Although the manufacturers do the utmost best to produce good performing slot cars, many consumers have the inner urge to make changes to the original product.
Fine-tuning is needed
Straight out of the box most cars will not be competitive. Due to the mass-production your fine-tuning is needed.
Routine maintenance on the parts will prolong the life of your slot car.
Braids New braids are too small. By pushing them together they will become wider. Bend the end of the braids in order to get better contact with the rail.
By using softer braids it will decrease the friction and will increase the electrical conductivity. Keep the braids clean (you may use tigermilk for this purpose).
Every model gets dirty after racing. It is advised to open the cars frequently to remove the dust.
Rims and tires
All plastic parts have burrs due to molding. Cut the burr form the rim and make the rim completely round by using some fine sandpaper.
Put the tires back on the rims. Examine each wheel and make sure that the tires are seated properly. By the use of sandpaper you can give the tire a round profile. Place the sandpaper under the rear tires, apply pressure to the back, prevent the car of moving forward and start slowly turning the wheels. Make the tires completely round. This process is called “truing the tires”.
Some people glue the tires on the rims to prevent spinning.
Tires can be soaked in oil to soften the compound.
For cleaning the tires you can use lighter fuel. Put a few drops on the tire and clean the tire with a cloth. You will be amazed how many dirt comes off.
To prevent spinning axles inside of the wheels you can fix the wheels with glue at the axles.
Motors, gears and axle bearings should be frequently oiled lightly. Put a small drop of oil on the motor shaft, gears and axle bushes.
Most serious slot racers have a separate part of a straight connected to a transformer. Before an “important” race they put the car on this straight to warm up the motor. SlotcarAcademy.com advice you to warm-up the motor before putting it on the track. Take a few hours for this process. Increase slowly the voltage. The motor will get more power and that is all you need!
Motors can be fixed to the chassis to prevent wear and tear on the gears. There are two options. You can glue the frame of the motor on the chassis or you can use tape to fix it.
Magnet or ballast
Nowadays most slot cars are equipped with a built-in magnet. The magnet is positioned inside the chassis. The magnet improves the cornering ability (ground effect) of the car. Depending to the strength of the motor it is possible to increase the magnetism by magnet stacking. Place a magnet of the same type as the original over the top of the existing magnet. Be careful! Do not put more magnets on the chassis than the motor can handle, otherwise the motor will burn out.
Some people, especially members of a club, do not want to drive with a car that is equipped with a magnet. These racers remove the magnet even before they have driven one single round on the circuit. If you remove the magnet you need to add ballast otherwise the car is slipping too much. The best way to add ballast is to use small thin strips of lead. Place the lead on the chassis behind the guide and before the back wheels. For every car you have to experiment to find the right place for adding the ballast.
Like real racecars it is important that the chassis is flexible. If you sand the sides on the chassis the bodywork can move flexible. Loosening the screws will give also an improvement to the handling. Some people change the original screws into a longer type.