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Leaving out the friction springs

Edward Sutorik
 

I have just temporarily assemble several cars, including the (Sergent) couplers.  Because I intend to take them back apart, and because it's kind of a pain to assemble everything, I decided not to put the little friction-inducing coil spring in.

Got me wondering.

Has anyone left the springs out?  And been happy with it?  

It'll be a couple of months before these particular cars can be road tested (without springs), but I thought I'd bring it up now.  Mostly 'cause I can't do much real work because of that famous knee replacement surgery you all are familiar with.  Or will be.


Ed

Edward Sutorik

Artur Pawlowski
 

I never install the springs, I did once but it made no difference. There in no slag so I don’t see the point. 




On Thursday, July 12, 2018, 16:11, Edward Sutorik via Groups.Io <Edwardsutorik@...> wrote:

I have just temporarily assemble several cars, including the (Sergent) couplers.  Because I intend to take them back apart, and because it's kind of a pain to assemble everything, I decided not to put the little friction-inducing coil spring in.

Got me wondering.

Has anyone left the springs out?  And been happy with it?  

It'll be a couple of months before these particular cars can be road tested (without springs), but I thought I'd bring it up now.  Mostly 'cause I can't do much real work because of that famous knee replacement surgery you all are familiar with.  Or will be.


Ed

Edward Sutorik

Dale Buxton
 

Ed,

I model in HOn3

I do that and I'm very happy with the operation of  my Sergent Sharon type couplers. I also use true to scale coupler buffer openings on my scratch built cars. This has required a track radius of greater than 20" radius to prevent the couplers from binding in the track plan I am designing. I personally feel that HOn3 trains look best on prototypical radii and not ridiculously tight, non-protypical curves like 12 to 19 inch radii. Not to mention that most brass locomotives won't negotiate track radii of less than 22 inch radius without shorting out or derailing. I had already settled on 24 inch radius so there were little to no foreseen problems to begin with. But I tested smaller radius until I found the point at which the couplers would bind in curved track and cause the cars to derail. (It was any curvature less than 20 inch radius) What happened more often than not, was that the trucks bound against the center beams before the coupled coupler faces did.

One of the things that I discovered in this process was that nearly 50% of of the end to end/side to side movement of (2) coupled cars takes place at the knuckle faces. Just like the prototypes do. Imagine that!  On D&RG narrow gauge equipment there is only about 6 to 8 inches maximum of left and right coupler movement in the draft gear compartment. The rest of the needed left to right and right to left movement is done at the interlocked coupler faces.

I the first place, the "Friction Spring" is only there to keep the coupler in the proper position for re-coupling The other important thing I discovered in my testing was that my cars without the  "Friction Spring" mounted in a close to scale draft gear box were always within the required coupler gathering range even on curves. I finally reasoned that this was because the couplers were always within the near to the center line alignment with the rest of the car.   

So your answer is YES! You can leave the springs out if you so choose. But other precautions may be needed for their operating smoothness.

The S scale people have come up with a different solution for this spring. There is now a coupler box for  S scale Sergents that mounts the  "Friction Spring" at the back end of the couplers shank instead of in it's middle at the pivot point. This causes the couplers to always load to the center line of the cars after uncoupling.

I designed a coupler box for HOn3 that does this as well and tried to sell them at Shapeways. But I personally don't feel that this is really necessary. (I only sold one set). There was a decry that Sergents don't work like Kadee 714 couplers (I for one am great-full for that on SOOOOOO many levels!) because they don't self-center. Kadee 714 coupler boxes can be modified to do the same thing as my Shapeways product at no extra cost at all if you are replacing Kadee 714's with Sergents. 

I hope this helped

Dale Buxton

Tim L
 

If you meant slack as in slack action then the friction springs have little to do with that. Slack as in free sideways movement well it depends on the model. I have some that the coupler box provides more sideways friction than the spring could ever hope to, and I'll have to get around to freeing them up; and I have others that are so free that a gentle breeze would swing the couplers from side to side if it weren't for the friction spring. I'm guessing that these ones could have problems coupling on curves without the friction spring installed.

Back to the question, All I can really say is to try it, the friction spring is designed as an aide to to keep the couplers where they are when uncoupled, especially on curves. The need to install them or be able to dispense with them will probably come down to your operational requirements more than anything else.

- Tim

On 13/07/2018 13:29, Artur Pawlowski via Groups.Io wrote:
I never install the springs, I did once but it made no difference. There in no slag so I don’t see the point.

James Wall
 

I didn't install the friction springs in most of my cars and locos when I started using Sergent couplers around 2000.  I now install them on most rolling stock but rarely on locomotives as I only use them between consists with Kadees on the end since most of my rolling stock is still Kadee.

The question is how do you want the coupler to operate?  Leaving the friction spring out allows the coupler to act like the early coupler with out alignment control, meaning they do not self center after uncoupling.  Norfolk and Western had many locos that did not have alignment control, there were marked with a white line under the roan number on the cab side.

The friction spring has very little to do with "slack" action as most coupler boxes are a tight fit on the Sergent mounting hole.

James Wall

Alan Hummel
 

Edward,

I've tried the springs,but on the Intermountain 4750 covered hoppers I installed them in,(the springs,I mean),it made no difference with or without the springs installed so I also leave them out.

Alan Hummel

On Thursday, July 12, 2018, 4:11:42 PM EDT, Edward Sutorik via Groups.Io <Edwardsutorik@...> wrote:


I have just temporarily assemble several cars, including the (Sergent) couplers.  Because I intend to take them back apart, and because it's kind of a pain to assemble everything, I decided not to put the little friction-inducing coil spring in.

Got me wondering.

Has anyone left the springs out?  And been happy with it?  

It'll be a couple of months before these particular cars can be road tested (without springs), but I thought I'd bring it up now.  Mostly 'cause I can't do much real work because of that famous knee replacement surgery you all are familiar with.  Or will be.


Ed

Edward Sutorik

Edward Sutorik
 

Thanks for your responses, folks.

It's not slack action I'm concerned with.  Well, in a way, it is.  THAT is one of the reasons I've been installing Sergent couplers--there isn't any (to speak of).

No.  It's only because it can be a REAL pain to assemble the "coupler box" in some cars.  Especially when you have stick a little coil spring in there and somehow hold an assortment of pieces in a special position, slide it in............

Oh, yes.  I'm talking about the "compatible" shank.  I haven't even thought about the other.  Yet.

Again, thanks.  I will continue to put the springs in where it's easy.  Where it isn't, I'll leave them out.


Ed

Edward Sutorik