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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've inherited some very old Scalextric track and l have no experience with Scalextric at all so just wondered if anyone could help/point me in the right direction.

I can't get the cars to go round the track but if l press down on the front of the car the wheels spin very fast. Sometimes if l gently nudge a car it will go a very short distance on it's own.

So l'm just wondering where the issue may lie and what l can do to sort it. I'm assuming this is an issue with the track.

I've cleaned the track with Autosol and l've added new braids to the cars.

I've be really grateful if anyone has any pointers on where l should be focusing my attention to help get the cars running or whether l should give up.

I took a few images to help, the power unit l got recently so that is not as old as the track and cars
:
Adapter Gadget Audio equipment Ac adapter Battery charger


Wheel Tire Toy Motor vehicle Vehicle


Automotive tire Plant Rectangle Automotive exterior Asphalt
 

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Rich Dumas
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It looks like the cars' braids are not making good contact with the track rails. The braids on the car that you show are worn out and will need to be replaced. If the track has not been used for a long time the rails may need some attention. The rails are plated to resist corrosion, but after sitting in storage they may need to be cleaned. Do not use anything that is abrasive to clean the rails, that would remove the plating. A little metal polish on a rag should do the job. You should also avoid using water based cleaners on the track.
 

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I would say the braids look OK, but what doesn't is the corrosion/tarnish on the rails. You need to get them shining. Try the rough side of a washing up sponge.
 

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I would say the braids look OK, but doesn't is the corrosion/tarnish on the rails. You need to get them shining. Try the rough side of a washing up sponge.
Agree with Riko I have been slowly cleaning up some fifty year old Revell track, I have been using scouring pads from Tool station they come as a pack of three grades. I use the lightest with a bit of WD40 then clean and wipe over the rails again with a light amount of WD40 again.
 

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Cleaning with Autosol shouldn't effect the conductivity as I've used it on Airfix track without a problem, but as said don't use anything abrasive as once the plating is damaged the track will rust very quickly. If all else fails you can copper tape the rails as long as the tape has conductive adhesive. If you need to push the front of the car down then it sounds like the braids aren't making contact with the track rails. If you have replaced the braids with the original style they can be very stiff, try replacing with softer plain copper braid, buy as a length not precut, and trim then to the length of the guide. pull them down to the bottom of the guide and let the weight of the car move them to the correct depth for good contact. As long as there is no rust or black oxidation on the rails you should be ok. Oil the rear axle bearings and grease the gears after removing all the fluff and dirt. You can also put a small drop of oil on the motor bearing behind the pinion but only a small drop. You also need to make sure the front axle is free to move up and down in the slot so the guide sits in the slot properly.
 

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Cleaning with Autosol shouldn't effect the conductivity as I've used it on Airfix track without a problem, but as said don't use anything abrasive as once the plating is damaged the track will rust very quickly. I
Agree, I use Autosol often, that works fantastically on light tarnish - but to me that looks too far gone. Scouring pad and then treat with Inox MX3 to protect from rust
 

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Jim Moyes
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That particular guide setup relies on brass contacts on the stationary part connecting with the braid on the top side of the swivelling part. If pushing the front of the car down makes the motor run then perhaps the nut needs tightening some to bring the two parts closer together or maybe the brass contacts could do with some cleaning.
 

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Jim Moyes
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Yes, don't use a torque wrench....
 

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Yes, don't use a torque wrench....
Puts away 3 foot tommy bar 😇.

Seriously though, I have a Ferrari P4 with that guide setup and find that contact point to be quite temperamental. No wonder Scalextric stopped using it fairly quickly. Whilst I haven't tried it, it looks to me very much like a later guide mount and guide from one of Scaley's 70s GP cars would snap in and provide more reliable results.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Wow thanks for all the replies everyone, l really appreciate it!! 🤩

Those braids are new so l'm hoping they should be ok. I'll try some of your suggestions beardy56 and if all else fails l'll get some of the copper braids to try.

That particular guide setup relies on brass contacts on the stationary part connecting with the braid on the top side of the swivelling part. If pushing the front of the car down makes the motor run then perhaps the nut needs tightening some to bring the two parts closer together or maybe the brass contacts could do with some cleaning.
Maybe l didn't tighten the nut back up enough when l replaced the braids so thanks for that pointer Mr.M l will definitely do that (but not too tight :)) and also take them off and give the brass a good clean.

Interesting about issues with this guide setup. So l'm assuming l may have better results if l bought a newer car with a better guide setup...
 

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Jim Moyes
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Yes Pat, that is a good upgrade for these guides. The C7 Mini has the same change through the years as well. RX cars usually had the same setup as the above but when the one-piece body F1 cars were introduced and the Mini got the small Johnson motor, the guide and mount were changed to the later setup. I have a feeling that the very last issues of the P4 and Mirage had the later setup from the start. My blue P4 has it, I'm sure.
 
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Snip.

Interesting about issues with this guide setup. So l'm assuming l may have better results if l bought a newer car with a better guide setup...
Maybe, but it's unlikely there's anything wrong with the one you've got that can't be sorted with a bit of fiddling, appropriately guided by the experts here (who don't include me, BTW). That's the nice thing about old Scalextric cars. They're dead simple and can almost always be fixed fairly easily and cheaply, one way or another.

Yes Pat, that is a good upgrade for these guides. The C7 Mini has the same change through the years as well. RX cars usually had the same setup as the above but when the one-piece body F1 cars were introduced and the Mini got the small Johnson motor, the guide and mount were changed to the later setup. I have a feeling that the very last issues of the P4 and Mirage had the later setup from the start. My blue P4 has it, I'm sure.
I'm pretty sure I've seen P4s etc. with the later guide and mount, but given that they're all 50-odd years old now, I've no idea whether they were original or not.
 

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Other than looking at the guide contacts, I second the approach suggested of the fibrous side of a scotchbrite type washing sponge and very light use of inox mx3. The rails are probably technically not electroplated/protected any more but regular track use and a drop of inox mx3 a week (applied sparingly with rag) on the rails will keep an old track going.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Maybe, but it's unlikely there's anything wrong with the one you've got that can't be sorted with a bit of fiddling, appropriately guided by the experts here (who don't include me, BTW). That's the nice thing about old Scalextric cars. They're dead simple and can almost always be fixed fairly easily and cheaply, one way or another.
That's good to know, so l just need to persevere.

Other than looking at the guide contacts, I second the approach suggested of the fibrous side of a scotchbrite type washing sponge and very light use of inox mx3. The rails are probably technically not electroplated/protected any more but regular track use and a drop of inox mx3 a week (applied sparingly with rag) on the rails will keep an old track going.
Ok l'll give the scotch pads and inox mx3 a go 🤞
 

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ParrotGod
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If you do not get too much traction, I am sure you can find some cheap scalex track on ebay that is in much better condition than what you have.
 
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