RTR loco conversion, original drivers

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    • #245641
      Geoff Stenner

        Hello, All.  Over the weekend I viewed a YouTube video showing some Hornby locos on Retford , the large EM layout started by the late Roy Jackson and others.  The narration indicated that the locos shown had been converted merely by pulling the original wheels out to the  new gauge on the original axles, and, given that the locos were pacifics with complex outside valve gear, I wondered how this might have been done?

        Has anyone here done this and is willing to spill the beans, as it were?


      • #245646
        Bob Allison

          Remove the wheel sets from the chassis but don’t remove the wheels from the axles.  Then for each wheel in turn:-

          • Support the back of each wheel on something flat and solid – I used an old brass angle, half inch x half inch x eighth inch thick with a notch for the axle.
          • Gently tap the centre of the axle downwards with a flat-ended rod, less than axle diameter.  Keep checking back to back until it has increased by half the required widening.
          • Repeat for the other wheel
          • Add split washers to pack out from the side of the chassis and replace in the chassis.

          I have only done this for an inside cylinder 0-8-0 and am a bit surprised that folks have got away with it on east coast pacifics. Perhaps they don’t mind missing footsteps or large lumps carved out from the back of the cylinders.  Propietary locos often have a thick washer to bring the centre of the con rods out to the cylinder centres – it may need replacing with a thinner washer.  Clearance between the leading crankpin and back of slidebars/crosshead is another potential conflict – some careful measurement will be needed before going down this route.

          A couple of general observations:-

          • A loco converted this way will look, from sideways on, exactly like the original proprietary model. For me, I would begin to wonder why I went EM Gauge in the first place, but other folks may feel differently.
          • Such quickie conversions definitely won’t run on Pendon style track, as discussed on the other thread.


        • #245647
          Geoff Stenner

            Thanks, Bob, most interesting and useful.

            For interest the video is here

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iyikg7oYcHQ ,

            and the relevant part starts at 28min., 57 secs.


          • #245667
            Nigel Burbidge

              Like Bob, I am also surprised they managed to get away with moving the original RTR wheels on an outside cylinder loco, for the simple reason that the wheels are usually thicker than, for example, Alan Gibson, and there is precious little space behind the cylinders when the wheels are moved out to EM gauge.  I have converted several outside cylinder RTR models to EM (Hornby B17, K1 and Bachmann Ivatt 2MT) and in each case used Gibson drivers but even then had to thin down the leading crankpins to avoid them fouling the backs of the slide bars.  On the Ivatt I initially tried using Markit wheels and crankpins and that was a disaster because of the space required, so I reverted to Gibson wheels…


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