Custom Made Coupler Boxes & Kadees for Aristo's GP40 & SD45 locos - myLargescale.com > Community > Forums

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Old 01-02-2011, 10:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Custom Made Coupler Boxes & Kadees for Aristo's GP40 & SD45 locos

Custom Made Coupler Boxes & Kadees for Aristo's GP40 & SD45 locos

Preface

I have been converting my "G" scale locos and rolling stock to Kadee type couplers having completed over 150 items. In this regard, Kadee provides a variety of offerings to do the conversions fairly easy. Of particular significance, couplers are offered in centerset, medium offset and large offset type configurations housed in many different types of coupler boxes with Kadee recommending the 787/ 908 having medium offset couplers for use in the Aristo-Craft GP40 and SD45 locomotives. Whilst vertically offset couplers make conversions friendly to do, they do have the trade-off of diminished operational performance when loaded (tend to lever downward) and, of course, their poor aesthetics (side view step up is not prototypical).

As a solution, I began to modified the plastic Kadee 831 type boxes (used in the 789 / 907 centerset coupler assemblies) for use on the Aristo GP40 and SD45 locos.
Modifications to the plastic boxes included making thin slice cuts in order to mount the boxes in the locos so that the centerset couplers can be used.
I wrote about this in the article, Aristo GP40 & SD45 loco retrofit with Kadee 789 centerset couplers .


Best Solution - Custom Made Metal Coupler Box

Though I had successfully completed many GP40 and SD45 conversions using the modified plastic boxes, I still had many more to do - so I decided to have custom coupler boxes made by Datum Precision Incorporated, the same company that made the stainless steel wheels for me for use on the Aristo "prime mover" SD45, etc. locos.

The coupler box 3-D animations are shown below.



Coupler Box Features
[*]Applicable to Aristo's GP40 and SD45 locos for mounting Kadee centerset couplers with potential for other applications[*]Meant for operational use on locos pulling long, heavy trains with commensurate drag[*]Non flexing, strong metal box made with 6061 type aluminum, CNC machined - including 2-56 screw thread for lid mounting[*]Black anodize finish[*]Tighter tolerance restricts up and down coupler wobble to a bare minimum[*]Accepts Kadee couplers that include the new "G" scale AAR E type model 901 centerset coupler[*]Accepts Kadee plastic lid and centering springs[/list]The new coupler boxes are intended to be used with the Kadee couplers, springs and plastic lid.

Shown below are various views of the new aluminum, black anodized coupler box.



These new metal boxes, though pricey, are very strong and accept both the older style couplers that come in the Kadee 789 assemblies and the newer Kadee 901 centerset AAR "E" - couplers only. The boxes were made to be adaptable to other potential applications, so a longer than needed tail shank was decided upon that can be cut short for the GP40 application.


Shown below is the an example Rock Island GP40 having installed the Datum Precision made coupler boxes.





Shown below is an example Wisconsin Central SD45 having installed the new boxes.





For folks interested, a more complete write up about the custom made boxes can be seen on Greg Elmassian's web site. Because the article has about 50 pictures, I thought it best not to exhaust space here on MLS.
See article, Custom Made Coupler Boxes & Kadee Centerset Couplers for Aristo's GP40 & SD45 locos, hosted for me by Greg E. on his web site.

-Ted
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Old 01-03-2011, 02:38 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default RE: Custom Made Coupler Boxes & Kadees for Aristo's GP40 & SD45 locos

Very Nice Ted!
Will they also work on Dash-9's and E8's?
How can I buy some of them I have several SD45's that could use them.
Thanks, Ron

PS I'd also be interested in those stainless wheel you made.
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Old 01-03-2011, 10:37 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default RE: Custom Made Coupler Boxes & Kadees for Aristo's GP40 & SD45 locos

Hi Ron,

Sorry for the belated reply as I had to check on my needs with the new coupler boxes on hand.

I figure I have twenty coupler boxes (for 10 locos) that I can part with at this time for serious users like yourself. Since there may be other folks that would like to try them, too, it may be best if you would consider first sampling a fewer amount.

If that's OK, please email me at:
[email protected]

As to applying the new boxes to the Aristo E8s and Dash-9s, I am going to look at these next - starting with the Dash -9s. Kadee recommends using their 789 centerset assembly for the Dash -9s, so I tried installing one of these tonight on the rear of the loco. I noticed it sits too low when using the Kadee 880 track height gauge. So the new aluminum coupler box with its different offset tail shank may very will work best on the Dash -9, and I need to determine if an additional hole further toward the rear of the shank is necessary for allowing adequate coupler swing and proximity when coupled to a like kind loco, or other locos, or cars - particularly with the Dash-9's front pilot's snow plow in place.

Thank you,
-Ted
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Old 01-07-2011, 10:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default RE: Custom Made Coupler Boxes & Kadees for Aristo's GP40 & SD45 locos

Ok cool I'll take 3 sets for my SD45's that are in service.
I'll send you my email and we can work out the details, it would be great if they'd work on the Dash- and E-8s.
Also any thought to making it out of a solid plastic block, say using injection molding?

Thanks, Ron
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Old 01-07-2011, 11:33 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default RE: Custom Made Coupler Boxes & Kadees for Aristo's GP40 & SD45 locos

Posted By BodsRailRoad on 07 Jan 2011 10:01 PM
Ok cool I'll take 3 sets for my SD45's that are in service.
I'll send you my email and we can work out the details, it would be great if they'd work on the Dash- and E-8s.
Also any thought to making it out of a solid plastic block, say using injection molding?

Thanks, Ron

Ron, I got your e-mail and replied.

As to the Dash 9s, virtual prototypical tight fit and preliminary results are surprisingly good, but I must do more evaluation. Other applications will have to wait for when I have time.


I have absolutely no intention of considering boxes made of plastic. I have what I need in the metal boxes.


-Ted
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Old 01-08-2011, 11:26 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default RE: Custom Made Coupler Boxes & Kadees for Aristo's GP40 & SD45 locos

Ron, one of the reasons that Ted has made these is to reduce the vertical play, which is tough considering the shortness of the coupler shank.

Plastic shrinks when cooling, and varies according to the way it's cooled when removed from the mold.

Therefore, it's basically impossible to get the tight tolerances and dimensions to improve the situation that Ted can achieve with CNC machined aluminum. Do not forget you still have to deal with the tolerances on the plastic coupler shank.

Regards, Greg
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Old 01-08-2011, 02:40 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default RE: Custom Made Coupler Boxes & Kadees for Aristo's GP40 & SD45 locos

Makes sence, I was just thinking of a way to bring down the costs and make them available to the masses.

I really like what Ted has done it should take care of the flex in the coupler/posts on the SD45/GP40 for sure.
It would also be great if it could work on the E8 and Dash-9 as well.
Can't wait to try them out.
Ron
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Old 01-11-2011, 11:05 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default RE: Custom Made Coupler Boxes & Kadees for Aristo's GP40 & SD45 locos

Dash 9s with Datum Precision made coupler boxes & Kadee centersets

I equipped and tested a pair of Aristo Dash-9 locos with the same Datum Precision made coupler boxes using the same mounting hole location as used for the SD45 and GP40 application. (No alterations done other than trimming the unnecessary shank extension off like needed for the GP40) They worked excellently on my layout consisting of mostly circuitous 10 foot diameter curves.



The two locos shown above are coupled nose to nose on an 8 foot diameter track. This would be the worst case configuration. The inside ditch lights only touch if you push to force the locos all the way toward each other. On 10 foot diameter track there is noticeable space even when doing this.

Inserting and mounting the new boxes through the Dash-9 pilot opening is easier to do than the GP40 or SD45 since you don't have to angle the box as much. Just put it in an press down.




The Dash-9s' pilot / porch extensions tend flex a bit and have more or less a subtle warp to them, so in many cases I did shim the pilot attaching points like done on some of the GP40s & SD45s so as to get best coupler alignment with the Kadee gauge.




For the front pilot only, when using the Kadee 901 AAR "E" couplers, its underside, inboard ridge has to be trimmed to clear the front snow plow opening so it can reach its full swivel arc.




I made a "FlipVideo" of the Dash-9s (with GP40s) running on the layout pulling the 61 car test train. Since the camcorder does not include image stabilization, please excuse the jitter as I try to do things whilst moving about the layout. Hopefully, the "FlipShare" server will allow for general viewing - my first attempt to see if it works.


-Ted
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Old 01-11-2011, 11:41 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default RE: Custom Made Coupler Boxes & Kadees for Aristo's GP40 & SD45 locos

Looks Awesome Ted !!!

Ron

( I see you and Greg are still up, I thought that I was the only one up this late )
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Old 01-12-2011, 06:33 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default RE: Custom Made Coupler Boxes & Kadees for Aristo's GP40 & SD45 locos

Thanks for the update, Ted. They look very good and sounds like the performance is equal to or exceeds your expectations.

For some reason, I couldn't open the video thoiugh.
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