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Chassis building

14442 Views 108 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  howmet tx
I'd love to see more pics of chassis in all their wonderful variety- especially with build details, too. Graham has some fantastic ideas, I see, and Russell sets the mark for craftsmanship so far, but let's see some more! I especially want to know about ideas for improved handling (doh!)
Mrs Howmet has promised to knit some prizes for the most interesting posts.

To set the ball rolling, herewith my first go at a 1/24 'retro' car, '67 period or thereabouts. Straightforward brass/piano wire inline with drop arm and floppy outriggers. Still looking for an appropriate motor.....

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Just made this 1/32 chassis for this years Bordeaux meeting, nothing fancy, just a flat pan sidewinder with no tricks.
Being such a bad racer anything more complicated is wasted on me!

I have a nice short stack 16D to go in it.

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Matron will be with you shortly, Mr Smith, but she's disappointed to hear you only have a short stack. We'll see what we can do.
...speaking of

tomato tomato
potatoe' potatoe'

check this out on You say chassis and I say chassis!
QUOTE Or you can just call it a frame!

Dang.... exactly what I was gonna say!
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By the way Philsmith...
just trying to figure out your frame there- is the front section folded over, or is it a separate plate soldered on? Is that to stiffen it up? It's certainly a very solid chassis. Can we see it set up?

Which 13uo are you addressing. The Mono X88, as an example IS a Fox level wind. Does about 40k but could use better magnets so you have to gear it appropriately.

It is a 34s wind. Much hotter and you melt the endbell unless you can find some 25 year old Pcan endbells.

That's interesting, Prof. I never realised that the Monogram motor was substantially different to the stock Mabuchi. Who did the rewinds? In those days no-one at our club could afford them... we were pretty cynical, even at our young age, about US repackaging and renaming of cheap imports! And the common view of the stock 13UO was that it was a waste of space. Whatever you did to the arm in terms of rewinding, the magnets just weren't up to the job. I remember butchering the cans to get some 16D magnets in through the sides (or Rikochet mk 1s), but then you'd pretty well lost the advantage of the smaller size. When I started to make some F1s recently, I had another look at some dead 13UO's to see if they were worth reviving, but then I discovered that the Fox, or equivalent, is not substantially bigger. And it goes MUCH better! I'm still waiting for my delivery of Beardog's new small F1 cans, and in a state of fevered excitement to see if these will finally be the holy grail for scale F1 builders... a motor small enough to fit in a cigar body GP car, but with enough power to make it worthwhile!
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You know, a week or two back, there was I with the old micrometer screw gauge and vernier calipers, cussing that my collector's Anni-Mini Maser was over-scale, tut-tutting at the over wide track on my SCX F1's, enjoying all the snidey remarks about the Fly Daytona on SlotForum... you get the picture. BUT, today I'm down with it (as they say, I think) - I have a new inner calm...

Now I'm sure I'll be back to normal soon but meanwhile, here I am after all these years having an absolute whale of a time building sha-seez (as I now know the correct British spelling to be) and checking out my fabby old caricatured Betta shells in readiness for new projects.

Who knows, I might even enjoy a jacket potatoe' for lunch

But as if that wasn't enough, now motors too!

It must be about (where'd the time all go) years since I re-wound and balanced a 16D armature. So long in fact that even the razor scars have begun to heal. But now I'm wondering: what were the heady heights of re-winds after the 60's? Does anyone do parallel winds on slot motors for example? Common with R/C motors but I'm really off the scent when it comes to modern "pro" slot car motors. Is there still room to do something innovative in this department? Care to share?

P.S. Nice work on the chassis there Phil
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The motor I have for this chassis is a short 16D not a 13uo, it had an Eldon sticker on it but it does seem to run ok.
Chassis front end is two parts, it is made to fit perfectly under a Strombecker Lotus 30 and I wanted a sidewinder so I could fit a full interior.

A pan brass chassis suits my style of driving, which is very erratic!

Bordeaux only allows slot car parts made up to 1972 so Fox motors are out of the question, although modern scratchbuilt chassis are allowed as long as they are within the spirit of the competition, it's very much a French thing!
Beautiful workmanship, Phil.

Kind regards

Yes- beautiful work! thanks for showing it, Phil.
Especially now I know it's for one of my all time favourite cars. I built one myself with a Classic body- even then I found it hard to fit a sidewinder Fox inside it- a question of height rather than length. It must be tough finding room for a 16d. Can we see more pics of how you did it?
Here are some pics of the fitted up chassis and body.
Lots more work to do, but I have till June

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In the mid/late 70s in the US in pro car circles I was/we were doing something called "P cans" Take an X88 can remove the housing put in a plate, with BB, cut down cobalts to fit, cut down a C can endbell to fit.
Then various companies started manufacturing these smaller cans. I think it was Ian Jensen in England, for instance. Unfortunately for me, I pretty much burned up all mystuff from the day and these bits never seem to show up on the collector market.

Anyway, getting back.. The Fox is a 2 ohm stack wind, you will note that the X88 is as well. The problem is two fold, the long stack and the crummy magnets. I am doing this from memory so I hope you forgive, but the X88 magnets read only some 120gauss, verusus the 350 of the fox. With the FOX you can run a much hotter arm than you might imagine...such as a Group 12! The Fox suffers from USLESS BRUSHES. So, upgrading means, besides rewinding,a better endbell.

Anyway, with a Fox a 9/27 or so is a common ratio, with the X88 because of the magnets, you want 8/29 or so, perhaps 7/27! In the Day rewinding was only a portion of the problem...the real problem were the magnets. These days, you can, if you dont' want cobalts, grind down modern ceramics to fit, they are only about 1mm too big!

Or find some of those old Pcans and bits!

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Hi Rocky

For the life of me, I cannot remember anyone actually making moulded "P" size endbells -- old age is getting the better of me! I only seem to recall Mura "B" and "C' endbells being turned to size.

In South Africa in the late 1970's / early 1980's, we pretty much followed what the Brits were doing in 1/32nd Open Class. Chassis were brass and wire or stainless-steel and wire "flexi-board's" and "flexi-iso's", and we were using Johnson 111 cans, initially with hand-cut ceramic magnets, and Mura "B' endbells turned to size.

The difference between South African (SAMCA) specifications and ECRA rules, at that time, was that in SA we ran 12mm diameter 'O' ring front wheels and "silhouette" bodies -- with side-dams! (Yes, in the 1/32nd scale!). Everyone used either Betta Ferrari 312P 'silhouette', Betta 'open' Plymouth Superbird or CAT Ferrari 312P bodies -- and the cars looked absolutely dreadful!

Following the trend set by the Brits, in early 1980 spring-steel chassis became the norm, initially just spring-steel centre-sections with pianowire main rails and brass sidepans, but eventually all spring-steel chassis. They were cut by hand, using a Dremel! Then along came the bonded polymer cobalt magnet, moving the development of the 111/13UO motors to an even higher level.

In late 1981 or early 1982, Dave Harvey of 1-O-1 products marketed the InPHinity can in the UK. This was the same size as the Johnson 111 / Mabuchi 13UO can and of excellent quality, in fact far superior to the 'C' cans made today. The can was developed by Pete Hore (hence the PH) and Dave Harvey, and it used a turned down Mura endbell and modified Mura brush-gear, also sold by 1-O-1, along with moulded bonded polymer cobalt magnets. Chas Keeling of SCD introduced the Nexus can at around about the same time (I think) but it was not as successful as the InPHinity.

These were dark years for slot racing in the USA and I don't know what was happening in your part of the world, but I suspect that ProSlot were marketing the InPHinity and some of them were being used in 1/24th scale Group 7 racing. PDL would know.

Here is a picture of Ian Jensen's 1982 British National Championship winning saloon car:-

The motor is a Johnson 111 can with polymer bonded cobalt magnets and a .500" long 26 turns of 26 armature.

Pete Hore's 1982 British National Championship winning sports car, with an InPHinity motor:-

Pictures courtesy of Chris Frost.

As a matter of interest, Team Slot has magnets that they claim are 1,200 Gauss (part ref. TS52038) for their 111/13UO size TS3/TS4/TS5 motors, which are basically "modern" 13UO's....

Kind regards

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Thank you for that post Russell. I have little knowledge of slot racing trends in the 80s and found that a particularly interesting read.

Phil, the Lotus is looking very nice indeed
I'm not too sure about the use of MMK headlamp glass though
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...or the windscreen from the old Hawk Lotus kit

What were they thinking when they sold those kits without glass?
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....or use the re-released Tamiya Lotus 30 body, which has a windscreen!

Kind regards

I'm with JP here... slot racing in the 80s is unknown territory to me. I was out at night annoying ladies the whole time.
I'd love to see more info and pictures- those cars look superb, and I apologise profusely for all my slurs and slanders re. the 13UO!
By the way, it you really do have a shortage of Lotus glass, you can always get a 'Classic' Lotus 40 body....

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Anyone got any easy, off-the-shelf pep-up tips for Johnson 111 motors?
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