Quick Restorations: Scalextric Metros and Datsun

A few months ago I brought two non running Scalextric Metro 6R4s from eBay with the intent of cutting them up for a future project on this blog. Upon arrival, however, I found that they were in too good of a condition to pull apart. So I put them aside to restore them.

Another car I’ve had sitting for about a year awaiting restoration is the Datsun 260Z Craig Hamnett sent me with K.I.T.T. Again this car was going to become a donor car for my other Datsun which has a crack in the chassis but as it was exclusive to the Knight Rider set I thought it best to save it.

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All three had the same problems to fix before they would run again. Deteriorated rear tyres (which is common on cars this age) and a worn pinion gear which was stopping the motor from turning the rear wheels. Thankfully Scalextric Restorations reproduce all these parts!

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First let’s tackle the Metros. A lot of these 1970s and 1980s cars don’t have screws to hold the bodies together and both the Metro and Datsun are no exception. With these the chassis slots into the body at either end. Push the front axle towards the back of the body so the chassis itself bends very slightly and the front pops out.

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With the body off it will be easier to change the rear tyres and change the gear. The tyres imply slip on and off the wheel. You can see here the white gear is too far back and is not making contact with the rear axle.

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Normally you would need this Ninco gear puller or a similar tool to remove these gears but the ones on all three cars were so worn they just pulled right off! The new ones took a little more force but pushed on by hand too. If you use brass gears they will most definitely need the tool to get on.

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Now all that is left is to put it back together! It all comes apart and goes back together super simply.

The Datsun is also simple to take apart. You see the black plastic square where the registration plate would be on the full size car? That is what is holding the rear of the chassis to the body. Push that in and the chassis will fold down and come out. You may need a tool to push it in as they can be stiff. a T25 sized Torx head driver does the job nicely. Don’t use anything sharp as it will indent the panel.

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The Datsun also had a missing guide and braids. The guide “steers” the car through the slots in the track and the braids create the electrical circuit between the track and the motor. Without them the car won’t be going far!

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The car was also missing the little pins that connect the wire to the braids inside the guide.

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The exposed wire goes down the hole in the  centre of the pin. I then fold it back around the outside of the pin to make sure it is super strong and then doesn’t come out!

You then poke the pin and wire down into the top of the guide so the pin is pressed against the copper braid. This will make your electrical connection.

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The guide goes into the chassis like an expanding trim clip in a full size car. Just push it up into the hole for it in the chassis and the sides will spring out to hold it in place.

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All back together again!

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I also added some detail to the body. It’s actually a nicely detailed shell but Scalextric didn’t colour it in. I’ve added brake lights, reverse lights, rear and side indicators and the chrome trim around the window and door handles.

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All three are now done in the space of an afternoon! The beauty of restoring slot cars is that they are very quick and easy to do! This era car makes for some fun and challenging racing too!

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