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Mike Newns
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Due to suffering the same financial problems as everyone else seems to be I've been selling off a few cars (which has been quite interesting - more later). Looking at my collection my MRRC 4 wheel drive hasn't turned a wheel for at least 10 years and is not likely to do so in the next 10 so was a good candidate for sale.

A quick examination showed noting much wrong but the paint job was showing it's age and everything was a mixture of fluff, dirt and oil so a full overall was in order before sale.

As I took a number of photo's during the build up I thought some of the younger forum members might like to see how these cars fit together. (As this car is currently for sale the Mod's may feel this constitutes advertising and want to delete this thread.)

It is possible to break the motor down by bending the tabs at each corner but experience has taught me that it never goes back together tight enough so the motor unit was just cleaned up - had the bearings flushed and was re-lubed using molyslip.



The plastic frame is held firm with pressed steel brackets - at the front they also carry the stub axles.



Well - that's a start - but my photos are taking a while to load to PhotoBucket and it won't make sense to go further without a photo of the stub axles. So more later if anyone's interested.

Mike
In the above picture the recesses for the ball bearings can be clearly seen.

Doing the front bearings is quite easy on the first side. Just tap the axle in one of the drive cups and slide it into place trapping the ball bearings (don't forget to fit the smaller bevel - the right way round) this can then be held in place by tightening the bevel gear.



The other side is more tricky as the cup needs to be pushed on the other end of the axle until there is just enough space to place the balls in the recess. Then the whole lot is pressed in a vice until it is free to revolve but has no slop.
 

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Living the Life!
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This is fascinating .......... I am certainly interested in the progress of this car. Keep up the good work.

Cheers - Greg
 

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Yes, please carry on Mike - you have the mods' seal of approval! And I want to see this build too!

I started to build mine, then got stuck at some point and it sat in a box for many years until I finally gave up and had Phil S. finish it - he's probably done 30 or so (is that it Phil?), and is used to their quirks by now...

The motors are very powerful, the handling a little less so... and remember that when they were announced in late 64, everybody thought they would make everything else on the market obsolete overnight - but they hadn't reckoned with the Rise of the Tin Can!

Don
 

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Ey Up Guys,

don't forget the secret of ballrace assembly is the use of vaseline to hold the balls in place, Ooh Er Missus, but it works.

The best one I ever had was one which I converted to a straight front axle !!.

The problem was, I think, getting the front wheels concentric and true on those feindish stub axles.

I know this is tantamount to heresy, but that is the truth as I saw it back in 1970.

However, with 4WD but "no steering", it was pretty good indeed !!.

I now have several, Mercedes, Novi, and Felday, but the best performer is still the "non-steering" Merc. from 1970.

I do have several bits and peices if someone is seriously re-building and stuck.

VBR Chris A.
 

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1,130 Posts
Yes; keep going with the workshop, Mike.
I put one together about 40 years ago but couldn't get it to run properly with the full steering+4WD, so it went back in its box. I've thought of selling it too, but maybe after your tutorial I'll have another go.
Chris A's ideas are tempting too.
Some people found they raced better as 2WDs.
By the way, in case anyone still has the original plated parts sprue/tree, in a nearby thread Delidubz is looking for a mirror for an MRRC Merc. The kit sprue had three mirrors (and three filler caps). I have two of these apparently spare mirrors but on both there's a protruding lip or impractical lower cowling - and I'm on t'other side of the world. Possibly they were for another purpose, but none is on the RTR 2WD.
Rob J
 

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Thanks for this thread I have subscribed to this as the car is one of my dream cars I hope to own one day I will be watching with great interest thanks
 

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Mike Newns
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629 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Chris - yes Vaseline is the recommended method but I find if you use surgical (i.e. non-magnetic) tweezers and get the gap between the retainer and bracket small so they "pop" into place it's less fiddly. Yes, steering and 4WD are pretty pointless (I remember building a few good cars back in the '60s using the diamond back tires and they had plenty of grip for 2 wheel drive). All the gears, bearings and UJ's must have quite a bit of friction so conversion to 2WD should make it faster.

Pertti - this is a heavy machine (93gms) which I think is what gives it reasonable handling for it's age - It's a 6 pole motor so strong and smooth.

Don - Just a guess but did you you get stuck on the UJ's (universal joints) they are a pain to say the least.

So on to the UJ's:-

The kit consists of a hub carrier - very small axle and a steel 5 pointed star. The star needs to be soldered onto the stub axle which is incredibly fiddly. Before trying this it's a good idea to coat the axle in carbon (hold it in a candle flame) to stop the solder getting into the plain brass bearing for the axle. Clean the last 5mm of the axle of carbon use plenty of flux and try to solder the star on the end using excessive solder so that it can be filed down to a smooth shape. Chances are you will now find you have a nice looking joint but the star turns on the axle - strip it all down - clean it and start again. Once you have the star soldered on file down the excess solder to get a smooth shape. Eventually, after several tries you should have something like this:-


Then repeat the procedure for the other side - go for a pint (you deserve it)!

The front wheels simply press on. Shown here with track rod fitted which is out of sequence:-


Fit the top and bottom bracket pinching the hub carriers between the relevant dimples.


Tighten the bolts gently checking that the hub carriers move freely but are not loose. Use Loctite on the nuts to stop them shaking free (the kit had a small tube of green Loctite included). A bit too much Loctite shown in the photo for emphasis.

At the rear fit one retainer to the axle and slide it to the correct position having measured 12mm axle extending. The first bearing is easy as the balls can be just put in place and the retainer and axle slid down on them. Tighten up the bevel gear having checked that it faces the opposite direction to the front one.

I used a Ninco gear puller to position the 2nd retainer 1mm short of it's final position (I've seen a lot of criticism of the Ninco puller but I find it very versatile as a press etc.). The bracket can be gently depressed to make enough room to fit the balls; once they are all in place the steel brackets can be fitted (the two central holes in front). Finally tighten the retainers so there is free rotation but no slop and fit the rear wheels.

If this had been a new kit it would have smothered gears and UJ's with toothpaste and run it on low power for an hour to run in the gears. In this case everything was nice and smooth so just a quick test to make sure everything OK.



Add a nice sticky set of Ortmanns:-



Slide in the guide and fit the track rod using small pliers to press in the brass pins.



That's the chassis finished - body later.

Mike
 

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Phil Smith
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One of the trickiest things to do is wiring up the guide, MRRC provided a helpful leaflet for this in later kits, but it is often missing, so here is a scan of it to help.



Also, you should always solder the star to the stub axle first, otherwise you end up spoiling the plastic wheel and it's brass insert (as it looks like Mike has done)
Of course this does not apply to the Felday as it uses aluminium wheels.
 

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Mike Newns
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629 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yes Phil the braid is tricky. I'm not sure how the front wheels came in the kit. Were they mounted on the brass insert or pressed on later? I think I have an original instruction sheet I'll try to dig it out.

That's a spare front stub - I didn't fiddle with the ones on the Mercedes chassis as they were OK and nicly smoothed off.

Mike
 

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Phil Smith
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2,626 Posts
The Merc and Novi front wheels are plastic but there is a brass insert in them.
If you press the stub axle onto these first and then solder the star on there is a chance that the heat will dislodge the pressed in brass insert, you can super glue this back in but it always seems to me that they are never quite the same!
Picture below shows a perfect wheel on the right with it's insert intact and a damaged one on the left with it's brass insert detached.



another tip is that there are seven balls in the bearings, it looks like you should put eight in when you are assembling them but seven is correct.
 

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Amazing work Mike,it's a very delicate operation and your careful and precise work so far can be clearly seen.
Well done.

Thanks for the nod up for the parts i am looking for Rob J,i appreciate it.

Tim

Delidubz
 

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Mike Newns
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629 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Completely out of order as I did the body some time ago - So I've done a quick job on a spare gash shell so that I could illustrate the process.

This shell is in white plastic which I think means it's a later issue that the original silver one that I used for the actual car. There is quite a nasty mold line round the waist which needs to be removed and a few dips need filling:-



Once a nice smooth finish has been achieved the shell needs to be primed using gloss black (forgot to photograph this). I've used VHT chassis paint which was handy rather than a deliberate choice.



Once the black is totally dry (just a couple of hours for this) I airbrushed Airframe Aluminum from Alclad over the shell.



The effect is quite startling:-



I use a Testors Astek airbrush - this is a simple single action brush as my metal double action is waiting repair:-



The mirrors and fuel caps were re-chromed using Alclad II Chrome (again over black gloss undercoat).



Some decals from the spares box and detailing the driver (I used a better head as the originals pretty basic). I used bare metal foil on the exhausts.





Well that's it - now what do I do with this lot?



Mike
 

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Kitbasher
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Simple, donate them to me, I have always wanted a 4WD MRRC car!
 

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Premium Member
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Great stuff, Mike. And I like what you've done on the driver and body too.
Mine came with the red body, but I found a white body kit shortly afterwards. Didn't know, or had forgotten, that there was a silver version.
I've dug mine out of its box and it runs better than I remembered, though it still needs some more careful setting up.
I think I may have put it away, almost 40 years ago, to play with easier machinery. It's time now to move it up the round tuit list, or sell it like you, which is tempting for a pensioner.
As for the Novi bits, surely have a go if things like that front wheel are repairable. The Fergi Novy was a real 4WD car. For missing body trim, you may be able to find something like a later Hi-Speed version fairly cheaply.
Rob J
 

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Mike Newns
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629 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Epilogue and some period observations/questions

Well, my part in the story of this wonderful car is now closed and it is currently en route to Brisbane and it's new owner. For those of you interested it closed at £160 which was a bit better than I expected - that may sound expensive ,but, for comparison my next car for sale is my Can Am proxy 612P for which the parts alone cost £120 (it won't make that). Price of the Merc new in 1965 was £2.35 which seems quite reasonable when compared to nearly £4.00 for a Monogram Ferrari 250 GTO (which I think it would have easily seem off).

I bought this car MIB in 1980 for £75 from a dealer, so, taking inflation into account, I'm probably a couple of quid down on the deal; but (a very big but) a couple of quid is a small price for the pleasure of building it and then restoring it; let alone driving it and owning it for 30 years - I hope the new owner has as much fun.

Whilst I was restoring the car I did some reading of old "Model Cars" magazines for some context and two questions keep coming into my mind. Firstly, why on earth choose the Mercedes as a 4WD car and secondly why is the Merc much more common than the Novi or Felday - both of which make more sense as 4WD?

I think that whilst today we wouldn't dream of adding the complication of 4WD to a race car or a model that did not have 4WD in real life, in the '60s 4WD was very much an idea thats, many felt, time had come (both in slot racing and real life). There are many articles (usually involving "twin miniperms") for 4WD drive Mini's, Anglia, all sorts. So at a time when the class rules were fairly loose you just pick one of the biggest GP car ever, fit it with 4WD (and steering - still much very in vogue) and you have a winner that will sell.

The reason that the slightly later Novi and Felday did not sell as well (presumably the reason for the relative rarety) is probably due to the tremendous pace of development in the mid '60s. The Merc of 1965 was competative but by the time the Novi and Felday were introduced the technology had moved on.

I'm sure the historians of our hobby (Tony, Phillipe et.al.) have essayed this period many times but it is startling to see the development of the slot car chassis in just 3 years - I hope I'm allowed to illustrate with a couple of scans from "Model Cars" of 1965 (now surly out of copy-write):-

Firstly, the featured build from December 1965 - A K's powered Lola T70 from Charlie Fitzpatrick and Eric Clark with Fiberglass body (obviously) and steering;



Compared to Southport "A"'s car from December 1968 (OK - it's 1/24th and still an inline - but you get the point).



And finally.....

The "what do I do with this lot?" photo was a (not-very funny) joke; I'm sure the eagle eyed will have spotted that the chassis if for a Merc not a Novi. The Novi has a very much smaller track so the front is too big. I could modify the chassis and make a Novi but I don't like the idea of modifying original parts to make a replica. In fact the front bracket of the Merc Chassis was broke and has been replace by a cast white metal one (helps the handling) so it will never make another "original". My idea at the moment is to recast the spare body, detail it, give it a better driver then fit modern wire wheels to the chassis and build a nice looking Merc for my own enjoyment. Similarly the Novi (just a Hi-Speed body) I'd like to make look like the car as it actually raced and just build up a 4WD chasi to fit (possibly around an MRRC slimline motor). However, don't hold your breath wait for a description of these builds are they are very much awaiting the delivery of a round tuit.

Many thanks to all of your interest.

Mike
 
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