Slot Car Track & Equipment Maintenance Guide
Good track conditions determine how well your cars will get around the track. Keep track as clean as possible given the environment your track is placed in. (i.e. inside or outside dust conditions). Environment conditions determine when to clean your track. Indoors the track will remain in good racing condition for 6-12 weeks or longer with application of spray glue as needed. Keep entrance area of turns "tacky" with spray glue solution. (Spray may be needed when cars begin sliding in turns too much).
Cleaning the track requires the use of Coleman Fuel (AKA white gas). This is an adult’s only job so please take care in handling and storing your fuel and rags. Use plastic gloves with 2 red rags. Rags should be folded into an approx. 6" square. One rag should be soaked to the point of dripping with fuel and a second rag is dry. (Fuel will evaporate within 1-2 minutes). Wipe each lane with wet rag in a full and sweeping movement in the direction of car travel. Follow quickly with dry rag. Never lay fuel soaked rags (or other liquid) on track surface and make sure rags are disposed of properly.
Spray Glue is a mixture of STP Smoke Treatment and Coleman Fuel combined in a spray bottle. After cleaning track or when its determined the cars are sliding too much in turns, spray glue may be applied. Using a garden or other plastic-type bottle sprayer mix approx. 1-2 ounces of STP Smoke Treatment in approx. 14 ounces Coleman Fuel. Mix vigorously for several minutes or until well mixed. Hold sprayer approximately 12" from track surface and spray with short bursts. Apply medium coats at the entrance to each turn. (If turn is long such as a "donut turn", you may apply throughout turn or in several areas around turn). Allow sprayed areas drying time (the Coleman fuel evaporates within several minutes) and begin testing cars. Cars should "bog" a bit when hitting glue area but this will thin out in approx. 10-20 laps. More glue may be applied as needed but take care not to make track too sticky as it could strain motors to the point of shorting out!
Slots in track gather debris and require detailed attention periodically. Clean slots with either vacuum or air. Debris that is lodged in slot may be removed with a thin metal object such as a jewelers round file, car key, etc.
The metal contact on the track is called Braid. It is attached with high-strength contact cement. Due to cars crashing and sometimes cars riding too low on the track (metal chassis or gears scraping surface) track braid is caught and lifted or rolled up. The areas where this may happen is at the entrance to turns where cars are sliding across braided areas. Check lanes periodically for any such problems. If braid separation is found use 3M weather-strip adhesive for repair. Open area of separation as much as possible by pulling and/or prying slightly on braid to expose most of detached area. Clean braid and braid recess with fuel soaked rag. Apply adhesive moderately to track braid. Press braid down to adhesive wetting both track and braid with glue. Separate somewhat to allow wetted area to air-dry for several minutes. (use fuel wetted rag to wipe up excess glue). Take ¾" wide piece of plastic (some track owners use a plastic disposable lighter) and press down braid firmly while pushing in a forward motion. Run over braid several times to squeeze out any air pockets. If braid is only slightly rolled up you may just use plastic to press down braid.
TRACK MAINTENANCE ITEMS
Cars require minimal maintenance but a watchful eye is a must. (See MECH 2 Basic repair book for tune-up tips). Pay close attention to cleaning tires and braid. Clean tires and braid frequently. Use small wire brush and fuel to clean braid (Braid Juice or Marvel Mystery Oil will work almost as well as fuel). Use rags and fuel to clean tires. Apply fuel liberally to braid and tires. Brush braid vigorously and follow by scrubbing fuel soaked tires with rag. Tires should appear black. Any gray or brown tints are dirt!
Cruisin’ cars are Parma Flexi 2 with Parma .040 thick lexan Nascar bodies. Cars are "bullet-proofed" for added durability and bodies are mounted to chassis with body clips - hook to front. Remove clip from rear first. High-strength, high-fiber strapping is a must and is placed over the clips down under to chassis.
CAR MAINTENANCE TOOLS
Controllers are Parma Economy models. They require very little maintenance. If trigger motion becomes rough take controller apart. Use emery cloth between button and resistor to polish button and resistor wire surface.
CONTROLLER MAINTENANCE ITEMS
Power Supply is Zurich 0-15 volts variable voltage. Four lane tracks come with 15 amp and 6 lane 25 amp. Make sure wires connecting to power supply are secured well. Keep power supply away from water and out of reach of small children. Power supply is relatively maintenance free. Maximum power is 15 volts. Novice racers should keep voltage between 11-13 volts, depending on the motors that are in cars.