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  • Tjet pickup shoes

    Needing some new tjet pickup shoes….
    not sure of which options are considered “best” for speed/handling(they’re all made of copper?)

    1) Dashmotorsports
    2). Wizzard - fray style
    3) wizzard - silver coated
    4) slottech
    5) AML

    6) any other options (didn’t BSRT or Jag hobbies make tjet pickup shoes? )

  • #2
    All of the listed shoes are copper, silver plated shoes would not be legal for formal racing and in addition silver is only 5% more conductive than copper.
    AML shoes are reproductions of the original T-Jet shoes and may be a little thicker than the other listed shoes.
    Dash shoes are thinner than the original Aurora shoes, otherwise they are the same.
    Slottech and the latest Wizzard shoes have narrower windows than the other shoes, that keeps them from wiggling from side to side. I race on one track that has a slightly wider than normal rail spacing in one spot. In that case the shoes with wider windows will often drop off of the rails and jam up the car. Older Wizzard shoes had wider windows, but they were wider so they would not have that problem.
    I just got some of the latest Wizzard Fray style shoes, I have not had a chance to put them on a car yet. The forward end of the shoes is bent to restrict their travel, I expect that most people that race their cars restrict the travel if the rules allow it. With Aurora cars that use the bigger diameter tires, like Hot Rod and Dune Buggy types, the Wizzard Fray shoes might not touch the track rails.
    Note that Slottech shoes are no longer in production, I do not know of any dealer that still has them in stock.
    Last edited by RichD; 12-08-2022, 07:06 AM.


    • #3
      Sounds like the the wizz fray tjet pickups are the best, so far…
      what about the BSRT thunder shoes?
      or Johnny lightning pickup shoes?


      • #4
        Originally posted by keven View Post
        Sounds like the the wizz fray tjet pickups are the best, so far…
        what about the BSRT thunder shoes?
        or Johnny lightning pickup shoes?
        There is no answer to your question.

        It depends on MANY factors, some of these are:

        Type of track you race on.
        Fray style chassis or skinny tire chassis.
        The rules for your club.
        The motor/magnet combination you're running.
        Are you running a solid axle in the front or an independent style.
        Are you allowed to run different shoe springs.

        Most folks I race with have as many different shoes/springs as they can find in their box. (Don't bother with JLs, they're crap)

        There are tracks I race on that simply love stock Aurora shoes, so I keep them in my box.

        Don't be afraid to experiment and try strange settups for an application.

        I still have fray cars with what we call the psycho settup. That's a wizzard on one side and a slottech on the other side. REALLY!


        • #5
          Originally posted by smalltime View Post
          There is no answer to your question.
          I disagree. If the options are limited to current production parts available for purchase, the options seem very limited. Dash and Wizzard currently only list one TJet shoe each.

          The BSRT and Slottech are out of production. The Dash restricted shoe is no longer listed on the site. Same with the Wizzard silver. Is AMT even still in business? And JL/AW quality is not.

          If one is running a small diameter front wheel (say under .315") the restricted Wizzard shoe is great. The step is very flat for maximum contact, and when I've used them they require very little adjustment.

          The Dash shoes work well as a replacement for stock tjet shoes. They are a very similar shape. They are more flexible/softer/easier to bend than vintage Aurora shoes, but I don't think that really effects performance. They seem to have gotten more expensive recently. They used to be a very good deal.

          Jag hobbies does list Aurora takeoffs and AMT and repro's but how long will that stock last?

          Looking around for other options, I see Slotcarcentral is selling reproductions at a good price, but they don't mention who makes them. Also, Model Motoring (user Ratherboring on ebay) lists reproduction shoes. I believe these were made for the Model Motoring repro chassis?

          Oh. I see Harden Creek lists repro. Tjet shoes. They say they are made in the USA, which is interesting. Anyone try these? Anyone know if those are made by HC slots?


          • #6
            I saw someone on the-bay selling tjet pickup shoes made of phosphorous-bronze… looked like retro aurora pickup shoes…
            in the past I thought Slottech were pretty good and the wiz z wide shoes were a bit heavier and solid on the track… dash’s shoes were ok but seem to be a bit on the thin side.
            looked at the harden creek shoes and they looked like duplicates of the original thunder jet shoes.
            guess I will try the wizz fray pickup shoes next.


            • #7
              So many questions! I believe that AML (American Line) was a trademark that REH Distributors used for the reproduction Aurora parts that they sold. When Aurora folded up REH bought nearly everything that was left in their warehouse. The blister packaged spare parts got sold off rather quickly, but there were probably over a million rolling chassis that were sold until a few years ago. Some vendors, like JAG Hobbies, would take those apart and sell the individual parts. Recently REH sold the Aurora stuff that they had left to Slot Car Central.
              JL/AW shoes are nearly the same as the original Aurora shoes, but they are nickel plated to prevent corrosion. Nickel is not nearly as conductive as copper.
              I seem to recall that Joe Lupico (AKA Grandcheapskate) was having some reproduction T-Jet shoes made, if so, Joe does not sell his stuff directly. One of Joe's customers is JAG Hobbies. Perhaps Slot Car Central and Harden Creek is selling those as well.


              • #8
                The aftermarket T-Jet pickup shoes sold by Slot Car Central, JAG, Harden Creek and Bud's HO ( just to mention those vendors to whom I sell in large bulk lots for resale), all originate from the same US manufacturer who has been making parts for me for years . Each vendor slaps their own "brand" name on them. They are made from phosphorous bronze and have the same dimensions as the original stock Aurora shoes. They've been on the market for years and so far, no complaints. For those who race T-jets with smaller diameter front tires, the step on the original shoe may be too high as it is designed to work with the original stock tire outside diameter. So choose the correct shoe for your application.

                Since the manufacturer is located local to me there should never be any issues with losing the tooling or having to deal with overseas shipping issues. However, like many businesses, material supplies have been disrupted and so the lead time has increased significantly. Having said that, we should be fine with our existing inventory for quite a while. We usually produce enough for a couple years whenever we make a production run.

                I also provide the same vendors with shoes (and springs) for the AFX and G-Plus, all made from the same material. The AFX shoes are used on the TFX chassis and the G-Plus shoes should also work on Cox, Amrac and pre M-chassis Rokar. We hope to have two more Aurora style pickup shoes available as soon as material can be acquired.

                Last edited by Grandcheapskate; 12-01-2022, 07:21 PM.


                • #9
                  Would there be enough demand for Bachmann or Tyco-S shoes for a run?


                  • #10
                    I'd love some Tyco-S shoes! They are one of the unobtanium parts that keep me from running my S cars more.


                    • #11
                      Probably there would not be enough demand for those shoes to make doing reproductions worthwhile. One or two dies would be needed, one to punch out the flat shape and another to do the bends. I don't think that a single die could do both operations. I don't know what the minimum order would have to be to cover the cost of the dies and a profit for the fabricator. I wound expect that to be a minimum of a thousand pairs, but it is likely to be considerably higher. Grandcheapskate might be willing to tell us more.
                      In the past people have posted a question about having things made and asked how many people would be interested. One guy got enough positive responses that he went ahead with a costly project. When the things went on sale he got few orders. You might be aware that the cost of raw materials and transportation has gone up, so you can expect price increases from time to time.


                      • #12
                        One or two dies would be needed, one to punch out the flat shape and another to do the bends. I don't think that a single die could do both operations. I don't know what the minimum order would have to be to cover the cost of the dies and a profit for the fabricator.
                        If I were going to do it, It would only be with one die. Using two dies increases cost by almost double.

                        Having them made is largely dependent on WHERE you do do it. Taiwan, or Viet Nam would be a good place to start. The U.S. would be pricey, but easier to deal with for changes.

                        Usually the method is you pay for tooling and YOU own the tooling. Then the vender runs the parts, Plates them (if needed), inspects them, and then packages them for safe shipment.

                        You could have the dies made yourself and then find a stamping house willing to run that small of material. The thinner the material, the more it costs, for both tooling AND manufacturing.

                        As far as getting the material, that wouldn't be too big a problem. Electronics based material is pretty available recently. Two years ago it wasn't.

                        Your mileage may vary.


                        • #13
                          Hi Guys,
                          Without getting into details I do not understand, the tooling for the shoes we have made is called a "progressive die". Basically it is one huge block of steel with many holes drilled into it. Each of these holes is a station which could produce a bend depending on what insert is placed in the hole. The material moves along through each station and if there is an insert at that station, a bend will be made.

                          Assuming a new shoe can use the base tooling, as each shoe is designed only new inserts need to be made. We have only looked at one shoe so far (not currently being considered) which would require tooling beyond the inserts.

                          Progress is slow with every fabricator which makes parts for me, especially since the pandemic. I'm not able to get even one new shoe out per year over the past 18-24 months. And as I mentioned, there are two new shoes in the pipeline right now.

                          As far as the cost and viability of doing low demand shoes, it can be done. Whereas I know I can run off huge numbers of T-Jet and AFX shoes and get a low per piece production cost (although material costs are rising fast), running off tens of thousands of low demand shoes, such as Tyco S, Bachman, or Tyco HP-2 to mention only a few, is out of the question. Therefore were these shoes to be made, the per piece production costs would be higher and therefore the retail price would be higher. If I had to guess, I would say the retail price would easily be in the $3-$4 range per pair (bulk prices would be lower). And even at that price, I would still need to know there is enough demand where I could at least break even in a reasonable amount of time.

                          Right now, without a solid commitment to buy large bulk quantities of these shoes, I do not see a path forward. Should anyone be willing to put up the money for tooling the inserts and buying the inventory, we can have a conversation.

                          There are shoes on my wish list which will probably never be done. I have lots of Marchon, Artin and Microscalextric (pre braid), along with some Ideal and Majorette. The chances of doing shoes for those is quite low. The possibility of doing Lifelike M and Tyco HP-7 shoes is probably near the top of any future list.



                          • #14
                            Without getting into details I do not understand, the tooling for the shoes we have made is called a "progressive die".
                            I do this stuff for a living.

                            I've been designing, building, and troubleshooting progressive stamping dies for forty years.

                            If you want me to draw up a proposal for a new die AND the stamping shop to run it, I'll help. I'd do the design pro bono.

                            You would need to pay for the material and the shop time.

                            I would post my companies website, we make stuff WAY smaller than pickup shoes. But I won't post any links. The Canadians don't like links.

                            P.M. me for details.


                            • #15

                              Alan is English.


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