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Rodney's Drag Racers


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#1 dc-65x

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 10:42 AM

Rodney's been really busy building and restoring LOTS of drag racers. I'll be working back through my emails to share his beautiful cars with you.

 

Here's a spectacular vintage dragster being crafted by Rodney's in his own words:

 

"Drag racer Ron was kind enough to gave me the unfinished rails.  I think they were made by Fred who is no longer with us.  Ron wanted me to build a car with the frame rails."
 
20140728_184538.jpg
 
"The picture attached shows the two rails bolted together and being ground and massaged on and holes being drilled.  The basic shape was already done along with a single hole for an armature and some small random holes to mount a Wilson motor (Eric's guess).  I turned the single large hole into an oval and cut four slots for the motor case screws.  This allows the motor to slide back and forth to adjust the gears."
 
"This cars motor came from a car with a chassis that looks like two meat cleavers bolted together.  The meat cleaver cars frame rails are too corroded to restore.  I will build it back with another motor anyway."
 

Making the dragster body:

 

20140730_203706.jpg

 

"I cast the nose weight out of solder":

 

20140729_185116.jpg
 
 
"Took awhile to figure out how to use the chassis plates from Ron.  Eric thinks it was made for a Wilson type round motor.  Decided to integrate the chassis into the motor like the '55 Chevy I built earlier.  The motor slides back and forth for gear ratio changes."
 
20140801_175427.jpg

 "The Ram motor came from an eBay buy of a big pile of corroded parts from N.Y.  The armature is a 3 volt and draws amps like your motor.  It's an 857, fine magnet lamination version."
 
20140801_175347.jpg
 
20140801_175405.jpg
 
Here is the first track test report on the Fred Dragster:
 

Rick,
 
The "Fred dragster" presented some challenges when tested last Sunday. 
 
I had the 2.5 to 1 gears still installed.  The car was measured for the smallest gears with slots in the chassis to change to large gears.  This ratio does not work with a hot armature.  Tires affect the gearing too and the car runs very large diameter tires.
 
A heavy tension motor brush spring came installed in the motor.  From a stop car was like your Cobra 3V and drew a zillion amps.  When launching the car on the drag strip, the "hairy braid" would create a fire ball! :shok:  
 
What to due??? :unknw:
 
I checked the gear ratio in my J&J dragster which seems to be perfect.  It's ratio is 3.1 to 1. So, I installed a 69 tooth Weldun gear in the "Fred dragster" to make 3 to 1.
 
I also cut two coils off of the motors brush spring.  There is still lot of tension but running the motor on the power pack there is lower amp draw on start up now.
 
Switching to some Parma braid required soldering and drilling them to use with the Cox guide.
 
I also insulated the inner chassis rails around the guide with 3M electrical tape.
 
Will test again next Sunday.
 
WOW! :sun_bespectacled:
 
More cool dragsters to come..........

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#2 SlotStox#53

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 11:05 AM

Great job Rodney!

Love these vintage Dragsters :D

#3 MSwiss

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 07:56 PM

Looks great.

Is it aluminum or magnesium?

Would guys be willing to pay a premium price for magnesium?

Last question.

How do the Moon disc fronts stay on?

Inner race press fits or Loctites on axle and balls are required to spin?

Mike Swiss
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#4 SlotStox#53

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 08:05 PM

Some people may well indeed pay a premium for magnesium rails :good:

#5 Don Weaver

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 08:04 AM

Mike,

 

For me this is a way to add to my vintage cars as a display piece without spending the big bucks for an original.  Not aware of any nostalgic racing going on so magnesium doesn't offer anything to me.  And even if there were I would doubt the weight savings would be worth it.  Just my opinion.....

 

Don Weaver


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#6 Uncle Fred

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 09:27 AM

Great job!


Fred Correnti

#7 dc-65x

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 10:00 AM

Thanks for the replies guys :)

 

Rodney hit the strip at Eddie's yesterday with this "Fred Dragster". Here's his report and response to a few questions about this cool dragster:

 

 

Is it aluminum or magnesium?

 

The frame rails are magnesium and where cut out by Fred, Ron confirmed this.
 

 

How do the Moon disc fronts stay on?

 

The front wheels have the usual unflanged ball bearings pressed into the one piece wheels.  The ball bearings are epoxied to the axle.
 
Today on the second run I got a 1.38 at 41.97 MPH.  I only made 2 runs because I need to bring more towels to put in the shutdown area to catch the car.  It blows through the shutdown glue!  :shok:
 
The motor does not draw that many amps after the tuning modifications (zapping the motor, 3 to 1 gear ratio, Parma braid and reduced motor brush tension).  It does not trip the breaker on my old MRC power pack any more.  :crazy:
 
The car is so smooth going down the drag strip and the "German tires" work great on a clean track.
 
Thanks for the update Rodney :victory:

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#8 SlotStox#53

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 11:04 AM

Thank you Rodney for finishing such an awesome original rail! Always liked them and now after being involved in Bob's out of this world Drag Proxy I can't get enough of these :D :heart:

Sounds like this car is pretty much sorted, just gotta sort that stopping in the shut off glue :shok: :laugh2:

Padlock powered rail dragsters for ever :D

#9 Gary Bluestone

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 11:48 AM

Beautiful !



#10 dc-65x

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 10:39 AM

Thanks guys,

 

Here's a great "save" on a dragster Rodney got from Brooklyn, New York. The "before" pictures:

 

VINTAGE DRAGSTER NY- (2).jpg

 

Check out that machined solid brass gas tank weight:

 

VINTAGE DRAGSTER NY- (1).jpg

 

De-construction begins:

 

VINTAGE DRAGSTER NY- (3).jpg

 

The restored roller:

 

VINTAGE DRAGSTER NY- (4).jpg

 

Now that's a cool dragster!  :wub:

 

VINTAGE DRAGSTER NY- (5).jpg

 

Thanks for sharing Rodney!  :victory:


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#11 SlotStox#53

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 10:52 AM

Thanks for saving/restoring the car Rodney & thanks for posting Rick ! That truly is a beautiful save :heart: That weight is really cool as is the heavily modified end plates and the pinion running inside the endplate too :shok: :D

 

LOVE IT !



#12 dc-65x

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 03:32 PM

Here's another rail dragster for your enjoyment. This one is the "Fred Jr. Dragster. Here's the word from Rodney:

 

"Ron completed this one by adding the running gear and detail.  Very nice."

 

Fred Jr Rail (2).jpg

 

"Note how Fred retained the front axle."

 

Fred Jr Rail (4).jpg

 

 "I gave Ron a stock 65-6 for this one."

 

Fred Jr Rail (3).jpg

 

Fred Jr Rail (1).jpg

 

Cool :sun_bespectacled:


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#13 Régis4446

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 04:14 PM

Rodney and Rick thank you for these pictures.

I do not know why, but I love these vintage dragsters.


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#14 dc-65x

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Posted 21 November 2014 - 05:00 PM

Glad you like them Regis. Here's the latest from Rodney.

 

Pictures of my latest project.  The chassis has since been completed.  Blueprinted KTM 4 volt:

 

20141111_214643.jpg

 

dragster chassis.jpg

 

20141111_214622.jpg

 

dragster bronze.jpg

 

Way cool Rodney! :sun_bespectacled:


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#15 SlotStox#53

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Posted 22 November 2014 - 12:23 AM

Sweet as can be ! :D Love the chassis & the dropped front axle.

#16 dc-65x

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Posted 22 November 2014 - 12:05 PM

Here's the latest on the rails:

 

"Since the pictures were taken, the guide has been extended forward some, the hollow brass "gas tank" has been filled with solder and a brass weight has replaced the lead."

 

Got to keep that nose down on launch! :D


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#17 Gator Bob

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Posted 22 November 2014 - 03:51 PM

Great job Rodney!

Love these vintage Dragsters :D

 

Ditto.....  plus WOW! :shok:

 

 

 

Rodney hit the strip at Eddie's yesterday with this "Fred Dragster". 

1.38 at 41.97 MPH. 

 

 

Nice !!! :good:

 

I do not know why, but I love these vintage dragsters.

What is it about them?  :wub:

I guess the 'Old School Cool' factor and ... they go pretty darn good for having 'heavy train' motors on board. :lol:  :to_become_senile:

 

And... I Hope to see some of them at the next 'Rods and Rails' reunion.

 


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#18 Lone Wolf

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Posted 08 April 2015 - 05:20 PM

Rick/Rodney, can you tell me the thickness of the aluminum you used for the rail body and where did you get it? Thanks

 

Oh, by they way, cars are wonderful!


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#19 dc-65x

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Posted 08 April 2015 - 06:01 PM

Thanks Joe. I've email Rodney and will forward his reply.

 

Rick


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#20 dc-65x

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Posted 08 April 2015 - 06:47 PM

Joe,
 
The body for "Fred dragster" is made from .016 x 4 x 10 aluminum sheet, K&S Stock Number 255.
 
I asked Rodney how he cut that thin sheet so cleanly. You can see in the pictures he's using simple shears but they are large and very high quality jobs from a Snap On Tool truck. He reserves them for precision jobs, no hacking up crap-O-la with them.

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#21 Lone Wolf

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Posted 26 April 2015 - 02:35 PM

Rick, just saw this answer now. Thanks for getting it done :victory:

 

I also have one good set of shears.

 

All of my others are ruined from cutting patch panels for the rust bucket Mustangs I did when I had my body shop so many years ago. :bomb:

 

Lets not even discuss the rust flakes in my eyes, the razor cuts from freshly cut steel and the temporary blindness from brazing the patches on :diablo:

 

That's how we did it back in the day, no fancy panel cutters or spot welders like you wimps use today :laugh2:


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#22 dc-65x

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Posted 29 May 2015 - 11:07 AM

This is a really nice convertible drag racing stocker from Rodney. Here's his story on it:

 

I just completed this drag race slot car last week.  I thought a convertible would be interesting. 
 
dodge10.jpg
 
The motor is a blue printed Ram 850 with a 6 volt armature and ball bearings.  Note how the Pittman 85 brushes are aligned.
 
dodge9.jpg
 
A Kemtron1609 chassis kit is used for the front part of the chassis.  The frame rails have the motor/axle sections removed as shown in the pictures.  The modified parts are installed in front of the Ram motor. 
 
dodge6.jpg
 
A Speedway S 85 adjustable sidewinder mount is used. 
 
dodge5.jpg
 
Weldon gears, Cox guide and drop arm and "German slicks" mounted on Dynamic wheels are used.
 
dodge8.jpg
 
dodge7.jpg
 
The model car interior was sectioned and a hefty roll bar protects the Cox Driver.
 
dodge4.jpg
 
Testing at Eddie's was limited this last weekend.  The drag strip was heavily glued for the last third!  I was told people were running Group 20s and opens...  When running a Kemtron powered dragster, it almost stopped in the glue.
 
dodge1.jpg
 
The car did launch well and the motor is strong. 
 
dodge2.jpg
 
I got consistent 1.9s.  As Dee said, less glue (when the track is glued normally) knocks of a couple of tenths.  Some weight in the front would help.
 
dodge3.jpg

 

That's a good time on a full length strip with the evil glue slowing things down. Thanks for sharing Rodney! :good:


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#23 SlotStox#53

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Posted 29 May 2015 - 12:15 PM

Wow! Thanks for sharing guys :D :good:

That looks amazing and a good example of just how cool these vintage Dragsters are. ... :D

#24 dc-65x

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Posted 16 June 2015 - 05:25 PM

Rodney sent me another Dragster build. This time it's a short wheelbase (in other words, scale) rail dragster.

 

Rick,
 
Version three drop arm for this dragster.  Some things to keep in mind when building a short dragster:
.
With all of the bite on Eddie's drag strip, this dragster  would de-slot out of the hole once in a while.
 
20141111_214643.jpg
 
dragster chassis.jpg
 
So, I moved the guide further forward and moved the drop arm pivot to the rear.
 
dragster7.jpg
 
dragster2.jpg
 
dragster1.jpg
 

 Large brass weight was also added

 

dragster6.jpg

 

The dragster launches off the line with a slight wheelie and is quite stable now.

 

dragster bronze.jpg

 

dragster3.jpg

 

20141111_214622.jpg

 
Looks great Rodney, THANKS!

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#25 Gator Bob

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Posted 16 June 2015 - 05:52 PM

Can I have that one? Pleeezze. :D


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#26 SlotStox#53

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Posted 16 June 2015 - 06:14 PM

Just when you think this car can't get any better :D Great improvement Rodney.
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#27 boxerdog

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Posted 16 June 2015 - 07:15 PM

Great job, Rodney. One of the things I like about vintage drag racing.....NO wheelie bars.


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#28 Gator Bob

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Posted 16 June 2015 - 07:57 PM

I have a pair of those fronts but never knew who made them?

 

The engine detail colors look great.


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#29 dc-65x

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Posted 24 June 2015 - 08:29 PM

Here's something you don't see everyday. Rodney's latest raid dragster in his words:

 

I finally completed this AYK (Aoyagi Metals) dragster.  I had the chassis kit for years.  The brass chassis kit came with gears, guide weight and axle bearings.  It was very corroded and took quite a few hours to restore.
 
003.jpg
 
A blue printed KTM 6 volt motor is used along with Russkit rear wheels and tires.

005jpg.jpg
 
Classic guide and unknown brand fronts.
 
004.jpg

 

The length is about right for a 1/24th scale dragster.

 

002.jpg

 

Hope you guys like it.
 
007.jpg

 

She's a beauty Rodney, thanks for sharing it with us!


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#30 don.siegel

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Posted 25 June 2015 - 03:18 AM

Love it Rodney! 

 

Don 



#31 hiline2

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Posted 25 June 2015 - 07:14 AM

Fantastic ! Exactly what im going to do with my Gator-B Hybrid, got the chassis kit and parts ! yeaaaaaaaaaaa !


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#32 dc-65x

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Posted 29 June 2015 - 03:21 PM

Here's a followup on the AYA-KTM powered rail dragster from Rodney:

 

"The AYK dragster turned 1.548 ET at 35.05 mph.  Not bad for a blue printed KTM powered car."


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#33 dc-65x

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Posted 30 June 2015 - 06:44 PM

Rodney's tribute to Jeff Gordon's retirement....one cool hot rod with a 1/24 Jeff Gordon at the wheel!

 

Jeff Gordon. a Vallejo, California native had a farewell run at Sonoma Raceway today.  Sonoma almost next to Vallejo.  Vallejo is where Slot Car World is located (owned by Eddie). 
 
There was a Jeff sighting at Slot Car World today.  Jeff took his car down the drag strip. 
 
031.jpg
 
029.jpg
 
027.jpg
 
Times shown. 
 
036.jpg
 
037.jpg
 
Jeff's ride is powered by a blue printed KTM motor. 
 
069.jpg
 
Special hand cut "German" white wall tires were used on the Jeff's Hot Rod.
 
tire.jpg
 
tire2.jpg
 
074.jpg
 
Three different weight front axle weights were available to be used to balance out the car off the starting line.  The heaviest weights worked the best to keep the front end down .
 
073.jpg
 
Another beauty Rodney.....Thanks!

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#34 SlotStox#53

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Posted 30 June 2015 - 06:56 PM

Sweet looking ride! With some superb detailing :D Great job Rodney :good:

#35 dc-65x

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Posted 03 August 2015 - 02:33 PM

Here is Rodney's latest project, a Jose Rodriguez Jr. inspired 1/32 scale rail dragster: 

 

Rick,

 

As we discussed, this 1/32nd scale dragster build is based on two Jose Rodriguez Jr. Car Model Magazine articles published in 1963.  Jose was Mr. 1/32nd Scale as far as I am concerned.  I wanted to build a period-correct version of his dragsters.

 

dragster12.jpg

 

dragster13.jpg

 

dragster14.jpg

 

dragster15.jpg

 

As Jose stated in his articles, the key to building a 1/32nd scale dragster is having a small enough electric motor that could be concealed as much as possible by the plastic model car engine.  Jose's motor of choice for the dragsters was the KTM-N motor.  Gordon, our local model train expert, said the KTM-N motor was used in smaller HO locomotives.  We have found that the KTM-N motor is smaller than a Pittman 196.

 

Jose also stated he was looking for a more powerful motor in this small size but did not know of any.  Running the 1/32nd scale dragster with heavy glue conditions (glued for Neo Gp12s) at Slot Car World resulted in 4 second runs at 10 mph.  Slow, but cool-looking going down the strip.  The dragster was faster on the road course with normal spray glue.

 

The chassis is mainly 1/16th brass rod.  The body is made out of scrap model kit plastic.  The model engine was found at a swap meet.  The guide is a cut down Revell.  German airplane tires are used for traction.

 

dragster5.jpg

 

dragster6.jpg

 

dragster11.jpg

 

dragster7.jpg

 

dragster10.jpg

 

dragster8.jpg

 

dragster4.jpg

 

dragster1.jpg

 

dragster2.jpg

 

The photo showing the 1/32nd scale dragster next to the 1/24th scale production vintage dragster illustrates how small the 1/32nd scale dragster is.

 

dragster3.jpg

 

The body is held on with for pins.

 

dragster16.jpg

 

dragster17.jpg

 

This little slot car was one of the most fun and challenging to build. Time to blueprint the motor.

 

dragster18.jpg

 

Thanks Rodney! Be sure to let us know how it runs after the motor blueprinting.


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#36 don.siegel

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Posted 03 August 2015 - 02:49 PM

Nice job Rodney! 

 

And thanks for sharing Rick... Rodney really has some great projects. 

 

Don 


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#37 SlotStox#53

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Posted 03 August 2015 - 03:02 PM

Such a cool and neat looking little thing :D

Superb article and build, given plenty of ideas for a project :ph34r:

Thanks for sharing !

#38 Gary Bluestone

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Posted 03 August 2015 - 03:04 PM

Regarding the AYK , I am working on one which is missing the front cross tube. I thought I'd just use a piece of brass tube, but yours looks larger ! Is that modified for extra weight ?



#39 dc-65x

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Posted 04 August 2015 - 09:43 AM

Thanks guys :)

 

Hi Gary,

 

Here's what Rodney wrote me about your question on the AYK chassis brace:

 

 

Rick,
The chassis cross brace that I think normally goes behind the front axle was moved to the front of the chassis.  The chassis holes were bored out a little bit to fit this brace.  The brace behind the axle is not part of the kit and is made out of brass spacers,washers and a nut and screw.
 
003.jpg
 
 

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#40 SlotStox#53

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Posted 04 August 2015 - 11:25 AM

Does Rodney know who's front wheels are on the AYK car Rick?

They look really neat and never seen them before .

#41 dc-65x

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Posted 04 August 2015 - 11:58 AM

Hi Paul,

 

Those are probably the coolest 60's dragster wheels ever created. The box says:

 

SPEEDWAY #S110 $2.98 ea.

Fully Extruded

Ball Bearing

Dragster Front End

Spoke Type


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#42 SlotStox#53

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Posted 04 August 2015 - 01:44 PM

Ah, from the Speedway company, that explains why they're so cool!

Thought the moon disc ball bearing fronts they did were sweet but these are awesome. Time to look for a set although I'm not holding my breath :laugh2:

#43 dc-65x

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Posted 10 August 2015 - 10:38 AM

Here's Rodney's update on his latest 1/32 scale rail dragster. He's cut the cars ET by more than half! :shok: :good:

 

I ran my 1/32 dragster with Ron today. 
 
Since the last report, the motor was rebuilt and blueprinted.  Another armature (with a thicker gauge wind) from the Oakland Speedway parts box was installed.  The armature was epoxied and balanced and the commutator was cleaned up. The spherical bearing was replaced with a conventional bushing and the motor frame and motor brushes were aligned..  A magnet of the same size was installed because the alternate magnet took a better charge from the magnetizer.
 
dragster19.jpg
 
dragster20.jpg
 
The dragster turned consistent 1.7 E.T.s at 30 mph.  Wow what a difference from last weeks 4 second runs!
 
dragster24.jpg
 
dragster23.jpg
 
The car is very fast off the line.  For the first third of the track the front wheels are off the track.  Kind of ironic that some questioned the value of the drop arm in the beginning.  If the track was cleaned, the runs would have been the usual .2 seconds faster.
 
dragster22.jpg

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#44 SlotStox#53

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Posted 10 August 2015 - 02:22 PM

Sweet decrease in times! :D

Proves the drop arm does work well. Unlike your Cobra :shok:

#45 dc-65x

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Posted 22 August 2015 - 10:32 AM

Rodney just finished up a magnesium frame rail dragster. Here's his comments and pictures of the build:

 

Rick, here are the pictures of my latest project, a mag frame rail:

 

mag2.jpg

 

mag1.jpg

 

Mag Frame Dragster (6).JPG

 

Mag Frame Dragster (5).JPG

 

Car has a Pittman 85/Ram 857 based motor. Pittman end plates with Ram laminations and  6 volt Ram armature.  Armature is epoxied and was checked for balance.  Ram magnet took a crazy strong charge. 

 

mag6.jpg

 

R Geo drop arm added to the mag frame.

 

mag5.jpg

 

mag4.jpg

 

The mag dragster was tested today. 

 

Mag Frame Dragster (1).JPG

 

Good an E.T. of 1.33.

 

mag9.jpg

 

mag10.jpg

 

More runs would have resulted in faster runs.  Like always, these cars do not stop.  Janet through out my towels and the front axle was bent on the second run.  It was fixed at the track but no more runs were attempted.

 

Mag Frame Dragster (4).JPG

 

mag8.jpg

 

I added a driver figure to the car to finish it off.

 

mag3.jpg

 

Thanks Rodney. That's one fast rail on a full scale 1/4 mile strip!

 

 


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#46 SlotStox#53

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Posted 22 August 2015 - 11:47 AM

Well I think we can call Rodney the rail dragster king !

One sweet mag rail :D Nice combo of motor parts and sounds like the RAM 850/857 mags take a better charge than the Pittmans.

#47 hiline2

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Posted 22 August 2015 - 12:26 PM

WOW !! luv it !  ok, maybe Ive asked before , if so my apologies :good:    but tires and wheels? Russkit ?   :huh:

 

Also did the chassis have BB's installed originally (just what it looked like)  :search:


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#48 dc-65x

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Posted 22 August 2015 - 12:34 PM

Thanks Paul.....and Paul! :)

 

I'll verify this with Rodney and get back to you but I believe we have.......

 

Russkit dragster set screw wheels

40mm "German" tires

Ball bearings original to the vintage chassis


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#49 hiline2

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Posted 23 August 2015 - 06:57 AM

40mm "German" tires 

 

Like the the ones still available for RC Model planes ? or just a large old stock pile ?


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#50 dc-65x

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Posted 23 August 2015 - 11:37 AM

When Rodney gets back to me I'll let you know for sure but we have been using vintage "airplane tires" like these:
 

Wilson890Screamer-082.jpg


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