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Replacing a Hornby non-NEM large tension lock coupling with something else


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Depends what you're trying to fit them to.. Those that have two posts & the metal large coupling might be easiest, as there's a small one available with the same fitment, so it's just a case of prising the old one off, then securing the new type with cyano or similar.. If you have the type that are moulded as part of some other component in plastic, then you're not going to find a really easy solution, I'm afraid..

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Well, in my opinion, there's no worse coupling than the T/L so anything you decide to fit will be an improvement. I've always used Kadee, on my British stock, and it looks as though they are gaining in popularity with UK modellers. You can buy NEM boxes from Parkside. Goods wagons are pretty straightforward - a #5 Kadee fits readily. Coach bogies require the engagement of "ze leetle grey cells" because there is so much variation in design.

 

John

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Kadees applied to an old brake van. Hornby tension locks nipped off. The Kadee is one with the dropped head and the box set for the highest mounting. This matches with the bottom of the floor and can be screwed in.

 

Anything with bogies will be a bodge.

post-6938-0-04560400-1338172454.jpg

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The victims of my work have all had a Kadee #5 fitted, and it has worked out in most cases on the newer Hornby and railroad range that the top of the coupler box is level (at least) with the top of the buffer beam. This gives me good starting point for where I need to be, usually cutting down the buffer beam and gluing styrene in for something to screw to. In one case (Hornby Illustrious Patriot I think) I was even able to use the original coupler screw in the tender.

Matthew

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I'm fitting all my stock with Kadees. All 4wheel wagons and brakes are having NEM pockets fitted to take sizes #17 - #20. Bogie wagons and parcel stock, whatever will fit, #5 or modified other type. Coaches less of a problem, as I will using fixed rakes mostly. so only concerned with outer ends. Most important thing if you go for Kadees, is uniform height.

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I guess it all depends on which wagons and coaches that you are talking about. Hornby items of Airfix and Dapol origin can be improved in my opinion by substituting Bachmann mini couplings. There are some pictures and notes on my Blog:

 

http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/blog/880/entry-8615-siphons-and-mini-couplings/

 

Regards

 

Ray

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Guest 40-something

I use kadees on all my stock, usually #5's though my NEM fitted stock has #17's to #20's depending on the individual vehicle.

 

Im working my way through my NEM fitted stock though, and replacing them with #5's. As has been said previously, keep all the couplers are more or less the same height for best operation. Kadee sell a height gauge which is invaluable.

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  • 5 months later...

I have found that the screwed on 'big D' tension lock couplings can just be removed and a long shank centre set Kadee can be screwed on in its place with the same screw. This is one of the easiest kadee conversions, and usually more successful than fitting Kadees in to NEM pockets because there is no droop.

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  • 10 months later...

I've actually done this exact thing on an old Railroad Class 06, which I also fitted DCC, and to which I still want to fit lights. It's my "practice loco" that I picked up for 20 quid, and use to try out techniques. It'll get weathered at some point, too, when I eventually get into that!

 

The road I chose to go down was to first fit Symoba NEM pockets, and clip the Kadee couplings into the pockets. You can review the whole process  on my blog (http://modeltrainrailroadtips.blogspot.com/2011/09/adding-symoba-nem-pockets-kadee.html)

 

The reason I did this was because (at the time) I was experimenting with different coupling types - Kadee and Bachmann - and wanted to add a NEM pocket to all my non-NEM locos. It's an additional step that isn't usually necessary, and requires sticking (with cyano) the Symoba adapter to the bogie, and using a gauge to get the pocket height spot-on.

 

So, that loco can now take (a) Kadee and (b) Bachmann couplings. What I was looking for was the possibility to use magnetic uncoupling; and I eventually settled on... the Brian Kirby method. For the uninitiated, that just requires sticking a metal tail (old staples, opened out, and one foot cut off work brilliantly) to the Bachmann tension lock coupling, and running them over a magnet.

 

The 'tail' is attracted down, and the coupling opens. For my money, it works better than Kadee, but you don't get the delayed coupling (pre-coupling) functionality.

 

I've not experimented with other coupling types (except D-ring) but I'd be very interested to hear what other people are using! Being in Belgium, I tend to feel a bit out of touch with fellow British outline modellers!

 

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I have found that the screwed on 'big D' tension lock couplings can just be removed and a long shank centre set Kadee can be screwed on in its place with the same screw. This is one of the easiest kadee conversions, and usually more successful than fitting Kadees in to NEM pockets because there is no droop.

 

Or the ones Hornby got from Dapol where they just pull off.

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  • 1 year later...

FITTING SWIVELING NEM POCKETS TO LOCOMOTIVE TENDERS

 

I've just posted a way to replace the old style Hornby tension-couplings, as fitted to the tenders of many steam locomotives, with NEM Pockets on http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/93728-detailing-improving-Hornby-92220-evening-star-70021-morning-star/page-4
 

This is a replacement for the kind of Hornby tension-coupling that's secured with a single screw and two plastic pins. I'll be dealing with replacing the permanently-fixed tension-couplings later in the project.

 

The following pictures show how the upgraded Tender looks. (Well, the coupling is 'upgraded', the rest of the tender upgrade and detailing is a work-in-progress :-) 
 
Rick
 
 
 
Picture Captions:

  • How the tender looks when close-couplings are used to attach to a coach
  • The NEM Pocket is hidden beneath the tender's buffer beam, so is invisible if the NEM Connector is unplugged, allowing the locomotive to look good when 'running light'
  • Shows a NEM Pocket with a Hornby close-coupling NEM connector plugged in (and, yes, the NEM Pocket swivels). 

post-24572-0-65417300-1421281138_thumb.jpg

post-24572-0-70839800-1421281140_thumb.jpg

post-24572-0-24364500-1421281142_thumb.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

.
CLOSE-COUPLING: PROTOTYPICAL INTER-CARRIAGE GAP

As a point of information: for many older coaches, the correct, prototypical, inter-carriage gap is zero. The buffers should be touching, otherwise the carriages would have been constantly bashing into each other with the period chain-link couplings. Hence, you'd need to fit sprung buffers, and an 'active' coupling to achieve correct inter-carriage distances within the rake. (Some good examples and explanations are shown on http://www.keen-systems.com/Couplings.html .)

 

Watch out if you're fitting Hornby close-couplings to Bachmann NEM Pockets. The Bachmann carriage ends protrude downwards, pushing the coupling out of alignment, as well as stopping Bachmann's superb self-adjusting mechanism working. Bachmann Pockets are also set a little further back, so you'll need slightly longer close-coupling on the Bachmann, as well as having to take that file to the underside of the carriage ends. Bachmann's superb moving coupling system, helps you get around tight bends, but I've had no problems with the Hornbys in a mixed rake.

 

If using the Hornby brand close-couplings, use the 'close'-coupling version on Hornby coaches - which will then look superb - and the standard length Hornby couplings on the Bachmanns, due to their NEM Pockets being further back. This will give uniform close-coupling distances, and both makes of carriage will negotiate 3rd radius curves and, I believe, 2nd radius too (although not tested).

Rick
 

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  • 4 months later...

Hi there,

 

I have some old Triang/Hornby rolling stock with the older style tension lock couplings (Yes I know the wheels are stuffed! I'm trying to source some new wheels.) There are about 6 or 8 carriages in the "fleet" with these couplings.

post-26309-0-83340100-1434264087_thumb.jpg

 

post-26309-0-31974500-1434264096_thumb.jpg

 

Can these be replaced with NEM pockets, if so is it an easy job?

 

The following pics show various combinations of the more modern ones. I would also like to replace them as well.

 

post-26309-0-10540000-1434264456_thumb.jpg

 

post-26309-0-76214200-1434264462_thumb.jpg

 

post-26309-0-88311500-1434264469_thumb.jpg

 

Thanks

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Ian

nit pick: the first couplers shown are not tension lock; they are the type before tension lock (mark 2?).

I have no idea how to replace them.

The other photos show couplers held on with screws. The top of these couplers are the right height for the top of NEM coupler tails. If they were mine, I would take a Kadee #20 and drill a hole in the shank, in the triangular depression, right through the number "20". Then use the original screw to hold it on. You may need to chop bits of the fishtail so that it fits on the bogie.

post-6938-0-96320200-1434336114_thumb.jpg

 

These are a few more modern applications. The coach had the coupler rivetted on.

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Ian

nit pick: the first couplers shown are not tension lock; they are the type before tension lock (mark 2?).

That's why I said "older style" couplings, as I was under the impression they were the first tension lock couplings. :blush:

 

How would drilling those "old" couplers out and replace them with NEM or Kadee by super gluing (CA) them to the bottom of the bogie. Or would the top be a better proposition. Would the right height above the rail be achieved by using this method?

 

Thanks

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The right height for the NEM coupler seems to be the top of the shank at the height of the top surface of the TriAng coupler. For the old couplers, that's probably the top edge of the bar.

 

I've no idea how you'd get an NEM on that.   I have mounted some of the other Kadees on bogies but it required a bit of fiddling and the box got in the way of the bogie movement.

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  • 2 years later...

The right height for the NEM coupler seems to be the top of the shank at the height of the top surface of the TriAng coupler. For the old couplers, that's probably the top edge of the bar.

 

I've no idea how you'd get an NEM on that.   I have mounted some of the other Kadees on bogies but it required a bit of fiddling and the box got in the way of the bogie movement.

 

That is why the 'Talgo' couplers like #16 and #7 etc. were useful because they have small boxes intended for bogie mounting.

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The problem I have with Kadees is that, because they get fitted to NEM pockets, they look no more prototypical than a tension-lock (in my view).

To look right on buck-eye fitted coaches they would need to be fitted at buffer-beam level - and then the Kadee uncouplers are unlikely to function.

My personal view is that they never look right on wagons.

I know these two things because I have some fitted at buffer beam height, and some fitted to wagons!!

More recently I have had problems with Kadees parting at changes between gradients, and so I am now reluctantly removing them all....

 

Tony

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Hi All. Now I have at last, we’ll nearly? Decided which Kadee coupler I will require for my ex Dapol L&Y Pug .

Because it is lower than it should be the couplers will need to be stepped up. So once I have got the new couplers it should be a straightforward job of “off with the old”, providing the screws are long enough??? But if not? What thread did Dapol use. Best wishes. Kevin

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