Scalextric Dallara IRL
 

Scalextric recently released a new series of inexpensive open wheeled slot cars suitable for club racing. These new cars are modeled after the Dallara IRL spec racer used in the Indy Racing League IndyCar series run in the United States.

 
Dallara IRL
 

A variety of different paint schemes are available, making it possible to field a large number of cars that are mechanically equal, but easily distinguished from one another. These cars are ideal for club racing because they are all exactly the same, only the paint schemes and tampo-printing differ.

 

A bare white styrene model is also available for those racers that would prefer to paint and decorate their own car.

 

The basic design of these slot cars is simplicity itself. A one-piece chassis pan carries the motor, traction magnet, guide flag and front and rear axle assemblies. A one-piece body is fastened to the chassis pan with five (5) small Philips head screws.

 
Dallara IRL Cutaway
 

The exploded drawing above illustrates the parts and sub-assemblies that comprise the Scalextric Dallara IRL slot car.

 

All mechanicals snap into receivers on the chassis pan. Even the 3/4 driver figure is attached to the chassis. The one-piece body is easily removed by loosening a few screws and lifting it off of the chassis pan.

 

These cars handle remarkably well, and are easy to drive by novices and experts alike. The low slung bodies produce a low center of gravity, making them easy to drive deep into a corner.

 

The wide rear-mounted bar magnet grabs the rails and makes for a very stable racer. The extra width of the traction magnet allows the rear end to be hung out slightly in a corner while still providing good throttle control.

 
Specifications
 
Chassis   In-Line Pan, Rear Wheel Drive
Motor   Mabuchi S Can - 18,000 RPM
Gear Ratio   9/27 (1:3.00)
     
Overall Length   155 mm
Weight   65 Grams
Wheelbase   94 mm
     
Front Axle Width   61 mm
Tire Diameter   20 mm
Tire Width   8 mm
     
Rear Axle Width   63 mm
Tire Diameter   21 mm
Tire Width   12 mm
     
Magnet   Neodymium Bar
Guide Flag   Self-Centering
 

Scalextric has done an excellent job with these models. The wide variety of liveries makes this slot car an ideal candidate for a club racing series. Scalextric has also made these cars very affordable.

 

Licensed IndyCar team liveries sell for $29.95 US (20.00 UK) while fictitious liveries sell for $19.95 (15.00 UK) and the bare white styrene model sells for only $17.95!

 
Available Models
 

The Scalextric Dallara IRL models currently available are shown below. Check with your local Scalextric dealer for new models to be released later in 2004.

 
Red Bull - C.2394
 
Red Bull No. 52
C.2394
$29.95 - 20.00
 
Pennzoil - C.2394
 
Pennzoil No. 4
C.2442
$29.95 - 20.00
 
Coteco - C.2443
 
Corteco No. 7
C.2443
$29.95 - 20.00
 
Delphi - C.2498
 
Delphi No. 2
C.2498
$29.95 - 20.00
 
Coca-Cola - C.2515
 
Coca-Cola No. 7
C.2515
$19.95 - 15.00
 
Mobil - C.2516
 
Mobil No. 5
C.2516
$19.95 - 15.00
 
Gulf - C.2517
 
Gulf No. 4
C.2517
$19.95 - 15.00
 
Pirelli - C.2518
 
Pirelli No. 3
C.2518
$19.95 - 15.00
 
White - C.2548
 
White
C.2548
$17.95
 

Along with being an ideal model for a club racing series, the Scalextric Dallara IRL is a good slot car for younger children and novice racers. The exceptional handling and low replacement costs make it suitable for inexperienced racers. Replacement parts are readily available from well stocked dealers.

 

If you haven't already tried one of these incredibly well executed slot cars, by all means do. You'll be pleasantly surprised at what can be had for as little as $17.95.

 

Setup & Tuning

 

The Dallara IRL works remarkably well right out of the box, but for best results the rear axle bearings need to be oiled. The motor armature bearings will also need a small drop of oil from time to time to keep the motor spinning freely.

 

You may find that the chassis handles better if the rear screw that secures the transaxle to the chassis is loosened slightly.

 

Like many other slot cars designed to run on plastic sectional track, you might find that the hard rubber rear tires leave something to be desired. A pair of after-market slip-on silicone tires will greatly improve the road holding performance of this slot car.

 
IndyGrips - IG1008
 
IndyGrips IG-1008
Silicone Rear Tires
New Compound
Scalextric IRL
$4.50 US
 

The rear wing is probably the single part that is most vulnerable to damage or breakage. Replacement rear wings are available from your Scalextric dealer, but you can avoid most problems if you carefully remove the rear wing from the transaxle. Gently work the rear wing supports back and forth until it comes free of the transaxle. Then simply press it back into place.

 

By first removing the rear wing and then pressing it back into place you can avoid breaking it in a hard crash. Instead of breaking, it will now simply pop out under a heavy impact. Over time the mounting holes in the transaxle may become enlarged from repeated replacement, but a small drop of Elmer's White glue will secure the wing and dry clear for an invisible bond.

 

Another tuning trick that will both improve the performance and reliability of the Dallara IRL chassis involves gluing the motor can, rear axle bearings, traction magnet and the axle assemblies directly to the chassis pan.

 
Dallara IRL Gluing Points
 

Medium-curing Cyanoacrylate or CA (Super Glue) works well. If you'll be painting your IRL racer glue these parts to the chassis after painting.

 

Painting

 

Painting and decorating a Dallara IRL car is relatively easy. Scalextric offers a bare white styrene model for just this purpose. Start by dissembling the entire car. Remove the body shell from the chassis pan and set it aside. Remove all of the mechanical and electrical parts and the driver figure from the chassis pan and set these aside as well for later assembly.

 

A small metal fuel cap is glued to the left side of the body shell, remove it by prying it loose with a pointed hobby knife and set it aside.

 

At this point you should have a bare white body shell and chassis pan. Before applying any paint, lightly sand the body shell and chassis using fine grade 000 steel wool. Scalextric applies a thin layer of clear coat to their cars that should be scuffed before painting. Knocking off the sheen will allow the paint to better adhere to the plastic parts.

 

A note about using steel wool: Keep your motors and traction magnets far from where you use steel wool, or you'll wind up with small pieces of steel wool attached to the magnets.

 

If you plan to paint the wheels remove the tires first and set them aside with all of the other parts you've accumulated. A small plastic parts storage box works well for keeping all of the small parts and screws in a single location. Keeping all of the parts together in a small parts box will also make it possible to find them later if you disassemble the car for painting and then don't reassemble it until much later. A plastic parts box will also assure that steel wool strands don't wind up in the motor.

 

With the body shell and chassis pan lightly sanded it's time to wash the body prior to painting. A small amount of dish detergent applied to an old tooth brush works best. Place the body under warm running water and scrub the shell with the toothbrush soaked in detergent. Take special care in the areas near the mirrors so that you don't bend or break them.

 

Set the body shell aside to dry and repeat the cleaning process on the chassis pan. Pay special attention to the rear of the chassis where there may be excess gear lube smeared on the chassis.

 

The Dallara IRL can be painted using either an airbrush or paint bombs. If you have an airbrush use it to apply several thin coats of paint to both the body shell and the chassis.

 

If you don't own an airbrush very good results can still be achieved using spray paint bombs. Tamiya and Testors both offer synthetic lacquer in small spray paint cans. Lacquer works best for spray painting because as it dries it will flow to create a smooth glossy finish.

 

Immerse the paint can in a pan of hot water for 10-15 minutes before use. This will thin the paint and allow it to atomize more easily. A short 9 inch length of coat hanger rod with an alligator clip soldered to one end makes an ideal fixture for holding the body while painting.

 

The secret to using these synthetic lacquers to achieve a smooth finish is to dust the body with paint using very short bursts instead of simply pressing the button and soaking the body in paint. Shake the warmed paint can for at least a full minute before use.

 

Apply the paint in several thin coats. Don't try to apply the paint in a single thick layer, but rather use several thin coats. The first coat is the most important. Just dust the body so that the color covers the entire surface but isn't yet opaque. Lacquer dries very quickly, so a second and third coat can be applied at about 1-hour intervals.

 

After two or three thin coats of lacquer inspect the body and touch up any areas that you've missed, or where the paint is thin. Set the painted parts aside and let them dry overnight before handling.

 

You can speed up the drying process by using a food dehydrator. Use a food dehydrator with a fan that will circulate the air and remove the fumes. It's best to wait about an hour after apply the final coat of lacquer though. Let the lacquer flow first, and then use the food dehydrator to finish the job.

 

If you decide to use the forced drying method it's best to purchase a food dehydrator and dedicate it solely to that purpose. Most food dehydrators come with a series of five or more stacking trays. Remove the central section of at least three of these stacking trays to allow for taller objects like slot car bodies to be dried. The trays you don't modify can be used for drying smaller parts.

 

Target Department Stores sells a inexpensive food dehydrator with a fan for $29.95 that's ideal for drying painted slot car bodies.

 
Food Dehydrator with Fan
 

Your body will be ready to handle in 2-3 hours if a food dehydrator is used. The warm circulating air will also be somewhat filtered and should prevent most dust and other foreign matter from settling on the paint surface while drying.

 

Decorating

 

Once the painted body shell and chassis pan are thoroughly dry you can apply decals to decorate your car in a variety of liveries. Patto's Place is a good source of decals for the Dallara IRL car. Patto's has a wide range of IRL, ChampCar and Formula 1 decal sheets suitable for decorating your IRL racer.

 

Patto's decal sheets are inexpensive and can normally be used to decorate a pair of cars. Formula 1 liveries usually include both the team leader and secondary driver numbers.

 

Patto's decals come printed on a sheet of paper entirely coated with lacquer. Unlike many model car kit decals which come printed on small sections of lacquer, Patto's decals need to be trimmed before application. This is not difficult to do, but it does require an extra step for best results.

 
Decal Application
 

Once the decals are applied, let them dry for several hours, or if you have a food dehydrator use it to speed up the process.

 

To protect your decals from racing damage you can apply several thin layers of clear coat to the body shell. Use the same brand of lacquer clear coat as the paint you originally used to paint the body.

 

Let the lacquer clear coat dry and them reassemble your car. Put a small drop of CA on a toothpick and apply it to the left side of the body shell to secure the fuel filler that you originally removed.

 

Your Scalextric Dallara IRL car is now ready to run!

 

Examples

 

Scalextric Dallara IRL cars that have been painted and decorated using Patto's Place decal sheets are shown below. These cars were created for an IRL racing series run at Pastimes Hobbies in Elm Grove, Wisconsin.

 
Jordan F1
 

The green car shown above was decorated using Patto's decal sheet for a Jordan 1991 Formula 1 car.

 
Lotus 99T F1
 

The next car shown here was decorated using Patto's decal sheet for a Lotus 99T Formula 1 car.

 

If you've never tried your hand at painting a slot car then the Scalextric Dallara IRL is an ideal first project. Surprisingly good results can be achieved with a minimum of time and effort. The low cost of this model makes it possible to create an entire field of well performing open wheeled cars that you'll be proud to show and race.

 
 
Copyright 2003-2004 by Slot Car Review. All Rights Reserved. Print