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Scalextric AMC Javelin for WHO/digital Trans-Am
#1

   

I put together this guide to help another club racer prepare his Scalextric AMC Javelin for the WHO/digital Trans-Am class. The Javelin is about 5mm narrower, a few mms longer and handles quite differently to the Scalextric and Pioneer sidewinder cars that are the bread and butter of our Wednesday night pairs racing. It took me a while to tune my own Javelin until it was a race winner...

Parts...
  • Scalextric C3876 AMC Javelin
  • Scalextric C8515 Digital Plug (Rev G version)
  • Paul Gage PGT-21125 tyres XPG compound
  • Mitoos copper braid
  • Pendle Slot Racing (PSR) 2mm lead sheet
The WHO/digital Trans-Am build guidelines allow for minor modifications to be made to run a standard car with no magnets - racing tyres, body ‘float’, ballast, gluing motor & bearings, plus varnishing front tyres.

1. Body float - There are two things to remove from the bottom of the body and cockpit to aid body float - the four lugs that clip onto the chassis and the axle brace. The latter pulls out (lever with a small screwdriver), the lugs need cutting with a scalpel.

   

I have sanded down the corresponding tabs on the chassis. They could be removed with a scalpel. I have also sanded about 1mm from the each edge of the chassis - each side, front and back. I used an emery board on a flat surface. The exhaust pipes on the Javelin mean this isn’t an easy a job as with other cars. ‘Minor sanding’ could be specified more specifically in the guidelines, but 1mm is enough and is hardly noticeable from an aesthetic point of view.

One final thing to do is not to tighten the body screws fully. Loosen them by ½ to a full turn until the body ‘floats’ sideways, back & forth and 'rolls' a few degrees.

2. Ballast - With the traction magnet removed, I found I needed to add more weight than I usually like in four places - behind the motor (where the magnet was), either side of the motor and just in front of the front axle. I have used 2mm lead sheet stuck down with E6000 flexible glue (Shoe Goo is better). I added, removed and moved the weight around until I got the handling right for the big WHO circuits. I am not sure of the total weight - but you can see the sizes of the pieces in the photos. It is a double thickness at the front. The overall weight of the car is 89.50g - 12g more than the out-of-the-box weight.

   

3. Gluing motor and bushings - I have glued the motor to the rear of the motor mount using a couple of drops of Gorilla Super Glue Gel on a cocktail stick. I used the same method to glue the axle bushings into the pockets on the chassis. Do this only after you’re 100% happy any weight behind the motor is secure.

4. Varnish front tyres - I coated the front tyres with clear acrylic nail varnish. I haven’t trued the front wheels or tyres.

   

5. Maximise rear track - Out of the box, the rear wheels were well inside the body. I loosened them and pulled them out to give a maximum width without fouling the body when it rocks.

6. True rear tyres - I have trued the rear wheels and Paul Gage tyres. Remove the digital chip before you do this as it can smoke the chip.

7. Braids - Fit as per the stock braids, but don’t tuck the lower end underneath - leave them so all four ends point backwards. It gets the front lower.

8. Digital Chip - We have got on better with the Javelin using the older ‘RevG’ version of the chip. The car isn't so punchy and seems to have more braking that using the latest 'RevH' digital plug that I use on all my other race cars. This one change turned a fast, but difficult-to-drive car into a contender.

9. Gear cover - If the gear cover on the underneath of the chassis is anywhere near rubbing on the track, sand it down. The latest Scalextric models have this removed for good reason.

10. Rear lighting board - Removing it is permitted. I have removed mine.

   

The WHO/digital Trans-Am class is insanely competitive, so me and my co-driver Ash were delighted to score two wins out of the five races in 2019, finishing runners-up in the championship. This year, we've managed a pole position, but only a third and a fourth in the feature races. The car is sensational on some tracks, but is still a little 'skittish' on others. We build a different layout each time, which keeps things interesting!

I am preparing a 1986 Ford Thunderbird for the new, broader 'Muscle Car Mondiale' class starting in 2021. The T-Bird is very similar to the Javelin in layout and dimensions, so I hope to have learned a few things from the past three seasons' racing and build a better car.
[+] 3 members Like woodcote's post
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#2

Quick question: How do you loosen the rear wheels to widen the track without destroying the hubs? Thanks! Glen
[+] 1 member Likes bit50s's post
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#3

Glen - I don't know if Scalextric have changed the plastic they use to make their wheels, but I find the wheels on the newer cars quite safe to twist off. The older wheels could be a bit brittle and would crack, the latest ones seem more 'waxy', if that makes sense. Definitely needs a precise, perfectly perpendicular twist - if not, there's still the risk the axle will crack the hub. Then super-glue the axle into the hub... not much glue is needed and immediately wipe away anything that oozes out.

If you do have a wheel that splits, you can repair it with some 1/4" plastic tube (for example Evergreen #228) to use as a sheath over the cracked hub.
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#4

I guess I'll just have to suck it up and give it a twist...   Thanks, Andy. Take care.
[+] 1 member Likes bit50s's post
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#5

(2nd-Apr-20, 07:37 AM)woodcote Wrote:  Definitely needs a precise, perfectly perpendicular twist.

Thumbup Much better! Thanks!
[+] 1 member Likes bit50s's post
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