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being a teacher, i am fortunate in that i have had a couple weeks off. we've been so busy with holiday stuff that I haven't had much time to go to the dungeon/basement... the last couple days, though, i finally got down there. learned a few cool things diddling with AW Tjets and Racing Rigs...

1. you DON'T want the "window" at the front of the Tjet pickup shoes too low, especially if you run sectional track. i was trying to get the front end of one lower, and the shoe/window was bottoming out on the shoe hanger at the front of the chassis before the front wheels touched the track. so I straightened the window part a little and bent it so the shoe just started to bend up right at the window. the wheels touched the track now, but it took a couple laps to figure out why the car clicked so loud over joints and actually deslotted at a couple of the joints on the straights. Guide pin bottoming out? Noop. Body screw bottoming out? Noop. The bottom of the "window" was catching on rough spots where one section's rail was higher than the previous section. Oops. Toss THAT set of shoes... lesson learned by trial and error.

2. The Dremel attachment to which you attach a cutoff wheel is the perfect diameter to slip on a Tjet/Tuff Ones tire and grind it down/true it on a piece of sandpaper. Works great in conjunction with the trick Claus mentioned a couple weeks ago, where you cut a stock AWTO rear tire down the middle to use on those medium-size AWTO fronts. It's real easy to take too much off and go too low :D Trial and error again.

3. For sloppy AWTO idler gears, you can use a small Phillips head screwdriver as a punch and poke a couple of dimples in the gear plate clamp, pointing down against the gear, one on either side of the idler gear boss. The dimples hold the gear down against the gearplate and improve mesh. Probably real easy to go too far on that one too, but I actually stopped in time on this one. Worked perfect the first time I tried it.

4. I was a little disappointed with my AW Racin' Rigs at first... they seemed really sloppy and not at all like the old Magnatraction one I had as a kid (it's still around, in pieces... :rolleyes: ). I finally figured out that it's mostly because the pin on the trailer that goes in the hole in the back of the tractor is too small and has a lot of play, so the trailer wobbles all over the place when you drive it. I thought of sleeving/shimming the pin or the hole with plastic, but after asking for help in Tuning Tips, someone pointed out that a couple layers of scotch tape would work just as well. Finally tried it today after Santa brought me a couple more trucks (the ones with the Comp Cams and Hooker logos on them :thumbsup: ) and it's perfect. I set all 4 of my trucks up the way I used to run my old one--take out the rear guide pins on the tractor AND the trailer, and run the trailer with the pin instead of the flag, so if the trailer deslots, it'll follow the tractor and fall back in again. now they run JUST like the old one... brings back memories... :D

Someone has probably discovered/posted all of these before, but I'm just sayin' I'm having fun tinkering, and sharing in case some of the newer guys haven't seen this stuff yet...

--rick
 

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i did the tape trick on my magnatraction truck,as i was given them by a friend,and had a mismatched trailer.white red and blue peterbuilt with the afx express trailer,with the chrome wheels on the trailer.as for the gear mesh on the aw cars,do you mean the driven gear?
 

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I was talking about the idler gear--the middle one on top of the gearplate. The idler gear and the driven gear can both be really sloppy. Now that you mention it, the driven gear was also sloppy on the car I was working on. I tightened that up by pressing the driven and pinion gears together on the cluster gear shaft, leaving just enough play that it didn't bind on the gear plate.

--rick
 

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3. For sloppy AWTO idler gears, you can use a small Phillips head screwdriver as a punch and poke a couple of dimples in the gear plate clamp, pointing down against the gear, one on either side of the idler gear boss. The dimples hold the gear down against the gearplate and improve mesh. Probably real easy to go too far on that one too, but I actually stopped in time on this one. Worked perfect the first time I tried it.
Great tip, thanks for doing the R&D on it and letting us all know about it. I'm going to try it using one of those spring loaded center punches and a small block of wood. I figure I can vary the dimpling effect by using different types of wood, i.e., pine for deeper dimple, oak for shallow dimple, poplar for medium dimple.

[Update]

Gave it a try and it worked great. This mod added another level of smoothness and the gear mesh sounds better than it did before the change. I flipped the idler also because it had a dimple in it. This is one of the R1 JLTO chassis to which I added a later generation top plate, Wizzard brushes, and stock copper TJet shoes. It is very smooth and fast and has zero hopping tendencies. I have it mounted under the orange R1 GTO body and it is a joy to drive, very balanced and forgiving.
 

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1. you DON'T want the "window" at the front of the Tjet pickup shoes too low, especially if you run sectional track. i was trying to get the front end of one lower, and the shoe/window was bottoming out on the shoe hanger at the front of the chassis before the front wheels touched the track. so I straightened the window part a little and bent it so the shoe just started to bend up right at the window. the wheels touched the track now, but it took a couple laps to figure out why the car clicked so loud over joints and actually deslotted at a couple of the joints on the straights. Guide pin bottoming out? Noop. Body screw bottoming out? Noop. The bottom of the "window" was catching on rough spots where one section's rail was higher than the previous section. Oops. Toss THAT set of shoes... lesson learned by trial and error.

--rick
Don't throw away the pick-up shoes. Fix the rails on your track. The joints are not supposed to be that rough and out of alignment.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Gave it a try and it worked great. This mod added another level of smoothness and the gear mesh sounds better than it did before the change. I flipped the idler also because it had a dimple in it. This is one of the R1 JLTO chassis to which I added a later generation top plate, Wizzard brushes, and stock copper TJet shoes. It is very smooth and fast and has zero hopping tendencies. I have it mounted under the orange R1 GTO body and it is a joy to drive, very balanced and forgiving.
awesome. :thumbsup: i'm kinda surprised that nobody thought of that before me...

Don't throw away the pick-up shoes. Fix the rails on your track. The joints are not supposed to be that rough and out of alignment.
true, true. i didn't really intend to throw the shoes out... just saying it's easier to set the shoes to tolerate a LITTLE roughness. my track could definitely stand to be smoothed out some...

--rick
 

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Hey Rick... (And anyone else that has AW rigs

So how are the rigs overall? Do they need worked over like other AW products? Or has the quality control improved? I would like to buy a few rigs but do not want to waste the money if it is the same AW product....

Scott
 

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i REALLY like them. all i did was move the pins around, oil them, and take the dot magnets out. (i HATE those things... i take them out of every AW car i get...) i'm even running the stock tires; they work fine with all that weight on them. me and the 2 little ones ran them yesterday... it was a blast to have 3 going at once. i want to get my other son down there with us and have my daughter shoot some video of all of them running at the same time. with the pivot pin tightened up with tape and the neo out and the guide pins set up the way i like, they really feel just like the old ones...

--rick
 

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Discussion Starter #11
ruh roh. my ruler says the new type trailers that come with the Peterbilts (the Holley and Comp Cams trailers) are just a hair under 1 3/4, and the old style ones that come with the GMCs (the AutoWorld logo ones) are about 1 13/16. Don't have the dump truck or tankers, so I can't help you there...

--rick
 
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