What is a "Friday Night" class car? Rules and Build inside!

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What is a "Friday Night" class car? Rules and Build inside!

Postby TuscoTodd » Mon Feb 12, 2018 7:43 pm

I wanted to share the rules and the simple method to assembling what has become a local favorite - the Akron-Canton OH HO "Friday Night" class cars!

The cars are based off the Johnny Lightning / Auto World Thunderjet chassis, which is relatively inexpensive, readily available and comes with a WIDE variety of body options! The class puts fairly strict limits on what is allowed to be done to the cars, as the goal is to have a fun, inexpensive class where the cars run reliably and have very similar performance. That is something that this class has definitely accomplished making for great door to door racing action!
:banana-dance:

First up - here are the rules that we utilize for the class:

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Re: What is a "Friday Night" class car? Rules and Build ins

Postby TuscoTodd » Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:02 pm

Now for a walk through of the simple conversion of a standard Auto World car to "Friday Night" specs!
:D

Starting with a standard Johnny Lightning / Auto World Thunderjet:

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Note - there are two general types of Johnny Lightning / Auto World chassis.
The earlier released ThunderJet type shown on the left and the newer ThunderJet Ultra-G shown on the right. As can be noted with the green pointer, the newer Ultra-G chassis comes with and added button traction magnet - if this version chassis is used, this magnet ad its plastic surround will need to be removed.

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There are a limited number of items that the rules allow as upgrades for the class. They include wheels, tires and pickup shoes as the primaries.
Staring with the wheels and tires...

For removal, there are a number of methods that can be used, however, one of the nicest methods and handiest tools I have found to use is the RT-HO wheel / pinion puller (RT-300 available here: RT-HO wheel / pinion puller) It has VERY thin fingers that allow getting into the thin gap that is typical between the wheel and chassis on a T-jet.

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Wheels removed!

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The wheels and tires that are allowed for this class are very basic and are designed to keep cost down while improving performance and driveability.
- For the rear - the choice is limited to RT-HO double flange RT-265 or RT-270 wheels (builder's preference) and RT-HO silicone RT-275 tires.

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- For the front - again, the choice is limited to an RT-HO brass weighted front end in one of four weight/tire combinations (part numbers RT-240 through RT-255). As can be seen in the picture below, I chose the heaviest (2.3 gram) / smallest tire (.302") version for this build as I find it makes the most stable platform for how I prefer to drive.
:auto-layrubber:
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For installation of the new rear wheels and tires and to help insure that they get pressed on straight, I use a wheel press from Lucky Bob (Lucky Bob - LB2000)

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The front axle assembly is composed of: a drill blank axle, brass hubs, o-ring tires and two small hub retainers for each end of the axle. (these have a sneaky habit of wanting to wander off - so working on a towel or in a tray is recommended)
I have found the easiest method of installation is to place the retainer on a hard surface, place the hub over it and then install the axle from the back side and send it home with a light tapping action.

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I prefer to upgrade the pick up shoes on my builds with Wizzard E86 Dynamic pickup shoes as they have a slightly larger / flatter contact area (stock shoe on left - Wizzard shoe on the right)

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It is recommended, for consistent handling, to glue the guide pin to the chassis. A small drop of CA type glue, applied to the area noted, works well. Note - it is recommended that the area be roughened up slightly before glue application to enhance adhesion.

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Due to the small front tire I choose to run, a countersunk, beveled machine screw is a necessary upgrade over the factory pan screw to retain the body. While a countersunk, aftermarket guide pin can be substituted - I find that using a 3/16 drill bit - lightly by hand, produces the required relief in the factory guide pin.
For a screw I utilize a 1-72 x 1/4" screw (the best source I have found for these in bulk is also through RT-HO)

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Beyond this, it is just a matter of lowering the body and getting ready for the testing at the track!

Here is the same Camaro shown on the right side of the first picture at the top, now prepped and ready for some racing fun!
:auto-checkeredflag:

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:banana-dance:
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Re: What is a "Friday Night" class car? Rules and Build ins

Postby Z-carfan » Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:12 am

That's great write up Todd, thanks!
I've wondered how you guys massaged the Johnny L's to run so nice.
Now I have an idea on what to do, been meaning to tinker with them a bit.
Mike

"When you’re back there with the squirrels, you’re bound to get your nuts cracked." - Graham Rahal
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Re: What is a "Friday Night" class car? Rules and Build ins

Postby GASSERMAN » Tue Feb 13, 2018 5:51 pm

Thank you Todd. Bob..............
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Re: What is a "Friday Night" class car? Rules and Build ins

Postby Z-carfan » Thu Feb 15, 2018 7:14 pm

Well Todd, I 'm following you down this rabbit hole.
I just placed a few orders based on your write up as this is something I've wanted to try.
Maybe I will make it up that way soon :)
Mike

"When you’re back there with the squirrels, you’re bound to get your nuts cracked." - Graham Rahal
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Re: What is a "Friday Night" class car? Rules and Build ins

Postby Z-carfan » Wed Feb 21, 2018 7:36 pm

Well, my parts came in tonight so it’s down into the man cave for some work!
Todd, sounds like I am free for the 3rd so hoping to have a car to run.
I’ll PM later for details. I plan to post my progress here for everyone to seee now I do.
Mike

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Re: What is a "Friday Night" class car? Rules and Build ins

Postby TuscoTodd » Thu Feb 22, 2018 6:16 am

That is GREAT to hear on both accounts!
Look forward to seeing your progress here and racing with you on the 3rd!
:banana-dance:
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Re: What is a "Friday Night" class car? Rules and Build ins

Postby RV Racing » Thu Feb 22, 2018 7:55 am

Our group runs a similar Johnny Lightning-based class -- CARS ("Cheap Ass Racing Series"). Our rules are a little more open on parts replacement, but the basic idea is to keep it simple and provide a class where obsolete and out-of-date Fray-style parts can be used. We also have a minimum .360" rear tire diameter, so the cars aren't stuck to the track.

Keep on racin',
Rick V.
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Re: What is a "Friday Night" class car? Rules and Build ins

Postby Z-carfan » Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:15 am

Well Got the car apart and was able to mount the new front end and rear wheels. Of course I managed to lose a pick shoe spring, now I'm off to the LHS to see if they have any, if not where do you typically get your TJet parts Todd?


Added Note: Luckily for me Tom Thumb Hobbies had a pit kit available so I can replace the lost spring. ( Ended up buying a AFX Mega G+ GT 40 while I was at it)! :auto-driving:

Gotta support the LHS whenever I can.
Mike

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