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K&B Lola T70 build

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  • K&B Lola T70 build

    I keep buying/building new stuff, both for myself and friends, and every once in a while I go through the stuff I have on shelves and boxes, and realize that I will never have the time to build what I already have, early New Years resolution is to build up some of the kits on the shelf.

    In no particular order, I have decided to start with a 1/24 K&B Lola T70, that I bought on epay likely more than 10 years ago................the body is unbuilt, with all the bits, and, in mint shape. The chassis however, is a different story......built (not well) and with a few missing bits. Luckily I have all the bits I need.

    Here is what was in the box........

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    I will take it all apart,....clean everything, and make some modifications along the way............

    It will take awhile, as I am soon heading to the warmer weather for a couple of months, so updates will not be happening until then.

    I have started with the motor which is a K&B "Super Challenger", which was an upgrade from the "Challenger" ...........while they are reliable and run just great on most home tracks, they never scared the Mabuchi 16D motors that were entering the market at the time.

    The one I received needed some help, so, was taken apart, the comm cleaned, armature statically balanced, magnets zapped, new brushes/springs, and most importantly the molded in plastic axle bushings were ground away, reamed, and single flanged 3/16 x 1/8 oilites installed. The oilites make a dramatic difference as the molded in plastic bushings were hideously sloppy even when new.

    Below is the rusty old motor with the stock molded in plastic bushings........

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    All cleaned up ,....with the oilites installed, new drill blank 1/8 axle, and "neo" magnet wafers installed on both magnets top and bottom !! The old Vintage magnets were generally anemic at best, and "beefing" them up does wonders................this is a good motor mod for all vintage motors,....just make sure you get the polarity correct

    New motor leads are still to do.

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    And the pinion/spur cleaned,..and de burred.................on the test bench, a night and day difference

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    It is always a joy building the vintage stuff as I am constantly reminded of the engineering and parts quality of the old kits..........miles ahead of the molded plastic products of today.........while I took it for granted back then, I appreciate it all the more now !!

    One example on this kit was the tapered brass inserts and locknuts that secured the wheels (with turned bead detail)...........the tapered collar (with compression slot) was inserted into the wheel, the nut was placed inboard of the wheel, and when tightened, the collar was pulled into the face of the wheel, resulting in a very secure/concentric unit.
    While set screw wheels are much easier, and, if made well are just as concentric, I am again, always amazed at the engineering put into many of the Vintage cars.........this stuff would cost a fortune today

    The tapered collar and tensioning nut.....

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    On the wheel.............

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    And from behind................

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    I will be making some modifications to the chassis,.........freezing the drop arm with a nut/bolt that will also allow guide height adjustments , adding some brass side pans, and trimming the whole top of the chassis to allow the body to sit a touch lower.

    These mods will not be done until until I return from being warm

    Talk to you then

    Chris Walker
    Last edited by chrisguyw; December 16, 2019, 09:53 PM.

  • #2
    Something I know about! Vintage 1/24. Thole old K&B/Aurora cars were really smooth. While the speed and wasn't great and the high center of gravity really hurt handling, they were smooth runners. The stock K&B tires were also some of the best back then. It's a nice model and the basic body was copied by Cox and several other companies that did Lola's back int he 60's. I'm sure this will be a great build.
    Matt B
    So. In


    • #3
      As always fantastic work and exemplary narrative Chris. You are the absolute master of this kind of project. And most others for that matter...



      • #4
        Originally posted by SuperSlab
        As always fantastic work and exemplary narrative Chris. You are the absolute master of this kind of project. And most others for that matter...


        Chris: just because you won't be close to home doesn't mean you can't stay in touch, right?

        Mark in Oregon


        • #5
          I found a little more time before going away,,.....I got a little more done.

          I am building this for a friend who does quite a bit of vintage racing, so, I am building it with a few modifications, that will really help the handling, but, I also wanted the chassis to be easy to revert back to stock.

          I have done the motor (1st post) and even though the motor was new, it got a good clean, a static balance on the arm., a comm true, magnets zapped, tweaker magnets added, new brushes and springs, and the biggest improvement by far was replacing the molded in axle bushings, with single flanged oilites.

          As far as the chassis,.....there were 2 (and a bit) things I wanted to address........

          1/ Adding some weight,....nice and low

          2/ Freezing the drop arm, and having the ability to adjust the guide height for various tracks.

          Both of the above needed to be easily removed, and have the chassis appear as stock...........everything worked out better than imagined !!

          The first pic. shows the cleaned up chassis, with the side pans attached....the numerous holes (wheelbase adjustments) on the stock chassis, made it easy for me to drill a hole in some bits of brass strip, and bolt these to the chassis sides.......some piano wire "L's" soldered to these strips and the pans, and I was done..........4 bolts to undo, and back to stock...

          Some K&B original front tires were glued/trued, and on the rear some original 1/24 Ortmann "grey" formula tires will provide really great grip.

          The tops of the aluminum chassis side rails have been trimmed about 1/16,.....this will allow the body to be lowered just a touch...far from "slammed", but, more like the real car.

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          To achieve freezing the drop arm (and allowing for adjustable guide height), a 1/16 hole was drilled in the drop arm (there was already a hole in the chassis plate) and a 2/56 bolt and nut was run through both....voila !!

          I have used a bit of brass strip between the top of the guide tongue and the chassis plate as both a spacer, and additional forward weight, and it will certainly be easy to lengthen/shorten this strip, for final weight height adjustments are easy enough, by adding/subtracting spacers, also between the drop arm and main chassis.

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          I also got rid of the crummy nylon front axle bushings and replaced them with some 1/8 x 1/4 oilites..........much better

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          So.......all in all, I am pleased, I have achieved the handling modifications that I was after, and it is as easy as pie to return the chassis to stock.

          Happy Holidays
          Chris Walker

          PS Some odds and ends to do on the chassis, then bodywork !!

          Last edited by chrisguyw; December 26, 2019, 06:55 PM.


          • #6
            OK I'm going to admit my dumbness, what is the purpose of all the brass? I understand locking down the swing arm,but from there I'm lost.
            I have a few of these cars so this is interesting.


            • #7
              Originally posted by 351c
              OK what is the purpose of all the brass? I understand locking down the swing arm,but from there I'm lost.
              I have a few of these cars so this is interesting.
              The K&B cars with their light aluminum chassis, (like many Vintage cars) benefit from some added weight......weight down low, and at the perimeter of the chassis, does wonders for the handling, which obviously results in lower lap times

              Happy Holidays
              Chris Walker


              • #8
                Awesome build!
                Team SCANC
                Woodland Trace Raceway - SlotZuka - Bent Tree Raceway
                OFI - Buena Vista Motorsports Park - Slotkins Glen
                Leadfinger Raceway


                • #9
                  Chris, another great build as always. Thanks for sharing all the photos for the details.
                  Come Race at The Trace!
                  Timberline Trace International Raceway - SW of Mpls, MN


                  • #10
                    1. How/where did you re-zap the magnets?
                    2. Maybe a pictorial on how you made the side pans?


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Reegs
                      1. How/where did you re-zap the magnets?
                      2. Maybe a pictorial on how you made the side pans?
                      Hi,........ I have access to a magnet zapper.

                      Sorry, but, I did not take any pics. of the pan assembly,...but, they were really quite simple,......if you look at the pics., I ...1/.... drilled a hole into 4 pieces of brass strip , and bolted these to the chassis, ...2/.... the ends were trimmed (with a dremel) to match the top and bottom of the aluminum chassis sides.... 3/ .... 4 "L's" were made from some .055 piano wire...4/....pans were cut...5/...The piano wire "L's" were soldered to the edges of the brass strips, and to the top surface(s) of the chassis pans,...........a bit of a clean up, and all done !!

                      These really help handling, and should you want to revert to a stock looking chassis, undo 4 bolts, and no one would know they were ever there

                      Chris Walker


                      • #12
                        Not a lot of progress, as we just got back from the warmer weather, but, I have managed to finish the rolling chassis..........I did change the stock K&B gear ratio to one of their accessory 3. 4 to 1 ratio sets, and the car is much happier

                        With everything trued up, the added sidepans, and the motor work, it runs much much better than your average K&B

                        I have made a good start on the body, but, won't post anything until it is finished.......with most folks (me included) trying to practice "social distancing" these days, I will have some time to finish it up soon.

                        Chris Walker

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                        Last edited by chrisguyw; March 18, 2020, 02:42 PM.


                        • #13
                          Beautiful car Chris! Can't wait to see it with a body on top, I am sure it will look great as usual!



                          • #14


                            • #15
                              simply put this is purely "Artwork"