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I recently purchased a Hornby 31 Class loco and fitted it with a TCS decoder. The loco ran beautifully and generally met all expectations for the first few hours of running. It then developed an odd sound from the area of the bogies. Closer inspection revealed the ends of the bogies were splayed out (rather than parallel) and allowing the axles enough lateral movement to pop out of their retaining holes in the bogie sideframe. The middle wheels were OK but both ends of each bogie would allow the axle to pop loose of it's mounting.
I'm not wishing to start another tiresome Hornby bashing thread but anyone contemplating one of these might be well advised to pay particular attention to this aspect.
Glenn.
 

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Glenn

I have five of the Hornby class 31 models and on two of these I have found this I found that the pins that the bogie sides locate on were not completely pushed home which had allowed to much clearance on the sides of the axel all that I did was to make sure that the axel was located properly in the bogie and then pressed the bogie together in the middle with thumb and for finger and with a click the bogie was sorted and I haven't had any problem since.

I hope this helps

Pete
 

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Dadd, this is a well known problem with the Hornby 31's and chapter and verse has been written in quite a few model railway forums - including this one I seem to remember. I am told by Hornby that they are aware of the problem and that modifications are in place. The biggest problem with the side frames bananaing (is that a word?) is that it allows the axles far too much side to side movement, so much side to side movement in fact that the gears on the axles actually start to de-mesh with the gears that are suppose to drive them - hence the noise. I have modified all my 31's so as the side to side movement is controlled from within the bogies proper and by the the side frame mouldings and I've not had any problems since.
 

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I have one of the early Hornby class 31's (R357) and have just finished preparing it for DCC. This 30 year old loco still runs well. Hope to add lights also.
 

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Thanks for the info above, I had sometime earlier commented on the bogies to Simon Kohler. I thought that that stretcher bars at each bogie end would help, although I hadn't looked at them in the same way as others had looked at them. Notwithstanding, I have gone and bought a second Class 31 in Dutch engineers livery, with a view to swapping the body with D5512. D5512 has defective lights at one end, and, despite obtaining a replacement unit, I couldn't get the lights to work. The replacement cab unit was proven defective when I used the known working cab across. (usual test, check with known working unit). I will have a spare Body, dutch livery, anybody interested?

Incidentally, not wishing to pull this class apart, debunking Hornby on the way, which is not my intention, I wondered why the cab/console unit was not screwed down and the chassis roof unit held on by clips/screws. This would mean minimal collateral damage when gaining access for the fitting of DCC/Maintenance to motor, etc. Other than that, it is a great model, but not for the faint-hearted when removing the body.

I am hoping that Hornby will come up with D5835 and sundry mods to bring it totally up to scratch, i.e. on a par with D421.
 

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You will probably find that the cab floor isn't sitting properly on the connectors which will stop them from working correctly I have had the same problem my self.

It takes a little practise to re fit the body so the lights work, I find if you prop the doors open with something when fitting the body locks the cab interior in place so that it seats correctly on the lighting contacts.

Pete.
 
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