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Hornby 3 pole and 5 pole Ringfield motors





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#1 beeman

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Posted 05 July 2010 - 09:57

I find some of my older Hornby locos have the 3 pole ringfield motors, so slow speed performance is not as good as it could be when converting to DCC. Has any member any info on changing the 3 pole {x8438} t0 5 pole {x9024} are the diameters the same?. There appears to be a different set of tender wheelsets for the 5 pole ?. On taking the motor apart find that the magnet is a magnetised rubber item. On checking on spares I find there is a 'proper' magnet unit for certain ringfields x8088, has anyone converted to these ?.Also a 44 tooth gearset is available, can this be fitted in place of the norm which I think is a 40 tooth set, or are the motor castings/gear centers different ?, This would better slow speed performance.Anyone experience updating these older motors please. Anyone found alternatives for the Airfix tender traction tyres which seem now unavailable. Can I suggest due to the lack, it appears, of Hornby models parts diagrams prior to 2000, a new section on the site could be created for members who may have copies of these that they upload them for help to source parts, sure this could be beneficial. In this day of computers I find it pathetic that Hornby cannot still have these on their site, even if they no longer can supply the parts, to me Customer Service is sadly lacking!How far do Bachman go back also ? any comments on this suggestion please.Beeman

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#2 RedgateModels

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Posted 05 July 2010 - 10:06

Your main problem with the 3 and 5 pole armatures is that the spindle diameters are different, so you will need to sort out bearings etc.

#3 beeman

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Posted 05 July 2010 - 10:10

Your main problem with the 3 and 5 pole armatures is that the spindle diameters are different, so you will need to sort out bearings etc.

Do you happen to know if the 5 pole is of larger dia. If it is then the bearings can be opened up perhaps thanks Beeman

#4 RedgateModels

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Posted 05 July 2010 - 10:16

pretty certain the 5 pole is smaller in diameter :(

#5 beeman

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Posted 05 July 2010 - 11:13

pretty certain the 5 pole is smaller in diameter :(


Sound like this was another victim of the metrication changeover. may be possible to fill bearing with hard solder and re-drill, have done this before to restore stuffed bearing, thanks beeman

#6 naugytrax

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Posted 06 July 2010 - 05:49

5-pole armatures for converting 3-pole Ringfield motors are sometimes available on eBay. They have the same overall dimensions, including shaft diameter and pinion size, as the 3-pole version.
Last September I bought one from eBay seller "earlsmeade" and put it in a Class 29 mechanism. It works beautifully.
Unfortunately this seller is not offering them at the moment, but you might be able to message him.

#7 beeman

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Posted 06 July 2010 - 14:33

5-pole armatures for converting 3-pole Ringfield motors are sometimes available on eBay. They have the same overall dimensions, including shaft diameter and pinion size, as the 3-pole version.
Last September I bought one from eBay seller "earlsmeade" and put it in a Class 29 mechanism. It works beautifully.
Unfortunately this seller is not offering them at the moment, but you might be able to message him.

Thanks for your response, I had found a supplier of 5 pole armatures and wondered if they were compatible knowing how Hornby often used similar parts.I think I will take a risk and send for a couple and see if I can fit or adapt them. along with the 'rubber' magnet. I have been converting my fleet to DCC and its strange how the same types of motor require different settings. Most of the old Xo3's were rubbish on DCC yet a couple run ok, albeit not nearly as responsive as my Mashima re motored ones.I am critical to obtain slow speed results, usually requiring extra pickups, tender and/or pony trucks, this making all the difference. I judge the performance on how many seconds for 1 Rev of the driving wheels,steam of course,usually between 5-15, dissatisfied if I can not get above 5. Thanks again to responders, Beeman

#8 beeman

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Posted 18 July 2010 - 21:57

Thought i should update this post for info after modding the 3 to 5 pole. Redgate Models were correct in stating that the armature shaft sizes were different. The 3 pole has a shaft dia. of nominally 2.37mm, so a bearing bore of 2.4 would suffice. The 5 pole has a shaft of 1.97mm so a 2mm is reqd.Rather than make new bearings at this stage I decided to bore a piece of 2.4mm brass tube, lathe reqd for this, and sleeve each bearing. What an improvement though to the slow speed running. The 1976/77 Hornby black 5 I had a go at now turns its drivers 1 rev taking 5 secs instead of 1 sec/1rev. and smoother.But still not as responsive as the old Scotsman of similar age replacing the XO4 with a Mashima, now as good as you could expect.10 secs/rev. Not sure how long the plain brass will last against a pukka sintered bronze bearing, at least it proved worth doing. Its possible that the Black 5 magnet has lost its strength over the years so now to see if I can replace. Its strange how in this model the magnet was a solid ferrite material and yet in the B17 it was "rubber' fridge door seal type,!!!.Also the Black 5 bearing was a separate pressed in item in the brush housing motor plate, but in the later B17 no bearing existed, just a hole the appropriate size. What Hornby did to save a few pence !!.Beeman

#9 Horsetan

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 16:59

Thought i should update this post for info after modding the 3 to 5 pole. ..... What an improvement though to the slow speed running......


Aha! So it is possible to convert from 3 to 5-pole using the new Hornby armatures (and possibly the new gearsets for safety's sake). Excellent Posted Image

#10 ianofsklr

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Posted 27 December 2016 - 10:28

I have a Hornby 'Bittern' from the Tyne Tees Pullman set. The motor runs fine, but when it is on the track I can't make it go, both when it is on its own and when it is with the loco. What might the problem be?

#11 RAFHAAA96

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Posted 27 December 2016 - 10:51

I have a Hornby 'Bittern' from the Tyne Tees Pullman set. The motor runs fine, but when it is on the track I can't make it go, both when it is on its own and when it is with the loco. What might the problem be?


More than likely a weak magnet.
I have a 3-poler in a Class 56 that runs fine on the rolling road but put it on track where it has to drag its own weight and it wont go.
I tried a neo magnet after success putting one in a Class 90 but it was real notchy and needed half chat to get it to run on track, so it is parked up now waiting conversion to a dvd motor from Finland.







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