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LVJ Front End for Scratch Building

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  • LVJ Front End for Scratch Building

    When not doing a total scratch build project, I do some builds, on the LVJ Champ or Cruiser chassis. I always order a couple of extra Front Axle Holder/ Guide Tongues, usually the Narrow ones. I try to always get the brass ones, because they solder well, if you need to solder. The brass ones are usually sold out, though, and I end up with the metal ones, most of the time. No problem on an LVJ chassis project, because you're using the screws. But I have accumulated a bunch of the metal ones, and want to use one again on a scratch build project. I've never been really satisfied, with the various improvised methods I've come up with, of attaching the metal LVJ front axle holder to my scratch build's, long chassis rails ! I'm speaking of a Showdown-type chassis, using K&S #8151 1/8 square Brass Tubing. Anyone have any ideas, or experience doing this, and are willing to share ? Possibly even a couple of photos, of how y'all attach that LVJ Front End, to a scratch build chassis ? Thanks, in advance !
    Last edited by 6666hotrod; September 11, 2022, 01:15 PM.

  • #2
    This is going to sound like a total hack solution, but when doing similar chassis work using bits from cut up Womp chassis I've used JB Weld. After laying the pieces out to get the wheelbase I wanted I spanned the gap between the front tongue and rear motor mount with metal rods (or similar) then filled the area in with Weld. Since Weld hardens slowly over a few minutes there's time to get everything flat and aligned. Once it's hardened Weld is like black metal and can be filed if needed.

    To ensure the Weld grabs firmly I've drilled small holes in the metal parts so the Weld can flow through and harden above and below the parts, then file or Dremel away any bumps.

    Click image for larger version

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    • 6666hotrod
      6666hotrod commented
      Editing a comment
      Slothead, that doesn't sound like a hack solution, to Me : I have JB Weld and JB Quick, in my tools-kits. I thought about using it on the Axle Holder/Guide Tongue similar to like what you're saying ! Before I began soldering motors onto the LVJ brass chassis, I mounted one motor with JB Quick Weld : That car runs flawlessly !! I'm taking it all in, the knowledge You and Chris Walker are arming me with : I appreciate you guys !!

  • #3
    6666hotrod, why wouldn't you just solder the steel LVJ front end bits to the main rails ????..........clean the steel well, and, use liquid acid flux,.....no more difficult than soldering brass.

    And instead of using the square brass tube, why not use some .055 or .063 piano wire,....it will result in a better handling chassis.

    Cheers
    Chris Walker

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    • 6666hotrod
      6666hotrod commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks, Chris, and I will try your suggestions in the near future. So far, though, my issues are : I thought the metal wouldn't want to solder, not to mention that I use rosin core solder, and rosin paste flux (I hear acid flux is corrosive and requires a lotta extra work to maintain it's joints). I have 332 and 1/8 piano wire, and have done a couple of chassis like you suggest, and yes, they handle noticeably well ! My problem is, that I hate soldering, because I am simply not good at it, so the less soldering involved, the better I like it. But, Chris, as I struggle with just the normal/usual soldering involved in a Basic scratch build, I REALLY Struggle, trying to solder Piano Wire !! It's like you need double/twice the heat, or something ! I use a 40 watt Weller, and like Harry's video states, that little iron is up to the task, as I have built 11 completely scratch built slot cars, with it ! I actually had to re-do, a piano wire-chassis, because one of the joins, came apart. Even when I solder piano wire to brass, the piano wire gives me a hard time. When I solder only brass, though, it's relatively easy !

    • chrisguyw
      chrisguyw commented
      Editing a comment
      Rosin paste flux is best suited to soldering lead wires only !!!!,............liquid acid flux should be used for any/all wire, brass, and, steel joins.
      Liquid acid flux will make your soldering much easier/better as it will make the solder "Flow", and it make the joins that much stronger. No decent scratchbuilder will use anything but liquid acid flux for chassis building.

      (Always CLEAN all metal parts with some 800 grit paper, or a scotchbrite pad before soldering......particularly piano wire !!)

      As far as it being corrosive,....it is,.....but, when you are done soldering, give the joins/chassis a good scrub with an old toothbrush, water and some abrasive cleanser (Ajax/Comet),......you will have no rusting/corroding issues.

      The two best brands of liquid acid flux are..1/Stay Clean.....2/ Lucky Bob's,....both available online, or at any good slot shop.

      The rosin core solder that you use is absolutely fine.................

      As far as piano wire, both 1/8 and 3/32 are likely fine if you a re building a cage, or a jail cell, but for a slot car chassis they are far too thick. (.063 is as heavy as you will ever need, and for the motors most often used by the folks here, .055 is just about perfect).

  • #4
    I've soldered the steel chassis OK. I do use acid flux (stabrite). It's not as neat as soldering brass, but it will solder. You can buy sprintsplus frames for $12 or so, they have gone up. They can be cut in half and you will have a motor mount rear axle holder and a tongue with axle holder. They are all brass.

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    Matt B
    So. In
    Crashers

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    • 6666hotrod
      6666hotrod commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks, Matt : I was hoping you might see this, as I know you have experience with LVJ stuff !

  • #5
    6666hotrod you commented that you can solder brass ok but piano wire gives you issues
    Belive me when I say your 40 watt and acid flux are all you need
    The only extra step is to thoroughly clean the acid off when done
    I dare you to try it you’ll wonder how you got by with out it
    By the way your joints will be much stronger and look amazing 😻
    Dave
    Peterborough Ont
    CANADA

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    • #6
      All joints soldered with liquid acid flux, 60/40 rosin core solder........brass, wire, steel.

      Most done with a 40Watt Weller/Ungar iron with a 1/4 chisel tip.

      Cheers
      Chris Walker

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      • #7
        A special THANKS, to chrisguyw, 4424ever, mattb, and slothead !!! I've suspected for a long time, that my flux may be a big part of The Problem ! No Wonder I Hate Soldering !! I will be getting the needed supplies, Very soon.

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        • #8
          When you're done clean those chassis with baking soda and a tooth brush. That neutralizes the acid residue and prevents any rust.

          I always clean my wife's toothbrush before I put it back.
          Matt B
          So. In
          Crashers

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          • #9

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            • #10
              Few if any of us will be able to build chassis like Chris (and Dennis Samson) make. They are among the most skilled builders in the slot car world. That said, there are many ways to accomplish what we want to do, and a range of different materials can be used. My 'hack job' JB Weld'ed chassis came out just as intended and became the top qualifier on my oval. I enjoy building chassis from a variety of different materials, using various methods, as the situation dictates.

              But then, even though I've built a lot of custom chassis, they have overwhelmingly been for oval track race cars with large front and rear tires as seen in my photo. What's needed to do well in Saturday night short track roundy-round racing is likely unique from what's needed to do well on larger tracks and road courses regardless of scale. The guy who is now known as the best ever northeast dirt track modified driver built his first engine in his parents dining room and assembled his car in the back yard with neighbors calling the police whenever he'd start it up.

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              • #11
                If you are using steel parts that are plated those will solder OK, but I have had the plating peel off of the steel causing the joint to fail. It is safer to grind off the plating in the areas that you intend to solder.

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                • #12
                  M a n ! ..... I really Thank You, for that info !!

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                  • #13
                    Some plating can be soldered to without future problems, others may be subject to flaking off. If you just automatically remove it for soldering, you never have to worry about it. I have a strong dislike for plated chassis in the 70s & 80s. Newer nickel plating is much better.

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                    • #14

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