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New Member
We have broken Bachman and Lifelike HO engines. Can we safely convert these locomotives into dummies? What would we need to do to them or take out?
Also, how complicated or expensive is it to replace the burned out locomotive engines on them? Is it cost effective? These are the usual-suspect engines that come with their sets.

I don't want to risk blowing our transformer or running engines, but we'd love to be able to hook up dummies without buying new ones.


old school
Yes this is a common thing to do with unused or broken cheep engines.

Just take the gears out of the trucks. (you can leave the gears on the axels) remove motor weight etc.. and you have a dummy unit.


Registered Member
Staff member
Welcome aboard suthnuh
Well yes you can, in fact they'll make fine dummies because they'll have metal wheels. You will have to take the gearing out of the trucks so they'll be free wheeling. It wont hurt to cut the leads to the motor.
If these are train set locos it may not be cost effective to replace the motors even if you could find motors for them. However if the armature is not burnt they may be repairable. Unless you can do these repairs yourself, again it would be better to turn them into dummies.
This is just my opinion, other members may have better news for you.:D



Most well stocked LHS will have some motors, or you can order them online. If you're going to turn the unit into a dummy anyways, why not try to replace the motor? Best case you get a working engine again, worst case you end up with what you started with: a broken engine, but having gained some experience. The actual difficulty will depend on the actual model. Mostly just making sure you get the right parts that will fit together and then maybe some soldering. I'd say it's one of those projects that you just have to overcome the "first time" intimidation factor and give it a go.

Cost wise you can get a motor for less than the cost of a new engine. You could choose to spend a lot more to get a much higher quality motor though too, but why bother? The Bachmann and Life Like engines in their trains sets are at the bottom of the quality scale. Get a basic motor and experiment.

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