Kato's Corrugated Passenger Car - Set # 106-1603

Alan Richards Jan 10, 2001

  1. Alan Richards

    Alan Richards TrainBoard Member

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    Just purchased the new Kato's Corrugated Passenger Car Set (ATSF) and am experiencing terrible de-coupling problems. Enough that they are probably going to be returned. Are there any solution for this new set of cars that have come out. I'm using Kato's EMD E8/9 engine for pulling. I can't find a replacement MicroTrain couple, and/or have they come out with one yet?

    First of all, most of the cars have de-coupled, it is not limited to one particular car with it's own unique coupler, they all have come apart at one time or another.

    Two, it does NOT always happen on a curve (which raises another question -- at the end), but once, backing down a very small grade, the end three cars came loose and did a run-away. (Yeah, something you'd like to experience in the mountains <grin> with the real train).

    I've gotten down and looked at all the couplers and they are at the same height, but just don't stay connected. Looking down from above at the coupler they all look like they are "barely" connected, which tells me that I may have been unfortunately to find two sets of cars in which "all" the couplers are bad.

    Has MicroTrain come out with a solution for this problem. I do love the KATO equipment, but find that their couplers are certainly not up to the quality of the rest of the product. [​IMG]

    Any suggestions or solutions. Remember sometimes this just happens on the straight away. [​IMG]
     
  2. Larry E Shankles

    Larry E Shankles TrainBoard Member

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    I noticed that my cars were also unreliable. Close examination found that some couplers sagged and some pointed up. I installed coupler springs and it appeared to solve the problem. I don't know why KATO thinks their couplers don't need centering springs, they are far too loose. Personally I think that the cars are too far apart (the smooth side cars look much better)and I intend to replace all the couplers with Unimate couplers which will bring the cars closer together and are very dependable. For some reason, the coupler tongues on these new trucks are longer than that on the trucks which came with the smooth side cars.
     
  3. Maxwell Plant

    Maxwell Plant TrainBoard Member

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    I do believe the MicroTrains passenger trucks have an adjustable "graft gear" and will fit ANY N-Scale passenger car. The only reason you would want to keep the Kato Trucks is if you are installing lighting kits. I think the only truck you'd really want to keep is the rear truck on the Boat-tail Observation so you can light the Drumhead. Other wise, do you really need to light the cars? When I see an Amtrak Train at night, you can barely tell the lights are on because of the window tint. Daytime, you can't tell at all.
    The great thing about these wheel sets is you can "custom" fit the draft gears to your personal taste. RoyalBlue is putting together the "National Limited" using Kato and Con-Cor passenger cars, he's replaced ALL the trucks using MicroTrains. It's a real Beauty!

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    Brent Tidaback, Member #234
    BNSF Railfan-to-the Max and a N-Scaler to boot!
    Ship it on the Route of The Roadrunners! The Aransas Odessa & Western, a division of the BNSF
     
  4. Kevin M

    Kevin M TrainBoard Member

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    I have noticed that the new couplers seem to break easy also. I solved all of this by replacing them with the old style Kato coupler, you canpurches these for like 2 bucks a pack and conver 10 cars i think.
    Kevin
     
  5. Alan Richards

    Alan Richards TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks Larry and Maxwell for the comments. It is a shame that a company can make such nice looking stuff and still work so badly.

    Larry, like you, I've done close examination of the couplers and they are extremely shoddy, but got some info from a model train newsgroup and they suggested that I order some of the old trucks ($5/set) and try that. He did and said it worked. The part number was # 11-702. So I have decided to give that a try. Their smooth sided cars work terrific and love them, smooth and so far not a problem on any of the curves.

    Maxell, I guess if I do change the couplers to the older style (see comment to Larry) I may lose the lighting, but I really don't care. I can think of anything more frustrating than having a train come uncoupled on a constant basis. They never did make it around the layout without coming uncoupled at least 2 times on each trip. I'm going to give it one more attempt and then opt to your suggestion if that doesn't work.
     
  6. Maxwell Plant

    Maxwell Plant TrainBoard Member

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    The older Kato Couplers work fine. I use them on all my passenger equipment, but you can't switch with them. [​IMG] If you want to switch your passenger cars, I'd go with the MicroTrains, they roll better than the original Kato or Con-Cor trucks anyway. [​IMG] Whatever you end up doing, I hope your problem is solved! [​IMG]

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    Brent Tidaback, Member #234
    BNSF Railfan-to-the Max and a N-Scaler to boot!
    Ship it on the Route of The Roadrunners! The Aransas Odessa & Western, a division of the BNSF
     
  7. Alan Richards

    Alan Richards TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks Brent for the extra information. Since I had ordered some of the older Kato passenger car couplers, I will give them a try and IF completely satisfied [​IMG] probably will stick with them. For my passenger car consist, I don't do much switching. But you did talk about the MicroTrain couplers, which ones would I use. I've looked at their data base of couplers and the options overwhelm me (I'm a novice at this hobby, so if you have the part number that I should order, will give them a try for the backup. After spending that much money for both sets, I guess a few extra bucks for a backup isn't going to hurt.

    Thanks again.
     
  8. 2slim

    2slim TrainBoard Member

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    I've been keeping an eye on this thread as I have just got my Kato 4 car set to add to my growing Con-cor California Zepher. Can anyone supply a Kato part number for the old coupler 10 pack mentioned by Kevin? Can the Kato couplers be used on the Con-cor cars?

    TIA [​IMG]
    2slim
     
  9. Maxwell Plant

    Maxwell Plant TrainBoard Member

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by 2slim:
    Can the Kato couplers be used on the Con-cor cars?

    TIA [​IMG]
    2slim
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    In a word....YES! I still recommend the MicroTrains Trucks and Couplers over the Kato or Con-Cor Trucks and Couplers.



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    Brent Tidaback, Member #234
    BNSF Railfan-to-the Max and a N-Scaler to boot!
    Ship it on the Route of The Roadrunners! The Aransas Odessa & Western, a division of the BNSF
     
  10. Alan Richards

    Alan Richards TrainBoard Member

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    Hello 2slim (TIA) I got this message from a newsgroup: "If you buy the older Kato couplers (part no. 11-702) for approximately $5.00 the cars will remain coupled and become
    good runners."

    I've ordered that set of old couplers and waiting to see if they work. Hopefully they will. It still frost me that you spend that much money for a set of cars the almost each couple was so shoddily built that they need to be replaced.
     
  11. eddelozier

    eddelozier TrainBoard Member

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    Bought a 4-car set of the Kato Corrugated Passenger cars about a month ago. Set #106-1702 PRR.

    I may be lucky, but I'm not having a problem with the couplers? I have them coupled to other cars which have the Kato #11-702 couplers and they work okay.

    I've replaced all my other passenger car couplers with the Kato #11-702 type. They are not very proto looking but give me close fixed coupling for passenger cars. They are super easy to replace.

    ....Eddie

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    Eddie Delozier
    PRR N-scale
    www.deloziers.com
    eddelozier@yahoo.com
     
  12. Alan Richards

    Alan Richards TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks Eddie for that information about the 11-702 couplers. I had ordered 4 sets to try them out and with your comments, I'm going to be anxiously waiting for them to give them a test on my track.

    As far as being too proto type, well, I'm not a very good "rivet counter" as I should be, I'm here to enjoy the hobby more than anything else. Yeah, I do like some true to life stuff, but good running is more important.

    thanks again.
     

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