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More sessions of fitting Kadees

petertg

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As mentioned in a previous post, around July last year i came to the conclusion that my UK 00 fleet was very poor in comparison with my continental H0 fleet. Namely, I had two DMUs, three steam locomotives and only four passenger coaches. So, I lashed out and purchased four passenger coaches (Dapol) and seven goods vehicles, all Bachmann. I had the idea of fitting them all with Kadee couplers. I managed to fit them to the passenger coaches with some trouble, since these did not have the NEM pockets, something of which I was aware before purchasing them. When I looked at the goods wagons, however, I found that only two had pockets and the rest did not, something that was not clear from the catalogue images, and I thought that I was in for a lot of work, possibly outside my capabilities. Anyway, last week when browsing through my modelling folder, I found an article published in 1999 by Chris Ellis entitled "Magnetic Couplings for British 4mm" explaining how to fit Kadees precisely to Bachmann material, among others.
This encouraged me to have a go. However, possibly owing to the time that has passed since the article was written, I found some variations from the details given. A 1.5 mm drill bit was suggested, but I found that the mounting screw was almost 1.9 mm, which required drilling a larger hole in the coupling. It was also stated that the height of the coupling once fitted was just right. I found that the fitted couplings were too low when applied to the Kadee height gauge, so I have had to file down the mounting column, which was a trial and error method, requiring me to fit and remove the coupling four or five times before achieving the correct height. I have managed to get the four wagons fitted with the screw mounted tension lock coupling done. I than had a look at the two fitted with NEM pockets and both were low. In this case it was more complicated, since the NEM mount has to be removed and its height reduced in one truck and both the NEM mount and a screw spigot have to be reduced in the other case. I got one of them done, but the FINA Spirit tanker, apart from being delicate, is the more complicated one and I have left it for another day. After that, I still have to tackle the Queen Mary brake van which has the coupling integrally moulded with the bogie, the same as all my old Lima stock, which I would also like to modify or at least the goods stock.
The reason for fitting Kadees is that I have come to the conclusion that, with nine sidings, my layout would be more ideal for shunting exercises, rather than see trains just running around in circles (as shown in my very first post, the layout only measures 8x4 ft).



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