Carrera problem guides

How DO they do that??

Carrera problem guides

Postby wixwacing » Fri 02 Apr, 2010 5:33 pm

One of the ongoing problems with modern slotcars is the disparity in slot guide dimensions. Not a big problem for most models but still a source of annoyance for some of the market leaders, and one in particular. Because Carrera have opted for a track system which can comfortably accommodate 1/ 24 scale models, the knock on effect is that the guide system for their 1/ 32 models seems a bit cumbersome when being used on dedicated 1/32 scale tracks. The first problem is the width of the guide. At 1. 90 m.m. it is possibly the thickest guide the average home racer is likely to come across.

The problem this causes is with the tighter turns on commercial plastic track. The guide length / thickness ratio causes it to get stuck in inner curves from the other popular manufacturers. Also, my experience is that on some of the more technical board tracks about the place the same problem is present on the tighter bends.

The problem is caused by the front and rear edges of the guide wedging against the outer edge of the slot while the centre of the guide wedges against the inner edge of the slot simultaneously. The common fix to date seems to be some drastic action with the sidecutters, cutting off the front and / or rear leading edges of the guide, effectively shortening the guide and allowing it to pass through tighter radii

The Carrera guide is not the longest guide in the market place and shortening it can see it be reduced dramatically in length. Whether this has any great effect on its function as a guide I can’t say, but I do feel uncomfortable about this measure and even though it is unsubstantiated, I suspect there are ramifications somewhere along the way, otherwise we might still be using the old guide pins preferred in the early sixties? And why can we buy competition guides from several manufacturers which are invariably three or four millimetres longer? Mmmmmmmmmm!

Anyway, effective or not, I took a new look at the problem. I have a De Tomaso which is fun to drive and not too far off the pace when it comes to competition and as trimming the guide length was abhorrent to me, I sat down for a few minutes to see if there was an alternative solution. It didn’t take long before the solution was apparent. Some of the seventies Spanish Scalextric cars used to be fixed with a screw up through the centre of the guide into the body. This had to have the centre part of the blade removed to allow the screw to be fitted. Why not remove or reduce the centre part of the Carrera guide

I plugged the dremel in and fitted a gemstone barrel grinder into the chuck and proceeded to reduce the thickness of the centre of the guide. Over three quarters of the guide was affected and the end result was a ‘waisted’ guide. With the front and rear edges at normal thickness and centre reduced to less than 0.5 m.m. the ‘pinch moment’ had been removed and the guide length had been retained. My next trip to a friends track confirmed this as a fix and without any noticeable side effects. So In future I will use the same treatment and not a last minute hack with the side cutters, trackside!!

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