A basic Q & A section

A basic Q & A section

Question: I have a Scalextric track, and I have recently upgraded some open wheeler cars to Slot.it F1 kit for the rear end. I fitted silicon tyres, but the grip is awful. I suspect the ribbed tyre doesn't work on my track. Any suggestions?

Answer:
I don’t really think it is the ribs which are making the car grip less.
In fact silicon tyres should provide good grip on scalextric track. BUT; if your track is dusty, or has a build up of rubber from running rubber tyred cars - especially if you use any solvents etc to “clean” the rubber tyres or make them stickier than usual, this will really destroy the grip of silicon tyres. Silicon tyres thrive on a clean surface, as they will pick up any dust, dirt or grime from the track, which removes their contact with the track surface, rather like in motor racing when they talk about a car getting "off-line" onto the "marbles" and losing grip.

Try wiping a straight section of track with some mild cleaner . . . what comes up?  You may have to give the whole track surface a good clean with a mild cleaner which doesn't leave residue, eat plastic, or leave moisture on the track, then decide to run all tyres dry and give the track an occasional wipe if you plan to run silicons regularly.

The first thing to do is Clean the track with a lint roller or vacuum it..... then make up a wee pad with some brown packing tape, or even sellotape upside down on a small board, so you can roll car tyres across it and remove dust, grime etc.
You may be surprised to find very black stripes, and afterwards the tyres grip a lot better.
Repeat until grip improves…. I bet it does.

 

Also, make up a “burnout pad” where you can give the silicon tyres a spin up with a liquid solvent which doesn’t leave residue – avoid WD40, CRC, fuelite/shellite  - safe ones are meths or lighter fluid, or household liquid citrus hard surface cleaner. Spin the tyres with the motor running, and wipe dry.

This SHOULD fix your problem, but If none of this gives you a satisfactory outcome, you may need to try using either the C1 (SIPT32 - 35) compound, P3 (SIPT13) or P5 (SIPT23) rubber compounds for the Slot.it F1 hubs. P3 is probably the best alternative.
 

Q) I have a scalextric track, and I find that the cars go more slowly on some parts of the circuit. The track seems clean, and all the sections are clipped together properly.

A) A few things can occur. The single most common is that the contact of the metal lugs between track sections is not very tight, and so the power does not transfer properly between the sections. This can be helped by "pinching" the lugs on one side, so that the corresponding pin is a tighter fit. If the track is longer than say 7 or 8 metres, it may pay to invest in some "power tap" leads, which clip under the track, and "short circuit" the power, carrying it from one section to another maybe 1/3rd, or half way around the circuit. If the track is in semi-permanant setup, you may choose to simply solder wires from section to section, ensuring that you take each wire to the same relative position on the other side of the track. eg left rail of left lane, to left rail of left lane. Another common problem is light oxidation of the rails. Even a track stored inside will build up some surface oxidation which may not show as rust, but still detracts from the transfer of power from the rails to the braid of the car. We sell the product which model railway guys use to cure the same problem. "Rail Zip" Wiping the rails with a rag dampened with this product will remove the oxidation, improve conductivity, and slow down the future buildup. Some hobbyists with permanent tracks go a step further, and actually lay copper tape as used by leadlighters over the top of the entire length of the track rails. The black backed one is preferred, and it may be neccessary to solder it at a couple of points to ensure good connection with the original rails.
While you are taking care of the track. It is also worth making sure the braids on the car are clean, and are set at a good angle to connect with the rails of the track.


Q) I have a problem with the wires popping out of the guide of my car, what solution do you suggest?

A) There are several ways to fix this. Firstly, ensure there is enough wire stripped, to double it back over the eyelet, maing a thicker insert to the guide. For Ninco cars, the eyelet is usually tight enough, but if not, press the braid forward and insert the eyelet behind the braid. For Slot.it cars, they traditionally use a 1.5mm "eyelet" in the guide. As assembled at the factory this isn't very tight. There are 3 ways to fix this.
- Firstly, push the braid forward into the "eyelet cup" half-circle, and press the eyelet in BEHIND the braid.
- Alternately, switch to a 1.6mm eyelet - the Slot.it SISP17 1.6mm terminals make for a tighter fit.
- Or thirdly, the newer cars are using a standard M2 grubscrew as fixing for the braid, usually BEHIND the eyelet. This will be common for new releases from the Toyota 88C onwards, which will also use the new SICH66 guide, that will be available as a spare parts later this year.


Q. I have a Ninco BMW V12 LMR LeMans Artcar with very bad bounce in rear end that I just can`t sort, can you recommend a suitable replacement Slot.it axle/wheel Kit please?

A.  The kit to use would be the inline large hub kit, SIKK07, BUT before you lash out on one, let me run a checklist with you.

Have you put the naked chassis on a metal plate, held down with magnets, and bathed it in boiling water, to remove any twist and warp.

Assembled, check that the 4 wheels now sit flat.

Remove side play from both axles using shims where necessary.

Remove any plastic burrs from wheels

Glue tyres to hubs

True both sets of tyres on hubs (the fronts require another wheel driving the suspended front end, so that the opposite side front wheel can be trued against a sheet of sandpaper glued to a wood block. I set the car in a clamp, drive one front wheel using a rubber wheel mounted in a dremel, held in one had, and true the opposite side front wheel with the sandpaper block)

Use hot glue to lock the bushes in place in the chassis (comes out easily later)

Lube lightly, and check for slop in the bushes
Run superglue into the rear bush to axle gap (make sure still has surface coating of oil), and lat it set off to make a collar, taking up axle slop in the bushes.

Once the glue starts to set, I run the car with the rear axle in the air for a couple of minutes until the glue has set, then re-lube, and run for 10 minutes.

Of course, if that all sounds like too much work and trouble, the Slot.it kits DO provide a much improved drive-train for cars. I recommend fitting the slot.it axle into the bushes and warming the chassis, so that the lugs which hold the bushes are soft. Then press the entire bush and axle assembly into place as a unit.This mostly removes any risk of cracking a lug when presing the new, tighter bush into place.

 

 If the car still hops, it is probably due to chassis flexing, which the Slot.it parts won't really cure, so the next step is to brace from the motor to the tops of each rear axle bush, to create a more rigid area of the chassis for the power train. I actually run brass rod up from each rear corner of the chassis, above each axle bush and across the rear edge of the motor, as a single u-shape with lots of twists and bends.
I epoxy the whole thing into place. Makes the rear very stable.
If you ever need to remove epoxy, use the boiling water-chassis-trick. Epoxy softens at temperature and can be removed quite easily.


Q) I am confused about which motor and pod types can be fitted to which Slot.it chassis.

A) All cars except the Chaparral, Alfa and Ferrari 312pb are sold as inline, and the last three as sidewinder. These three mentioned above cannot accept an inline pod.
All models can accept a sidewinder pod and motor configuration except the Audi R8C

So: all group C cars, all GTs with the exception of the Audi, and the Ferrari 312PB can be used as anglewinder with both the Boxer or the Flat-6
The Audi cannot accept a Boxer anglewinder but will accept a Flat 6 anglewinder instead (This also applies to Scaleauto Radical and Toyota GT1)
Chaparral 2E, Alfa33, and GT40 are not anglewinder compatible at all regardless of the motor. Wherever a Boxer can be used as anglewinder, a Flat 6 can be used as well.

Question.  I am considering to make my own slot car track, I am very savvy when it comes to the wood working part of things, can you recommend what I would need to get started in terms of power components and controllers which would be good for a basic start up and something that I can add to as we go along.

Answer.  first thing is that you should take a look at some of the tracks on our club web site, and on Auslot forums, members tracks area.

This will lead you through many ideas and opinions it is good to absorb before you finalise a design, a size, and the items you will use.

http://www.burmac.co.nz/hbmrc/index.html

http://www.auslot.com/forums/index.php?act=idx

I strongly recommend that you cut a "T" slot and use braid for the electrical pick-up side, not the old-fashioned copper tape system - the copper tape just leads to too many maintenance and reliability problems.

For wiring up for controllers, you can either use the panels I make and supply, or simply set some controller plugs into the framing of the track and wire through them. I have wiring diagrams available.

For controllers, use electronic ones, not the old fashioned resistor ones.

Wire "positive Polarity" as this is what most folk use for home built wood tracks, there are a wider range of controllers available, and more support.

Entry level Professor Motor brand controller http://www.slotraceshop.co.nz/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=50&products_id=539 is very robust and meets all the needs of most home racers. There is no need to spend more on controllers unless you plan to run at a club, or use a wide range of different motors powering different classes of car.

For a power supply, you MUST use one which is "regulated". It doesn't really matter whether it is "switch-mode regulated" or older still "linear rectified and regulated" You need about 2 amps available current per lane of track you build.

A variable voltage output supply, either by switch, or dial is an advantage, especially if you have some younger children using the track.

For a timing system, a basic timing loom cable, connected to an old PC with a DB25 printer port, using say "Laptimer 2000" software is a good basic solution for lap timing and counting.

Question.  We need 3 average controllers for our routed home track, what would you recommend?

Answer.   For controllers, the most economic option is

http://www.slotraceshop.co.nz/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=50&products_id=539  these are $105 each.

OR, you could move up to the ones with the sensitivity control dial at $143

http://www.slotraceshop.co.nz/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=50&products_id=538
 

Or a mix.... The ones with the sensitivity dial control just give the ability to fine tune the trigger pull to suit individual driver's stylres, and variation in the rate at which a given amount of trigger pull/voltage brings on acceleration/speed of a car.
 

Eg, a Ninco classic will want full sensitivity to make it feel "alive" across a trigger range, whereas a fairly "hot" motor like a Slot.it yellow or red bell, or a boxer, would be best driven with the sensitivity most of the way down, on the same track.

Question. We have a scalextric, (or Ninco) home set, what controllers can we plug straight into this which are better qulity than the ones which came with it.
Answer.  The Professor Motor Home set entry level controller is the most economic option, and suitable for all home use.
http://www.slotraceshop.co.nz/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=50&products_id=540 
There is also a version which is similar, but adds a variable sensitivity adjustment, but for most home racers this is a luxury you don't have to add.
http://www.slotraceshop.co.nz/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=50&products_id=838
Both of these come fitted with a 3.5mm jack so they will plug straight into your existing power base.


Question. What do you consider to be the best paint to paint the track with?

Answer. I used an ordinary acrylic paint, then covered it with Cabot's acrylic floor clear coat for durability and to increase the smoothness. This suits silicon tyres best, but gives okay grip with stock Ninco tyres, and all urethane tyres. A little down on grip for Scalexric tyres.
 

One guy at our club just used acrylic paint, and it is lasting okay, gives a little less grip with silicon tyres, as good as mine with other tyres.
 

Two other guys in club used oil based enamel hi gloss paint for an ultra smooth surface. This gives a little more grip than mine for soft rubber tyres, and silicon, and about the same for scalextric, stock Ninco and urethane.
APplying the paint evenly by roller, and sanding between coats will help to build up a "gloss" on the surface and will increase grip provied you keep it clean, and use good  quality rubber tyres or silicon tyres.

 

Think of increasing smoothness as becoming not "more slippery like hard shoes on wet tiles", but more like two sheets of glass sticking together, or a soft foot on a wet tile, they sort of stick and wedge.
 

BUT, if the track is dusty, it is like skating on marbles. 
 

SO, an alternative is to use a slightly textured paint like chalkboard paint. Australians use a very abrasive paint because they all live in a dust-bowl the size of a continent :) hee hee, and that suits dusty environments.

 I may experiment with chalkboard paint or paving paint with grit in it for my next track. BUT such surfaces do not suit silicon tyres very well, they don't grip quite as well.

Question: I have a Carrera Evolution track, will other brands of slot car run okay on it?

Answer:   Carrera track has a little less magnetic downforce than Scalextric or Ninco track, but for most people will feel similar. It is also very suitable for running cars “non magnet” – ie take out the magnets, tune the cars so they are very smooth running,  often a tyre change is needed as Carrera tyres are not really suited non magnet racing - - and off you go. We sell SRS Grips replacement tyres to fit many Carrera cars, and these are suited to all types of track surface and racing type.

Any 1/32nd  slot car will run on Carrera track. The only small proviso I make is that Scalextric brand car motors are rated more specifically  for 12 volts, whereas your track is producing 14.8 volts at full controller depression.
In a home situation that seldom matters, as the motors don’t get loaded up at full throttle for much length of time, but from my own experience at our local slot club; when we started off running 14.8 volt Ninco supplies, we "cooked" a few scalextric motors. Once we dropped just one volt to 13.8 volts, we stopped blowing the scalextric motors. Ths same 
principle applies for FLY brand cars who use the same Mabuchi C130 motor as Scalextric ones. Ninco and Slot.it cars are perfectly happy on Carrera power supplies. Ninco motors are rated based at 14.8 volts anyway, and Slot.it are a very reliable motor.


Q. Is it possible to mix tuning parts from different brands, and if so, why do you carry multiple ranges, it's quite confusing.

A. Hi there, in many cases it is possible to mix parts of different brand, the obvious area being gears versus axles versus wheels.
The "default standard" for 1/32nd slot car parts is  ~2.38mm, also sometimes called the imperial measurement of 3/32nd.
The reason for carrying multiple range is 2 fold, customers have different brand preference, and also there are overlaps, but also unique portions of each range. Also of course, each maker we represent expects us to make a wide range of their product available to our market. There can be advantages in mixing parts, you may just want to use Sloting Plus "mag wheels" ona car already running Slot.it or Ninco "EVO" running gear. You may want the smaller diameter or exact tooth number of a particular combination of parts. You may want a feature from one range not found in another brand.

One common question I am asked is, "can you use Slot.it anglewinder parts in a Ninco chassis?" - in many cases, yes you can, it does depend on the diameter of the spur (big) gear, and the length of the motor shaft, and overall fit of the wheel under the body. the angle of the motor mount of both brands is the same (within a whisker). Likewise, Sloting Plus anglewinder gears are built specificallty to be able to go in Ninco cars.
So, quick summary. Slot,it, Sloting Plus and Ninco "EVO" pro-race range parts are all 2.38mm, and subject to physical fit in a chassis, can be used inter-changably in nearly all situations. BUT, if you are looking to mix axles and gears, I suggets you avoid mixing brands if you are choosing a gear ratio at the extreme edges of those available. eg, 13 tooth Sloting Plus pinion with Slot.it 32 tooth spur. This is because the "fudging" of the gear pitch range is most pronounced at the outer edges of the range, and there is some difference inthe angle of the way the different makers cut the bevel of their gears. This can lead to some very noisy, and sometimes "notchy" combinations.


Question: I have some Slot.it white kits, and I am unsure what paint is best to use.

Answer: Tamiya Spray Cans are almost universally acknowledged as the best, easy finish. In colder weather, I always put the cans in a bowl of warm water for 15 – 20 minutes, to get the paint up to a good working temperature so that it sprays freely and evenly. I just use a large carton from the supermarket with on side cut out as a temporary spray booth.
I have found better results by using the white undercoat spray first, misting 2 or 3 coats, and giving a very light sand back to remove any “texture” or tiny “splatters” that may still occur. I then leave it to harden overnight before applying the top coats. Likewise it is better to mist a number of light coats until you are satisfied with the cover. On a warm day it is possible to simply spray, wait a minute or two without “clearing” the can with an upside down spray, then go again. I try to spray in the sun in the backyard to achieve this! Not very scientific, but the sun helps the paint on the car dry quickly, while I shield the can, or maybe squirt a quick spot or two elsewhere to keep the can free flowing, then apply another mist coat to the car.

After the top coats are applied, wait at least a day before applying decals.
It is necessary to seal the decals and paint with a clear coat later, to prevent lifting and yellowing of the decals over time, and scratching of both. Tamiya make a clear spray for this purpose, but as a cheapskate I have used an old hobbyists trick of Johnson Wax “Klear” floor wax.
I take a piece of thing wire which will fit inside a body post, and tape it in place. I fill a margarine container with the “Klear” and dip the whole body in it, then suspend the body by poking the other end of the wire into a hole in a block of wood. Make sure to drain any excess wax from the crevices of the body by tipping, and check it after about 10 minute standing time in case of any more pooling.
It takes a bit of work, but 3 coats like this does produce a very hard wearing clear coat, which also works miracles on scratched windscreens.

 

For ease . . . I’d go to the Tamiya clear if I was starting from scratch though…….
 

Question. I have a Ninco McLaren F1 GTR short tail N50435 and I run it on a Scalextric track. Good car but absolutely no grip. Can you suggest what type of tyres I should fit to this car to stop it slipping and sliding all over the place.

Answer. Since you are running on Scalextric track, I am guessing that you run with magnets in the cars?
If so, I am "suspicious" (for want of a better word), that you are comparing the McLaren with some Scalextric cars?

The reason I say that, is that we have been  pretty much conditioned in the NZ market to the characteristics of scalextric cars, which are designed more for the toy market, and come with a large bar magnet near the rear of the car to really glue them down to the track.
That gives the impression of "better grip" but the "grip" is actually from the magnets, not the tyres.

If I am guessing correct, simply changing the tyres on the Ninco McLaren would not equalise it against most scalextric cars.

If you simply want to go fast and be stuck to the track, the best thing to do is actually add a 2nd magnet to the McLaren, gluing it in behind the rear axle. I have some suitable strength spare FLY brand magnets on the site, there are also larger ones for Scalextric cars, and a few others you could cobble in place with a hot glue gun.
 

If however you are racing without magnets, or want to try that, then tyre choice becomes critical, and I would suggest the Slot.it 20x10mm silicon tyres, or my SRS Grips SS301 for Ninco large hub. Silicon tyres probably give best grip if you have a dust free setup, but if you are in a more dusty environment like a garage, or "rug racing" I suggest using the SRS Grips which are a soft, all purpose tyre. These DO need to be glued onto the hubs for best performance. I recommend contact adhesive like F2.


If that all sounds kind of weird, it is because Ninco cars are from Spain, which is ground zero of the slot car world; the majority of the market is hobby based, and magnetic downforce is considered a "necessary evil" for getting children started in the hobby, but most cars have the magnets taken out and tossed pretty quickly. Less exciting for the "you and me" starting off in slot cars, but a lot more fun learning to really drive the cars longer term. Even as "magnet cars" they put a smaller magnet in, have it placed further forward, and are designed to be "driven" with a bit of tail slide in cornering.