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> Improving Lima locos
paulbeta
post 23 Feb 2010, 07:41
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Hi

I'm slowly converting to DCC and have begun with my best locos which are from Bachmann and Heljan, I've also done some Hornby models and
now want to start on some of my favorite Lima locos

However I seem to have some issues with some of the models and wondered if there is anyway to improve running by maybe adding more pick up points etc... or is it something else ?

I'd also like to add lights to some to bring them up to date a bit if possible

If anyone can advise on the above and give a guide to how its done that would be great or point to a thread or link

Thanks


Paul
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John 370 001
post 23 Feb 2010, 08:46
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Hi Paul, ime in the same boat as you.

I would love to add extra pickups to my Lima 37's, as power pickup is the only issue I have with them using DCC. At slow speeds they just dont like going over points sad.gif

John
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Saint Johnstoun
post 23 Feb 2010, 08:59
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I know it sounds painful but the dreaded pancake motors fitted to Lima diesels just don't beg much improvement even if one was able to add extra pickups.

It is possible to buy chassis upgrades for Lima diesels - as far as the DMUs are concerned I have dealt with all mine by fitting the latest Hornby power and trailing bogies. I would suspect as Hornby release more of the ex Lima range one will be able to also buy the spares. East Kent Models is the place.
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sto243
post 23 Feb 2010, 09:41
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I think ViTrains make a replacement chassis for Lima 37s, with all mod cons like flywheel drive, all-wheel pick up and a DCC socket, and it should be a simple job to slot it in as a replacement. I saw one on ebay and was tempted to get it for my own old Lima 37 which has sentimental value, but haven't got around to it yet. Has anyone got experience of them?
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34C
post 23 Feb 2010, 09:53
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Equivalents to all the Lima diesel product are now available. My suggestion would be don't mess around, if you have a detailed/repainted/upgraded Lima or other body: go at it wholesale and replace the entire chassis with a modern standard centre motor chassis. There are sufficient s/h and box shifter offers about to make this relatively economical, and four makers with suitable product for a body transplant, they are all decent products. My old Airfix/GMR class 30 body (significantly more accurate than the present Hornby offering) is now on a current Hornby chassis got for 40. I had the old chassis and a pair of Airfix power bogies to sell which recouped 20. That's a cheap upgrade to the superb running the Hornby chassis offers.

There's a good example of another such process in the class 29 thread on this page.
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paulbeta
post 23 Feb 2010, 10:44
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I've got over 70 Lima locos, mainly class 37 and 47 as I've been collecting these for years.

Most are superb runners even at very slow speeds but I do have a few models that have issues on points and curves, the same as mention by John.

I don't want to change the chassis etc as the cost would be to much for my budget

I'm sure adjusting the pick ups or adding more should be possible

I think I may pick the worst runner and try a few things and see what happens, if anyone has any ideas on improving the original set up
that would be great

Thanks

Paul
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34C
post 23 Feb 2010, 12:14
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The most significant thing you can do on Lima mechanisms is add pick up wipers on all the driven wheels, which means eliminating the traction tyres. Pick up is most effective on driven wheels as there is usually more weight on these wheels, and the power means that they are 'agitated' on the track which maintains better contact.
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paulbeta
post 23 Feb 2010, 12:53
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Hi 34c

If I do as you suggest, which sounds good, could I also add more weight inside the loco body or would this put too much strain on the motor.
Could I then also add wipers to the other end. If I remember there are pick ups only on two wheels at the none motor end?

Please keep the ideas coming....

I don't have any problem spending a bit of time doing this but spending more cash, that needs passing by her indoors!

Thanks

Paul

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John 370 001
post 23 Feb 2010, 13:28
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Hi Paul.

You are correct, there are only two pickups on the non-driven bogie and only two pickups on the driven bogie. These are on the outer axels. The middle axels are arranged with an insulator on the opposite wheel side to the pickups and I supose provide power via the brass rod that goes inside the bogie, that the internal loco wire clips to (dont know if this provides power or not to be honest).

I too do not want to spend a lot of money or replace too many parts and spoil the Lima locos, however I do like the idea of trying a new Hornby Railroad 37 and swapping the bogies. May look into this more dry.gif

Having bought a VI Trains Class 37 at Christmas, I can 100% say I will not going near anything VI Trains again, especially not modifying a Lima mad.gif

I dont really want to start messing around with the bogies until I know exactly what I have to do with them, as know me, I will damage them beyond repair rolleyes.gif

34C, if the traction tyres are removed, I take it the wheels will have to be replaced, as the existing ones have grooves for the tyres?

John
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34C
post 23 Feb 2010, 14:30
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I did one of two things with Lima traction tyred wheels. Either replaced them completely with whatever I had to hand that was suitable, or put them in the drill chuck and took off the small flange that made the groove to take the traction tyre, then took down the flange to make it shallower, and put these wheels into unpowered positions.

My experience of Lima motors suggests that it is possible to add a fair amount of weight; never had one fail and I have always enjoyed operation as the main reason for having a model railway, so the locos put the miles in.

I am very much of the DIY / make it work for minimum expenditure school, but having been smitten by the centre motor drive when it first appeared in US HO, I made the change wholesale when Bachmann introduced their very effective low cost design to the UK market.
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Saint Johnstoun
post 23 Feb 2010, 15:32
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I too have been converted to the centre motor scenario. Most recent project (see class 29 thread) was to convert a Hornby Class 29 to Bachmann chassis using a modified class 25. Performance is excellent - it handles 10 coaches plus a dummy 29 with no effort at all.

If you are able, the best route is to get rid of the pancake motors and upgrade. DIY is by far the best route.
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John 370 001
post 23 Feb 2010, 21:44
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I have just ran my 2 Lima Class 37's tonight with the tyres removed. I re-greased the gears, cleaned the wheels and pickups and they do run better over points, but 37081 does still stop on points at low speed when the driving bogie gets to the cross. It mainly seems to be on right hand points. It seems runs fine over left hand points. As the motor pickups on the driving bogie are on the right hand side, ime guessing this has something to do with it.

I think ime going to give adding more wheel pickups ago. It will be the cheapest way (I think) and give my a chance to improve on smaller soildering and fitting jobs.

Just have to figure out exactly what to do dry.gif

John
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paulbeta
post 23 Feb 2010, 22:20
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Hi John

I'm going to try the same thing, see what happens, as mentioned I've too many locos to be replacing the chassis etc

A good service and clean will surely do wonders and if we can figure out how to improve the pick ups I'm sure
it will work for other Lima locos

Keep in touch

Paul
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Graham Plowman
post 23 Feb 2010, 22:43
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Paul,

QUOTE (paulbeta @ 23 Feb 2010, 17:41) *
Hi

I'm slowly converting to DCC and have begun with my best locos which are from Bachmann and Heljan, I've also done some Hornby models and
now want to start on some of my favorite Lima locos

However I seem to have some issues with some of the models and wondered if there is anyway to improve running by maybe adding more pick up points etc... or is it something else ?

I'd also like to add lights to some to bring them up to date a bit if possible

If anyone can advise on the above and give a guide to how its done that would be great or point to a thread or link

Thanks

Paul


There are several problems with Lima locos, all of which can be largely overcome.

As others have indicated, electrical pickup was always a major problem. It was arranged to pick up on one side on one bogie and the other side on the other bogie. The traction tyres were often irregular in thickness and coupled with the vibration from the motor, there was always significant wobble such that electrical pickup was always being interrupted on the motor bogie. This was evidenced by the fact that the pickup wheels on this bogie always attracted a lot of dirt - because they were constantly loosing contact. BOBO mechanisms were usually worse than COCO mechanisms.

There are two things which need to be done: firstly, the wheels all-round must be replaced. Ultrascale wheels are available for virtually every Lima loco. This change in iteself will make a huge difference in reliability and will stop all wobble problems. The second change is to add extra pickups on the back of all wheels.

You can also change the motor. There are three ways of doing this. You can purchase ModelTorque motors which are essentially CD player motors which drop fit and screw into the Lima motor housing. You'll certainly get better performance with these, but the noise situation won't be improved.
Secondly, you can replace the complete motor bogie. Hornby now produce a new motor bogie for all of the re-introduced Lima locos. I obtained a pair for a project where I used them on Lima HST power cars here: http://www.mrol.com.au/Articles/DCC%20Sound/DCCSoundHST.aspx. The main driver for this project was to add DCC Sound, however, this couldn't be done with the noisy Lima motors! Note that this method involves significant chassis modifications.
Thirdly, over the years, various brass chassis have been available. Others can comment on present availability as I haven't used them for years.

Finally, you have indicated that you are moving to DCC. I have found that Lima locos respond differently to different decoders. For example, TCS decoders didn't make a whole lot of difference over DC control, however, when a high-end ESU LokPilot was fitted, it totally transformed the performance. In this article:

http://www.mrol.com.au/Articles/Rolling%20...LimaMotors.aspx

I have a video of a DMU so fitted. This is a massive improvement and led me to conclude that if properly controlled, Lima motors actually aren't too bad.

My recommendation would be to replace wheels with Ultrascale, add extra pickups and use a decent BEMF decoder.

Hope this helps,

Graham Plowman


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Graham Plowman
(British outline 00 - NCE PH PRO-R, Lenz 100 - DCC Sound and computer controlled signalling/interlocking with SSI software)
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hoonsou
post 24 Feb 2010, 00:24
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I've done a Lima 33 with ultrascales and a Modeltorque motor, and the difference is huge. The gears were damaged, but I was rescued by the kindness of an rmweb member, who posted out some spares.

I'm expecting a set of ultrascales to arrive soon for a Lima 3 car dmu, it already has a modeltorque motor, so the difference should be just as good as the 33.

The Lima wheels not only have deep flanges, but they're made of brass I think. They seem to produce their own crap with remarkable ease, so I'll be glad to get rid of them.

As an aside, I also replace Heljan wheels with ultrascales, for the same reason, although I've heard that they now use nickel silver.


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