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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've just been told about this site at my local slot car club (Wolverhampton) and I'm after some help and advice please. I recently bought two Autoworld HO NASCAR 2005 Chevy Le Mans cars from the USA and they're not working properly. What happened when I first got them was that they would run Ok at first but then the electric motors would gradually slow down and then pack up. I noticed also that the chassis got very, very hot (too hot to touch). After allowing the cars to cool, they would run for a while again but with the same problems. One of the motors now refuses to run at all. I'm running them on Tomy track with a Tomy 16V DC/350mA power supply. I have no trouble with my other HO cars (obtained in the UK) which have run fine for years.

I can't think it would be a electricity supply problem as the mains voltage is being converted to DC just as it would in the USA, I don't know whether differing current supply would be a problem, and if it was surely the cars wouldn't run at all would they?. I know it's not a drive train problem either because if I remove the rear axle and let the motors run freely, they still eventually pack up as before.

Can anyone help at all please? I notice that some members have bought Autoworld Models. I have emailed the supplier but not had the courtesy of a reply yet.


Thanks (IN HOPE!
 

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I only know about the Autoworld X traction cars, not the Super 3s.

They can be very tight from new, the answer is to take them apart, lubricate all the moving parts and make sure everything turns nicely and then reassemble.
Make sure you don't lose either the pickup springs or the brush springs, take your time and keep everthing clean, don't force anything apart from the clip on the top which just needs a little push.

Derby HO Racing Club has at least one member in the West Midlands, they're probably the closest HO club to your self.
 

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The Super III was something an epic fail. An attempt to marry the front of a Wizzard with the back of my Scorpio 2 (with adjustable magnets, hence the clip that seems to do nothing), it was blighted by the fact the shoes and brushes were not thought through fully, and rendered pretty useless by AW's bizarre decision to never release spares. It seemed as if AW got so far with things and then lost interest, somewhat borne out by the chunky, fantasy-scheme 'Nascars'.

If you do attempt to strip the car back off the brushes from the comm first, you may be able to use brushes form other cars but best to assume that all parts are scarce so go easy.

It is always interesting to find pockets of HO racers, and a suprise where they turn up sometimes. Does anyone else at your club like HO?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Julian,

That's a great help and thanks too for info on my nearest HO club. I've checked and my cars are the Series 3 with the latest Autoworld inline chassis.

By lubricating everything, do you mean the motor drive shaft (being careful to keep oil off the commutator etc) and what oil/grease would you recommend? I've already lubricated the pinion/rear axle sprocket drive gear with vaseline. The axles seem fine. If it's the electric motor drive shaft that's the culprit where is it best to lubricate it (ie at which end of the motor) and are there any other specific lubrication items I should deal with?

Very grateful for your help in this
 

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Andy Player
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I have a Super 3 in front of me (a racer left it behind at our race night this week). I don't have any experience of running them. They do have a bit of a poor reputation for quality control. And AW aren't great at responding to emails


Your heat problems are a bit of a mystery. The Super-3 has strong neo traction magnets, so running on the track for say ten minutes or so and you'd be getting heat. Tight gear mesh won't help - and the mesh of this one is poor. Neither should kill the car. The rear tyres rubbing on the body could.

But you're getting heat with no rear axle in so...

Could be that there's friction on the armature - does the armature turn freely when you turn it by hand? If not:
  • The front brass bushing might not be sitting right - get a small screwdriver and push down.
  • The motor mags might be wonky and rubbing on the arm - it will cause a shiny patch on the arm. I can't see how they come out and go back in. But if you do that it might help.
  • A shiny patch could also be a sign that the armature shaft is bent. The pinion would turn a bit wonky if that's the case.
  • The brush tension could be too tight - I'm not sure it's possible to alter them. It looks like there's a cross-thread on the grub screws you could use a small screwdriver to turn them anti-clockwise a turn or two. You'd need to remove the coating that's covering the screw.
A very small drop of oil on the brass bushings (front and back) might help, but lack of lube shouldn't be causing the big problems you have.

Good luck. In an ideal world AW should send you a couple of new ones. They could start by replying to your email.

Maybe get some Life Like Nascars, they are good fun and more reliable
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi Woodcote,

Thanks very much for your help and info. I've heard LifeLike are better but I want to persevere for now with these as I really want to find out what the problem is, I just don't like to be beaten!

I actually got the cars via a 3rd party - Greg Braun of HO Slot Racing in USA - who runs what looks like a very comprehensive HO racing site. Another item he sent me was fine (a Tomy/Tyco track adapter) which I found was unobtainable here (at least not on Ebay/Amazon) but that was b4 I discovered the current HO sites, so I might have had more luck there.

What would you recommend for lubrication? Would 3 in 1 be ok, or WD-40?

Regards
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi Montoya,

Thanks so much for your interest and help. I'm so impressed and grateful for the help and advice I've received from everyone here. I only visited my club for the 2nd time today (as a visitor) and their interest is solely 1/32 scale (they have two of these tracks but no HO tracks) but I did find a couple of members who knew a bit about HO. One of them said he had been runner-up in the HO nationals a few years ago! He said he got out at that time because he felt the sport was becoming too "corporate". Also he gave me a name to avoid in the HO world (which I won't repeat!). Another member told me about SlotForum and that there was an HO section.

I really got back into slot racing after reading "Racing and Collecting Slot Cars" by Robert Schleicher, which I found a good read and mine of information, though largely devoted to 1/32, he does cover HO as well. The book was published in 2001 and I don't know if there's any updates available. Again the author is American and the book was originally published in the USA where HO racing is much bigger than here. I found the history of slot racing in his book very interesting. It started (in the USA anyway) with HO scale motor cars which were used to make HO model railroad sets more realistic. It was when someone discovered you could race these little cars that HO racing was borne and why it was initially called "Model Motoring" by Aurora when they kicked off the sport in 1963 with their Thunderjet chassis. It seems that here in the UK our first exposure was to Scalextric 1/32 scale and that what's prevalent to this day. It seems ironic to me that HO racing is so much more suited to English homes (that are probably, on average half the size of American homes) yet the sport is much more popular in the USA! Also there are advantages over 1/32 - you can fit so much more of a circuit in your average English lounge/dining room in HO scale than you can in 1/32, the cars absolutely zip round at scale speeds much higher than 1/32, around 300mph and the cars are much less expensive than 1/32...... I could go on!

Anyway thanks again - hope I haven't bored you
 

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Andy Player
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I would avoid 3 in 1 and WD40. You ideally want to get a needle-point applicator and a synthetic oil that is good with plastic. You don't want to over-oil an HO car, so getting that one drop into the right place is vital.

I use the Parma TQ oil and I also have one of the precision lubricator / oil pens that are on eBay in the model railway or slot car sections and cost about £5. It'll last for ever.

Your story into HO sounds very similar to mine (including the same book). Don't be put off by the Super-3 - there are some great cars to try


Have fun
 

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Hi Woodcote,

Thanks so much for this. I've used a bit of 3 in 1 already (albeit a very small amount on the end of a toothpick) to lubricate the bearings but the needle point applicator and oil you suggesst sounds great and I'll get some of that.

I checked all the bearings, axles, gear mesh body clearance and all seems fine. I think I've sorted the problem
. The brushes weren't contacting the commutator properly and there was a lot of arcing when the motor ran. By adjusting up the bushes (I assume there are brush springs in the housings to automatically take up brush wear?), the engine revs shot up and when I run the cars now there's no power fall off and they don't get hot. I've taken the traction magnets off as well. There's still a bit of arcing when the motors run. I'm not sure how much you need to adjust the brushes - do you need to snug them in until there's no arcing or as long as they're running ok leave them to bed in naturally under brush spring tension?

Another small problem was the drive pinion which had a very inadequate loose fit on the motor drive shaft which caused gear meshing problems and eventually caused it to dislodge from the drive shaft. This was cured with a bit of superglue. I would have to agree with you that quality control doesn't appear to be high on AutoWorld's list. In future I think I'll take your advice and buy LifeLike.

Anyway, thanks again for all your help. Derby HO Club looks the biz, I'll have to get myself along there soon and I'm sure I'll have fun!


GrayHoHoHo

PS Thanks again to everyone else as well - Julian and Montoya
 

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Andy Player
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That's good news


You can have too much or too little brush tension.

Too little and you get arcing and a very inconsistent motor tone (slowing and speeding up) when on a 9V battery and a lot of blackening on the commutator. The comm will eventually get damaged.

Too much and you get overheating and the commutator and brushes will wear out.

To get the tension in the right range, you're looking at a steady motor tone with the car on a 9V battery and just a little arcing. Try a half or quarter turn of each until it sounds a steady high-pitched whine.

Some of us run in the motor on 3V (two AA batteries in a pack) and without the rear axle in from 30 mins up to a few hours. It helps bed in the brushes. But not everyone does it.

Always put the + terminal of the battery to the left pick-up (UK passenger side) to mimic the direction the armature will turn on the Tomy power packs.
 

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Rich Dumas
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I bought a Super III car when they first came out and posted a review on several BBs. These cars tend to overheat and will slow down when they do. You can minimize the tendancy to run hot bu using slightly bigger diameter rear tires, or in my case by fitting larger than usual wheels and putting aftermarket silicone tires on those. Here is the review:

I bought a Super III car to check it out, I paid $20 for a red Mustang. It is a similar design to the original Patriot car, the motor magnets are polymer and the traction magnets are small neos. The pickup shoes are very thick and need to be bent at several points to sit flat on the rails, the shoe springs are the double type and appear to be made of copper. There are four different positions for the front axle. The gear boss is not properly designed, if the crown gear did not rub on the chassis it would pop out of mesh. The drag must slow the car down. The car is very wide, too wide for two of them to run side by side on a normal track, even on my MaxTrax it would be a tight fit. The axle holes do not go all the way through the wheels, so the wheels cannot be pushed on further. There is a body clip similar to the ones that Tomy SG+ cars have and a magnet retainer clip like Patriot cars use. The ears on the body clip are the same size as the ones on a Tomy clip, but the clip is about 1/8th of an inch further forward on the chassis. The armature is 6 ohms and is similar to a Tyco arm. The motor brushes are shorter than the ones on a Patriot, the screws have Phillips heads. The wheels and tires seem to run fairly true, the rear tires are nearly a half inch in diameter. The body was heavy to the point that it degrades the car's performance considerably. The NASCAR type bodies that I saw were about 1/64th scale, very large for an HO car. I wanted to first try the car as close to stock as possible so I only broke the motor in and adjusted the pickup shoes. The car turned a 3.5 second lap without the body compared to 3.3 seconds for a stock Tyco car with silicone on sponge tires. Putting on the body added nearly a second. The Super III car wants to under steer off the track at the limit. The chassis sits a bit high at the front so shaving the front tires would probably fix that. With all of that magnet there is plenty of grip with the stock tires, although the car could be lowered a little in the back. My car does not have a lot of power, when I tinkered with the pickup shoes I did reduce the shoe tension a little and I did see a little pitting on one shoe.
Next I pushed up the traction magnets and sanded the bottom of the car; then set the magnets flush with the chassis and superglued them in place. I pulled the stock rear wheels and tires and replaced them with 0.300 inch diameter double flanged wheels. With a pair of slip-on silicone tires the overall diameter was 0.490 inch. There is enough clearance to use a somewhat smaller diameter tire. I replaced the stock front tires with Tomy front tires; there is still room to lower the car in front. I had to shave the guide pin; it wants to wobble a little and needs to be glued in place. The car now does about 2.7 seconds, still without the body but with the body clip on and the width is now legal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hi Montoya,

Yes thanks cars run fine now! One of them has already worn down the bushes so I'll have to readjust. Hope I didn't set them too tight/loose
I use the 9v battery setup recommended by Woodcote

Hi Woodcote.

Cars are funning fine now, and thanks very much for the the HO Zone info. I'll try and get myself along there and hefully be able to thank you in person!
 
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