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SCX Cars Run Like a Box of Rocks

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  • SCX Cars Run Like a Box of Rocks

    What is the deal with SCX cars?

    There are 4 of us that have been in to slot cars for about 4 years. Every year one of us buys an SCX slot car and hopes for the best. The Renault series and especially the Alpina were gorgeous and we were all excited when it arrived.

    It ran like a box of rocks. ****. We really wanted this car to run well. We had all bought a handful of SCX cars before and they ran like a box of rocks too. We had high hopes for the Alpina - but no - a box of rocks as expected.

    Then the Cuda came out. It was expensive and we sat back and did not buy one. It sold out quickly but no one is running them on the track now. We assume that it is because they run like a box of rocks too. It was bought by everyone but no one runs it. Odd.

    Then the SCX clear Audi R8 comes out and it runs great. Then one guy has a Corvette C5R and it runs great too. Apparently these cars have the pro gear and they run great.


    You can't have the bulk of your cars run like a box of rocks and then a select few run great. It's too confusing

  • #2
    Yeah, but they're really pretty boxes of rocks's


    • #3
      very interesting . i`ve moved mine off. other manufacturers are more impressive . hows that for a politacally correct diss ?



      • #4
        i used to have that same experience with SCX, but now they are my favorite cars. you need to break them in. a lot. i typically do about 7 or 8 volts for an hour.

        before each race, the motors need to be warmed up before they perform at their best.

        other than the pro motors, you must run them at 12 volts or more. anything less than 12 volts and they are dogs.

        and make sure you have the rx42B or 82B motors - if they don't have the "B" designation, they are SLOW no matter what you do.


        • #5
          I concur....

          ....they need some break-in to seat the brushes, they run better when warmed up, they get faster over time, the 42B, Pro Speed and 4H motors are the "good" ones, in that order. The older 41 and 42 motors are pretty slow and I think the 42 was designed for the digital cars. The Nascars and Pro series cars are all very good and excellent value for the dollar. More voltage will always speed up any motor, but they all run well at 10 volts or more for us.



          • #6
            I run an SCX NASCAR. With no changes whatsoever, this runs well with the benchmarks of NASCARS, i.e. Scaleys on a technical wood track. This even at 10V. At one of the other tracks we use (which is a faster strack run at 11V), the SCX is a tad better than Scaleys.

            So there you have at least one exception that proves the rule (or not?).

            A couple guys run 'Cudas in the TransAm class. I consider them to be just about on par with Scaley TransAms, which is saying a lot.


            • #7
              Stone, the question that begs to be answered is what do you typically run that is not considered a box of rocks? Give us a chance to toss some of these stones back.

              As always, tell me how you drive and I'll tell you what kind of an idiot you are.


              • #8

                Stock, the new ones are better, maybe not Scaley level if running mag but very close. But if you run non mag they are much more a tuner car than scaley. The "B" motors, broken in, can be very good and with some gear changes and rims and tires they are very nice. The Cuda with a tire change is great and the Alpine (one of my favorites) is one of my best small narrow cars. With a "B" motor it just flies around the corners. Every mfg. has their strengths and weaknesses you just have to work with them. The SCX cars are turning up in racing classes (stock and sports cars) all over as a pretty good match up with Scaley. Given a suitable body for a class I would normally choose SCX over Scaley for potential, particularly if it's a "tuning" class. After all the Scaley or Auto Art or Ninco or insert mfg. Alpines and Cudas seem to be MIA so if someone makes the car we have to work with what we got.


                • #9
                  After you get your B motors broken in, swap in a 10t pinion. The SCX motors can push a slot car around a typical home track at a higher speed if the ratio is changed to the 2.7:1 or 2.8:1 range.


                  • #10
                    Not sure what you mean by "like a box of rocks," but I have had very good experiences with SCX cars.

                    I have quite a few SCX cars- the older rally and LMP cars, newer NASCARS and rally cars, and the 'Cudas. All of them have run quite well, right out of the box. The only "tinkering" I have had to do was a minor adjustment to the contact strips running to the motor on one of the NASCARS.

                    The fact that we all have differing opinions and experiences is one of the things that makes this hobby so interesting. I hope that some of the suggestions in this post help to get your SCX cars running better.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Biggy View Post
                      The Cuda with a tire change is great and the Alpine (one of my favorites) is one of my best small narrow cars.
                      If there is one car that has everything against it from the start, it's the Alpine. Short wheelbase, it's narrow, it has skinny tires, it has the guide that we love to complain about, etc. I popped one out of the box last night and ran it on a wood oval with 18' straights. After truing the tires, it was smooth as silk, and handled great -- and it isn't broken in yet. The gears have a different sound, kind of a buzz. It isn't louder than other cars, but it stands out from the noise of the other cars. For some people that's a negative, because they don't want to hear the gears at all. For me, it's a plus. It sounds like a little European car with a peppy little motor. This car is awesome! New favorite!

                      David, from your post, it looks like your concern isn't about a car that doesn't run right, it's about consistency of the product from one company. I used to avoid SCX like the plague, now they are the fastest growing brand in my collection. Of the plastic-wheeled cars, their cars have the most consistently round wheels. This means they have the best chance to run well without expensive upgrades. Now, I just avoid their older cars, and seek out the newer ones.


                      • #12
                        now they are the fastest growing brand in my collection
                        mine too!

                        As stated earlier, they are easily tuned to run on wood. I set up (just changed tires to urethane) and ran 4 scx F1's during a recent IROC race at my place and got great reviews from the club. Most of which have never run or even thought of running their F1's.



                        • #13
                          I too refused to buy SCX because of the noise they would make. I sat down a couple weeks ago with an SCX Hyundai Accent rally car that I own and decided to make it a runner.I glued the bushings in, that helped a little bit with the noise. I ran some toothpaste in the gears for a few minutes... that helped a little bit too. Finally, I ran a dab of super glue in between the axle and bushings. That combination seemed to make the noise go away, not completely, but enough where I don't think the gears are going to blow out of the car. I added some lead and ran it on one of the local wood ovals and the car was fast.

                          The car hadn't really been raced at all so I think the motor has broken in as well, which may be why the car is getting faster.But taking a few minutes.. well, more like at least an hour to make sure everything is nice and smooth has changed my mind about the 'box o' rocks'. I like them now.


                          • #14
                            Most of the time the axles are not straight, among many other issues.

                            I have had SCX cars that were an outright disgrace to slot cars-- completely useless out of the box-- I mean not even able to make a lap.

                            But I don't run cars "out of the box". I tune them first, and an SCX gets a MASSIVE once over from front to back, tweaking, truing, gluing and smoothing out. Sometimes this takes hours. I always helps. In some cases it makes really lame cars into pretty decent runners.

                            I just accept that when I buy an SCX, I will either get VERY lucky and get a "good one", or I will have a few hours of tweaking and tuning, then about 1000 laps to run it in ahead of me.


                            • #15
                              One noisemaker in SCX cars can be the copper strips (phosphor bronze) that are used instead of wires. They can vibrate against the interior, so a piece of masking tape or Goo can cut the noise down.