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Shorter couplings for MM Cravens and Mk2s?

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Noel
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Hi Folks

Being a relatively recent returnee to the hobby I am well out of date on model technology like couplings. As I understand it most products nowadays including Murphy models use an NEM type coupling. My questions is are there shorter versions one can purchase for use on coaches that will run on large radius curves? It would get the coaches a lot closer to get there.

Cheers

Noel

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Most modern stock won't go round first radius any more. Kadee nem 18 and 19 iirc should do the trick.

 

Thanks Stephen. Most of our layout curves are 900mm radius with a few 750mm, do you think the Kadee 17 or 18 might work ok? I'm not keen on the visual intrusion of the drop bar on kaydee's, but like the narrow coupling. Are there shorter versions of the Bachmann tension lock style couplings that would pull coaches closer together? I suppose I could cut off the kaydee drop bar on couplings between coaches and leave them on the end of rake coaches.

Noel

 

EDIT: Apologies, just found this post http://irishrailwaymodelling.net/showthread.php/2268-kadee-s-and-Hornby-couplers

 

nirclass80 video gives a great idea. I could cut the drop bars off the couplers between coaches and just leave them on the two end coaches of each rake.

Edited by Noel
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The great thing with Kadees is that you can lift out a coach without derailing the whole rake unlike Hornby style couplers. The Kadees couple up easily and tend to make a rake more tolerant of less-than-perfect track. The Cravens do have prominent buffers and tend to buffer-lock on tighter curves.

 

I don't think the buffers locked but the inner ones might have pushed against each other on the curve causing a derailment (that may be what you meant by buyer locking). It didn't happen with my other cravens that had the Hornby style couplers. Wonder if the previous owner fitted ones that were a little too short closing the coaches too close together BK, what's iirc?

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Hi Folks

 

I'm about to fit Kadee NEM362 couplings to some MM Cravens and Mk2's. Does anybody have any useful tips for fitting to MM coaches, or common pitfalls to avoid?

 

I vaguely remember somebody posting how difficult it was to get the existing tension lock couplings to pop out of the NEM362 sockets.

 

Many thanks

 

Noel

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Have a look at

http://irishrailwaymodeller.com/showthread.php/159-Kadee-coupler-advice/page2?highlight=Kadee+couplings

http://irishrailwaymodeller.com/showthread.php/2268-kadee-s-and-Hornby-couplers?highlight=Kadee+couplings

 

I remember Flying Scotsman did a detailed method of how to do it way, way back but I don't think the pictures are there anymore.

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Hmmm?

 

Well this afternoon as a test I replaced some of the NEM362 tension lock couplings on two of my MM Cravens with Kadee NEM no 20 couplings. Disappointing results unless I've done something very silly:

 

  1. The couplings to not snap lock into the longer NEM363 sockets on the MM Cravens (i.e. can pull back out)
  2. The Kadee no 20 couplings are not long enough to couple a pair of MM cravens.
  3. Running backwards on 750mm radius curves an MM 141 pushing a Craven buffer locks and derails the coach.

 

The MM NEM tension lock couplings have longer shafts than Kadee NEM couplings! Hence Kadees would need glue to keep them in the longer MM NEM socket. Which is incorrect NEM socket length - MM or Kadee?

IMG_4911_kadee_nem.jpg

But the bigger problem is Kadee's longest NEM couplers, the no 20, cannot reach long enough to couple two MM cravens.

HELP - Or is the whole idea of plug-in replacement Kadee's and NEM a myth. It looks like I am going to have to stick with tension lock because there is no way I am prepared to cannibalise my MM coaching stock to get Kadee's to work.

Edited by Noel
fixed broken photobucket link
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Or is the whole idea of plug-in replacement Kadee's and NEM a myth. It looks like I am going to have to stick with tension lock because there is no way I am prepared to cannibalise my MM coaching stock to get Kadee's to work.

 

Yes, Noel. I'm afraid it is a bit of a myth! The whole Kadee/NEM process is a bit of a mess, the pockets are often WAY off the correct height and I find the swivelling cams that Murphy and Bachmann use don't play nice with Kadees either.

 

If you're really serious about switching to Kadees I think you have to bite the bullet and fit them permanently, either to the body or to the truck/bogie.

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The purists will tell you to body mount the couplers and this is how they are designed to work, but this can cause a lot of problems if you have tight curves/points on your layout.

My now defunct layout had tight curves so I mounted them to the bogies permanently, but it's easy to mount them so they can be removed at a later time if you want.

 

Body mounting the coupler (using the kadee draft box) is even easier and they are easily removed later if required.

Edited by irishthump
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Yes, Noel. I'm afraid it is a bit of a myth! The whole Kadee/NEM process is a bit of a mess, the pockets are often WAY off the correct height and I find the swivelling cams that Murphy and Bachmann use don't play nice with Kadees either.

 

If you're really serious about switching to Kadees I think you have to bite the bullet and fit them permanently, either to the body or to the truck/bogie.

 

Thanks. I had read back over the other Kadee threads before I started, and reading them a few folk had fitted No 20's successfully to MM Cravens, but how I would love to know because using the NEM sockets with no 20s did not work for me because the couplings are too short, aside from the fact the couplings were not locked in the NEM pockets.

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Hi Noel.

 

I have used KD20's successfully but I razor saw a small piece out of the rear of the nem pocket. I will post some photos sometime in the next few days. I have no radius below 22" and also the sharpest points are Peco medium. I can also reverse slowly without any derailment issues.

 

Thanks the photos may help me see where I am going wrong.

 

I use 20's on the cravens too

I put a tiny drop of glue on the coupler to hold it in place.

My smallest radius is also pretty large at 30" and peco medium streamline points but they work great.

 

Thanks Guys. When I plugged the no 20s into the NEM pockets and then put the Cravens together on the rails with the corridor connectors touching the kadee's under neath were not even in contact! Way too short. An option would be to only partially push the kadee's into the NEM pocket and then use either a screw or glue to lock them there. That way the couplings would protrude more than when pushed all the way flush with the NEM socket.

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Hi All

 

Maybe this will help

 

I have modified the NEM socket by cutting 1.5-2mm off the back end, that is the end closest to the bogie, it might not be ones favourite way but it's relatively easy to do;-

 

Mark a cut line across the base of the socket and cut a slot across the base with your razor saw- this can be done insitu with the bogie rotated out of the way, then cut the lower sides with a flush side track cutter just deep enough to line up with the cut slot, then cut the sides of the socket down to meet the lower cuts. Make sure you have the flush side of the cutters facing the bits your keeping. Clean up the cut-out with a sharp scalpel, paring the plastic away in slivers and clean up with a file. Stick a piece of styrene across the back of the socket far enough away so that the Kadee bayonets work- this will stop the coupler sliding in the now shortened socket.

 

C&K-01 IMAG1538.jpg

 

C&K-02 IMAG1537.jpg

 

This photo shows the tools used;-

 

C&K-03 IMAG1533.jpg

 

This photo shows the Craven socket height compared to the Kadee Gauge;-

 

C&K-04 IMAG1541.jpg

 

This is a comparison to the socket on a MM 141;-

 

C&K-05 IMAG1546.jpg

 

Eoin

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Thanks Eoin. That's really helpful and explains the problem clearly. So creative 'bodging' is required to change coupling systems with MM coaching stock. So much for NEM362 as a 'standard' pocket for couplers, apparently a myth. Different heights and different length sockets! I think I'll stick with tension lock for now and just put up with unsightly gaps in favour of trouble free running.

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Hi Noel

 

I only did this mod on the front and rear coaches of the rake- Kadees for the look of a buckeye coupler. Tension lock couplers are retained on the rest of the coaches.

 

If its gap closing your looking for;- the tension lock couplers have about 2mm play in them, from bar to bar of the coupler. One can close this down by sticking 1.5mm thick styrene strip to the inside of both bars, ensuring the depth of the strip still allows the locks to work. This will close the gap by the thickness of the card and looks better though forget tight radius curves in the area of radius 2!

 

I will post a photo when I have this done.....

 

Another thing that can be done is get yourself Mr. Keens corridor connectors;-http://www.keen-systems.com/Carriage%20Ends.html, he's very helpful and knows about Irish stuff. This is the best solution for no gaps!

 

Eoin

Edited by murrayec
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Just having a look at above,there's a better way of doing the coupling on the loco,have a look up flying Scotsman 4472 work bench he's the man when it come's to these couplings.

 

Yeah but he mounts the coupler to the body of the loco. If you have a body mounted coupler on the loco you need to body mount it on the coach as well. Body mounted and bogie mounted don't mix well.

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I only did this mod on the front and rear coaches of the rake- Kadees for the look of a buckeye coupler. Tension lock couplers are retained on the rest of the coaches.

 

Ah, didn't realise that. Has anybody on here used kadee NEM couplings to build a rake of Craven's?

 

If its gap closing your looking for;- the tension lock couplers have about 2mm play in them, from bar to bar of the coupler. One can close this down by sticking 1.5mm thick styrene strip to the inside of both bars, ensuring the depth of the strip still allows the locks to work. This will close the gap by the thickness of the card and looks better though forget tight radius curves in the area of radius 2!

 

I will post a photo when I have this done.....

 

Thanks, I tried something similar with Hornby LMS coaches 35 years ago but still leaves a fair gap. I had hoped Kadee NEM362 might have solved this and been easy to snap fit without having to cut anything.

 

Another thing that can be done is get yourself Mr. Keens corridor connectors;-http://www.keen-systems.com/Carriage%20Ends.html, he's very helpful and knows about Irish stuff. This is the best solution for no gaps!

 

Thanks, interesting products and certainly fills the gap between corridor connectors, but in effect still leaves a heck of a gap between the actual coaches. I made up similar corridor extensions a very long time ago again for old Hornby coaches using plasticard and black tissue paper, but it didn't really bring the coaches closer together. I guess I just had unrealistic expectations of what Kadee's could achieve on my 750-900mm radius curves with MM Cravens and MM Mk2's.

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Hi Noel

 

Eoin's photos some up exactly what I did so that saves me posting.

 

My only other suggestion is if your layout is a home permanent set up, get the hold of Bachmann coupling bars from either Mark 1 or 2 coaches and try a couple like that and see how they work.

 

Thanks Guys. What I've just tried is drilling the NEM pocket at the sides to make a gap for the Kadee's plug spurs to catch. Ran out of time to do more than one coach this evening, but will try another tomorrow. If this works then at least the coach could be reverted to NEM363 tension locks by simply plugging in. BTW, there is much more play with Kadee's then I had expected, not much better than TLs. Thanks again. For Mk2's it looks like glue is the only solution, but at least the NEM sockets will be intact if ever they need to be reverted to TL by sniping off the Kadee's.

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Hi Noel

 

I had thought of that one, holes in the side but decided against it as you may experience difficulty getting the K's out, and then the TL's back in as the bayonets of the TL will want to go out the holes- unless you fill them!

 

Let us know how it works, it is simpler if it works.

 

To go back to TL's on my option above- two small pieces of styrene can be glued in to extend the sides of the socket back to its original size.

 

Eoin

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What a mess - MM Cravens need to be bodged to fit kadee couplings. The longest NEM kadee is no 20 which does not work with MM Cravens unless modified.

 

  1. While fitting Kadee couplings I discovered NEM 362 Pockets on some MM Craven are not NEM 362 standard length nor correctly positioned relative to buffers, but at least at the right height. (see pic below)
    .
  2. The pockets on the IE/IR twin stripe livery Cravens are too long and not therefore NEM362 spec, as are the tension lock couplings supplied with these coaches (i.e. shaft is longer).
    .
  3. But the CIE single stripe cravens have the correct length NEM362 pockets and supplied with tension lock couplings with appropriately shorter shafts.
    .
  4. To fit Kadee no 20s to the IE/IR coaches the excessively long NEM pocket must be drilled on each side to create a recess for the end of the coupling shaft to click into (i.e. to stop them pulling out). This recess must also be such that the kadee is about 1mm proud of the end of the NEM pocket face or it will not reach the coupling on the next coach.
    .
  5. To fit Kadee no 20s to the CIE single stripe cravens even though the no 20 fits the NEM pocket and snap fits, it is too far behind the buffers to couple up to next coach, so the pocket has to be drilled in the sides so the kadee no 20 is fitted about 1mm proud of the NEM pocket face.

 

Bizarre that the same coaches with only slightly different paint schemes have different NEM couplings. Why bother supplying rolling stock with NEM pockets unless they are the correct NEM 362 spec, the correct length, the correct position and the correct height. MM Cravens have gone from a perfect 10 out of 10 in my book to a mere 9 out of 10 because of this major annoyance.

 

IMG_2369.jpg

 

How have others got around this inconsistent NEM 362 pocket problem? I know an option is to ignore the NEM pockets and glue or screw kadee gearboxe couplings like 146, or 148 direct to the coach body.

Edited by Noel
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I pop a Kadee onto the bottom of the NEM pocket - works great :)

 

Thanks Stephen, but do you mean plug a no 20 into the NEM pocket, or glue a kadee under the NEM pocket (on cravens)?

 

If I plug no 20 into either craven NEM pocket sizes the couplings don't reach each other despite being the longest NEM kadees.

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