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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
Paul Wolcott

#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:

Posted Image

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...!

-Max
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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

#26 dc-65x

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 12:02 PM

Thanks Max :)

Hi Mark,

I slotted the front axle holes upward to lower the front end (see arrows):

Posted Image


In hindsight I would have used a single 5/32" tube instead of the two bearings but I placed the screw hole for the brass pan directly under the front axle.....D'oh!

The body mount pin tubes were left long and sticking out in front of the plates then soldered in place. The extra tube was then cut off and all the excess solder filed off the front of the plates.

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#27 dc-65x

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 03:46 PM

Here are the "Hop Up" goodies for the Ram-Ray. The 1/8" post Classic guide, guide weight and stiff braid get replaced with a Cox quick change guide and soft braid:

Posted Image

The front end gets Riggen wheels, tires, knock-off's, Cox precision thrust nuts and an Ulrich independent front axle:

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The 5 pound Classic brass 48P spur gear and pinion are swapped out for smooth as silk 64P Weldun gears with a 3.15:1 ratio. Also using more Cox thrust nuts and ball bearings. The larger flanged thrust nut locks the threaded spur gear and the rear wheel locks directly against the gear:

Posted Image

The rear wheels are Riggen silicones and knock-off's. I replaced the vintage silicone tires with Paul's of Canada repop Cox Firestone urethane tires:




Posted Image

Almost done :)

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#28 Horsepower

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 05:15 PM

I was lied to. You really CAN make a silk purse out of a sow's ear! :laugh2: Such beautiful work on a Classic classic. :wacko2: :D
Gary Stelter

#29 Tex

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 05:24 PM

Such workmanship, Rick; beauty! We all wait to see what comes off your desk next!
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#30 dc-65x

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 07:16 PM

Period Riggen wheels and knock-off's really give this Classic some class:

Posted Image

The completed front end:

Posted Image

And back end:

Posted Image

Here it is after its first visit to Eddie's Slot Car World:

Posted Image

I didn't have the body mounted yet so I just ran around the road course when it was empty:

Posted Image

It ran well, had good power, handled pretty good and didn't do wheelie's. Then Rodney told me to put it on the Blue King. Actually he insisted :unknw: . I've run my other Ram-Boochie powered car on the King before and it ran OK there so I didn't know what the big deal was:

Posted Image

Well, the big deal was the Ram Ray absolutely screams on the King :shok: . It's way faster than my Corvette down the straight :wacko2: . Then I realized I've had the Corvette geared wrong for years :dash2: . It's geared around 4:1 with way smaller diameter tires than the Ram Ray which is geared closer to 3:1.

I used to vintage race against Rodney with that Vette and he's probably known it was geared wrong all this time :laugh2: .

So the good news is it runs great. The bad news is the body doesn't fit. It's not an original Classic body but a nicely done reproduction. I've got to do some serious mods to the body mounting system to get it to work. That's next up.

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#31 Lone Wolf

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 08:00 PM

Innovative and a wonderful piece of eye candy :) Good thing you encased that Ulrich axle in a tube. They bend if you look at them the wrong way as I soon learned on my Dynamic proxy car. Why did you change those scarce and meaty Indy Specials? I still run them on a Plymouth Stocker I have and they perform great. Nice and wide too. Were they not tall enough? If they will fit get them back on there this instant young man :laugh2:

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#32 dc-65x

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 08:29 PM

Hi Joe,

Yup, those Ulrich axles are neat but mucho fragile. The Riggen Indy's are a great tire. I have one pair I showed in the picture and a pair of wheels. I decided to save the "real deal" and make up a repop pair with the Paul's urethane tires. His tires work really well on the car and I still have those Indy's for a future project :) .

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#33 dc-65x

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Posted 09 September 2012 - 04:53 PM

The one piece pin tube body mounts didn't work out:

Posted Image

They ended up being too wide and up too high. The body was splayed out and sitting up like an off road vehicle :dash2: . Here's the fix:

Posted Image

I cut the body mounts into two pieces, bent the Classic body mount arms WAY down and soldered the mounts in place with 1/16 axle wheel retainers:

Posted Image

The body is mounted and has a little bit of "rattle" on the chassis. Time for paint....

Posted Image

Posted Image

Rick Thigpen
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#34 mdiv

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Posted 09 September 2012 - 05:03 PM

I've got phantasmic and fantastic mixed up today for some reason. LOL.

Nice one Rick. If you ever want to send a proxy car East... :)

I've got a Ramboochi and an XL500 that I haven't figured out what to do with yet.

Mike

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#35 Champion 507

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 04:28 AM

Hey Rick,

Do you have photos of the finished "Ram" ray?
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#36 dc-65x

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 12:22 PM

Painting.........that's always been my holdup. Jairus even agreed to paint it for me. But now I can't decide what the paint scheme should be :dash2: .

I always remember them as the orange scurge driven by younger less experienced drivers waiting to ram and destroy our scratch built fly weight racers :laugh2: .

"Ram-Ray"..........what would that look like :crazy: .....a manta ray body with a rams head :wacko2: :laugh2: .

Jairus, are you out there? How should this car be painted :scratch_one-s_head: . Should it just get an orange paint job and be done with it :unsure:

Rick Thigpen
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#37 Lone Wolf

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 01:16 PM

Rick, just fantastic. Is that a Dom's body? I have used those and the are very nice. I painted one Lime green which looked pretty cool. I also saw one that Pete L. did in a Goldish tone that looked sharp as well.

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#38 dc-65x

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 01:34 PM

Hi Joe,

I got the body from Ray Price. By the time I got around to asking him where he got it from he wasn't sure. I'm not even sure if it's Lexan or PETG or......? I'm hoping Jairus can paint it in a water base just to be safe.

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#39 Maximo

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 03:27 PM

Rick,

I still love this thread and have two questions:

1. The "threaded axle pivot piece" that replaced the original thin tubular one on the swing arm, from what did you use to make that retainer? It seems to be 1/8" axle material but what was the original size? Is it 5-40 threads or something else? I am have been trying to do a similar elegant treatment to several Manta Ray projects and this upgrade is now a must!

2. Did Jairus ever paint your Manta Ray body?


-Max
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#40 dc-65x

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 04:46 PM

Hi Max,

 

Jairus has agreed to paint the body.....if I would ever get with it and send it to him :dash2: :D .

 

The drop arm pivot is a vintage 1 3/4" or 2" X  5-40 axle. I had to thread it a bit farther with a die and then cut off the excess on both ends. A couple of EJ's Hobbies jam nuts finished it off.

 

When I get our "Got Wood" cars finished I hope to send Rodney the Ram-Ray to test on Eddie's Blue King. I'm looking forward to seeing some lap times from the "Mighty Ram-Boochie" :)


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#41 Maximo

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 05:57 PM

Rick,

Thanks for your reply.

While in wait, I bought two 1 & 3/4" axles on eBay thinking that might be the best approach. I tried some other options but without almost exacting or specific hardware that might already exist in the RC world (like allen heads), finding something radical is never easy.

I will take your guidence and thread and chop these axles once I get them. If they work out I need two more so I will have it down now.

Thanks for a wonderful project, now get that body to Jairus for the final touch!


-maX
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#42 dc-65x

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 12:41 PM

A big THANK YOU to Jairus for helping finish off this project with another of his wonderful paint jobs. I wanted to keep the "spirit" of the original orange Manta Ray but kick it up a notch. He did that with an orange "fade" paint scheme:

 

FinishedRamRay-001.jpg

 

Since this car was to be a "racer" it had to have 3 numbers and a racing stripe for good measure:

 

FinishedRamRay-002.jpg

 

It also needed a driver figure to be a legal racer but I didn't want to cover up that cool Ram-Boochie motor:

 

FinishedRamRay-004.jpg

 

So she's ready for my trip to Eddie's Blue King next month (I hope!) and my own home race track as well:

 

FinishedRamRay-003.jpg

 

 


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#43 SlotStox#53

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 12:59 PM

Wow! Another awesome Jairus paintjob , really finishes off the Manta RAM Ray project beautifully :D

 

Driver looks almost scared having a large 36D and a RAM Boochie at that sitting directly underneath him ! :shok: :laugh2:

 

Really love the Orange fade paint, really goes well with the black anodized Riggen wheels & knockoffs .. Great combination of chassis/motor build and Jairus paint :sun_bespectacled: :good:



#44 Pablo

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 08:07 PM

That is AWESOME !  The Jairus orange paint REALLY POPS !!!! :heart:


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#45 Peter Horvath

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 09:27 PM

That looks great!


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#46 Jairus

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 10:51 PM

That paint is all Parma FasKolor by the way and it looks way brighter than the photos demonstrate.


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#47 Champion 507

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 01:01 AM

:sun_bespectacled: :sun_bespectacled: :sun_bespectacled: C-O-O-L!


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#48 dc-65x

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 10:11 AM

As a kid in the 60's I remember lots of orange Manta Rays on the track. I wanted orange but something special. Jairus really "kicked it up a notch" with his orange fade.

 

Thanks!


Rick Thigpen
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#49 Maximo

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 11:56 AM

Rick,

 

Really nice paint and project completion. Jairus did a great job on the paint and you did a great job on this classic "Classic"!

 

 

-max


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#50 Gator Bob

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Posted 19 February 2015 - 09:58 PM

MantaRam-Ray-002.jpg


RamBoochie-0005.jpg










 

 

Wow what a cool car.

Motor, chassis, body, wheels .... The whole package (as usual) from you Rick. Nice paint too Mr. J.W.

 

above:

I don't think those chassis ever came with formed (coined?) 3/16th guide tongue. It came out nice. 

 

Am I missing something - the ad copy says 5 pole?


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