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Manta “Ram” Ray


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#1 dc-65x

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 01:40 PM

The ubiquitous Classic Manta Ray :unsure: :

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Back at my So. Cal. home track in the mid 60’s Manta Rays were everywhere. It seemed that every kid had one. Hmmmm, “kid”, I was 16 at the time and had a driver’s license so I’m sure I didn’t consider myself a “kid”. Boy was I wrong!

Anyway, at MY home track at the time, the local hot thumbs and I were all running “fly weight” GP cars with pin tube frames and rewound Mabuchi 16d motors. First we ran the monocoque style with the chassis parts soldered to the motor can:

(link to the build) Fly Weight GP Car

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Then we went with the traditional Rod & Custom style chassis but both styles were light and fragile:

(link to the build) Rod & Custom 1966 GP Car

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Trying to test or practice with these fragile GP cars on a track full of heavy 36d Manta Rays was very risky. We considered them a scourge :dash2:


Fast forward to today and now I’m interested in seeing how the Manta Ray really ran and how it reacts to some “hop up” modifications. First I had to find a ratty donor car…….

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I think I succeeded......YIKES! :shok: :wacko2:

to be continued........ :)
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#2 Pablo

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 02:00 PM

That's the first time I've seen the motor can used as a stressed member, in a slot car, Rick, very cool. :D
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#3 dc-65x

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 02:05 PM

Hi Pablo,

I'm pretty sure (at least locally) that was the brainchild of our raceway owner, Leon Pardee. He was a pretty innovative guy.

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#4 MantaRay

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 02:45 PM

That's how we ran Pittman 196s... bolt a front wheel/guide bracket to the front and away you went... LOL.
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#5 Jairus

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 03:31 PM

Depends on what is under the skirt of that "yikes".

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#6 TSR

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 04:12 PM

That's the first time I've seen the motor can used as a stressed member, in a slot car, Rick, very cool.


Pablo,
Many companies produced slot cars or chassis kits using the motor as stressed member.
Examples:
Classic Asp
Revell: all "Series 2" 1/32 scale kits.
Ulrich: chassis kits for FT16D and FT36D
Champion: Snuggler and Econo RTR, kits and chassis
And some more I cannot think off right now... :)

#7 dc-65x

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 04:35 PM

Here's the chassis that was under that blue beauty Jairus. It was pretty bent up:

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Here is the motor. The can has been notched to clear the rear axle bearing and allow the use of a smaller spur gear and smaller rear tires:

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Speaking of motors, here is the reason I called this project a Manta "RAM" Ray:

RAM-BOOCHIE POWER BABY!

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Before building the motor it is fun to read up on the way it was done "back in the day" :) . Here is a Rod & Custom "hop up" article:

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If all else fails, we could even follow Ram's directions:

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Time to gather up the pieces-parts...

Rick Thigpen
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#8 dc-65x

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 05:24 PM

Pablo,
Many companies produced slot cars or chassis kits using the motor as stressed member.
Examples:
Classic Asp
Revell: all "Series 2" 1/32 scale kits.
Ulrich: chassis kits for FT16D and FT36D
Champion: Snuggler and Econo RTR, kits and chassis
And some more I cannot think off right now... :)


Hi Philippe,

Another cool thing about the Leon Pardee design is that the rear axle bracket and the front frame tubes are rigidly attached to the motor can by soldering:

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The screwed to the endbell commercial frames are pretty wimpy.

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#9 Hworth08

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 05:45 PM

Hi Rick, good to see you back building.

The brush holder riveted to the endbell might be pretty brittle. I built one these motors and as I was installing the brush spring the holder easily broke off. I replaced the Ram endbell with a Simco to make a fast build. IIRC you made a brush holder on some project.
Don Hollingsworth

#10 TSR

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 05:46 PM

The screwed to the endbell commercial frames are pretty wimpy.


Rick,

Agreed. Virtually all those chassis that used the Mabuchi motors as stressed members were of poor engineering, ignoring the weakness of the two tabs retaining the endbell on those motors. It worked OK on the Revell 1/32 scale home-racing cars because they would hardly get whacked like a 1/24 scale car launching on an AMR track's bumpy straight!

Leon did the right thing: attach the can to the chassis. Not sure however if the motor can be rebuilt without destroying the car since it does not appear to be enough space for the endbell to be removed... :shok:

#11 Pablo

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 06:21 PM

Hi Rick, good to see you back building."


Truer words were never spoken.
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#12 dc-65x

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 06:36 PM

Thanks Pablo :)

Hi Rick, good to see you back building.

The brush holder rivited to the endbell might be pretty brittle. I built one these motors and as I was installing the brush spring the holder easily broke off. I replaced the Ram endbell with a Simco to make a fast build. IIRC you made a brush holder on some project.


Hi Don,

It's been a long time without building and I've really missed it. I still can't do everything until my replacement workbench top shows up...SOON I hope!

I'm not using all the RAM parts in the motor either Don. I'll have pics soon.

Not sure however if the motor can be rebuilt without destroying the car since it does not appear to be enough space for the endbell to be removed... :shok:


You almost CAN'T Philippe! I thought I'd blown it when I first built the car from memory. The secret is to first push out the drop arm pivot tube and remove the drop arm. Slide in the armature part way. Then the endbell is rotated 90 degrees and slid on. The rotated endbell allows the brushes and springs to be installed from the top and bottom. Then the endbell is rotated to the Korrect position and slid into place. Easier said than done however, but it works.

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#13 TSR

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 08:23 PM

Kool! :)

#14 Mark H

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 11:52 PM

you build some cool stuff Rick! and the blue blob looks pretty nice to me! look at those nice sponge tires and the not cracked or warped body lol.
Mark Haas

#15 Lone Wolf

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 11:15 AM


Rick, can't wait to follow along with this one. I did one of these motors a while ago. Mine had a ball bearings at both ends which I am pretty sure will be on you list. I found the motor to be extremly smooth with great power. I do not want to hijack this thread. I posted about it a while ago.


Joe Lupo


#16 dc-65x

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 12:28 PM

Hey Joe, no worries about hijacking this thread. Everyone is welcome to post pics of their favorite Manta Ray or Ram-Boochie here :)

Here is the RAM kit:

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These are the parts I ended up using:

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That's a Cox chrome can, RAM endbell, modern ball bearings and the strongest Mabuchi magnets I had. I decided to use Pittman 196A brushes instead of the hard RAM brushes and a Simco torsion spring instead of the RAM compression spring and fragile plungers.


I used a grinder to get all the Mabuchi gimbal bearing junk out of the can. The shape of the stone was perfect to cut away the factory staking in the brass bearing housing so the spring bearing retainer and felt pad could come out:

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The brass bearing housing is cleaned out and opened up to 3/16" for the ball bearing:

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The armature got an epoxy and static balance job:

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When I went to assemble the motor it was, "Huston, we have a problem" time :o . That Simco wire brush spring wouldn't fit on the big motor. It took some serious bending to get it to work:

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A little heat shrink tube from Radio Shack and we're good to go :) :

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Four 0-80 pan head machine screws hold the endbell in place:

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The finished Ram-Boochie:

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Next up, some chassis tweaks to harness the power of the might Ram-Boochie!
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#17 Dallas Racer

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 12:38 PM

That's a very cool motor! :good:

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#18 Lone Wolf

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 02:07 PM

OK, Rick, thanks. I knew you would be going to ball bearings fore and aft. Looks great! Four screws on that end bell is a good idea to prevent it from warping when tightened. And one more thing, I never knew that little felt thingee was in the Gimbal. There is not one build that you have posted that I did not learn at least one thing on. :clapping:

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#19 TSR

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 06:41 PM

The RAM and the Globe armatures used in this conversion kit and the SS81/91/101 were I believe, the first slot car racing arms with welded commutators.

It is well known that many failures of 1960s slot car motors were caused by melted and oxidized solder joints at the comm tabs, and that the first generation of domestically produced hot motors by Mura and Champion were afflicted by that, until Mura and Thorp began welding the wires with a spot weld.

Does anyone have information showing an earlier use of this method of affixing the wires to the comm on a slot car motor?

#20 dc-65x

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 03:27 PM

After much bending and fiddling with the bent up non-anodized frame...

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...I gave up on it when I found a pretty straight anodized version. The only thing I kept from it was the drop arm. The non-anodized version has a nice offset for guide. I also replace the brass tube pivot with a threaded axle pivot piece:

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Here it is installed in the frame:

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The Manta Ray has over an 1/8" of track clearance....

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....so I wanted to lower the front end and still keep the same size front tires. I slotted the front axle holes to lower the CG and installed front axle bushings. The offset in the drop arm was needed to make this work:

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The front is now lower but still not low enough. The solution, or at least one solution is next.

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#21 dc-65x

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 05:48 PM

Here are the bearing goodies I used for the front axle:

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To lower the CG even further, add some weight to the wheelie happy front end and strengthen the fragile chassis I added a gonzo 1/16" thick brass plate :shok: :

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Here's the plate installed along with....

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....pin tube body mounts that float inside the factory screw holes:

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The chassis is ready for final assembly:

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Now, back to Ron and PdL's TI 22 battle :o

Rick Thigpen
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#22 Rick

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 06:03 PM

Sure great to have you back and building again Rick...............
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#23 dc-65x

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 06:14 PM

Hey, thank you Rick. It means a lot to me to able to share my projects here.

Rick Thigpen
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#24 Maximo

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 06:20 PM

This project is so exquisite! I love the Manta Ray and your reworking or blueprinting it is a site to behold!
Continue on I'm hooked...!

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#25 Mark H

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 12:14 AM

sano Rick! but i dont see how you lowered the front axle? and did you just glue the brass sheets to the sides for the shaker tubes?
Mark Haas





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