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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Dear fellow enthusiasts

I Have recently purchased a 2nd hand Hornby Fowler 4F R2545 from Hatton's. It was advertised as having one (1) loose traction tyre which I found inside the packaging on delivery. On closer inspection I can see that the tender has 5 wheels which are recessed for tyres . . . 3 on the driven side and 2 on the non-driven side. In between the two on the non-driven side is a wheel without the tyre recess. So what happens is that the tender rocks back and forwards on the centre two wheels.

My question for the Hornby experts on this forum is . . .

1. There service sheet which I found online is not very informative . . should the tender have 3 or 5 tyres?
2. I am having difficulty in obtaining the Hornby X8331 tyres here in Australia. I can get them from the UK but the cost of postage is prohibitive. Does anyone know of a replacement for the X8331, possibly another brand?
3. Does anyone have any other suggestions?

Regards,
Bruce F.
 

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Welcome to this forum Bruce.

My best suggestion: put this purchase down to experience, and use the model to represent a stopped loco on 'shed day'.

But if you are really motivated to make it run, first test it 'as is' for running reliability before a search for locally available traction tyres for HO product (The upside in this is that HO manufacturers use a better material for their traction tyres than is typical in OO.)

You may have sensed from the above that I don't have a high opinion of this model's tender drive mechanism, and you would be right. It's origin is a 1970s design from the long departed Airfix GMR brand, and Hornby perpetuated it in their range long past its realistic 'sell by' date of circa 1990.

You asked for any suggestions: mine would be a filter: don't even look at a RTR OO loco that isn't fitted with both a DCC decoder socket, and NEM coupler pockets. That eliminates all the really dated items, with one caveat: avoid all 'DJM' products (failed brand, poor mechanism design, no spares support). Ask on here if anything catches your eye, there are worthwhile items that don't meet the filter criteria, but you 'just have to know'.
 

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Re Q1 it should have 6 traction tyres - its actually a model originally made in the late 1970s by Cheong Tak for Airfix that passed via Palitoy and Dapol (neither of whom actually made any such was the glut of Airfix models on the market, although Dapol did repackage some in their own boxes) to Hornby in the mid 1990s and was superseded in part in 2012 by having a redesigned loco chassis providing the drive in the motor as oppossed to the tender.
 

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The recent Hornby 4F is a far better loco, best advice is get shot of it and get a recent one should be a few around second hand, I have got rid of traction tyres, non dcc ready chassis, tender drives etc and have a far better running railway as a result.
Finally try your loco without tyres, sometimes they can be quite good in that configuration.
 

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As someone has already suggested. Bullfrog Snot may well be the answer. I have only ever used it on a DMU and found to get an even coat over each of the wheels was not easy. Consequently I found the DMU did not run evenly although it did run. It was one of those items that I thought I would eventually sort out but 5 years later it remains waiting attention and is no longer on the layout. Bullfrog Snot may well work better on larger wheels but frankly I have subsequently avoided any models with traction tyres.
I also understand that traction tyres are often responsible for dirty track which means more frequent cleaning is necessary
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thankyou everyone who replied to my questions.
I'm not about to get rid of my recently purchased 4F despite all the poor reviews above. I'm retired and have a limited budget so I will persevere with what I have got.
Apart from the rocking of the tender, as mentioned above, the loco runs well on my short branch line terminus layout. It does have the occasional problem when going through the Peco single slip (which is not electrofrog).
I have found some Marklin HO gauge tyres from an Australian supplier so I might give them ago first. Thanks all once again.
Cheers.
 

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Exercised the googlu-fu this morning; further suggestions for substitute products briefly summarised in the link below.

I had totally forgotten the heat shrink tube method, which I have acttually seen successfully applied!

 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
For those of you who may be interested, here is an update on my Hornby Fowler 4F traction tyres.

It took a little while for the Fleishmann HO scale 648002 traction tyres to arrive and I have only just fit them . . . I'm pleased to say that they work a treat :)

The 4F runs smoothly now without the tender 'rocking and rolling' and negotiates the single slip nicely.

In the process of replacing the tyres I found that my initial confusion in regard to how many tyres are actually needed was resolved when I removed the tyre that was on one of the centre pair pair of wheels. It revealed neither of the two centre wheels have grooves for tyres. So only four (4) tyres are required, not 5 or even 6 as someone suggested.

Thanks again for everyone's suggestions.

Regards,

BF
 
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