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Friday, 17 January 2014

Basic Slot Car Maintenance - Part 2

Make sure to check out Part 1 of our Basic Slot Car Maintenance to learn:

  • Fixing track to a Baseboard
  • Power drops and breaks
  • Testing Lane Change sections





Welcome to the exciting hobby of Slot Cars.  At the beginning it is great fun, until everything starts to hesitate and slow down. That's when you need to look after your setup so you can continue with maximum enjoyment of your Slot Car experience.

You are here to learn abut how to maintain your Slot Car setup before it needs major maintenance (we hope we've caught you in time, lol)

Weather you have a small and simple setup or a 4+ lane for club racing, the proper cleaning routine is needed.


Cleaning

Scalextric track

Since the year 2000, Scalextric amended the track design to improve the rigidity of the track and the ease of assembly. It is now possible to simply push two track pieces together in order to connect them, no need for fiddly connectors.

Cleaning Scalextric track

Light cleaning of track surface for daily use: Use a damp cloth or very lightly oiled cloth. This removes light grime and dust from the track surface. Wipe surface dry after using a damp cloth. As matter of good practice, always do this before using the Scalextric layout as this will help ensure you get the best grip from the car tyres.

Older Scalextric track

Track produced before the year 2000 is known as Classic track. It can be identified by the round popper track connectors.

Cleaning Classic track

Light cleaning of track surface for daily use: Use a damp cloth or very lightly oiled cloth. This removes light grime and dust from the track surface. Wipe surface dry after using a damp cloth.

Track rails

Unless kept in perfect conditions, older track rails will acquire quite a dark tarnish to the pick-up rails and this will prevent the right amount of current getting through to the motor. To remove the tarnishing or oxidisation, try a Hornby Railways track rubber to see if some of the surface tarnish can be removed.

Corrosion and heavy tarnishing

Use a mild abrasive material to shine up the running surfaces of the pick-up rails, making sure that the male and female connections at the ends of the track sections are also bright and shiny. Be aware that sometimes no amount of cleaning of heavily corroded rails and connectors will return the track to a useable state and replacement of track in this condition is the only alternative.



Cleaning and Lubricating The Chassis

Scalextric cars do not require additional oiling when used, say, for racing for fun. However, if you wish to improve the performance of your car there are several things you can do.

Top Tip: Lubrication of moving parts.

Level: Beginner - use these instructions if you have basic hobby skills.

Tools required: Small philips screwdriver, small stiff brush, 3-in-1 oil.
  1. Remove the chassis from the car body.
  2. Use a small stiff brush to remove the dust and dirt from the interior of the chassis
  3. Use tweezers or similar to remove debris entangled in the axles and wheels
  4. Place one drop of light 3-in-1 oil to each of the axle bearings and to the motor shaft bearings
  5. Wipe off any excess oil
  6. Re-assemble the chassis to the car body
  7. Test the car on track

Level: Expert - Only carry out these steps if you are an experienced hobbyist

Tools required: Small philips screwdriver, small stiff brush, tweezers, 3-in-1 oil.
  1. Remove the chassis from the car body
  2. Remove dust and dirt from the interior of the chassis
  3. Remove impacted or loose debris at the axles, wheels, bearings, gears and, very importantly, between each tooth of the motor pinion gear and main axle gear wheel
Place one drop of light 3-in-1 oil to:
  1. each of the axle bearings
  2. the motor shaft bearings
  3. guide blade shaft (remove guide blade screw)
  4. thread of each chassis screw (during re-assembly)
  5. Wipe off any excess oil
  6. Re-assemble the chassis to the car body. Tighten the body screws fully (do not over-tighten) then back off the screw by one complete turn to leave the chassis slightly loose to the car body. This may not be appropriate for open wheel cars, but as a general rule this will improve performance. Test the car and adjust the screwn tightness accordingly.
  7. Test the car on track




Guide Braid/Blade Replacement

What is the guide and braid?

The guide is normally a small 'keel' (but can be a pin as used in Micro Scalextric) which runs in the track slot and guides the car around the track layout.
The braid is fitted to the slot guide blade assembly. It allows electrical power to pass from the track rails, up through the braids and into the car to power the lights, motor and, if fitted, a digital chip, etc.
With regular use, the braid will eventually wear out and will need to be replaced. Regular maintenance and care can see a braid last for the life of the car.

To keep the braid in good repair:

  • always clean them with a small stiff brush (an old toothpaste brush is ideal)
  • ensure that the braids are flat against the guide and not angled down
  • ensure that the braids are positioned so that they are in line with the track slot rails.

Replacing the braid

Since 1990, an easy-fit system has been used and most Scalextric cars have a very simple push-fit method of replacing the braid.

Replacing the guide blade:

Guide blades do not wear out and will only need replacing in the event of breakage. The easy-fit guide blade can be replaced from the exterior of the car without the need for tools. The recent C8329 round guide blade requires a screwdriver to gain access to the interior of the car to release the guide blade retaining screw.





We carry Scalextric 1:32 scale Slot Cars. We are expanding our selection for the slot car season of 2014-2015 (November to March).


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2 comments:

  1. Being new to the blogging world I feel like there is still so much to learn. Your tips helped to clarify a few things for me as well as giving..
    Car Cleaning at Doorstep in Mumbai

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's great to see others in the Slot Car hobby. Let us know if you have any questions.

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