everyone for all the great info. Thanks for the video Tom, it was educational and FUN. Well I now know what to do and all I can say is you guys are the best at helping a newby with what must be mundane questions. I'm sure you have answered these a hundred times.

I just built my first overhead oval and as soon as my wife figures out how to post pics, I'll do it.

Thanks again.

Vince
 

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I have standardised on the Bachmann Knuckle Coupler, it is economical to buy, easy to fit to other manufacturers products, and operates OK, you can even use the LGB Uncoupling Ramp, either Manual or Electric to uncouple cars in switching operations, and remember that the Aristocraft Delton Classic line of cars come with a Bachmann style coupling, which does not mate with the regular Aristocraft coupling very well, but loves Bachmann Knuckles.:)
 
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