Hobbyist Forums banner

1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello. New to the forum, so any help is appreciated! I've rediscovered my early 1970s AFX track and cars (over 75 of them) and would like to get back into the hobby. The track (boxes of it!) is all t-jet pin and clip. The tracks have some rust on the rails. My questions: Is this original track worth using/saving? I can lightly sand away the top oxidation and it shines up well, but if I want to include newer, faster cars to the mix, should I just invest in new track? If so, which do you recommend? I've read that the older tracks such as mine had a short pin slot as opposed to the newer tracks. Any other differences? Thanks again!
 

·
LED Burner Outer
Joined
·
11,710 Posts
Either will need maintenance, the L&J a tad bit more. Cleaning that old track can get messy, but in the long run if you've got a bunch it'll get you running your cars cheaper than buying new. I recommend 1000 grit sand paper for cleaning the rails, and a wire brush attachment on a dremel for cleaning the ends of the rail. What I do is take a stack of matched tracks (like 10 9" straights) and carefully zip the tangs of each rail with the brush. I highly recommend safety glasses as the wires occasionally break loose from the wheel. Also, make note of the brush's rotation and only hit the tangs in the direction where it won't hook it and either bend it or rip it off. (Basically if your holding a stack of track, the tangs pointing towards you.) Also, use the lower speed on the dremel. Once you hit all the tangs pointing towards you, flip the whole stack of track and do the other rail's tangs.

The whole process should only take a minute per end of a stack once you get used to it. :) Also, try to avoid letting the brush hit the plastic because it will damage it. Once you have all your rail cleaned, a good wipe down with WD40 will help condition the track. Let it soak in, and then give the track a wipe down with either window cleaner or 409.

As far as newer faster stuff, I had issues with my L&J track due to rail height for the most part. Magnet cars just kinda stuck there until I gave them enough juice, only to have them fly off the first curve. :freak: It might be just my track that's like that, so all I can suggest is try a couple cars on it and see what it does. Welcome back to slotting, and good luck getting things sorted out!! :thumbsup:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Awesome! Thanks for the advice! One last question: Do I need new powerpacks? If so, what size/type? The ones I have are 40 years old!
 

·
LED Burner Outer
Joined
·
11,710 Posts
If a power pack works it'll be good for starting off. If you decide to get more serious down the road, you can always upgrade to a better power source.

A few things you might have forgotten and/or worth mentioning...

Let's go back in time to 1974.. Me and my younger brother had both HO trains and slots in the basement. Five minutes into running, the pounding on the floor above us would start, and wouldn't stop until we stopped.. I'm not saying it's gonna happen, but it is still possible to cause interference on the TV when running slots. Mom had a way of letting us know! :lol: So did my TM (wife) a few years ago. :drunk: Different type transformers react differently with the TV sets I guess...

Your set controllers might still work for Tjets and AFX type cars, but moving into the magnet realm might require lower ohm controllers. Decide what your primary rides will be and set up for them. Parma makes decent economy controllers for 20-25.00, depending on where you shop. Tjets like 90 ohms, AFX 60. (You generally can use either on both). Other cars might need lower ohms than that... I don't run anything else, so someone else might answer that part.

Lubrication... There's nothing like the smell of red oil... As a kid, I never thought much about lubrication. That snap loc AFX track really didn't last long enough to worry about oiling the cars. :freak: I totally blame my younger brother for that issue. :rolleyes: There are a couple sources on the bay for oiler bottles with different lubes. The red stuff might seem expensive, but the good part is the bottle with the needle applicator. Mine's lasted over 3 years and I still have some left. Remember the correct lube points, and a little is a lot!

Clean 'er up, set 'em up, clean them chassis and get running!! :hat::thumbsup:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,145 Posts
If your wallwarts cause static on the T.V or Radio,install a small 1uf capacitator of apporiate voltage across the terminals/wires of the wallwart "correctly".
Most caps mark the negative leg of the cap visibly,and it's important that you install them polarity correct,otherwise they go "Pop" with a fairly big bang.
Been there done that,by not paying attention,and trust me,they'll get your attention,if you install them backwards.
But they'll usually take care of any AC ripple and RF coming from the car that'll affect your TV or Radio:thumbsup:
 

·
Model Murdering
Joined
·
7,331 Posts
L&J is OK!

Yeah ...what Joe and Hornet (Rick) said...

I'll add...that you need to check the track for flat before you waste ANY time on it. Aurora only made two pieces of warped track the "bump and the "bridge". All others need not apply. So after you've checked them for flat, then check that all the rail spring tabs are present and adjust any that are mashed down. I also like have a look across the track from the sides and make sure the rails arent noodled around high and low. The rail should protrude uniformly from the track surface along the entire section. Then inspect the lock, joiner, and screw holes for damage. If thats all skookum, THEN start the cleaning process. :thumbsup:

Again like Joe sez, stackem' up and have at it with the zippy brush. Be sure to wear those grippy canvas backed rubber dipped gloves. Helps ya hold the stack of track firmly and protects your lil finners when you go off course. :(

Although it's been a while, I used 600 wet and dry paper on the rails during the wash and scrub portion of the restoration process. Just wrap it around a chunk of hardwood or block. Ya gotta be careful here. If you dont pay attention and stay on line, you can scuff or scratch your white centerline. I scrubbed mine up with a brush in a big old bucket of **** and span and warm water. Once I got them all washed up nice and clean. I wet sanded the rails right in the same bucket. If ya stand each piece up on end on an old towel as you go along they'll gravity drip out nicely and almost be dry because you used warm water. At that point I blew each piece thoroughly dry and hosed them down with WD-40. Finally, I just buffed off the excess WD. For periodic maintenence, I wipe the track down with an automotive bumper black and buff it off. For spot cleaning the rails, I use the old school Atlas train rail eraser block, but any ole fine grit firm bodied pen eraser works great. :)

You should also be prepared for snags at the rail joints after you begin assembling the sections. It's not uncommon to have to dress them. I use a good sharp flat file. Then dress again with a fine hone/stone, and finally spot sand the area with 600-1200 wet and dry paper. Your pick up shoes will thank you. Remember to vacuum up all the crumbs or they'll be stuck to your chassis/magnets in a nano-second. :rolleyes:

If you get organized beforehand, you can make short work of it. If ya dont have them get some extra locks. Like all plastic, the age too. It's not uncommon to have a coupla blow up on ya, after you bring them out of retirement. :freak:

It's always a good idea to check the terminal track and controllers before hand too. Hookem' up first and see what ya got going. ;)

Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Thanks again. Tomorrow I start sanding/cleaning! Boxes and boxes of track, so it might take a while (As a kid I had two 4x8 sheets of plywood L-shaped for my set-up with more track to spare!) I'm sure I'll have more questions as I go!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,559 Posts
I also use WD-40 on my L&J track. Just a note of caution, use sparingly. I spray a small amount onto a cloth and then wipe the track.

Good luck!

Marty
Marysville, OH
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top