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Thread: Kato City of Los Angeles uncoupling problem

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    Default Kato City of Los Angeles uncoupling problem

    I have been running the new Kato City of Los Angeles around my layout and every so often one of several cars will uncouple (not the same car each time, but some have this problem and others not). This does tend to occur in the same places on the layout, but the curve minimum radius is 15", so not very tight. I had a similar problem on the older Kato El Capitan (not the newer bi-level version), and wound up replacing all the couplers with MT. That worked, but was a real pain (I really don't like fighting with those tiny springs). Any ideas for taming these Kato couplers? Would a little graphite powder be worth trying?

    Thanks,

    Dan

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    Well... uncoupling tends to occur when there are vertical kinks in your track, so that's one thing to look for. But if the El Capitan runs fine with MTL couplers, I'd go that route. They're also available pre-assembled (though at a steep price) so you don't have to fight with the springs.

    This may be a little harsh, but I'm replacing everything with MTL couplers, it's just the nicest coupling experience. Couple to a light flatcar sitting somewhere without it moving? MTL. Now I realize it's not that important for passenger trains, but anyway...

    My 2ct (European, so watch out for the conversion factor ),
    Heiko

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    Did you install the trip pins?

    In the cases where I still have Kato couplers on the car, I don't typically install the trip pins, but I have found that if a coupler gives me an issue, installing the trip pins sometimes helps.

    (most of my equipment has body mounted couplers. For kato passenger cars, that typically means an MTL 1015 coupler (or whatever the current part number is...) with one shim installed (on the Kato cars, the shim usually goes on backwards, so the coupler box can go to the edge of the car.))
    For decoder installation and JMRI services, please visit http://www.bentraildigital.com
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    I had this problem with a couple of my Kato Burlington Silver Streak passenger cars. I found that using some silicone paste right where the coupler spring is located stopped the unintentional uncoupling. The silicone makes that joint rigid when it dries. Just be sure the coupler is closed before putting a dab of silicone paste on the spring. It renders the coupler unusable (for automatic coupling/uncoupling) but on mine it stopped the random uncoupling. Like you I did not want to change out the couplers to MT and I certainly didn't want to wrestle with installing a replacement KATO coupler with those pesky springs.

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    I haven't installed the trip pins, pbender, so I will give that a try next. Not sure I want to silicone the couplers shut at this point, so I am leaning in the direction of just installing the MTs, since they work so well on the El Capitan (and now that I think of it, I think I changed these to MTs because they also had an uncoupling problem!)

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