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Repower a Lima El13 with a SB-Modellbau drive



Re-power Lima El13 with SB-Modellbau motor kit
Last update: August 24, 2004.
(click on the pictures to see a larger (800x600) picture)
Lima makes a very nice model of the Norwegian El13 class. Unfortunately it is still equipped with the well known Lima 'pancake' motor. Over the years various manufacturers made replacement motors for the old Lima motors. One of these manufacturers is SB-Modellbau from Germany, their re-motor kits have the famous Faulhaber motor. This page will show you what it takes to re-power the Lima El13 with a SB-Modellbau kit.

This picture clearly shows the kit, which is a brass piece with all the gears and motor already mounted/assembled. To the right the Lima model. The sheet with instructions (in German) is also visible.

The shell has been removed, by pulling out the "buffers". The old pancake motor is now visible. This model shows the 'classic' style of the old Lima models. A pancake motor is powering one truck, the other truck is used for electric pickup. In the middle of the frame is a big piece of cast iron mounted to give the model some weight. In the past I've added some weight, this can be seen to the right of the Lima weight block.
The pancake motor is removed from the frame, this can be done by unscrewing the two Phillips screws which mount the truck sides to the motor frame.
The gears, at the back of the pancake motor frame, are removed. The device in the front will be used to remove the wheel sets. Some care must be taken while doing this since damaging the wheels (or wheel mounts) will hurt the future performance of the model.
The wheels have been removed. The wires have been cut so the old pancake motor is now completely removed.
The wheels have been mounted in the SB-Modellbau motor frame. The wheels will be carefully adjusted to the right gauge.
The wheels in the other truck have to be 'swapped' according to the instruction sheet. This was probably true when this kit was introduced but in the meantime Lima changed the electric pickup of this model and now all wheels (both left and right) are used for electric power pickup. So swapping the wheels is not necessary. When soldering the wires back on the motor some care has to be taken to make sure the proper wires are attached to the motor pickup points.
The re-wiring is finished. The old iron cast block doesn't fit anymore. The flywheel will touch it. The instruction sheet recommends cutting a piece from this block to make it fit again. I choose not to use the block anymore. I used lead weights (from A-line) to add some weight to the model.
The proper weight has been added. The trucks has been assembled again. Only the shell has to be mounted and this model can be put back into service.

Copyright 2003 Lolke Bijlsma