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The two-rail chassis revolution


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#1 dc-65x

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Posted 11 December 2010 - 06:58 PM

I’m in the mood for some early anglewinder bidness with big, tall 16Ds set in the heavy chassis at huge angles. So I busted out my handy dandy Model Racing Journal DVD. They are available in fully-indexed format at the link below:

MODEL CAR JOURNAL and MODEL RACING JOURNAL

As I looked through the race reports these three cars caught my attention. If you read Mike Morrissey’s text under the pictures they sure caught his attention, too:

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Congratulations to Mike Staskie and his winning rig on the left but I’m interested in the Bob Emott built cars in the center and on the right (I think LASCM has the Bob Emott raced chassis in its collection).

In a sea of three and four railers with motor boxes and plumbers mounted on the chassis Bob Emott creates a two railer with half rails instead of a motor box and the plumber mounted on the arm.

Was Bob the first to do this? I’ll leave that for the historians among you ;) . For me, if I get in my “Way Back Machine”, return to Feb. 30, 1969, and read the following Hinsdale race report for the first time... HE’S THE MAN! :D

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I advanced my “Way Back Machine” a few MRJ issues to the April 15, 1969, coverage of the Mura Spectacular. Seems that Bob Emott was laid up and he loaned Chris Vitucci what Mike Morrissey called “the fastest stable of cars in the nation"! :shok: Chris set a new national King track qualifying record of 4.81... with the two-rail car Bob loaned Howie Ursaner back at the Hinsdale race in Feb!

I highlighted in yellow Morrissey’s description of how Bob built his cars. There’s no doubt in my mind that he thought Bob was THE MAN, too. Check out what he had to say:

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Tony P posted some great pictures of Bob’s chassis like the ones below.
(Photos courtesy of Tony P):

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Here’s the link to Tony P’s post:

The Emott Archives

The Good Dokktor also posted pictures of the collection here:

The Emott Collection

Time for me to start building :) ...

Rick Thigpen
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#2 tonyp

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Posted 11 December 2010 - 07:16 PM

First ever non-motor box cars I ever saw were Jerry Brady's, probably because Jerry could not bend a motor box.

"And if my thought-dreams could be seen they'd probably put my head in a guillotine. But it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only." - Dylan

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#3 tonyp

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Posted 11 December 2010 - 07:23 PM

Check the issue that has Sandy's puzzle pan. There is a picture of one of Jerry's cars with his typical center section, no motor box. What would you expect from the person who used no motor bracket on his inline. LOL...

"And if my thought-dreams could be seen they'd probably put my head in a guillotine. But it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only." - Dylan

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#4 68Caddy

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Posted 11 December 2010 - 07:47 PM

First of all, thanks for the link of the DVD. Great story.

Got to buy that DVD for sure.

Nesta
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#5 dc-65x

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Posted 11 December 2010 - 07:48 PM

First ever non-motor box cars I ever saw were Jerry Brady's, probably because Jerry could not bend a motor box.

I feel his pain :laugh2: . I have a heck of a time with them, too!

Check the issue that has Sandy's puzzle pan. There is a picture of one of Jerrys cars with his typical center section, no motor box. What would you expect from the person who used no motor bracket on his inline.

Thanks, Tony, I'll find and post the picture of Jerry's car...

It's a great DVD, Nesta. You'll enjoy it for sure. ;)

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#6 Bill from NH

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Posted 11 December 2010 - 07:57 PM

I'll second that Nesta! Actually, Steve sells two different DVDs. One is primarily about inline cars, the other mainly anglewinders. I'd recommend both. :)

Bill Fernald

 

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#7 dc-65x

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Posted 11 December 2010 - 08:08 PM

Here's Jerry's car:

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Is he using half rails or is that outside rail going from the front axle all the way to the rear axle tube?

I found this picture in the next MRJ issue... looks like half rails to me???

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#8 tonyp

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Posted 11 December 2010 - 09:08 PM

Half rails. The outer rail goes along the half rail and up to the front axle.

Not sure if Jerry was actually using a Dremel by this time. According to Bob Emott, Jerry never knew about the cut-off disks and would just dyke off the wire and file the ends. If he needed a hole drilled, Jerry would use an X-Acto and just carve out the hole. Of course Ajax and an SOS pad were foreign to him.

As bad as his stuff looked he built some really good stuff and came up with a lot of stuff first, like the steel center section, flat wire I believe, and along with Bob Emott, the 3/32" axles just to mention a few things...

"And if my thought-dreams could be seen they'd probably put my head in a guillotine. But it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only." - Dylan

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#9 endbelldrive

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Posted 11 December 2010 - 09:26 PM

Not much room for the new wider 11/16" tires and the endbell drive!

What is interesting is the endbell drive two-railers which were built after the West Coasters had already switched to can drive. PVA also added an extra kink in the left half rail on John Cukras' car. Tricky stuff. :D
Bob Suzuki

#10 Howie Ursaner

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Posted 12 December 2010 - 11:15 AM

Bob was "THE MAN" from the time he came up with the pair of DC196 Cobras we took to Wiles Barre. These cars dominated East Coast racing for years.

Then, with the advent of anglewinders he again always had the best cars, with the finest craftsmanship. I had a great time racing with Bob; he is the best.
Howie Ursaner

#11 Prof. Fate

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Posted 12 December 2010 - 04:14 PM

Hi,

I didn't know this twin rail thing was an issue! While I copied a couple chassis like everyone, I had always used steel rails. I have survivor inlines from '65 that are twin rail with piano wire. I didn't like the way rod bent! I wreck a lot. But I don't remember there being an issue.

Fate
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#12 dc-65x

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Posted 12 December 2010 - 05:37 PM

The anglewinder two-rail chassis with half rails instead of a motor box and the plumber mounted on the 1-1/4" drop arm instead of the chassis is an icon. It was THE basic chassis layout from early 1969 until when... maybe late 1972 and Philippe's Diamond? It seems like this basic layout dominated chassis design for about four years when previously chassis layouts were changing for almost every race.

As Mike Morrissey said in the opening of his Mar. 15, 1969, construction article, "We're in the middle of another chassis revolution, gang."

Here is that article, The New Two-Rail Chassis

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#13 Prof. Fate

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 01:45 PM

Hi,

What I am saying is that most of our early anglewinders were modified inlines which were commonly twin rail. In SoCal, the Jail Door multiple rod frames were more common than in my circles.

Again, like the anglewinder thing itself, there was so much going on that never made the mags, that the best you can say is that Morrissey revolutionized something in SoCal.

Fate
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#14 TSR

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 03:16 PM

It is true to say that the two-rail design for anglewinder chassis did not originate with the very first ones used April 20, 1968, in the very first anglewinder race ever. Indeed, most of the chassis used in that famous race were of the three-rail design, and their front-end was vastly different from the much sturdier Emott chassis design shown above.
It took a long time for the two-rail design to be introduced, because for a while (all of 1968 and part of 1969), the number of rails actually increased rather than decreased...

#15 tonyp

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 03:30 PM

The two rail went from brass and wire to dual wire very quickly... two issues of the newspaper later Jerry Brady was running a two rail flat wire car...

"And if my thought-dreams could be seen they'd probably put my head in a guillotine. But it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only." - Dylan

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#16 dc-65x

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 06:30 PM

The two rail went from brass and wire to dual wire very quickly...


Cool, so I'll build an early two-rail brass and wire car first :) . I'll use a big old 1/16" thick Cobra drop arm, solid pans with the hinge tube sitting on top and an end bell drive “Wish I had a Kean Kan” motor. I'm going approach the build as if I was back in the day in So Cal drooling over these just published issues of Model Racing Journal. It's good to have a “Way Back Machine” ;) .

So, after reading the tech sheet for Bob and Howie's cars at the Hinsdale race I came up with these parts to build a motor. Not a Kean Can motor unfortunately but rather an early Champion can with the funky bearing and no side vents, Champion DZ magnets with 2-piece shim, Mura end bell and hardware and a Thorp D27-28 arm. Pictures to follow.....

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#17 TSR

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 07:59 PM

Rick,
At the time, Bob Kean used the Cox NASCAR can, cut on top and bottom and vented, with ARCO mags with the second type shim and a Mura white 16D endbell to build his motors. So you could in principle, make one to look very close to the real thing. Please let me know if you need detailed pictures. As far as the chassis in that race, it LOOKS like we have at least one of the two, that of Ursaner, that use a reversed endbell drive.
Regards,

#18 Noose

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 10:22 PM

Wow..Howie and Vitucci running my bodies in the race listed first. Cool!

This is my last car from that time frame that Bob built.It looks close but Tony will have to chime in here on the exact time frame. If I could only find a motor for it I would put it all back together again. I remember running the McLaren body on it.
emott-1.jpg

Emott-2.jpg

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#19 slotcarone

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 11:58 PM

:D Nice classic chassis Joe!!! I bet our own Vinny Spina will have the correct motor for it!!

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#20 tonyp

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 07:18 AM

That has to be Right before we went to 3/32 axles.

"And if my thought-dreams could be seen they'd probably put my head in a guillotine. But it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only." - Dylan

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#21 Noose

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 07:57 AM

Yes this does have the 1/8th axles.

Joe "Noose" Neumeister
Sometimes known as a serial despoiler of the clear purity of virgin Lexan bodies. Lexan is my canvas!
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#22 tonyp

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 08:10 AM

Because of the LCG pan stops, i'd date that chassis to right after the Cobra Mura race. The layout is the same as what Bob was running then, but he was not using the LCG pan stops yet. If I were to guess I would say fall 1969. Maybe your car from the Phaze III race at Berwyn Sept, 69...

"And if my thought-dreams could be seen they'd probably put my head in a guillotine. But it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only." - Dylan

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#23 Noose

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 08:11 AM

Sounds about right.

Joe "Noose" Neumeister
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The only thing bad about Retro is admitting that you remember doing it originally.


#24 dc-65x

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 12:12 PM

Very nice chassis Noose. It's nice to see one that's been so well cared for it almost looks it was just made. I love the "square" solder joints :wub: .

Thanks for the motor info Philippe. I realize I've not chosen wisely my motor components. I'm starting over! :laugh2:

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#25 TSR

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 09:14 PM

Maybe your car from the Phaze III race at Berwyn Sept, 69...

Indeed. It appears that this is the car used by Noose on September 13, 1969 at Holiday raceway in Berwyn, PA. Noose, the motor was a Champion 535-based lump, I can get you one looking the part if you need. Call me. Call me what, that's your option! :laugh2:

Rick, I will get you a decent pic of a period Kean with the Cox can.

#26 dc-65x

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Posted 03 January 2011 - 11:19 PM

This project had stalled. I had planned to make a motor I really didn’t want to use because I lacked a critical part.

But, I’ve come up with a solution and built a motor I want, finally! I’ve deleted the previous motor proposal post and here goes my motor build.

I want to build a car based on the one Bob Emott built for Howie Ursaner in the Jan. 1969 MRJ Hinsdale race report. Not built as a clone but rather as if I were reading the race report in 1969 and building my own version:

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I consulted with our own good The Dokktor, PdL over this picture and the race reports tech sheet:

This particular one is a Champion 5001 (Mabuchi FT16BB with one side blank (no hole) can with the aluminum bearing housing……These 5001 came out in 1968 and were first nickel plated, and black in 1969. Not an easy one to find...
Kean used these for a while then switched to the regular black can.


Okie Dokie, I’ve got Champion chrome version so I needed to bang out the crap-O-la ball bearing and put in a good oilite, cut some mongo endbell vents and drill four endbell mounting screw holes. Here’s the stock can on top and the modified one below:

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Note the two Mabuchi bearing cups (one mangled) and ball bearings. It was quite, ah, interesting removing them. I’d know what I’d do differently next time!

This flex shaft grinder is a wonderful tool. I used it to drill the endbell mounting holes. It’s so much easier than trying to use a full size pistol drill:

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Oh, hey Duffy, lookie here. The old guy can still nail those scribe lines with a punch:

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Sorry, apprentice machinist training moment……….Anyway, the Champion DZ magnets and 2-piece shims were too tall to fit in the can (Mabuchi sourced). I ground .015” off the height with a disk sander. Then I lathered up all these pieces plus the magnets…….

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……with JB Weld epoxy and stuffed them into the can along with the can bearing, a .525” armature alignment tool and endbell . I made sure there wasn’t any excess epoxy that would LOCK the magnets and shim into the can.

I ended up with nicely aligned bearings and this “magnet sub-assemble” that’s a nice snug “slip fit” into the can:

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This step sure isn’t vintage but I’m no master builder from back in the day. A man’s got to know his limitations and this is one of my many:

Posted Image

These magnet hones are slicker than snot. I’ve got a nice .530” magnet bore perfectly aligned with the armature. This makes me happy :). The “magnet sub-assemble” can be slipped out of the can and all the magnet dust cleaned up....neato!

Next up, I'll show cutting up that endbell……

Rick Thigpen
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#27 dc-65x

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Posted 04 January 2011 - 06:53 PM

The "critical part" I said I was in short supply of is the Mura white "unmeltable" endbell. I have a few but I'd like to use them on Mura motors not a hybrid "race motor". I do have some of the later version with the B-motor style brush hardware. REH even sold them until a few years ago. Here's a comparo of the two:

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The early style is on top. It's very much like a Mabuchi FT16D endbell but with pent roof brush hoods and made from a high temperature plastic.

The later style on the bottom has been redesigned to take the great B-motor brush hardware. The plastic spring post of the early version is replaced with a screw and brass sleeve. This style of endbell served Mura well into the 90's on their C-can motors.

To make my late style endbell look more like an early one I made a brass "post protector" to hide the late style screw (I ended up not using the fiber washer):

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I trimmed as much of the big copper plate off as possible. I also replaced the 36D brush hoods with early 16D hoods. Here's the stock hardware on top and my modified on the bottom:

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The plastic part was drilled for comm inspection holes and mill for cooling slots:

Posted Image

The early version on top and my modified late version is on the bottom. I think it looks a little more like the early one and it was a fun project:

Posted Image

Armatures next :)

Rick Thigpen
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There's much more to come...


#28 Pablo

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Posted 04 January 2011 - 07:33 PM

I'm drooling on my keyboard again :)
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#29 dc-65x

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Posted 04 January 2011 - 07:40 PM

Hi Pablo. Lookie at these "motor rotors". Time to try one out.......

Here's a selection of Thorp arms. The newest on top:

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Again using Steve O's fully indexed Model Racing Journal DVD's it was a snap to come up with these Thorp ads:

12-1968

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1-1969

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7-1969

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1-1970

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My earliest on with thick laminations, phenolic wire retainers, fiber end plates and red wire:

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This is the one I'm going to use in my motor. It still has the fiber end plates and phenolic wire retainers but with brown wire and .007 laminations:

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A still later version. Still clinging to the Phenolic wire retainers but with a green goop coated arm instead of the fiber end plates and .005" laminations:

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The last one I have. The phenolic wire retainers are gone and the price is now up to $9.95:

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Time to put this whole thing together.......

Rick Thigpen
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#30 Duffy

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Posted 04 January 2011 - 08:33 PM

Oo.

Just, Oo.

It don't get better than, Oo.
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a renaissance of wonder

#31 dc-65x

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Posted 04 January 2011 - 10:29 PM

Hi Duffy!

The motor is together and broken in on the power supply. It draws 1 amp at 3 volts. But, it seems to run hot even at that low amp draw. I know the armature spins free as can be and is centered in the magnetic field. It's got a good air gap and the magnets are well charged.

When I told my friend and vintage slot guru Rodney that I was going to use a Thorp arm with their phenolic wire retainers he said, "they run hot". Oh, well.........I'm going to "see it move" anyway and I think it looks "HOT":

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Chassis time......

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#32 TSR

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Posted 04 January 2011 - 10:48 PM

You are not going to paint it black? :)

#33 dc-65x

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Posted 04 January 2011 - 10:59 PM

You are not going to paint it black? :)


Ah......well........ah......I sure like chrome.......so shiny.........black......hmmm.........chrome so shiny......black hmm........

To make the motor look like Howie's I'd have to dye the endbell some unknown dark color too :unsure:

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#34 tonyp

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 07:25 AM

Black! Black is meaner looking.

"And if my thought-dreams could be seen they'd probably put my head in a guillotine. But it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only." - Dylan

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#35 TSR

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 09:53 AM

To make the motor look like Howie's I'd have to dye the endbell some unknown dark color too

Probably an endbell from a Mura M444 that were black...

#36 Steve Deiters

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 10:28 AM

Those Thorp 26-27 arms with Mike Kondor on the controller were as fast as anything going at the tme. While the Thorp arms did not look as good (nice, tight, straight wraps) as some of the boutique winders of the day like Zimmerman they did have their day in the sun on occasion and were extremely fast as long as the amps were there. I never felt Thorp got as much credit as he should have for the era he served.

#37 Ron Hershman

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 10:36 AM

All wires sizes are "REAL" AWG sizes...... LOL...was there anything else? I am sure Mura, Checkpoint and the others were using AWG wire at the time.

Other than Mabuchi motors maybe having "metric" wire on them...did anyone "re use" the Mabuchi wire on the Pro arms of the day?

#38 Steve Deiters

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 11:05 AM

I seem to sort of remember a mini controversy of the day when machine wound "rewind' armatures were starting to make their way into the marketplace. The controversy was that the machine wound arms the wire would "stretch" during the winding to assure that it was tight thus reducing the measured gauge of the wire to be something less than 27 or 28 or whatever the stated size of the wire was. I think Thorps' arms may have been hand wound or at least they look that way in the photos which would minimize the stretching...in theory. Was it real? Was it imagined? I don't know if it was or if it really made any difference at the end of the day. A particular make of arm wound turn as fast as it could and that was it. Like most controversies in slot racing it took on a life of its own and lasted for a very brief while then it was gone. Not that it would ever happen today.....a small controversy taking on a life of its own here on the blog!! ;)

#39 TSR

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 11:06 AM

Why? :)

We have plenty of vintage arms at the LASCM and a few Zimmerman, and they don't look so tidy. But they were quite good... I am not so sure that tidiness has much to do with performance as long as it is reasonable and well balanced. The Kean we have as well as plenty of other arms, Pooch, Krum, Steube... are not so tidy either and they were all good!
The tidiest we have from the Classic era are Bob Green's.

#40 Ben Martinez III

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 12:23 PM

I seem to sort of remember a mini controversy of the day when machine wound "rewind' armatures were starting to make their way into the marketplace. The controversy was that the machine wound arms the wire would "stretch" during the winding to assure that it was tight thus reducing the measured gauge of the wire to be something less than 27 or 28 or whatever the stated size of the wire was. I think Thorps' arms may have been hand wound or at least they look that way in the photos which would minimize the stretching...in theory. Was it real? Was it imagined? I don't know if it was or if it really made any difference at the end of the day. A particular make of arm wound turn as fast as it could and that was it. Like most controversies in slot racing it took on a life of its own and lasted for a very brief while then it was gone. Not that it would ever happen today.....a small controversy taking on a life of its own here on the blog!! ;)


Steve,

I believe the Thorp arms were machine wound, and I agree that they probably didn't get the credit that they deserved. The arms were incredibly consistant and durable. Rarely (very rarely) would there be a bad one, occasionally a great one, and most others above average. Great race arms especially when mains were 40 minute and motor changeouts between heats was not the order of the day






#41 Ron Hershman

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 12:24 PM

The Thorp arms ran good because they were balanced really really well out of the package.

#42 Prof. Fate

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 01:45 PM

Hi

Rick, check the bushing alignment and try softening the springs to see if that makes them run cooler.

As I said, Bob Green's arms were the first arms I bought that were not my winds. I so admired the work.

I don't remember, somehow the .005 lams, I feel I missed out! grin. As for size. All hand winders develop a "feel". You get used to feeling the change in wire diameter and content/stretch in the wire when doing it by hand. But any tension does stretch and thin the wire. Even machine wound. I have no idea what "true" means here. Any gauge is "plus/minus" around the standard within the tolerances of the machine that made the wire.

Reusing the wire was common back by kids in the early 60s because most didn't even have a radio shack! I did build a few illegal arms to beat an inspector by reusing the wire. But that is a different sort of story.

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#43 tonyp

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 01:52 PM

The Thorp stuff ran well at Nutley. We used to sell a ton of them. They ran and lasted longer then the Mura's of that era. The balancing was dead smooth.

"And if my thought-dreams could be seen they'd probably put my head in a guillotine. But it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only." - Dylan

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#44 Ron Hershman

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 01:58 PM



I don't remember, somehow the .005 lams, I feel I missed out! grin. As for size. All hand winders develop a "feel". You get used to feeling the change in wire diameter and content/stretch in the wire when doing it by hand. But any tension does stretch and thin the wire. Even machine wound.


I think Champion was the only one to use .005" lams.....Mura did not. So Thorp probably used Champion blanks for awhile before switching to Mura blanks.

As for stretching wire..... it can ONLY be stretched 2/10's of an inch before it breaks.

#45 tonyp

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 02:30 PM

2/10's? That is a lot...

"And if my thought-dreams could be seen they'd probably put my head in a guillotine. But it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only." - Dylan

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#46 Steve Deiters

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 02:55 PM

I seem to remember that Thorp designed and built his own balancer. He definitely was the rebalancer of choice here in the midwest for the upper level racers before Parma had a balancer. He was also viewed as others have stated as providing a quality balance that was a step above others that were sourced at the time.

#47 TSR

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 03:29 PM

Thorp had his own balancing machine and also balanced many arms including all of Bill Steube.
Thorp also made his own .007", then .005" blanks and sold them to other rewinders.
Gil Gundersen wound all the arms and balanced them from 1970 until Thorp ended his slot car product line.

#48 Steve Deiters

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 05:07 PM

Thorp had his own balancing machine and also balanced many arms including all of Bill Steube.
Thorp also made his own .007", then .005" blanks and sold them to other rewinders.
Gil Gundersen wound all the arms and balanced them from 1970 until Thorp ended his slot car product line.

When did he finally stop armature production?

#49 Old pink can guy

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 06:53 PM

I did not have much luck with Thrope motors. Just wer not as fast as the Mura stuff. But did send my Mura's to him after every two races. Com true and balance was better then new. If I remember correctley His wife did most of the winding. The Dok will have to chime in on that. Also Remember Mike Condor Doing very well at a big Race at Speed & sport in the A main and Oting Very well. And a cool guy too!
Ken Botts

#50 dc-65x

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 09:53 AM

Thanks for all the input :) . It’s been great to read about everyone’s “Thorp Memories”…..and something else:

You are not going to paint it black? :)


Black! Black is meaner looking.


Probably an endbell from a Mura M444 that were black...


“So let it be written….so let it be done”. Yul Brynner

Posted Image

Well, I do my best anyway. I’ve never done the black dye thing before….. :unsure:

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