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· Model Murdering
7,334 Posts
Oh damn, I'm sorry I missed chat this week and the vibe discussion. Dont worry, I've already been told that my name is mud.

Your pictured HR coupe is the rarer green/ tan interior version, Very cool!

The old ratchet or escapement mechanism still wins the prize in my book for simplest pain in the ass there ever was! LOL. Like showing a picture could ever explain how they really worked....er...ah I mean didn't work. :rolleyes:

As for the Flintstone tires, bed rocked with age, I've been cleaning and massaging them with a rubber rejuvenator. After they've dried, they are sorted and the good ones are trued. I massage white silicone brake paste into them and finally smear them up thick.

They are then placed in a small plastic bag, and left on the water heater, or other moderately warm place. You'll be suprised at how silicone paste they will wick up. After they are wicked, they are wiped of with a rag and installed.

Mind you they're not like Super Tires, but there is a noticable improvment, and it's a safe bet that you've slowed the degenerative process.

Many come back to life, some are too far gone and were toast anyway.

I've got a half dozen or so, and a few more in process. I runem' once a month, or to show off to the occasionally curious visitor.

I love the little antiques. They drive the cats bonkers, and even screw up the cable TV.

As you mentioned previously Jeff, they have a wonderful and unmatched ability to slide the entire corner. Pictured below is the roadster mate to your pictured coupe. It's one of my recent restos, unfortunatly it's high quality resto chrome from Steve Boyd, but the rest is original. Another diamond in the rough from fleabay. Initial cost was 16 bucks. She was pretty rough.

For some unknown reason this ones pretty quick for a vibe, unlike their middlin' reputation. It's the only one I have that runs way above average.
This roadster hangs out through the entire turn and hooks up down the straight just like a proper dirt tracker.

Jeff, thanks for posting up on the much maligned vibe. I'm an old fart and still remember when they were the only, and therefore coolest, thing in HO cars. :thumbsup:


· Model Murdering
7,334 Posts
I'll keep my eyes peeled VJ. Tuning may not be the right word. Lets go with minimizing the engineering short commings. :rolleyes: For the most part it's about limiting all frictions. There are three critical adjustments.

1: The relationship between the drive blade on the reed and the gear must be close. It's tight! You should feel the slightest contact between the two when you roll the rear wheels forward. If you roll the wheels backwards there should be no contact. If you have rearward contact the vibe wont have the groovy off throttle coast. It's a very fine line/angle and takes some fiddlin' to get right. If it's real clicky it's not right.

2: The relationship between the plunger rod, reed, and breaker contact is often overlooked. It needs to have max travel but not exceed the magnetic capabilities of the drive coil. I've also found that the reed travel can be compromised by a shrunken body, or the reed is bent to high; sorta like gearplate bind in a t-jet. Those cars will have tatoo rubbed on the under side, and generally produce some racous noise.

3: The pick ups are super sensitive and can rob what little performance exists. To tight and you'll have front chassis wheel hop. To much forward angle and your plowing, you'll hear that. Obviously you must solder up the pickups that have been grooved or worn through and polish them with the dremel.

Other than that there's not much else to do besides light axle lube. A check of the two electrical connections is very important. The breaker set, and the oft forgotten coil contact on the side should have their tension checked and be buffed occasionally.

I'm not sure what the resistance number for the coil should be, but a good coil is really the heart of the deal. The reed to gear adjustment and reed to plunger adjustments are directly related. In other words as you play with one angle your fudgin' the other, so it's a back and forth game until you find the sweet spot.

I'll add one more note, The chassis castings are soft. The rear axle bores can be horribly egged out. All screw holes should be approached with caution, they weren't great to start with, and can pull out in the blink of an eye if you put the boots to them.

Inspite of all that, I still dig the lil' bastages for what they are/were.

Edit: Harrrgh! LMAO! Park I missed your post. The only thing missing from the vibe jags is the Exxon Valdez sized oil slick underneath. It's kinda funny that one of the British 1:1 cars biggest problems actually served to preserve the underbody with a constant reapplication of preservative over the long run. :p
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