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Hi. I'm brand new to HO slot cars, in a way. My parents found the track I has as a kid. It has been in an attic for ~20 years. I am surprised by the quality of plastic used for the track. I have all the pieces to the track, but the picture below shows I'm missing 1. It was fun piecing it together like a puzzle with no instructions.

The issue that I have is that the car does not run on the track. I've notices new cars have a motor cover and I'm not sure if it's required. I would like to know for sure a new car will work before I go and spend $30 on one; these suckers ain't cheap.

When I lift the rear wheels they turn. I thought the contacts were bad so I used fine sandpaper until I saw clean copper. Try again with the same issue. Next I took just the powered piece of track and let the rear wheels hang off the edge with the contacts on the rails (like this image), the car parallel to the track like it should be, and the wheels spin. Now I know it's not the contacts. So I thought the track is disrupting the magnets on the motor causing it not to spin and the motor cover blocks the magnet disruption. So I cut out a piece of cardboard put the car on the track and the wheels spin, woot. The only problem is the cardboard is ~2mm too thick so the wheels are off the track.

Is my car dead?

tl;dr; I think the motor magnets are busted but IDK. If I block the track from the motor magnets the motor spins.

Note: the transformer and track reads 20VDC as it should.

Track: 1993 Tyco Ultra Cliffhangers

Car: original with the set.

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Car Underside

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Motor Test

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It could be one of several things really. Whereabouts are you in the world? The easiest thing would be to find someone local to take a look at it for you. Failing That, I could rebuild the car for you if you wanted to post it to me.

If you give the track rails a scrub with a green scouring pad like on the back of a sponge to shine them up that'll help the car run.
 

· Rich Dumas
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It looks like you are in the US. I'm glad you got things running. I polish the rails on my track with fingernail buffing blocks from a drug store or beauty supply place. Tyco pickup shoes tend to wear out very quickly and will need to be replaced. Tyco cars have been out of production for some time and OEM parts are getting harder to find. In many cases parts from other makers can be substituted, Wizzard High Performance has shoes for Tyco cars as part #E13, E13A and E13B.
 

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Also check the Pickup springs to make sure that they are helping the Shoes make solid contact with the Track. Because if the car runs while you lift the rear wheels off the Track; it leads me to believe that the Pickup Spring have lost some force to make the solid contact. You can find the Springs New on eBay, but just make sure you buy the ones for your car
 

· Rich Dumas
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I have never had a problem with old Tyco pickup shoe springs losing tension, however if someone has tinkered with the car the springs could have gotten mangled and may need to be re-adjusted or replaced. The springs should make about a 135 degree angle.
 
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