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So Many Hemis…

September 21, 2006

In the mid-1960’s, Igarashi made quite a few versions of the “16D” sized “Hemi” motor in a vain attempt to compete with Mabuchi in the slot car busimess. Below is a list of all the variations to help you identify such motors:

1/ The first versions had retaining tabs sticking past the can opening. Chrome can, rectangular vent holes, the 4 tabs retaining the can on top and bottom. Model sold by:

-Strombecker as the “TC32” with blue end bell, green armature wire.

-Pactra as the “Hemi X88” with red end bell. Green, brown or blue arm wire. -Marusan on their own “HIT” slot car kits. Pale blue end bell. Green armature wire.

2/ Second version: no retaining tabs, the can has a flush surface where it meets the end bell. Chrome can, rectangular vent holes, two offset screws retain the can on its top and bottom.

-PactraHemi Super X88” with orange, then red, then blue, then black end bell. Used in RTR cars and sold separately only with the orange end bell. -Strombecker “Hemi” motor kit sold in clear plastic tube with instructions and winding wire. Chrome can, red end bell.

3/ Third version: no retaining tabs, the can has a flush surface where it meets the end bell. Chrome can, five slotted vent segments on each side. Black end bell, arm with green wire, new stack with smoother finish. Assembled with two offset screws on the can’s sides. Green or blue armature wire.

-PactraHemi Super X99” chrome plated can, red end bell. Very rare. Packaging unknown. Few were produced, very few have survived.

-Russkit28” also quite scarce. Gold nickel plated can, black end bell. Sold in black plastic box with clear top. Green armature wire.

In the picture below is nearly the entire range of the Igarashi “16D” sized motors. The ones missing here are the Strombecker TC32 with blue end bell and the adjustable-timing (AT) motors with red end bells. Note the various ways of can to end bell mounting, with tabs, screws on top, screws on the side. End bells are all the same (with different colors and holes for various mount) except for the Russkit 28 and Pactra X99 which received the larger brushes from the larger “36D” sized Igarashi motor.

Note that the assembly holes in the end bells were actually machined and tapped, a rather expensive production method. Hemis were always more expensive than the Mabuchi FT16 motors.

The rare Pactra X99 motor. Note the side assembly screw hole as per contemporary pro-racing use. Indeed this can and the Russkit 28 were briefly the pros favorites within 4-5 months in late 1967 to early 1968.

View of the end bell side. The twin shafts allow the pinion to be installed at either end. All these Igarashi motors had a very fragile can bearing, a sintered part simply riveted to the can and often parting with it. Pro racers using this motor soldered the bearing to the can. Angle-winder creator Gene Husting machined the can to receive a brass housing for a ball bearing.

4/ No tabs, metal end bell. Pittman-style brush arrangement on a die-cast zinc end bell. Chrome can as in Series 2, rectangular vent holes, assembled with two screws. Green armature wire.

-TestorDevastator” as used in their Ferrari 330P4 spyder RTR, one of the all-time best looking slot cars ever made. 5/ Other 16D-size “Hemis”:

-Pactra HemiSuper X88” with adjustable timing (brush holders can be rotated to advance or retard the timing). Chrome can with rectangular vent holes, red end bell. Assembled with 4 tabs. Issued by Pactra and Strombecker as after-market motors only.

Two X99 with two Russkit 28 and a later arm sold by Tradeship as a replacement for any Hemi armatures. Note that the Russkit has the pinion on the end bell side while the Pactra version had dual shafts. Also not the white Mabuchi end bell on the motor at right, a common modification by pro racers. Mura sold versions of the Hemi featuring the Mabuchi end bell and armature, called “Hemi-Buchi”.

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