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Thread: Retro Setup Question

  1. #1
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    Retro Setup Question

    I am having a hard time getting my Can Am Cars set up.
    They seem to deslot with little or no warning.
    Other cars I race are easy to watch and I can tell when I`m going too hard.

    Do you want the guide angled up a little like on regular slot cars?

    Most all the comments I hear are "They don`t drive like a flexi car."

    I`ve tried several kinds of tires and messed with guide spacing already.
    I have 2 nice chassis and I would like to start having fun racing these things but so far it sucks.

  2. #2
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    Mike,

    Are the cars coming out nose-first in the early part of a turn, "Bicycling" in the middle of the turn or stepping out with the rear at the exit of the turn?

    Make sure there is a little up-angle on the guide, as there is a lot of difference in ride height from front to rear. Also, retro cars need to run fairly hard on their front tires. Set the guide spacers so that with the car on the track, if you push down on the guide, the rear wheels should lift about .010"

    If the car comes out in the start of the turn or bicycles in the middle of the turn, you need harder tires, and/or more weight at the REAR of the car.
    Dennis Samson

    Scratchbuilding is life
    Life is scratchbuilt

    Samson Classics

  3. #3
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    Best I can tell Dennis, they come out mid turn most of the time.
    The don`t seem to be sliming.
    Thanks for the advise.

  4. #4
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    That is usually the case. We set inline cars up using anglewinder knowledge, and that means they do not have enough rear weight to make them slide predictably.
    Dennis Samson

    Scratchbuilding is life
    Life is scratchbuilt

    Samson Classics

  5. #5
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    Yeah, weight in the back goes against what I know from all my years of racing.
    I put some lead up front but it didn`t help at all.

    I will try some harder tires and maybe a little lead on the back of the pans next time.

  6. #6
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    Think about what happens as the car enters the turn. Newton's law says that things continue in their current state until acted on by an outside force. So the car wants to go straight until the slot starts forcing the guide to one side. The light the front end, the easier it will follow the slot, which is what you want. Now, as the front of the car starts to move sideways, the rear of the car still wants to go straight, and the heavier it is the easier it can do that, which starts the slide.

    Of course it is possible to put too much weight at the rear, and then what happens is that the rear end just keeps going and the car de-slots rear-end first, or waggles its way around the turn, alternating between the tail being in line or hanging out too far.

    Back when retro started, I saw Gorski and TonyP building with heavy rear brackets and moving the motor as far back as possible and wondered why their stuff worked so well.

    So, I started experimenting and testing with weight distribution. I found that on a Flexi frame with a Falcon motor there was about 55% of its weight on the rear wheels, but the the inline retro car was around 48%. As soon as I started adding weight to the rear end, my cars became more predictable and easier to drive. Not necessarily faster on a single lap, but way better over 24 minutes.
    Dennis Samson

    Scratchbuilding is life
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    Samson Classics

  7. #7
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    Nov 2012
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    161
    There are several things to consider with this issue of cornering efficiently. I’ve come to give a lot more attention to slide, especially on flat tracks. It is a fine balance of grip and slide. Your car will also have its favorite lanes for performance and other lanes, not so good. A car that can perform well on all lanes is the car to be desired. Track conditions can change overnight or even in the middle of a race and so your tires need to match current track circumstance much as possible.


    Recently I read of a top racer running a 95 gram car on Buena Park’s flat track and winning. This was unheard of a few years ago when 115 to 120 gram cars were in vogue. Tire choice is a lot more critical with lightweight cars. Heavier balanced cars are just a lot more forgiving. I have at least two retro cars for our Thursday races. A light, medium and (sometimes) heavy car that are ready to meet the challenge. If you have just one car and there is no changing the chassis other than adding lead strips, then trial and error with rear tires is going to be your best tuning method.


    With regard to rear weight impact, your standard JK inline bracket (if memory serves) has a distance of .8” to .9” from the axle to motor. Because I make my own brackets, I’ve shortened that distance to as little as .495. This will take the motor itself and add weight to the rear end. There is a slight drawback in that your motor sits up high in a conventional motor bracket setup. Unlike the anglewinder that sits the motor down tight, there is no other way around that unless you use a “hypoid” bracket setup (another subject).

    Providing you have your fronts rolling firm, and proper guide depth setting, gearing,etc.
    Get out the tires and find out what works. Hope this helps.
    Last edited by Mid-Cal Racer; 04-23-2013 at 03:33 PM. Reason: spelling

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by La Cucaracha View Post
    Yeah, weight in the back goes against what I know from all my years of racing.
    I put some lead up front but it didn`t help at all.

    I will try some harder tires and maybe a little lead on the back of the pans next time.
    I now see why you don't like Retro racing. Its a little harder to set the cars up then most racers are used to. Practice makes perfect.
    KellyRacing

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by D.Z. View Post
    I now see why you don't like Retro racing. Its a little harder to set the cars up then most racers are used to. Practice makes perfect.
    I think it is just different. For people like myself who did not grow up had building chassis, Retro is hard to dive in to. They are harder to set up and they are typically slower than the current fast flexi's. Add in the extra expense(if you don't build it) of the chassis(@$100+ bare) and the cost versus speed is not as favorable. Now if I grew up with that style or I liked bending wire the cost wouldn't be a factor at all

    There are so many options as far as style of racing that helps make this hobby great. Personally I like the fact that there are still staunch wing car racers as well as hard body, retro, ISRA/USRA D2 and even digital. We don't all have to agree on what we like.

    I'm like Mike in that I haven't got into Retro yet, but being a new track owner in the South, that will have to change.

    Back on subject...

    Thanks for the input Dennis I appreciate the time and thought put into your response. As I start to dabble in retro this info will help. Again I agrre with Mike in that adding rear weight is contrary to all my past experiences. In fact recently at a flexi race a top racer (he won that race) showed his chassis to me and sugested I add weight to right rear pan....It didn't take long before I was taking the weight off...just couldn't drive the car, but I didn't try different tires with that set up.
    Alan Ingram

  10. #10
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    The cost vs. speed aspect is definitely part of the turn off for me.

    A Puppy Dog motor and a chassis kit alone are nearly $90.

    There are several factors that make me dislike retro.
    Last edited by La Cucaracha; 05-07-2014 at 09:54 AM.

  11. #11
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    My favorite form of racing is flexi style cars. To me they are the most fun. I'm not big into racing wings anymore(at least not since the early 90s\wow I'm getting old. LOL) but I don't knock it though like Mike does retro racing. I respect all forms of racing. I might not like it but won't talk badly about racers who do like it. We all have our own opinions and that is fine. I have no problem with Mike not liking retro. I just don't like when a form of racing is degraded by certain racers because they don't like it. If racers showed up at my track racing womps with wings I would support them.
    KellyRacing

  12. #12
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    St Charles, Illinois, USA
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    First time racers should ALWAYS try the JK retro hawk or the Proslot FK option at less than $15 for their early learning cars before considering investing in the "get lucky or go broke" puppy dog......

    My finger is too old to waste money on PD's.
    l.d. kelley, M.A. Ramcatlarry@aol.com

    60 year pin 1959-2019
    Racing slot cars in America
    USRA 2019 member
    IRRA, ISRA/USA, Hardbodies 1/24 &
    1/32 - Great Lakes Slot Car Club
    retired raceway owner 1992-2007
    Omni/Cidex service center

  13. #13
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    The few track's I've been to lately the retro hawk has been a lot faster then the puppy dog, IMO.
    KellyRacing

  14. #14
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    To me retro does not make much sense if you do not like designing and building your own chassis which I do! For somewhat less than half the price of a good retro car a JK LMP car based on the Cheetah 21 with Hawk 7 is faster, more durable, easier to drive and more dependable. Racers are going to figure this out. I would like to see JK design an inline stamped steel chassis based on one of the Cheetah designs that could be used in retro racing. It would be sort of a base line against which all of our experimental designs could be judged. A 20 dollar chassis, a 13 dollar motor and the bits and pieces ought ot come out to about $60.00. I think that would bring even more racers in to retro racing.
    "Ever onward."

    Nelson Swanberg

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by nswanberg View Post
    I would like to see JK design an inline stamped steel chassis based on one of the Cheetah designs that could be used in retro racing. It would be sort of a base line against which all of our experimental designs could be judged. A 20 dollar chassis, a 13 dollar motor and the bits and pieces ought ot come out to about $60.00. I think that would bring even more racers in to retro racing.
    Perhaps it would bring more people into inline racing, but it would no longer be "retro", IMO.
    Dennis Samson

    Scratchbuilding is life
    Life is scratchbuilt

    Samson Classics

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