Kato Kinematic coupler vs. Kato Standard coupler

GNFA310 May 27, 2008

  1. ryan t

    ryan t TrainBoard Member

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    I just got a set of the Kinematic Couplers for Father's Day!

    Very easy to install and I want to reiterate what others here have said -- the car bodies do not have to be removed to install the couplers. This will save you a lot of time. I installed the couplers on the 10-car set in about 10 minutes!

    It is amazing how much better the train looks with the Kinematic Couplers bringing the cars closer together. Anyone with this set should consider upgrading their couplers.
     
  2. kmcsjr

    kmcsjr TrainBoard Member

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    I know, it's an old thread, but WOW, 9 yrs on, I'm getting old... anyway.
    Any idea why these didn't catch on? Mine have been in a box, since testing. Did they not hold up?
     
  3. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Mostly N Scale Staff Member

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    I equipped my Daylight cars with them and really like them. They are a little difficult to couple, but once connected they stay coupled real well. Really looks good going around curves.
     
  4. Adrian Wintle

    Adrian Wintle TrainBoard Member

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    They did develop an N scale version of the same thing. I have some lying around somewhere. Both their HO and N offerings suffered from being very fragile.

    Note that the 'kinematic' coupling has been used in HO for years by many European manufacturers - it is covered by one of the NEM standards. The intent is that it allows trains to go through tighter curves than a normal coupler by extending the gap while allowing the cars to run very close together on straights. I use 'kinematic' couplings extensively on my British 00 coaches. One thing about them is that the actual coupling needs to act as a solid bar to ensure that they work correctly.

    Adrian
     
  5. SF Chief

    SF Chief TrainBoard Member

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    The Kinematics went on my Daylight years ago, but I took them off soon after. I run on NTrak and it just took too long to put a train together with the Kinematics during a show--it's a lot easier and less time-consuming just to bang the cars together with regular couplers. Also, I discovered that with the Daylight--but not other Kato passenger cars I've seen--you can adjust the coupler lengths. So you can shorten the distance between cars to prototypical length (or less) just by moving the couplers in a notch, which is a very easy operation. And with the 24" NTrak radius curves close coupling is not a problem. Rick
     
  6. wcfn100

    wcfn100 TrainBoard Member

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    On the Daylight, any space between cars would be unprototypical as the cars should be touching. That's the reason for the kinematic couplers.

    Jason
     
  7. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Mostly N Scale Staff Member

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    Ah yes, the full width diaphragms.
     
  8. Onizukachan

    Onizukachan TrainBoard Supporter

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    I know this is old, but thanks for the original picture of the difference as well as the hint that I don’t have to remove the body shells. I just got the 160-060 set today so I can finally use the kinematic couplers I received in my Christmas stocking... ;)

    I did a video since I didn’t find one anywhere

     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2019
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  9. NorsemanJack

    NorsemanJack TrainBoard Member

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    Bumping an old thread. I've had two daylight sets and three boxes of the kinematic couplers sitting around for years and am finally getting around to installing them. Any instructions on the Kato website appear to be long gone. I can't even find any references to the kinematic couplers other than in their parts system (it appears that a restock is coming soon).

    A few questions for those who have installed them:
    a) Did you remove the shells? If so, how did that make the installation easier?
    b) Did you remove the trucks? If so, did you just pry them off like in the video or did you find a more eloquent approach?
    c) If you didn't remove the trucks, did you just use a small flat screwdriver (or similar) to release the coupler assemblies from the trucks?

    I can see that popping the trucks off makes the kinematic coupler installation easy, but I cringe when I see somebody use brute force to disassemble a "snap together" assembly. Often times, things designed to snap together easily are not intended to "unsnap", and plastic has a way of breaking.

    Thanks.
     
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  10. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Mostly N Scale Staff Member

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    It has been a long time since I did this but as I recall, I was able to remove the stock coupler pockets from the trucks after removing them. The trucks can be removed by inserting a small screwdriver between the mushroom bolster pad and one of the whisker arms on the truck. Rock the truck up on that side so that the tab slips over the bolster pad. Repeat on the other side. The coupler pocket assemblies have little tabs on the sides that I was able to lift over the keeper "hooks" holding them in place. The new coupler were then slid into the larger hole to snap onto the the floor. Pull the coupler toward the car end to pop the peg on the coupler end of the assembly under to the end slot. Then pop the truck back on.
    IMG_1119.JPG
     
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  11. NorsemanJack

    NorsemanJack TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks Russell!! That helps a lot. I'll likely get back to this tomorrow and I'll let you know how things go.
     
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  12. NorsemanJack

    NorsemanJack TrainBoard Member

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    Status update: the operation was a complete success. Thanks!! Russell for the great guidance. When I first reread this old thread, I laughed off the comment about doing a ten car set in ten minutes. Did I match that? Heck no. Do I believe it could be done by a young, smart, alert, dexterous individual? Probably. I probably spent an hour doing the basic set (I still have a two car add-on coach to convert). Was I working hard? Absolutely not. I'm retired and I thoroughly enjoy just futzing around with it among other tasks. Kato is genius for this design, and I really wish we would see it appear on future passenger releases. Let's start with the upcoming NCL announcement!! (sorry, dare to dream). Unprototypical coupling distances are my number one pet peeve in N scale. Don't get me started on the MT heavyweights.....
     
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  13. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Mostly N Scale Staff Member

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    I relocate the coupler pockets to shorten the distance. Sometimes I convert the truck mount so the bolster is in the center of the truck and modify the trucks and the coupler pockets so that they don't come in contact on tighter turns.
     
  14. NorsemanJack

    NorsemanJack TrainBoard Member

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    With all apologies to Joe, that's more work than I'm willing to do to fix a poor design. I'll just stick with Kato products. The coupling distance? Yeah, I get it. There is a vocal minority that absolutely has to have body mounts, even when they force so many compromises with respect to car spacing and performance. That bolster design? Will that ever make sense to anybody? If so, I must have missed the memo.

    That said, thanks again for the guidance Russell. This project actually transitioned from cringe to fun. Always a good thing!
     
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