IV. DRAG STRIP RAIL INSTALLATION
A. Load a tube of epoxy into the applicator gun and attach the premixing extension and needle tip. Don't squeeze the trigger until you are ready to begin. The epoxy's working time is about 60 minutes with a curing time of 24 hours.
It is best to use the epoxy at room temperature. Warmer temperatures allow easier flow but faster curing, while colder temperatures may cause the epoxy to bead up and cure slower. Plan on being able to install and cleanup approximately 30' to 60' of track rail per hour.
While the applicator system is precise, it is also delicate. Too much downward pressure during use can cause leaks. Use firm trigger pressure but a light touch at a low angle in guiding the applicator through the rail slots.
Change premixer/tip whenever the epoxy stops flowing freely through the system.
Lay out all materials, tools, and supplies in advance to facilitate not only installation but cleanup as well. Once epoxy is fed into the premixer the clock starts slowly ticking. Change premixer and tip as the epoxy nears the end of its working time.
B. Two people working in tandem can help minimize total installation time. One person can both uncoil rail and packing beforehand and clean up epoxy afterwards allowing the other to focus solely on precise installation of both rail and packing.
The rail should not be uncoiled too far in advance (to avoid kinking and shifting in the slot). Also, the packing may tend to twist as it is worked into place and any untwisting is easier if the uncoiled length is shorter.
Odorless paint thinner should be used to dilute any excess epoxy and wiped up with plenty of lint-free rags as soon after rail/packing installation as possible. Use plenty of thinner to wipe the epoxy up rather than merely smear it around.
Do not apply any excessive pressure to the freshly installed rail/packing when wiping up excess epoxy !! Final rail height can be easily affected if extra care is not taken to maintain a light touch during cleanup. Take regular rail height measurements using dial calipers and inspect the packing frequently as installation and cleanup progresses to ensure that where it is put is where it stays. If it isn't then stop immediately, retrace your steps, and begin again.
C. Lay a solid bead of epoxy into the bottom of the first rail slot from the finish line back to the beginning of the drag strip. A second application may be necessary if the epoxy soaks into the Formica laminate's substrate material. It is usually better to apply extra epoxy (subject to all the above) than to use too little.
From the finish line, lay the track rail into the slot as far as it will lay naturally. Place the Railsetter on top of the rail at any chosen starting point and work the packing flush with the track surface using the plastic finger. The packing belongs in the inside, between the rail and the guide slot.
The Railsetter is designed to magnetically hold the rail at an approximate .015" height during rail installation. Clean the Railsetter frequently with acetone to ensure proper operation.
Move the Railsetter slowly ahead and slide the lane coding into place with the plastic finger directly behind the Railsetter. Keep the lane coding slightly tensioned so that it will still lay straight even if the rail slot runs wider than expected.
Hold the plastic finger at as low an angle as possible when installing the lane coding to minimize the possibility of pushing the rail down with it. Keep the pencil's blade sharp by fine block sanding.
As you work the packing into place the epoxy should try to ooze out from the slot. If it doesn't, apply more epoxy. If the slot becomes "flooded" and the epoxy's own pressure makes installation more difficult, clean up the excess immediately and use less.
Work slowly and carefully to ensure consistency should anything shift either during installation or cleanup. The purpose of the packing is to hold the rail in place until the epoxy cures. Should any rail settle, go back immediately to reset the rail within range. High spots should also be reset to avoid the need for subsequent grinding.
D. Once you reach the drag strip's beginning, make sure both the rail and packing are cut and trimmed flush.
E. Complete the above process for the other drag strip rails.