Rivarosse hook horn-knuckle transition?

Discussion in 'Passenger Equipment' started by trainchaser007, Jan 20, 2013.

  1. trainchaser007

    trainchaser007 Passed away September 22, 2017

    Do Rivarosse knuckle couplers pop in and out of Rivarosse trucks just like Rivarosse hook horn couplers?

  2. William Jackson

    William Jackson Bill Jackson

    I think they are the same, they just pop off. I put the Kadee 508's on mine, because I wanted to go through tighter curves.
    Bill Jackson
  3. wpmoreland719

    wpmoreland719 Member Frisco.org Supporter

    I believe that Rivarossi, IHC, and Con-Cor are all pretty much the same, if you're speaking of passenger cars. If you looking for a cheap knuckle coupler replacement for the horn-hook couplers, McHenry makes knuckle couplers that snap right onto the truck in the same way that the factory horn-hooks do. I personally don't care for McHenry couplers, because they tend to lose their springs easily. However, I've replaced the springs on mine with Kadee springs and haven't had any trouble since. The Kadee couplers that Bill uses are much better, but are more expensive and probably require a little more skill to install.

    Pat Moreland,
    Union Mo.
  4. William Jackson

    William Jackson Bill Jackson

    The McHenry's also work good, I do not change them out if they come on the car. If I have to change them, then I go with the 508, which is more work. My curves are a little tight for body mount couplers. I prefer the truck mount. You really need 30 inch radius or better to run them good. You can run them on tighter curves, I just don't like to.
    Bill Jackson
  5. Jim James

    Jim James Staff Member Staff Member

    I'll chime in. I like the # 148 Whisker style Kadees body mounted which works well with my 40' and shorter rolling stock on 18" radius curves. I buy them pre assembled and mount with a screw. The only knuckler couple failure I've had was with a plastic McHenry. Perhaps a fluke but I use all Kadee now.
  6. wpmoreland719

    wpmoreland719 Member Frisco.org Supporter

    I agree, Kadee's are superior to everything out there. I use Kadee no. 5's to replace the plastic couplers on my freight cars as needed. A good buddy out in Grand Junction Colorado gave me the advice to use Kadees a while back and the performance of my trains has improved greatly since. As far as the Rivarossi/IHC passenger cars go, my 85 ft. cars can run through 18" curves without any problem. They don't look very good, of course, but the curves are mostly hidden. To enhance their performance, I added weight from junk Tyco cars, and the McHenry couplers. I also started replacing the 31" plastic wheels with 33" metal wheels from Intermountain. It's made a ton of difference.

    Pat Moreland,
    Union Mo.
  7. TAG1014

    TAG1014 Frisco.org Supporter Frisco.org Supporter

    Isn't it ridiculous after all these years (Since Al Kalmbch started MR), there STILL isn't a foolproof, scale size operating model railroad coupler. I guess Kadee (HO) and Micro-Trains (N scale version) are the closest. The KD and MT couplers, good as they are, are still over sized. The more I look at them, the bigger they get. They really look awkward on the nose of an engine. Because of that, I've used Z scale couplers on the noses of some of my diesels.

    Tom G.
  8. trainchaser007

    trainchaser007 Passed away September 22, 2017

    Here is one of the hook horn couplers off of my Rivarosse passenger cars. I need to know the length of the shank. My research makes me think "extra long" but I could be wrong. By the way, I just realized it's Rivarossi with no "e."
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 20, 2013
  9. gstout

    gstout Member Frisco.org Supporter

    Kadees absolutely work best, particularly if you are using magnets to uncouple. It is also not a good idea to mix the "scale size" couplers with the conventional No. 5s. I would also steer clear of plastic couplers, especially if they are made with the little "leaf spring" on the coupler mechanism rather than the coil spring, as they have a tendency to come undone under load.

  10. wpmoreland719

    wpmoreland719 Member Frisco.org Supporter

    I've noticed that the little leaf springs on the older Bachmann EZ Mate couplers tend to be less reliable than the newer coil spring couplers. I don't believe that Bachmann makes these anymore, or at least it's been awhile since I've seen any of them. The McHenry plastic knuckle couplers that Athearn equips all of their new locomotives with appear to be scale size couplers, but they are nowhere near as reliable as Kadee's, due to tendency of the springs to work out of place. In any case, I like the "Old Reliable" no. 5. They allow me to run a 30+ car train on a 50 ft. mainline run with 18" curves without encountering any uncoupling problems for over an hour, something that was impossible before I started using them.

    Brandon, here's what I recommend for changing the horn-hook couplers on your Rivarossi passenger cars:

    1) McHenry knuckle couplers for Rivarossi/IHC four wheel passenger cars, part no. MCH52, $4.00 for two pairs
    2) Kadee manual uncoupling tool, part no. 241, $2.10. This has a blade on one end that will allow you to change the springs on the couplers.
    3) Kadee coupler springs, part no. 622, $1.35 for a dozen.

    The MCH52 coupler's are a direct replacement for the factory horn-hooks and require no modifications to the car or truck. However, the springs will pop out sooner or later, depending on how much you use them. In my experience, they don't last long at all, maybe a couple of months of regular operation.

    The Kadee 241 tool will allow you to put the springs back into place if they pop out. Often the McHenry springs just come off of one end, and the blade of the Kadee tool allows you to push them back into place. You simply place the blade about two or three coils back from the end of the spring and work it back onto the nipple.

    The Kadee 622 springs are better than the McHenry springs and can be used if you lose one of the original McHenry springs. I haven't had any more problems since I replaced the springs on my McHenry couplers with Kadee springs.

    Kadee makes a truck mounted coupler for Rivarossi/IHC passenger cars, but mounting them requires some modification to the truck. I believe that these are the no. 508's that Bill uses.

    Pat Moreland,
    Union Mo.
  11. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    Detinatly use KD's when you can. Personally I like the 148's. I know some still prefer the 5's. I've found that some older athearn rolling stock won't fit the brass box spring. Plastic couplers are just not up to par. The ones with the leaf spring are absolute junk.

    On the matter of the passenger cars, I would say mounting the Mchennrys would be easier than mounting the KD's. An idea I had several years ago when I had some IHC passenger cars was to cut off the end of the horn hook coupler, and cut off the loop end of the KD and butt glue them together. Just a thought.


Share This Page