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Lima class 87

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Arrived today was a mint non-runner class 87 in Intercity mainline livery, "Robert the Bruce", 87021.    As has been quite common lately with Lima locomotives described as non-runners the defect was gears that did not rotate and carbon brushes stuck to the armature.  The grease on the gears seems to act like a glue so oil was applied and they freed up.  The motor was disassembled and the armature cleaned.  Test running was then carried out.  As usual with Lima models not run for sometime the wheel treads took a couple of laps before reliably picking up power.  After that the loco performed very nicely.

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Further information.  Today a nice BR blue Lima class 47 with headcodes arrived and like the class 87 the gears were locked solid.  When I first tested the loco the motor simply made a humming sound.  I removed the drive bogie and disassembled the motor.  The gears were oiled and these freed up immediately.  The armature showed no sign of wear and there was only the slightest evidence, barely visible,  of carbon deposit on the armature face.  The brushes were unmarked leading me to believe that possibly this loco had never seen runtime.

 

The store marked down the loco as a non-runner with "worn" paintwork.  When received I consider the paint finish to be very good to excellent.  Once reassembled the loco ran exceptionally well.    Another cheap but near perfect model.     I have noticed that these cheap non-runners are becoming fewer and fewer so maybe people are more inclined to take a chance and pick them up to repair.  This repair honestly took me less than five minutes of simple maintenance.    It means less inexpensive pre-owned non-runner models available for me but my only interest in reporting my findings is to inspire others to do the same and maybe get a bargain or two.    These days running pre-owned models are increasing in price as their retail replacements approach almost GBP180.00 each,  making the pre-owned models less and less attractive and non-runners worth the risk.   I keep clear of those expensive pre-owned non-runners with prices above GBP60.00 and definitely avoid sound fitted non-runners as there are too many unknowns that could make the purchase  risky and uneconomic.

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I've never get not been able to get an old Lima to run well after a bit of tlc.  Some are better than others, I have a class 60 that runs superbly down to a crawl. It has pickups added to all wheels an some extra weight, dcc converted with a lenz chip.  They are also very easy to completely disassemble and service. Extra weight and pickups make a big difference to running quality. Obviously will never be as good as modern stuff but I like them.

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I've found that the Lima motors can be made to run very smoothly with TLC.  There's been a thread on here sometime ago where someone gave a step by step guide to stripping down, cleaning, removing excess moulding from gears etc.  Very useful.  I will try and find the link and include it and add to this post as an edit.

 

I still have a few Limas and they actually run better with high mileage - some even developing almost flywheel characteristics!

 

The biggest bugbear of course is the brass wheels, very difficult to keep clean and not helped by the loco itself having the dreaded traction tyres and spreading the muck around.

 

Did I read somewhere that Peters Spares are planning to introduce replacement wheelsets for Lima locos?  That would be great if they were cheaper than Ultrascales.  I know they already do them for coaches and wagons.  

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I had to scrap, well put one side a Lima motor I couldn't get to run smoothly.  I took it to pieces prepared to do a clean up job on the gears, but decided to run it without any gears to drive. It still sounded like a clapped out coffee grinder. So I removed the armature, and discovered the commutator had little bits of solder on it from when it was made. I very carefully cleaned and smoothed it.  Put it back together, and it was still noisy, so I decided it was a lost cause.  I have others that run really well, so I know they are basically decent motors....

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2 hours ago, cravensdmufan said:

 

Did I read somewhere that Peters Spares are planning to introduce replacement wheelsets for Lima locos?  That would be great if they were cheaper than Ultrascales.  I know they already do them for coaches and wagons.  

I remember reading that too. By being cheaper, they can be stocked so we don't have to wait for a 6 month lead time.

Some of the Lima models were quite good & in some cases, can be run with the motors disconnected: 31s/37s can run in multiple with Hornby/Bachmann ones. Many would find these acceptable although some may find them glaringly different. 47s can run on steam hauled railtours.

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Further to my post above, I couldn't find the link to the printed version of "Love Your Lima" but here's the video version:

 

Edit: Ah, just found the link to the PDF version -

 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/s90kqr24stcf75t/lima service.pdf?dl=0

 

I suggest that Lima owners print it out - it's very useful indeed.

 

 

 

Edited by cravensdmufan
To add link
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