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Help cleaning copper tape

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  • Help cleaning copper tape

    Looking for recommendations for cleaning the usual oily, rubbery grime and oxidation from copper tape without harming the adhesive. I know the plastic track guys love Inox for their rails. What’s best for tape?

  • #2
    A little Ronsonol lighter fluid on the braids works pretty well. Just have a rag to clean those braids and repeat.
    -Harry

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    • #3
      Lighter fluid is probably fine, I used to spray a little WD40 and run some some laps. I still spray WD40 on the brushes and run a lap or two just to clean them.
      Matt B
      So. In
      Crashers

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      • #4
        First, I use a wire or nylon brush in the Dremel at low speed to clean the braid of the car.
        Then a drop of RailZip on each braid, and run several laps in each lane. Clean the braid again (usually picks up all the crud).
        Come Race at The Trace!
        Timberline Trace International Raceway - SW of Mpls, MN

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        • #5
          WD40 contains some oil, if you want to clean the car's braids you can spray it on the braids and then wipe them off. If you want to clean the track tape and you spray WD40 on the braids, then put the car on the track the volatile part of the formulation will evaporate before the car has gone very far and then only the oil will be on the braids. Carbon dioxide in the air reacts with copper tape and forms a coating that is not conductive. If you run your track often the car's braids will remove the coating before it becomes a problem. If the track is not used for weeks at a time the cars may not run well until the coating is removed. If you spray WD40 on a rag and wipe sections of the tape at a time with that you can clean off the coating. Contact cleaner or lighter fluid would also work. Those will also remove rubber, oil and grease. Avoid using excess amounts of solvents that might attack the adhesive that holds the copper tape down. Inox may work as well, you can give it a try. If you have already removed the coating by other means Inox should help to keep the coating from forming again.
          Last edited by RichD; January 17, 2020, 09:06 AM.

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          • #6
            For years I have sprayed WD 40 on the braids and ran a few laps,...... We only had a 40 foot track and it did not evaporate before we ran a few laps............ it cleaned the tape as good as you could want........................... We still do the same thing on the braided track....................No brushing, no rubbing, no work, just spray and run some laps.
            Matt B
            So. In
            Crashers

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            • #7
              I only use a dry paper towel to clean copper tape. We don't use any liquids on our tracks.

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              • #8
                i don't remember any of us ever having to clean our track contacts, be they steel, copper or braid. (except perhaps HO)
                a Tiny bit of your favorite braid juice/ inox/ rail juice/ whatever on the car when you put it on and you're good.

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                • #9
                  Thanks, everyone. I think I’ll just continue cleaning the guide flag braid with lighter fluid and resolve to spend more time racing to let the braid rub the tape clean.

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                  • #10
                    not to beat a dead horse, but the lighter fluid will clean, but not lubricate/ assist conductivity very much. a little drop of light oil works wonders and also helps head off oxidation.
                    i'll bet that you've got a bottle of ATF around in your garage. many old braid juices used that as a base, along with some glycerin thickener. try a drop of that on each braid and run the car around.
                    Last edited by SpeedyNH; January 17, 2020, 02:47 AM.

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                    • #11
                      Be aware that ATF will attack plastic track, so it would be best to use it in moderation. When I raced on commercial 1/24th scale tracks people would slobber a lot of braid juice on their car's braid and put the car on the track without wiping off the braids. As a result the track braid in front of the driver's stations became unstuck after a few years.

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                      • #12
                        So here's a question? I often get a copper residue on my urethane tires, is that because I need to clean my tape? I never have, we just use the track so often.

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                        • #13
                          i've never ever seen the copper come off on tires. have you worn through the tape yet? LOL

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                          • #14
                            Oh yeah, we see the tape residue on tires plenty of times. Just clean the tires and keep hunting
                            -Harry

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                            • #15
                              aha.

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