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· Greg Gaub
17,614 Posts
Just to put another viewpoint/option out there... I'm currently setting up 6 high detail Scalextric GT cars for magless racing. They're all sidewinder, so the weight is already biased toward the back. I'm not changing ANY parts, not even tires. I pull the magnet. I glue, true, and oil the STOCK rear tires. I glue, true, and super-glue (for a friction free surface) the front tires, and I do what I can to make sure all four wheels touch at the same time. That's it. They drive GREAT! No, they don't stick like glue as you would get with magnets or NSR tires all oiled and cleaned with lighter fluid (if you haven't done the lighter fluid clean before racing, you really don't know what you're missing... and only NSR tires with NSR tire oil have this special result). I'm familiar with those options and have a couple cars with that set up. But there's more than one way to drive a car, and it doesn't always require putting the grippiest tires on.

In all honesty, the best thing you can do to improve performance, regardless of wheel or tire, is to true the whee/tire unit. I don't like to spend money on new parts for my cars, so I keep the plastic wheels. Sometimes they are a little off, both off center and off-true. Rather than lose too much plastic by trying to true the plastic wheel, I simply ensure that it is smooth all the way around. I sand the wheel (tire off) all around to get rid of any flashing bumps and ribs and such. Then I glue the tire on. If you don't glue it, then it can rotate on the wheel and negate the truing process. When the glue has set, I true the tires. In most cases, part of the tire is sanded more than the rest in order to make it true relative to the axle. The end result, however, is a perfectly round tire with a perfectly flat contact patch. Even without oil or other treatments, the improvement will be substantial. The car will ride smoother, and have much better grip than out of round, non-flat tires provide.

Due to the nature of plastic, press-on wheels such as Scalextric and many other makers use, it's necessary to get an "on axle" truing machine such as the Tire Razor or Area 3 Tyre True. These machines might seem expensive at first, but will more than pay for themselves very quickly by you not replacing all your imperfect plastic wheels with metal ones, which often require replacing the axle, and therefore the crown or spur gear at the same time.
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