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Kadee 906 Couplers on an Aristo-Craft Evans Boxcar

This article details a method of installing Kadee 906 (G Gauge) couplers on an Aristo-Craft Evans boxcar. A minimum of five foot radius curves and switches are recommended for these cars with body mounted Kadee couplers.


Place the car upside down on a soft surface such a foam-lined cradle. Remove the screw from the bottom of the shank on each of the Aristo-Craft couplers. Place the screws and couplers in a small Ziploc bag and store them in the boxcar packaging.


Remove the screw and washer from the center of each of the truck bolsters. Remove the trucks and fasten the washers and screws back on the frame so they do not get lost.

A Kadee 906 coupler requires a 3/16th inch thick shim on this car in order to sit at the proper height above the rails. The shim is 1 inch wide by 2 inches long, and will be mounted in the area outlined in yellow


Score and snap a strip 2 inches wide by 5 7/16ths inches long from a 1/16th inch thick styrene sheet. Score a line down the center of the strip. Using a small square as a guide, score lines across the strip 2 and 4 inches from one end. Lightly sand the strip on both sides to remove the ridges from the edges, ends, and lines. Snap the strip into 6 pieces.


Each shim is made by gluing together two, 2 inch pieces on the bottom and one 1 7/16th inch piece on top. The edges and thicker end of all three pieces in each shim should be flush with each other. I have tried a number of glues, but found Testors plastic cement was the easiest to use. Clamp the two shims in a vice to ensure the pieces in each bond flat together.


When the glue has completely cured, sand the edges and ends of the shims flat. A NorthWest Short Line, True Sander is a good tool for this as it also squares the edges and ends. Clean the styrene dust from the shims.

Cover the 1 7/16ths inch long piece on the top of each shim with a strip of thin double–sided carpet tape. Trim the tape flush with the edges and end of each top piece. Spray paint the shims with Krylon Satin Black.


When the paint has cured, remove the masking from the carpet tape on top of the shim. Using the slots in the brakeman’s platform as a guide to ensure the shim is properly centered on the car, push the lip on the top of the shim in place behind the front wall of the car. Push the back of the shim down firmly on the coupler pad to seat it snugly against the car frame bolster.


From the back of the lip, apply a strip of thin double-sided carpet tape to top of each of the coupler box cover. Trim the tape flush with the edges and back of each. Assemble the couplers.


Remove the masking from the top of tape and fasten the couplers to the bottom of the shims. The lip of each coupler box cover should face up and be flush with the front end of the shim. The edges of the couplers should also be flush with the edges of the shims.


The self-tapping 3/4 inch screws supplied by Kadee will be used to fasten the couplers to the shims and frame. Using the front and rear holes on the center line of the coupler boxes as a guide, drill two holes through each shim and the floor of the car frame with a 3/32nd inch bit.

Place the 3/4 inch screws in the holes. While firmly holding the coupler and shim, tap the screws into the shim and frame until they are snug against each coupler box. Test to ensure the couplers return freely to their center position.


Using the washers and screws from the frame, fasten the trucks to the frame with their drawbars facing towards the center of the car.


Using the proper Kadee coupler gauge on a straight and level piece of track, test to ensure the couplers are set to the proper height.


Congratulations, you have successfully installed a pair of Kadee 906 G gauge couplers on your Aristo-Craft Evans boxcar. Enjoy!

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