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I have a simple question. Is there a proper way to break in a new car, HO? Or is a break in period even necessary?
 

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Generally, breaking in a car on a 9V battery for about ten minutes will do. Just curious, what kind of slot car you have?
 

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With the 9V battery, attach a clip to it with a few inches of wire with aligater clips on the ends. Clip them to your pick up shoes and let the chassis run in a glass of water. The water helps lubricate everything and after several minutes your brushes are seated real nice. Dry it out real nice with a blow dryer (no heat) then give it a light oiling in the usual spots.
 

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With the 9V battery, attach a clip to it with a few inches of wire with aligater clips on the ends. Clip them to your pick up shoes and let the chassis run in a glass of water. The water helps lubricate everything and after several minutes your brushes are seated real nice. Dry it out real nice with a blow dryer
WOW never heard of that one :eek:
 

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With the 9V battery, attach a clip to it with a few inches of wire with aligater clips on the ends. Clip them to your pick up shoes and let the chassis run in a glass of water. The water helps lubricate everything and after several minutes your brushes are seated real nice. Dry it out real nice with a blow dryer (no heat) then give it a light oiling in the usual spots.
Not in a glass of Nitromethane?
Or only on the 4th of July?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the replies.:thumbsup:
This all started out by getting my grandson a Super International Race set for Christmas. I got bite very hard by the slotcar bug. So now I am in the process of building a 6 by 16 raceway. We have four Super Gs, one Mega G and four SRTs.
 

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The water break-in is an old trick,i never thought it made much differance,but some guys swear by it.If you do use water,try to use Distilled Water,it doesn't conduct electricity like tap water does:thumbsup:
 

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I remove the rear axle for the break-in and sit the car on an axle without a gear (I use leftover JL pullback axles for this). I run 6V for 45 minutes, oiling beforehand and periodically blowing out the area around the brushes with an air can, making sure the air can is upright and NOT spewing out any propellant. You don't want to thermal shock the brushes. I stay within earshot of the car when this is going on and if I hear anything unusual I'll check on it. I know some racers who break-in at 3V for 12 hours or more.

I have never tried a submersed break-in, but if experienced racers say it works I would tend to believe them.

Break-in is very important. Even though you would think you are reducing the longevity of your parts like brushes by breaking them in, getting them properly seated at low voltages imparts less wear and tear than running them in at full voltage on the track with lots of arcing and sparking taking place. Heavy arcing accelerates wear immensely.
 

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My other method is using my grandsons as "Test Drivers" They get the car on the oval track with the power turned down. They're having a blast 'cause the cars don't come off & when they start to pick up some speed & smooth out I wave them into the pits & give them another car to do.
For those of you that don't have access to test drivers, I can book you some time with them. They have LOTS of experience & their fees are reasonable. Two of them also have H.O. Monster Truck championships & the older one holds the all time Monster Truck track record at Broken Wheel Raceway for the fastest pass ever at 5.69 (In a dozen years there have only been 3 or 4 runs under 6 seconds!)
 

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I have used the water method many times on 1/24 scale motors and it works great,I have never tried it on ho but it will only break in and seat the brushes but will do nothing for the gears.
 

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I'm with Hornet, I've tried it many times and saw no difference. If you've done it you've probably noticed the big black cloud that explodes from the car, my guess would be that it's the lubricants being pulled out of the brushes. On a T-Jet you have to disassemble the chassis if you want to thoroughly dry it out, at which point you basically lose what you just tried to accomplish. :freak:

I do see some possibilities though....




:D
 

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The Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea thing sounds intriguing, but goes against fiber of my mechanical soul. Fer right or wrong I still begin with a no load run in of the brushes. Nice and easy.

Once the initial is over I deburr the t-jet gearset quickly with 600 wet paper and oil...and then 1200 wet paper and oil. I wash them out with a common water soluble degreaser and blow them dry. The final pass is polish...pick your poison...everyone has a favorite...I do the axles and crown too.

Change ups: For plastic pancakes AFX & AW I also begin with a no load motor break in... sandpaper is a no no for plastic gears (it just "furs" them up), my personal preference is toothpaste and oil...er some sort of plastic polish. Again a thorough degreaser wash and blow dry gets them clean.

For High Zoot inlines: A no load break in first. On rare occassions I'll touch a particularly stubborn comm with a diamond seater stone. It's a good idea to clean up after using a seater stone so that stray compound stays away from the motor bushings. Then comes the polish run. I like to do the rear axle journals with the crown and pinion. Degrease and blow dry.

Other personal quirks:

Never leave break ins unattended
Always be prepared to disconnect, wash off, and re-oil
WATCH YOUR HEAT!

I try to remember to do my deburring and polishing in BOTH directions. I run forward until I hear things clean up. I carefully switch directions and make sure to do the back lash side of things. Once the backlash cleans up I again switch back to the forward direction and finish up. This makes for smooth decelleration.

Sometimes I'll wash things twice if it took extra compound or things got unusually sloppy.

Compared to most I probably tend to over oil after break in, in an effort (misguided or not) to wash any residual particles from the planet surface. ;)
If things get to gooey I just blast them with contact cleaner, blow off and start over.

Much depends on the car/chassis....some require a lot of love....others just need a kiss. As a general rule I tend to be more persnickety when the chassis is built from a hodge podge of mismatched carp that crawled put of the parts box.

Like most "slot things" you'll aquire a feel for it through repetition. Good luck Baggy! :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks a lot guys for your input.

eastside johnny, when I first read your water break-in method, I thought you were pulling my leg. I told a buddy of mine I was going to try your method in the toilet, and when the car stopped running I would just flush it. Come to find out you were not pulling my leg. Thanks for the interesting method of break-in. I may try that on one of the cars.

dlw, we did use your method using a 9v battery yesterday, thanks.

AfxToo, in the short time that I have been on Hobby Talk I have read a great deal of informative and knowledgeable information posted by you. I respect your options. I was hoping you would chime in, thank you.

SwamperGene, you have an ingenious idea, Break-In Juice. What can I say other than I can see a fortune being made with that product.

Bill, what type of oil do you recommend using?

Thanks again everyone:thumbsup:
 

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i thought i remember hearing R/C guys using the underwater method too...

--rick
 

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hey baggy.i dunno which kind bill uses,but make sure your oil says plastic compatable on it.i use labelle 108 oil,which comes in a handy micro applicator.i also use a small toothbrush(used for flossing)to clean the comms on my inlines with exposed comms.works well enough to get the crud off.have fun with the track,and post pics on the track building thread!
 

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For areas requiring light oiling, I use a lightweight synthetic by Mobil..."5W-whatever" LOL!

I'm a proponent of any oil is better than no oil and dont fuss much over it so long as it's fairly light weight and has decent film retention. Readily available in automotive land and 1 quart will last eight billion years.

For arm bushings and drive axles I use Black Moly assembly lube. I like it because it hangs around during storage and doesnt sling under hard usage. The bonus is that from my perpective it doesnt "coke" up as bad and for the most part wipes right off the comm and out of the undercuts of t-jet armatures. The big tube should last 12 billion years.

Some guys like the fancy $100 a bottle, 12 yr aged oil, and tip their little finger when they use it; but for normal schmoes like me, "affordable" and "easily obtained" are the primary concerns. The most important part IMHO is the delivery system...a good needle oiler is worth it's weight.
 

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The most important part IMHO is the delivery system...a good needle oiler is worth it's weight.
You said a mouthfull there.
I would probably be considered an oil snob around here. I only use "Habby" oil, made by a local dude, John Habernall. It's very good and very light.
I think he knows his stuff though, he was the captain for the KC Fray team for ALL of their wins at the classic.
 

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Yeah, I knew this was comin ...

I'm just funnin' on the connesuers Tim LOL! Everytime we get a how high is up generalized question we often tend to load champagne on to beer trucks. Given that it was a general break in question, I applied Budweiser. :thumbsup:

"Well I've found that Emu oil rendered on the summer equinox is the best."

"IMHO a blend of Marvel Mystery Oil and Crisco makes for an incredibly flakey comm crust."

Tim? You dont waste that precious Kentucky Fried nectar of the gods on break ins do you? Perish the thought! :p
 

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Discussion Starter #20
In my business I should have an eternal supply of slot car oil. We have a warehouse full of Mobil oil. We also sell it in bulk by the 1000s of gallons. Thanks Bill
 
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