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New AMT slot car kit review


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#181 Jairus

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Posted 16 March 2015 - 11:01 AM

I give you an "A" for engineering and a "C" for soldering.

Toss the paste flux out and buy yourself a "Staybrite" solder kit at your local hobby shop.  The acid flux and silver solder in the kit will make you a pro at soldering in no time!

IMG_2162x-vi.jpg
Also.... clean clean clean right after to prevent corrosion.

Interested to see what you do next.


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#182 Lone Wolf

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Posted 16 March 2015 - 11:50 AM

Yes, the great ones prediction 3 years ago of $15 at the discount places has come true.

 

No need to thank me, the great ones never need thanks  :dance3:  :laugh2:  :king:  :drinks:

 

I will tell you all this little secret as well, although I shouldn't. If you want these things grab them now especially the earlier ones. My next prediction, in another few years these will be bringing $100.

 

And every one will be saying I remember when I could have picked them things up for $15.00 :dash2:

 

I have been buying and selling toy cars for over 35 years. 


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#183 robbovius

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Posted 16 March 2015 - 12:20 PM

Hey Thanks Jarius, for both the encouragement and the tip on the solder kit. What I've been using is a liquid acid flux (the white bottle seen in a couple of the pics, can't quite recall the brand), and some 50/50 acid core silver solder made by "Lenk". I will definitely try out that Stay-Brite kit.  The Hobby shop I frequent is "The Spare Time Shop" in marlboro MA, they don't have a whole lot of soldering supplies, though that's where I got the Lenk solder. apparently I cleaned them out, because when I was there at lunchtime today, there was no solder to be found in the usual spot on the wall.

 

I followed the prep setps I read in the "Soldering" thread hearabouts - scuff the base metal with sandpaper, then acid flux, then tin the parts, then finish solder - though, if I'm honest, I don't always pre-tin. The best solder joints I got were the last few attaching those long braces to the rear braces and the front of the chassis.

 

as far as cleaning, that was one most important details I got out of all the other stuff I've read so far, and so after going over the solder joints with a dremel wire wheel, I gave the whole thing a good scrubbing with a scotchbrite and dish soap.

 

updates as they happen...



#184 Mattb

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Posted 16 March 2015 - 05:30 PM

This thread reminds me of the old joke about cooking a "carp". You nail it to a piece of wood and season with everything you can find. Bake it for an hour at 350 degrees. Remove from the oven, take the carp off the board and throw it away and then eat the board!

I put togethr a 57 Chev. Got the up graded parts kit. After a lot of fooling around and changing rear axle, oilites, tires, gear and guide flag, it ran fairly decent. But, don't crash it or you will be straightening out the frame before you can run it again.

Looks to me like you should save the motor, the front wheel assembly, cut the rear axle bracket from the rest of the frame and then buy a few pieces of brass and just make a new frame using the few original parts you saved. That would be easier then trying to save the original frame. If you just want to see if you can salvage this pos, I do understand.

The sad part is AMT had about the best design in the mid 60's production cars. All they had to do was "research" and talk to a few slot car guys. They could have duplicated that old design and we'd have been thrilled! I doubt anybody knowledgeable about slot cars was ever consulted about this thing. I doubt if they ever even built one. Too bad they didn't get it right.
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#185 robbovius

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Posted 17 March 2015 - 06:44 AM

@ Matt, can't say that I disagree with you. the frame is really flexible, though the bracing I've given it has stiffened it up alot. as delivered, none of the four axle tabs were straight or square and both axles bound up and didn't really turn freely. I straightened them all out, and now the axles turn freely, but I may still add some bracing to the front axle tabs to keep them square. there are other issues too, the rear axle bracket is rather too narrow for anything other than that 8-tooth stock pinion if you add oilites and a Parma crown gear

 

I've seen the re-pop AMT brass chassis on Prof Motor, they look much beefier. Part of the reason for this soup-up is to build my soldering skills (mostly) before I jump off into total scratch building, and for the satisfaction of making a crappy car run better...and I'm a geek, I just like to fabricate.

 

@lone wolf, I paid $26 or something like that from Prof Motor. Modelville has a few for sale, the 1970 camaro there was looking at me and whispering "Buy Me" last wednesday nite. I resisted, but...

 

@jarius, I found the stay brite kit on Amazon (of course, as they have everything in the world) so I bought 3 of them. ;-)

 

Last night, more progress. Oh, I should mention, I like posting these build log type things warts and all, as one doesn't learn without messing up here and there, right?

 

Anyway, last night after I got home, I was pleased to find that my .2535 reamer had shown up, so I immediately chucked it up in the drill press and proceeded to open up the axle holes for the oilites, but...

 

...look. this is me screwing up.

 

20150316_194607.jpg

 

see, the last car I built was full size (go here: http://www.locostusa...hp?f=33&t=16895 ), so it made sense to do operations like this in the drill press. AMT slot car chassis, mmm, not so much. the chassis was not square in the vise, as it turned out and the holes got ovalved a bit. .253 in X but .265 in Y. didn't find that out until later. Note to self: hand ream slot car chassis axle holes. do not attack flies with a sledgehammer.

 

But, once I got the chassis together as a roller,  my my but didn't it look bitchin'...

 

20150316_202809.jpg

 

the rear tires are H&R 21 x 27 mm Fish rubber. I've pushed both front and rear tires out wider than stock and will have to relieve the wheel openings, but I gotta say... 

 

20150316_203432.jpg

 

...I kinda dig the 1960s jacked-up vibe. I can remember walking home from school (or even walking to Modelville) circa 1967-1969,  and seeing cars like that  and thingking, "Cooool!" Maybe not so extreme, but a bit of forward rake would not be inappropriate.

 

so after rolling the bare chassis around a while and making electric motor noises, I discovered the aforemention oversize/ovaled rear axle holes, by virtue of the axle clunking up and down. I've heard of soldering the oilites in, so...

 

on the "driver's" side I was able to add a bit of silver solder to the hole and re-ream bringing it to a nice .001 slip fit, but the "passenger" side wasnjt' having any of that and so I soldered the oilite in.

 

a bit more solder than is really neccessary, perhaps, but the axle doesn't clunk around anymore.

 

20150316_223629.jpg

 

after which it got the usual scrub in the kitchen sink. next up is mounting the body...

 

at this juncture I wonder if this car needs its own thread in scratchbuiding?



#186 racie35

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Posted 17 March 2015 - 07:59 AM

Weren't they planning an early mustang as one of these ?
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#187 Mattb

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Posted 17 March 2015 - 08:57 AM

You've done a nice job making the chassis actually dependable and useable. You'll have no trouble soldering up a scratch built chassis. You can get even more strength with less weight and you can keep most of the weight below the axle line, making it a better handling design. If you want something that is plug and play, the H&R brass chassis are a wonder. They adapt to most any hard body and come ready to run, assembled with silicone slicks. A group of the H&R cars with the 18,000 motors make a fun racing. At home you can run them as you buy them and not get too serious, just have fun playing with toys!
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#188 Bill from NH

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Posted 17 March 2015 - 09:13 AM

Robb, good mods on the chassis. Your white bottle of flux could be Oatey's Liquid  Flux, if so, it should have been okay to use. Oatey's & Stay Clean acid fluxes work on a variety of different metals, including stainless but not including aluminum. I've built a number of chassis over the years using all silver solder, but 60/40 & 63/37 rosin solders flow better. The best handling chassis I ever drove on the original Modelville Sovereign was a friend's car built entirely with 60/40 solder. Silver solder gives you a stronger, but stiffer joint with less flex. It takes several races for a  silver soldered chassis to be entirely broken in. I don't have one of the AMT kits, but I've always found I only needed 60/40 for building up a stamped steel flexi chassis. What are you using for a soldering iron to work on your cars? I see you already own a nice chassis jig for when you start scratchbuilding.

 

When I use one of the acid fluxes, I keep a small bowl of baking soda mixed in water handy in order to neutralize the acid & help prevent rusting when I'm done. This works sort of like cleaning your car's battery terminals.


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#189 wbugenis

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Posted 17 March 2015 - 09:39 AM

Much more economical and stronger than the Stay Brite acid flux:

 

"Radiator tinning fluid" from your NAPA dealer.  Not on the shelves - you have to ask for it.

 

The pint bolttle is a lifetime supply!


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#190 robbovius

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Posted 17 March 2015 - 11:35 AM

@Bruce: I'd read that too, but haven't seen any early Mustangs as current AMT kits. I've only see the 62 Catalina, the 57 shoebox, the 442 and a couple camaros, a modern 2013  and the 1970. Oh yeah, and a 67-or-so Nova.

 

@Matt, thanks. Turns out my GF wants me to build her a car (I've seen a few couples at Modelville on wed nights running cars together and having a good time. She's a car girl, we do spend time attending cruise nights and car shows during the warm months) and I'd looked at those H&R chassis as an easy way to get there.  right on for playing with the toys and having fun. ;-) When I was at ModellVille last wednesday, I was chatting up a couple who were runing with a group on the Blue Fig 8, the woman was running an AMT '57 Shoebox, and the guy was running a pittman-motored, scratchbuilt frame '58 Corvette he'd gotten off Ebay, and he observed, "You can't do this and not have fun." 

 

@Bill: I also have some 60/40 rosin core around that I use for electrical work, I'll give that a try too. the silver solder flows okay for me, as long as I do good prep adn get the parts hot enough. I'm learning the technique to localize my heat so I don't melt previously soldered stuff and have it fall apart.  

 

As far as the Iron I use, well, I'm not using an Iron, Rather, I'm using a couple HF-sourced Butane pencil torches. I do have a few soldering Irons in varyiing  wattages (mostly for electrical work) the biggest being a HF Chicago Electric 180 watt soldering gun, on which I pretty immediately cooked the chisel tip last year trying out some early metal soldering experiments- "Hey, the tip is red-hot! I've never seen that before" -  the other tip that came with it is pointed and doesn't really transfer the heat well to the metal, though I have used it to solder the motor can in the Buyers Protection Plan Special.

 

So far I've been able to make the pencil torches work pretty well, the biggest problem being over heating the parts and remelting work I'd already done, and having it fall apart. I've mentioned that before right? ;-) . towards the end of the chassis bracing session, I'd figured out a decent technique, able to give the joint just enough heat, get the solder to flow and not lingering there with the flame. I do find that the brass likes the solder more than the steel does, and transfers the heat better.

 

I've read thru the soldering Iron thread hereabouts a couple times, and if I can find a decently big replacement chisel tip for the HF gun, I think some experimentation with brass and 60/40 is in order. I suppose I could ditch a couple of my lower wattage irons (I've got one that never gets used anymore) and then get another 60-80 watts. Although I have enough scrap brass around that experimenting with the gun as it is might worthwhile.

 

I've actually done that before. waayy back in my late static-modelling days (18-22 years old), I built some 1/25 scale T-bucket frames out of .125 sq brass tube, using my dad's weller gun and plain old 60/40 rosin core...or I assume that's what the solder was anyway.

 

Yeah I like that PSC chassis jig. I figured if I was going to build some cars, a decent jig was a must-have, y'know? I have another that I'd gotten last year, Lucky Bobs I believe, that's got two pairs of pressed in pins for 1/8 and 3/32 axles, but no markings, nothing more than the pressed in pins. I've used it to repair cracked solder joints on the rear axle tube of the BPPS (from flying out of the Sovereign banking) but the PSC jig is much more scratch-building friendly.

 

@wbugenis; thanks for the tip about the radiator tinning fluid.

 

Again thanks for the encouragement and advice guys.



#191 Gator Bob

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Posted 17 March 2015 - 11:53 AM

Much more economical and stronger than the Stay Brite acid flux:

 

"Radiator tinning fluid" from your NAPA dealer.  Not on the shelves - you have to ask for it.

 

The pint bolttle is a lifetime supply!

 

Yup... A zinc chloride and hydrochloric acid brew.


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#192 Gator Bob

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Posted 17 March 2015 - 11:54 AM

Robb, what is the tin to silver ratio of the solder you reference above in post 183? 


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#193 racie35

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Posted 17 March 2015 - 01:43 PM

Robb...that's what I thought about the mustang. Could have sworn I seen a repop of the 60's slot car.
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#194 Jairus

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Posted 17 March 2015 - 01:58 PM

Well, the simple answer is to buy the '66 Mustang coupe kit and build your own.  The thing has been in re-release for decades and I have one in my collection.


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#195 robbovius

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Posted 17 March 2015 - 02:01 PM

Robb, what is the tin to silver ratio of the solder you reference above in post 183? 

 

 Not sure, but I'll take a look at the bottle tonight after I get home and let you know.



#196 Hermit #1

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Posted 17 March 2015 - 03:07 PM

Robb, what is the tin to silver ratio of the solder you reference above in post 183? 

Most likely he's referring to Harris Company's original Sta-Brite solder, which is 96% tin and 4% silver.  Harris also makes a 94/6 (known as Sta-Brite 8) solder.  The original Sta-Brite has been a staple in slot-car chassis building since the 1960's.

P.S.  Lenk is a maker of soldering hardware - I doubt they actually make  their own solder, just rebrand someone else's generic product.  50/50 lead-tin doesn't compare with a silver-bearing for tensile strength or elongation without cracking.


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#197 racie35

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Posted 17 March 2015 - 05:03 PM

Well, the simple answer is to buy the '66 Mustang coupe kit and build your own.  The thing has been in re-release for decades and I have one in my collection.


Model cars are more expensive than the amt slots can be bought for now. That is one way though .
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#198 Jairus

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Posted 17 March 2015 - 07:28 PM

It's only money and the only way to find the body you want.
I have personally purchased a model kit just for the wheels and tires before.
Sometime later I usually find a use for the rest of the kit because I throw nothing away because seats, engines, bodies, decals and custom parts can find there way into other projects.


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#199 racie35

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Posted 17 March 2015 - 07:37 PM

I hear ya...I've done it too. Never know when you'll need the rest.
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#200 Bill from NH

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Posted 17 March 2015 - 07:41 PM

I think a lot of different companies are repackaging somebody elses silver solder under their own labels. I'm not familiar with Lenk. SIlver solder may be stronger than solders such as 60/40 or 63/37, but it's stiffer & not as flexible too. Over the years I've built several chassis entirely with the Harris 4% silver solder. It takes several races before those chassis get entirely broken in. A good compromise seems to be the 2% silver bearing solder sold by Radio Shack.


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#201 robbovius

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Posted 18 March 2015 - 06:14 AM

It's only money and the only way to find the body you want.
I have personally purchased a model kit just for the wheels and tires before.
Sometime later I usually find a use for the rest of the kit because I throw nothing away because seats, engines, bodies, decals and custom parts can find there way into other projects.

 

I still have boxes of tires, wheels, Motors and other misc parts left over from my static modelling days as a kid. I have several static cars I'll likely never finish that are decent candidates for slotting. My GF picked out the AMT 1953 Corvette for her car. that static kit is at least 20 years old, probably 25. I've got a couple first gen dodge viper roadsters, a Viper GTS coupe, A miata, a Monogram maserati 3500GT, and a bunch of cars I built but that have been broken or fallen apart over the years. there's a1960 corvette that I built, but the body came apart from the chassis. last week I spent some time re-gluing its trim for eventual resurrection as a slot car.

 

 

@GatorBob, Hermit, I completely spaced out about looking at that tube of Lenk solder I've been using. I'll try to remember tonight, if my apprent cognitive decline doesn't worsen ;-/

 

@ Jariius, BTW that Rat Pickup with the flattie is pretty farking sweet.



#202 robbovius

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Posted 23 March 2015 - 07:46 AM

Update...

 

here';s the chassis as it sat last night. soldered body mounts of .25 x .065 brass, drilled and tapped for 2-56 screws. TSR Falcon motor mounted ot he stock holes but with only one screw at the top. 8 tooth press-on pinion mated to the AMT aluminum 30-tooth crown...which, surprisingly, fits perfectly on a .125 axle without any modification. weird.  that crown was being used on the AMT .115 axles. the AMT wheels and Axle collars both have .115 holes in them, so...WTF?

 

you can also see the brass rod front axle brace I added. chassis is pretty stiff now, noticable heavier than before too.

 

20150322_212729.jpg

 

unfortunately, once I got it all together I found that my nifty handmade guide tongue was too low, and held the front wheel up off the "track" by about .04-.06, so I took it all apart, fired up the micro torch and desoldered the tongue from the chassis. I have a better tongue design in mind anyway, which I expect I'll get done tonight.



#203 jturley

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Posted 29 April 2015 - 01:17 PM

Hi everyone. Just coming back to the hobbies after many years...When I saw these offered for sale I thought it would be great to build one. I am interested in slot cars and scale modeling. I have to say I love these kits and hate them at the same time. I just finished the 70 Camaro and started the paint on the 66 Olds 442. I have the 06 Camaro and just picked up a 62 catalina. This is a great topic and has helped alot with the builds. Thanks everyone.


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#204 NSwanberg

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Posted 30 April 2015 - 04:47 AM

The general consesus is that these are the greatest abortion in the history of slot car racing. With what is known about slot cars today the designers could have done so much better. I think PdL said they would have been better off using the 1965 AMT inline design. It looks to me like the whole point was to sell body shells.


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#205 Mattb

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Posted 30 April 2015 - 07:31 AM

My opinion of these has changed somewhat. They are still a pretty poor design and features, considering what AMT offered as a brass chassis slot car back int he 60's. The reason I changed my opinon is that I have built a few slot cars that are duplicates of some of my street rod buddies full size cars. We are drag racing these cars and enjoying "fun" racing. For a drag car, these cars are ok. If you get the upgraded kits with set screw wheels and better gear, they do actaully run ok in a straight line. The guide is not so hot and you probably want bigger crown gear, but otherwise they are ok for this use. I do set up the rear with old Dynamic sponge tires that work ok with glue. We race 60's style cars, not bullets like the guys run at the big tracks, so these do work out pretty good.

When you price at $15 they are a bargain and at $20 they are still good. If you want to go around a corner, well that is a whole 'nother thing! I would have liked to found a few more at$15 around here, but didn't find any at the local cheap places!
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