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Friday Night build reference post...

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  • Friday Night build reference post...

    I originally posted this on the old forum and have been asked to reshare it as a reference for the upcoming HO Proxy.
    As has been noted in the main proxy thread, there has been a couple changes in availability of wheels/tires that will need updating in the "rules sheet" shown below - but hopefully those that are considering joining in the fun will find the information / pictures below a handy reference!
    So with that - here we go!

    What is a "Friday Night" class car? Rules and Build inside!
    (Originally posted on the old HRW forum)

    I wanted to share the rules and the simple method to assembling what has become a local favorite - the Akron-Canton OH HO "Friday Night" class cars!

    The cars are based off the Johnny Lightning / Auto World Thunderjet chassis, which is relatively inexpensive, readily available and comes with a WIDE variety of body options! The class puts fairly strict limits on what is allowed to be done to the cars, as the goal is to have a fun, inexpensive class where the cars run reliably and have very similar performance. That is something that this class has definitely accomplished making for great door to door racing action!

    First up - here are the rules that we utilize for the class:
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    Last edited by TuscoTodd; February 27, 2021, 07:44 PM.

  • #2
    Now for a walk through of the simple conversion of a standard Auto World car to "Friday Night" specs!

    Starting with a standard Johnny Lightning / Auto World Thunderjet:

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    Note - there are two general types of Johnny Lightning / Auto World chassis.
    The earlier released ThunderJet type shown on the left and the newer ThunderJet Ultra-G shown on the right. As can be noted with the green pointer, the newer Ultra-G chassis comes with and added button traction magnet - if this version chassis is used, this magnet ad its plastic surround will need to be removed.

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    There are a limited number of items that the rules allow as upgrades for the class. They include wheels, tires and pickup shoes as the primaries.
    Staring with the wheels and tires...

    For removal, there are a number of methods that can be used, however, one of the nicest methods and handiest tools I have found to use is the RT-HO wheel / pinion puller (RT-300 available here: )
    It has VERY thin fingers that allow getting into the thin gap that is typical between the wheel and chassis on a T-jet.

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    Wheels removed!

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    • #3
      The wheels and tires that are allowed for this class are very basic and are designed to keep cost down while improving performance and driveability.
      - For the rear - the choice is limited to RT-HO double flange RT-265 or RT-270 wheels (builder's preference) and RT-HO silicone RT-275 tires. (NOTE: This choice is being updated due to changes in availability from the manufacturer so use these part numbers as a reference only at this time - it will likely be expanded to include RT-135 for the wheels and Super Tires part # for the rear tires to be determined )

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      - For the front - again, the choice is limited to an RT-HO brass weighted front end in one of four weight/tire combinations (part numbers RT-240 through RT-255). As can be seen in the picture below, I chose the heaviest (2.3 gram) / smallest tire (.302") version for this build as I find it makes the most stable platform for how I prefer to drive.
      RT-240 360 BRASS 0.310" 1.310" RT-007 2.3 GRAMS
      RT-245 360 BRASS 0.302" 1.310" RT-007 2.3 GRAMS
      RT-255 360 BRASS 0.325" 1.310" RT-008 2.3 GRAMS
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      For installation of the new rear wheels and tires and to help insure that they get pressed on straight, I use a wheel press from Lucky Bob (Lucky Bob - LB2000)

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      The front axle assembly is composed of: a drill blank axle, brass hubs, o-ring tires and two small hub retainers for each end of the axle. (these have a sneaky habit of wanting to wander off - so working on a towel or in a tray is recommended)
      I have found the easiest method of installation is to place the retainer on a hard surface, place the hub over it and then install the axle from the back side and send it home with a light tapping action.

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      Last edited by TuscoTodd; February 27, 2021, 07:46 PM.


      • #4
        I prefer to upgrade the pick up shoes on my builds with Wizzard E86 Dynamic pickup shoes or Slottech 1440 shoes as they have a slightly larger / flatter contact area (stock shoe on top - Wizzard shoe on the bottom)
        (available from places like Lucky Bob's, etc)

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        It is recommended, for consistent handling, to glue the guide pin to the chassis. A small drop of CA type glue, applied to the area noted, works well. Note - it is recommended that the area be roughened up slightly before glue application to enhance adhesion.

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        Due to the small front tire I choose to run, a countersunk, beveled machine screw is a necessary upgrade over the factory pan screw to retain the body. While a countersunk, aftermarket guide pin can be substituted - I find that using a 3/16 drill bit - lightly by hand, produces the required relief in the factory guide pin.
        For a screw I utilize a 1-72 x 1/4" screw (the best source I have found for these in bulk is also through RT-HO)

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        Beyond this, it is just a matter of lowering the body and getting ready for the testing at the track!

        Here is the same Camaro shown on the right side of the first picture at the top, now prepped and ready for some racing fun!

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        • #5
          Todd, This has been very helpful. Thank you
          Robert- Shoreline Model Raceways Club
          Connecticut, U.S.A.


          • #6
            Absolute EXCELLENT info TT....great pictured toot!!!
            TOM...HOME RACING GOO GOO!!!
            Warren, Ohio


            • #7
              Thank you for posting this " how to" Todd!

              Very well done, I know it'll help out anyone who wants to join in the proxy fun!


              • #8
                Glad to reshare this! Hopefully it makes things a bit simpler for those jumping in on the proxy. Combine this with the information Rich D has shared in the past on tuning t-jet chassis and it should definitely simplify getting an entry put together.


                • #9
                  Gosh, this was a fun class of car to build and run. The vice thing is you don’t need an old tjet chassis, can get something new and make a great runner.
                  Mike - Galena Ohio

                  "When you're back there with the squirrels, you're bound to get your nuts cracked." - Graham Rahal



                  • TuscoTodd
                    TuscoTodd commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Hope to see you jump in on this one as well Mike!
                    (possibly even add your oval to the host track list?)

                • #10
                  Solid gold sir, thank you.


                  • #11
                    The toughest, & probably the most effective tuning point for (me) is to get the pick-up to track contact on point. That fine tune can make a rocket from a slug, but it is a fine line.

                    still some work to this yet but getting closer

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                    Last edited by Mark Thomas; March 14, 2021, 10:52 AM.


                    • #12

                      I finally made one of these from an blunted phillips driver. Aurora used to supply them for the Vibe cars and their finicky shoes. You can adjust the contact patch right on the chassis. Weeeeeee!

                      Gets you in the nook ...

                      ... and the cranny.

                      Best of all ... it was free!


                      • noddaz
                        noddaz commented
                        Editing a comment
                        How did you cut that slot in that screw driver? Dremel wizz wheel and a steady hand?

                        Scott, without such a tool or steady hands
                        Last edited by noddaz; May 27, 2021, 05:04 PM.

                      • Model Murdering
                        Model Murdering commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Hi Scott,

                        I went down into the1:1 shop and bucked the spent phillips end off with the big whizzer, then spun it on the bench grinder to get it flat. I jogged back upstairs and put it in my little table vice in the slot cave, marked the center cut with the edge of a triangle diamond file, and made the cut as you surmised.

                        After cutting the slot, I ended up opening the first part of the throat slightly, so the tool self locates; and slides agreeably onto the shoes, without having to fidget with it much. One of the best slot gadgets I ever made.


                    • #13
                      Just for the sake of asking, what could a guy do to the stock front axle if he were to decide to use it rather than purchase a brass set? longer axle, weight the plastic wheels, true stock tires to the spec of the aftermarket set. asking for a friend ....00'''' ''''00....

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                      • #14
                        Just a question while I try to drive between the rules here.

                        rule #8
                        Wheel wells can NOT be opened up/ground

                        What if I gently heat up something to flare the rear 1/4 wheel opening without removing any plastic.
                        Or does that count as "opened up".

                        (Freakin' Camaros with their HUGE @#$ fender flares and wheel openings that AJs cannot even fill up.)

                        Just tell me NO. I won't have any feelings hurt. I am just trying to exploit a loophole that isn't even there! Don't tell anyone.

                        Scott (Trying to channel Smokey Yunick)

                        Why doesn't my car run like that?



                        • TuscoTodd
                          TuscoTodd commented
                          Editing a comment
                          I know for our local rules that would be a big "NO" as that falls under the "opened up" part of the rule.