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Tyco Pro's vs Aurora T-Jets

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  • #16
    I run Tyco pros.

    you have to compare them to the AFX non-magnatration or non-magnatraction supertraction cars.

    if you are talking T-jets that would be equivalent to the Tyco S series cars. T-jets are much smaller scale then the Tyco pro.

    comparing applies to oranges: the T-jet is much slower compared to the tyco pro. Tjets have much smaller tires producing a much lower top speed as well.

    I have Tjets as well in my collection.

    getting into a more useful comparison is the early AFX chassis. They tyco pro is still a little faster then the AFX. Due to design of the guide flag on the tyco pro it is impossible to spin out the tyco pro it will just deslot, while a AFX may spin out before a deslot, either way you will need to marshal the car to get it running again.

    The AFX pancake is more stout and can take abuse. The tyco pro is very delicate and suffers from delicate design comprises. The tyco pro was designed to scale down the 1/32 brass wars cars into HO scale.

    there are 2 different chassis lengths of tyco pro, and 3 different versions ending in about 1974 when the curvehugger design took over and introduced magantraction.

    The tyco pro 1 used a Wiper Design on the front guide flags similar to the Braid on larger scale. In this sub category there are 4 versions.
    Brass plate, short wheel base; Brass plate, long wheel base; Steel plate, short wheel base; steel plate, long wheelbase.

    The brass version acts a little more like larger scale cars, the steel plate acts very slightly like a magntraction
    The brass or steel would show up depending on the batch when tyco did a run. Brass version is considered more desirable
    the tyco pro 1.5 used a drop arm guide flag and wipers. the redesign was required because tyco began to introduce high banked curves and loops. this version uses a black powder coated brass chassis. The thicker coating on the chassis was suppose to address short concerns on some track pieces like the bridge. It was a total failure of design because the plastic used for the guide flag and drop arm flexed too much this caused the car to deslot at the apex of curves. the drop arm is also a major pain in the butt because of tension and it is very easy to snap off if you are trying to make repairs. Tyco knew they had a major problem with manufacture and aborted the run and went to the Tyco Pro 2 design.


    tyco pro 2, tried to address the complaints of the tyco 1 wiper design. the wipers were very hard to keep in adjustment, and would rip, tear, wear out in under 20 minutes.

    they came up with the pogo stick contacts. these are rivits supported on springs and they spin as the car goes down the track, so they self clean and do not groove as they wear. They wear like iron basically and last forever.

    they solved the range of motion needed for new track pieces, but Tyco screwed up and used springs that were way too stiff. the pogos also did not tolerate abrupt rail height changes between sections. the older wipers would hit a height difference and may just tear or go out of alignment. the pogos would hit the edge and the car would eject from the track.

    so they were really Sensitive to how smooth the track was. they also required massive amounts of tuning to get to work right.

    Tuning is a whole Book with these cars, so i won't cover it here.

    personally i love the tyco pro 2 cars, they will never be as fast as the tyco pro 1 cars but the consumables are much much much cheaper and the contacts will last a life time of running. again you have to know how to adjust and tune them or they run REALLY bad. the tyco pro 1 cars are much easier to setup but require constant maintenance. once the tyco pro 2 is setup, baring damage they run forever and just need to be cleaned from time to time.

    the problems you run into today with the tyco pro 2 is tires and wipers if you have the tyco pro 1 or 1.5 version.
    you can use -108 orings on the front end and .474 silicon super tires on the rear.

    tyco also made tune up kits just like AFX and aurora did with gear ratio changes and machined front tires with orings.
    here are my pros all lined up having fun on a small track.

    The long wheelbase cars are much harder to drive then the short wheelbase cars, and of course tyco pros came in lighted and non-lighted.
    the wiring for the lighted cars is a little convoluted because they used a diode drop for the bulbs. you can replace the bulbs with doll house lights or lower voltage boat lights. modern lighted cars use different bulbs and connections if you put a modern bulb on a tyco pro it will not light up under power.

    Now the tyco pro was removed by 1975 for the curvehugger chassis. the curvehugger was equally a total failure because again tyco messed up the front contact shoes. it wasn't until 1982 when tyco finally got it right with the 440 chassis.

    interesting to note the tyco S chassis was a good design but it was slow. it used worm gears and it used a steering front axle.

    well sorry for the wall of text. When you get into tuning the cars to actaully work it is another novel. Riggens website shows you how to get more performance out of the tyco pro with massive modification including adding magnatraction to the cars.

    I found the original design can REALLY cook by itself once you spend hours fixing Tycos mistakes.


    • #17
      I found this older post and thought I'd resurrect it . I have several TYCO pro's that I play with on occasion . I remember in the day that they were a lot of fun to run .

      I've often thought about modifying a Slide Guide to eliminate the pickup and guide problem but never did . Procrastination !

      Is there any interest here as to working out the kinks on the TYCO PRO"s and making them a fun car once again .

      I find them very nostalgic !



      • #18
        If you want to build a Targa Florio type track it would not make a lot of sense to just run modern inline cars around it, the faster ones would almost be a blur. A good boxstock T-Jet turns my track in just under 7 seconds. A decent Tyco 440X-2 will do 3.3 seconds and the track record is 1.8 seconds with a Restricted Open car, almost four times as fast as a boxstock T-Jet!
        Just for the nostalgia value you should get some Tyco Pro cars in running condition. If you get some phosphor bronze sheet from McMaster-Carr you can make new pickups that will last longer than the original ones. If it was me I would run original Aurora T-jets or possibly modified Johnny Lightning/Auto World ThunderJet 500's. There is a fairly wide variety of bodies available for those cars, that is not the case with the Tyco Pro car.
        If I am feeling ambitious today I might get one of my Tyco Pro cars running with silicone tire and see what it can do.


        • #19

          I used to have tyco pros and have run their bodies on 440 chassis. The tyco pros per se have been gone for years (though they will always have a special place in my heart).

          Will the 440 wide/pan bodys not fit the 'pros?


          • #20
            I really like the Tycopro, it's nostalgic for me also. I prefer the Tycopro II for the brass pan (aesthetics only) and button pickups because I could never get the wipers to work properly.

            I like the inline chassis, I like the power of the motor, I like how robust and smooth the gears are, I like that you can stick any wide pan body on it, and I like that it slides in the turns. My biggest complaint is with the pickup springs, which are a little too strong from the factory. I've been thinking about digging in and taking the pickups apart and maybe cutting the springs just slightly, but haven't gotten around to it yet.

            slotcardan, I assume the .474s you mean are the AFX 474 with .474 OD, .250 ID, and .215 width? I've been looking for replacements for both my TP and HP7 tires and it would be nice to just order a bunch all at once. I have an old set of silicones that I swap between a TP, an HP7 and an X2 pan and they make all the chassis run really well.
            Last edited by el gecko; 12-18-2013, 03:07 PM.


            • #21
              Rich ,

              I already run both the Aurora T-Jet and the AW / JL T-Jet 500 .

              I just like the thoughts of running the same cars that I ran 40 years ago . When I seen that there was still that many still around , I thought there might be a support group for parts and information .



              • #22
                I've been buying used HO slot cars since the 60's, both Tyco and Aurora (and everything else I find). Before the 440's, I always felt the Tyco cars were faster when new or almost new, but were easily damaged or wore out quickly, whereas the Aurora cars were more durable and maintainable and consistent. Tjets and AFX still are easy to take apart, clean and repair. Those old Tycos have mostly all donated their bodies to Mattel 440x3 at this point, but I still run lots of original Tjets.


                • #23
                  Memories and nostalgia play tricks on the mind. I loved T-jets back in the 60's but not much for trick parts like we have now. Really 2 different eras of cars that were so much different.... AND for the day the old T-Jets and then old Tyco Pro cars were fun but that was because we did not know much better...

                  T-Jets are fun cars now with all the FRAY and ECHORR stuff and much better tires now out on the market. They can still be a pain to get right but when you do Wow! Like many have said both had/ have problems.

                  I really liked the Magna Traction cars too and felt they were more fun than G+ when they came out but still suffer more work to make fast where G+ inlines just ran so much better right out of the box with very little work.

                  Now days I do not really like magnet cars and run FRAY stuff and will be getting some of the great BSRT no mag cars to play with soon.

                  Whatever type you choose to race ....a thing that really is great about today is the routed tracks that can be found..... nothing like running on them.... NO click-click-click so you now can hear the motors rev with less work to keep running!

                  Have fun!