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Tips and Tricks to Keep your Slot Car on the Track

Comments Off 15 April 2013

Slot Cars Racing By Each Other

Pro Slot Car Racing

Slot cars are made for driving on a track and not for sitting on a shelf, whether you enjoy racing your slot car by yourself or facing other competitors. The quality and speed of a race is determined by a number of factors, including the track conditions, your equipment, and your personal racing style. However, there are several tips and economical solutions that will help you get your slot car racing.

1. Keep your slot car clean and in good working order.
This is one of the most important and most overlooked aspects of slot car racing. Establish a cleaning schedule for your slot car, such as a full cleaning after every five races. Begin your regimen by removing the body of the car to visually inspect and wipe down all aspects of the vehicle. Be sure to carefully examine the chassis of the car for any weaknesses, and check that the pickup shoes are clean. Determine that the wheel hubs are rotating freely without rubbing the chassis, and be sure to rotate the slot car’s tires on a regular basis to prevent wear and tear from too many turns. Check that your wheel axles are not bent, and replace them immediately if they are bent. By cleaning the car and replacing any damaged parts on a regular basis, your car will last longer and perform better.

2. Oil your slot car
While you are carefully cleaning and examining your car, take the opportunity to oil the vehicle’s chassis and motor. You want to be careful that you do not use too much oil, as this will ooze from the slot car’s parts and cause a mess on the track. A small drop is really all you need at each location. Pay attention to each chassis axle bearing, and apply the oil when they are not spinning freely. Check that the armature is also spinning well, and administer a drop on the front and rear motor end bells as necessary. Make this oiling process part of your cleaning routine, but only apply the oil when needed.

3. Use Jel-Claws tires
When you first purchased your slot car, it most likely came with rubber rear tires. While these are perfectly serviceable for slot car racing, replacing these tires with Jel-Claw ones will greatly improve your speed. Our tires will grip more firmly, allowing you to accelerate your car’s speed while staying on track. In addition, Jel-Claw tires reduce excessive wheel spin, especially during sudden accelerations, so you will experience improved performance during races. This is one of the simplest and least expensive upgrades you can do for your slot car.

4. Watch your pickup shoes
Like replacing the rear tires of your car, swapping the pickup shoes can greatly improve your vehicle’s performance at very little cost to you. Most slot cars begin with copper pickup shoes, but for slightly more money, you can replace those standard shoes with gold-plated ones that will help get more power to the car’s motor. With this slight upgrade, your car will see an increase of power, leading to an improved racing speed.

5. Focus your racing on one or two cars
One of the best ways to improve your slot car racing technique is to choose one car to use and stick to that car exclusively. You want to get to know and understand the handling of that particular car so that you know intuitively how it will handle the track, the turns, and your commands. If you switch back and forth between several cars, you will invariably forget the idiosyncrasies of your favorites, and you will not perform as well during races. You may want to get to know two cars very well, that way you have a back-up in case of a breakdown or a poor performance one day.

6. Practice
Do not forget to practice! The more time you spend practicing with your slot cars on a track, the more familiar you will be with each chassis. You will learn how to accelerate and hug the curves of the track with your individual car. Increased practice will serve you well during races with competitors since you will be able to easily predict how your slot car will respond in every racing scenario. In addition to improving your race technique, frequent practice will help you recognize and address subtle chassis or motor problems before they become an issue on the race track.

Photo Source: Techedive

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