CamPac Kadee mounts for the F3


This is a page under construction, which will show some highlights of using the CamPac 3d printed body mounts for centerset Kadees on USA Trains F3's.

It is not intended to be an in-depth how to, see the CamPac site for information and instructions  scroll almost to the end of the page to see the install documents.

The idea for the CamPac coupler mounts were to:

    • eliminate the need for offset couplers which do not work well under stress
    • improve the appearance, more prototypical
    • strengthen the coupler mount
    • enable closer coupling / loco spacing

 The picture below shows the improvment in spacing:

USAT F3coupledDistancesFactoryVsCamPacOverallViewComposite

Note the stock USAT diaphrams must also be trimmed.

 The picture below shows how the mounts look (you use the stock coupler and lid):

USAT F3A CamPacBoxMountedInForwardAndAftPedestalHoleAnnotatedResizedComposite

Installation tips:


Below is a picture of the F3 pilot as modified to clear the coupler. Dimensions are given in the CamPac installation guide. The slot is cut down flush with the top of rectangular "bumper", required for clearance of the "glad hand" to swing to the extremes.

USAT F3A GregsPilotOpeningFinalizedCutOutDepthToBumber IMG 3725


Below is a picture showing the "spring whisker" that centers the stock coupler setup, you can cut it off or pull the shell and remove it. The whisker engages the small hole in the back of the swivel above, to center the coupler. It does not work well in practice, the spring is often bent and the coupler is not centered.


 The installation comes out very nice looking:

USAT F3AwithCamPacBoxesFittedWithCentersetCouplersFrontRearComposite

And the raisde coupler position matches that of the prototype better than stock:

ATSFprototype F UnitNo304 FrontPilotCutout IMG 1400




AristoE9AandUSAT F3A MockUpRearCouplerFrontToBackOn8ftCircleInsideView IMG 3622


 The picture below shows alignment on my Santa Fe B unit with the same mount. I had to use the Kadee .032" shim to get the alignment on these mounts

bunit alignment

The picture below shows the variation in the pivot hole in the early AAR Type "E" couplers I purchased and the more recent "faceted hole" AAR Yype "E" couplers from Kadee.

Note well: the Original Type (pre-AAR Type "E") Kadee couplers have a smaller center hole and cannot be used unless you ream them out.


The picture below shows the stock "centering" whisker that should be removed. You can open the body shell and and unfasten it, or you can cut it off from the outside with a par of flush cutters.





Weather Underground PWS KCACARLS78