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Revell Fairlanes


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#21 espsix

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 08:19 AM

I purchased a pioneer charger chassis from slotcar corner, i sent them a mesage asking if they could do any better on their postage and they ended up sending it to me for $7.

I've just finished putting it under the new GTX, but after breaking the piece between the motor endbell and the rear axle bearing clipping the motor in, and the front bearing mount breaking during its first test drive, also having to replace the guide after not being able to get the braids the clip in as they should, this will be the last pioneer product i buy.
I do have a pioneer mustang that goes well, but only because for all the aftermarket running gear fitted.
They seem to be good shelf queens, which is what jules has aimed for i think.
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#22 Burglar

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 10:14 AM

Yeah, there is a fair bit of hype on them online I think. They have their good features, and then there are a few 'innovations' which don't always work.

Good features: motors, bodywork, interiors, body mounting system, overall chassis structure geometry, axles, rear bushes, parts bag with kit, and the compatibility with Scalextric Digital and light boards if that's your bag.

Bad features: guide system (all aspects), axle mountings, sloppy plastic front axle bushes, wheels without grub screws on unknurled axles keep coming off and require intervention of dreaded superglue.

Some things like the noisy plastic gears and the plastic wheels are cost items so it makes sense to include these. At least the axles are the right size and unknurled if you want to fit aftermarket wheels and spur gears. The axle and motor shaft just need a few passes with a file to remove the knurling (you don't need to take it right off for the pinion, so I only take off what's necessary to get it started).

The only real inexcusable stuff is the flimsy front axle mounting (I will brace all of the cars I race from here on) and the horrible guide system with those stupid brass clips and the long post. The Charger chassis in particular has a lot of front-to-back slop in the guide post. I have replaced two guides with Slot.It screw fit guides using the B-NOVA adapter. I'd recommend the 1/16" size although I did use the 1/32" size on my Torino to give extra clearance for the low chassis. I haven't had the problem with the motor mount but I will watch out for it. I know it is tight. I generally use the little grill under the motor and push something up between the grill to pop the motor out.

I've replaced the gears in mine with NSR 7113 and Slot.It 1936 following rick1776's tip, and would suggest putting the rear axle bearings in the front and replacing the rears with Slot.It or similar. I've used the teflon/aluminium ones in my Torino and they seem good.

These could have been much better cars with a little more thought put into simple things such as the guide and front axle clips. They are indeed lovely shelf queens and when they are running right they are killer slot racers. You don't want guide problems and axles snapping off though mid race. That said I race them much more than any of the Scalextric cars I have had. The Smokey Yunick Mustang, for example, is a pile of junk. Same with the Truxmore Torino and the General Lee Charger. The Cortina rolls over due to high CG and the Escort does not have enough track clearance. And Scalextric have had 30 years to get it right!! Carrera have made nothing but shelf queens or body donors, with one of the worst chassis I've ever seen. SCX have made some decent chassis but then add all kinds of quirky nonsense like the brass contacts that cut out. Monogram made a beautiful series of bodies but then put a chassis under it which has as its best feature the adjustable front axle mount and a guide that's one saving grace is that it can be reasonably easily be replaced with Slot.It parts, with an atrocious rear axle assembly. I haven't owned a Slot.It but my next purchase with be one of their GT40s as I have unfortunately had plenty of experience fitting their parts to other brands of slot car ...

Edited by Burglar, 02 April 2012 - 11:59 AM.

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#23 BMR

    wheres the tape measure ?

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 10:49 AM

Our club group ( South City Raceways ) has had Pioneer Mustangs running as club cars for quite a while , we had a few minor dramas like plastic front wheels dropping off and one suffered the dreaded chassis breakage at the front axle retaining tab but generally these things are great for us as club cars , they have been flogged to death in a few long distance type events ( 2000 laps or more ) and then again in a heap of rounds of club racing on the clubs tracks . I think these club cars are up around 4 or 5000 laps with very little maintenance . I didnt build the club cars but as far as I remember hearing the only mods were alloy rims on the back and a drill blank axle , with the stock spur gear was retained .
DGM ( wizard ) on auslot put in a tiny bit of lead ballast but Im not sure exactly where it went in the chassis , Dennis did do a brilliant job of securing the stock spur gear on the axle via a small ( 1mm maybe 2mm ) pin that went through the spur gear and then located in a hole the rim . A slot it gear would have been easier but there was four club cars to do and 4 new slot it gears would have cut into the clubs funds a bit more - beer n pizza allocations come first huh
Dennis did have a " how he built it " document on the club Mustangs that was a good bit of info on getting a Pioneer mustang up and going well for timber track racing . The club cars are still being used now so thats at least two years of good service and a lot of thrashing and crashing by all our club members

Re chassis cracking when putting motors and axles into place , I think the plastic used by Pioneer is a bit harder than the Scalextric chassis so possibly a bit more inclined to be a little more brittle crack if they are snapped together without some extra care . I have seen plenty of other brands crack their chassis ( they are only plastic )

A few hints for any newbies reading would be to warm the chassis a bit in hot water so its a little more flexible when it comes to popping the motor and axles in and out

A better thing to do is take a little material away from the chassis retaining tabs / tags whatever you want to call them so the various parts slip in ( and out ) a bit easier . see the pic below

This to me is a standard bit of building effort when it comes to setting up what is essentially a mass produced plastic toy car aimed at kids for Xmas , Generally when these toys are used by us bigger kids on larger plastic track layouts or a routered timber tracks for racing then we have to expect a few short comings which will need some attention to make them fast and reliable
Often when the motor is popped out of the chassis the rear wheels will spin much easier - not just because there is no longer a motor gear to mesh against but more often than not when the motor actually drops in it puts a bit of stress on the chassis that misaligns the rear axle so the axle binds a bit in the chassis - if you dont want to pop the motor out then try it with the axle assembly put in backwards so the gear mesh drag is eliminated - Does the axle spin nice or is it tight ? now pop the motor out , is the axle spinning better or is there no difference ? If there is no difference then yeehaa you have a good chassis - must have been made on a thursday huh when everything was running well at the factory - now you just have to hope the motor wasnt made first thing Monday morning or last run on Friday when the operator was dreaming about thye weekend
If the axle is binding when the motor is put back in then the chassis could do with some work - its not a bad chassis its just a sign of mass produced plastic manufacturing , these things are dropping out of a machine every few seconds on hot days , cold days etc etc injection molding plastic has some variables that can play havoc at times on a production run that can alter the product quality even just from the morning into an afternoon production run let alone week to week runs - suppliers of raw material can have differences in the batches supplied to a manufacturer etc etc .

That aside its not hard to strip the chassis and put in a bit of attention to detail when its being rebuilt to race . One starting point is trimming the chassis tabs so the parts slip in easier and , if needed the motor mount area an be filed slightly larger so the motor drops in without altering or stressing the chassis around the rear axle area and misaligning things - after any filing work the parts will need to be glued in place but that is a normal proceedure for any slotcar thats gonna be flogged around a track anyway . Do it slow and watch the gear mesh if you start messing around with a file though , I have found its usually the width area of a chassis thats the problem , as the motor drops in the chassis flexes out wider to accomodate the motor , I have even trimmed a bit of plastic away from the plastic motor bell in some cases so it drops in nicely without flexing the chassis

Small bits of chassis filed away so motors and axles can drop in easier - click it to enlarge

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#24 Burglar

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 11:13 AM

The one thing I would say with the Pioneers is never replace the front tyres without removing the body shell first. That was the mistake I made, I was in a hurry and was trying to get some (rather tight) tyres on without removing the body. If the chassis has had this done to it a few times or has had the front axle in and out to do other mods there is a good chance that one of the clips might have been weakened. I know for a fact that I bent one of my clips slightly on the Charger chassis when fitting the font body mount for the second time so I've gone ahead and braced it up with rectangular styrene tubing up to the height of the top of the clips, with a groove cut for the guide wires to pass through. It is basically two pieces of tubing one on top of the other with superglue holding it to the chassis floor and the back of the two clips. I'll take a photo and post it shortly in the thread with the other photos of my Torino (under 'Cars')

Edited by Burglar, 02 April 2012 - 11:17 AM.

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#25 Burglar

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 11:58 AM

View Postespsix, on 02 April 2012 - 08:19 AM, said:

I purchased a pioneer charger chassis from slotcar corner, i sent them a mesage asking if they could do any better on their postage and they ended up sending it to me for $7.

I've just finished putting it under the new GTX, but after breaking the piece between the motor endbell and the rear axle bearing clipping the motor in, and the front bearing mount breaking during its first test drive, also having to replace the guide after not being able to get the braids the clip in as they should, this will be the last pioneer product i buy.
I do have a pioneer mustang that goes well, but only because for all the aftermarket running gear fitted.
They seem to be good shelf queens, which is what jules has aimed for i think.

It's interesting that I have had the same problems with my Pioneer conversion. Basically the more you fiddle and pull things out and put them back in the more likely you are to find the weak points. You probably weakened the front clips when doing the mounting mods for the body (I assume it is a Carrera). When you are fitting the scratchbuilt front mounts for the twentieth time it is easy to bend those clips while the axle is out. Thankfully I broke the clip on my almost clapped out well race worn Mustang before trying out the Torino in a proper race, and thus was prompted to brace that one up before it hits its first wall.
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#26 BMR

    wheres the tape measure ?

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 12:26 PM

I dunno why Pioneer went for the bushings in the front ? As a slotter its very similar to the Scalextric camaro chassis which has only a hole in the chassis for the front axle , havent seen many of them break but Im sure plenty will post they have broken them as well .

I wonder what the extra cost of front bushings over a production run would be compared to the cost be of something like the SCX NASCAR pro cars where they use a slot for the front axle to drift up and down in and then two grub screws to adjust the ride height . That adjustability in the front end on the SCX cars and a few other brands is great for setting up a car .

The cost of 2 grub screws vs two plastic bushes ? Not much .... the cost to re tool the chassis to do that type of front end ?... $$$$ lots

Its no good complaining about this brand or that - part of the hobby is dealing with some short comings of some brands eg Nincos hop , some brands motor reliability , plastic wheels falling off etc etc its all in the fun of it , bottom line racing slot cars is a cheap hobby compared to most other things and we do have a few manufacturers that make great little machines that need nothing done to them to run well .

I would like a dollar for every time I have heard someone say " I wish NSR or Slot it made this or that model "

#27 stargate_SG1

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 09:19 PM

got a spare fairlane body , this time i'll try to use a plafit chassis with slot it running gear.

#28 Burglar

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 10:34 PM

I have a spare Wendell Scott body ... might be interesting to set it up with a MJK chassis if we can get a whole class set up that way. One specific MKJ chassis with Monogram body would make for close racing. I would keep the Wendell Scott thing as that is sort of my track personality with these now, no point in changing to Parnelli Jones or whatever.
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#29 BMR

    wheres the tape measure ?

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 11:53 PM

Myself and a few locals have been running the Monogram stocker bodies with the MJK metal chassis and plafit pointer motors up against the plastic chassis cars - Pioneer , Carrera , Scalextric and Monogram with their standard motors they race quite evenly the plafit does have a tiny bit more top end speed on the road course the Monogram isnt far behind on top end speed either .
Generally on the road course track the lighter plastic chassis cars catch up under brakes and in the short straights so in the end they can race against each other quite well , on the oval track they all go well only left turns so it basically boils down to gearing for top speed , I havent bothered to limit the gearing options , having too much fun to get into any heavy handed rule maaking , maybe later if people complain but for now it seems to be rolling along ok racing metal against plastic chassis at my place

#30 Burglar

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 12:14 AM

I have put a 12 tooth gear in mine because I read that was pretty standard. Turns out though that the standard fitment is an 11 tooth (I didn't look too hard at when taking it out, I was mainly thinking of my ears). It might mean that it has a bit more legs now than it did with the 11/37 ratio.
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#31 Burglar

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 06:32 PM

Steve I've had a first go at lowering the rear axle in my Fairlane, but I am still waiting for the set up block and bushing alignment kit from SCC before I finish the job properly. This is what it looks like after cutting the rear bushing slots to allow the bushes to move up and putting a .080" card under it to establish ground clearance (under where the rear magnet box used to be). It sits pretty level front to back, with the front axle raised enough that the car sits on its guide at the front. A 12T 6.5mm & 36T 19mm combination seems to be okay but as you move the axle up the mesh gets tighter. What combination of gears did you use on your Hutcherson Fairlane?

The wheels on the back are the new CB Design 15x8s with 1404Y Yellow Dogs fitted. And yes that's an old Tsing Tao carton in the background. Good drop, at least in summer.

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P.S. I fiddled with the interior and the chassis posts quite a bit to get the body to sit down a little lower at the back. Basically the 'glass' above the driver's head has been removed and by various measures the interior moved up. Also I took some plastic off the rear mounts, which I think I mentioned before resulted in the screw mounts stuffing up

Edited by Burglar, 02 June 2012 - 06:35 PM.

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#32 Burglar

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 12:36 PM

View PostBMR, on 02 April 2012 - 12:26 PM, said:

I dunno why Pioneer went for the bushings in the front ? As a slotter its very similar to the Scalextric camaro chassis which has only a hole in the chassis for the front axle , havent seen many of them break but Im sure plenty will post they have broken them as well .

I wonder what the extra cost of front bushings over a production run would be compared to the cost be of something like the SCX NASCAR pro cars where they use a slot for the front axle to drift up and down in and then two grub screws to adjust the ride height . That adjustability in the front end on the SCX cars and a few other brands is great for setting up a car

This is basically what SCC supply as their adjustable front axle mounting for Scalextric cars. It might be possible to adapt these to others, but I haven't measured everything up. In part it would depend on having a nice, flat horizontal surface between the axle bushes where you could fit them. On a Scalextric Mustang or Camaro you fit these while the standard chassis hole set up is still in place and then when all is done grind away the tops of the stock axle mounts.

The reason why Jules didn't go with that system is simple. He tried to design the car for the guy who never picks up a screwdriver, and who is likely to park the car when the braids wear out. That was the reasoning behind the guide system and the supports that come down from the bonnet to the bushes. When everything is screwed up tight (including those interior screws that everyone throws out) the chances of breaking an axle mount are pretty much zero. Start tuning them and the chances of breaking one go up considerably.
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#33 BMR

    wheres the tape measure ?

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 08:21 PM

re - A 12T 6.5mm & 36T 19mm combination seems to be okay but as you move the axle up the mesh gets tighter. What combination of gears did you use on your Hutcherson Fairlane?

I sanded a little plastic on the chassis to allow the motor to move forward a little , then I glued the motor in with the motor running on low volts so I can hear the gear mesh is running nicely

I will post up some photos later of another revel stocker that Im tinkering around with for one of the South City slotcar guys .

edit ,
I have put photos up earlier on another thread and SlotsNZ has put a photo of the front axle carrier with a cut out for the lead wires in the other monogram stocker thread so no point me putting up a photo on that mod . I havent seen a photo or any mention of setting the guide flag angle yet from anyone so it can ski along the track braid instead of ploughing its nose into the track .
Something to look for is the monograms stock braid system , has the habit of allowing the braid to drop out a bit and it can end up with the brass bit ( on the braid ) running directly on the track braid - not real good for the track .
SlotNZ mentioned swapping the monogram braid for something else , eg Ninco , SCX with no brass clip squashed on at the end of the braid - thats definiately a good move .

The car I did for a guy yesterday , now uses a scalextric plastic spur gear ( 36 t ) and the standard monogram pinion still , cheap , yep you bet but the result is a tiny bit more clearance between the track and the spur gear with the stock wheel / tyre combo - the car I was fiddling with was scraping its spur gear on the track , worn out a tyre from running laps on the oval track , surprising really I thought the stock tyre would have lasted longer ?
The cars are hard on the outside tyre turning left all the time and as the monogram has the spur gear on that side its always gonna be something to watch - the easiest cure at my place Dave is to run grub screw wheels and swap the rears side to side when the cars running a lot of laps on the oval to even out the tyre wear

Edited by BMR, 03 June 2012 - 08:57 PM.


#34 Burglar

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 08:53 PM

Cool, thanks. I figured you might have moved the motor just a bit. What do you call low volts? 9V? Old 9V batteries are about all I have for such tasks.

I had a look at the SCC mounts, and I don't think they are usable on a Pioneer, because there is not the flat area for them to seat. Even on the Scalextric chassis I had to cut away some plastic at the front of the chassis using the dentist's type small round burr before it would seat properly.

Edited by Burglar, 03 June 2012 - 08:54 PM.

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#35 BMR

    wheres the tape measure ?

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 09:07 PM

6 volts if I use the bench power supply , If Im in a lazy mood I use the controller and the car on the track and let it spin while holding the motor in place with my thumb at about 1/8th of the controllers trigger .

PS Mad mans hint - when your thumb on the motor gets really really hot - its fair to say the glues probably dry - time to let go :lol: :P

#36 Burglar

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Posted 17 June 2012 - 06:51 PM

Here's the latest on my project to improve the handling of my Wendell Scott Fairlane.

Here it is being set up with a 0.080" spacer glued under the back to establish proper clearance for when I glue the Slot.It axle bushings in its raised position (hopefully the long piece of card hanging out the back will act as a leaver and allow me to easily snap the glue join when it's finished! I glued it to prevent is squirming around):

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Wheels are CB Design 15x8 steelies, tyres are 1404 Yellow Dogs, axle is Slot.It 50mm and Slot.It 6.5mm pinion and 19mm spur. The carrier for the motor has been opened up slightly to move the motor forward to improve mesh with the spur in its new raised position, as per Steve's suggestions above.

This is a box-stock Mario Andretti Fairlane on the same set up block:

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Quite a significant difference in ride height. If anything I can afford to lower the Scott car at the front a little more, but that might require modifications to the guide mount as I don't think I have a spacer under it (I will check this, if so I will just take it out).

That's a SCC 1/24 size set up block. It arrived Friday together with a SCC axle bushing alignment kit and some more steelies (four 15x7s for my Sunliner project and two 15x11s for my Lady Luck Charger, which has already been fitted with a Slot.It guide and rear axle assembly and will soon have a NSR 7112 pinion, should be a really nice car with these couple of mods - 15x8 CB Design steelies will go on the front). I will use the alignment kit to do the final set up on the axle before gluing it in.
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