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How to get HO scale slot cars to realistic speed and handling.

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  • How to get HO scale slot cars to realistic speed and handling.

    I am downsizing from 1/43 to HO and have seen many HO layouts. I want to remain an oval racer, but the 1,000 mph sale speed and the lack of fishtailing and drifting because of the extreme traction magnets make this scale unappealing. How can one attain realistic speed and handling in these cars--without having to buyT-Jets or Vibrators on eBay?
    Last edited by nerfbarz; July 19, 2021, 10:11 PM.

  • #2
    The Auto World X-Traction with the small round traction magnet removed offers really realistic performance. I even run them with the stock rear tires and they are a lot o fun to drive.

    You can also try the Bulldog Brass Class HO slot car chassis which is based of the Tomy AFX Turbo but with a brass weight instead of the bar traction magnet -
    BRS Hobbies - Online shopping for slot cars in all scales, RC crawlers & more!


    • ourwayband
      ourwayband commented
      Editing a comment
      What Brian says.Fun racing with the little mag removed..

    • WB2
      WB2 commented
      Editing a comment
      Ditto on both points.
      I also run Auto World Series III cars (NASCAR and Indy cars) with the traction magnets removed. I’ve found urethane tires are more to my liking than silicones on the oval.
      My old SRTs have the traction magnets replaced with brass slugs that weigh much more than the ones in Bulldog cars or G-Jets.
      Again, I run on 12 volts.

    • TuscoTodd
      TuscoTodd commented
      Editing a comment
      Brian - thank you for sharing that link - I hadn't seen those before - looks like I need to place an order!

  • #3
    I have several of the Bulldog chassis with plastic bodies on them & they are great!
    Lower track voltage to 12 or so will give you more realistic speeds too.

    Don't be afraid to experiment to get handling that you like out of these cars.

    Check out the HO Proxy, these cars are based on Auto World Ultra G's and are a ton of fun & easy to build.


    • #4
      Besides the original Aurora T-Jets there are plenty of clones available. The most commonly found ones are the Thunderjet 500 cars from Johnny Lightning and Auto World. The newest Auto World cars have neodymium traction magnets that would have to be removed. Dash and Wizzard sell reproductions of the Aurora T-Jet chassis. The Dash cars can be bought as a complete car or a rolling chassis, you supply the body guide pin and body screws. For now Wizzard only sells a bare chassis. With the neo traction magnet removed the X-Traction cars still have a little magnetic downforce, they do not want to slide much if you use good tires, but you may like them with the stock rubber tires.
      There are actually two different Bulldog cars available, the first is the one that BRS Hobbies mentioned, the other is a gravity type car. Gravity cars have no magnetic downforce, they are usually run at lower voltages, they can be expensive, and more difficult to find because they are made in limited numbers.
      You might consider getting a good variable regulated power supply, that would allow you to dial back the voltage for cars that are too difficult to drive or crank it up for slow cars that are too stuck down. You may find that the controllers that you are now using will not be appropriate for different cars.


      • #5
        Realistic speeds are a missing factor in all forms of slot car racing as I see it. Too fast is not a concept many racers understand, but a blur buzzing around a track like a rocket on rails has nothing to do with any sort of racing I've ever attended or watched. On the other end of the scale, cars creeping around a track too slow to deslot is no fun either.

        Finding a compromise between those extremes can be hard. Back when I raced HO cars I resisted using silicone tires because those cars were just too fast for my taste and had too much grip. I had 1 wall wart per lane but hadn't heard about using adjustable power supplies to further slow things down. I don't remember exactly what type of chassis I used under mostly homemade bodies but I think they were from basic AFX and Tyco cars I could get at a local department store since there weren't any hobby stores in the area. This was in the late 70's when you could actually get HO cars and tracks in the toy department at many larger stores.

        My oval was made from AFX track and I stayed away from magnetic traction cars. You might also consider routing your own track and using components that don't interact with magnets.


        • #6
          This is a good question.

          The voltage is a big variable, it’s great the AFX sets now come with power supplies with three voltage settings. The other variable is traction from tires and magnets.

          I think the cars from Dash are great for running well without traction magnets and they now offer race ready chassis to the public.


          • #7
            I'm not sure how much you can change on an HO car. To keep speed in perspective, we have a limit of 3.95 minimum lap time on our 1/24 street cars and 3.85 for purpose built race cars. I am thinking of changing street cars time to 4.0 per lap and slowing them just a little. These time limits keep a Ford Mustang from running equal to an Indy roadster. Fine line to run fast enough to need some driving ability, but slow enough to see cars and enjoy racing. Ultimate speed wouldn't be much fun on our home tracks. Close racing and moderate speed make it much more enjoyable. It's easy to slow large cars with gears, tire size and weight.
            Matt B
            So. In


            • #8
              Anyone care to post videos on how to tune cars to slow them down?

              I agree with Matt B, a slot car's speed should match what it's a replica of. An F1 car should be super quick and a Legend car should be much slower and require more skill to drive. Even with old-ish eyes it's nice to clearly see cars as they go around the track.


              • #9
                Volts are RPM! Install one of these for each controller ...............................

                Works like a charm in controlling the amount of speed and the amount of fun.
                Last edited by GoldGuy; July 21, 2021, 04:06 PM.


                • GTI
                  GTI commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Do you have any pics and wiring diagrams for us that really are not sure what to do with that piece of hardware

              • #10
                Click image for larger version  Name:	2020121720425661-1005123.jpg Views:	1 Size:	237.9 KB ID:	109846

                There are 'in' and 'out' labeled connectors, DC to DC. I have two, one for each controller, for my two lane short track oval raceway. They are installed between the power source and each controller. You can now dial in the wanted voltage very accurately using the readout. Simple and easy to do. This devise and the proper electronic controller totally changed my 'no magnet' racing experience into something more realistic. Close racing and lots of action for the brave who can power through the corners like the real thing.

                I'm running 1/43 on Ninco track with proper flags installed on each car.
                Last edited by GoldGuy; July 21, 2021, 07:50 PM.