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