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Power and tires . . .

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  • Power and tires . . .

    I have raced all scales of slot cars at one point or another in my life, but most of the time HO. I'll be 61 next month and with each passing year, it has seemed that HO cars and parts keep getting smaller, LOL!!! With that, myself, and a handful of other local racers are switching to 1/32-1/24. Larger cars and parts! Plus we really want to get into scratchbuilding. I am just starting to build a 6 x 16 4 lane routed oval. My question is what voltage is normally run, 12v-14v? Second question is about tires. What is being run on many of the ovals I see here on HRW? Thanks!


  • #2
    A lot of proxy races state a power of 10-12 volts. I run the Forums Cup Proxy at 12 volts on Scaley Sport Track. This proxy has urethane tires only.
    Arrold Martin
    Nashville TN


    • #3
      Our oval is 5 x 16. We run 12 volts on our oval and use Paul Gage urethanes for our proxy races.

      On our road course we use both Quick SLicks silicones and Paul Gage urethanes. What ever tire works the best for that particular car.

      Our rouad course is 4 x 16 and normally set at 10 1/2 volts.


      • #4
        I'm down to 10.5 volts on my 4 x 14 foot oval using an adjustable model railroad transformer. I definitely recommend you go with an adjustable power supply so you can find the right power level for your track and cars.

        Tires - it depends on the surface. I routed my oval on 1/4" hardboard (Masonite) because I was looking for a slick surface to replicate power sliding on dirt. Silicone tires worked much better than stock rubber tires so that's what I put on all my cars. Later I discovered Paul Gage urethane tires but I think because the track had already been 'rubbered in' for a decade with silicone that was still the best choice. If I was rebuilding the track now I'd make it from MDF, paint it with a dirt/clay colored smooth paint, and use Paul Gage tires on all my cars. BUT, nothing comes close to the traction I get from beefy silicone over foam Protrack tires that are mandatory on all my big block modified cars. They are expensive but if you're going to race replica dirt or asphalt modifieds, or sprint cars, on your track you've got to give them a try,


        • #5
          Stay away from high voltage and in the 10-12 range. ..A 16-20K motor in a 1/24 car will be as fast as you need to be on a smaller track... It is more fun to have close racing then cars too fast to stay on track.... I have a 25' straight and we run basic flat brass chassis and vac bodies... All cars run plenty fast with motors in the 18-20 range.
          Last edited by mattb; March 12, 2020, 05:30 PM.
          Matt B
          So. In


          • #6
            These are the Pro-Track silicone coated foam tires I was referring to.

            I use these on custom builds with 1/8" axles.


            • #7
              Click image for larger version

Name:	brunos tyres.jpg
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Size:	227.7 KB
ID:	26730 Slotcartyres from France ..... Pm if you want a contact. ....... Sidewall detail is the same on both sides
              Attached Files
              Matt B
              So. In


              • #8
                Most aftermarket tires are silicone or urethane. I believe that the tires that Slotcar Tyres sells are urethane. Clubs tend to use one type or the other but they rarely say why. We have used both types of tires in the past but now use silicone tires exclusively. Silicone tires are more durable than urethane tires, it might be over 12 hours of running time before a set of silicone tires would have to be replaced. Silicone is also a more stable material, I have silicone tires that are over 50 years old and they are still as good as new. Urethane tires may deteriorate after five years or so, if you run the car very much the tires would get worn out and have to be replaced before that was a problem.
                My club only has one plastic track and that is an oval, we also have a routed wood oval, the rest of our tracks are road courses. We normally run at 10 volts. Without traction magnets 10 volts might be as high as you would want to go on a road course, unless the cars had rather weak motors like Artin used. On an oval with wide radius turns 12 volts would work with more powerful motors.


                • #9
                  We run an average 55 foot lap length on a flat 6 lane track painted with flat latex. Power is at 12 volts, and we run Pro Track natural rubber tires (part number will have an "N") and in some divisions ProTrack silicones. One division has motors restricted to 22,000 rpm and no silicones allowed. These run around 2.5 second laps. The unrestricted division sees mostly JK HawkMB motors and silicones. They run 2.3. Track record is 2 flat. The silicones get better as you drive them. They are a little twitchy when brand new.

                  Smith Scale Speedway - 1/32 Oval Racing


                  • #10
                    I have a high banked 5 x 12, 3 lane oval. It's a glossy masonite track like "slothead" has. It's maybe 10 years old. It's copper tape & I use an automotive
                    battery charger for power. It has settings of 6V-6A, 12V-2A & 12V-6A..I mostly use 12V-2A with 18-20K motors. (6V for the grandkids)
                    I started with Pro-Track foams, which never really
                    got a grip on the track & they get hard & dry after a bit.
                    I coated them with silicone myself & they worked well as stated previously as long as the track is kept clean & free of dust.
                    After discovering HRW & the wide use of urethane tires I switched some cars to those.
                    (Now this has been debated on this forum many times) My urethane experience showed I could only run 10 or 12 laps & the tires would lose all traction.
                    The tires would glaze over in that short a time. A good cleaning would yield only a few more laps until they glazed over again.
                    I washed down the entire track surface 3 or 4 times with lacquer thinner before the urethanes would work......I haven't used silicones since.

                    Silicones like a clean track...I seldom clean my track & it doesn't seem to affect urethane performance. Urethane tires can be easily trued, not so with silicones.
                    I've had only a couple of urethane tires go bad...(They sort of turn to jelly) I find urethanes last a LONG time. I can't vouch for tire wear. They may, but
                    I haven't noticed it to any extent............besides, they're cheap................:Brew
                    Dave J
                    Millstadt, Illinois


                    • #11
                      Lots of good info.. Slotcar tyres are urethane.. He doesn't make silicone tires..His tires have a nice rounded sidewall front and back. The backside is an nice as the front.. We run Protrack silicone coated and I do them with Permatex Flowable windshield sealer. I believe this is the same compound Protrack uses. . I got some Flex Seal and it actually looks like it has possiblilities as a coating also.. I think the most popular combo here is urethane. It seems that whatever you start with you should stay with that and don't switch from one rubber to another. We have a nice coating of silicone built up on my track and urethane does not grip well, The only track cleaning I do is to wipe lightly with a painters track cloth to remove dust. Once per session is fine. We sometimes rub cars over a wet cloth of alcohol and water that cleans any residual dust.

                      Matt B
                      So. In