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Thread: Slot Car Racer Today

  1. #1981
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Central Ca.
    Posts
    75
    Quote Originally Posted by Slotcar Racer View Post
    Gary, I don't think you were racing at Lee's place in Auburn, but we used to run a retro class that was basically a PDQ #47 chassis (used to be the best C-1 chassis) and Pro Slot mini can with X12 arms. I seem to remember we ran 8T pinions on those, but I could be wrong...again....That was a pretty good class except the bodies were old style so they didn't help the car with handling much.
    8/42 is the what I will try this weekend. I drove a mini motor Bigdog arm geared 8/40 in my BD3 with no choke and it ran in the low 4's.
    I race Crash last night at our weekly club race, steel chassis F1 cars with mini motors Hawks, Falcon's and also Puppydogs are legal in this class. I had the lead for the first 4 lanes but he beat me in the last 4 lanes by 3/4 of a lap. I caught up to him in the last heat we both got wrecked and the turn marshal put him on first in the last 30 sec of the final heat that was the race. Crash out drove me in the last 4 lanes it was a fun race, we raced F1 chassis and they are hard to make clean passes, an Crash just made a few more clean passes then I did! I love the flat track in Fresno it is a drivers track!
    Go fast or go Home.

  2. #1982
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    TEXAS
    Posts
    329
    In my 40 plus years of doing this I have seen this shorting problem many times. More often than not there is a small chip of copper in between 2 of the comm segments which causes the short sometimes hard to see next to the comm tie. Since I know this happens from time to time my normal procedure when cutting my comms is to take a piece of .010 lexan and slide it thru each comm slit and clean them out thereby eliminating that possibility.
    A fellow racer recently called me and said was experiencing this problem I suggested he clean the slits and the problem was solved.
    I have never had a warp around problem with a small comm and I will race fast arm until they no longer have a clean comm path. I always give a very fast arm their last hurrah!!
    Original 16D Arms had very small comms and we used 36D brushes on them which are the same as Koford and Mura Big Foots, never had a warp around problem with them either. Not saying it doesn't happen just never happened to me.
    Cleaning the slits may not solved your problem but it will eliminate one possibility.

  3. #1983
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Montreal, Canada
    Posts
    305
    Quote Originally Posted by tnttires View Post
    In my 40 plus years of doing this I have seen this shorting problem many times. More often than not there is a small chip of copper in between 2 of the comm segments which causes the short sometimes hard to see next to the comm tie. Since I know this happens from time to time my normal procedure when cutting my comms is to take a piece of .010 lexan and slide it thru each comm slit and clean them out thereby eliminating that possibility.
    A fellow racer recently called me and said was experiencing this problem I suggested he clean the slits and the problem was solved.
    ...
    Cleaning the slits may not solved your problem but it will eliminate one possibility.
    I was thinking the same thing, but ever time I've seen dirty comm slots, I find it on the power supply (funky amp numbers and runs weird).

    For cleaning the slot I've heard of a new Xacto blade, a ball point pen (run it down the slot and it de-burs after cleaning with the blade), cardboard or plastic to not scratch the comm. All work, just develop your own technique.
    Phil Matthews

  4. #1984
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Montreal, Canada
    Posts
    305

    Tire Thoughts

    With the potential of poor quality rubber flooding the market, I thought we could talk about tire tuning to at least optimize what we have on hand. When tuning a chassis, the tires are probably your biggest change potential and this is how I look at tuning with tires on a flat* track:

    Side bite vs forward bite:
    If the car swings out entering a turn, I say it lacks side bite. If the rear squirts out when applying power, I say it lacks forward bite. The inverse would be nosing out on entry or nosing/cartwheeling and/or chattering on exit, respectively. While choke (wire and/or electric) can be used to tame forward bite issues in a race, we are looking at not needing that crutch.

    To increase side bite, I look at smaller and/or softer rims. Basically increasing the side-wall height. This is after I have made sure the edge radius on the rubber is good (I like 1/16" to 1/8" radius). For softer rims, I go to plastic (NOT carbon fiber). And for smaller rims I go to .380 or even smaller if need be. I go the other way to decrease side bite (bigger and/or stiffer rims).

    To increase forward bite, I look at softer and/or larger tires. The draw back of larger is that it will increase clearance (if I don't have another chassis with a lower axle) AND gearing (which hurts forward bite too). So this is my last resort... As for softer, we can do a quick check to see if softer rubber will help. I apply a coat of SPF 70 (anything more than SPF 60 should fork equally well), let it sit for a minute and wipe off. 3-4 laps of break in should have yielded an improvement if I was lacking forward bite (note that side bite will likely have increased too). If that is not enough, I need to find some softer rubber! I go the other way to decrease forward bite (starting with harder rubber). My order for rubber relative hardness (decreasing bite) is natural, treated, Super Natural, wonder.

    Side bite and forward bite are NOT mutually exclusive, rather they are quite closely linked. The above is a frame of reference of one relative to the other. Just keep in mind that one affects the other but to a smaller degree. IF you notice a bigger change to the other, I most often find that I have miss diagnosed the initial problem and start looking elsewhere for my troubles!

    * I differentiate flat track from bank track racing here as on a flat track we do NOT have to deal with tire compression as a MAJOR factor.
    Phil Matthews

  5. #1985
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Richmond, CA
    Posts
    1,279
    Quote Originally Posted by Flyin Brian View Post
    8/42 is the what I will try this weekend. I drove a mini motor Bigdog arm geared 8/40 in my BD3 with no choke and it ran in the low 4's.
    I race Crash last night at our weekly club race, steel chassis F1 cars with mini motors Hawks, Falcon's and also Puppydogs are legal in this class. I had the lead for the first 4 lanes but he beat me in the last 4 lanes by 3/4 of a lap. I caught up to him in the last heat we both got wrecked and the turn marshal put him on first in the last 30 sec of the final heat that was the race. Crash out drove me in the last 4 lanes it was a fun race, we raced F1 chassis and they are hard to make clean passes, an Crash just made a few more clean passes then I did! I love the flat track in Fresno it is a drivers track!
    Great report Brian! I haven't gotten my usual morning email yet from CRASH, so I think you may have shaken up the old geezer a bit!!! I think your 8T pinion will be the way to go on the flat track in Fresno. Low 4s is fast, but not sure how low your 4s are! We were running 3.9s with GT12s during the NORCAL weekend, that was on green for me. I would think a mini motor with a decent American arm would do 4.2s or so. Keep us posted.
    Journeyman Industrial Slotcar Worker, Teamsters Local 3299 AFL-CIO
    Now with "Improved Karma"

  6. #1986
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Richmond, CA
    Posts
    1,279
    Quote Originally Posted by tnttires View Post
    In my 40 plus years of doing this I have seen this shorting problem many times. More often than not there is a small chip of copper in between 2 of the comm segments which causes the short sometimes hard to see next to the comm tie. Since I know this happens from time to time my normal procedure when cutting my comms is to take a piece of .010 lexan and slide it thru each comm slit and clean them out thereby eliminating that possibility.
    A fellow racer recently called me and said was experiencing this problem I suggested he clean the slits and the problem was solved.
    I have never had a warp around problem with a small comm and I will race fast arm until they no longer have a clean comm path. I always give a very fast arm their last hurrah!!
    Original 16D Arms had very small comms and we used 36D brushes on them which are the same as Koford and Mura Big Foots, never had a warp around problem with them either. Not saying it doesn't happen just never happened to me.
    Cleaning the slits may not solved your problem but it will eliminate one possibility.
    I clean the slits whenever I true a comm, so I eliminated that possibility. What makes matters ever stranger for me, Tony, is the fact that last night I measured the comm one of my push start Super Wasp arms....and it is .199", so it is practically a new arm!!!! Oh no. That is frustrating. Even if it is a new arm, I'm still going to deposit it into my junk box, I do not want to worry about a push start armature. The only other place it can be shorting is internally. I checked this arm with my ohm meter and didn't find any shorting between comm and shaft or comm and stacks. This is weird.
    Journeyman Industrial Slotcar Worker, Teamsters Local 3299 AFL-CIO
    Now with "Improved Karma"

  7. #1987
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Richmond, CA
    Posts
    1,279
    Quote Originally Posted by pilmat View Post
    With the potential of poor quality rubber flooding the market, I thought we could talk about tire tuning to at least optimize what we have on hand. When tuning a chassis, the tires are probably your biggest change potential and this is how I look at tuning with tires on a flat* track:

    Side bite vs forward bite:
    If the car swings out entering a turn, I say it lacks side bite. If the rear squirts out when applying power, I say it lacks forward bite. The inverse would be nosing out on entry or nosing/cartwheeling and/or chattering on exit, respectively. While choke (wire and/or electric) can be used to tame forward bite issues in a race, we are looking at not needing that crutch.

    To increase side bite, I look at smaller and/or softer rims. Basically increasing the side-wall height. This is after I have made sure the edge radius on the rubber is good (I like 1/16" to 1/8" radius). For softer rims, I go to plastic (NOT carbon fiber). And for smaller rims I go to .380 or even smaller if need be. I go the other way to decrease side bite (bigger and/or stiffer rims).

    To increase forward bite, I look at softer and/or larger tires. The draw back of larger is that it will increase clearance (if I don't have another chassis with a lower axle) AND gearing (which hurts forward bite too). So this is my last resort... As for softer, we can do a quick check to see if softer rubber will help. I apply a coat of SPF 70 (anything more than SPF 60 should fork equally well), let it sit for a minute and wipe off. 3-4 laps of break in should have yielded an improvement if I was lacking forward bite (note that side bite will likely have increased too). If that is not enough, I need to find some softer rubber! I go the other way to decrease forward bite (starting with harder rubber). My order for rubber relative hardness (decreasing bite) is natural, treated, Super Natural, wonder.

    Side bite and forward bite are NOT mutually exclusive, rather they are quite closely linked. The above is a frame of reference of one relative to the other. Just keep in mind that one affects the other but to a smaller degree. IF you notice a bigger change to the other, I most often find that I have miss diagnosed the initial problem and start looking elsewhere for my troubles!

    * I differentiate flat track from bank track racing here as on a flat track we do NOT have to deal with tire compression as a MAJOR factor.
    Phil, I really find this post to be thought provoking. I'm going to text Hermanator and have him read it and we will talk about your ideas. I think I know what you are referring to with side and forward bite....we run into this particularly with the nastier little cars like ES32 and 1/32 F1 Eurosport. Those cars have to have a really good balance to be able to push them..especially the F1 cars. Very finicky. This is great information. Oh, one question, why do you think >SPF60 is needed for the suntan lotion? Do you think it is the UV protection that conditions the rubber? I always thought it was just the lotion that did the trick....whatever it is that makes the stuff soak into skin easily...the "lotion" aspect of the substance.
    Journeyman Industrial Slotcar Worker, Teamsters Local 3299 AFL-CIO
    Now with "Improved Karma"

  8. #1988
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Montreal, Canada
    Posts
    305
    Quote Originally Posted by Slotcar Racer View Post
    Oh, one question, why do you think >SPF60 is needed for the suntan lotion? Do you think it is the UV protection that conditions the rubber? I always thought it was just the lotion that did the trick....whatever it is that makes the stuff soak into skin easily...the "lotion" aspect of the substance.
    Embarrassingly, I have to admit I don't know why >SPF60. The information is quite old from my RC days. When you run what we called exotic rubber (pink/purple family, we call it wonder rubber) you would prep the tires in Paragon (heavy wintergreen stuff) before each heat. If the Paragon dried too quick (outside in the sun or inside in the electrically heated winter) we would put a coat of sunscreen OVER the Paragon. I was told to use >SPF60 and didn't question it as it just plain worked.

    With slot rubber I just use >SPF60... Avon "Skin-So-Soft" hand cream works just as well (lending proof to your theory), but I don't like the smell!!!! My current bottle is Rite-Aid SPF70 and works well (almost no smell).

    In addition to the sunscreen, I have a bottle of Epic Evil Bucks (wintergreen) that I use to really tighten up a car. It works very well but makes the tires wear faster too. So I only tend to put it on as a last minute band-aid and don't tune with it.
    Phil Matthews

  9. #1989
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    NorthWesterner now in Philippines
    Posts
    9,530
    Quote Originally Posted by Slotcar Racer View Post
    Phil, I really find this post to be thought provoking. I'm going to text Hermanator and have him read it and we will talk about your ideas. I think I know what you are referring to with side and forward bite....we run into this particularly with the nastier little cars like ES32 and 1/32 F1 Eurosport. Those cars have to have a really good balance to be able to push them..especially the F1 cars. Very finicky. This is great information. Oh, one question, why do you think >SPF60 is needed for the suntan lotion? Do you think it is the UV protection that conditions the rubber? I always thought it was just the lotion that did the trick....whatever it is that makes the stuff soak into skin easily...the "lotion" aspect of the substance.
    Years ago, Craig (flyracing) and I did tons of experimenting with every lotion and potion we could find, for cleaning & conditioning tires. Craig seemed to like the Clinique facial creams, but I think that was because he liked flirting with the Clinique girls at the department store cosmetic counters. Once I discovered the Mary Kay Hand Cream, I never found anything that worked better... in spite of all the razzing I always got about ulterior motives or alternate applications (if that was the case, my supply would probably not have lasted anywhere near as long ).

    I tried many other over the counter brands of hand lotion - but found that most of them were a lot more watery then the Mary Kay stuff. Since I had a co-worker at the time who was a Mary Kay dealer (and working hard to earn her Pink Cadillac), it was not hard to get.

    Since then, there have been numerous threads about various tire lotions and potions, and I do remember people posting about having used sun tan lotion for RC car tires. Somebody had posted that it was the PABA (para-aminobenzoic acid) in the lotion that actually softened the rubber - an ingredient that may be regulated or banned now as some sort of possible carcinogen or allergenic. I don't think it's the SPF number factor that makes it work - I think it's the PABA in the sun tan lotion that actually softens the rubber (as it does on your skin).

    More recently, I experimented with some other stuff. I always loved the smell of Wintergreen - reminded me of the old AJ's and other tire stuff in the 60's... but it was very hard to find any Wintergreen in the USA. On a previous trip to the Philippines, I found that I could buy bottles of wintergreen, sold here as a massage oil (works great for massage - and reminds me of 60's slot cars!). I brought some home - (not sure if I left it home or gave it to Craig to experiment with).

    At Walgreens / Walmart I discovered that they sell "Muscle Rub" lotion - which is very similar to Ben Gay. That stuff smells like wintergreen, and seems to work great on tires. I discovered it contains "Methyl Salicylate", which is just another name for "Oil of Wintergreen". I never really got a chance to do much experimenting with the "Muscle Rub" on scale car tires to see how it compared to the Mary Kay Hand Cream. I think between the lotion and the wintergreen, that this stuff just might be the ticket.

    Besides.... after rubbing it in your tires... you can rub some on your aging sore muscles after turn marshaling!
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    Paul Kassens
    OWH Slot Car Talk "Mom"
    The Old Weird Herald
    email: paulk@oldweirdherald.com

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

  10. #1990
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Great Valley,NY
    Posts
    1,227
    I use Paragon.
    RC tire softener.
    I like the wintergreen smell.

  11. #1991
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Montreal, Canada
    Posts
    305
    Quote Originally Posted by oldweirdherald View Post
    Years ago, Craig (flyracing) and I did tons of experimenting with every lotion and potion we could find, for cleaning & conditioning tires. Craig seemed to like the Clinique facial creams, but I think that was because he liked flirting with the Clinique girls at the department store cosmetic counters. Once I discovered the Mary Kay Hand Cream, I never found anything that worked better... in spite of all the razzing I always got about ulterior motives or alternate applications (if that was the case, my supply would probably not have lasted anywhere near as long ).

    I tried many other over the counter brands of hand lotion - but found that most of them were a lot more watery then the Mary Kay stuff. Since I had a co-worker at the time who was a Mary Kay dealer (and working hard to earn her Pink Cadillac), it was not hard to get.

    Since then, there have been numerous threads about various tire lotions and potions, and I do remember people posting about having used sun tan lotion for RC car tires. Somebody had posted that it was the PABA (para-aminobenzoic acid) in the lotion that actually softened the rubber - an ingredient that may be regulated or banned now as some sort of possible carcinogen or allergenic. I don't think it's the SPF number factor that makes it work - I think it's the PABA in the sun tan lotion that actually softens the rubber (as it does on your skin).

    More recently, I experimented with some other stuff. I always loved the smell of Wintergreen - reminded me of the old AJ's and other tire stuff in the 60's... but it was very hard to find any Wintergreen in the USA. On a previous trip to the Philippines, I found that I could buy bottles of wintergreen, sold here as a massage oil (works great for massage - and reminds me of 60's slot cars!). I brought some home - (not sure if I left it home or gave it to Craig to experiment with).

    At Walgreens / Walmart I discovered that they sell "Muscle Rub" lotion - which is very similar to Ben Gay. That stuff smells like wintergreen, and seems to work great on tires. I discovered it contains "Methyl Salicylate", which is just another name for "Oil of Wintergreen". I never really got a chance to do much experimenting with the "Muscle Rub" on scale car tires to see how it compared to the Mary Kay Hand Cream. I think between the lotion and the wintergreen, that this stuff just might be the ticket.

    Besides.... after rubbing it in your tires... you can rub some on your aging sore muscles after turn marshaling!
    I don't necessarily use the sunscreen to make a softer tire, but what I find it does is to make a bit more traction "now". The effect is not permanent (you can easily remove it by wiping the tire with lighter fluid). This leads me to look for a softer tire or elsewhere if that did not help. The wintergreen does add a "permanent" fix, but at the price of a bit more tire wear.
    Phil Matthews

  12. #1992
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Montreal, Canada
    Posts
    305
    Quote Originally Posted by La Cucaracha View Post
    I use Paragon.
    RC tire softener.
    I like the wintergreen smell.
    The current Paragon formula smells like wintergreen, but does not offer the awesome bite that the old stuff did. In about '99 they changed it and we lacked a lot of bite in RC until we figured it out.
    Phil Matthews

  13. #1993
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    621
    Paragon has several formulas... the black can brew hasn't changed at all and will still melt anything in come into contact with!

  14. #1994
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    TEXAS
    Posts
    329
    I have had arms that the would only develop a short after you ran them a few laps the heat built up. That is the reason I have some funny looking marks on the wall of my shop. I seem to have more fun trying to hurt the arm for being a bad boy rather than just dropping in the trash first.

  15. #1995
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Chesapeake, Va.
    Posts
    804
    tnt
    I always clean the comm slots and check for shorts before I rebuild the motors. The dead short is caused by both brushes contacting the same comm segment. This is readily visible without a magnifing glass. I remember running the older 16D motors and the brushes were not like Big Foots. Their cross section was square not retangular like Big Foots.
    Quote Originally Posted by tnttires View Post
    In my 40 plus years of doing this I have seen this shorting problem many times. More often than not there is a small chip of copper in between 2 of the comm segments which causes the short sometimes hard to see next to the comm tie. Since I know this happens from time to time my normal procedure when cutting my comms is to take a piece of .010 lexan and slide it thru each comm slit and clean them out thereby eliminating that possibility.
    A fellow racer recently called me and said was experiencing this problem I suggested he clean the slits and the problem was solved.
    I have never had a warp around problem with a small comm and I will race fast arm until they no longer have a clean comm path. I always give a very fast arm their last hurrah!!
    Original 16D Arms had very small comms and we used 36D brushes on them which are the same as Koford and Mura Big Foots, never had a warp around problem with them either. Not saying it doesn't happen just never happened to me.
    Cleaning the slits may not solved your problem but it will eliminate one possibility.
    I've done so much with so little for so long it seems like I can do anything with nothing at all.

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