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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Getting into modelling some bodies and have a "rookie" question about Thunderjets. I see in searching around the net that there are Johnny Lightning chassis to be bought as well as NOS Aurora chassis. Both are running about the same price, so which is better? I have a bunch of JLs already and am curious if the JL actually is a carbon copy of the original.

Is one more finicky than the other? Which could I expect to be more consistent with the others? WIth my JLs, I have a Boss Mustang that goes like a scared bunny, and a Camaro that goes like its dragging a brick behind it. Is this the same deal no matter what variety of Tjet you use?

Keen to know.
Trev
 

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Heh heh. Yes and no to all the above.

JL chassis are not quite carbon copies of the original Tjets. First of all, the gear ratio they come with is the same gearing as Aurora Tuff-Ones, not Thunderjets, which gives them a significantly higher top speed and makes them a little harder to handle. Neither is all that finicky, and both use the same tuning principles. The JLs will respond to tuning and tweaking--your dragging-a-brick Camaro could possibly be adjusted and tuned to run nearly as well as the Mustang if you have the time to put into it. Areas to look for problems: Crown/pinion gear mesh, brushes binding in the brush holes, bent rear axle, I'm sure someone will chime in with more. Personally, I've had problems most frequently with crown and pinion gears being out of round, and I've had good luck sanding the crown gear boss down to give it a little more room in the chassis (to make up for pinion gear wobble) or in extreme cases replacing the crown with an Aurora gear.

Many of the parts will interchange... it's getting common to put JL magnets and/or armatures into old Aurora cars for more speed. (The magnets are a tight fit--sometimes a little grinding is needed.) The gear plate won't interchange, but most of the other stuff will. I bought a bunch of JL wheels/tires at a slot car show not long ago and I've put them on some of my original Auroras. JL brushes are actually copies of Aurora's AFX brushes, not Tjet brushes... some folks say they're better for performance, others feel they wear the commutator faster. Early JL pickup shoe springs are too strong and contribute to lifting the pin out of the slot under acceleration, and Release 1 cars had too-short guide pins.

For the most part, I prefer original Aurora chassis because they seem smoother when you get a good one. I also find the top speed of the high-geared JLs makes them a little twitchy to blast around the track. However, I just got 10 of the chassis only for like $4 each (to add to the 25 or so complete JL cars I already had) and am having fun doing different things to them--I have a couple geared down to original Tjet gearing, a couple with skinny Tjet wheels/tires, a couple with heavy weighted brass front wheels on them to help handling, and there are one or two that just feel like they are "dragging a brick". :D

NOS Auroras can be had for 8 or 9 bucks a pop, sometimes less if you buy 10 or more. I've seen JL chassis cheaper than that on Fleabay, maybe $5 or $6 each, and as I mentioned, I recently found them for $4 from a guy who had bought them bulk. However, I'm saving up the slot car budget to get more Auroras, if that tells you anything...

Have fun. Try stuff. Keep asking questions. I'm sure lots of other folks here will have stuff to say. :wave:

--rick
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Thanks Rick. (Just sent you a a PM too)

Actually, the higher speed works for me cuz I'm running an oval. Looks like JL is the ticket. Just curious about one thing...is the JL tuff one chassis the same as the Aurora for body fit? I'm interested in doing some lowering of the body, similar to some of the stuff DACsigns and Pairadice have been posting. (they call their club Hosers, but they're posers. Ya ain't a real hoser until you're wearing a toque and a Toronto Maple Leafs sweater while sucking on a Tim Horton's coffee. :D )

Anyway, thanks for your great info!
Trev
 

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Body fit. Hmmmm.

JL has a slight issue with this.... Their chassis is supposed to be the same as Aurora's, but for whatever reason, it's a hair longer. Sometimes a JL chassis' rear tires touch the back of the wheelwells of an Aurora body... in fact, sometimes it's a little close even on JL bodies. It's as if in their first few releases, they made bodies to fit Aurora chassis, not their own... but their latest releases, starting with the one that has the Novas and Cudas and Batmobiles (I lost count--I forget which that is), have the bodies designed to fit the chassis better--which makes them a hair long for Aurora chassis. It's easy enough to make it all work if you don't mind diddling with stuff. I switch stuff around all the time... Aurora bodies on JL chassis, JL bodies on Aurora chassis, etc. etc...

--rick
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
AfxToo said:
Nothing quite like sharing some time at the track to pick up some great tips and techniques.
I couldn't agree more. Unfortunately the site you mentioned is a little ways away, as are most of the Ontario clubs. My hometown used to have a couple of basement HO clubs, but both are kaput. There's rumblings about one of the old clubs relocating but it hasn't happened yet. So I settle for racing at the local 1/24 club (racing cars that don't even look like cars) and messing around with my "little cars" at home.

But who knows, once I get my miniature speedway scaped' and ready, I'll be sendng out invites.
 

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Hey Trev

Are you a "real HOSER" Ya know South Dakota aint that far from Canada altho yer a long ways away. Several of us has McKenzie brothers tendancies too. We are also pretty good at hosin each other on the track. Did you get my mail a week or 2 ago?.

I pretty much stick with Aurora stuff but sometimes I will sand on some JL magnets and stuff em in. Dont have time to race all the cars I got so I dont buy a lot of new stuff-just keep on workin over and updating the old ones. We run JLs in our t-jet IREC series and some are ballistic and others have the brick syndrome even after extensive tweakin. NOS can be the same way too.

Enjoy that oval-Circle Track DAC
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
DACSIGNS said:
Did you get my mail a week or 2 ago?.
Actually no I didn't. (or should I say "no way, eh?" :tongue: ) Been having troubles with my server and missed a bunch of stuff. I also forgot that hobbytalk wouldn't send to my regular email, which is the yahoo one. Was really looking forward to reading your take on it too. If ya saved it, you can send to ZZtjjjames "at" yahZZoo.ca (remove the Zs). If not, thanks for your time anyway.

Trev
 
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