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Cleaning Sport track

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  • Big Bill
    started a topic Cleaning Sport track

    Cleaning Sport track

    A friend loaned me a huge amount of Sport track to mess around with. Most of it is in real good shape, but all of it is very dirty, any tips on cleaning the track pieces would be welcomed. After I setup a little test section I wiped the track down with a lightly damped towel and then let it dry, that worked OK but I can still see some grime on most of the track. After just a few laps the tires are totally dirty again and traction just goes away. Thanks

  • Headhunter
    replied
    Originally posted by jdavis493 View Post
    Headhunter, it sounds like we've been visiting many of the same forums etc. looking for solutions to this mess. Nice idea w/ the foam applicators, sounds simple and cheap.
    Do you think ScotchBrite pads are too aggressive? I have 1 of those RadioShack pocket microscopes, I'm going to see if I can find any scratches from ScotchBrite on the rails. They look great to the naked eye. We'll see
    There will definitely be scratches on the rails from the ScotchBrite pads, but not too deep. I use a round plastic scrubby thing, it seems to work fine. This is what I use, lazy! I'm not going to look at the track under a microscope, afraid what I might see!! Already have a problem with the magnifier, trying to keep an eye on my work and not study my hands, or whatever else happens by!

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  • jdavis493
    replied
    Headhunter, it sounds like we've been visiting many of the same forums etc. looking for solutions to this mess. Nice idea w/ the foam applicators, sounds simple and cheap.
    Do you think ScotchBrite pads are too aggressive? I have 1 of those RadioShack pocket microscopes, I'm going to see if I can find any scratches from ScotchBrite on the rails. They look great to the naked eye. We'll see

    Leave a comment:


  • Headhunter
    replied
    Kommandant33, Vacuum, then I use a Swiffer, it is always black when done!

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  • Kommandant33
    replied
    After a few days of serious use, I went over my new track with a microfibre cloth - I couldn't believe the tyre dust it was picking up! It was black!

    I can't wait for Scalextric to make a digital street sweeper with rotating microfibre discs at the front - THAT would be cool.

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  • Headhunter
    replied
    Hey JD! I'm glad I'm not the only one involved in this caper. I went back over old threads on many forums and found all kinds of "stuff". Probably going to stick with the vinegar. I went to the hardware store and picked up these 1/2" wide foam applicators, like for painting, they come in a 6 pack for a dollar. I pour some ATF in a plastic cup, dip it and hit the rails, seems to work well.
    Last edited by Headhunter; 03-14-2016, 02:59 PM.

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  • jdavis493
    replied
    Awesome report Headhunter!

    I tried many of your tests as well(well maybe 1/2) and even took pictures to try to show progress. Well I learned I can't take pics w/ my new camera w/o a tripod! UGHH So much time and effort and nothing much to show for it except a huge mess. I'm waiting on a jug of Evapo-rust sadly, I thought this was going to be the ticket until I read your findings. I have other projects for it I think.
    White Vinegar has always been the go to for tools, so I shouldn't be surprised by the results. One would think that after all these years, technology would have delivered a better product for this. Tried and true wins the day again it seems.
    I feel your pain too. Bending over this stuff from my wheelchair is just torture. This getting older crap isn't for sissies is it?
    What is the best way to apply ATF to the rails and not the plastic? I'm betting you have a tip for this 1 too. I have an idea I'm going to try, please tell me what you think about it. I found a felt tip pen w/ the WD-40 logo on it, I don't recall buying it. It's literally a felt tip applicator for pin point apps of WD-40. Do you think ATF would flow similar to WD if I were to replace the contents w/ ATF? I think ATF is a little thicker viscosity wise, I think I'll try it. I know it's great for pin points like rails, and I think it could be a time saver too.

    Thanks for taking the time to do this for us all, I greatly appreciate your efforts and results.
    JD

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  • Headhunter
    replied
    I tell you what, this is kicking my $#!. My back ain't what it used to be! Very labor intensive and time consuming. 24 hours in and only 20 pieces of track complete, take out some sleep and eat time. But shiny and almost new looking, so guess I'll keep trudging along. The only thing that stops me from tossing the towel is knowing that I'll have another kick$#@ track up in about a week or two. But holy cow this is kicking my $#!.

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  • Headhunter
    replied
    Okay folks, here's what I found. $170 spent, and 4 hours soaking, scrubbing on a bunch of "rust removers". Here's the list and how they worked. Rated 1-10
    *Metal Rescue-Not too bad, didn't get into the pitted areas, after rinsing left a yellowy tint, like it was starting to rust again. Air blown dry, then hung in the breeze. Rating-5
    *Eastwood Fast Etch- didn't work and made the plastic discolored, R-2
    *CLR- Nope, nothing not
    *Evapo-Rust- worked okay, took off surface rust, had to scrub after soaking 4 times, I'm tired and sore, R-6
    *Rust-oleum Rust Stripper- Worked well at first, then after 2 hours noticed discolor, wiped it off, came back an hour later. R-6
    *Phelby- Good for rail cleaning, conditioning, not a hard deep rust remover, and same make-up as Mercon ATF.
    *Whink- Took rust off immediately, then came back immediately, weird, tried again, same. R-3
    *Citric Acid- Worked okay, smelled like oranges, have to move fast with this. R-6
    *WD40 Rust remover- Not, horrible stuff, not okay on plastics! R-1
    *Safety clean- Good on the rails, hard on the plastic, leaves bad residue R-1
    *Baking soda- way too much scrubbing, pastey, and couldn't find the exact mixture, R-2
    *Coke-Nah, never liked the stuff
    *Ketchup, Mayo- worked good on my hotdog, otherwise...
    *White Vinegar- The winner! Soaked for 2 hours, put in bin that you can cover or has a lid, used regular plastic scuff pad(not steel wool!!), put back in vinegar for another hour, repeat scrub, rinsed, blow dry with air compressor. Hang dry. Works for me, couple of black spots where rust was deep, but works great. Not a cure all, but definitely brought back the track. R-8.5-9
    *Only rub the rails, careful not to scrub the plastic, you will notice it when dried that all the little nubbies are frayed and discolored.
    *I used 1/4 cup of Dawn in a 5 gallon bucket(4gal. hot water) scrubbed track after with a nylon brush, air blown dry and hung.
    *Rub ATF tranny fluid on rails (very light coating), not on plastic.
    *Another suggestion, if you find rails are too pitted, the rails are easily removed from the track, bend tabs back on bottom of track and pull up rail, careful to not bend or warp, replace with better ones. Cheaper than buying new track, and why throw it away if you can salvage and repurpose! You can also pull all the rails out of the track and have them nickel plated, costs about $15 per rail, 2 gallons Vinegar $5, you do the math.
    Now this test was only done over a 4 hour period, so don't know what long term results are. Would say 85-90% new looking. So there you have it. I've got 20 pieces soaking in the bin. Can't wait to set up the track!!
    Last edited by Headhunter; 03-13-2016, 09:06 AM.

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  • Headhunter
    replied
    I'm in the same boat. Have about 50 pieces of Ninco that are rusty. Guess trying a bunch of methods won't hurt anything. Know for sure that sanding, grinding , anything abrasive is not good, will leave grooves that the rust will hide in and fester. After cleaning, definitely use rail zip or tranny fluid, not wd40. If someone finds the magic elixir, please share!

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  • jdavis493
    replied
    Please look

    I found this on a google search, many many ways of removing rust w/ various solutions. Which ones do you think would best apply to our interests?
    http://www.wikihow.com/Remove-Rust-from-Metal
    Thanks, JD

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  • jdavis493
    replied
    Mild acidic solution ideas?

    I can't see coke bath being strong enough to eat the rails, at least I don't think so. Hell now I have to try and see if I can dissolve a track rail. Does anyone know the exact metal composition of our track types? I'd imagine it varies greatly between brands/scales. I never saw the quarter experiment, but I think I recall dissolving a steel nail in cola back in 7th grade. I can't be sure though. I have enough damaged track to try a few solutions. I've seen my wife work miracles w/ lemon juice removing rust stains, I'm going to see what it does to tracks while I'm at it.
    Can you guys think of another mild acidic solution I should try while I'm at this? I'd like to try as many as possible at the same time if it's not a big hassle. I have the time and track so what the hell. Please chime in w/ others you can think of.
    Thanks, JD

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  • MrFlippant
    replied
    Got it. So the trick is to do the bath long enough to get rid of the corrosion, but not long enough to eat away the rails themselves. Still seems risky to me, especially since Scalextric is NOT stainless steel, and the cola will probably get rid of any remaining nickel plating as fast as it does the rust, but if the alternative is a piece of track that's useless anyway, what's the harm?

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  • DVD3500
    replied
    Won't the cola CAUSE corrosion?
    You never dropped a quarter (25 cent piece for the non North Americans) in a glass of coke as part of chemistry class?
    Leave it in there over night and it is gone the next morning...
    Cola dissolves almost all oxidation and eats into most reactive metals (will not eat stainless steal for example).

    Of course after a cola bath you have to wash and dry the track after the cola bath.
    Here is more on the subject:
    http://www.adriansslotcarworld.co.uk/ChmClean.htm

    Like I said, I used a 60/40 cola/water mix and all it did was make the track (really, massively rusted Scaley Classic stuff) wet, no additional corrosion. I haven't had a chance to try a pure cola bath yet...

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  • Billy boy
    replied
    I put carrera track in the dishwasher,drying option off,came out very clean. Try one piece of the scalextric track and see how it goes.

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