The Magazine For Slot Car Enthusiasts


Directions for setting up a stock Thunderjet chassis for racing. (Note: there are other ways to improve performance. This site will show the easiest, least expensive method to get, and stay, competitive).
Remember the old Red Oil that came in the little bottle. It's being manufactured again by Steve Street.
Contact him at:

210 Westmar Dr.
Rochester, NY. 14624
Visit The
Thunder Oil Site
Or email him

A. Dremel tool w/wire brush
B. Pin vise and bit (.050)
C. Small flat head screwdriver
D. Needle oiler
E. Xacto knife
For a little Extra Juice, try John Balson's
Thunder Brushes

Contact John at:
287 West Valley Road
Strafford, PA 19087

A. Gear plate assembly
B. Chassis frame
C. Gear plate clamp
D. Magnet
E. Idler gear
F. Tyco 440 rear wheels
w/Hiester “low” silicones
G. Aurora Hot Rod or A/FX axles
H. Tyco 440 front tires and wheels
I. Commutator brushes
J. Crown gear
K. Pickup shoes
L. Pick up shoe springs
1.Disassemble chassis and put parts in a box (fig. A). Soak non-rubber and non-chrome parts in camp fuel (cup) or spray with brake cleaner.

2.Blow with compressed air, or let dry.

3.Wire brush all contact points, including: Both ends of PU shoes (fig. B, A&B), com- mutator spring tops (fig.C, circled),PU shoe retainers (fig.D, circled) armature commutator plate (fig.E, A), and axle races.

1.With crown gear inplace, push rear axle through axle holes (start from the left side of chassis)

2.Press on rear wheels. Do not exceed 1 5/16” wide.

3.Press on front wheels (1 5/16” W). Use PU shoe springs or washers to space.

(Note: It is very important to have straight axles and true wheels. This may require trying several of each to get the best results. Patience!)

4.From the bottom of chassis frame, use the pin vise and drill bit to push the last bend in the commutator brush springs (fig. A, circle) up, and flat. (Note: back up the spring with your finger from the inside of the chassis). Be Cautious!

5.Rub both sides of commutator brushes on cardboard till clean.

6.Install commutator brushes and magnets.

7.Oil gear plate in 7 places:
a.Where armature and pinion shaft
come through gear plate (fig.B, A).
b.Ends of pinion shaft and armature
(fig. C, B&C).
c.Under each gear.

(Note: Build an Armature Balancing Tool Learn how to Rewind an Armature

8.Oil 4 axles races.

1.Finish assembling chassis.

2.Lower body screw posts as far as possible.

3.Super glue guide pin to chassis.

4.Mount chassis to body.

5.Bend guide pin forward slightly

6.Idle car at slow speed for a few minutes

Note: Two tricks in assembling.
a. Bow the gear plate clamp away from the idler gear.
b. Set the crown gear as far away from the pinion as possible.


HO Detroit Ferrari 250 GT
There are other tricks to make the cars handle even better, such as balancing the armature, or deburring the gears. We won’t get into that here.

This page is intended to help you with the basics, weather you modify the cars, or keep them 100% stock.