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Racing Hop-Up Hints - Updated 11-May-2005


Here are some hop-up hints for modern racers. Hope they help!

1. A Good Use For Old Cassette Tapes

Many old and worn-out cassette tapes are held together with five screws. These screws are the perfect size for T-Jets! They are a bit smaller than the standard screws so they won't split the posts.

Also, I've found that some of the rollers inside the cassettes make nice wheels.

2. Converting Tyco TCR Cars to Work on Slotted Track

The Jam Car easily accepted the push-in AFX guide pin in the front hole where middle pickup shoe went. I also removed the big ugly rear bumper. It's still ugly as sin, but it has no magnet and the worm gear drive is fast enough to be challenging on a home track. I have one with the weight in it and one without and they're both fun to drive.

The normal TCR chassis, which will take any Tyco body, required drilling to accept a Tomy SG+ guide pin, but it has a wicked top end. On my little home track it needs a 60+ ohm controller just to be driveable.

A neat feature of both cars is that they always go forward. The Jam Car has electronics on a small circuit board that makes sure the current always goes the right direction and the normal TCR chassis has two crown gears that slip in one direction and catch in the other.

3. Lowering the Tyco Lumina/Grand Prix

Lowering the Tyco is a bit of a challenge, because of the mounting. But I was able to do it pretty well on the SECOND attempt. The Lumina/Grand Prix body is pretty easy to work with.

Take a standard hacksaw and cut from the back wheelwell to the front wheelwell on both sides. Then, using superglue, glue the pieces back on. The hacksaw removes about 6 scale inches from the height.

When gluing the pieces back on, make sure you push them toward the center enough to fit snuggly on a chassis. Then reshape the wheelwells with sandpaper wrapped around a pen or dowel and paint the body.

Slammed Tyco

Here's a "slammed" Tyco next to a stock one.

4. Lowering the Tomy Super G+

Super G+ bodies are easy to lower, as long as they use the body clips. With the body clip the SG+ chassis will also fit most AFX bodies.

On each end of the body clip is a "step" that can be removed. This will allow the body clip to move vertically within the body.

After modifying the 75 cent body clip, put it on a chassis and then put a body on and see how far up it goes. If you want to then hollow out the wheel wells more, you can. If you don't want to hollow out the wheel wells then put a thin piece of cardboard between the wheelwell and the tire so the chassis is positioned where you want it in the body.

Then glue the body clip into the body. After the glue dries, remove any cardboard spacers, or make your wheel wells larger, if needed.

You can still remove the chassis from the body and body clip, but the whole thing is much less likely to come off in a race. The lower center of gravity doesn't hurt none either.

Slammed Tomy

Note the difference between the stock SG+ and the "slammed" version.

5. How to Solder to Plastic Track

The trick is to put a damp sponge on the other side of the track when you solder. It helps absorb the heat and keeps the plastic from melting as quickly.

Then, I used hot glue to fasten the wires to the track and prevent tension on the solder joints. It took a little while to solder all 16 wires (2 rails, 4 lanes, 2 power places) but they have held up very well.

If you're like most of us, you've got dozens of 9" curves to experiment on. I destroyed a couple before I got the results I wanted and then did the real stuff on straights.

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