Jump to content
Image restoration from pre-May 2021 continues and may take an indefinite period of time.

Hornby R123 Horse Boxes


Recommended Posts

I have two Hornby R123s bought second hand and both wobble alarmingly when on the move - presumably because the plastic wheels are mis-shapen. I would like to fit new wheels but I imagine this is not straight forward because the wagon frame is cast metal and so cannot be eased to allow new wheelsets to be inserted. In any case the holes in the frame for the axles are too large for the axles on modern wheelsets. Can anyone offer me a solution? I was given advice at an exhibition involving new bearings etc but the advice wsa given too quickly to write it down and I really do not know what I would need.

 

I have already filed down the flanges so that they do not strike the sleepers (Hornby standard track) and fixed the BTBs reasonably well but it would be nice to get the wagons running well.

 

Any guidance would be much appreciated.

 

Harold.

Link to post
Share on other sites

From your description, you seem to have the early type chassis which has open axle boxes and the axle threaded through the hollow axle centre. If you purchase some brass bearing cups (Peco used to sell them but others do too) you should be able to place these in the open axle boxes. It may be necessary to file out the existing holes a little to allow the bearings to fit. You will need to place the new wheelset between the axle boxes before inserting the bearings which can be secured with your favourite adhesive. I would suggest super glue initially followed up with a little epoxy resin. The exposed ends of the bearing cups can then be painted black to disguise them. An alternative would be to peruse the Parkside catalogue to see if a suitable length chassis kit is available and replace the whole chassis.

Link to post
Share on other sites

From your description, you seem to have the early type chassis which has open axle boxes and the axle threaded through the hollow axle centre. If you purchase some brass bearing cups (Peco used to sell them but others do too) you should be able to place these in the open axle boxes. It may be necessary to file out the existing holes a little to allow the bearings to fit. You will need to place the new wheelset between the axle boxes before inserting the bearings which can be secured with your favourite adhesive. I would suggest super glue initially followed up with a little epoxy resin. The exposed ends of the bearing cups can then be painted black to disguise them. An alternative would be to peruse the Parkside catalogue to see if a suitable length chassis kit is available and replace the whole chassis.

Thanks Les - I will look into this method. I did wonder if Parkside might have a suitable alternative chassis

Link to post
Share on other sites

You have to push the axle out, with a thin metal rod. (try a tiny nail or screwdriver)

The plastic wheels are in two halves, and they fall away as the axle is pushed through the axlebox.

I have done this with Tri-ang TT wagons, which are identical in construction. The brass bearing cups, that Les Bird mentions, are sometimes known as 'top hat' bearings, due to their shape.

The difficult part is installing the new wheelset into the metal chassis, as you can't buy modern replacement wheels that are a straight swap in the wagon chassis of this type. Any new metal axle is a very fiddly job to fit on this type of chassis, as nothing 'gives' without bending very slightly, and then staying bent.

I couldn't get my TT wagons to run properly, so in the end, I just swapped the bodies onto the plastic Peco TT wagon chassis, which were a good match for length and width. I am a bit ham-fisted though, so you may have more luck, in which case, good luck.

Link to post
Share on other sites

You have to push the axle out, with a thin metal rod. (try a tiny nail or screwdriver)

The plastic wheels are in two halves, and they fall away as the axle is pushed through the axlebox.

I have done this with Tri-ang TT wagons, which are identical in construction. The brass bearing cups, that Les Bird mentions, are sometimes known as 'top hat' bearings, due to their shape.

The difficult part is installing the new wheelset into the metal chassis, as you can't buy modern replacement wheels that are a straight swap in the wagon chassis of this type. Any new metal axle is a very fiddly job to fit on this type of chassis, as nothing 'gives' without bending very slightly, and then staying bent.

I couldn't get my TT wagons to run properly, so in the end, I just swapped the bodies onto the plastic Peco TT wagon chassis, which were a good match for length and width. I am a bit ham-fisted though, so you may have more luck, in which case, good luck.

 

You can get bearings without the "tophat" flange and these can be inserted from the outside of the axlebox, trapping the new axle and wheels, which I think are the ones referred to in the earlier reply on this thread. The ones I use for a similar job in one of my kits are Gibson 4M63F, flangeless pin point axle bearings, using these you should be able to replace the old wheels and axles with modern style pinpoint axles and wheels.

 

Phil T.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Carbootnut and Phil T -

 

Thank you both for your comments. The top-hat bearings would seem to be a non-starter for the reasons stated but the Gibsons sound more promising so I will follow that up. Meanwhile I have a quote from Parkside Dundas who can supply me two chassis from their GWR horse box kits complete with wheels for a total of just over £12 including postage. I guess that is the target to beat with bearings and wheelsets.

 

I have always considered building wagon kits a daunting prospect - perhaps this would be an easy way to test the water.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I am in the process of converting one of these horse boxes into an engineers inspection and riding van and wanted to fit finer wheels. I have found that the chassis from the Hornby/Wrenn Southern GUV van can be adapted to fit. Both the wheelbase and length of the GUV is three feet more than the horse box so 12 mm needs to be removed from the length of the chassis (after removing the moulded in steps and the bracing bars). I did not need to cut off the raised longitudinal pieces on my conversion but you may have to to accommodate the horse compartment but a bit of trimming of the ends may be necessary because of the thickness of the ends of the body.

Link to post
Share on other sites

There are several versions of the LWB Tri-ang underframe, none of which is correct for a GWR horse box. In my opinion, going to the expense of a Parkside underframe is not worthwhile, as the body is not that good (raised planking grooves for a start - the Lima version of the same thing is much better and the Parkside kit better still.) There may also be issues with the kit floor, which would involve cutting the floor out of the Tri-ang body. The best bet IMHO, if you wish to go ahead, is to keep the existing u/f and fit new wheels (14mm) on inside bearings.

It is easy to remove the Tri-ang originals. Just push the axle out with a suitable rod. Note that one of the wheels is loose on the axle and push from this side. The other way round is much harder and will probably split the wheels.

Tri-ang axles (at least the one I just measured) are 2mm diameter and the bearing holes 2.5mm. Between the axleguards is 23mm, so plain rather than tophat pinpoint bearings could be fitted. Peco do a nylon? one, which is 2.6mm diameter. This might be a better fit - keeping the brass ones at the right spacing and centred is going to be tricky. yan can of course just use a plain 2mm axle and fit the new wheels to this. The lack of pinpoints on one or two vehicles should not be a problem, especially as these vehicles should not be fly shunted.

 

Years ago, I did one of these with a new scratch built underframe. Then the Lima model came out.....

 

For 'Tri-ang' read 'Tri-ang/Hornby' or 'Hornby' as appropriate. This moulding dates back to the mid-fifties. Note that later Tri-ang u/fs have the buffers at a ridiculous height (14mm).

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks David for your further comments and guidance. I am most grateful and pleased that there is more than one remedy. I had already decided to try replacing the existing wheels and axles and have ordered some plain, brass bearings. I am surprised that you say the existing wheels are 14mm as they seem to be the same diameter as some I bought for my Hornby coaches - R 8096 12.6mm. I have some left and propose to fit them. I wasn't aware that I could get new, finer, metal wheels that would fit the existing axle but I will preseerve the existing axles in case I have trouble.

 

Harold.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks David for your further comments and guidance. I am most grateful and pleased that there is more than one remedy. I had already decided to try replacing the existing wheels and axles and have ordered some plain, brass bearings. I am surprised that you say the existing wheels are 14mm as they seem to be the same diameter as some I bought for my Hornby coaches - R 8096 12.6mm. I have some left and propose to fit them. I wasn't aware that I could get new, finer, metal wheels that would fit the existing axle but I will preseerve the existing axles in case I have trouble.

 

Harold.

 

Sorry I didn't make it clear. The original wheels are 12.5mm diameter, the same as modern Hornby (and Rivarossi incidently). What I meant is that the prototype had normal coach wheels, which scale down to 14mm. The Parkside u/f will have these (I think they supply Markits wheels). I wouldn't try using the original axles, but use 2mm rod instead. Most modern wheels fit a 2mm axle and it is fairly easy to swop axles. Not all vehicles use the standard 26mm length unfortunately.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry I didn't make it clear. The original wheels are 12.5mm diameter, the same as modern Hornby (and Rivarossi incidently). What I meant is that the prototype had normal coach wheels, which scale down to 14mm. The Parkside u/f will have these (I think they supply Markits wheels). I wouldn't try using the original axles, but use 2mm rod instead. Most modern wheels fit a 2mm axle and it is fairly easy to swop axles. Not all vehicles use the standard 26mm length unfortunately.

 

Thank you for the clarification. As I had already ordered brass bearings and have some Hornby wheelsets (the bearings arrived today) I have been trying to install them. I have a third wagon (a Hornby two-bolster)with the same chassis design and have managed to complete that in a not-very-satisfactory manner. The problem is that the axle hole is quite a bit bigger than 2mm so the bearing falls straight through. However, I have run the bolster wagon without it coming to bits after fixing the bearings with Bostic - which is too rubbery. In the interest of greater durability I have decided to try fixing the bearings with No More Nails. I have stuck a piece of masking tape over the inner "face" of the holes on one side of the wagon , dropped the bearings in from the outside and then packed No More Nails behind them, making sure the bearing is flush with the inside edge of the frame. Once set, I can insert the wheelsets, drop in the bearings on the other side of the wagon and backfill again with N-M-N - in fact I might do that before the first side sets too hard. I will see the result tomorrow ....

Link to post
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...