Fitting Kadees to Early Fleischmann Locos
Rick Fletcher - NSW Australia

Updated 8 Dec 2016

This is a friend's Fleischmann 4028 0-6-0 Steam Locomotive which is to be used as a "proving" loco for his layout under construction. It is a little over the NSWR loading gauge but squeaks past my platforms. Wheel flanges are a bit gross but have been filed a little and now run through my code 75 points OK. It is also to be a test bed for DCC and as such, is an interesting exercise.      Step 1 is the fitting of Kadees to match the rest of the rolling stock.

This is one way to do it.                      Rick Fletcher

Here is "Carl", henceforth to be known by the owners nickname "Charles", pulling a small freight under test.

There is little modification to the loco save for tapping a hole in the chassis for the keeper screw.
This was the front end which I did first. The chassis has a hole to retain the original "chopper" coupler but it was a trifle too large to tap a thread.
In this case I drilled a tapping hole for an 8BA thread and tapped into the plastic footplate below the smokebox. Cut off, trimmed and painted and it won't be visible.

The chosen Kadee was a #149 Long Overset Whisker coupler to get the coupler jaws down to an acceptable height. The draft gear box fits within the existing housing and the mounting hole can be aligned with the original holes by trimming the back off the draft gear box.

I am impressed by the engineering in this model but not surprised due to its West German origin. The chopper coupler keeper is easily removed by unscrewing the buffers.

That releases the keeper plate, chopper coupler and the centreing spring strip (latter 2 not used).

Tap the metal chassis with an 8BA thread (or to your choice) to suit a standard Kadee plastic machine screw.
As pointed out earlier, I found the existing hole in the front of the loco to be a little large and tapped the hole throught the plastic foot plate under the smokebox door. That means that the front coupler now needs to be unscrewed to remove the body.

The hole in the keeper plate needs to be enlarged to take the Kadee screw - I achieved that with a small file.

The screws are quite long and need to be cut to length (sprue cutter or similar) and the end filed smooth.

The #149 coupler needs to be trimmed to length as shown below. You can see here why they are called "whisker" couplers.

Then chamfer the rear 2 corners for a bit more clearance.

The bottom plate is glued in place (I use Faller Expert Plastic Cement which has a nice fine delivery tube).

You can see here how the top lip has been cut and filed flush

The coupler height is still a fraction high - if it is a worry a small styrene shim could be added above the Kadee.

And here is "Charles" happily coupled to a small freight consist.



  • Chimney: drilled out to open a sound port to the DCC speaker in the smokebox
  • Lights: all original bulbs and holders removed which frees up a large amount of space for a speaker and decoder.
  • Lights: replacement by miniature LEDs
  • Speaker: sugar cube or home brewed variant for DCC fitted in the smokebox.
  • Decoder: owner's preference. This is a sample SOUND FILE
  • Ringfield Motor: Replace the Backplate with the Fleischmann replacement part # 50 4730 for DCC
  • Repaint & Weathering: possibly to represent a (ficticious) loco imported from Germany for evaluation (?)
    Also of interest is that it has a rack railway pinion!