Lima class 92 (Victor Hugo) - juddering / stopping - FIXED (with pictures)

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Lima class 92 (Victor Hugo) - juddering / stopping - FIXED (with pictures)

Postby JickettyCan » Wed Feb 10, 2021 1:20 pm

Hi Guys,

A few months back I bought a used class 92 Victor Hugo for £35. I hadn't intended to get into model railwaying just then (it was something i wanted to do but never seemed to have time nor money). Anyway my little lad having bought (by proxy - me and his mum lol) had two 00 gauge carriages and I had some new unused track in the cupboard that i'd bought years ago but never got around to using as the intercity never ran properly (then got broken, binned etc). Anyway stumbled over the Lima and figured why not? - we need something to push and pull his two carriages..


So got it home, it ran like a dog. At first i thought it was the track (no idea about fishplate tightening back then). Then i thought it's cos it's on the carpet, so built a baseboard. It still ran like a dog. So for xmas we got him another few bits including a hornby class 92 (the red Schenker one). It ran superbly so i then realised that my class 92 was at fault and not the track - although i did have to tighten up some fishplates. I've cleaned the wheels, cleaned the gears, replaced the carbon brushes, re lubricated it.. nothing seemed to make it run significantly better and then a wire snapped off the motor (this has happened previously on the unpowered bogey - more on that in a bit). Anyway after managing to acquire quite a lot of other trucks, carriages, track, locos etc via many 2nd hand sources last night i came back to the Lima which had been sat on the desk for several weeks with a broken wire which my little lad has been nagging me to fix.

So i resoldered that last night but i still wasn't happy with it as i knew it was going to carry on getting stuck at the back of the baseboard (and various other places) so i decided to do something about the awful pickups on it. The motor bogey has two wheels that are used for picking up just one polarity - the front and rear wheels which are opposite the geared driving wheels. On the side of the geared wheels, not a single wheel is used for picking up juice. The non driven bogey has two wheels on one side (middle and one outer) and the two outer wheels on the other side. The non driven bogey is better obviously as it picks up both polarities but it's still stupidly designed. I've seen some people have added a 3rd pickup on this bogey but that seemed like a waste of time to me if you go over awkward points and then lose contact for whatever reason (eg catching a frog and lifting up momentarily). But I did make one improvement to this bogey - the wire that goes through the small hole. The wire breaks off the solder joint very easily and I had to do something about that. The cure was to make one round coil in the wire and resolder it onto the contact. The coil acts far more flexibly and allows the wire to move without affecting the solder joint too much. As the bogey moves, the wire in the chassis hole moves too. With the coil there the coil then does the moving instead of the solder joint. The coil can be made by winding the wire round a very thin screwdriver. Unfortunately it's a bit of a pig to make and not easy to photograph so you'll just have to make do with this lol:


Anyway back to the motor bogey. It has that one wheel between the two driven wheels which is perfect for another pickup (the two geared wheels are traction tyre wheels so this technique can't be used on those). I tried previously with no success to solve this however yesterday i finally found a good way to do it. Yes it was a bit fiddly but it was certainly worth it. Although it's still early days, so far it's been very reliable and will crawl over our most stubborn set of points (naturally pinned down and right at the back) at the slowest speed without stalling - it used to stop there every time. It now goes right around the track at a crawling speed without stopping so i'm pleased with the early results.

I used some 15A fure wire. First of all i fitted it to the bottom of the bogey in a little slotted space next to one of the driving wheels - you'll see from this pic that the end of it is bent up (only slightly as i needed a spring effect) and placed on top of the wheel. I tried all sorts of things - side of the wheel, behind / in front, slightly below it.. but on top was the best as it helps keep the wheel in contact with the track:


While holding this i've marked where to bend it, removed it and bended it so that it would fit between the chassis and driving wheel. Then once up into the motor area, i've folded it over the middle bit of plastic to give it something to hold onto (note that none of this is glued - it's only held in place by solder):


Once that was done, it was just a job of soldering to the motor and existing wire - being fuse wire the solder took to it quite easily (excuse the excess wire - i've lost my wire clippers lol):


Once it was soldered it was then a case of making fine adjustments to some of the bends - using two small screwdrivers to manipulate it (or in my case, two multimeter probes lol). Anyway it touches the top of the wheel where it is out of the way with a mild spring effect which keeps the wheel on the track. The (early) result is 100% reliability. It crawls round over everything that used to stop it at faster speeds, dead point frogs are no longer an issue thanks to having two bogeys that pickup both polarities instead of 1.5 - which was really weird.

If you wanted to use this technique and improve it i guess you could drill holes into the bogey chassis and fit the fuse wire in there permanently with a bit of glue and then passing it up for offering to the motor but this was my first time and i just wanted to get it working. Hopefully this post will help any other googler's out there looking for a quick fix.


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Re: Lima class 92 (Victor Hugo) - juddering / stopping - FIXED (with pictures)

Postby Bigmet » Wed Feb 10, 2021 4:28 pm

JickettyCan wrote:...Lima ... it ran like a dog. ... cleaned the wheels, cleaned the gears, replaced the carbon brushes, re lubricated it.. nothing seemed to make it run significantly better and then a wire snapped off the motor (this has happened previously on the unpowered bogie - more on that in a bit). ... decided to do something about the awful pickups on it...

That's the brief truth about Lima. The mechanisms were - within the limitations intrinsic to motor bogies reliant on traction tyres - runners, provided that the motor got a reliable current supply.

The market that Riko (Lima's UK partner/distributor) were shooting at was primarily collectors, for most of whom the model was simply a 'livery horse' carrying whatever latest livery had appeared, and Lima was very adept at producing the latest liveries almost immediately after they entered traffic. Sadly, the internal wiring from too few pick ups, often looked like it had been assembled from factory floor sweepings and was of questionable capability. So that minority among the purchasers that actually wanted their Lima to run, quickly learned how to add pick ups and install their own superior wiring, rather as you are now doing.

About 20 years ago as Lima collapsed into bankruptcy, Bachmann introduced a neat little BoBo mechanism inside class 24 and 25 body shells, catalogue numbers in the range 32-400 to 32-426, which had their well proven 'Spectrum' mechanism developed for the North American HO market; where following Athearn's lead a heavy chassis with drive from a central motor to both bogies had long been standard. A tidy s/h specimen should still perform as well as ever and may prove a pleasant surprise. (The Bachmann 'Peak' was the first RTR OO model with this drive design introduced circa 1992 but while the drive is good, much else about it is inferior; what came next much better...)

This Bachmann initiative entirely altered the UK OO market for twin bogie traction: now you can also have this style of drive from Dapol, EFE, Hattons, Heljan, Hornby, Kernow, SLW, ViTrains. and to come on models announced but not yet available from Accurascale, Rails of Sheffield and quite likely KR Models. (Avoid DJM, so inept a mechanism designer that a muck was made of even this successful drive principle...)

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Update: Re: Lima class 92 (Victor Hugo) - juddering / stopping - FIXED (with pictures)

Postby JickettyCan » Thu Mar 25, 2021 1:44 pm

Well a month and a half later this little loco is still running like a champ. We've had a track change since i worked on it and now it does on the odd occassion stop on the same set of points as other trains - but if others are stopping there sometimes then that's acceptable to me. It doesn't happen often anyway but i'll fiddle with the points at some..

I did discover some chassis wear - which allows the motor bogey to move out of place and allow one of the gears to scrape against it. I still need to fix that but the simple cure was to make the loco face the other way round. I'll use a paper clip re shape the worn plastic.

Anyway my Hornby Eurostar burnt out, i removed the knackered cap and it started working again but sadly as times goes on it gets slower and slower. My sons eurostar remains fine as does his little steam engine and his red schenker class 92 from Hornby. So, now that my euro is a static display on top of his wardrobe, my Lima VH class 92 is now my favourite of the fleet :mrgreen: It's only got one traction tyre but by god is it a strong loco. We've literally put every carriage possible behind it and it will pull the entire lot on our 6x4 railway - it stretches 3/4 of the way round the track lol. His class 92 from Hornby just slips and doesn't pull at all and has no wheels suitable for traction tyres.

So although my Lima does have some chassis damage, it's now without a shadow of a doubt, my favourite. It's (now) reliable, quieter, easier to put back on the track (the hornby wheels are a pain) and above all the strongest that we have. It's not as fast as the others but it makes up for that with the amount of torque and reliability that it now offers.

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Re: Lima class 92 (Victor Hugo) - juddering / stopping - FIXED (with pictures)

Postby Bufferstop » Thu Mar 25, 2021 5:12 pm

Hornby ringfield motored locos getting slower and slower (also hotter and hotter) is often due to a poor ringfield magnet. Why there have been such variations in the quality of the magnets is a bit of a mystery, except that I came across one or two tender drive units where the magnet wasn't a chunk of metal or a couple of moulded ferrite blocks but a black sausage like tube stuffed with ferrite dust. I suspect that when it was new it wasn't a particularly good magnet. I've come to the conclusion that what you got was down to Hornby's finances at the time of production. My preferred solution to these mechanisms is to replace the guts of the ringfield with a CD draw motor acquired from Ebay, or salvaged from a failed CD drive. The alternative is a neodymium replacement magnet of the correct dimensions, but these come with their own issues. It seems to be the case that the designers have come to the same conclusion as me. By all means design your gear train or transmission line but use a motor that comes in a can, don't try to build one for each design of loco. The companies that make these motors are expert at it, just buy in the fruits of their knowledge and experience.
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