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Calling all AFX Track Experts...

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  • Calling all AFX Track Experts...

    Hey folks,

    I am building a new permanent track using Aurora AFX Speed Lok track.
    Through cleaning and close inspection, I have noticed a few things and have some questions for those of you out there that may know the specific details. Thank you in advance for your input.

    First, of the track I have, there are 2 different mold dates, 1971 and 1977.
    Of these, is there a preferred date of track?
    They seem to work well together but it seems worthy of asking if one is better than the other.


    Second, some tracks are molded solid all the way to the end of the rail.
    Others have an open gap molded in at the end of the rail, maybe for flex?
    It would seem to be better to use the solid pieces as I intend to solder each joint.
    Were these pieces from specific sets, or experimental?


    Any info or experience you have would be much appreciated.

    Thank you
    Last edited by Ntxslotcars; 04-21-2018, 10:23 AM. Reason: fixed pics. Sure miss MySpace

  • #2
    Oh ya,bad memories of dealing with this stuff as a kid. I broke more than I should have back then. Makes me wonder now if the track is even more brittle than when new? Some of it's a pain to snap and get unsnapped. Use that **** track tool with the forked prongs to get it undone. Hope you got one because I think that was my biggest problem back in the day. As for track dates I am not really sure. 1971 was probably the first iteration of deeper grove non pin & lock old Aurora stuff. I think by 1977 they had come out with a second generation with more curve choices,flex track,banked curves and all.

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    • #3
      I just looked at the track you asked about. They're dated 1971 and 1975. They are both identical at the slots.
      Dave

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      • #4
        if you plan on soldering all the joints, bend the ears so they exert little, if any pressure on each other.

        If you break the tabs off, don't use the track repair clips. They don't allow the pieces to lay flat against your mounting surface. drill and counter sink the screw holes and mount them permanently.

        I'm pretty sure both dates are compatible with each other.

        This type of track was decent when mounted properly. It was much thicker and robust than the Tomy era track which were much thinner material and more prone to bending and twisting.

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        • #5
          AFX Speed-Lok track rail ends are sharp, uneven and destroy shoes.
          Take a Dremel and touch the rail ends to taper them down.
          This is where Tyco and Tomy AFX track are better. Tyco slots aren't as deep.

          Dates are irrelevant. Speed-Lok is Speed-Lok. The dates are simply the copyright on a particular design.

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          • #6
            Thanks for the great info and advice guys...

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            • #7
              do not forget to coat the rail tabs with an anti oxidizing product.
              I also tried to get all the rails the same height, then I added a drop of black max to each
              open rail spot on the bottom of the track to keep the rails where I wanted them

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              • #8
                So it's an uphill battle to solder steel.
                Half the tabs I've tried won't even tins.
                So soldering the joints is a no go.

                This leaves me with 3 last options...

                1. Clean tabs and treat with di electric grease.

                2. Clean tabs and use "wire glue"

                3. Clean tabs and use nothing...


                Thoughts?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Be aware that "dielectric" means insulating. If you have a good electrical connection dielectric grease will help to avoid corrosion, but if the connection is already poor the grease won't help. You could try a product like Rail-Zip.

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                  • #10
                    I use a product called "Conducto Lube" which a silver bearing mineral oil. It is expensive, but 1oz will do a 4 x 16 ft track. This product was developed for the electric power industry to reduce resistance in high power connections.

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                    • #11
                      Ears.

                      The biggest thing to worry about is breaking the ears off of the track during assembly.

                      Stupid ears.

                      Scott

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                      • #12
                        Afx track tabs

                        Search for this thread on SCI by Jim Norton -Repair, resurrect AURORA AFX track better than new!


                        I used this method on some 5 and 7" straights to use with the tomy to aurora afx adapters before joining them together - no issue with any breakage.

                        Good Luck with your layout

                        Bruce

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                        • #13
                          Also know a guy that's had good results, no issues, with a Circuit writer pen,
                          used on the connections before connecting...

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                          • #14
                            This leaves me with 3 last options...

                            1. Clean tabs and treat with di electric grease. NO

                            2. Clean tabs and use "wire glue" MAYBE

                            3. Clean tabs and use nothing... Rail ZIP, pro gold, deoxit, etc.. or conducting lube

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Ntxslotcars View Post
                              So it's an uphill battle to solder steel.
                              Half the tabs I've tried won't even tins.
                              So soldering the joints is a no go.

                              This leaves me with 3 last options...

                              1. Clean tabs and treat with di electric grease.

                              2. Clean tabs and use "wire glue"

                              3. Clean tabs and use nothing...


                              Thoughts?
                              A good "Regular Paste flux" is a must for soldering steel.

                              I solder jumpers often using the "wet towel method"

                              Get an old dishtowel and fold it over so it's the same size as your track piece. Then wet it down until dripping and ring slightly.
                              Place you track sections on the towel face down and apply a liberal amount of flux with a brush.
                              Make SURE your iron is HOT! and apply the solder to the joint as the flux smokes.
                              When you see flow.....stop.

                              Let that joint cool, and move over to another joint and repeat.

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