Re: Kadee minimum body box widths

Glen Mills <mills.glen@...>


All Pacific Fast Mail brass locomotives I purchased many years ago were
supplied with a plastic coupler box which was KD No.4 compatible.

As KD couplers (in those days) were metal, using the plastic coupler box
eliminated electrical shorts at the tender end of the locomotive. Therefore
it was the coupler/coupler box combination of choice on the tender of all
brass locomotives. Later the coupler box was available from Precision Scale
Co. as their part No. 31216. This is shown in the Walthers Catalogue for
1996 but is not in that for 2006. I still have a Vegemite jar full of PSC
boxes for possible future use.

I too like the slack action of a No.4 and use it on one end of most boxcars
and some reefers together with a No.8 on the other end. Generally I do not
use this combination on other freight cars due to the exposed holding
screws. However, I continue to install 4's and 8's together as I still have
a big stock of both. Many years ago a local hobby shop closed with much
stock obtained at reduced prices.

It is agreed that the No.4's are a bigger pain to install and more of a
maintenance problem than the others but when well under one per cent of all
my metal couplers have failured, I am not going to condemn them for that.

I prefer metal couplers to plastic and now use No.78 where the coupler box
is exposed.


Glen Mills

Re: Kadee minimum body box widths
Posted by: "Denny Anspach" docdenny34
Wed Feb 25, 2009 4:19 pm (PST)
Didn't one of the really old Kadee couplers use
this technique -- a #4 perhaps? I'm pretty sure
one of them used a coil centering spring.<
Yes, and they are still available, and reportedly are still chosen by
a small set of modelers that very much like the "slack action" that
the #4's internal longitudinal springs allow. They are considerably
different in design and concept from the #78, and in this regard they
really have very little real relationship
The #4 has a long slot in the shank just wide enough to fit over a
square post within its own cast metal dedicated coupler box. With the
coupler shank over the post, the remaining portion of the slot is
filled with a tiny (that is- *tiny*) spring that holds the shank
against the post while at the same time pulling the shank back to
center when the coupler swivels. What is different is that the coupler
does not swivel against the post but swivels against cast-in columns
in the sides of the coupler box- as explained well by Dennis.
I still have a great number of cars equipped with #4s, and they
operate as well as could be expected, but test one's patience in
either repair or replacement. The couplers fit no other coupler
boxes, except a number of cast metal boxes common to a number of early
manufacturers in the '50s and '60s (MDC?). In contradistinction, none
of the usual standard couplers will fit the #4's box.

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