Some of the rolling stock I got off eBay is the old Tri-ang wheel profile, and does not of course work well with the Hornby setrack profile.
I got some replacement metal wheels for rolling stock, and have managed to update one or two carriages to the newer profile, as well as simply upgrading some from plastic to metal.
Some are old enough to have the split axle with the centre pins. Is it possible to convert these to later profile too? I had been thinking of possibly making some inserts for the bogies, so I could then use the newer wheels.
Trouble is the stock is in pretty good condition, and as I got them cheap enough, could be worth a bit of effort.
You might get away by putting in brass bearings, available from people like 'Mainly Trains'
filling the existing 'through holes' with 2-part epoxy and locating the bearings in that before it sets. Good luck- it's nice to see someone making an effort to keep older models moving and not just on display shelves. Brian
It just seems a shame to me that we discard so much that could be reused with just a little effort. I've just found a local second hand toy shop here (here is Scarborough) too, and they have a lovely selection of various model rail stuff (amongst many other old toys). I just got a pair of Southern carriages, and a Graham Farish controller for a few pounds. So good in fact I'm not sure I'll use eBay for this kind of thing as much. It's nice to be able to actually see, and feel, the item before buying it.
Sadly, second-hand stuff off E-bay doesn't seem as common as it used to. Back in the 1970s, Swansea's various s/h shops provided me with a lot of material suitable for hacking-up for conversions. Brian
I find that eBay is like one of those stalls in the car boot sales that sells all the cheap watches, batteries, and sunglasses (you know the ones?).
Most of the S/H stuff seems to be old Tri-Ang and Dublo stuff. The new stuff is no cheaper than in some of the model shops. My most revisited store on eBay is Jadlam Racing, who do lots of Hornby and Scalextric stuff at reasonable prices - I just got some R601 track for a quid each.
You have to be picky, not get carried away by bidding for the sake of it, and know when not to bother when the bidding price PLUS the postage comes to more than you know you can pay for something off a stall at a show in the next six months. It doesn't help that the railway model section on eBay comes under the Collectables section so attracts the sad gits who go to swapmeets for whom the box is worth more than the contents. Run it and ruin it, I say.
The Finescale section is worth browsing, as often you can pick up stonking bargains for projects, especially wheelsets. And going back to the OP: yes you can do a lot with old Triang by tearing off the horrid wheels and fitting the newest Hornby wheels (ten axles in a blister pack) that are good enough to be used for EM with a bit of tweaking.
The annoying thing about almost anything Triang is that it's invariably underlength for no reason apparent to me. (Did they just have a moulding machine that couldn't punch out anything bigger than 10"?) I've just bought on eBay a nice Trestrol EC to accompany the one I'm modifying back from the late 60s "missile launcher truck" - so that's the full set, as the LNER only built the two - which will get a set of trestles and a steel sheet load added, but already I've discovered from a prototype drawing that Triang's is fine over the ends but about 5' too short along the middle of the girders. So out with the razor saw and plastikard...
EBay traders: may I recommend Model Trains 4 U, based in South Yorkshire? She specialises in factory surplus bits, Hornby mouldings mostly, and her prices and prompt delivery are praiseworthy. Bought plenty off her with confidence.
First gently take out the axle and then put in a new pinpoint wheel set. Then get two matchsticks, put some glue around the edges (but not on the end of the matchstick) and push then gently into each of the axle boxes so that the pin point of the axle is pushed slightly is into the centre of the matchstick. Leave the glue to dry overnight and then cut of the matchstick flush with the axle boxes with a craft knife. Then paint the end of the matchstick black. Roll the wheels with your fingers and they will create quite a free running bearing in the end of the matchstick. This is apparently how they used to do it in the good old days. I have done this with several Triang coaches and they are still running well years later.