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Marklin Motor Conversions for Digital


Conversions are fun, and if you can solder (a small 15 or 25 watt soldering iron is recommended), you could be able to do these.

The motor upgrade

When you decide to upgrade your Marklin locomotive to Digital Operation, you should convert the motor from AC (Alternating Current) to DC (Direct Current). Though many digital decoders can operate an older style AC motor, the results are not as good as converting the motor to DC. There are 2 ways to convert your motor from AC to DC.

The easiest, and also cheapest way is to just replace the magnet with coil inside the motor to a high quality permanent magnet. This is fairly easy to do. You will need to take the motor apart, remove the old magnet with its spool and wiring, and put the new permanent magnet in its place. Ajckids sells these magnets under the Marklin brand, and also under the ESU brand. The ESU brand is a little cheaper. There are 3 different magnets:

  • ESU 51960 Permanent magnet like Marklin 220560, (use with LFCM*)
  • ESU 51961 Permanent magnet like Marklin 220450, (use with SFCM*)
  • ESU 51962 Permanent magnet like Marklin 235690, (use with DCM*)
* The terms DCM, SFCM, and LFCM describe the type electric motor used in most of the Marklin Locomotives, and are explained in detail below.

The other way is to convert and upgrade the motor by replacing the armature (also referred to as rotor) with a 5-pole armature. Sometimes this is called a high-efficiency propulsion. The main advantage is that the motor will run smoother, especially at low speeds. Because the armature is slightly thicker (more space needed for 5-poles over the old 3-poles), a special magnet and new motor cover are also needed.

The reverse relay

Your Marklin locomotive has a reverse relay, that is used to reverse direction on an AC motor. It is no longer needed when operating in digital. Thus you can remove it, and removal often creates enough space to install the digital decoder.

The decoder

You can use many types of decoders, but they have to be suitable for Marklin Motorola digital. We recommend Marklin decoders, and the ESU Multisystem and M4 (MFX) decoders.
  • ESU 64610 LokPilot V4.0 decoder with MFX (M4) capability and 8 pin plug
  • ESU 54610 LokPilot V4.0 decoder (Marklin Motorola/DCC/SX), with 8 pin plug
  • ESU 54630 LokPilot V4.0 digital set 1, with magnet 51960 (use with LFCM*)
  • ESU 54631 LokPilot V4.0 digital set 2, with magnet 51961 (use with SFCM*)
  • ESU 54632 LokPilot V4.0 digital set 3, with magnet 51962 (use with DCM*)

The lights

Most Marklin locomotives have lightbulb sockets that are mounted to the locomotive frame. Only one wire will be connected to these sockets. You have to put a bi-pin lightbulb socket Marklin 276770 inside these sockets. The lights need a dedicated ground return wire in digital operation, and the frame can no longer be used as ground, because these will cause the lights to flicker.

The inductors

The green little look-like-resistor thingies are actually inductors, place inline between the wires from the decoder to the motor. Sold under Marklin 516520, they help suppress radio interference. Installations without them typically will work fine, but they are recommended, and possibly required by FCC laws in your country.

Drum Commutator Motor DCM (60901)

Use Marklin 60941 conversion kit

DCM Motor

Most Marklin motors in newer production use a drum shaped commutator with 2 square shaped carbon brushes (Marklin 601460). The 2 brushes push from each side onto the commutator, in opposite directions. The cover plate is shown here, with the new permanent magnet already in place. Notice how there is no coil attached to the magnet.

Marklin DCM MotorHere you see the AC magnet before conversion. Notice the coil (copper windings on right side), and it's wires.

Partnumbers for DCM motor (60901)


Small Flat Commutator Motor SFCM (60903)

Use Marklin 60943 conversion kit

SFCM ArmatureThe older style Marklin motors used a flat commutator (a round disk) and the 2 brushes (Marklin 600300) push on the commutator from the top of the motor cover, they sit side by side. The brushes are round, one carbon, one copper mesh wire. Smaller Marklin locomotives, such as 3000 (up to 2002), 3001, 3003, etc. used the small motor (SFCM). The easiest way to distinguish this motor from the Large Flat Commutator Motor (LFCM), is the armature size. Take the motor cover off. If the armature is about the same diameter as the commutator (copper disk), you have a SFCM motor.

Partnumbers in SFCM motor (60903)


Large Flat Commutator Motor LFCM (60904)

Use Marklin 60944 conversion kit

Large Flat Commutator Motor The older style Marklin motors used a flat commutator (a round disk) and the 2 brushes (Marklin 600300) push on the commutator from the top of the motor cover, they sit side by side. The brushes are round, one carbon, one copper mesh wire.

Large Flat Commutator Motor

You can tell that the three spools with copper windings are much larger than the commutator. Larger Marklin locomotives, such as the 3021, 3022 used the large motor (LFCM). The armature in these motors is Marklin 21475, Marklin 217450 and Marklin E217450. If you see in the parts list that your locomotive currently has this armature, you have a LFCM motor.


Charlie's Tip:
- You will have to count the teeth on the old armature, some units have 7 teeth, others 8. Order the correct armature based on these teeth.

- Also look at the motor cover. If the bottom of it has a rounded portion, to help support the truck inside the locomotive, you will need the Marklin 214121 cover. Else you use the Marklin 210881.

Partnumbers in LFCM motor (60904)

 

Marklin HO Locomotives That Can Be Converted to mfx Operation


Most conversions will be fairly straight forward and easy, but some models may pose some challenges. We try to give you some insight with the table below. Always open the locomotive, and confirm the motor style (DCM, LFCM, SFCM) before proceeding.

Steam Locomotives, Germany
Locomotive Class/Lettering/Number Item Number Color Light Diffuser/Individual Bulbs Motor Kit Notes
06 (SK 800) 3007 black, green, ect. I 60944 (2)
24 058 3003 black I/L 60943 (5)
44 481 3108 black L 60944 (2)
44 690 (GN 800) 3009 black I 60944 (2)
44 690 3027, 3047 black L 60944 (2)
80 (TM 800) 3004 black I 60944 (2)
81 004, 010, 003 3032, 30321 black L 60943 (2)
81, 004, 002, 006, 003 3031, Primex 3196 black L 60943 (4)
86, 173, 128 3096 black L 60944 (2)
86, 578, 090, 260, 217 2854, 3100, 3396, 33961 black, 090 gray L 60944 -
89, 005, 006, 028 3000 black I/L 60943 (1)(2)(3)
3-axle tank locomotive 3029 black & other colors - 60943 (2)(3)
"Lindau" 3-axle tank locomotive 30295 green/black - 60943 (3)
"KLVM" tank locomotive 3087, 3090 black & other colors - 60943 (2)(3)

Steam Locomotives, Europe
Locomotive Class/Lettering/Number Item Number Color Light Diffuser/Individual Bulbs Motor Kit Notes
86.106 �BB 3112, 3113 black, snow L 60944 (2)
N Nr. 205 DSB (BR 44) 3045 black L 60944 (2)
150 X 29 SNCF (BR 44) 3046 green/black L 60944 (2)

Electric Locomotives, Germany
Locomotive Class/Lettering/Number Item Number Color Light Diffuser/Individual Bulbs Motor Kit Notes
E03 002, 103 002-2, 113-7 3053, 3054 beige/red, skirting L 60944 (2)
103 113-7 3354 beige/red, skirting L 60944 (1)
E 10 238, 110 234-2 3039 blue L 60943 (1)(2)
E 18 35 3023, 3024 blue, green I 60944 (2)
E 32 18, Ep. 2: 20 013 3187, Primex 3187 gray, brown L 60943 -
132 103-3, 104-1 3179, Primex 3192 green L 60943 (4)
E 40 210, 140 210-6 3040 green L 60943 (1)(2)
E 41 024, 141 005-9 3034 blue L 60943 (1)(2)
141 015-8 3034 beige/turquoise L 60943 (1)(2)
E 41 024, 141 211-3 3037, 3937 green L 60943 (1)(2)
E 44 039 (SET 800) 3011 green I 60944 (2)
E 94 276, 194 0 91-5 3022 green L 60944 (2)
194 155-8, 091-5, 112-9 3300, 3322 green L 60944 (2)
EA 800 3044 red L 60943 (2)

Electric Locomotives, Europe
Locomotive Class/Lettering/Number Item Number Color Light Diffuser/Individual Bulbs Motor Kit Notes
1020.31, 1020.02 �BB (E 94) 3052, 3159 green, orange-red L 60944 (2)
1043.01 �BB 3041 orange-red L 60944 (1)(2)
1141.02 �BB 3036 green L 60943 (1)(6)
Ae 6/6: 11414, 11439 SBB 3050, 3350 green L 60944 (2)
Re 4/4 Sbb (RET 800) 3014 green I 60944 (2)
BB 9223 SNCF 3038 turquoise L 60943 (1)(2)
BB 9291 SNCF 3059 red L 60943 -
10000 SNCF (SEF 800) 3012 green I 60944 (2)
1100 NS (SEH 800) 3013 blue I 60944 (2)
E424 103 FS 3035 brown L 60943 (1)(6)
1219, 1211, 1223, 1202 NS 3051, 3161 blue L 60944 (2)
1212, 1216, 1205, 1213 NS 3055, 3168 gray/yellow L 60944 (2)
"Da" SJ 3030 brown L 60943 (2)(3)
D 109, D101SJ 3170, 2670, 2870 brown L 60943 (2)(3?)
Rc1010, 1018 SJ 3043 orange L 60944 (1)(2)

Diesel Locomotives, Germany
Locomotive Class/Lettering/Number Item Number Color Light Diffuser/Individual Bulbs Motor Kit Notes
V 100 2215, 212 215-8 3072 red L 60944 (1)(2)(3)
212 224-0 2855 red, weathered L 60944 (3)(4)
212 349-5 3147 beige/turquoise L 60944 (1)(2)(3)
216 090-1 3074 beige/turquoise L 60944 (1)(2)(3)(4)
V 160 025, 216 025-7 3075 red L 60944 (1)(2)(3)
V 200 060, 027, ect. 3021,3921 red L 60944 (2)
220 043-4 3021 red L 60944 (2)
220 012-9 3081 beige/turquoise L 60944 (2)
V 60 1009, 260 417-1 364, 3065 red L 60943 (2)(7)
260 417-1, 787-7 3665, Primex 3194 red L 60943 (7)
260 789-3 3141 beige/turquoise L 60943 (2)(7)
361 838-6 3131, 3631 new red L 60943 (7) 3131: (2)
DHG 500 industrial switcher 3078 blue & other colors L 60943 (1)(2)
DHG 700 industrial switcher 3088, 3688 orange L 60943 (1) 3088: (2)

Diesel Locomotives, Europe
Locomotive Class/Lettering/Number Item Number Color Light Diffuser/Individual Bulbs Motor Kit Notes
18462 SBB (former 220, DB) 3184 red/gray L 60944 (2)
260 032 SNCB 3069 green L 60943 (7)
8024, 8058 SNCB (same as V 60) 3149 green L 60944 (2)(7)
1602, 204 008 CFL 3063, 3066 reddish brown, green L 60944 (2)
My 1106, 1147, 1101 DSB 3067 wine red, black/red L 60944 (2)
Di 3.641 NSB 3068 reddish brown L 60944 (2)
Di 5 865 NSB (same as V 60) 3148 yellow/red L 60943 (7)
D 830 Warship Class BR 3073 green L 60944 (2)
V 10 702 TGOJ (class DHG 500) 3144 orange L 60943 (2)
V5 SJ (same as DHG 700) 3132 orange, blue L 60943 (1)

Powered Rail Cars, Germany and Europe
Locomotive Class/Lettering/Number Item Number Color Light Diffuser/Individual Bulbs Motor Kit Notes
275 BVG (S-Bahn) 3128, Primex 3017 red/beige I 60943 (2)(8)
515 023-0 3028 beige/turquoise L 60943 (2)
515 660-9, 647-6 3076, 3428 red L 60943 (4)
515 "Nokia" 3429 green/white L 60943 (2)(3)
VT 795 3016 red/beige L 60943 (2)(3)
724 DB AG, inductive test car 3013 yellow L 60943 (2)(3)
798 653-2 Chiemgau-Bahn Primex 3012 green/white L 60943 (3)(4)
Rail Zeppelin 3077 silver L 60943 (2)
Rail Zepplin 3477 silver L 60943 (4)
551 CFV3V (same as 795) 3135 green L 60943 (3)
VT 21 Stierm�rkische Landesbahn 3140 orange L 60943 (3)

Notes:

(1) Later production runs of this and similar models were changed over to the drum-style commutator motor.
(2) The instructions for 60943 and 60944 state that this model can be converted.
(3) This model requires extra work to be converted.
(4) This model was checked out to determine that it could be converted with 60943/4.
(5) Countersunk screws required for the brushplate! New models (examples: 24 061, item no. 30032) have a motor cover. These models have not yet been checked to see if they can be converted.
(6) The 60943 set will probably work, since the locomotive frame is the same as 3034. Check the locomotive body!
(7) The decoder will fit without milling work if installed upside down. Newer versions of this class already have drum-style commutator motors.
(8) If necessary, change the polarity for the LED's at their connections.