I just bought a JL Tjet 500 car because of the body. I also have a body by Dash that was supposed to fit Tjets, however, the screw holes seem to line up yet the front tires fall behind the wheel well. Anyone have a solution for me? The body in question is the 49 Merc lead sled.
As this was my first go with TJ's, it seems real slow and noisy. Is this common? The car is new. The car looks cool, but not much fun to run. Any tips/hints?
Yes, that is true with the axle. I figured that out after posting. However, the stock rear wheels won't fit inside the chassis. Are most brands wheels interchangeable? Same axle diameter? I would like to put "cooler" wheels than the Jl stockers.
Yeah, you have multiple choices in wheels. RRR makes them, and JW's T-Jet Racing Parts. I think Wizzard makes wheels that will work on T-Jets as well. Really, if you want to fit Aurora AFX wheels on a T-Jet, it can be done with a little messing around. As for the performance........well, JL T-Jets are a bit ornery in that department. Try lapping the gear plate gears, as that will help them mesh, and flow more smoothly. Lapping involves using some kind of polishing compound, like Simichrome, along with a good cleaning agent such as Life Like Track Cleaner. There are articles on this forum on how to do this. Also, lubes like Breakfree will help loosen up the gears, and axles. If you want a really decent chassis, get an original T-Jet chassis by Aurora. The new JL/Autoworld T-Jets are actually based on the original Aurora Tuff Ones chassis, which were notoriously cranky. To top that off, these newer chassis' have more powerful motors, and magnets which require alot of tuning to smooth out into decent running chassis'. I usually buy JL/AW bodies, and mount them on original Aurora chassis'. Much better handling, and more fun. JMHO.
I have a Dash '55 Chevy body but the front wheels do not line up except if I use the middle set of holes in an Aurora chassis. That is no good because those holes were intended for the larger diameter wheels and tires that came with Indy cars, Hot Rods and trucks.
There is a QC problem with JL/Auto World ThunderJet 500 cars that is easy to fix. Very often the cluster gear shaft needs to get pushed down so the end of it is in the hole in the chassis. First you need to push the top end of the gear shaft so it is flush with the top of the driven gear, then you need to carefully push the final drive pinion up until it is just short of binding the cluster gear assembly. Without this fix the cluster gear shaft will get cocked and the gears will bind.
The QC of these cars is not great but the magnets and armatures are better than most of the NOS Aurora stuff that is available today. With a little TLC and a few parts like axles, wheels and tires you can get some really smooth fast running cars.
Taking out the JL magnets and putting in some old and unwanted weak Aurora magnets made my my JL's very manageable. In fact, their low speed operation is excellent, probably because of better electric flow with "silver" electrics. Swapping magnets was like a silver bullet solution.
The shiny finish on a JL chassis is nickel plated on the copper. Nickel does not conduct electricity as well as copper, copper is four times better. All bets are off if the copper is corroded, so make sure it is shiny where it has to make contact.
The Merc "lead sleds" mentioned earlier require the front axle to be removed from the chassis and installed into the molded-in feature of the body. The rear wheels and tires cannot be wider than original Aurora Thunderjet, except as wider slicks might be cut and sanded to barely fit - or else wheel wells might be created by filing/sanding. They look "cool," but in either case, the rear wheels will appear to be too far back, and even then the car will only be competitive with another "lead sled."
Another Dash body, the '55 Chevy, requires careful filing of the front wheel well to provide clearance for the tires while avoiding distortion of the shape of the forward edge. Smaller tire OD is not the option.
Some magnets don't fit snugly in their pockets. Applying a thickness or two of adhesive address label paper to the magnet to shim it toward the armature can smooth and quiet the performance.
Since "mandoman" mentioned the Aurora Tuff Ones chassis: Can anyone explain the distinctions between a standard chassis and a "Tuff Ones" - and also of a "Fast and Furious"? What are the distinguishing features?
Go to the modelmotorist dot com for pictures of the various Aurora chassis. If I remember correctly "Tuff Ones" had silver plated electrical parts, the final drive pinion had 14 teeth, the hub of the crown gear was shortened, the rear wheels and tires were wider than standard T-Jets and the front end had independantly rotating wheels.