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What to do with a vintage Kal Kar chassis on a rainy day....


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#1 mike1972chev

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Posted 21 May 2017 - 11:43 AM

This is getting late spring and usually I am outside doing projects this time of year. (The slot cars are my Fall/Winter thing usually. :) )  I seem to cannot quit buying these Kal Kar chassis for some reason not apparent to me???? I just cannot seem to pass up on a "good deal," I guess??) 
 
Well, nevertheless, I have a few of these now and am in the process of turning one of them into a usable car. These are a very light duty chassis at best, made of .040" aluminum with a lot of flex in them! Lets see what we can do here with this thing???
 
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First , I put it in the chassis jig and checked the wheel base for squareness and flatness. These have a ton of "spring" in them and are as flexible as a licorice rope! I added a set of upper frame rails I made out of .040" aluminum to make the frame triangular and eliminate any bending during use.The body I am using is a 4" wheelbase so the 3-3/4" hole was open for the use of my railing. I had to modify my brass nuts to clear the front axle. I also had to get a bit creative with the wheel spacers and notch them.
 
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I also wanted a better way of mounting the body other than just bending up those flimsy tabs, so I bent a set of aluminum angles and bolted them to the stock holes with #1 stainless hardware. Worked out nicely as it even adds more  rigidity to this already "bendy" chassis.
 
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This chassis was bought with out a drop arm either, so I fabbed one of those also. We will worry about drilling it later for the guide shoe. Ignore the cotter pin holding it in as it will be replaced with a solid piece of rod in a much larger diameter soon. Cotter pin keeps it from getting lost in my work pile!!!   :)
 
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Well, I added the Pro Tracks I bought cheap from a good seller on eBay. Those are 1-5/16" T  X .700 w drag rears and are huge ! They look good for displaying, but probably not practical for real world use. (The chassis sits a country mile off of the track surface!!! LOL.) I don't know whether to finish it as a road race car or a drag car at this point??? (I can add the wheelie bars rather easily if needed.) The '60s Vette body goes nicely with this build I think?   :)
 
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Even if it is finishes as a road course car or a drag car,I am going to add a "hoop" at the rear frame area to keep it from bending and collapsing  between the rear tires.I will have to mind the crown gear clearance. MAN these things are SOOO bendable!!!!

 

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This is not the pro builds I will be getting into soon, but I soooo enjoy taking vintage stuff and trying to make a better use for it.
 
Next up, my three scratchbuilt brass/piano wire builds. Should be a real challenge for me...


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Michael J. Boruff





#2 Pablo

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Posted 21 May 2017 - 02:52 PM

Concur, looks killer with the Sting Ray :good: :heart:


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#3 Dave Crevie

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Posted 22 May 2017 - 02:48 PM

You are running into the fault of many early '60's slot car chassis, all nuts and bolts. With aluminum it is almost

mandatory. But I had several of the Kal-Car brass chassis, and it was the same situation with them. I usually

tack soldered all the joints after everything was adjusted and tuned.



#4 mike1972chev

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Posted 22 May 2017 - 04:38 PM

Yes,I hear you Dave. ;) I say MANY,of those manufactured chassis of the 60s were mass produced VERY VERY cheaply and in large numbers. (This complete Kal Kar  chassis kit marked at $1.98  lol   :laugh2:  ) I think it can make her usable. Not the BEST one in the world,but a usable,functional car. Just a little more tweaking. :)

 

It just fits in with all of my other projects and hobbies I do. I LOVE to recycle things and make them usable again. You know:"one man's trash".... "waste not want not" .....  EXAMPLE: I just dug out two Torque Thrust style wheels I have had for over 35 years now. They were mismatched ,poor shape and 14" inches.I would never use them on any car and feel safe and  NOTHING else  I would EVER use them for,but just could not toss them!   :laugh2: So now they do service again in the garage. Gotta get the rest of the lug nuts this week.

 

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Michael J. Boruff


#5 Samiam

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Posted 22 May 2017 - 04:44 PM

 I LOVE to recycle things and make them usable again. You know:"one man's trash".... "waste not want not" .....  EXAMPLE: I just dug out two Torque Thrust style wheels I have had for over 35 years now. They were mismatched ,poor shape and 14" inches.I would never use them on any car and feel safe and  NOTHING else  I would EVER use them for,but just could not toss them!   :laugh2: So now they do service again in the garage.   

Mount to a fence post and use as a hose reel.

 

Edit: OK, you posted pics of their garage duty. But we were on the same page. 


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#6 mike1972chev

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Posted 22 May 2017 - 04:52 PM

Mount to a fence post and use as a hose reel.

See above ^^^^^   "post"  :)


Michael J. Boruff


#7 Dave Crevie

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Posted 23 May 2017 - 01:42 PM

Gas stations and backyard garages have been using old wheels to hold air and water hoses forever, but

yours have real class. I have a Revolution wheel from my Lotus that won't hold air, I think I will do the

same with it. I use all sorts of broken car parts for parts bins and tool racks. Some are just too pretty to

throw out.

 

Hard to believe that stamped aluminum chassis were once the hot set-up. When E-Pox-E glue came out,

I used it to lock everything in place. There are better products out now for this. What a difference it made

in how the car ran. 



#8 Allan Feldman

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Posted 23 May 2017 - 01:55 PM

Are those mags similar to those on the Cox Cheetah called American Mags? I see a Chevrolet logo on them,

Regards Allan



#9 Martin

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Posted 23 May 2017 - 02:52 PM

Nice use of old parts Mike.

 

I have a question for Dave, you mentioned "I (you) usually tack soldered all the joints after everything was adjusted and tuned"  I seem to renumber some product that would solder aluminum, what are you using to do this and where do you buy it? Could be handy for future projects.


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#10 MSwiss

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Posted 23 May 2017 - 02:58 PM

You are running into the fault of many early '60's slot car chassis, all nuts and bolts. With aluminum it is almost
mandatory. But I had several of the Kal-Car brass chassis, and it was the same situation with them. I usually
tack soldered all the joints after everything was adjusted and tuned.

He was referring to the brass version.

I missed that too, when I first read his post.

He may of edited that in.

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#11 mike1972chev

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Posted 23 May 2017 - 07:02 PM

Are those mags similar to those on the Cox Cheetah called American Mags? I see a Chevrolet logo on them,

Regards Allan

The COX wheels I think you are referring to are copies of American Racing brand  model Torque Thrust D's I believe???  Some of the more experienced slot guys of the 60's and 70's on here can confirm that one for you more sure than I can Allen . ( I wasnt even an "idea" yet in the mid 60s !   :laugh2: )

 

   From an  EBAY listing : COX.jpg

 

 

 

 

The wheels I have hung on the garage wall are a Mr. Gasket "rip offs" of those torque thrusts. (Chev bolt pattern,but both do not match each other ,one reason for the "recycling" them on the wall!!)   The centers are machined by a newly aquired EBAY friend who does a GREAT job of making them . I stuck the Chevrolet "bowtie" decals on them..... see how far off center I got them ?????    


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#12 Martin

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Posted 23 May 2017 - 09:33 PM

Thanks for clearing that up Mike Swiss, I did not see any mention of brass either on my first read (maybe I missed it also), that's what raised my question.  I wasn't trying to catch Dave out, I really have soldered aluminum in the past. Actually there are plenty of products out there.

Was looking for a recommendation. Anybody? 

 

American racing -Torque Thrust . My favorite.


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#13 mike1972chev

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Posted 23 May 2017 - 09:40 PM

Martin,I remember Kester brand aluminum solder as a kid,but never used it on anything. (Probably still got a roll of regular Kester in both rosin core and acid core on the old,steel rolls they used to sell them on,but MUST be junk by now!!! :)  )

 

 

I would like to know if/how easy aluminum is to solder also.  I am not sure most soldering irons would be hot enough to work???? Might be a small torch job????


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#14 Bill from NH

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Posted 23 May 2017 - 10:11 PM

Amazon sells a number of different solders & soldering kits for working with aluminum. I would expect companies such as Grainger & the like to have them too. One of the major brands of aluminum solder is the Harris Co., makers of Stay Brite & Stay Brite 8  silver solders.


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#15 old & gray

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Posted 24 May 2017 - 09:29 AM


I would like to know if/how easy aluminum is to solder also.  I am not sure most soldering irons would be hot enough to work???? Might be a small torch job????

 

From my experience with slot cars and in an industrial application, Aluminum is a problem to solder.

“Aluminum” is a metallic element however it is alloyed with different materials so one ‘aluminum’ will not be the same as another ‘aluminum’. So what works on one piece may not work on another.

In addition to a great strength to weight ratio, aluminum will develop a thin coating of oxidation (rust) after a brief exposure to air. This coating prevents the continued oxidation of the part and presents as a clean finish. However the oxide coating will not bond with solder and for a joint to be successful you will need to clean the surface then apply a flux coating and immediately apply heat and solder. In the industrial application where I was soldering to aluminum, first we plated the aluminum with copper then plated the copper with nickel. When soldering to the plating we had to be careful with the application of heat or the plate would pull off the aluminum.


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#16 Dave Crevie

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Posted 24 May 2017 - 02:40 PM

Aluminum solder was around back when I built the aluminum Kal-Kar chassis, I just didn't know about it. Neither

did anyone else running the stamped aluminum chassis from Classic and Champion. By the time we found out

about it, we were into brass pan chassis, and didn't need it anymore.



#17 Martin

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Posted 26 May 2017 - 06:39 PM

Got this from Kester site

Soldering to Aluminum: Aluminum is an extremely difficult metal to solder to.

Kester does not have any products for soldering to aluminum.

 

The melting point is for Aluminum is about 1200 compared to 1600 for brass. Mike remember your are not melting the parent metal only the solder. Heat dissipation would be a factor and as mentioned oxidation. But I know it can be done. I have done it and remember the green paste flux to keep it clean. 

 

Got to get me one of those micro touches, any recommendations.    

 

Got to love you tube. Found this

How to solder aluminumhttps://www.youtube....h?v=bFf3zO2Ys64

Or check this

AlumSolder Alu Flux - use solder and soldering iron to join aluminium, aluminium soldering

 


 

 


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