After looking at those classic books shown a few pages ago, I finally bought enough (to do like 20 cars) some brass and spent a Sunday afternoon with a 47 watt soldering gun, flux, and some silver solder. I was determined to make a chassis for a 917K but soon discovered I made the wheelbase too short and mounted the engine too high. So, I resorted to Plan B - mounting the chassis on my Wiggle Mobile dune buggy (by Eldon). A perfect storm occurred. It has now come to my attention that driving a brass chassis car is wonderful. Just like the move from a plastic track to a wood track. Looks like I will be building quite a few more in the time to come!
My first attempt at a brass chassis. No jigs used, simply eyeballed and set on the track a couple of times to align things by sight. Took all afternoon to build this one. I figure my next one will be much quicker! Above you see one of my mistakes - the guide drop arm needs to have the vertical tube angled back so that its 90-degrees when in the resting/dropped position. Next time I will note this! The Maribuchi motor is simply soldered into place against the rear axle housing. I will go over the whole car to shine it up and sand away some of the silver solder.
I used 1/16 rod for the majority of the chassis. 3/32 tubing was used for where the 1/16 rod would insert into. I used 3/32 piano wire for the axles and 5/32 tubing for the axle tubes. Wheels are from BWA and tires are my own secret blend. And yes, the bright red tires are stickier than the maroon tires!! Factory Fly Firestones up front. Motor was donated from a well abused Scalextric Porsche. Slot.It spur gear, Fly guide.
Notice how I mounted my motor too high? Next time I plan on a much lower center of gravity. Also, you do NOT need the lead weight I show here...that was just to experiment. The mess of hot glue is to prevent the wires from shorting out on the brass chassis - I used a Fly guide and it's center pin is way too close to the leads...something I will have to adjust for on my next chassis. Scalextric guides would even be worse since they tuck the braid around the guide, guaranteeing a short. The plastic spacers on the axles were just in there for fun. I have since changed to a steel 3/32 axle and shortened appropriately. I added the metal plate you see a couple of pictures below to give me something to screw into for the body.
The great thing about a brass
chassis car is you can really up the voltage on the track - all
the way to 15 volts if you want and still have GREAT driveability.
If you are running plastic chassis, keep it down between 7 and
9 for best results. It's hard to describe it but you can really
feel the difference when the car has some decent weight and good
Here's another afternoon quickie...after this, I am buying a chassis jig. It is almost impossible to eyeball long chassis like this. It runs but I will have to resolder the front axle to make it parallel with the rear...otherwise, it worked out well. Notice the bend in the middle of the chassis to slam the front of the car down...sweet!
That Carrera guide flag plain sucks - it's pointed in the middle - there is not a reason on earth why this should be so. Go figure. So, I will shave it flat to make the bottom parallel with the top...currently, the car hops out of the slot thanks in no small part to my secret formula tires!
Now that's slammed...with the back up as it should be...
I also added a radio tower blinking light (google train LED tower lights) and some HO scale street lights. While completely out of scale, in truth, they work out really well and when the lights are out you don't really notice the scale difference. And the red LED really adds to the flavour due to its blinking - I plan to add a second one at the other end of the race track.
The picture below shows a "welding light" underneath a Porsche 917K. Two bright white LEDs blink randomly while the blue LED remains constant. It's a great effect. Highly recommended. I encourage you all to steak ideas from those crazy train guys and utilize them on your slot layouts. Now if only someone could convince them to make people that do not have luggage attached to their hands or looking like they are at a picnic!!
Every Christmas, this car gets more attention.
Long discontinued, I found two of them on sale. So, while the one
below is still factory
tied down, the second one was put under the knife to perform on a
One of the biggest improvements was lowering the guide into the body...that took a lot of careful dremeling. To account for the dropped front, I had to put some thin tires on the factory rims to help with the ride. All of this made a HUGE difference in keeping the car on the track. Notice I kept the original pinion and factory motor...but the Slot It crown gear really made a difference in driveability. No need to convert this to brass as it drives very nice now.
Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18
Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Night Driving (23) Making Tires (24) Brass Chassis (25)
Switching Scales (26) Routed HO (27) Rails Installed (28) Oval Action (29)
New 1/32 Beginning (30) Construction (31) Routing (32) Painting and Taping (33) Power Taps and Timing (34)
Up and Running (35) Scenery (36) More Slot Racing (37)
Once you go wood, you won't go back! Brass too!
All Images Copyright Michael Nyberg
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