Readying the slot car for a race is, without a doubt, crucial to winning. Sometimes, it’s all that separates one car from another in the race track in terms of performance. So how to you ready the car for a race? Here is a 7-step guide.
The first step is to inspect the entire car, the moving and non-moving components. Look the under garage and replace or enhance anything that can be changed. For example, if you know of a better-performing motor, replacing the existing motor of your slot car is a good idea.
Check all car parts. Inspect how they fit with one another. If they’re loose, tighten them. If they’re very tight, loosen them up a bit. Take a mental note of all the parts and test drive the car. If it performs according to your expectations, you’re done with inspection. If not, make some more adjustments.
Like in any car, real or miniature, burning-in the motor is critical to the car’s performance. Some drivers like to do it the conventional way – that is racing a few laps; some prefer to do it underwater. If you are leaning towards the latter, follow the steps below:
First, remove the car’s shell then attach the power source to the car’s braids and submerge it underwater. You can use a bowl of distilled water for this. Run the car in the water for approximately 20 minutes while changing the voltage from lowest to the maximum speed the transformer could give. Hold the speed at slow, mid and high for about 5 minutes each. Now, for the final part, simulate the actual speed you run during an actual race.
Drying and Lubrication
The next step is to remove the water from every nook and cranny of the car then lubricating it. Use a spray lube on the motor, a door opener lube on the gears and light lube on the axles and bushings.
Wheel and Tire Tuning
Truing the tire, a process that involves polishing the surface of the tire on sandpaper, is a process that shouldn’t be missed when fine tuning a slot car.
Do this by first removing the tires from the rims and run these on 220 grit sandpaper. This should remove any burr that is created by the mold. Sand the cars down until the general profile becomes similar. For further polishing, use 220 to 800 grit sandpaper. You can see that they are ready for racing once they shine.
Braid and Guide Tuning
Inspect the guide and braids and remove them when you see that they need some polishing. The key here is to make these components as optimized for racing as possible by allowing them better contact with the groove on the track.
Axle Polishing and Gear Meshing
Before fixing the axles and the gears, it is advisable to glue the motor in place to prevent it from moving while on the track. Once you’re done with that, you can look to the car’s axles and gears and see where improvements can be made.
Now you’re ready for the race.
Put all the disassembled components of the car back in place and test-drive it. Learn how you can best control it by making further changes on its setting.