Couplers and wheels (was: Top Ten)


Andy Miller <asmiller@...>
 

Clark,

I have found that the easiest solution to Kadees with low "gladhands" is to
bend the shank slightly up or down. Many people bend the gladhand itself
and Kadee even sells a tool for this, but I have found that if the gladhand
is low (or high) then the head probably is also; and bending the gladhand
will leave the head still in the wrong position. I don't bend the shank
much. If the error is too great, I use one of the offset head couplers. I
always use 40s, they are metal.

High couplers are almost as bad as low ones. If too high, the coupler will
work apart from its mate when pulling long trains up hills. The proper
height for the gladhand is easily discernable with an NMRA gauge. The
thickness of the gauge is the required clearance between railhead and
gladhand. Just put the gauge flat on the track and roll the car over it.
It should "just" clear.

I have become enamored with the "code 88" wheelsets which have come on the
market in the last few years. I use Reboxx, IM, and now Branchline. They
all have the thin wheel tread which looks soooo much better (especially
under hoppers where the wheel can be seen), and they also have the small
diameter needlepoint bearing, which seems to account for their phenomenal
rollability. Reboxx comes in a wide variety of lengths which further
helps. You don't have to ream out journals to make the point-to-point
distance fit the wheel set. Unfortunately the dozen or so different
lengths for each of three wheel diameters and two insulation types makes
stocking the Reboxx line a retailer's nightmare. So they are hard to find.
My local dealer doesn't carry them. I have gotten them from M.B.Klein in
Baltimore and TrainQuest in Moreno Valley CA. The IM, and the new
Branchline, appear to be different in axle length, so there are now two
sizes I can get locally. I have to put a mike on them, but they look to be
1.015 (IM) and about 1.025 (BL).

regards,

Andy Miller

BTW You are lucky man. My wife's whip works in the direction of painting
the house and fixing the plumbing ;-)

-----Original Message-----
From: Clark Propst [mailto:cepropst@...]
Sent: Tuesday, December 28, 2004 1:47 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Top Ten


Jack, Mike,
I should have clarified my statement on resin kits better. I had plastic
cars that derailed also. My Bowser PRR flat car would derail on straight
track!
I should make a top ten list of 'don'ts' or better 'I should know
betters'.
First, I use Kadee #5s, they're sturdy and inexpensive. But, you have to
adjust them. I just screwed the couple box to the car and sat it on the
shelve. When I tried running them, the uncoupling hose thingy would catch on
turnouts. I have 'operations' friends that cut them off and use a skewer to
uncouple cars. I need to check into this.
Second, I have JB, Kadee, IM and P2K steel wheel sets. These do not all
free wheel in all trucks. I had to replace wheel sets and ream out trucks to
make the cars roll better. Notice I didn't say correctly, I still have to
work on several car's trucks.
My point was suppose to be that even if you don't have a layout, test run
your freight cars before displaying them or putting them back in their
boxes.
My wife has the whip to my back to make progress on the layout while I'm
off on vacation and she's working so I better get some chain link fence made
and the 12th St NE overpass built.
I went out this morning to measure the perimeter fence that is around the
acreage that was the Decker Plant and measure the overpass just south of the
plant. My truck said it was 30 degrees out, not bad, but my digit camera
wouldn't work and I took a pen instead of a pencil and had a difficult time
writing down measures. Four more months till my pen will write outside...
Clark Propst
Mason City Iowa





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benjaminfrank_hom <b.hom@...>
 

Andy Miller wrote:
"I have found that the easiest solution to Kadees with
low "gladhands" is to bend the shank slightly up or down. Many
people bend the gladhand itself and Kadee even sells a tool for
this, but I have found that if the gladhand is low (or high) then
the head probably is also; and bending the gladhand will leave the
head still in the wrong position."

Why not do the job right and correct the head height first, then
adjust the uncoupling pin as necessary? Bending the shank seems to
invite more problems.


Ben Hom


Rich C <richchrysler@...>
 

I have been using Kadee #58's in their own Kadee boxes as much as possible for years now (since 58's came out) and have been doing the slight upward bend of the shank as a standard practice. I find this greatly helps the excess vertical slop allowed in the Kadee box. I also slightly burnish top and bottom shank surface to eliminate rough cast spots on the stock shank.
I must stress that the burnishing and the upward bending of the shank is only VERY slight.

Also, (though I haven't been following every posting of this thread so forgive me if this has already been mentioned) on most resin kits, there is often a slight and sometimes not so slight difference between the indicated centre of the bolster and the end of the casting, or sometimes the sides of the casting. In other words, before drilling out the bolster screw hole, make sure both ends and sides are identical distances from the screw hole.

Rich Chrysler

----- Original Message -----
From: "benjaminfrank_hom" <b.hom@...>
To: <STMFC@...>
Sent: Wednesday, December 29, 2004 8:57 AM
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Couplers and wheels (was: Top Ten)




Andy Miller wrote:
"I have found that the easiest solution to Kadees with
low "gladhands" is to bend the shank slightly up or down. Many
people bend the gladhand itself and Kadee even sells a tool for
this, but I have found that if the gladhand is low (or high) then
the head probably is also; and bending the gladhand will leave the
head still in the wrong position."

Why not do the job right and correct the head height first, then
adjust the uncoupling pin as necessary? Bending the shank seems to
invite more problems.


Ben Hom


Doug Brown <brown194@...>
 

I have been shimming the coupler boxes to correct drooping couplers. I
usually use .010 styrene sheet stock. I use the Kadee coupler gauge.

Doug Brown

-----Original Message-----
From: benjaminfrank_hom [mailto:b.hom@...]
Sent: Wednesday, December 29, 2004 7:57 AM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Couplers and wheels (was: Top Ten)



Andy Miller wrote:
"I have found that the easiest solution to Kadees with
low "gladhands" is to bend the shank slightly up or down. Many
people bend the gladhand itself and Kadee even sells a tool for
this, but I have found that if the gladhand is low (or high) then
the head probably is also; and bending the gladhand will leave the
head still in the wrong position."

Why not do the job right and correct the head height first, then
adjust the uncoupling pin as necessary? Bending the shank seems to
invite more problems.


Ben Hom







Yahoo! Groups Links


Andy Miller <asmiller@...>
 

Ben,

Bending the shank does adjust the head height - together with the gladhand
height. I don't like propping cars up on washers if the body is already at
the right height. That's why I bend the shank to adjust the head height
without changing the body height. It's necessarily a subtle change. Too
much and the head will be at a noticeable angle. And I can use a 40
something instead.

regards,

Andy Miller

-----Original Message-----
From: benjaminfrank_hom [mailto:b.hom@...]
Sent: Wednesday, December 29, 2004 8:57 AM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Couplers and wheels (was: Top Ten)



Andy Miller wrote:
"I have found that the easiest solution to Kadees with low "gladhands" is to
bend the shank slightly up or down. Many people bend the gladhand itself
and Kadee even sells a tool for this, but I have found that if the gladhand
is low (or high) then the head probably is also; and bending the gladhand
will leave the head still in the wrong position."

Why not do the job right and correct the head height first, then adjust the
uncoupling pin as necessary? Bending the shank seems to invite more
problems.


Ben Hom





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Bill Darnaby
 

I should have mentioned in my first post that the outboard end of the
coupler mounting pads and even floor ends of resin kits tend to be thicker
than the rest of the casting. If this is not attended to the coupler box
will tilt down towards the track accentuating any height/glad hand problems.
Before installing the floor check for this condition by laying the floor on
a flat surface, bottom up, and placing a straight edge along the centerline
of the coupler pad. If the straight edge tilts up away from the flat
surface you need to file, sand or shave down the end of the coupler pad
until the straight edge is truely horizontal to the surface.

Bill Darnaby


I have been shimming the coupler boxes to correct drooping couplers. I
usually use .010 styrene sheet stock. I use the Kadee coupler gauge.

Doug Brown


Denny Anspach <danspach@...>
 

Excellent thread. "Been there, done that!", (repeatedly, it must be admitted).

The good advice offered by Bill Darnaby and
"Jerry in Florida" about ensuring that the body
bolster and coupler surfaces are level
(especially crosswise); and ensuring that the
drilled hole through the bolster for the truck
screw is an accurate 90º cannot be
overemphasized. These are universally-encountered
problems that if not perceived and corrected,
come right back to bite you (especially a cocked
or off center truck screw- just try to fix that!).

I too drill all of my bolsters with a drill press, just for the reasons stated.

I have become so enamored of the profound visual
advantages of the .088" wheels, not to mention
the truly dramatic decrease in rolling resistance
that can and does occur when trucks are custom
fitted with custom axle lengths, that I now carry
in inventory a major selection of Reboxx
wheelsets. It is one of my better modeling
investments. I also invested in a roll tester so
that I have some means of objectively measuring
differing degrees of rolling resistance (I keep a
notebook of results).

I have had to deal with too many fine cars with
inaccessible loose weights. In this respect, I
will gently disagree with Ted Culotta about the
use of GE Silicone caulk for weights. Silicone
caulks are inherently and naturally poor
adhesives, while yet being wonderful caulks. In
this respect, where permanent adhesion of the
weight is so important in a closed space most
probably "forever" inaccessible, I instead elect
to use either GOO or Barge contact cements, two
true adhesives with proven excellent long term
reliability.

A disadvantage of using larger steel nuts as
weights is that the resulting center of gravity
can at times be higher than desired or predicted,
and in the same respect, the slightest off-center
positioning can then have some pretty undesirable
accentuated effects on stability.

Denny


--
Denny S. Anspach, MD
Sacramento


Schuyler Larrabee
 

Andy Miller wrote:
"I have found that the easiest solution to Kadees with low
"gladhands" is to bend the shank slightly up or down. Many
people bend the gladhand itself and Kadee even sells a tool
for this, but I have found that if the gladhand is low (or
high) then the head probably is also; and bending the
gladhand will leave the head still in the wrong position."
Ben Hom rejoined:
Why not do the job right and correct the head height first,
then adjust the uncoupling pin as necessary? Bending the
shank seems to invite more problems.
I agree that it seems like that's asking for problems. The head will then not
be vertical, and when under load, this will encourage the coupler heads to slide
past each other and disengage.

Often the problem is that the coupler pocket allows too much vertical play, and
it results in the coupler drooping down. In a normal No 5 box I usually put a
strip of scale 1x styrene across the bottom lip of the box, positioned so that
the shank of the coupler will be riding on it. I also rub this with a Really
Soft Pencil for some graphite 'lubrication.' This reduces or eliminates the
droop, reduces the bearing area of the coupler (what it's rubbing on to begin
with), generally clears up the gladhand problem, and makes the coupler look more
correct. Of course, until the Reboxx coupler hits the streets (Please, someday
soon?) the coupler can't look Real Correct.

There is still a minor amount of vertical play.

SGL


Schuyler Larrabee
 

-----Original Message-----
From: Andy Miller
You don't have to ream out journals to make the point-to-point
distance fit the wheel set.
Oh, but you do, Andy. The point (snicker) of reaming the journals is that the
cone of many trucks' journals isn't the optimum angle, and some molded trucks
even have flash and dots of plastic crud (technical term) in the conical bearing
hole. If you ream them out, you get the right conical angle and also a good
clean bearing surface.

If you used the reaming tool, you won't increase the length of the axle
required. The reamer only cleans up the hole, it doesn't drill it deeper.

And since John Burroughs is in our model railroad club and you see him almost
weekly, finding a dealer with stock doesn't seem like much of an issue if you
want to use Reboxx wheels . . . just ask him for them.

SGL


Gene Green <lgreen@...>
 

-----Original Message-----
From: Andy Miller
You don't have to ream out journals to make the point-to-point
distance fit the wheel set.
--- In STMFC@..., "Schuyler Larrabee" wrote:
Oh, but you do, Andy. The point (snicker) of reaming the journals is
that the cone of many trucks' journals isn't the optimum angle, and
some molded trucks even have flash and dots of plastic crud
(technical term) in the conical bearing hole. If you ream them out,
you get the right conical angle and also a good clean bearing surface.

If you used the reaming tool, you won't increase the length of the
axle required. The reamer only cleans up the hole, it doesn't drill
it deeper. <snip>
SGL
Besides Micro-Mark, who offers such reamers? Are all makes the same
cone angle? Is one to be preferred over another for some reason?
Has anyone tried the reamer on trucks made of any material other than
some sort of plastic? With success? Can really 'klunky' trucks be
improved to a sufficient degree? Thanks in advance for any answers.
Gene Green


Schuyler Larrabee
 

Gene Green asks:

Besides Micro-Mark, who offers such reamers?
Reboxx, maybe others.

Are all makes the same
cone angle?
Yes, afaik.

Is one to be preferred over another for some reason?

Probably not from a technical point of view, though Reboxx can use the business.

Has anyone tried the reamer on trucks made of any material other than
some sort of plastic?
Yep. Metal trucks

With success?

Um . . . ,yeah . . .I think.

Can really 'klunky' trucks be
improved to a sufficient degree?
Oh, yes, definitely.

Thanks in advance for any answers.

Sure. I also use the Real Soft Pencil I mentioned about couplers here, spinning
the end of the pencil lead in the journal. I think it helps. To be specific, I
use an Eagle "Draughting" pencil.

SGL







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Ted Culotta <tculotta@...>
 

On Dec 29, 2004, at 6:48 PM, Gene Green wrote:


-----Original Message-----
> > From: Andy Miller
>
> >   You don't have to ream out journals to make the point-to-point
> > distance fit the wheel set. 
>
> --- In STMFC@..., "Schuyler Larrabee"  wrote:
Oh, but you do, Andy.  The point (snicker) of reaming the journals is
that the cone of many trucks' journals isn't the optimum angle, and
some molded trucks even have flash and dots of plastic crud
(technical term) in the conical bearing hole.  If you ream them out,
you get the right conical angle and also a good clean bearing surface.
>
> If you used the reaming tool, you won't increase the length of the
axle required.  The reamer only cleans up the hole, it doesn't drill
it deeper.  <snip>
> SGL

Besides Micro-Mark, who offers such reamers? 
Reboxx. I am unsure of difference between the Reboxx and Micro Mark
varieties.

Regards,
Ted Culotta

Speedwitch Media
100 14th Avenue, San Mateo, CA 94402
info@...
www.speedwitch.com
(650) 787-1912


Andy Miller <asmiller@...>
 

Well, it may be asking for trouble, but I rarely get it. (I rarely get what
I ask for - this time I'm glad). Schuyler knows that at least once a week
I run 50 car trains over our 2.5% grades and while I find that I need to
adjust a coupler occasionally, it's not because I bent the shank, but rather
the second case that he alludes to - the excessive vertical play in the box.
I have occasional resorted to his suggestion and glued a shim at the lower
box lip. But frequently bending the shank not only puts the coupler head
and gladhand at the right height, but also reduces the vertical play!

regards,

Andy Miller

-----Original Message-----
From: Schuyler Larrabee [mailto:schuyler.larrabee@...]
Sent: Wednesday, December 29, 2004 7:06 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: RE: [STMFC] Re: Couplers and wheels (was: Top Ten)



Andy Miller wrote:
"I have found that the easiest solution to Kadees with low "gladhands"
is to bend the shank slightly up or down. Many people bend the
gladhand itself and Kadee even sells a tool for this, but I have found
that if the gladhand is low (or
high) then the head probably is also; and bending the gladhand will
leave the head still in the wrong position."
Ben Hom rejoined:
Why not do the job right and correct the head height first, then
adjust the uncoupling pin as necessary? Bending the shank seems to
invite more problems.
I agree that it seems like that's asking for problems. The head will then
not be vertical, and when under load, this will encourage the coupler heads
to slide past each other and disengage.

Often the problem is that the coupler pocket allows too much vertical play,
and it results in the coupler drooping down. In a normal No 5 box I usually
put a strip of scale 1x styrene across the bottom lip of the box, positioned
so that the shank of the coupler will be riding on it. I also rub this with
a Really Soft Pencil for some graphite 'lubrication.' This reduces or
eliminates the droop, reduces the bearing area of the coupler (what it's
rubbing on to begin with), generally clears up the gladhand problem, and
makes the coupler look more correct. Of course, until the Reboxx coupler
hits the streets (Please, someday
soon?) the coupler can't look Real Correct.

There is still a minor amount of vertical play.

SGL



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Jerry Dziedzic <jerdz@...>
 

Well, I'll venture another coupler question to the group. What
experience do folks have with the draft angles on the inner face of
the Kadee knuckle? I suspect many have heard JP Barger explain how
this imparts a vertical force to mated couplers, forcing one knuckle
down and the other up. With enough drawbar pull (train weight),
this leads to break-in-two's.

I don't run such long trains that I encounter this. For those of
you running 30+ cars, do you file the draft angle flat, rely on
reducing vertical play in the coupler shaft, or . . . ?


Jerry Dziedzic


Brian Paul Ehni <behni@...>
 

With the 161 car train I mentioned in another thread on this list, I had no
such issues, even running on a modular layout. Of course, car length may
have helped a lot; each car was a 40'box.
--
Thanks!

Brian Ehni

From: Jerry Dziedzic <jerdz@...>
Reply-To: <STMFC@...>
Date: Thu, 30 Dec 2004 14:20:08 -0000
To: <STMFC@...>
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Couplers and wheels (was: Top Ten)



Well, I'll venture another coupler question to the group. What
experience do folks have with the draft angles on the inner face of
the Kadee knuckle? I suspect many have heard JP Barger explain how
this imparts a vertical force to mated couplers, forcing one knuckle
down and the other up. With enough drawbar pull (train weight),
this leads to break-in-two's.

I don't run such long trains that I encounter this. For those of
you running 30+ cars, do you file the draft angle flat, rely on
reducing vertical play in the coupler shaft, or . . . ?


Jerry Dziedzic