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Info Something nifty: Automatic Transmission Fluid to save your rails!

I am posting this in the H0 section as i have only tested this thoroughly on Tyco track but it likely applies to all brands.

When I got back into slot cars over 6 years I searched and searched about the hobby.
I found this site:

My Tyco track back "home" gets used maybe once every 2-3 years. It usually lays in a plastic box in an unheated basement with high humidity (no mold or anything but the air feels "musty"). Often I would spend hours getting the circuit to work, which in the winter was a bit of a cold process...

So in 2016 when I visited I decided to clean up ALL the track and apply ATF (automatic transmission fluid) to it like suggested on the site.

When getting the track clean I used 1000 grit emery cloth (I could not find / did not have time to get a "proper" rail scrubber), wiped it down with isopropyl alcohol, dried it off, applied a thin layer of ATF and let it set for while (essentially I applied it to all the track and then went back and wiped it off once I was done applying, something like 30 minutes).

The brand I used was Valvoline that had something in that sounded a lot like "Dexron" which I think is key.

Anyway, we were back and all the treated track worked great! I had a brand new out of the box Scalextric Micro (old system) set and you could not tell the difference between the two.

I had also brought some old Tyco track from a garage sale that had no visible rust but they would not work without cleaning.

When we left I treated ALL the track I had again. This time I was a little more sloppy as I knew the ATF would not attack the track.

Notes: The alcohol will remove paint if you leave it on long enough and/or rub hard enough.

I also use Marvel Mystery oil on the braids/pick ups which seemed to help as well.

I have bought Catstrol with Dexron here (Europe) and will be testing it on Scalextic, SCX, Ninco, Cartronic and Carrera track as the last time I got the track out things were very fiddily....

So if like me you can't get your track out as often as you like save yourself some effort and try this out!
[+] 5 members Like dvd3500's post

Interesting, how often do you usually repeat the treatment?

Well for the Tyco track I treat when I take the track down and it often sits for 2 to 3 years at least.

My other track I only treat about once a year and only if I know it will be sitting for many months.

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