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AFX & Magnatraction
FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
AFX photo

Aurora introduced in 1971, I remember it well, the AFX series of H.O. slot cars. These new cars replaced the Thunderjets with a new and improved high-performance chassis as well as offering an array of new body styles with "hotter" colors. I had just became a teenager when I first saw these cars and was rejuvenated again into slot cars when I bought my Super-Modified, and then those new AFXs showed up and I had to have them too. They were gorgeous cars. My first car was the lime green Nomad, and then the white and violet Javelin Pro-Stock. AFXs are the favorites of many people as they offered super performance, new "Cragar-style" 5-spoke wheels, and kept the body details that Aurora was now famous for. They came with chrome plated bumpers and all plastic highly detailed bodies in every body style you could think of.  Aurora offered AFX slot cars in Tractor-trailers, muscle cars, top-fuel rails, Can-Ams, street rods, stock-cars, off-roads, police and rescue, funny cars, and even some cars no one had ever seen before! To make things better for racing, AFX then improved itself in 1975 with "magnet cars" in the newer Magnatraction chassis. This was believed by many to be the best Aurora "pancake" armature chassis made. The AFX line survived until 1983 when Aurora was put on the auction block for the last time.
FAQs
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Are AFX chassis still available today in New Old Stock (NOS)?
Yes, they are available complete with tires and wheels! Hundreds of thousands of these chassis were made. Some are still available while others are almost extinct. Magnatraction chassis are still readily found NOS today...this is the '75 AFX magnatraction with 5-spoke hubs and the classic "Goodyear" script on the tires. Also still available is the AFX Specialty chassis with the long wheel-based chassis and odd 4-gear top plate - it also has the extra large rear tires. The '75-'83 AFX Magnatractions with its various "custom" wheel (non-5spoke) and tire combos have become somewhat limited in availability.
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What is a "mean-green" armature?
The "mean-green" armature was first available on the early AFXs - Not on Magnatractions. But "mean-green" comes from the painted lime green armature plates. It is debated whether or not the armature wire has to be green as well. This armature is considered to be one of the fastest armatures Aurora produced.
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What is a "specialty" chassis?
When the AFX line came out some odder body styles were introduced with a new chassis called the specialty chassis. This chassis is noticeably longer than the standard AFXs and has the characteristic "4-gear" top gear plate along with its unusually large rear tires and wheels that quickly identifies it. Its armatures, pickup shoes, and brushes are interchangeable with standard AFX/Magnatration chassis. The specialty chassis was offered in the early AFX chassis and also in Magnatraction chassis, though the early AFX chassis had much wider rear tires than the Magnatractions. The specialty chassis was found on the Peace Tank, Ford & Dodge vans, the rail dragsters, Vega and Grand Am funny cars, '56 Pickup, VW Things, and the Model-As.
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I have a large metal weight in the front end of my chassis, what is it?
Sears exclusively offered a 1973 series of cars called "SuperTraction". They were the same chassis as early AFX but with a special cast metal weight placed front and center of the chassis for better handling. It did work and handle better, but wasn't a big hit. These Sears SuperTraction cars came in sets and had a special "Super Traction" sticker placed on the hood of each car.
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Why doesn't my car run?
There could be several reasons, but first check these:
Pickup shoes - Many times simply replacing a pickup shoe will make the fix as the original will be worn with a "groove" in it causing the rails to not make power contact. Check the car on a test power supply by testing the chassis at the rivets on the bottom. Manually turn the armature, if the car runs now, you need to clean the pickup shoes or replace the worn one. Sometimes, in an emergency, if the groove is offset to one side, simply swapping it to the other side will make a new "groove-spot" to the unused offset portion to get you thru the race.
Magnets Improperly paired magnets can also keep a car from running. Remove the magnets and face them towards each other. If they snap together opposing each other, like "( )", they are correct and you will need to check the brushes. If the magnets pivot and "spoon" together, like "((", you need to replace one magnet.
Brushes - Check for both brushes and that they are in place in their holes. Sometimes a brush may become dislodged from its hole in the chassis. Magnatraction chassis are prone to overheating the brush springs, causing them to lose their spring tension and will need to be replaced.
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My car "squeals" and runs slow down the track, why?
The car's chassis motor needs oil. See below for places to oil your chassis.
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Where should I oil my AFX cars?
I like to recommend and use the "5-spot" method, note these are with very small drops of oil.
1st: On the bottom of the chassis in the arm center hole.
2nd: Between the arm top gear and the gearplate. Let the oil wick underneath the gear.
3rd: Between the shoulder of the crown gear (gear on rear axle) and the chassis - Not on wheel hub side.
4th: On the rear axle on the opposite side of the chassis - again, not on the wheel hub side.
5th: (optional) On the top gearplate where the pinion gear (rearmost gear) and brass gear shaft are - let oil wick onto shaft between gear and shaft.
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What parts are interchangeable on AFX and Magnatractions?
For the standard chassis, with the exception of the magnets, brushes (brush springs), pickup shoes, and front axles most other parts will interchange. The Magnatraction magnets are taller than the standard AFXs so they cannot interchange. The early AFXs the pickup shoes have an offset step in them while magnatractions pickup shoes are flat because of the lower chassis. The brushes in the 2 chassis are just plain different. AFX brushes  are silver and have a V-knotch underneath and are beveled on top. The Magnatraction brushes are round discs more carbon in color and have a small "tit" in the center - these brushes also require brush springs
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Is there an easy way to reinstall my armature gearplate without knocking out my brushes?
Yes. Place the lower chassis on a flat surface. Set the armature/gearplate flat right on top of the chassis and into the armature bottom hole.  FLAT!! NOT trying to locate the frontmost "V" gearplate locks into the lower V-section. HOLD IT THERE. The gearplate and armature will fit into place but the front section of the gearplate will have a slight bow. With your index finger, push one side of the gearplate front end toward the center, one gearplate V-lock will fall into place. Then, push the other side toward the center. Its now in place. Install gearplate snap lock and manually turn armature to ensure everything turns freely.

I hope this helps with your Aurora AFX questions and if you need to find parts for restoring your cars, see Road Race Replicas for all your needs.
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The above information is believed to be accurate, true and based on the opinions and experiences of Phil Pignon. It is for public viewing and not to be used in any publications, printed or otherwise without the written consent of Phil Pignon or Road Race Replicas
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