Well it has taken a lot longer than I had imagined but finally I've put together a chassis for the beautifully made Scalextric Ferrari 312T2 body.
This one needed a fair bit of imagination to make it work. I was held up for some time by the lack of compatibility of the gearbox top that Scaley made with the little red bit of bodywork attached to it. It still annoys me that they did that as it spoiled an otherwise lovely model.
Anyhow I have had to do accept the only thing to do is simply ignore the hole in the back of the body and leave a gap! Somebody might want to scratchbuild a piece to cover the gap but I decided that was beyond the scope of this conversion.
Another perplexing feature was that the forward part of the side pods was made as part of the chassis rather than the rest of the body. That too needed a fair bit of thinking through.
So as ever you will need a donor car or at least the top body and chassis components.
The underpan is part W9419 and the cars that can be converted are C2747A and C2799.
As I am unable to find reference to a service sheet for any of these products on Scalextric's website I don't know what the part code for the body alone is.
The following assumes conversion of the complete car. Please note that the chassis will need cutting so once done the conversion is non reversible.
Disassemble the car by removing all screws. Set aside the rear wing and top body. Remove the front wheels from the knurled front axle by gently twisting them off. Keep the driver with the body (it should remain in the body with the driver clutching the steering wheel but we will remove it later so no problem if it comes out).
Remove all running gear from the chassis, motor, guide, suspension components etc. Until you have:
A. the chassis as a single piece with radiators still attached.
B. The top body with driver.
C. Rear wing as single piece.
2. Assemble the other components:
A. You will need a complete Policar gearbox (narrow type) or the wide type can be cut down. This can be assembled from all the components or more economically bought as a single piece (part code PCH01as). You may also use a donor gearbox form another car of course.
B. Rear wheels and tyres
I use Ostorero Lotus 79 wheels and tyres as I have them and because they are the right size and the soft rubber grips well.
The RS Scalextric replacement aluminium hubs available through pendles are a good option as the hub in this case does not get in the way or look too bad. Tyres to fit are available from various producers.
The design parameters are that they should be about 21mm dia. and 14-16mm wide to match the ones on the original model.
C. Compatible Chassis available here: https://www.shapeways.com/shops/arco_chassis
Ensure you buy the Ferrari 312 T2 chassis.
D. Front axle - length 47mm
3. Preparing the old chassis:
Cut the chassis as shown in the picture. When doing this it is useful to already have the chassis as it will enable you to repeatedly check that the part fits correctly. In my prototype I managed to overcut a bit so that there are slithers of gap between this element and the new chassis. You can avoid this by going slow. I use a scalpel and small saw but a Dremel will also be useful to remove the ribs etc on the inside.
Do not cut off the screw hole domes shown as they are an important part of fitting this element.
4. Fitting the gearbox to the new chassis:
Remove the front most mounting hole from the gearbox as this is not needed for this build.
Screw on the gearbox using one front screw and two rear screws. Rear screws are part number PCH06, front can be PCH05 or anything similar you may have. Nothing too wide as it can split the gearbox mounting hole surround.
Screw the rear wing to the new chassis. Use a countersunk screw with small head.
5. Now getting the gearbox in will require fairly severe bending of the exhausts but I've tried it several times and nothing breaks….
Just bend the exhausts down and push the gearbox home. I hook the rear axle over the rearmost exhausts then ensuring to push the front of the gearbox up enough I push the whole gearbox forwards to meet the chassis:
Once in position just bend the exhausts back into position a little.
6. Preparing the Driver
The driver is made of a flexible rubbery plastic. It can be pulled downwards gently out of the body so that the hands slide off the steering wheel.
Cut the bottom of the driver with a scalpel to allow clearance for the back of the motor and the front of the motor pod.
Once repositioned the driver will stay in despite no proper fixing on merit of him holding the steering wheel. Any cutting cannot easily be seen from above once he is positioned.
These photos show the extent of cutting needed:
7. Preparing the Body
Only one area requires minimal cutting out to allow the new chassis to fit. This is either side of the nose section. Cut carefully and keep checking how much is needed to avoid cutting unnecessary material (like I did!).
These photos show the cut out and how it looks with the chassis in place:
8. Once everything has been test fitted for alignment use a soldering iron to weld the piece of the old chassis to the bottom of the new chassis using the small long dowel that will slide through underneath. This should hold these two together sufficient to stop them falling apart on disassembly.
9. Final assembly:
Fit the guide and wires to the complete chassis.
Once everything has been test fitted use 5 of the original body screws to screw everything together ensuring the small countersunk screw is used in the nose and not overtightened as that will strip the plastic.
Thread through the front axle and reattach the original front wheel/tyre combination. These will probably need to be glued on. Note that the front track has now been reduced closer to the real car (the body is actually wider here than it should be so getting to the actual track is difficult - the track in the conversion is about 1mm over scale so within CSCRA regulations).
Fix on the rear wheels and tyres and off you go!