Aristo Heavyweight Passenger Car & Body Mount Kadee 907s

Aristo Heavyweight Passenger Car & Body Mount Kadee 907s
Ted Doskaris
October 5, 2015
Rev GE-A

October 6,2015
Rev GE-B1 Added picture of factory cars' truck mount coupler & car Cylinder, etc. R&R

March 7, 2017
Rev GE-C  Added info. with respect to 3 axle trucks



Preliminary Preparation
Required Spacer Plate
Required Mounting Location
Mounting Coupler Box
Appendix A - Aristo 3 Axle Truck Wheel Gauge
Appendix B - Adding Weight



The Aristo-Craft Heavyweight passenger car is factory equipped with truck mounted Aristo knuckle couplers. 

Shown below are example like kind cars having different factory coupler projections. The more the projection the farther distance the cars are from one another when coupled together.  Replacing these truck mount couplers with body mount Kadee couplers, also, brings the cars closer together for much more realism.


The factory couplers are done away with - being replaced with body mounted Kadee centerset type couplers.  Accordingly, this "vignette" describes and illustrates body mounting Kadee 907 (or older Kadee 789) center set coupler assemblies on Aristo-Craft Heavyweight cars.  (The examples shown herein are cars having 3 axle trucks.  Cars having 2 axle trucks would not impact using these type Kadees.)

The coupler box mounting location is chosen so cars can operate down to 8 foot diameter track whilst, also, being compatible for "mix and match" operation when coupled to Aristo Streamliner, Smoothside, and USA Trains passenger cars - providing those cars had been equipped with body mounted Kadee centerset coupler assemblies as described in their respective "vignettes".

Shown below are example Aristo heavyweight cars having been equipped with body mounted Kadee 789 center set couplers.

Shown below are cars having been equipped with body mounted newer type Kadee 907 center set couplers with chosen coupler mounting location so as to be compatible when operated on 8 foot diameter track.

As shown above, note the distance spacing between coupled cars that resulted from the coupler box mounting location that was established so cars would not bind on 8 foot diameter track yet be as close as possible.


Preliminary Preparation:

In order to accommodate an installed body mount coupler, two things should first be done:

1) Remove Truck Mount Coupler & its Tang.

Though, if careful, removing the truck's tang can be done without removing the truck, it's much easier an safer to temporarily remove the trucks so the cut can be done on a work bench.

Note:  For production run differences with respect to 3 axle trucks, including fixing possible electrical wiring issues whilst done with trucks removed, see Vignette, title:
Aristo-Craft Heavyweight Passenger Car 3 Axle Truck Types.



2)  Notch the Diaphragm.

The car end diaphragms need to be notched at the bottom so as to allow the installed body mount Kadee coupler to swing freely and completely side to side.  Some production run Heavyweight cars have  rigid plastic diaphragms and some have flexible diaphragms.
The notch dimensions are Illustrated below.

The illustration below shows how an installed coupler can freely move side to side with sufficient diaphragm clearance provided.


Required Spacer Plate:

A spacer plate is required  for mounting couplers in order to attain proper coupler alignment with the Kadee 980 track height gauge.
Spacer Drawing shown below.


Required Mounting Location:

Shown below is where two holes are to be drilled and tapped into the car floor.

Note that the example car is equipped with 3 axle trucks.
After holes are drilled, a # 2-56 tap is used for the long length 2-56 screws needed to mount the box with spacer:


Mounting Coupler Box:

An older style Kadee 789 coupler assembly profiled with the spacer is shown below.

Both older Kadee 789 and newer Kadee 907 assemblies will work, however, I chose to use the newer Kadee 907 coupler assembly as shown below.   I found that coupler holding retention to be better with the Kadee 907 when operating a long heavy train on my layout with its grades and curves.


Illustrated below is the mounting of a Kadee 907 assembly.
A #2-56 screw,1 inch long, is used in the front and 0.7 inch long screw is used in the tail.
(Shown below example - Allan head at front & cut-off Kadee stainless at tail)


SP 9 Car Daylight Train with mix &  match cars on outdoor Layout



Appendix A - Aristo 3 Axle Truck Wheel Gauge:

Based on operation on my layout with the long wheel base 3 axle trucks, traversing Aristo Wide Radius turnouts may be problematic.

I found it behooving to adjust the gauge for back to back spacing of the wheels to minimum NMRA spec. to ameliorate operational ill effects.

Shown below is an example method for gauging the Aristo wheels.  The wheel with plastic insulated hub need only be adjusted.

Lubrication of the axle tips can be done before reinstalling the axle/wheel sets.  When installing the wheels, be sure to pay attention to which way the insulated hub is facing - whereby it's tip should go into the side frame bushing that does not have a wire connected to it.


Appendix B - Adding Weight:

Weight should be added to the Heavyweight car to avoid "string lining" on a layout with tighter radius curve tracks when operating the lighter weight plastic Aristo Heavyweight car in a consist of other physically heavier metal passenger cars (e.g. Aristo Streamliner, Smoothside or USA Trains car).

Two 8 inch long, 1/2 inch square, steel bar stock can be used.

This will add about  1.1 pound.

The additional weight is best placed within the underbelly of the car for low center of gravity.
The added weight will fit virtually out of view between the car's underbelly ribbing.

A little more "how to" detail is shown below.



Shown below is the weight of an example Heavyweight Baggage car before weight was added.

Shown below is the weight of the same Heavyweight Baggage car after weight was added.

Shown below is the weight of an example Heavyweight RPO car after weight was added.

As can be seen, the weight of a plastic Aristo Heavyweight car (admittedly a misnomer) is increased from about 5 to 6 pounds, whilst dramatically establishing a low roll center due to the low proximity of the added weight.


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