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Roller Coasters General Tips

General Roller Coaster Tips

  • Go through the parts according to the Part List in the instructions before building to familiarize yourself with parts included in the set. Contact K'NEX for missing or defective part replacements: 800-KID-KNEX or email@KNEX.com
  • As you start each section find one part where you would like to start and add on to that part until you have completed that section. As you complete a page, be sure to review your construction with the image of the built section on that page before moving on to the next page.
  • As you begin to build up off the base (after the first few steps), press lightly on top of the structure you are building with an open hand as you complete each page. The structure should feel "springy". If it does not or seems to collapse on itself, there may be a part or two not fully hooked together or missing from a previous step– add or correct before moving on.
  • The orientation of the blue/blue, blue/gray and gray/gray connectors (picture from inx) in each section is very important for adding later parts. Carefully examine the instructions where these connectors are used to assure correct orientation. If a rod that is in the correct position does not have a spot to connect into where it should according to the instructions it is likely that a previous double connection was not oriented correctly.

Tips for Coasters with Pre-formed track

  • Double check that you are using the correct track piece in the correct spot before attaching it to the structure. The slightly curved tracks are identified by a "square" or a "circle" on one of the cross rungs.
  • Be sure that you have the track piece positioned as is show in the instruction book with the clip on the end of the track facing the correct way according to the instructions
  • Be sure that you are attaching the connectors (purple, yellow, etc) on the correct side of the track. Feel for the snap as you attach the connectors to the track (if you don't feel the snap, you may be attaching the connector to the wrong side of the track).
    1. The track pieces have a "right" and a "wrong" side (top and bottom). In the instruction book when you first start building with the trackwe indicate which is the top and then show the track pieces on each page with the top side facing up. In almost all cases the connectorsget attached to the underside of the tracks as indicated in the instructions. If your track pieces are popping off or will not stay put as you attach them to the main structure, or if the connectors keep popping off you have probably attached the connectors to the wrong side of the track. The connectors will, at first, attach to either side of the track pieces and we encourage you try this yourself with a piece of track and a connector. When the connector is attached firmly to one side of the track piece you will feel it "snap" into place. When attached to the wrong side, it will attach but you will not feel the "snap" and as soon as you attach it to the track or when you try to attach the next piece or run the car (any stress on the piece), the connector will pop right off or the track piece will detach from the structure.
  • Once the track piece(s) are assembled, review the attachment to the understructure carefully in the instructions before attempting on your model. Sometimes following the attachment with your finger from the piece attached before can be helpful to assure you are putting the parts in the correct place. If you follow each page and the attachment of each piece in the instructions carefully, the track should go together without issue and the car should be able to travel the whole course without problems.
  • When attaching the track piece in a particular step be sure you are hooking the ends correctly so that one does not get attached upside down by accident
  • When assembling track onto a curved section of the model it is helpful to pre-bend the track into the proper shape. Look at the instructionsand flex the piece of track to make it look like the shape shown before assembling it. Sometimes to get the shape in the image you have to bend the track a little further than shown. You may want asdfto attached the next pieces of track to the under structure first and go back and attach the curving piece after if you are attaching a particularly curving piece of track. This will take stress off the connection points so they can hold firmly in place 
  • Car – be sure to carefully attach your car to the track – pressing on the wheels can bend them causing them not to roll properly on the track
    1. Getting the car onto the track - method 1: place your fingers on either side of the track piece and pinch gently. This should allow you to easily snap the car wheels onto the track. See the video demonstration below. 

      1. Getting the car onto the track - method 2: disconnect 2 track pieces. This allows you to very easily slide the car wheels onto the track. Be sure to reconnect the track pieces once the car is in place. See the video demonstration below.

  • Having trouble assembling the little green standard to micro connector onto the track? Try one of these two methods:
    1. Push it into place at a slight angle
    2. Put the connector on a hard surface so that the part that snaps onto the track is facing up. Push the track onto the connector while placing your fingers on either side of the connector as shown in the image.

Roller Coasters with Tubing for Track

  • Placement of Cross Ties: To assure that you are starting correctly – review the placement of the Cross Ties on your model with their placement in the instructions to be sure you have them all in the right place. These help to assure that the tubing is equally spaced and hills and curves are banked properly so the car can roller through the full track. It is helpful to try the cars after each change – even one adjustment can solve the problem and you definitely don't want to adjust yourself right out of a solution! You can begin to adjust the Cross Ties forward and back to make the rails as smooth and curves as steeply banked as possible.
  • Overall, the rails should be pulled smooth and not have any bumps or dips. Remember that the rails are single strands of tubing that extend all the way around the track. A bump, dip or widening of the two sides of the rail at any spot on the track, may act as a brake on the wheels of the cars, slowing them down enough not to make it all the way around the track.

Troubleshooting Once Coaster Is Built

  • Is the car stopping before it gets back to the lift hill? Chances are something is built incorrectly. Check to see if the car is hitting the build in some way. Try testing the car in each event (loop, roll, curve, etc) individually to see if it hits something. If so, make sure the track is connected to the model properly and double check the build in this area with the instructions to ensure accuracy.
  • In general, coaster models are designed with fairly smooth curves, turns and loops. Does your model have any spots where the track looksbumpy even when built correctly? Sometimes the connectors holding the track need to be shifted one way or the other to smooth out the bumps.
  • Does the motor have trouble driving the chain? Verify all the chain guides are installed correctly. Verify the chain is sitting in the chain guides. Verify that the chain is routed though the model properly. Verify the chain links are assembled together correctly. Verify the correct number ofchain links are assembled.
  • If you have verified that your model is 100% correct and the car still won't make it all the way around the track, carefully remove the car from the track and inspect it.
    1. When looking at the car from the front or rear, are the two top wheels and two bottom wheels the same distance apart from each other? If the bottom wheels are noticeably closer together than the top wheels your car could be defective.
    2. Do all the axles look straight? If one axle is bent the car will be much slower.
    3. If the car bodies are loose they can cause the cars to run more slowly on the track. If you hold the black wheel frame with one hand canyou wiggle the car body with the other hand? If so, try tightening the screws until the car body is firmly attached.
  • Remember the rule "HOOKS UP" when dealing with chain.
    1. Always connect chain links together in the same orientation with the hooks facing up. Then when installing the chain on the model, the hooks should be facing up and should go up the hill first. Installing the chain with the hooks down can cause it to disconnect from itself over time.
  • When disassembling a coaster model to build a new one the opposite is true! After being assembled on a model for a while the track wants to holds its shape, even when removed from the model. As you remove a piece of track from the old model, bend the track so it is as flat as possible. This will make it easier to assemble into a new shape later.