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My experience with these is that it may well be the connection between the motor and the connecting strips on the chassis. Because the motor swivels you often need to bend the connectors to maintain a good contact. The early evidence of this may be loosing power on certain sections of track with a different camber.

The second weak point is the connection between the chassis connecting strips and the top of the braids. Again this is sprung and judicious bending may be necessary to get the right reliable connection.

I would also just check that the magnet isn't too low and contacting the track.

I've found one of these motors very susceptible to too much lubrication and WD40. This ran very slowly and very hot until it burnt off in a cloud of smoke. A good clean out with lighter fuel was suggested to me to try to slove this problem. Don't know if this is a good idea????
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