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SCX Mercedes Benz SLS AMG GT3 inline to sidewinder conversion

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  • SCX Mercedes Benz SLS AMG GT3 inline to sidewinder conversion

    Most slot car guys who know me know I like GT cars and sidewinder configured slot cars. A while ago I converted a Fly Panoz Esperante from its’ original front motor inline configuration to a sidewinder by cutting a whole in the chassis and hot melt gluing the motor into place. At the time it worked quite well but I knew that I could do better by designing and 3D printing some kind of pod that would make the whole process easier and allow for motor changes, should the need arise.

    Back in January of this year while watching the Bathurst 24 hour race I was impressed with the performance and number of entries of the Mercedes Benz AMG GT3 cars. I didn’t have one in my slot car paddock so after the race I searched the For Sale section of HRW and found an SCX version (liveried from the Bathurst 24 hour race!) offered up by member Rooster. A few days later and the car was in my hands. Now on to the tricky part.

    Fast forward to a couple weeks ago and time to turn this into my preferred configuration. Our club races a Scalextric GT class where the original rules state “sidewinder configuration, stock motor and gearing” but in order to allow some variety we have been allowing some other brands as long as the overall performance is kept similar to other Scaley cars in the class.

    I had designed and 3D printed a prototype pod for the conversion but when I took the car apart I realised that I would need to revise the pod to include rear axle mounts as the SCX model has a one piece motor/rear end. A few versions later I had a suitable pod.

    I stripped down the chassis, removing the thin copper strips that power the LED lights, removed the guide and rear end. I then cut the chassis from where the pod would sit until I got a good fit with the rear wheels at the proper wheel base. Using the setup jig really helps for this.

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    The pod was then hot glued into place. Hot glue on the bottom is smoother than it looks in the photo.

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    Up front, the guide and guide mount is fairly non-standard, so I had to come up with a way to mount a normal guide flag. I designed and 3D printed a guide post very similar to the ones that B-Nova used to make. I removed the material from around where the new guide would need clearance and then used JB-Weld to keep it in place.

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    The original front wheels are mounted independently, using plastic stub axles. This allows the wheels to flop around too much. The stub axles pop out of standard looking bushing mounts, but they are positioned so far outboard that with normal bushings and the wheels I wanted on the car the wheel track is too wide and the wheels stick out from under the body (not my cup of tea). A quick 3D print of some adjustable axle blocks and I was back in business. I JB Welded them in place, using the chassis jig and the original mounts with temporary bushings to keep everything aligned while the JB Weld cured. I then removed the original axle mounts and shimmed the wheels to their proper track dimension.

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    I took the opportunity to wire up and install a capacitor and plug for the original LEDs, which are bright and well positioned in the car.

    A 3D printed guide flag (not my design, from Thingiverse) was installed and the front wheels were adjusted, using 2mm grub screws from above and below in the axle blocks, until they just touched the track surface.

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    Rear Darts urethane tires were installed and trued, original rubber remains up front. gear, axles, wheels and inserts on all four corners. The motor is a Scalextric or Fly stock 18k rpm motor from my “pulls” bin.

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    Shakedown is scheduled for this Wednesday at a local wood routed home track.


  • #2
    Very interesting conversion.


    • #3
      Very Nice. After all these upgrades I'd be willing to bet that stock just won't do it anymore.
      Saginaw Valley Raceway
      Only Rule: Just enjoy who you are racing with.


      • #4
        Nice job.....some SCX cars are OK after a little work. I love the use of 3D printing....all of a sudden pretty much any part you want or need is available. Very cool.
        Come Race at The Trace!
        Timberline Trace International Raceway - SW of Mpls, MN


        • #5
          very nice work
          be interesting to find out how well it runs after your test.


          • #6
            I used a CG motor adaptor, and kept it as an inline with a S can motor. Changed the wheels and running gear to It halls the mail!
            Scott.....War Eagle River......Tampa, Florida, USA


            • #7
              I guess I forgot to update the shakedown session sooner. It went quite well. The car was moderately fast compared to other, similarly powered GT cars in my paddock. It has good balance from front to back but could use a touch of weight on the front end. If I were to run it in a proper race I would need to do some fine tuning to get the handling just right, including some more truing of the rear tires as well. I strongly believe that that would be possible and this car could be competitive in our local "Scalextric" GT class.

              Next up, I think I might try a conversion of either a Fly Corvette C5 or maybe a Fly Marcos. The Corvette has all that great engine detail that would be lost, so maybe the Marcos will be IT!



              • #8
                I've podded (SW) the SCX Hot Wheels Cuda with the OEM chassis, not a big challenge, runs great. I also used a CG chassis on another SCX Cuda, it really runs great. Like Pete, I have thought about doing a Marcos OEM conversion to SW, but I'm out of pods right now. Last conversion was a Monogram Cobra Daytona, shakedown run tonight at the club track.



                • #9
                  Nice work Pete. I think I need to invest in a 3D printer. See you at Mosport next year or if I can make it out to Joes.