Homemade Slot Car Chassis

Written by josh turner
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Homemade Slot Car Chassis
Building your own slot car chassis gives you more control over the finer aspects of the car. (tools image by Marek Kosmal from Fotolia.com)

Building a slot car chassis can be as simple or as complicated as you wish. Much of the process involves choosing the right materials to use and accepting the challenge of building something with your bare hands. Slot cars come in many different classes, and each one has its own rules and regulations regarding car sizes. Most hobby shops or slot car venues offer chassis kits, but creating your own chassis gives you more control over the individual components of the car.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • 6 by 8 inch of 1/16 inch thick metal plate
  • Hacksaw or cutting tool
  • 6 inches of 3/32 inch diameter metal tubing
  • Black marker
  • Tape measure
  • Square
  • Calculator
  • Pen or pencil
  • Paper
  • Slot car body
  • Wheels
  • Motor
  • Axles
  • Rear-end gear
  • Soldering iron
  • Solder

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  1. 1

    Cut a rectangular piece of 1/16-inch-wide metal sheeting with a cutting tool or hacksaw. Follow league specifications for length and width. This will be the chassis base; the axle tubes, motor and track guide attach to this piece. When calculating the width of the piece, make sure to account for the width of the wheels and spacing as required by the league.

  2. 2

    Place the slot-car body on the chassis base. Use a black marker to mark off the centre of the front and rear wheels. Make four marks: two on each side of the chassis base.

    Homemade Slot Car Chassis
    Mark the centre of the front and rear tires for axle placement. (black marker image by Alexander Zhiltsov from Fotolia.com)
  3. 3

    Cut out a one by one inch area from the chassis base. Place the area so the rear axle will span the centre of the cut out. This cut out will be where the motor gear attaches to the rear-end gear.

  4. 4

    Cut four one-inch-long pieces of 3/32-inch diameter metal piping. Line up each of the pieces with the marks you made from the wheels; these tubes will be the axle pipes.

  5. 5

    Adjust each axle pipe to stick out a quarter inch on each side of the base, two pipes on each side of the plate. Make sure the axles go from one pipe to the other, width wise, across the chassis base. Use a square to ensure the axles are straight and parallel to each other. Once the tubes are straight across from one and other, attach them to the chassis base with a soldering iron.

    Homemade Slot Car Chassis
    Use a square to line up the axle pipes. (square image by Paul Moore from Fotolia.com)
  6. 6

    Attach the front guide and body attachment pins with a soldering iron.

  7. 7

    Attach the axles, rear-end gear, motor, wheels, front guide and body.

Tips and warnings

  • Make sure the motor and rear-end gear move together easily before attaching the motor.
  • Be careful when dealing with soldering irons and cutting tools.

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