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Al Schwartz
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The premier class in our local race series this year is a GT40 - Cobra Daytona (none running - not competitiive) Fly classic series ( 908s etc) - the latter allowed a second, forward placed magnet. The latter cars have been the consistent winners on the tighter courses but today's race was at Jim Butt's 75' Scalextric Classic track. I suspected ( correctly, as it turned out) that the superior speed of the GT40s would give them an edge so last night I decided to tune up my GT40 which had seemed a bit off the mark (no top end) on its last outing.

As soon as I opened it up, I could see a problem - the drive assembly was very sloppy with poor gear mesh and a lot of play in the bearings. On closer inspection I found that it was not an issue of wear or misalignment but rather a question of total collapse! There was a crack under the motor mount ( end bell end) and cracks extending from the bottom of both bearing mounts. Neither low viscosity CYA nor plastic welding cement would repair the cracks well enough to restore the original fit. I put the whole assembly aside "for another day"

I see three problems here:

1. If you examine a Fly sidewinder motor/axle carrier you will see molded in reinforcing edges all around the snap-in motor and bearing mounts. No such feature appears on the Scalextric parts.

2 & 3. For reasons that are not clear Scalex chose, erroneously, I believe, to revert to the old idea of a "top and bottom" body with the bottom of the body incorporating the chassis. (This may, a first glance be attributed to the need to model the marked undercurvature or "tumble home" of the GT40 body but is clearly unneccessary, viz. the Fly GT40 and the Carrera D type) There are several consequences of this decision:

The bottom part must be molded of a material that will reproduce detail and take paint well, not necessarily one which will have the best engineering properties.

The chassis cannot be replaced short of obtaining a whole lower section (and, in the case of my car which I bought in white and painted, a complete redecoration) - I have not seen these lower components advertised for sale.

I know, the problem could most likely have been averted had I glued the motor and bearings into the car. I do not like to do this for two reasons:

I have found that the motors in magnet cars that are run hard have a finite life and I like to be able to swap in a new motor quickly

It is my practice to "prep" several rear axle assemblies (wheels, tires, axles and gear) with different trued tire fitments to suit different tracks on our circuit - again, difficult to implement with a glued-in axle.

The best current arrangement, in my opinion, is the motor/axle sub-assembly used by Fly. When they wear or crack, they are simple and cheap to replace.

Scalextric did a nice job on the body contours (better, I think, than the Fly), gets good marks for detail and finish but could very well be held up as the 2003 example of how not to engineer a slot car.

EM
 

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I can do nothing but agree!
It would be possible to reinforce the cracked areas with glued-in, thin steel plate, asuming there is a glue that will properly adhere to the plastic. But then we run into the problem of the car no longer being box standard.

In the quest to produce a pretty car, there is too often an unfortunate tendency to overlook the purpose of the car, which is to race and survive.
 

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Have to agree. My Scalextric GT40 (Sport model, red #3) suffered a relatively minor off in practise before its first ever race. Didn't look a bad one but one of the uprights that hold the axles in (you know the things, two 'horns' that come up from the chassis and grip the bushing) snapped clean off and disappeared. £29.99, and about two minutes of running...


So out came the superglue and superglued the bushings to see if it would at least hold together for the evening. It did although the sole remaining front "under nose" light fell out and disappeared - the previous one had dropped out while being driven in my car from work to club.


Anyway, didn't want any hassle with the GT40 being not box-stock anymore so, decided to up magnet it for the "two magnets, formula libre class". On the recommendations of another stuck another bar magnet behind the motor, plumbed for a ProSlot neodinium.

Put the car on the track and it now stalls on crests as the magnetic downforce is too much for the weak chassis and pulls it downwards onto the track...


Coop
 

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I'll agree with all the foregoing too!
I really, really wish with all my slotted heart that the chassis were metal, preferably brass, so they would be sturdier, easier to reinforce if necessary and easier to fix if the worst came to the worse. Not going to happen I guess, in which case even a little more attention to untility and sturdy build would not go amiss.
 

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QUOTE ...my gt40 has taken some major shunts from all directions and it is still as good as when it first came out of the box

Really? No missing Gurney flaps? No absent rear screens, body panels or exhausts?

What is the official definition of a major shunt I wonder?

This barb ain't aimed at you Mini, it's aimed at Margate. I earnestly believe these cars are not durable enough at all. It's all well and good saying how wonderfully fast a car is but if it's going to trip around a track like some circus clown car, spilling panels and bits as it goes... well... it's a pee poor show in my book.
 
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