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Vitrains chassis upgrade for Lima Class 37 locos

29497 Views 43 Replies 25 Participants Last post by  reddo

top: Lima Body, middle: Lima Chassis, bottom: Vitrains Upgrade Chassis

Bring Lima Class 37 Locos into the 21stcentury with a Vitrains Chassis Upgrade.

Simply remove Lima body Cut off central glazing pillars that hold weight in place. Fit body to Vitrains chassis.

V0001L Class 37 Chassis Upgrade for Lima Body RRP £39.99
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Thanks, gdaysydney for class 37 info. Sounds like the Bachmann one may be best, when the right livery comes along. Story behind this is that many years ago I commuted on a train that was pulled by either a 47, 37 or 31. I thought I should have models of these so bought an Airfix 31 (in late 70s for about a fiver) a Hornby 37 from Beatties (long gone) for £7.50 also in late 70s and finally a Lima class 47 in late 80s from Hadley Hobbies (also long gone) in Middlesex St near Liverpool station for £32.50. Think the Lima one was regarded as a good model in its day. Having seen new locos running at exhibitions, and now getting loft layout laid, I bought a Heljan 47 and Hornby 31 both superb runners - just a tad more expensive but worth it for the quality

So I now would like an appropriate 37 to make up the trio.

All the best

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QUOTE (kiwitrains @ 5 Oct 2008, 22:29) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>The problem is the lighting on the Vitrains 37 is really c*** especially the red, so it would need some modification I would think.
Interesting view.
I always thought that the lighting was the best part of the ViTrains model!
I have both models and I class the ViTrains as the most realistic.
The Bachmann model has two different colours (Blue and Yellow) but the ViTrains has just one colour (white) which is the colour lights are nearest to. I have never seen a train at night appear with a blue light and 2 yellow lights, all 3 lights look the same colour.
QUOTE (madon37s @ 12 Nov 2008, 10:00) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Can i ask why would anyone want to put a lima class 37 body with the awful wrong shaped windows when the Vitrains ones are better anyway and the Bachmann are even better than that and i think i am right in saying going on the prices for the Vitrains 37's compared to the Bachmann ones there is no contest to me. It's Bachmann every time (my personal opinion only). Vitrains 37's seem to be at least the same price as Bachmann. Mind you the Vitrains ones are good runners i have got one in DRS livery and i am very happy with it.

Kind regards
With regards to running qualities I think it depends what sort of layout you have.
I have a layout where the train runs at fairly high speed with very little shunting.
As a result, both the ViTrains and the Bachmann models are too slow. When I do run them, they are always on full power with me wishing they were going faster. For me the best runner is the new Hornby Railroad chassis which will pull anything, goes a good speed and is the cheapest of the lot! I am also a fan of the Lima chassis and have some exceptional runners.
I would like Hornby to offer a similar chassis option like ViTrains for the class 37 and others (particularly class 31). As it is I am building up a collection of Blue Pullman 47 bodies and Regional Railways class 37 bodies!
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*** Forgive the comment, but how can you possibly run them that fast and still worry about realism?

Each to his own of course but the speed comment really surprises me: By my calculations the Bachmann 37 for example is able to easily exceed scale abilities of the prototype, as can all diesels I've ever bothered to check against scale speed. To me, Hornby and Lima tend to be excessively fast in the older "power bogie" chassis, with the newer Hornby centre mount motor chassis consistent with others...

Are you on DC running? - if so and you feel Bachmann is slow, then it sounds like either your wiring is inadequate and you have voltage drop or the controller you use has a low-ish output voltage. If you really want to run faster the answer is dead easy - simply change the controller for one with a slightly higher track voltage, and all your speed problems will disappear. ... all it will take is about 2 volts more at top speed, well within the tolerances of all motor brands.

As to running qualities the Bachmann is by far the best of the 37's - silky smooth.

I must admit I tend to dislike the Vitrains lighting a lot too - it bleeds everywhere in the self coloured plastic and looks most unrealistic unless the loco ends are repained inside and out.

Most loco's have colour issues with their LEDs - This is an ea my business does a lot in and we do a huge amount of lighting improvement for customers using correctly neutral white or for older loco's incandescent tint LEDs... We also make them totally controllable - it makes a huge difference.


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Thanks for the reply.
In most peoples opinion I may run the trains faster than scale but they don't seem too fast to me. When I visit the Hornby Roadshow, the layout has trains running at snails pace. If this is scale speed then it isn't for me. Correctly or not, I judge my speed like this:
If you go to a station and see a train pass at 90mph then count how many seconds it takes to pass you. For a Voyager it is probably only around 3-5 seconds. So when I run my train, I want it to pass at the same rate so that is what I do. I am not sure if my trains are running at a scale 200mph or something but they seem correct to me.
I have nothing wrong with people running trains how they want but at least with a Lima 37 for example it covers all speed ranges, even if it is a scale 200mph at top speed.
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sorry to dig this post up out of the past..

anyone know if and where in Australia you can buy this chassis (preferably so i can see it beforehand)

Otherwise, does anyone have a Lima Class 37 Chassis they want to sell for a project i have coming up?

Try 'Trains on Time' they have a Bachmann Class 37 chassis listed, and they have recommenced sending orders out to Australia. I have bought several Hornby steam chassis from them and even though they list them as non runners, I've had them up and running in just a few minutes!

I originally bought the chassis as a source of motors and pickups but the latest Chinese chassis are far superior to any thing that ever left Margate, I am using them to rebuild two E2 that I've been playing around with for years, the motor is a little on the light side in construction but is perfectly adequate for a shunting loco and is very good when fitted with a good decoder.

Thanks for the response Wayne! I'm surprised I didn't turn them up in a google search, seems to have exactly what I want.

may seem like a dumb question, but do the new Bachmann Chassis they have listed come with a motor?
I would imagine they would, they break up models and sell the bodies and chassis separately, a good way to get a decent running chassis, I did this with my first Bachmann 24, it was a terrible hauler and had a high pitched scream when you ran it at anything like full speed, I bought through Ebay so I found out why the owner was selling it! Anyway it languished on the work bench until one day I spotted a class 25 chassis on Trains on Time, so I sent for it (the 24 and 25 being virtually identical) and changed the chassis over, what a transformation, but then what to do with the remaining screaming chassis?

I pulled it completely apart and re-assembled it but found that the motor was well worn, it may have been poorly assembled in the first place, so I measured the motor and bought a similar sized replacement Mashima Motor from Hollywood Foundry. The motor fitted in the chassis with a slight modification which included changing the flywheels over the the new motor, voila! The remotored chassis was transformed , so then I had to go back and buy a new body for it. That's the story of how I ended up with two green 24's, perfect for a 1950's Southern Region Layout when the Cromptons were delayed with engine trouble, so the LMR had to lend the Southern some of it's allocation so they could keep withdrawing steam loco's.

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Moving the topic fwd - does anyone know if ViTrains have a chassis that would fit the Lima Class 40?

For similar reasons to others, I have several mint Lima Class 37's and 40's and would also like to update them - no great logic in all this, all very subjective - I have bought 2 of the ViTrains chassis - and I believe there was an article in a recent Model Rail magazine on how to do it.

Thanks for any feedback
My apologies for resurrecting this topic and retrograding reddo's question.

Having got my hands on a Police liveried Lima Class 37 - at long last - is it possible to fit the Lima body to a modern Hornby Class 37 chassis?
I.E. are the locating lugs in the right place on that chassis or does the Hornby chassis fit to the body by means of screw fit.

Obviously Vitrains is a no no - thanks for going down that route Dave

The only alternative I would have is to upgrade the motor using a MotorTorque kit.


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They are a direct replacement fit - just finished my 10th along with my 8th Lima class 47 using the revised Hornby chassis [modified fuel tanks etc. using Heljan spares].
With a little extra weight when run in well they are almost as smooth as Bachmann.
Hi Guys
Am I assuming that the Hornby railroad class 37 can be used as a direct replacement chassis for a Lima ?
Also does it have a better motor then the old Lima 3 pole motor ?.

Cheers in advance Baz
Hi Baz.

It should be a direct fit. The Railroad 37 (ex Lima) is also a good price for using as a spare chasis for older Lima models. You will also have spare bodies left over. They have a better motor now and NEM couplings.
Thanks Jonty

That also solves my headache fitting kadee's as well,
That is if the nem pocket is the right height.

Local shop has some for £36 so will give them a visit next weekend.

Cheers Baz
QUOTE (martin r @ 5 Mar 2010, 09:07) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>They are a direct replacement fit - just finished my 10th along with my 8th Lima class 47 using the revised Hornby chassis [modified fuel tanks etc. using Heljan spares].
With a little extra weight when run in well they are almost as smooth as Bachmann.

Apologies for not replying earlier. Courtesy of your advice Martin, I have bought a Hornby 37 and now have a very nice running Lima 37

Thanks for the advice.

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Hi all,
So has anyone come up with an idea for fixing the Lima body to the Vitrains chassis, I wonder.???
Or are they destined just to float on top until some bright spark picks it up and drops the chassis on the floor ?
I have not, but do have a suggestion based on solving the same problem on the Hornby class 47 in the previous century.

This model had the body retained on the chassis by four protruding lugs which engaged in apertures in the body sides under the driver doors. While correcting the bogie to body relationship, the body had to seat slightly differently on the chassis block. The old protruding lugs were filed off, slots to take new lugs were chain drilled then filed out, and a piece of thick plasticard was glued in place in each slot to form the new lug. That worked perfectly for the 30 or so years until the Bachmann 47 appeared and the old Hornby could be retired.

If the Vitrains chassis side is plastic at the point where the lugs need to be fitted, an easier option beckons. Drill holes at the lug positions to take a small self tapping screw. Insert screws and remove a couple of times to form the thread in each hole. Then grind the head end of each screw to a flat lug shape, and reinsert.
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For the class 37 I used four pieces of plastic strip glued to the body where the footstep is on the body. This is where the lima chassis clips in place. It works fine but I wouldnt carry the loco around relying on this all the time. It is a good stop gap to prevent the chassis crashing to the floor every time you pick it up though.

For the 47, check out this month's model rail. t uses a similar method as outlined above. I'm awaiting a couple of chassis and replacement glazing to arrive in the post before having a go myself.
QUOTE (Doug @ 8 Sep 2008, 09:44) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

top: Lima Body, middle: Lima Chassis, bottom: Vitrains Upgrade Chassis

Bring Lima Class 37 Locos into the 21stcentury with a Vitrains Chassis Upgrade.

Simply remove Lima body Cut off central glazing pillars that hold weight in place. Fit body to Vitrains chassis.

V0001L Class 37 Chassis Upgrade for Lima Body RRP £39.99

Whilst I appreciate the Chassis Upgrade is most certainly a positive move forward. Would it not be cheaper to purchase the complete thing then you would have the impressive detail of the body as well.
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