O Gauge Ringfield Motor Upgrade Kits for Lima Locomotives

It’s been a wee bit quite on the blog for the past few months, but, much like ducks on a pond, behind the scenes lots has been happening.

Lima O Gauge Motor Upgrade Kit

One of the big projects has been the development of two new ringfield motor upgrade kits; this time we’ve been focused on Lima’s highly-collectable, yet somewhat limited range of O gauge models.

We’re delighted to announce that our brand new LO1 kit is now available. It features a chunky motor, a three part adaptor and a brand new gear.

Lima O Gauge Motor Upgrade Kit

It will fit Lima’s sole UK outline O gauge diesel locomotive – the Class 33 ‘Crompton’ – their SNCF diesel and the 0-4-0 diesel shunter (which comes in a number of guises). It’s our simplest-to-fit kit yet, with no fiddly gear trimming!



If you’d like to upgrade your own Lima Class 33, SNCF Class BB 67000 or diesel shunter, you can buy a kit via the link at the foot of this article.


We’ll be doing a short video on the kit and taking a closer look at how the adaptor fits together in due course, but for the time being we’ve produced full colour, detailed instructions, which you can download below.


Lima O Gauge Ringfield Motor Upgrade Kit (LO1) Instructions 2.13 MB 618 downloads

Step-by-step instructions for our Lima LO1 ringfield motor upgrade kit, for O Gauge...

We’ve also got a second O gauge kit suitable for Lima’s Fowler 4F steam locomotive. It’s almost ready to go and will be added to our web shop as soon as the instructions booklet is complete.

Hornby ringfield motor upgrade kits are now available…

We’re delighted to announce that the first batch of motor upgrade adaptors for Hornby ringfield motors is now available.

It’s taken a huge amount of time, effort and testing to arrive at a product that works well and is as simple to use as possible, but we got there…

There are three kits in the Hornby-compatible adaptor family:

Each kit comes with a two-part adaptor, a replacement motor, two pinion gears (one spare), a motor insulator, some clips and a length of heat shrink tubing. You’ll need some tools, but those are all the core components required.

There’s also a detailed, step-by-step instructions booklet, which can be downloaded from our website, and a tutorial video will be published in the not too distant future. I listened to feedback from my Lima kits, so these new instructions are much lighter on text and full of photos.

How do they work?

The adaptors have been developed to avoid the need to drill out the bogie and in most cases require no permanent bogie alterations (although the old brass bushing may still need to be popped out)…that means the upgrade is normally reversible and you can replace the ringfield motor in the future, should you wish.

In fact, for the majority of Hornby ringfield variants, the installation process is all-but plug ‘n’ play  you just insert the adaptor, then the motor, attach the gear, clip it all into place, wire it up and you’re done…it’s far simpler and more straightforward than the hot glue-based methods described in most model railway forums.

And if you have a Co-Co or tender drive model, the adaptor solves the age old problem of how to reattach the central wheel. There’s a hole in the adaptor for the small axle, meaning the wheel can be easily replaced and remain fully functional.

Check out our step-by-step installation video

How much do they cost?

The price of a kit is £15.50 each*, irrespective of the motor voltage. UK postage is still £2.99* irrespective of the number of kits purchased.

The price of the Hornby kits is a little higher than their Lima cousins, for two main reasons: firstly, there are more components in them, and secondly, the adaptors take longer to make and require extra manual work to finish off.

*Correct at time of article publication.

Diode Voltage Droppers for Ringfield Motor Upgrades & Conversions

If you’re using a 6V dc motor in your Lima or Hornby ringfield motor conversion, and you’re using DC control or DCC without CV5 functionality, you’ll need to consider a diode voltage dropper to protect the motor from over-voltage and current.

Diode Voltage Dropper Components

I’ve always made my own, but I know that not everyone has the skills, confidence or time to do that too, so I’ve come up with a couple of wee kits to help out.

Preassembled diode voltage dropper kit

There’s a pre-assembled diode voltage dropper kit which includes all of the core components soldered together for immediate use, plus a ‘components only’ kit with everything you need to quickly knock one up yourself.

If you’re interested, you’ll find the pre-made ones here and the components-only kits here.

You’ll find wiring instructions in the following booklet…


Instructions for Generic Lima Ringfield Motor Upgrade Kit (LA4) 529.65 KB 719 downloads

Step-by-step instructions for our Generic Lima ringfield motor upgrade kits.  Last...