1970 Hot Wheels Tune-Up Tower: Treadmill

A great way to tune hi-performance cars is to put them on a dynamometer.

An engine dynamometer. Courtesy SuperFlow.

An engine dynamometer. Courtesy SuperFlow.

A 2 wheel drive dynamometer.

A 2 wheel drive dynamometer.

An all wheel drive dynamometer. Courtesy SuperFlow.

An all wheel drive dynamometer. Courtesy SuperFlow.

A tandem axle dynamometer.

A tandem axle dynamometer.

The Hot Wheels Tune-Up Tower treadmill is the all-wheel drive type. Unfortunately, the treadmill often malfunctions.

The number one problem with the treadmill is slippery grime on the rubber roller of the drive shaft.

Grime on the rubber roller of the first Tune-Up Tower.

Grime on the rubber roller of the first Tune-Up Tower.

A complete mess for the second Tune-Up Tower.

A complete mess for the second Tune-Up Tower.

The number two problem with the treadmill is a missing torsion spring to hold the roller in place that drives the treadmill.

Here’s my YouTube video on how to disassemble, clean and repair the treadmill on a Tune-Up Tower.

So there you have it. The 1970 Hot Wheels Tune-Up Tower treadmill. Getting it to work is another step in making Hot Wheels still fast. Still fun.

A Datsun 240Z on the treadmill.

A Datsun 240Z on the treadmill.

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2 thoughts on “1970 Hot Wheels Tune-Up Tower: Treadmill

  1. One of the pins on my treadmill drive shaft cover was stubborn and I’m sure it would have broken had I continued to pry on it. I used a small screwdriver (a T-handle Allen wrench would have been better) to push the pin out from the bottom side. It will release quite suddenly so be sure to use something smaller than the pin’s hole or you may burst the pin retainer. The hole appears to be hexagonal, so my attempts to gently twist the last pin loose would have probably broken the pin sooner or later.

    The rubber “wheel” will slide off the drive shaft, giving you more room to work. I used a Q-tip and rubbing alcohol to scrub it clean. Though almost 50 years old, the rubber seems to be holding up well against time – still flexible and resilient. I suspect a short length of rubber hose could replace it if need be, but the original tapers from the center to the ends (as do the treadmill rollers, I think). I believe this works to keep the track centered. On re-assembly, push the rubber wheel up against the flange in the middle of the drive shaft.

    I found the tweezers to be an excellent way to launch the tiny drive shaft spring across the room – time after time. The final score: my fat fingers 2; tweezers -6. The spring didn’t seem to be exerting enough pressure on the drive shaft so I unwound it about half a turn (so the ends were 180 degrees apart). I needed my trusty 1.5mm Allen wrench to lift the bottom leg above the drive shaft.

    Oh, yeah: put the drive shaft cover on before you test the dynamometer or you’ll be putting it all back together again. Not that it happened to me, of course.

    Thanks again for another very helpful video!

    • BTW, if you lose the drive shaft spring, the spring that keeps the cover closed on a 3.5″ diskette won’t work: the diameter of its winding is too small to fit over the pin.

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