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Maintenance Tonka Clutch Popper

Maintenance: Fix curving (hook/slice) Part 2

Following on from the previous post, there’s another thing to try to help with this (I’ve also added to the bottom of that one) .
!! Caveatonly try this (and the other fix that involves either taking the motor out, or pushing the frame walls) if you have a very uncontrollable car where the other less invasive hacks/fixes haven’t worked – this is namely:
Adding weight & sanding smooth tires
Using a meter of PVC anti-slip mat on smooth surface – like this

PVC anti-slip matting


. This is because it’s possible to make things worse if you’re not careful and difficult to undo i.e. put the frame back into the state it was before.

So after a bit more investigation and experimenting, I think there is another piece to the puzzle – kind of related to the point about the axle movement, and that is movement of the flywheel from side to side. The same effect of crashes applying force to the steel frame of the motor, applies even more so to the flywheel. A spinning flywheel carries a lot of energy and if that is directed against the frame (in a crash) then it will push that out a tiny bit each time. If the flywheel has much movement in a left to right direction, then when it is spinning it may ‘kick’ a bit to one side or the other affecting the direction of the car. So same as with the axle, pushing that far side wall back in a bit will reduce that movement. In fact this should be the first thing to try (for very bad ones only – ones that immediately spin out even with the other hacks/fixes applied) as doesn’t require removing the motor, and it may be all that is required!

You could also try putting in an e-clip/circlip in this gap (could do the same with the axle gap), with some grease, if you don’t want to push the frame. I haven’t tried that yet but could be a good solution – just need to make sure it’s not too tight as getting one of those clips out once in could be difficult/near impossible:)

I have a close to original factory condition model, which is useful for reference, and on that one the flywheel hardly moves from side to side at all. They also applied a factory grease on that joint between the flywheel and the frame, which often has dried up and goes kind of orange with age. So maybe a good idea to put something similar back there before pushing the side back in, maybe like a small amount of white lithium grease or similar.

After this it may still need a little weight, like the one I tried this with, but this fix may just be the ticket for those that really hook/slice badly. I found the best way to push that frame wall in (slowly and gently) was using bent nose pliers like these:

Bent nose circlip pliers

Then you can push in a bit gripping both sides, a bit at a time until that flywheel movement has pretty much gone – there should still be a little movement to allow the flywheel to spin freely, so just push a little, check then spin of the flywheel to make sure it’s not rubbing or too tight – it’s a lot harder to pull that wall back out than it is to push it in!(see caveat above!). Or, as I said before, if you’re not keen on forcing the frame then maybe try an e-clip/circlip, I’ll try this sometime and see how it works and write up the result.

Give it a run, and maybe that’s all it needed!

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