A Technical Article From the Electric Dream Team:
Monogram’s Lola T70
by L. Owen Fast
Monogram actually came a lot closer to getting its reborn Lola T70 right than you might think at first glance or even a first drive. All the right pieces are there so you have to wonder why the parts of it look so right but the assembled car somehow looks – well, just wrong. Specifically, why did they mount the body so stratospherically high on the chassis? And why did they design the chassis for a tire diameter that is only a couple of paper thicknesses larger than the diameter of the spur gear? None of it has to be that way. There’s room inside the body for larger diameter tires, and there’s no reason why they couldn’t have mounted the magnet lower to keep it within proper downforce distance of the track.
Anyway, you’ll be happy to know that correcting the mistakes turns out to be fairly easy and turns the model into the truly beautiful piece of automotive art it was meant to be. Not only can you make it look like it’s supposed to; you can also make a very good runner out of it.
The revised magnet installation using a Professor Motor magnet makes a big difference in the car’s handling.
The first step in lowering the body is to get rid of all the superfluous electronic bits on top of the motor. Remember, all they do is suppress interference with broadcast TV caused by arcing between the motor brushes and the commutator. They make no difference in the car’s performance, and you probably have cable TV, which is not affected by slot car motors.
With a soldering iron, carefully disconnect the lead wires from the metal tabs on the endbell. Then snip the little electronic bits off the lead wires. Then, unsolder the bits from the endbell tabs and the top of the can.Be sure to remove the two blobs of solder on the can as completely as possible.While doing this, try not to heat the can up any more than necessary.
The removal of all the hardware from atop the motor makes room to lower the body.
This will leave you with two lead wires that are too short. I have an organizer drawer full of odd scraps of lead wire, so, being the cheapskate I am, I simply found a couple of pieces of the needed lengths and grafted them onto the existing lead wires. If you don’t have leftover lead wire lying around or don’t want to bother with splicing wire you can simply buy a Slot It SISP03 and replace the lead wires entirely. Be sure to allow enough length for the lead wires to go around the interior tub and let the guide rotate freely.
With the wiring squared away it’s time to work on the body itself. Start by grinding down the two front body posts until they are even with the portion of the front valence that slips over them.Also cut away the two small L-shaped ribs next to the posts as shown.You will also need to grind down the two sockets for the mounting posts on the front corners of the chassis until they are flat on top, as shown below.
Modification to front body post and adjacent l-shaped rib.
Modification to front body post sockets on chassis: before (L.) and after.
Next, take 3/32″ off the length of the rear body posts. Then, cut the top two ribs off the silver-colored radiator insert at the front of the chassis. Finally, put a small drop of light plastic-compatible oil in each of the axle bushings and motor shaft bushings if you haven’t already done it.
Once you have eliminated any tire rubbing you will have a Lola T70 that is much faster, better handling and better looking than it was out of the box. I found that after these modifications the car’s performance was competitive with my Flyhistoric cars modified with Indy Grips tires, Scalextric gears, and Scalextric traction magnets, even though its tires are a little narrower than the ones on the Fly cars. Some mild radiusing and flaring of the rear wheel openings would allow a set of Fly Lola wheels with wider Indy Grips 3003 tires to be used. The modified Lola is easy and fun to drive and looks really good on the track.It will make a great addition to your collection of 60s and 70s sports-racing cars.
You’ll enjoy racing your upgraded Monogram Lola against Fly Classic cars, such as the Penske Lola coupe.
If you have any questions about this article you can contact the author by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.