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Kadee Couplers vs. Aristocraft

13691 Views 75 Replies 35 Participants Last post by  mgilger
If I don't care that much about remote switching (and I don't), is there any good reason why I can't stay with Aristocraft couplers on my locomotive and cars? I really like to just watch the train go around and around. Will the gods of G scale visit me with a plague of mutant moles for taking the esay way out?

RB Whale
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I now have more than 300 cars & locos - mostly Aristo with their standard knuckle couplers - so changing to anything else is not too inviting.

But like Greg pointed out much earlier in this thread, I have found Aristo's more recent products to be very frustrating in that the couplers tend to pull apart (not unlatch) much too soon.
I first noticed it on the relatively new GP40s. Aristo's quality control seems to have worsened to the point of retrograding to old problems.
The same is with the 40 foot type freight cars now reverting to their floor assemblies being wrongly oriented (installed backward), too - a practice that had gone on for more than a decade and for awhile - it seemed Aristo fix it until the latest factory move took place.

The next time Aristo makes a change to these floor assemblies, they should key them so this can't happen - and hopefully the key would be put in the correctly!

None so far, Joe.

What I have been considering doing is to try Kadee couplers on the loco providing they will mate with the Aristo ones.
(Can anyone who has retrofitted Kadees to the Aristo GP40 identify the best one (number) to use and what other parts - if any - are needed?)

But my trains are waiting until I finish with my Kitchen bay window project. Working on the house is like that PBS James Burke Connections series - one thing always leads to another, and another, etc.

Anyway, the bay window will enhance the viewing of my eventual outdoor layout - which is one of the reasons why I decided to do it. I envision sitting at the Kitchen table with an Aristo Train Engineer controlling the trains outdoors.

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Thanks for your help and encouragement and particularly for the coupler number.

I would prefer not to have a transition car with different couplers on it.
In this regard, I have read that some folks say the kadee coupler will mate with Aristo's standard knuckle coupler and some say they won't.

I also understand that there is a kadee gauge of sorts that is used as a reference to determine the proper coupler installation height above the rail head. Do you know the part number of this item, too?

I am willing to give the kadees a try.

I usually do these kind of tasks during the rainy season, so I could order a few sample parts. Of course, converting to body mounts vs. truck mounts will be another issue, too.

The first thing I want to do is to see for myself if the kadee will couple to the Aristo coupler. Then see what the kadee coupler will pull apart at under a measured / destructive stress load.

Before I ever get involved with the expense and time to mass convert well over 300 items - I want to be damn sure it's all worth it.

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As to the the only person who has standardised on Bachmann Knuckle couplers? Maybe not as respondents to this thread have mostly been with respect to its subject, "Kadee Couplers vs. Aristocraft".

Until recently (since Aristo came out with the GP40s) I was reasonably happy with Aristo's standard knuckle couplers. I had found that on my layout- that is very circuitous - the couplers would typically begin to distort and pull apart (not unlatch) with about a 45 car or greater train consisting of Aristo 100 ton hoppers. (With layouts having more straights - a much larger train size should work.)

I wrote an article about it that is hosted on Greg's web site at the below link
"Aristo-Craft knuckle coupler tests & a test train"

But it now seems Aristo's quality has retrograded such that the couplers are inconsistent in performance, and that is why I am now considering an alternative.

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Yes it is an expensive burden (and worse, time consuming to retrofit everyting) - but I have not yet decided to go the kadee route yet.

I merely want to try and test them at this time. If it turns out kadees would pull apart not much differently than Aristo's - or if they are inconsistent, I won't use them.

Thanks Nick,

That looks encouraging.

Have you tried to pull a train with that kadee & Aristo coupler combination to see if the couplers will not separate - including going around curved track?

Posted By Tom Thornton on 11/22/2008 9:05 AM

Hi Ted I use a mix of Aristo and KD. They work well together. My layout is small with ten foot curves and I like the KD body mount so I can back twenty car trains into the yard. I will some day have all KDs but together they work fine.Why not mix the two for now with the KDs in the front of the train and the Aristos on the back. Tom Thornton

Thanks Tom,

Good info and that was my thought, too.

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