Today we’re going to be stripping two older projects and making one car of the two, which will hopefully get used a bit more frequently.
A few years ago I converted an old die-cast chicken van into a slot car, which you can read about here: https://motorsportformentalhealth.com/2017/09/12/die-cast-chicken-van-slot-conversion/
It was a pretty cool project, but I didn’t really use it very often and it seemed a waste having that nice Slot It HRS2 adjustable chassis underneath a heavy die-cast shell.
The second car was this Ninco Porsche that I made rear engined.
The concept worked but it was a very messy scratch build.
I’ve been working with brass quite a bit over the past couple of years as I’ve been building O Gauge railway wagons. I’ve therefore gained a bit of experience soldering and properly making things out of brass, so I’d like to revisit making a rear engined slot car in the future.
Porsche body shells turn up all the time online and at swap meets. I think this 996 is far too good to be sat in a box so it’s a perfect candidate for todays build.
If you’d like to check out the original build you can do so here: https://motorsportformentalhealth.com/2016/04/21/rear-engined-porsche-scratch-build-fail-the-initial-build/
First job was the peel out the huge block of wood I was using a chassis mount
I then cut the original body mount posts away and reinforced either end of the “interior” card with hot glue, as it was letting in light from the ends.
The wheelbase of the Slot It HRS2 chassis is really easy to adjust and it was soon sitting under the Porsche. The front wheels do stick out from under the arches though and will require some basic surgery to get to fit.
I was also hoping to use the chassis’ original side mounting. It’s a tight fit though, so I opted to make some body posts which we’ll talk about later.
One thing that was bugging me about the body was this open front grill. The original chassis would have sat behind it to black it out.
To fix it, I just hot glued in a little bit of black card as I had done the interior. Hot glue guns are a must have for any slot car builder!
Now to make the new body posts.
I’ve used a length of 8mm dowel to make the posts.
To see where to mount them in the body, find two suitable holes in the chassis that you could put the mounting screws through, then place the chassis into the body to see where those holes will sit in the car (I hope that makes sense).
Getting the height right does take a bit of messing about. You want to measure from the shell to where you want the chassis to sit.
If that measurement is say, between 10 and 11mm, cut the dowel to 11mm and then sand off the excess.
I then placed the chassis into the car, and then using a 0.8mm drill bit I drilled a guide hole through the holes in the chassis into the dowel.
A standard Scalextric screw can then be used to mount the body. The dowel is soft enough for the thread on the screw the carve it’s own path.
Fixing the front track width was a fairly easy task too.
The front wheels that came with the HRS2 are plastic push fit wheels.
Metal slot car wheels come with a section at the back with you can feed a tiny grub screw into to hold the wheel to the axle (as pictured).
The plastic wheels don’t actually need that section as they are push fit rather than held on by a grub screw.
The front track width needed narrowing by 1.5mm on either side. So I sanded 1.5mm off of that raised section of each wheel and then cut 3mm from the front axle with a small razor saw.
The wheels are push fit, but I did put a dab of superglue on the ends of the axle to make sure they don’t fall off!
Ready for testing!
The initial testing went well.
The track at my Dad’s, where this car will mostly be used, is Scalextric Sport track, and it’s in the loft. The cold temperature, smooth surface of the track and fairly old tyres meant that there wasn’t enough mechanical grip in the car. It just wanted to fish tail everywhere!
I decided to put a little magnet in it….
There’s a small rectangular slot, ahead of the motor, in the chassis which suggests to me that this chassis would have originally came with a magnet.
Just ahead of that is the perfect space for a little button magnet (circled).
I can’t remember where I got these magnets, but they’re quite weak which is perfect for what I want. I don’t want it to feel glued to the track, but I want to be able to use the throttle without the back wanting to overtake the front.
A little hot glue holds the magnet in place, so I can easily remove it if I want to.
It sort of did the job! Ultimately it will need new rear tyres, but it’s much much more useable with the magnet. Getting those ordered will be a job for another day though.
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By Richard Francis