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Way to bring 35-year old AJ's tires back to life?


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#1 Randy Tragni

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 01:01 AM

I've got some older TJ's that have threaded axle AJ silicone tires. I bought these tires in the mid-'70s (at Kiddie World if anyone remembers them). They don't seem to have any adhesion left in them.

Is there any way to bring them back from the dead?

Thanks,

Randy




#2 sidejobjon

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 07:21 AM

Randy,

Did you try flipping packaging tape or painters tape, so sticky side is facing out "like a lint brush" and rolling tire on there? Gets years of grime off.

SJJ
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#3 Randy Tragni

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Posted 06 January 2014 - 10:43 AM

John, thanks, I tried your suggestion and it definitely helps.

It did not cure the problem though so I'm thinking my cars with these tires are going to become shelf mementos from my youth.

Randy

#4 Ramcatlarry

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Posted 06 January 2014 - 02:06 PM

The original tires are a rubber that will harden with age and usually split on their own. You may need to glue them on the rim. They may have a hard, dry surface that can be sanded off. 

Old or new silicones will last past the next ice age with a little cleaning. Your local raceway/hobby shop may have a current (REH) AJ's tire rack.

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#5 redbackspyder

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Posted 06 January 2014 - 05:43 PM

If they are silicones, you may clean them with naphtha or lighter fluid, and this will remove much of the grime on them.

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#6 MG Brown

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 12:34 PM

IIRC REH Distributing has a metric ton of new old stock AJ's HO slot car products in stock. I think that they bought out AJ's when they folded.
That's thirty minutes away. I'll be there in ten.
 

 


#7 Ralphthe3rd

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 12:54 PM

Here's a tip I discovered last year by accident.

Although it works better to restore old rubber tires, it works just as well on silicone tires. And the secret to restore old tires is to soak them overnight in Orange Goop hand cleaner... it softens and cleans the rubber.

BUT... be advised, soaking "rubber" tires for too long will start to dissolve them, and also soaking in regular Goop hand cleaner is more harsh, and although it speeds up the process, it can also destroy "rubber" tires faster! As for using on Silicone tires, I haven't seen any start to dissolve even after a week or more submerged in Orange Goop.

So give it a try, it's really safe on silicone tires, but only use the Orange Goop, and for limited time on "rubber" tires.

PS: If you just keep a small jar of Orange Goop in your pit case, along with some cotton swabs, you can clean your tires before and after a race, and it leaves no residue behind if you wipe it off, although it does tend to soak into rubber and then evaporate.
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#8 Randy Tragni

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 11:54 PM

Ralph,

This sounds incredible. I will get some Orange Goop and give it a try soon.

Thanks very much for sharing this tip.

Randy

#9 Big E

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 03:19 AM

IIRC REH Distributing has a metric ton of new old stock AJ's HO slot car products in stock. I think that they bought out AJ's when they folded.

 

This is true, but what they have for sale is not as "old" as you would like. It's been my experience that they ARE NOT like the original aj's tires I have on cars from the '60's and early '70's. I believe that a step may be missing in the current manufacturing process (possibly vacuum de-gassing), which is changing things a bit.

 

Any true aj's produced NOS tires I have left in my inventory I treat like gold, only breaking them out for certain build ups and projects.

I am a big fan of the original aj's HO silicone tires, especially the T-Jet sizes #025 and #007 slip on type.

I also like the thread on types, in all the sizes offered, from the original #110 sets to the huge "Indy Radicals". Even though compared to modern silicones the compound may be a bit hard, the aluminum wheels look great when polished up, and the tires still perform well enough for casual racing purposes. I also use lighter fluid (or good old aj's green TNT, just for nostalgia's sake) for cleaning these tires, especially the thread on types.

 

Just sayin...  Ernie


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#10 Randy Tragni

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Posted 23 February 2014 - 09:33 PM

Sorry I can't cut and paste quotes or content in SlotBlog anymore or I would have stringed this response together better, but, I tried Ralphthe3rd's orange goop idea and it made a huge difference. The tires are now soft and seem to have their old grip back. Thanks for all the other ideas as naptha is a great tire cleaner and tape works to get the clag off.

Randy



#11 oz10k

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Posted 31 October 2020 - 12:01 PM

I won a pair of old AJ's silicone tires. They have some spots I’m considering trying to repair. One tire has a very small chunk missing, the other has a tear that looks like it could break-off at any time.

I have a clear self-leveling Dow Corning silicone and black Permatex silicone adhesive, both of which I’ve used to coat sponge tires. I’m not sure which would work better in this case, or if there is another option.

These are 1/24 scale tires, but silicone is silicone.  Just wanted to get your thoughts about this and learn from anything you may have tried.

 

50550621933_29f04e44e9.jpg

 

50551481747_5c1d14750e.jpg

Thanks,
Ron


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#12 Bill from NH

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Posted 31 October 2020 - 01:32 PM

In the 60's, we fixed chunking with a tube of liquid silicone sealant. It didn't do anything for traction. but usually stopped further tearing & chunking in the effected areas..  Chunking is going to be a byproduct of silicone tire racing unless you never hit walls & other cars.


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#13 Isaac S.

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Posted 02 November 2020 - 04:10 PM

Bill, That is what I have always done too. 

 

Randy, I always use a mix with 90% fuel additive and 10% lighter fluid, this will work on any tire and softens the tire and will also break down the hard top layer of the tire. 


Isaac Santonastaso





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