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Fly Weight GP Car


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#1 dc-65x

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Posted 26 September 2006 - 01:14 PM

I started this project back on that other forum and I'd like to finish it so here goes. :) :

I've decided to reconstruct one of the fly weight GP cars we used to run as best as I can remember. This car was developed by our raceway owner Leon Pardee. The raceway was Grand Prix Raceway in Pasadena, CA. I'm not sure if it will be similar to what was being run in other parts of the country or if they were unique animals to our little raceway. I do remember after we got the bugs worked out of them we went back to our old haunt Pasadena Speedway and shattered their lap record.

As far as the time frame for this car I believe it was late 1965 to early 1966. I know I didn't have a drivers license at the time I was racing cars like this. I got my license when I turned 16 in July of 1966.

Light weight was the goal. The Russkit bracket gets soldered directly to the can. 1/16" brass tube gets soldered to the other end of the can. The motor becomes part of the chassis as a "stressed member". A simple drop arm completes the chassis. Piano wire is the logical thing to make it out of. But I swear we used brass tubing. I even think we used just one piece per side. I decided to use two because it seemed so suicidal to use one.

This is a pre-foam tire car so 30 mm or 40 mm Germans were used. We were running on a flat black-painted track. I do remember we would narrow up the rear track width for more bite. Pretty crazy eh!

Here's the parts for the build of my trip down memory lane:

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Not sure if I should use that French armature. Its a single 30 ga rated at .60 ohm. I also have the 1968 Mabuchi arm pictured that I could epoxy and balance on razor blades. I could also rewind a single 30 or something like we did back then. The motor can is a Cox 100 and the endbell is a Cox 150. An MDC pot metal gear keeps the noise level up. Russkit wheels, guide flag, driver, and axle bracket will be used along with Dynamic bearings. A Lancer Lotus 25B body completes the package.

The blind Mabuchi bearing is gone and an endbell bearing is soldered in place along with the Russkit bracket, the Dynamic #752 axle bearings, and an axle brace.

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Time to hang on the front end on this Lotus.

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Now to assemble the motor. I decided to use a '68 Mabuchi arm. It measures .7 ohms, has red wire like Simco wire, and a green com. I tied the comm wires with thread, epoxy-coated the arm, and heated the sucker up with a heat gun to let the juices flow and soak into the windings. Then I did a static balance on razor blades. I also fudged a bit and used the '68 Mabuchi magnets.

At first I couldn't even get the endbell installed! The trick turned out to be making a sub assembly out of the armature, end bell, brushes, and springs. Then with the end bell rotated 90 degrees from the horizontal, slide the whole mess into the can until the endbell just hits the can. Rotate the endbell back to its normal position and ram her home!

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Here she be ready to test:

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The car is a blast to drive . . . if you like drifting :mrgreen: . The motor is almost too fast . . . almost 8) . In a car this light it really "hauls the beans", as Bob Braverman would say. It also has brakes and doesn't heat up.

It's time to paint another body . . .

Rick Thigpen
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#2 Tex

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Posted 26 September 2006 - 01:21 PM

Pretty minimalist approach . . . kewl! Get that body painted, slap it on, and let us know how it goes!
Richard L. Hofer

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#3 Bill from NH

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Posted 26 September 2006 - 01:43 PM

1965 was a couple years before commercial tracks came to my part of the country. Rick, your build reminds me of a Floyd Manley lightweight that appeared in one of the vintage slot mags. Nice job! :)

#4 Jeff Easterly

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Posted 26 September 2006 - 02:26 PM

Man! :shock: Flyweight is right!
The cut Germans are just TOO trick! . . . Truly retro slot car racing! . . .
Love it . . . Great job! . . . Keep going! ;)
Jeff Easterly - Capt., Team Wheezer...
Asst. Mechanic, Team Zombie...
Power is coming on... NOW!!!

#5 Hworth08

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Posted 26 September 2006 - 04:32 PM

Sorry but that car will never win, too HEAVY!! :lol: Just joking but I would date your car to mid-'65, just before a bit of horsepower and heavier cars. The "lightest" weight cars I remember building were probably mid to late '64 using the Gray Ghost Revell type motor like the Russkit 22. Lots of variations but generally one rail per side 1/16" tubing and using 1/2 by .032 plate for uprights to hold the front axle. This left the rails straight so they could be stuffed with brass or piano wire to adjust handling. To save weight we often soldered 7/32" tubing directly to the front axle to mount the guide.

We bought our motors from Radio Shack in twin packs for I believe $2.49. Same motor as Revell but usually with a brown comm. 80 turns 32 was living dangerous and ALL the magnets could support!

If I remember the German tires were Graupners or something close to that. Actually model airplane tires that had to be cut on the inside to fit a slot wheel, a real pain to get round.

Great days, very possible to be passed by a hotrod Pittman 196! No brakes and not much handling but hey, we didn't know that yet! :)
Don Hollingsworth

#6 Hworth08

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Posted 26 September 2006 - 04:36 PM

Forgot to post this from Russkit through VSRN on how to build this era car:

http://www.vsrnonlin...skit/index.html
Don Hollingsworth

#7 don.siegel

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Posted 26 September 2006 - 05:24 PM

Absolutely a great car, Rick!

I don't remember this particular iteration from my youth, but I wasn't scratchbuilding either at the time . . . I do remember reading about a superlightweight 13D sidewinder that did well in a Texas series pretty late in the game, but that's another animal . . . not to mention a British 1/32 F1 car with lightened 13D that weighed in at just over an ounce . . .

Bill mentioned the Floyd Manley car, but that was at least a year later and not quite the same thing. More of a classic layout, with one main rail and a very light piano wire rail alongside it, plus steamroller tires in back, Asp wheels in front, and a cut-down F1 body . . . Here's my take on it.

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Don

#8 dc-65x

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Posted 26 September 2006 - 08:38 PM

Sorry but that car will never win, too HEAVY!! Just joking but I would date your car to mid-'65, just before a bit of horsepower and heavier cars.

I think you may very well be right on all counts. We followed the Rod & Custom series races and Team Russkit in particular. Those races and Team Russkit building articles were published starting in 1966. Russkit's early Scratch Builder series designs were earlier but our early Flyweights with the axle bracket and frame rails soldered to the motor were not published Team Russkit designs. Also, I think I have too much horsepower for the chassis. I had to add that weight to the drop arm to counter wheel stands :mrgreen: . We were not adding weight back then. It wasn't a case of too much traction because the 40-year-old German Record Elastik tires are not "fish rubber" sticky to be sure.

Anyway it's a nice-driving car. I'm working on the body mock up. I've got the wheel inserts ground down to fit. The exhaust pipes are mounted and the driver figure is ready for paint. The holes are drilled in the body for velocity stacks . . .
Onward. :)

Rick Thigpen
Check out Steve Okeefe's great web site at its new home here at Slotblog:
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#9 Hworth08

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Posted 27 September 2006 - 12:17 AM

Hi Rick,

Well, after seeing your car I had to start on a really light weight one myself. Maybe I can send it to you along with a hotrod Revell motor for your car and you can compare?

That was a great era when there really was no wrong way to build a car. Half the cars had little more than enough frame than to only hold the parts together.

Something that we did that often worhed well was using brass "brake drums". Just a peice of brass about 3/16" thick and 1/2" diameter that threaded on the axle up to the jam nut, then thread on the wheel and for insurance we used a spinner to lock the wheel on tight. A local machinist came up with this idea and it often worked well so maybe we were really too light?

Another of your nice cars! Thanks for the memories . . .
Don Hollingsworth

#10 Edo

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Posted 27 September 2006 - 10:19 AM

Veeery cute, Rick! :clap:
Cannot wait to see it finished! May I ask what kind of wheel inserts are you going to come up with?
Thanks.
Kind regards,
Edo
PS: Not that I want to interfere with your passion but didn't you say you had to finish your first Thingie next? We're very curious to see that, too. :drool:
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#11 dc-65x

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Posted 27 September 2006 - 02:18 PM

Hi Edo,

I ground down some Revell Lotus inserts to fit the Russkit wheels. The Thingie will happen, too :) .

Rick Thigpen
Check out Steve Okeefe's great web site at its new home here at Slotblog:
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#12 dc-65x

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Posted 30 September 2006 - 05:07 PM

I needed to reduce the Revell Lotus wheel inserts diameters to 1/2". They have a .440" counter bore in the back side. I used an old slot car wheel filed down to snap inside the wheel insert.

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Next I wanted to make up some velocity stacks out of aluminum tube. Here's what I used to make them:

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I put a short length of 1/8" tube in a hand drill and squared up the end. Then I put a drop of oil on the end of a center punch and pushed it into the tube with the drill running slowly. This will flare the end of the tube:

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This is what you end up with after a little polishing with 600 grit sandpaper:

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To drill out the body for the stacks I started the hole by twisting a No.11 X-Acto blade. Then I finished them with a taper pin reamer. It really leaves a nice clean hole:

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Here are the rest of the "body parts":

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The roll bar is 1/16" aluminum rod bent around an X-Acto knife handle. The driver is a Russkit without a helmet visor just like Jimmy Clark in 1963. The driver platform is .020" thick hobby shop plastic sheet. The exhaust pipes are out of production Concourse d' Elegance items.

Like they say on "Build or Bust" . . . with the mock-up done it's off to paint.

Onward.

Rick Thigpen
Check out Steve Okeefe's great web site at its new home here at Slotblog:
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#13 BWA

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Posted 30 September 2006 - 05:31 PM

Hey Rick, nice job.

Little tip on making holes for exhaust stacks. Take some 1/8 BRASS tube, couple or 3 inches long, chuck it in your hand drill, and, take an X-Acto knife (#11 blade) and use it to cut inside the tube to make a very sharp edge at the outside edge of the tube (similar to what you did with the punch, but use the X-Acto blade to actually cut the brass, leaving the outside of the tube parallel). :)

Use this as a hole punch, and put the body upside down, with the vac-formed injector stack thingies on a block of wood, put your newly-formed hole punch into one of them, and give a smart biff with your very favorite hammering device. Instant exactly 1/8" hole with no further fiddling or filing to do. 8)
Al Penrose BWA (Batchelor Without Arts, Eh!)

#14 dc-65x

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Posted 30 September 2006 - 05:44 PM

Thanks for the tip, Al. There is always a better way to do something. That's why we share info here. :)

Onward.

Rick Thigpen
Check out Steve Okeefe's great web site at its new home here at Slotblog:
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#15 Rhino

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Posted 30 September 2006 - 07:56 PM

Rick,

Another great car. Marvelous work. The tip on flaring aluminum tube for velocity stacks is one I need to try. I've been bashing a small ball bearing into the tubes. The results are difficult to control at best. Thanks for a great topic and another great build-up.

I recall an article in CM about these lightweights - maybe '65 or early '66. At this time we were starting to see the really soft, wide tires. Magic Traction is the first brand I recall. Until that time, the popular German formula tires didn't grip well on the light cars. As power increased, these cars couldn't get as much traction, and the weight came back.

I built a couple then, one an Iso with .032" twin mains and another with a .055" single main. They were two which survived my ex's Great Slot Car Purge of '69. Here are a couple of fuzzy photos:

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The workmanship wasn't up to current standards, but I've had forty years to ponder the errors of my ways.

They were driven at Chandler for the first time in forty years. They were a real blast. They both oversteered like crazy, but were very forgiving to drive. Here's hoping you get some track time with yours.
Terry Hreno
Where's the 3-view? I need to carve another body!

#16 Rhino

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Posted 30 September 2006 - 08:02 PM

Rick,

The front bracket on your Russkit MIB bracket set has puzzled me for years. How are the two 1/16" holes on the "ears" of the front bracket to be used? I have one old magazine article showing the bracket. The builder cut off the ears! You aren't even using the baffling bracket. Help!
Terry Hreno
Where's the 3-view? I need to carve another body!

#17 Bill from NH

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Posted 30 September 2006 - 08:06 PM

Terry, I like the Iso! :love: Any idea what you used for winds in these old cars? :?:

#18 Rhino

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Posted 30 September 2006 - 08:27 PM

Bill,

About the wildest we could keep alive was 65t 30 ga until the hotter mags came. Both cars are now packed waiting the move, so I can't say for sure. The Ferrari had one of my first pairs of hot mags, so it might have 28 ga in it. Until then, the 36Ds were the only place I used 28 ga. I did a few 32 ga. doubles, but am pretty sure they have long disappeared.

Rick,

The magnets in the Ferrrari were the ones with a groove down the middle for the retainer spring. Were those the same Tradeships you show?
Terry Hreno
Where's the 3-view? I need to carve another body!

#19 dc-65x

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Posted 01 October 2006 - 12:00 AM

Hi Terry,

I don't know how Russkit intended us to use the weird little bracket as I've never seen it used before. The Tradeship magnets in the package I showed are the kind with the groove down the middle you describe.

Rick Thigpen
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#20 Hworth08

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Posted 01 October 2006 - 10:34 AM

The motor bracket and the "other" little bracket Rick used were actually for building a 1/32 frame. The odd bracket was mounted on the top-front of the motor and the 1/16" holes were for mounting the drop arm. Pictures are shown on the Russkit site.
Not a very elegant method of mounting the drop arm . :)
Don Hollingsworth

#21 Rhino

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Posted 02 October 2006 - 05:39 PM

Don,

Which Russkit site did you mean? Thanks.
Terry Hreno
Where's the 3-view? I need to carve another body!

#22 Steve Okeefe

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Posted 02 October 2006 - 06:54 PM

Terry,

You will find the pictures and descriptions at www.vsrnonline.com, in the "Reference Library", under "Russkit".

The info you're looking for is in the "Speed Secret" booklet. The front cover looks like this:

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On page 16 (sheet eighteen) you will find this:

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That's the weird little bracket Rick was referring to. On page 19 (sheet twenty one), we see how it's used:

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Like Hworth08 says, "not a very elegant method of mounting the drop arm".

I agree. :mrgreen:

#23 rdmac

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Posted 02 October 2006 - 06:57 PM

. . . Which Russkit site did you mean?

I would assume he means VSRN.
The bracket can be seen in this picture. Russkit Scratch Building Manual page 18.
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#24 BWA

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Posted 02 October 2006 - 06:57 PM

Yikes, that's nasty. :shock:
Al Penrose BWA (Batchelor Without Arts, Eh!)

#25 Hworth08

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Posted 03 October 2006 - 12:52 AM

Getting a bit inspired by looking over the Russkit 1/24 frame, I started on my first what will be a true space frame with the top rails converging towards the center. Those things AIN'T so easy to build! I have three of the four main rails in and getting the bends and angles to line up just right isn't so easy! Makes a jail door frame seem fairly simple now!
I'll have to show more respect to the builders of original frames now. :)
Don Hollingsworth





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