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Discussion Starter #1
My father-in-law recently got me into slot cars and i decided to build a hopped up tjet to get the checkered against him. I did everything i could think of silicone tires, mean green arm, copper/carbon brushes, silver plated pickup shoes, super 2 magnets, independent front-end, and shaved the front post to put the nose down close to the track. Still everytime i race him there is still no checker for me. I just can't understand it. He does some tinkering with his cars but never buys hop up parts not even silicones. I was hoping for some old school help to steal the checker from him.
 

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Sounds like you are heading in the right direction... I haven't ever used the silver plated shoes, slot techs new shoes I like a lot, no need for any funky bends at the hangers, they are pretty dialed in.

That being said, I have found the biggest place to make a car faster is the shoes. Make sure they are are in 100% contact with the rails, get yourself a tech block if need be. Also make sure you have enough spring tension, very important as well. I have had cars I thought were dogs, then finally remembered to check the shoes, and bam, they became monsters...

Make your your brush holders have good tension and that your brushes are clean (I use the Wizzards mostly) and make sure you have a nice clean armature.

Another big thing is gear smoothness, try lapping in the gears with some simichrome or brasso, there's a great article out in the HO World archives, you want everything as smooth as can be.

You may also have a chassis that isn't straight, which will cause binding of your gears and shafts which will absolutely kill any upgrades you may try. RTHO sells a boiling block that will straighten up the chassis.

Sounds like your father in law has himself a nice, straight chassis, with gears that have been lapped in for years and years....

Try the checking the stuff I have suggested and see if that helps you along.

Marty
 

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"Youth and exuberance are no match for age and treachery." -Sir Thomas Melton

The mental psyche job can quite often be the differnece between equally matched cars and drivers. Besides what Marty has suggested try deep breathing exercises while racing, get into a "zone" where you anticipate what your car will do next. If you crash don't make a mad dash for the car. There's a great line from That 70's Show where Hyde is "aloff" with Jackie. Be aloff with your competetor, not arrogant or submissive. Be observant but not appearing interested. Am I making sense? I love it when the new drivers crowd into my pit space, I dump a large amount of oil into the brush holes, put the larger staggered rear tire on the inside and use p/u shoe springs for brush springs. It's only when they go back to make the changes to their cars I pull the gear plate off and wipe it off and change out the brushes and clean the holes to remove the oil. I wait until I head for the track to switch my tires around. I also use Revtech comm drops on the shorter heats and mains.
 

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The other thing you may want to do is simply ASK your father-in-law what he has done to prep his car. If he's like the guys in my group, they will show you what they do and how they do it, they may even take your car and fix it up for you. Most folks I race with would rather beat you with driving skills than because your car sucks. I've seen time and time again, where someone in my group has had a car tuned by someone else and it makes the racing more fun and closer, and keeps them coming back.

If your FIL fouls your com brushes and has to beat you with deception, you may want to find someone else to race with. Sorry to say, but doing that isn't going to make new racers want to come back.

By the way, welcome to the forum, a lot of helpful folks around here!
 

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"...recently got me into slot cars..." Well there's your problem! He's got probably 30 years experience on your Rookie butt. See if he'll swap you cars for a race, or challenge him to a "bag of parts race" - you provide all parts, and keep his car afterwards to examine his tweaks. But the biggest help will be practice, practice, practice, practice, etc...............
Maybe he's taught you all you know (but not everything he knows!).
Good Luck, and remember to PRACTICE.
 

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Model Murdering
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Welcome

Check the Slotfather's, AKA Neils Wheels, website for a good primer on basic tuning. It's short and to the point. It was a good refresher when I came back to the hobby. Also HO World has enough tutorials to keep you busy for a week! LOL

I shy away from silver shoes for T-jets. These days they are mostly nickel anyway and quite hard. Each to his own I reckon but they are not my first choice.

My first check is verifying that the axles, wheel, and tires run true! Ya cant make or maintain speed if your cars running on clown car circus wheels, let alone the obvious handling deficit they create. Dont matter if you got silicones if they're not concentric they are useless!

As Marty said, binding or excessive frictions are a big concern. T-jets use a lot of monkey motion to get power to the wheels. Each bearing or journal should be carefully inspected for proper clearance. Watch for burrs, boogers, gauling and foreign objects.

For your basic rattler T-jet the looser the better, up to a point of course!

Pick up shoe geometry is critical as is spring tension. If the shoe plows, either on the front or back of the contact patch, your carving off speed. The shoes should glide, not drag or bite.

Spring tension is a much debated topic. Too loose and you wont transfer current. To tight and you'll have the stutters on acceleration and you'll be tippy in the turns. The rule of thumb is enough spring to not quite lift front wheels off the track with the body off. This is a starting point. From there the tension can be fine tuned by slightly streching or compressing your spring as required. Some guys use shims, cut coils whatever it takes.

The comm. brush springs should be gently poked with a tooth pick while running on a power source. This should only be done with brushes that arent worn down. If you poke them and the RPM ramps up considerably, that spring should be adjusted. Remember that a dab will do ya, too tight and your car wont coast properly and will be twitchy and tight as well as generating excessive heat and accelerating comm plate wear. Like your pick ups the comm adjustment is a fine line that's easy to cross by getting greedy.

Again like Marty sez, gear mesh and lapping is important. It can buy 500 RPM or more at the rear wheels and is critical to the smooth operation of your car. We're talking night and day!

Be methodical with your tuning so you know which tweak does what rather than making a bunch of drastic changes and never knowing quite how you got there.

Check your armature with a meter for electrical balance. You can tune till you drop but if your arm is a dog, it'll never come around. Check that the arm isnt wacking on the magnets. Look for missing paint on the arm laminations or a scuff mark on the magnets.

Keep in mind that it can take from 1 to 3 hours to get T-jet reasonably dialed in depending on what is required and your experience level.

Consistent tuning practices and track time are where it's at. There is no magic number or setting. Every car is just a bit different. There is no substitue for OJT and experience. Start with the basics. A smooth running, properly tuned T-jet will beat a poorly tuned overly tight hot dog every time. The premise is smooth useable power and staying in the slot. Consistency!

Soon enough you'll be able the roll one in your hand and say "Uh oh that"s too tight!" or watch it stutter down the track and say to yourself "I'd better take some spring out of that!"

Good luck!
 

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He's just probably snookering him with one of those Tjets with Xcelerator parts and saying it's a TJet. :devil:

Just ask the old (;)) fellow, we're dying to tell how we do it! :)
rr
 

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roadrner said:
He's just probably snookering him with one of those Tjets with Xcelerator parts and saying it's a TJet. :devil:
I have a few of them. One in particular is unholy stupid fast. It has skinny Tjet wheels and Weird Jack silicones. It's under a red pullback Chevelle. It looks totally innocent, and it can walk away from any other Tjet-style car I have on the straights... I'm talkin' I have original Tuffys, JL/AWTOs, Tjets with Mean Greens and blue/yellow mags and AFX wheels... Nothing can touch it. AFXs and MTs can outcorner it, but it keeps up with them in a straight line.

Hey Cagee, sounds like we need to build you an XLerator conversion...

http://cgi.ebay.com/Aurora-Tjet-Slo...oryZ2618QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

http://cgi.ebay.com/Aurora-Tjet-Slo...oryZ2618QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

http://cgi.ebay.com/T-Jet-XLerator-...oryZ2618QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

--rick
 

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Model Murdering
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LOL - point and shoot!

The guys are right! I forgot about my ICBM.

I only use it for household remodeling like blasting holes in the wall when I can't find my bazooka. :p

They do have a distinct sound when they light up. You should be able to hear the difference if dad is rope-a-doping ya. :rolleyes:

They sound like a modern hydroplane with the turbine helicopter engine and are darn near as fast! :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
That thing is pretty darn cool. I'll have to sneek over and check out his car when he's not looking he might be dooping me.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hey roadrner one thing about him he always likes to leave me wondering never tells me the whole story about what he's done i can always tell by the little smile he gives when i just can't figure out what happened.
 

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Cagee- There has been enough said hear to help you out, but I'll toss in my two cents worth. If you have a dremel, lap the gears. Oil in the right places and doing this process, the chassis (minus mags and coms) will run for a while when you take the dremel away. You can just tell that the friction has been greatly reduced.

Sometimes the best of parts don't always increase the speed. I've added super II mags with no appreciable increase in performance and sometimes it creates more breaking than I want. There are some cars that run great with a standard armature and Super II mags or a mean grean and stock mags. This depends on the coast you want and how much commutator pressure there is. I like a little more coast, some people like hard brakes. This is up to you and depends on your driving style.

Check out a MKing prior post on tuning a JLTO, some good stuff there.

Jim
 
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