Tips To Improve The Performance Of Your HO Slot Cars

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Slot cars are powered small vehicles that are assisted by a slot or groove set in the tracks on which they run. At the bottom of the car is a blade or pin that keeps the car in the slot. To make the car run, the metal strips placed next to the slot deliver power to the car motor. Such power is picked up by contacts found beside the guide flag, under the front portion of the slot car. The voltage is controlled via a resistor in the hand controller.

HO slot cars operate on similar principle. The only difference is, in HO models, the current is transported through thin metal rails which are hardly seen above the track surface and are placed farther from the slot. These cars usually have electrical contacts dubbed as pick up shoes. These shoes are directly installed to the chassis and it usually uses round guide pin rather than swiveling flag.

These days, traction magnets are employed to deliver downforce, which helps hold the car in the track especially when it is running at higher speeds. There are also enthusiasts who believe that there’s greater challenge in magnet-free racing.

For serious slot car racers out there, here are some tips that will help improve your slot car’s speed:

1. Maintain the cleanliness of your slot.
It pays a lot to keep your slot clean. You can do this by detaching the body and visually inspecting the car’s chassis regularly. Pick up shoes must be clean and should float freely. Also inspect the wheel hubs to be sure they do not rub on the car’s chassis. Spin the tires and see if there are bent axles. If there are any worn components, replace them long before they fail. Remember: nothing beats the performance and longevity of a clean slot car.

2. Use oil in moderation.
Oil keeps the chassis and motor of your car lubricated but use only the right amount. For your chassis’ axle bearings, a small drop at every bearing is sufficient enough to keep it spinning. You’ll also need a drop of oil in the front and rear motor end bells to keep the armature lubricated.

3. Choose only one slot car.
Avoid switching slot cars and chassis frequently. By using only one car, you can be familiar with its handling characteristics, making it easy for you to tweak it to your preference.

4. Practice.
By spending more time on your chosen chassis, it will be easier for you to develop some techniques and tricks that make your car perform better than its rivals. Run your slot car on all the lanes, especially those inner lanes with very tight turns. Do this regularly. A lot of practice makes you know your chassis more as well as its exceptional characteristics. It is also through practicing that you’ll be able to find out chassis and motor problems long before the serious competition.

Almost all the tips involved in improving your car’s speed are free. Other cost-effective ways of enhancing the performance of your HO slot cars is replacing rear tires and giving the pick up shoes an upgrade.

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