Re: Kadee #58s Was; BLI Hopper mods. #58s


Don Valentine
 

Quoting Denny Anspach <danspach@...>:


Don Valentine writes-

....the first Kadee coupler box.
This was the one with the small pin that fit into a slot in the coupler
shank
that, in turn, had two springs with round inserts inside them that
were
installed fore and aft of said pin. Even a young buck like you, Denny,
should
remember that one (-: but may have overlooked it in your post.
Of course, in absolute terms, you are correct, Don, but only when one
refers to the "original" mechanical Kadee couplers of the 1950s (c.
1951?) (:-)

The slotted coupler shanks with the two springs for and aft of a
center post was indeed their original standard (and it continues on
today essentially unchanged as MKD #4). Kadee was only a small player
then, and they in turn adopted this type of coupler shank for their
new couplers from other model suppliers of the same time, the most
well known to us today was Ulrich (MDC too, I believe). If my memory
serves, the Devore and MDC couplers also used this same shank, and
the Varney couplers were designed to be easily adapted to this
centerpost type of box.

Although not abandoning their original box/coupler shank combination,
when Kadee developed their new line of magnetic couplers c. 1959,
they also at the same time developed new the folded sheet bronze
springs that have become so familiar to us today. These were designed
to fit the Athearn boxes, which were significantly wider than the
old Kadee boxes designed for the slotted shanks. Furthermore, the
Athearn boxes had in their center a relatively large round hollow
post could not accommodate the slotted shanks.

The pretty-well-done PFM and Kemtron "universal" coupler boxes were
principally designed to accommodate both the original mechanical and
subsequent magnetic Kadee #4 couplers.

Many people do not recall that the Athearn coupler boxes were NOT
originally designed for the X2F or but instead were designed for
their own ring-shank cast metal dummy couplers. I do not recall how
many years Athearn sold their new injected molded cars with the
dummies before they started including the X2F coupler instead.

I still have a pile of the dummy couplers. Crude, but when painted
with thick paint, they looked good (they were small).

Who continues to use Kadee #4s today? Well those of us who delight
in restoring to new use old cars from the '50s; and an unknown number
of you out there who love the springy slack action that results from
the actions of a string of these cars. However, attempting to insert
a tiny filler piece inside one of the tiny coupler shank springs (to
reduce run-out), and then inserting these springs in place for and
aft of the coupler box post while holding the whole assembly together
is a balancing act not for the faint hearted- and I avoid these
couplers whenever I can do so.

For awhile, Kadee marketed both the old mechanical and new magnetic
couplers side by side. I have a feeling that this lasted only as long
as their inventory allowed.

MKD-4 it is, Denny! Thanks. Not being where all one's "stuff" is makes
it hard to check such things.

Don Valentine

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