Aurora T-Jet Slot cars: Basic Performance Tips

These tips are opinion only, based on what has worked well for a particular racer over the years. Your track conditions and equipment, racing and car class rules, and personality will all influence how effective or useful these tips may be for you. There are many other effective techniques and strategies used by others. If something here doesn't work for you, then try something else! Also, talk to your racing buddies, they may have a different idea that works better for you. Be sure to see "Exploded Chassis Views." The terminology from these drawings has been used throughout so it will be easier to visualize and understand the procedures.

-Clean all dirty oil off the chassis soon after racing; don't oil car again until just before practicing. Try Mobil 1; the teflon lasts even if the oil burns off.
-Clean motor brush springs inside armature compartment; clean gently with a folded-over pipe cleaner or small wire brush on a Dremel.
-Occasionally clean pickup shoe hooks where they hook into chassis. Use a pipe cleaner or wire brush on a Dremel.
-To clean commutator brushes, use a wire brush on a Dremel. If you don't have a Dremel, use very fine sandpaper or an index card.
-Polish commutator and shaft gently with a wire brush on a Dremel.
-Sand brass idler gear with increasingly fine grades of sandpaper, then polish to a bright shine with a fingernail buffer.
-Polish drive pinion gear and shaft with wire brush on a Dremel.
-Spread out front and rear tires as far as the rules and/or tech block will allow. Use spacers on the front end. Use Super-Glue gel to secure press-on hubs, but make sure they do not wobble before the glue sets.
-Check drive pinion/crown gear mesh. Remove magnets and idler gear and spin rear tires with gear plate mounted in chassis. Tires should spin freely and not bind. If there is binding, make sure everything is oiled and assembled correctly, check crown gear for flawed or broken teeth, check the cluster-gear shaft for free movement, make sure a tire, wheel or gear is not rubbing on the chassis. As a last resort, try another gear plate and/or crown gear.
-Adjust commutator brush springs so car rolls fairly freely when power is cut; if rear tires lock up, or car stops abruptly, then the brushes may be too tight. If car runs too slowly (or not at all) and rolls very far, then brushes may be too loose. Adjust springs with motor removed; if too tight, press down gently on top of brush sitting in barrel; if too loose, gently push spring up into barrel from bottom. When done, brushes should be at the same height when sitting in their barrels.
-Adjust pickup springs so car powers smoothly through turns and does not jump out of slot when starting (wheelies are a good sign that your springs are too stiff). If car jumps, remove springs and squash down slightly with a tweezer. If car now dies in turns or has a lot less power than before, springs may now be too weak; remove and stretch slightly to get proper tension.
-Tweak pickup shoes so the contact patch sits flat and full on the rails. Run car for a few laps and observe wear-stripe; it should run evenly through the entire contact area, not just a spot at the front or rear. Bend slightly to com pensate, run, then check and adjust again, if necessary.
-If the rules allow, use bodies with the least amount of front and rear over hang, and mount them as low as possible.
-Make sure that all of your tires and wheels are on straight and have as little wobble as possible.

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