You shouldn't call yourself a true racer unless you push the envelope every now and then. Mark Donohue called it the "unfair advantage," I believe.
The problem with me having anything to say concerning RTR 1/32 cars is that I've only ever owned one of them, a Fly Panoz coupe given to me by one of my customers and friends who now heads Panoz Engine Development (I think). When I finally clued him in to my slot racing addiction, and mentioned that Fly had just introduced a 1/32 Panoz coupe, he said, "Yeah, I know. They sent us a couple of cases of them. You want one?" He did send me one and it's the only 1/32 RTR I own. I've run it exactly once.
I'm a little odd (no snickering, please!) in that during the middle 60s, I only ever bought one 1/24 slot car kit, a Dynamic Hussein mail-ordered from AutoWorld, and then moved immediately into scratchbuilding under the tutelage of an older friend: he was 12 and I was 11! When I came back to the commercial hobby in the late 80s (my third spin at slots), scratchbuilding was basically dead so I began running 1/24 stamped steel cars and have continued in that genre ever since. Never did get the wing-car bug.
I guess you won't mind hearing about the inside-the-endbell shunt wires, which came about as I recall from a post-race bull session where another racer was grousing that we ought to be allowed to run shunt wires in 16D motors.
It got me to thinking whether or not I could figure out a way to put hidden brush shunt wires inside the endbell. So I gave it a shot and here's how I did it.
First, I took a Parma 16D endbell plastic and used my Dremel MotoTool to cut vee-shaped slots in the flat areas under the brush hoods, such that with the brush plates and hoods installed, there was no plastic directly under the hoods themselves and the plates completely covered the slots. Then, using a Dremel cut-off wheel, I made a thin slot in each brush plate, aligning the slot with the long axis of the motor brush and centering it on the width of the brush. The slots extended from the small concave "faces" of the plates (toward the comm) back toward the convex curved sides of the endbell itself. These slots almost cut the brush plates in half, but stopped about 1/16-inch before bisecting them. The slotted brush plates were then CA'd into position on the endbell plastic and situated such that the brush plate slots were exposed from the bottom by the vee-shaped slots I had earlier cut in the endbell plastic. I then installed the actual brush hoods in their normal positions atop the now-slotted base plates.
It was common to have a lead wire tab break off these early brass brush hoods and no one cared if you then soldered your lead wire either to the top of the hood or to the screw next to the missing tab. So I broke off the two lead wire tabs and soldered the thin lead wire we used at the time to the screws but carefully routed the tip of each wire between the hood and the endbell's bushing stanchions, turning them down at the tips so they were accessible from underneath the endbell. I think I notched the plastic of the endbell a tiny bit to provide clearance for these lead wire "tails."
I then made two shunt wires out of the commercial material sold for this purpose and carefully soldered one to each of the leadwire tails. These had to be formed into "C" shapes flat against the bottom of the endbell, to allow for movement of the shunts as the brushes wore and to keep them from getting caught in the comm tabs. The shunt wires ran from one side of the hoods and then swept close to the curved sides of the endbell before turning back toward the slots in the baseplate from the other side of the hoods. The very tip of each shunt wire was then twisted tightly together, bent 90 degrees, and inserted through the slot in each brush hood baseplate as far as possible without touching the top of the brush hood.
If you've followed me this far, you're probably wondering just how this was to work? Here's the trick: I took each motor brush and cut it in half, so that I ended up with what looked like two pair of very worn short motor brushes. I then installed the two halves of each brush into the brush hood such that the shunt wire tip sticking into the hood through the base plate slot was clamped between the brush halves by the pressure of the brush spring! I seem to recall that I also filed a shallow groove into each brush half's face to keep the shunt wires centered.
I will leave it to your imagination just how fiddly the final assembly process was!
As with the fishing line guide flag confessed to earlier in this thread, I only ran this one time, for I found to my utter chagrin that it made absolutely no difference in how that 16D motor ran. And the whole process was so time-consuming and delicate that it was probably a good thing that it didn't make the motor go any faster, because then I would have been tempted to do it again! But it did prove to my satisfaction that it indeed was possible to put hidden brush shunt wires inside the endbell.
(Note to anyone coming to the RadTrax Slot Car Convention in May: I still have this endbell, as well as the fishing line guide flag mentioned earlier, and will be bringing the evidence with me to Las Vegas if anyone needs proof of my perfidious tendencies!)
I hope you folks will be kind to me today in spite of my past sins. I stopped by the grocers on the way home tonight to pick up a few things and found to my absolute horror that for the very first time in my life, I was given the "senior citizen discount" by the mere child of a cashier. I didn't request it; she just did it automatically. Oh, the shame and humiliation! I won't even reach the big five-oh for three more months! Please have some empathy for my severely depressed state this evening . . .