Do you ever unscrew your mods? Why and when?

redlinederby Tuesday, 9/19/2023
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When I first saw someone tap a post and use the tiny 2-56 screws to put a car back together, it blew my mind. I had just never thought about the possibility because it wasn't a problem I was looking to solve. Plus, I figured it required special tools. Little did I know it's easy to just drill-and-screw without even tapping.

But in all honestly, I never really unscrewed a car once I put it back together. It looked nice and I felt more "pro" doing it, but I don't think I ever took advantage of the easy access it offered...but I was also a very lazy modder.

So for the more serious you even unscrew your mods during the test & building of your cars?

That also had me wondering if anyone uses the unscrew-ability to strip their mods of resources after they race? Seems like an easy way to get extra use out of weights, wheels, and all the other guts.


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LOL! I have no clue if i'm a more serious racer... ;)

Good point. I always have trouble with the measures. I'm European, so i measure in mm ;) I really love to use 2mm srews (lenght 4mm. I tried 6 and 8, but often they are to long.) because you can change small things afterwards. If you glue it, it's done.... 

YES, i use it to change things, but I hate to srew tap them. But it's a part of it ;) 

i which you all a lot of fun !

  • You don't need to tap the hole. A good 2mm screw will self tap into the soft pot metal if you drill the proper clearance hole — Stoopid_Fish_Racing
  • True. Regardless how or what screws you use, just wondering if people actually take advantage of them — redlinederby
  • Yes, i unsrcew them sometimes. To change the weight or ever the color if i‘m not happy anymore how it turned out. — Schottys_diecast

Being able to screw together and unscrew the car during the build is important to me. I will often put the car together to test fitting weights and wheel alignments., or re-dusting the wheels. Also, I've noticed that wheel alignments often change once you button up the car.

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dr_dodge 9/19/23

most of my cars have 3-5 screws, all tapped

brass plate axle retainers, heavy weight,and the posts, all bolted down

I use 2-56 macined screws, cut down to size, so they bottom in the hole, (won't back off during racing)

To drill the post well file it flat, but leave just a bit "od" of the removal hole to help center,

gyro drill bits, go 1/8" deep at a time, get the hole straight

I use the brass retainer to test and tune axles/ wheels clearence in cars before/ during adding weight

most of my cars don't have glued axles, (maybe at the end) but are mostly screwed together on the redline jig, pinch the axles to hold them

although I suck at it, I will figure this

and a bent axle is easily changed


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Numbskull 9/19/23

Over and over and over.  Until it runs straight.  If it does not run straight, I toss it and start over.

  • I always tap. — Numbskull
  • If I told you my true secret, you would not believe me. — Numbskull
  • Only touch the car if you are in a good mood. If you are not in a good mood do not touch the car. — Numbskull
  • However, the car might put you in a good mood. Good luck. — Numbskull
  • hhmmmmm...... — dr_dodge
  • Ha! You, sir, must have a lot of time on your hands! Lol! — G4DiecastRacing
  • Thats like E.F Hutton, When he talks everyone listens! Like a Sponge, Absprb and Diesect! — Bent_Rod_Racing

Yes. I usually screw and unscrew my builds a few times during the build process. Especially if you are doing a wheel swap with a larger diameter wheel and you need to enlarge the fenders.

Also, having the ability to easily take it apart to reclaim the internal weight is worth the effort to use screws. It also makes it very easy to reuse the same casting for another race, when the race rules allow it.

Also, for what it's worth, I've never used a tap for the screws.

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Marco_Polo 9/20/23

Yes,  before even start to mod and I  never tap , and yes during assembly over and over to check weight and if necessary after testing , however I haven't opened one to reclaim parts I just put them aside and build a new one every time , hummm maybe I should? Good point there...

  • I think of them as complete assemblies and maybe not subject to scavaging... I am noob and don't have alot of cars, but think that will be my approach too... — Stoopid_Fish_Racing

I Never tap mine I just E6000 it until it dries fully and E6000 the top layer of the rivit. If I need to change something on the inside, I just get needle nose plyers and pull everything off. The glue comes off clean leaving no residue. Almost like Shoe Goo if that helps and it stays shut once fully cured.

Drill and self tap. Multiple times in finalizing Car, Easy to take weight out and adjust as well as swapping body's to keep comp car clean while using second body to sand and Graphite. Did tool Grinding and sharpening for a few years so it came easy to me.

I use a #48 Irwin drill bit, its .0760" Screws go in nicely and hold great. Have only butcherd a few but that was in taking out grommets, then Glue is the order of the day!

  • Dude... tell me how to sharpen a 2mm drill bit! — Stoopid_Fish_Racing
  • FredD, I wouldn't try with such a little varmit. Better to spend $ for new, But with a small bit you can use a permant sharpie and black out the flutes. use a diamond dust hone stone. you can see angle as black is ground out. to tough to get flutes even. — Bent_Rod_Racing
  • thanks for the technique... I have never had much success, but I will try this... — Stoopid_Fish_Racing

I prefer to have access to the interior of my mods for a few reasons. 
1. to reuse the weight in future builds

2. I like to graphite the car with the body off. Especially if it's a special paint job. Graphite and fresh paint don't mix.

3. Sometimes you'll damage a wheel or not be happy with the wheels and it's nice to be able to take it apart and make the change easily.

Pro Tip...always use a good quality, sharp bit. Dull bits make the job much harder and usually damage a post making using screws next to impossible 

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FeralPatrick 9/21/23

I've all but given up on tapping/screwing, mainly due to expedience and frustration. I just use a round titanium grinding bit to remove the rivet head. With this method the cars usually "snap" back together and stay secured enough to test on the track until I'm satisfied with everything and wheels are lubed (I'm with Blueline on this one - always lube with the body off, especially if you're using iso mixed with graphite), then E-6000. That being said, I just re-opened one of my builds which had loose axles just so I could steal the wheels, and it was tapped and screwed because it had working suspension (lots of testing) and the screws acted like a suspension adjuster.

  • Screws and tension...that's a neat idea! Very cool to think of usefulness beyond just acting like a zipper for parts. — redlinederby
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SpyDude 9/21/23

I'm one of the other guys that does NOT use screws very often, if at all. What I usually do during testing (since I'm going to be opening the car multiple times) is to use a piece of scotch tape to keep the car closed during testing. When it comes time to close it up for good, I draw a line of E6000 down the inside of each door panel, press the chassis back into the body, and put a rubber band around the car to let it dry overnight. If I need to get back into the car after the glue dries, a sharp blade between the chassis and body will easily cut the glue. Yes, I have raided old cars for weights using this method, and since I also use E6000 for those, too, it's back to the blade to cut the weights out.

  • Oooh, good idea to use a bead around the underbody panels/chassis rather than the posts. — FeralPatrick

I do a very shallow tap and then the screw does the rest. Once I learned that technique I'm done with tapping forever. But since I use the weights from my returned cars I always use screws. 

P.S. 2 years in and still learning :(

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