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I am replacing the guide brushes on several my vintage 1/24 scale Classic Industries, Cox and Eldon slot cars. What is the difference between the two materials of copper or the silver colored brushes when used for replacements? Is there a advantage using one type verses the other? If so what is the advantage? Thank you.
 

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Anthony Bartlett
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Hi = just seen this...

Generally the silver are tin/steel brushes (actually braids), whereas the gold are Copper. Also generally the silver are hard and the copper are softer.

I would try and use copper brushes - softer and thus it does not lift the guide pin out of the slot as much as the silver coloured ones.

I have used the caveat 'usually', as you can get quite expensive soft silver brushes that are superb.
 

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I never saw steel braids in my life . The silver ones are tin over copper and they are my favorite for races . If copper braids are going old they change colour and loose contact . The silver ones are always better for contact in my mind .

Greetz Ralf
 

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Anthony Bartlett
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Some of the OLD braids are SO stiff - that they might be ..... steelish :)
 

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The softer ones may wear a little faster than the stiff ones, but you'll probably be turning faster laps while you're wearing them out.
 

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The softer ones may wear a little faster than the stiff ones, but you'll probably be turning faster laps while you're wearing them out.
It seems to make sense that the soft braids would wear quicker, but it fact the soft ones often last longer particularly if the track braid is in good condition. Perhaps the reason is that arcing can cause more wear than straight mechanical wear. The faster laps are a symptom of better pick up and less arcing. The hard braid usually seems to last better on rough tracks.
 

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I never saw steel braids in my life
Ralf,
Many now vintage cars had braided steel brushes, many zinc plated. Russkit, K&B, some Cox models and plenty of others had those, while others had plated or bare copper braided brushes: Classic, Monogram...

Cox for example, had two types of brushes: the early ones are braided steel with a copper wraparound sleeve to avoid separation when the assembly screw going through them was tightened. When Cox issued their later "quick-change" guide design, a new much softer braided steel with a push-on copper clip was used. Several companies copied that design, such as Cobra, but now in bare copper.

The Monogram braided brushes easily "split" at their screwed ends, because there is no sleeve to stop the braided ends from undoing themselves. Classic resolved that issue with an electric weld in the screw area. Others used... solder to stabilize that part of the contacts.
 
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