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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, AFX guys. I'm recently back into the hobby, and have been going through my old cars, cleaning and tuning them up.

I remember having this annoying problem back in the day with AFX cars, in that after a while, the motors would start to squeal and howl, which was accompanied by a massive drop in power. As a kid I would take them apart and try to clean and oil them as best I could, but some cars just never seemed to get better, and they'd end up in the broken bin, never to race again. Others would bounce back for a while, then go right back to howling.

As I've been going through my old cars now, I'm still running into this issues with several of the AFX Magnatraction cars. I read an old thread on here with someone asking the same question, and the consensus seemed to be clean everything, and lubricate the armature shaft. I posted a quick YouTube video of one of my cars exhibiting this squealing issue.

This car was disassembled and cleaned (chassis, brushes, armature, springs) and I lightly oiled it in the usual locations. It seemed good for a short time, then went right back to squealing and howling. Are new brushes the answer? I have some upgraded/aftermarket ones ordered, although the ones in here were cleaned and were still in good condition. Does it just come down to lubrication? I don't see much mention of this issue on the YouTube slot car channels I've been watching. I can't be the only one who ever experienced this?
 

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The original Aurora manual says the armature shaft under a new chassis needs to be oiled every 3 or 4-hours.

A worn out armature shaft hole is prone to squealing much faster than a new chassis.

If a person keeps driving a car when it makes the "death squeal" noise. It will quickly ruin the chassis. The noise will come back fairly quickly even after oiling. You'll need to peen the hole to fix it.

Sometimes using a slightly thicker viscosity oil under the armature will help.

A loose cluster shaft can also force the gears make noise when they don't mesh properly. But it's a different noise. More of a racket. Like marbles rolling around in a bag rather than a squeal. Both problems will really slow a car down.

I hope this helps?

Cheers,
Ken
 

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Rich Dumas
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Pancake style cars can be very fussy about the type of oil that you use, the wrong oil might only last a short time. Back in the day Aurora sold their red oil, that can still be found and it works very well. There have been imitators, such as Thunder Oil, I have not tried them. I use Superlube, which is a synthetic oil with micronized Teflon suspended in it.
Once you hear the dreaded T-Jet squeak of death you had better stop and oil the car, if you persist in running the car it could get hot enough to melt the chassis and/or burn up the armature.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The original Aurora manual says the armature shaft under a new chassis needs to be oiled every 3 or 4-hours.
An worn out armature shaft hole is prone to squealing much faster than a new chassis.
If a person keeps driving a car when it makes the "death squeal" noise. It will quickly ruin the chassis. The noise will come back fairly quickly even after oiling. You'll need to peen the hole to fix it.
Sometimes using a slightly thicker viscosity oil under the armature will help.

A loose cluster shaft can also force the gears make noise when they don't mesh properly. But it's a different noise. More of a racket. Like marbles rolling around in a bag rather than a squeal. Both problems will really slow a car down.
Pancake style cars can be very fussy about the type of oil that you use, the wrong oil might only last a short time. Back in the day Aurora sold their red oil, that can still be found and it works very well. There have been imitators, such as Thunder Oil, I have not tried them. I use Superlube, which is a synthetic oil with micronized Teflon suspended in it.
Once you hear the dreaded T-Jet squeak of death you had better stop and oil the car, if you persist in running the car it could get hot enough to melt the chassis and/or burn up the armature.
Thanks, guys. Excellent info!

I've got some better oil on order. What I am using now is decent, but not ideal for this. Plus I'm lacking the small 'needle-point' oil tube to get small amounts in the right places. That should be arriving in the next day or two. The good news is I don't recall continuing to run cars when they did this back in the day. There wasn't any fun in it, since they were so slow, and even as a 12 year old, I knew something was wrong and that I should take the car off the track and run something else.

I'm planning to do thorough disassembly and cleaning on all my cars in the coming weeks. The one in my video was a fairly quick 'let's see if I can remember how I did this when I was 12' cleaning. It came back to me right away though. I'll inspect everything and see how these old AFX chassis are holding up. I have several spares, so if one is beyond repair I've got the parts to rebuild.

I also ordered a VRP Slot Racing dyno, magnetic force tool and ARM tool yesterday to help me get these cars in shape.
 

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I rarely get the squeal of death, except pieces that have sat a while and dried up.

A moly based assembly lube works excellent for the bottom armature bore, it's low sling and lasts well in storage. That's kinda what it's for! Doesnt foul the commutator.

Mobil 1 light synthetic for the other bits.
 

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Rich Dumas
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Slot Car Corner buys Superlube in large containers and repackages it for sale in needle tip applicator bottles that have caps with retainers so they don't get lost. The bottles can have different gag labels, this one is my favorite.

 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I rarely get the squeal of death, except pieces that have sat a while and dried up.

A moly based assembly lube works excellent for the bottom armature bore, it's low sling and lasts well in storage. That's kinda what it's for! Doesnt foul the commutator.
Mobil 1 light synthetic for the other bits.
Slot Car Corner buys Superlube in large containers and repackages it for sale in needle tip applicator bottles that have caps with retainers so they don't get lost. The bottles can have different gag labels...
Thanks, guys. Got a few lubricants ordered. I've got a lot of AFX chassis to go through when it arrives - which I'm really looking forward to!
 

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The original Aurora manual says the armature shaft under a new chassis needs to be oiled every 3 or 4-hours.

A worn out armature shaft hole is prone to squealing much faster than a new chassis.

If a person keeps driving a car when it makes the "death squeal" noise. It will quickly ruin the chassis. The noise will come back fairly quickly even after oiling. You'll need to peen the hole to fix it.

Sometimes using a slightly thicker viscosity oil under the armature will help.

A loose cluster shaft can also force the gears make noise when they don't mesh properly. But it's a different noise. More of a racket. Like marbles rolling around in a bag rather than a squeal. Both problems will really slow a car down.

I hope this helps?

Cheers,
Ken
Welcome back to the hobby. The squeal definitely needs oil . On some old cars you can take lithium grease on your finger tip and lube the lower armature hole . That will last longer, but keep it out of the brush holes . Jag Hobbies sells bare chassis (Auto World ) might be time to replace the chassis . Cost is pretty cheap, like $7 or less brushes are cheap too. Replace them too .
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Welcome back to the hobby. The squeal definitely needs oil . On some old cars you can take lithium grease on your finger tip and lube the lower armature hole . That will last longer, but keep it out of the brush holes . Jag Hobbies sells bare chassis (Auto World ) might be time to replace the chassis . Cost is pretty cheap, like $7 or less brushes are cheap too. Replace them too .
Good info! I've got several spare chassis to work with if needed, but always good to have another source.

The chassis should last nearly forever. The axle and armature shaft holes can get enlarged (or may have been too big to start with), but those can be swaged to close them up. The cluster gear is often loose, the rivet can be replaced with a machine screw.
See this article: Magnatraction X-Traction Tuning Rev 4.pdf
Wow, that's quite the article! I'll be digging into that this weekend. That will be a fun one to explain when my wife asks me what I'm reading...
;-)
 
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