I have been cleaning 70's vintage Aurora AFX track. Lots if issues with compatiability of cleaners for the rails. I have now used a product called T9 Bo-Sheild, formulated specifically for aircraft and marine applications. The key point is that is a penetrating oil which disperses water and will not harm platics. WD40 as well as CRC can damage platic and rubber. T9 is safe. I applied it to the rails, let it sit for 15 minutes or so and then apply some more using super fine scotch-bright or Norton 000 Super fine abrasive pads. Then wipre off and clean with 409. Last step, reapply a very fine coat on the rails. Works like Track/ Rail zip. Cleaning and conditioning with one product. Worked excellent even on old rusty tracks.
Does any one now of a company that makes a track cleaning car that really works? I want to be able to maintain the tracks now that they are clean. I have seen a few referenced on the web, but cannot find any for sale!
A good track cleaning car... Life Likes
Wipe the track down often in the direction of travel and vacume. If the track sits in a moist area there is not much you can do. The rail is not the best steel out there. Rail zip has always been a standerd. WD has also been used by most. I'm not sure that wd is harmfull. It smells but a light coat can do wonders. I also cover my track when not in use with some old table covers, keeps the dust off.
Does any one now of a company that makes a track cleaning car that really works
There isn't one. THere used to be a european company that made one i even tried to buy one but it was withdrawn because it didn't work as planned.
Best I have seen, but can't find even having surfed for 20mins, is a guy that made a block of wood covered with a cloth and with a piece of wire that was towed behind and old Mustang slot car. He also had a small piece of wood that had a piece of scotchbrite, a weight and a couple of toothpicks for guides that would clean the rails. Even a rail cleaner that was pushed by the Mustang or now I'm thinking it may have been a Camaro that cleaned the guide in from of the car to avoid stalling.
The old AFX track tends to make poor electrical connections, in the long run you might be better off replacing it with modern Tomy track. I clean my track with lighter fluid, The track is a MaxTrax and is made of PVC. I would never clean a track with a water based cleaner, water will promote rust. WD-40 actually works very well if you spray it on a rag and wipe down the track with that. A guy in my club has been doing that for years with no damage to the track. Never apply solvents directly to your track. To remove dust from my track I use a microfiber cloth or a dusting cloth called Ultimate Duster that picks up nearly everything and is washable. You can treat the rails with Rail-Zip that can be found at hobby shops that do trains, Lifelike has a similar product. Rail-Zip is safe with plastics, it has been reported to turn white lane striping pink!
There is a foaming cleaner called "Tuff Stuff"
spray LIGHTLY on track - do not SOAK the track.
Spray about 6 feet or so at a time - let it foam up
let it sit for 10 sec or so - the wipe dry - repeat
for entire track
There is a product called ICE - make sure that you get the
finishing detailer or detail finisher - something like that -
spray about 6 ft or so at a time - the spray for this is
deceiving - a lot will actually come out - so be careful
not to saturate the track - make sure you cover the entire surface
including the aprons (same with tuff stuff as well) - go back with
a DRY rag or towel - and wipe up - repeat etc etc
NOTE: Best to use cotton LINT FREE rags for this - no towel or
rag residue likely
IMPORTANT NOTE RE ICE
Its imperative that you SHAKE the bottle every couple of squirts
Also - Optionally - you can spray the ice on a rag and wipe the track down
that way - However I would do the "big" clean procedure if you haven't
cleaned the track for a while and then periodically tuff stuff and - rag wipe the
Gregory Braun on hoslotcarracing_dot_com recommends substituting Castrol Dexron ATF (Automatic Transmission Fluid) for RailZip saying it has the same properties. By this he could mean it's chemically the same or he could mean it behaves the same. Isn't ATF essentially a hydraulic fluid and aren't hydraulic fluids hygroscopic in nature (I think that's the right word--meaning they attract moisture)? He does say that Dexron has oxidation inhibitors so maybe the point is moot. Thanks in advance.
Last edited by ScooterMcCoy; 12-10-2008 at 10:18 AM.
WD40 buy the gallon sprayed on a shop rag (buy the box) wipe down good or let sit if your not going to race for awhile,then denatured alcohol buy the gallon poured on another shop rag and wipe clean any WD40 left on the track surface then plug in your shopvac and vacuum the track. If your rails need a cleaning a block of wood and some 400grit wet/dry sandpaper or sanding block ultra fine then vac and do above.........We do this every other week during race season and NO problems!! Buy in Bulk. Clean tracks are good for New track records almost every Race! Don't be afraid to soak your rags either
Unless your vacuum cleaner has a HEPA filter fine particles will go right through the filter and back into the air to ultimatly land back on the track. If you have so much trash on the track that you must vacuum it do that first and follow up with other cleaning methods.
I would hesitate to put ATF on my track, ATF is a good solvent for a lot of things. If you have a spare track section you could put some ATF on that, let it sit for a week or so and see if the track is damaged.
I put tape over the heads of the pins, when I need to take off the body I just pull on the body to pull the pins out of the chassis, I never remove the pins from the body. I do have a few cars where I have to use nail clippers to pull the body pins, I guess those will never fall out during a race!
I have an old sock on it to pick dust but you could get fancy and put a Swiffer floor cleaning pad on it too. These work great for large tracks that have hard to reach areas.
Once in a while I will clean the rails thoroughly with a Walthers Bright Boy rail cleaning eraser. It is tedious work by hand but its the best way to clean the rails. Has worked great for over 17 years and hasn't worn down my rails.