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Old 08-22-2009, 12:24 PM
Eddie's Avatar
Eddie Eddie is offline
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Default Slot car - track cleaning:

Slot car - track cleaning = Two (x2) Powered Rails:

Cleaning the Two (x2) Powered Rails:

I am very surprised that the “MOST” important / critical electrical feature, is not a HIGH priority !
I am looking at the electrical contacts, between the slot car brushes, and the slot track, powered rails.

Slot cars jerking and improper digital signals, may be due to poor / bad track power conditions (oxidation).

Track maintenance, should be number one (#1) on the agenda.

Track oxidation is a fact of life.

Dampness; (= Enemy #1)

Location of a permanent track layout, will also determine track oxidation.
During the hot humid summer months, I use a dehumidifier, under my permanent train layout.

The original SCX storage boxes are made of cardboard.
Cardboard is a very poor and damaging storage container.
Cardboard will absorb surrounding mildew or moisture.

I do “NOT” have a permanent SCX Digital layout.
I use an EXCELLENT / simple storage procedure.
I store “all” of my SCX Digital parts, inside large plastic storage boxes / bins, with lids.
In my plastic containers, I have also included the small moisture salt packs.
This will help to prevent any internal condensation.


t is a big shame that an individual, can and has a “Patent” for a device in the United States.
Only with futuristic technical and fancy legal documents.

“ Without any Actual Research or Development ”.
“ No design concepts “ = “only words”

The National Model Train Association (N.M.R.A.) does NOT have a patent on any “simple” track cleaning devises. (Powered or Not).

Patents only apply to a special / private manufacture with an “electronics design”.
There are electronic devises in the Model Train Hobby, that actually burns off the oxidation.

United States Patent 3789768

A slot car track cleaning device for removing foreign matter from the conductors and bed of the slot car track. A main body having wheels rotatably mounted thereon is propelled on the slot car track by an electric motor housed within the main body. Wipers contacting the track conductors are electrically connected to the motor. The motor rotatably drives the rear wheels of the slot car. An abrasive conductor cleaner projects from the slot car and contacts the track conductors. A petroleum distillate saturated wick extends from the rear of the slot car removing lint and other foreign material from the track. The wick extends out of a tank formed within the main body having cleaning liquid therein.


Did you know...?

An "oxide" is a molecular chemical compound consisting of metal atoms joined to oxygen atoms. Oxides are created when electricity flows through a gap between contacting metals in the presence of moisture (humidity.) You may notice that running indoors during a rain storm. It will tend to become erratic and jerky, especially if the tracks are totally bare and clean of oil. Electrolysis frees the "O" from the H2O in the air to create ozone. This oxygen combines with the metal ions from the brushes and rails to form iron, nickel, and silver oxides and the liberated hydrogen escapes into the atmosphere.

If you can see electrical sparking between the rails and car brushes, you may have an oxide problem,

Even if you remove the oxides away, in time, they will return, unless you protect the affected metal surfaces.

================================================== ==================

NEVER; (# 1)

Never use any course or abrasive cleaning pads.
This may / will cause fine scratches onto the powered rails.
In time, a rail with fine scratches, will oxidize even much more !

================================================== ==================

NEVER: (# 2)

Never use any RUST FREE penetrating oil.
Much like WD-40, I used and read articles that is great to loosen nuts and bolts, break up rust,
-BUT -
It also has a tendency to attract moisture.
This is only a short term fix.
It will also destroy / damage plastic, in time !!

================================================== ==================

I have found a proven chemical product, to reduce oxidation.
This is a very simple safe product to use.

PRODUCT – Tested :

Pacer Technology's Rail-Zip is a track and wheel cleaner that is designed for improving electrical
contact. It is used for slot car racing and model railroads to eliminate accumulations of oxide, which
insulate and interfere with smooth electrical conductivity. Without being corrosive, Rail-Zip removes oxide and prevents oxide formation.

Rail - Zip
1 oz. bottle - $4.49

- It is a thin red oily fluid.
- It is added to the power rails.
- It only requires a thin coating, onto the rails.
- Use a thin, uniform oil layer.
- Do “Not” rub onto the rails.
- It is “Not” physically demanding.
- This is a “Chemical Operation”.
- It requires 10-12 hours to penetrate into the rails.

Only “WATER” is required to clean off any residue !

The oil leaves a clear unseen film, on the powered rails.
After the 10-12 hours, cleaning time, I did “NOT” notice any residue on the metal rails, or plastic track.
Totally invisible !!

================================================== =================

Go Here For Excellent Slot Racing Chemistry !!
Save your $$$$$$$$’s – here !!
Get great advice – here !!


Rail Treatment

The steel power rails in all brands of HO slot car track tend to oxidize (rust) when not in use.
Model Railroading enthusiast often use a product called RailZip to slow the inevitable rail oxidation process.

Dexron ATF (Automatic Transmission Fluid) has essentially the same chemical properties as RailZip, but it's much more economical.

A 1 quart bottle will cost about $2.00 and should last a lifetime.

Apply a small amount of Dexron ATF to a clean rag and then wipe it on just the steel power rails.
Let it work overnight, and then the next day wipe up any remaining residue.

Dexron ATF has strong detergents for cleaning and anti-oxidants for retarding new rust formation.
Best applied at the end of a night of racing.

================================================== ======================

I found an excellent posted article.
A great operational / designed cleaning item. !!

LOOOOOOOK here !!!!


-ED –


- I will be doing much more research.
- I will get into contact with Model Train Manufactures, that produce electronic cleaning devices.
- Checking for compatibility.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 1 - Rail-Zip.jpg (60.2 KB, 13 views)
File Type: jpg 2- ATF.jpg (16.2 KB, 18 views)
File Type: gif 3 - storage box.gif (25.2 KB, 12 views)

Last edited by Eddie; 08-27-2009 at 10:28 PM. Reason: For Clarification
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Old 08-22-2009, 02:40 PM
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cudak9 cudak9 is offline
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Thanks Eddie! Great information. Love the track cleaner.
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Old 08-24-2009, 11:11 AM
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Eddie Eddie is offline
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Default Slot car - track cleaning:

Slot car - track cleaning = Two (x2) Powered Rails:

Cleaning the Two (x2) Powered Rails:

A Special Note:

Information I found on a U.S.A. web site, selling SCX slot car items.
This web location is also selling Rail-Zip as a track and tire cleaner.

This is posted as partial false information !

The tire cleaner information is “ONLY” for model railroad. (Metal Track Rails & Metal Locomotive Wheels).


Do Not Use Rail-Zip, or Dexron ATF (Automatic Transmission Fluid), on your rubber tires.
This oil treatment is only for metal conditioning.
A chemical reaction to preserve metals, only.

================================================== =======================

Original SCX Manufature - Track Rail Cleaner;

SCX #50630 PRO Track Cleaner;


The SCX PRO Track Cleaner
improves conductivity, protects the rails and enhances data transmission in 1/32 digital slot car tracks.
This track cleaner is the ideal product for your NINCO, N-Digital, SCX or SCX Digital race track.


Includes: = 1 - track cleaner and 3 extra felt tips
Size: = Not Posted (Very Small Plastic Container)
Price = U.S. $ 29.95

Did you notice the above important information,
is “DIRECTLY” from the SCX Manufacturer.

SCX Quote:
- improves conductivity,
- protects the rails.

- enhances data transmission in 1/32 digital slot car tracks.


Is track conductivity, important ?
Is track oxidation, important ?
Is data transmission, important ?

Should track maintenance, for the two (x2) powered rails, be #1 priority ?

- ED -
Attached Images
File Type: jpg SCX #50630.jpg (29.3 KB, 28 views)

Last edited by Eddie; 08-27-2009 at 10:30 PM. Reason: For Clarification
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