Know Your Model
Carrying out maintenance on slot cars is easy.
There is not much that can go wrong with the model and all the parts are
easily accessible. If for any reason you do not wish to open up your model
there are plenty of model shops that can service your model for you. To
service your model the first thing you are going to have to do is open up
your model. You can do this usually by removing a few screws located under
the vehicle with a small screw driver. I would recommend you first remove
the blade unit as their is usually a screw located behind it. Below is a
picture of a Scalextric ford focus and the basic layout of its components.
Braids or brushes, are the two wire mesh tabs
that connect with the powered track, to give power to the car. They are
fitted to the blade assembly which guides the slot car around the track.
Worn braids increase the likely hood of the car losing power. When your
braids are worn it is a simple matter of removing the old blade unit and
replacing it with a new one. This is easy as they simply pull off with very
little difficulty. New blades come with every new model and are also
available in packs of 4. If the blades are simply frayed you can neaten them
up with wire cutters or an old pair of scissors (they will blunt scissors).
You have probably noticed that the large gear
visible under the car is covered in fluff. This is inevitable especially if
like me you put your layout on the carpet. the easiest method to remove this
dirt and improve performance is to get a small screw driver and scrape of
the dirt from the large gear. There will be more dirt inside that will
affect performance, but you will have to open the car up to get at it and as
it will fill back up almost immediately you might as well leave it unless
you are competing.
If you wish to clean inside then you need to
unscrew the screws underneath the car. this should separate the body work
and the chassis. then with tweezers or a small screwdriver, remove the dirt
that has collected. The worst dirt to remove is usually the hairs and fibres
that have become entangled around the wheels. In the most extreme
circumstances it may be quicker to remove the wheels.
Gears will wear over time especially if the
model racks up lots of hours around your track. If they look worn or you are
experiencing loss of power or strange noises then the gear is probably
You also may on rare occasion brake one of the
gears teeth usually from the result of a high speed crash or the gears
seizing for some reason.. If this happens you will probably hear a lot of
horrible noise from you model and will have to replace the gear.
Like all the other moving parts, motors do not
last for ever. Signs of a bad motor are slower running, running very hot, or
not running at all. If you model starts off running well but then gets
slower and slower then you probably got a bad motor and should replace it.
The same goes if you smell burning (unless not run for a while), see smoke,
or the light on you power supply dims when you run the model (the dim is the
result of resistance from the motor).
To replace the motor simply open up the model
(first taking out the blade unit), removing the screws underneath (note that
one is often hidden under the blade unit). Disconnect the wires that connect
the motor to the braids and the blade unit and then with a screwdriver (to
aid leverage) pop the old motor out. then its just a matter of pushing the
new motor in place and your done. If the new motor does not have a gear on
it simply use the old one which should slide off.
Worn tyres will reduce your cars performance
especially in the two most critical areas, around bends and when trying to
slow down. Please remember manufactures do produce replacement tyres, but
you need to find the ones that will fit on your model. consult the service
sheet for your model. Slick tyres are also not the best for grip but they
may be appropriate for the driving characteristics of that car. For example
a F1 or TVR are very powerful cars. If you floored them out of a corner then
you would spin. By reducing there grip it makes them more realistic to drive
and more fun in my opinion. A for wheel drive super car like the MG Lola
should have more grip like it has in real life.
In the end the performance is up to you. You
can go for the fastest gripiest car or the most realistic driving
Scalextric have a simple lighting system in
most of their cars which consists of a single screw in bulb illustrated
To fit a new bulb you first have to remove the
old one with a flat headed screwdriver turning the bulb anti-clockwise and
then pulling it out. You then pop in the new bulb and screw it in clockwise
until it stops. If your car does not come with lights but it has the hole
for it (usually filled with a rubber bung) there is no reason why you cant
ad one. I added lights to this focus which came without them as it was part
of a set. the whole car glows a bit because the car does not have the light
focusing system but it still looks good.
Not all models are this simple, some models
have a different set up and may require a soldering iron.
Scalextric Service Sheets give you the
information required to maintain your models and the part codes required to
buy replacement parts.
Download Service Sheets from
www.scalextric.co.uk or click on the links below to be redirected.
All Service Sheets require acrobat. To download Acrobat
In my experience the track needs very little
maintenance if treated well. If you run your layout in a moist environment
like an unconverted loft, shed of garage, then expect rust and dust to
become a problem. Unconverted lofts, sheds and garages are not the ideal
place for a layout, but they are often the only option. To reduce the likely
hood of dust and rust, cover you layout over with a sheet after use. This
should stop the dust settling on it and absorb some of the moisture in the
The most common way of cleaning your track is
with a damp lint free cloth. Remember to turn the power off when cleaning.
simply wipe both the plastic track and the metal rails. its important not to
leave any moisture on the rails to reduce the possibility of them rusting.
If your track has rust then
you need to:
Clean it - use a wire brush to take off the worse of the rust and then
polish it with a railway track rubber. I use the PECO rubber as the Hornby
model is not abrasive enough. Please remember that the track will be pitted
due to the rust. It will also be more susceptible to getting rust again as
it would have lost its protective coating. It might be best to either bin
the section or cut the rusted bit off to make a custom piece of track. I
would bin it. Always store rusted track in a separate place to you good
track as the rust could stain you better pieces.
to stop the rust coming back u need to
apply a small amount of either oil or WD40 with a rag. make sure you get to
all of the areas that had rust on them. Don't apply too much or you are
going to gunge up your braids, blade unit, tyres etc. That's why I would
recommend binning it.