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Recommendations for cars ready to mildly tune

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  • Recommendations for cars ready to mildly tune

    Hey HRW!

    I haven't been steered wrong yet from the wealth of knowledge I've received here. Getting my first track setup, got a tire razor on order as well as professor motors 35 ohm controllers to replace the stock policar thumb controllers (better replicates my kids RC controllers) and am now looking to add one or two classes of cars for mild home racing.

    I don't have any particular models in mind (or brand). I'm wondering what brand or class of cars would be a good first step into mild tuning for a beginner like me. I understand Slotit, Revoslot and NSR tend to be rather fast, so I'm not too interested in those. Ideally, I think some cars with milder motors would be ideal.

    I just wanted to see if any of you had any recommendations for me to look into. I'm leaning toward leaving the policar BRZs stock (with magnets) apart from truing the wheels/tires for my younger kids until they can learn how-to drive.

    Open to any and all suggestions. Thanks!

  • #2
    I would recommend NSR cars and Slot it with 18k motors from Slotcarcorner. The reason being, parts are typically available, you can go no magnet when you’re ready, they are tunable when you have that free time and a beer. Plus when you want to build that one crazy car, you will already have the motors on hand. So add a Slot It pinion puller press to your collection of tools
    The Jester
    of Da Lou (St. Louis) but from
    the Soxside (Chicago)


    • #3
      The above all being true, Slot It gives the best bang for the buck. You can find early models very cheap on eBay from time to time. Not knowing anything about your track I can still say that my favorite car to drive is a Slot It with an 18K motor in it. I converted a couple for the grandkids and liked them so much I did several more.


      • #4
        Are we talking about the 18k predator short can or slim can? Guessing you change it bushings, crown and pinion as well or use stock gearing?


        • Brumos RSR
          Brumos RSR commented
          Editing a comment
          Short can motors, reuse the gears and pinions. If you have a power supply turn em down.
          Or buy Scalextric or Carrera cars and have fun, don’t modify them or you spent NSR money anyway.

        • jfuente
          jfuente commented
          Editing a comment

        • Mitch58
          Mitch58 commented
          Editing a comment
          I used the H&R 18K motor, this is a spec motor for one of our classes so I had some sitting in a box.

      • #5
        My thoughts are based on this comment in the initial post - "am now looking to add one or two classes of cars for mild home racing".

        For good 'mild' home racing, especially with kids, reduce the voltage. Adjustable power supplies are not that expensive and let you find the right voltage for the racers and the cars.

        As for cars, I have a little over 200 and the largest proportion are Trans Am cars by Scalextric and Pioneer. Scalextric cars are about half the price of NSR cars ($40 vs 80 - $90) and for me have been very reliable. The only tuning I do for every car is upgrade to PG urethane tires. Beyond that you can upgrade everything as you choose - guide, motor, rear axle, gears, and wheels. 3D printed chassis upgrades are also readily available. Fly cars look great (love their classic Le Mans cars) but not as reliable out of the box and may need tuning. With kids involved stay away from cars with wings or big spoilers which, regardless of brand, are likely to get broken off.

        On the economy end Carrera cars are okay to race against each other, and on the more upscale side of things Slot.It cars are fine and usually priced below $60.

        It's best to race cars of the same brand, but even then all models may not be equal. The Scalextric Cougar and Challenger do not run equivalent to the Camaros and Mustangs and newer Javelins. Getting multiple liveries of the same model is the best bet for competitive racing.

        Whatever you go with, upgrade the tires first and run many many laps before you start tuning so you know what characteristics you want to improve. Handling is more important than speed so aim for cars that are easy to keep on the track.


        • jfuente
          jfuente commented
          Editing a comment
          Yeah nice thing with the policar powerbase is the adjustable voltage. Sounds like my investment in the tire razor was a good one. Keep hearing tires, tires, tires. PG urethane best for plastic track? Heard silicones can be quite tough to true compared to urethane.

        • wrangler#3
          wrangler#3 commented
          Editing a comment
          Depending on your needs for track, there's little complicated about dealing with silicone. Poured vs. Injection molded can lead to a slight sharp outside edge but a drywall sand paper mesh can knock the edges off. Otherwise, I wouldn't consider that a 'trued' tire in the sense of what it really means to true tires made of other material.

      • #6
        Always good suggestions from above.

        As for "mild" well Carrera models might not have the milder motor like the Policar models you have, but in stock form they are still easily enough to learn with.

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        And the price is easy on the old budget.

        IF you are willing to swap motors....

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        This motor will REALLY tame them down, even milder than the Policar. BUT with the magnets might not be ideal as the speeds would be very VERY mild.

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        This 18K would be a little better. Carrera motors are typically 21-22 K so this would tame them down just enough.

        Ok...back to work.


        • ourwayband
          ourwayband commented
          Editing a comment
          Harry is giving some great advise.The Carrera cars are even cheaper than most HO cars these days.They are tuff and fun to run!

        • jfuente
          jfuente commented
          Editing a comment
          So maybe with trued tires, 12.5k predator and adjustable powerbase good way to get into non magnet with Carrera? Heard good things about those motors from both you and Dave on YouTube.

      • #7
        maybe scalextric high impact black window cars. can take a beating from new drivers.inexpensive.
        bill ,framingham ma


        • #8
          I love my and NSR for easy tunes, but I probably need to take some of Harry's advice on the durability and fun driving Carrera line up as I'm looking to get my kids into driving as well. From what I've seen, borrowed a few to run, that's probably where I'm headed for my kids' for 'learn to drive' cars.
          ... Hobbit Racing...
          ...Tampa, FL, USA...
          Hobbit Racing on YouTube @


          • #9
            My opinion;
            Slot It cars for you (NSR and ThunderSlot are also very good) as they have a good range of car types.
            For kids Carrera. They are tanks so very strong. Scalextric are good as well but won't take as much abuse.


            • #10
              The Boss is The Boss for a reason.
              Carrera cars are good to start tuning. They have good basic mechanicals and are inexpensive, relatively speaking. It's hard to hurt them, although it can be done.
              The mild motors and upgraded tires will help quite a bit while you learn to drive without magnets. Start with 10V (maybe a little less for the kids) and then work up to 12V as you learn to drive the corners faster.
              Then when you and being consistently beaten by your kids (which will ultimately happen, if they stay interested) you can move to faster cars or just update the motors to 18K and learn more about tuning.

              Also, there are MANY things that you can do to tune a car without spending a ton of money and replacing lots of parts. Especially if you are racing just at home, those can get you a long way toward fast cars (and more cars, as budget allows).
              Come Race at The Trace!
              Timberline Trace International Raceway - SW of Mpls, MN


              • #11
                Kids can progress as racers faster than you might think. I’ve had good luck using cars and starting them on 6V and upping the voltage as they gained control. But I have a wood track so the Scalextric cars I bought first weren’t much fun without the benefit of the magnets. ”Princess Nerf” as I call my 10 year old granddaughter is currently working with me to build her first car, a Lola. It is also the brand I chose for myself when rejoining the hobby after a 50+ year hiatus. Hope you enjoy lots of family fun with your new track!
                Mike V.
                Western North Carolina


                • #12
                  The fastest cars on my track are NSR, Sideways and Thunder Slot. NSR and Thunder Slot don't have much of a model selection... a few models with lots of different paint jobs. Sideways has more models, but their older models are not as fast as the newer ones. cars are a few tenths slower, but excellent handling and performance for the money.


                  • #13
                    Awesome feedback! Thanks for all the input.


                    • #14
                      All right, looking at either of these two sets. Again, open to feedback for anyone who has owned any of them. Leaning towards the Lolas... though the Porsche/Nissan are very close.

             SICA31B 1/32 RTR Lola Aston Martin DBR1-2

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             SICA22E Lola B12/69 Drayson Racing

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             SICA05F Nissan R390 GT1 1/32 RTR

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             SICA23F 1/32 Porsche 911 GT1

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                      • Kevan
                        Kevan commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Nissan or Porsche for me because you can get a SW in those and SW is quicker. The Aston and Lola don't have room under the body for a SW.

                      • jfuente
                        jfuente commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Unfamiliar with the differences between SW and Inline. Main plan is tuning these down a bit in the interim. How are is going SW? I'm still very new at this, but have been involved in other RC stuff (1/10 trucks, helis)

                      • Kevan
                        Kevan commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Sidewinder pod will fit those two.

                    • #15
                      Well quality wise, you picked good ones. Excellent running gear, etc.

                      Mild? No. Motor swap/reduce voltage/ or begin to learn this level of slot cars.
                      Durability? Yes and no. The inside with the quality parts yes. The outside? Well not really. Wings, mirrors, antennae...they will not take much abuse.

                      Order tires with them. Paul Gage urethane slip-ons or Silicone Quick SLicks. SCC/Cloverleaf/LEB all have them. Just give them a call.


                      • jfuente
                        jfuente commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Yeah, planning on 18k predators and paul gage tires. Getting a set of paul gage tires for the BRZs as well. Will keep the BRZs, probably with mags for the kids and enjoy the Slot Its myself for the time being.