Playmobil Conversion To RC

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400heavy

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I'd like to convert a Playmobil 4051 Small Locomotive to an RC train. If I get the 30 60 063 chassis (bottom frame), all I would have to do then is to swap the cab and the tender, correct? I have a spare RC engine, cab, and boiler.
 
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-bbbb

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Idaho
I've never had a 4051 but I have a couple of 4017's, and from the looks of them I would guess you can swap out the red 4017/4035 RC chasis you've mentioned in place of the one on the 4051. The 4051 has no tender.

This site might help:
4051: https://www.playmodb.org/cgi-bin/showinv.pl?setnum=4051&pics=on
Compare parts with:
4017: https://www.playmodb.org/cgi-bin/showinv.pl?setnum=4017&pics=on

There are more differences between the 4051 and the 4017/4035 than just the red chasis. The RC versions have a hole in one of the domes above the boiler for the antenna(so your RC boiler would be useful there). The rods are also different but I'm not sure if the grey ones and gold ones are swapable both ways. I think the pins that plug into the RC wheels are different from the ones that plug into the electric ones. If you use 4051 grey rods you would probably need to use 4051 pistons, and may have to figure out a way to make them fit to the RC black rods between wheels. I'm not sure if you will have to shorten the grey rods since they would be connecting at a different distance from the pistons than originally, since they would connect to the black rods instead of directly to the wheels. I might be wrong, but I think you may need the black rods on the RC engine block while I know you don't need them on the electric ones. It would be best to use RC pistons and RC gold rods connecting to the RC black rods which connect to the wheels of the RC motor block.

I've converted a 4034 to RC by using the original electric motor connected to a playmobil RC car module stuck inside the train:

Somewhere in this thread: Playmobil Ideas? - G Scale Central Xav204 converted playmobil electric trains to RC by cutting the original electric chasis to make room for the RC motor.
 
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400heavy

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Thank you so much for the information--another set back: I now need another loco RC motor, as the one I have has gone bad as of today! If you know where I can get one without having to purchase another complete RC train set, please let me know! I will search on eBay for another, working motor. Thank you again.
 
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-bbbb

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Thank you so much for the information--another set back: I now need another loco RC motor, as the one I have has gone bad as of today! If you know where I can get one without having to purchase another complete RC train set, please let me know! I will search on eBay for another, working motor. Thank you again.
You might be able to fix it.. Try finely sanding the copper contacts inside the cavity where the battery goes. Just remove the oxidization so they are shiny again. stick some fine sand paper on the end of a pen or something and shove it in there and wipe. And make sure they aren't pressed so far back that they never touch the battery. If one contact is green and the train makes no sound, acting as if it has no battery, then you know that the oxidization on the contact is probably the only thing wrong with it. An easy fix. What's wrong with yours? Does it make noise? If cleaning the contact doesn't work (and I mean 'really' cleaning it till it's shiney) You can try opening the motor block to remove hair and stuff, and see if the gears are damaged. Maybe add some new silicone grease to the gears if you get it running. You should not run it on carpet(keep it on the tracks), and if you want the gears to last don't push it like a hotwheel car ever, and don't hold it down in place on the track while the motor is trying to drive. Also don't store it with the battery in it, take the battery out when not in use, or at least don't leave it plugged all the way in.
 
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a98087

a98087

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When you convert to rc just be aware of the different motor voltages,

The track powered are 12v and the battery powered are 4.8v,

I converted one Playmobil loco from 4.8v to 12v buy swapping the entire motor block, it’s attached by double sided tape


To convert to battery it would keep the existing motor block and just fit a 3s (12v) lipo battery and deltang receivers in the cab, you then just need to run two wires to the motor,

Dan
 
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Xav204

Xav204

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Hello
Brian have explained very well
Don't forget that you have to keep the RC black rods between wheels.

1576507236059.png


You can remove the gold rod
You need to keep the gold pin and enlarge the grey rod hole .
The picture shows that I did paint the gold pin in grey color

Grey rod is longer than gold, it needs to be shortened ( green arrow )
You have to add a hole where there is green arrow ( because the grey rod needs 2 hole and RC only have 1 as gold rod is 1 "bar" )

You need to reduce the height ( red arrow ) to avoid rod to touch the frame and make noise

1576507522024.png


Here I did paint the black rod to grey ( and add electrical wire for the light )
The RC motor is 2 wheels powered ( the powered track is 4 wheels powered )
If you remove black rod, you could have issue in curve, in reverse gear, ....
 

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400heavy

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Thank you. Right now it doesn't do anything--completely dead. I'll try cleaning the contacts. If that doesn't work, I may just chuck it and buy another one. Are these Playmobile RC motors pretty reliable? If not, I wonder why Playmobil discontinued them? These motors are over 20 years old so I am wondering about their lifespan. Thanks again.
 
PhilP

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
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Thank you. Right now it doesn't do anything--completely dead. I'll try cleaning the contacts. If that doesn't work, I may just chuck it and buy another one. Are these Playmobile RC motors pretty reliable? If not, I wonder why Playmobil discontinued them? These motors are over 20 years old so I am wondering about their lifespan. Thanks again.
DON'T throw it out..
There will be parts of use to someone! - As you say, they are quite old, and many use parts from several sources to replace / rebuild models.

So it will have a value to someone.

PhilP.
 
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-bbbb

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Thank you. Right now it doesn't do anything--completely dead. I'll try cleaning the contacts. If that doesn't work, I may just chuck it and buy another one. Are these Playmobile RC motors pretty reliable? If not, I wonder why Playmobil discontinued them? These motors are over 20 years old so I am wondering about their lifespan. Thanks again.
PhilP is right.. do not chuck it. If you don't want it someone will.

Even broken stuff can be restored (someone like me may want all of your broken pieces if you are going to throw them away). Here is how I fixed something:

Before (broken and missing broken pieces):
before.jpeg
e
Process (thermoplastic and epoxy putty):
fix.jpeg

After (previously broken sides facing camera):
after.jpeg


They are reliable. They may have discontinued because of high cost and low popularity among the masses, a niche market.
 
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400heavy

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You're right. I was just very irritated and upset that this seemingly simple conversion has been so difficult. I wish that someone out there would make and sell these Playmobil RC conversions. I am sure that every single conversion that he makes will be sold. Thank you, Philip.
 
PhilP

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
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I am sure that every single conversion that he makes will be sold. Thank you, Philip.
You are welcome!

The problems with doing the conversions are:
Sourcing the originals. - They are getting rarer, and going up in price.
The spare parts. - See above!
Then there is the additional cost of the new equipment, and the person doing the conversion's time..

With no problem-components to find/repair/replace, a conversion would probably be 4-6 hours work.
 
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-bbbb

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Right now it doesn't do anything--completely dead. I'll try cleaning the contacts.
I should mention, I've encountered a couple of playmobil RC motorblocks like this. They seemed completely dead, no noise, no movement, nothing, and when I first tried cleaning the contacts for a few minutes it still didn't work. But I decided to be stubborn and persist in trying to clean it even more even if I was doomed to fail. To my surprise it eventually worked, but it took a lot of elbow grease and determination and really sanding the contact with sand paper rather than the mere scotchbright green pad I started with. I eventually changed my tactic and just used a ball shaped dremel bit on a cordless drill to sand the contacts, and that made the repairs go a lot faster on the second problemed train, but I had to be careful not to damage the contact. I'm suspecting yours is fixable. If the contacts aren't the problem(which I expect they are because that is the most common problem with these), then you might check for continuity and make sure a wire hasn't broke off of the motor when dropped or something. Another possibility might be the brushes on the motor might be worn out, and they could be replaced if necessary (there are tutorials on youtube). If the motor itself is burnt out in the windings, you might be able to find an equivalent buhler motor (for 6 volts (4.8v is with rechargeable batteries, but the train works with regular 1.5v AA batteries as well at 6 volts so you want a motor that supports at least that much, probably a bit more.) ), and try to transfer the gear from the original motor shaft to the new motors shaft in the same position as the original. If the other circuitry is the problem you might be able to replace that as well with a playmobil RC car receiver connected directly to the motor or directly to a replacement motor.
 
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4

400heavy

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Wow, there certainly is a lot that can go bad with these RC trains, but, as you said, nothing that you can't fix. I will work on the dirty contacts this week.

Thanks again!
 
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400heavy

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Oceanside, California
Amazing how you were able to repair that cab--outstanding job! Not everyone is as talented as you. OK, I won't throw anything away. If I cannot repair it, I will send it to you for free and you can reimburse me for the shipping (I live in San Diego, California).
 
PhilP

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
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Another thought..
Sometimes the 'clips and bumps' which hold the battery pack in the loco can get tired. - Try squeezing the battery pack into the loco. If you get movement then, a strong rubber-band (I use a piece cut from a bike inner tube) will hold the battery pack in the loco.
Beauty of the section of inner tube, is it is black, and almost invisible in use. :)

Many of these 'toys' are 20-30 years old, and have probably had a number of owners? No surprise they are getting a little temperamental. :think:
 
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-bbbb

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PhilP is right again, try holding in the battery like he said. One thing you can do instead of using a rubber band to hold the battery in is to carefully bend the contacts out so they are closer to the battery. But you don't want to be bending them back and forth too much because if you bend them too much they can weaken and break; then you'd have to open it up and solder them back on. Or you can also hold the battery in tight by wedging the tip of a toothpick or something into the edge between the battery and slot, preventing it from slipping out. I don't think that those passenger car repairs were a matter of skill as I've only done a repair like that once before and the results are not entirely perfect upon close inspection. That is a kind offer 400heavy, I'm in Idaho. I think you will be more inclined to fix things yourself the more you see how things can be fixed. Don't give up too easily.
 
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Xav204

Xav204

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Hello

I would like to be more fluent in English but this conversation needs technical word I don't have
( And I didn't understand the issue was about RC motor, I wrongly understood it was powered track motor )

PhilP and Brian are both right
There is no reason the motor doesn't work because Playmobil made it simple way.
They are known to be robust and strong
They are a lot of things to check : starting for instance the battery block
Is it black or grey ? With rechargeable battery or disposable ? Do they have enough electricity ?
Are battery placed the right way ?

PhilP is right : battery block sometimes takes liberty in the frame, electrical contact is lost and motor stops...

400Heavy, please add pictures.
Then we will be able to help, step by step.
This motor is not so old, it must run.

In case you don't know it, take some minutes to visit this website

This guy is very nice, sympathetic and competent
If Im' not wrong, I remember he should have page where it explains about block motor

We wait for pictures for your loco and battery block :)

Never throw out !
We can show you the second life you can give, and happiness time they can give
 
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dunnyrail

dunnyrail

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Hello

I would like to be more fluent in English but this conversation needs technical word I don't have
( And I didn't understand the issue was about RC motor, I wrongly understood it was powered track motor )

PhilP and Brian are both right
There is no reason the motor doesn't work because Playmobil made it simple way.
They are known to be robust and strong
They are a lot of things to check : starting for instance the battery block
Is it black or grey ? With rechargeable battery or disposable ? Do they have enough electricity ?
Are battery placed the right way ?

PhilP is right : battery block sometimes takes liberty in the frame, electrical contact is lost and motor stops...

400Heavy, please add pictures.
Then we will be able to help, step by step.
This motor is not so old, it must run.

In case you don't know it, take some minutes to visit this website

This guy is very nice, sympathetic and competent
If Im' not wrong, I remember he should have page where it explains about block motor

We wait for pictures for your loco and battery block :)

Never throw out !
We can show you the second life you can give, and happiness time they can give
Interesting link that shows what I imagine is the full range of Rolling Stock available, well if not all a lot I have not seen before.
 
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Xav204

Xav204

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Thank you John,

Walt is member within this Forum and may intervene when he has time or interesting news to share

I'm sure we will solve the issue of 400heavy
 
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