Con-Cor Passenger Cars

I have been having trouble with Con-Cor horn-hook couplers. The couplers are very loose and come apart very easily. Backing the passenger cars is out of the question and there is no guarantee that they will make it once around the layout without letting loose leaving cars standing on the track.

Is there any way that I can tighten up the spring on the coupler so it doesn't release so easily? Is there some way that stability can be built into these long couplers?

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.......Dave Hick

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Dave Hick
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I had some luck making a staple shaped support out of thin (.020" or .025") wire. Make the "staple" wide enough to allow for coupler swing on your tightest curve. Drill two holes matching the wire size up into the floor at the end of the car equidistant from the car centerline and install the support. Press the ends into the floor while checking the coupler height, and when it's just right, secure the support with a tiny drop of super glue. Don't paint the wire support so the coupler will slide freely on it.

The better solution is to replace the horn-hook couplers with Kadee or McHenry couplers designed for these cars. Since you probably run these cars together and don't mix them with the rest of your roster this would not obligate you to change out all your other couplers. However, even with the snap-in long-shank McHenrys, you may need to make a wire bracket as above to maintain the proper coupler height. Geezer

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Unless you have sharp curves and reverse curves, probably the best thing is to pull the truck mounted couplers off and replace them with body mounted Kadees or other such couplers. If you really have short radius problems, you may also want to consider doing a coupler mount that goes directly to the kingpin of the truck (without the truck directing the direction that the coupler is pointing) and use a piano wire spring to hold the coupler in position. A hanger at the end of the car can hold the coupler up in place so that it doesn't drag. Truck mounted couplers are really a bad idea as they push against the truck and drive it off from it's natural position. Athearn did this with their

80' long big boxcars and it works better than truck mounted couplers. Good trackwork (there are no ready made turnouts, etc. that will work reliably with truck mounted couplers) is an absolute necessity for pushing such a string of cars. It is a basic fact that such is a problem.

-- Why do penguins walk so far to get to their nesting grounds?

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Bob May

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Big Rich Soprano

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