Hornby & Lima Ringfield Motor Upgrade Kits

We developed our range of UK outline ringfield motor adaptors as part of our own railway modelling journey. Having bought one or two second-hand Lima and Hornby locomotives over the years, we often found the performance of their aged ringfield motor (also known as a pancake motor) to be less than satisfactory.

We tried upgrading the motors using small CD drive motors on a couple of occasions, however using glue and various other methods to align the replacement motors and hold them in place more often than not proved messy and imprecise. We were convinced that we could come up with something a little better…and the adaptors were born!

We always recommend that before modifying your model and converting a ringfield motor to a CD-style motor, you do try lubricating and cleaning the motor and gear train; this can often transform an older motor and may be all that is required for smoother and more reliable operation.

However, servicing doesn’t always work and that’s where our motor upgrade kits come in…

Ready to go? Grab yourself an adaptor kit from our shop!

If you’ve heard about our ringfield adaptors before and you know what you’re looking for, click on one of the product listings below to head over to our online shop. Otherwise, keep reading below to find out more.

Simple and straightforward

Our adaptors enable you to quickly replace aged ringfield motors in OO gauge models with CD-type motors, without the need for any messing around with glue or fiddly shaft alignment.

You simply remove the old motor and gear, pop the new motor into the adaptor, trim down the new gear and fit it onto the shaft, and then install the new assembly into the motor bogie. Everything is lined up and ready to go!

Each kit contains the core components necessary for the conversion process: a motor, the specially-designed adaptor, two replacement gears (one spare) and some heat shrink tubing.

Temperature parameters

We have chosen PLA+ plastic for our range of ringfield adaptor kits due to its environmental credentials and all round performance. While it’s comparatively robust in most conditions, it can be susceptible to softening in temperatures above 55°C/131°F. We have tested the adaptors after an hour of continuous running at a variety of speeds with various different loads, and while the motor temperature can reach around 50°C/122°F, their integrity and performance remains unaffected.

We recommend that the kits are not stored in direct sunlight or hot environments, and we strongly suggest that once converted, models are not run continuously for more than one hour at a time. While they may perform without issue, we cannot guarantee that they will not be affected by the higher temperatures sometimes associated with prolonged use.

For our 10mm motor kits, it is advisable that the locomotive is not subjected to excessively long rakes of coaches or wagons, that no extra weight is added to the loco and use on steep inclines is kept to a minimum.

If you intend to use your locomotive outwith these parameters (e.g. as merry-go-round motive power or heavy duty exhibition use etc.), you may prefer to use heat-resistant epoxy resin/putty to secure the motor.

The manufacturing process

3D printing is different to more conventional injection moulding and comprises multiple thin layers of fused plastic. Parts may exhibit a surface texture that varies in smoothness and shows signs of layering. 3D printed items are normally fairly robust, but they may not be quite as strong or resilient as those manufactured using other techniques. Customers are advised not to bend the plastic, nor use excessive force or over-tighten any screws when fitting adaptors into place.

All of our adaptors are checked prior to shipping, however due to the nature of 3D printing, they may occasionally still have small whiskers of plastic that require removal before use or to allow for a better fit.

Our adaptors are designed to be snug fitting in order to reduce play and hold the motor securely, however, due to manufacturing tolerances in the motors, locomotives and the adaptors themselves, an adaptor may still require some light sanding or filing in order to perfect the fit. Sometimes a drop of superglue applied to the side of the metal motor is necessary to hold it securely.

An important note for DCC layouts

The replacement motors are not suitable for use in models run on a DCC layout without a DCC decoder by using address ‘0’. The voltage supplied is not a normal DC waveform and it will lead to over-heating, quickly destroying the motor.

High frequency track cleaners

There have been some reports that the frequency can damage the motors, although it is not something that has been rigorously tested. We recommend that locomotives fitted with our replacement motors are not placed on the tracks whilst a high frequency track cleaner (such as the Gaugemaster HF-1/HF-2)  is in operation.

Modifying your models

Whenever you modify a model locomotive away from its factory-made state, there is a risk of damage and the model may not work correctly or as desired thereafter. Every model can have its own idiosyncrasies, which are impossible to predict. We can accept no responsibility or liability for any damage occurring to you, your equipment or your model(s) as a result of the use of our adaptor kits. You undertake work to your models at your own risk.

Help and support

For step-by-step instructions and detailed tutorial videos for our conversion kits, please visit: www.strathpefferjunction.com/instructions

If you find yourself really stuck, or you hit an issue with one of our products, please drop us a line and we’ll do our best to help.