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Thoughts after assembling first BRM

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  • Thoughts after assembling first BRM

    First of all - these are well-made, gorgeous cars. Great detail and designed to run well out of the box. We'll be starting a few Box Stock BRM races this Fall that I hope will turn into a series. I have two and will likely buy a couple of the IMSA cars. Well done, BRM!

    There are, however, a few small troubles I have had that can probably be corrected by suggestions from you all and some may taken as recommendations for BRM. I'll start with the latter. I'm glad the kit came with an allen wrench, because none of my three were the right size. The ones I own have good gripping handles and have fit every grub screw I have run across so far - until now. I think mine are .035 ( M2) and .050. The little L-shaped ones (like the one in the kit) are difficult for big clumsy fingers and failing eyesight. Why a new size? Well, that can be overcome by knowing what size allen wrench the BRM grub screws need, as several of the handles I have will accept different size tips. Allen size was not indicated anywhere as far as I could tell. Any one know the size? Second, again related to fine dexterity, why have the body screws include itsy-bitsy washers? Why not have broader head screws, or those ones with a "washer" built in to the head? It won't take me long to drop a washer on the floor - which means it will bounce an unreal distance and only be found by accident years from now. Finally, for this part, a little more clearance for the guide might be helpful. Even the thin braids rubbed lightly against the front of the chassis.

    Now for something you all might be able to help me with. The rear axle runs through two plastic bushings that fit fairly loosely in the axle holders. Further, since there is no guide in the pinion/crown arrangement, gear mesh is controlled by tolerances between the wheels and bushings. My first assembly attempt resulted in in the crown gear losing contact with the pinion after a few laps. I believe that the grub screws were not tight enough (see allen wrench discussion above). Now I think it is set up right but I wonder if there might be a better system, particularly with the loose fitting bushings. Would a properly-sized spacer between the flat surface of the crown and the axle holder/bushing surface be a better and more reliable system? I believe that crown gears with motor shaft guides are fairly recent and older slot cars all used the "shim" or wheel/bushing tolerance method. Perhaps someone with experience with these set-ups can recommend the best approach.

    Again, I love the cars. I want to be able to set them up to run as well as they look and to be able to easily remove and re-install the body for maintenance and to change gears for adjustment to differing tracks.



  • #2
    Thank you for the comments.

    First I will have to check on the Allen Key size, not in the office right now so can not measure.

    With regard to the chassis clearance around the braid this has been passed back to BRM and I believe it will be addressed on the IMSA cars next year.

    By sanding a little it can easily be solved right now, but BRM are aware of this point.

    Regarding gear mesh, this is an interesting point, first this is the norm in all but home set type cars and many reverse engineer those cars to use spacers to set the mesh like a BRM Car.

    The critical points are first setting up the rear axle/wheels with zero float as any here will create a loose gear mesh.

    Next set up the gear mesh with again zero clearance but no bind.

    You may find that the gear has a slightly tight then loose feel set up as tight as possible, then break in the gear with a light polish, at low voltage. Lubricate the bearings and axle and reset the mesh as soon as any float is observed in the mesh.

    After broken in wash off the gears and lubricate, then race on.

    Care in doing this will result in a good running car, with fairly quiet gears.

    Look for full mesh between pinion and crown, some motors have the pinion on a little far on the motor shaft creating less than full contact which can damage the gears.

    BRM are looking at refining the gears as they continue to develop the BRM line, as racing cars there is always room for improvement.

    The BRM Cars used in the first National Final in Chicago where not run in and a few were noisy at first.

    They have all broken in now and run quietly. The way ( not recommended ) we broke in the gears was to set up tight then race for a few minutes, reset mesh then race again.

    One area that can cause gear damage is if raced Marshaled and a Marshal stops a rider in full flight, we did chip a few gears doing this.

    The BRM Series next year and the National Final will be run "Crash and Learn" format to prevent unneeded damage and create a more realistic feel to 1/24 Scale Racing.

    We will run this Series with Regional Tracks all using the same format and Rules.

    The cars will be "STOCK" with only the parts supplied in the Kits used at the Races.

    The only addition will be the braid clearance point and the use of a SPEC Rear Tire.

    Regarding the washers on the body screws, I agree they are fiddly and BRM are also aware a Top Hat Screw would be better, this is being looked into.

    More news soon on the series, Events will be scheduled at Stores and Club Tracks interested in supporting a Regional Series and National Final for 2008.

    BRM and Scaleracing

    "The New Philosophy in 1/24 Scale Slot Car Racing.
    Alan Smith
    SCI Owner.



    • #3
      Hi Alan,

      Thanks for your detailed response and excellent tips on gear mesh. I will follow what you suggest.

      I was wary of a tight mesh, thinking it might put an undue strain on the motor.

      As for tires, you mention allowing spec tires. I have found the BRM stock tires to be quite good on unpainted Carrera track. I lightly sanded them and then cleaned them with naptha. There was a tendency to form little rubber balls when sanding, but they tolerated a light sanding pretty well. I'm going to run on a wood track tonight and see how they grip there.

      These are just great cars, aren't they.

      Thanks again for your help.



      • #4
        Hey Craig, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised how they run on wood tracks. We've run them on 3 wood tracks -- two at home, and one commercial 155' Blue King, and they've been excellent on each track with the stock tires. Outran Slot.Its on the Blue King (big wheels and tires help a lot)


        • #5
          Your Welcome re set up.

          Please make sure you do not bind up the rear end ( too tight ) as this will over load the motor.

          The key is tight mesh without bind, you will need to adjust as the gears wear into each other.

          To test free rev rear axle and allow to spin down, the set up should over run not stop dead. That would indicate too tight, you need zero lash but no bind.

          Care setting up and adjustment as the gears bed in will create a quiet, fast car.

          Too loose and the gears will get torn up, too tight and the car will be down on performance and have way too much mechanical brake effect.

          This is a critical part of BRM set up.

          Alan Smith
          SCI Owner.



          • #6
            I got my hands on my first BRM car today. All I can say is WOW , being pretty new to the slot scene this car has blown me away. Tested it on our local 26 metre Carrera 6 lane track with 15 shore supergrip tires and was impressed by the performance. The car just hung it's rear out nicely, and was well planted on the track. Anybody thinking about purchasing one of these car, stop thinking and just go out and buy one you won't be sorry.


            • #7
              wrench !

              as the BRM cars are ITALIAN ,you will notice that all dimensions are metric ! 3 mm axle & 1.5 mm set screws ,if you take the time though you will see that 1.5 converts to .059 ? sooo since metric wrenches (that small ) are hard to find I purchased a standard 1/16 (.o62) allen wrench w/handle for $2.75 it is tight & will feel like it "snaps" into the screw but it works great


              • #8
                Aftermarket parts

                These are wonderful cars, I hope this company can continue to grow in the U.S. market. I am probably the only one in Arizona with one of these cars and so I am racing my computer for now... The good news is that a couple of guys in our "club" like the cars, maybe they'll get some soon!
                I got my MOMO about a year ago from a Mid-America distributor not knowing then who the main importer was. Since that time I have found two very good improvements from other manufacturers for non-glue wood track use, one to the guide flag and also softer than stock rubber rear tires. (40 shore).
                Alan, would it be permissible to mention those here by name?

                Dave Deuble


                • #9
                  We are Racing BRM Stock so

                  We actively discourage any improvements as such.

                  We race on wood with the Shore 15 BRM Tires and they work fine.

                  I am well aware that the guide should be shimmed down lower to get better pressure on the braid but until BRM comes out with a shim/washer we race them stock.

                  We are building a Racing Series for BRM to grow the interest in this fine Company and their Cars.

                  We held the first Final last October in Chicago and will race again there this year October 16th-19th.

                  This will be the BRM National Final for the year, we are actively seeking Stores and Clubs to hold Regional Races to run these fun cars and build interest in BRM 1/24 Scale Racing.

                  I feel that at $149.99 we do not want to then tell people they need to spend more to make them competitive, ands as long as we all race them "STOCK" no one needs to.

                  With only a change to the Shore 15 tires these cars race great on Wood, Carrera and Sport Track with the Stock Shore 30 tires they run great on NINCO and other abrasive track surfaces.

                  I will be publishing the rules for the BRM Challenge, but basically it is Stock.

                  No weight can be added or removed and all cars must come in under 185 on a Magnet Marshal. No modification of body or chassis is allowed and we race only the stock motor.

                  Gearing can be set up 8 or 9 pinion and 34 or 36 crown, as they are supplied with the cars.

                  The IMSA Cars will be here next week hopefully that starts us getting more interest in these beautiful cars.

                  If you must modify them, please realise it is a slippery slope that we do not encourage or support. Also do not discuss it on the BRM Forum rather in 1/24 Scale Racing.

                  Sure you can make them go much faster and handle better but it is all relative, once one does it everyone has to. I prefer "STOCK" and these are a blast to race. We run 5 minute heats in our weekly events and we often run side by side for thr complete 5 minutes.

                  We run Solo 2 Hour Endurance Races once every month and again we have racers side by side for 15 minutes, you can not get closer racing.

                  One mistake and you will probably not win the race, to me this is Real and Fun and affordable.

                  I guess I am bias as I am the Importer, but no matter what, I love these cars.

                  Alan Smith
                  SCI Owner.



                  • #10

                    Thanks Alan, being new to this forum I was not sure of the direction you were going. I fully support box stock racing when replacement parts are readily available as they are now. I have not tried the 15 Shore BRM tires but have wanted to since finding out they were available.
                    I will order them when the Miller car is available. The guide flag modification was only for durability as one of the lead wires broke at the eyelet after only two laps, I soldered it but the wire broke again and I did not want to wait any longer to play with my new toy.
                    If I ever get a chance to enter one of your races I will pass tech!
                    I would even offer to host an event here but my small track in my two car garage is probably not the type of venue you require... Or is it?

                    Spring time in Arizona is in February

                    My wife would probably tolerate a two day race.

                    There are a lot of inexpensive hotels nearby.

                    I have eight to twelve locals in several classes and could probably fit ten more!

                    I could even rent a tent large enough for all.

                    Computer w/ 32" LCD.

                    Dave Deuble


                    • #11
                      Track looks fine to me.

                      I have had a few ( very few ) broken wires, having said that we ran the cars for 24 hours with no failure of wires.

                      Cars did over 120 actual miles, one gear, one guide and 2 axle bearings was all we replaced.

                      Also each car got through a set of rear tires.

                      On my wood track tires seem to last way better, not changed any tires on cars we have been Racing and Running since last August. Same cars did the BRM Final in Chicago last year and with a little freshen up the 24 Hours of Daytona.

                      Every now and then a motor goes soft, and had one quit grinding tires, not a good thing to do to motors. All in all these cars have been very reliable even the lead wires.

                      So lets talk about how we get a Race organized for your Track.

                      The idea is like the NINCO Cup we invite people to Chicago for the National Final in October, unlike the NINCO Races I want to see the Regional Events have real value, you have to place 1st or 2nd at one to be Entered in the Final.

                      We may have a last chance qualifier for those who still want in but fail in a Regional, but no open to all Final as that seems to devalue the Regional Races.

                      Hope that makes sense, Rules posted as an attachment for all to see.
                      Last edited by Scaleracing; 04-04-2008, 09:10 PM.
                      Alan Smith
                      SCI Owner.



                      • #12
                        We have all the current BRM Porsche 962's in stock at - and we carry all available BRM spare parts.

                        As Alan mentioned, we are looking forward to receiving the new IMSA livery cars, as well as a fresh supply of replacement parts in the next week or 2.

                        We race the BRM cars on our 8 lane American Raceways Windsor track every Saturday, and as Alan mentioned - the racing is CLOSE - and always a lot of fun!

                        In our recent 2 hour Enduro, the winner (David W aka "daisyslots") actually came off just 5 times - yet he NEVER had to pit or marshal his car! 4 times his car went off the wall and went back in his lane, and the 5th time he came out, but was hit by another car and went back in his own lane! I never like to attribute "luck" as a factor, as David definately earned the win... but I sure wish he would teach the rest of us how to always wind up back in your own lane like he did! LOL

                        In our enduro rules, you must retrieve your car and then "pit" by going to the office (pits) and then put your car back on in the pit box, and then back to the driver's panel. You would think we would tend to drive extremely conservative with those kind of consequences - but I was driving as hard as possible and still couldn't make up any ground on David! These cars are extremely equal, and it truly makes it a driver's race!

                        I am interested in knowing where in Arizona you are located. We have customers in Arizona who are eager to meet other slot car enthusiasts to race with.

                        Nice track! Does it fit together as a shorter version for all-inside racing, or strictly in the door-open full length mode?

                        Paul Kassens
                        [email protected]


                        • #13
                          Arizona Garage Racing

                          There is nothing better than a self marshaling car!

                          I have two wooden home tracks in Chandler AZ.
                          That is about 20 mi. S.E. of Phoenix.
                          There is a Raceway about 30 miles east of me and a nice big wooden home track up in Prescott, which is about 100 mi. north.
                          I'll look through your site for a club forum and post something there as I have on P's and Harry's.
                          Here is the indoor set-up of the new 1/24th track, too small for serious 1/24th racing but 1/32nd isn't too bad.

                          Dave Deuble
                          ARIZONA GARAGE RACING


                          • #14

                            You say that the new IMSA cars are due in about a week; a bit later than the hoped for February date, but welcome none the less.

                            My comment/questions is: I was looking at the post on the board from earlier this year ( ), and I noticed in the pictures of the IMSA cars that the Bud and Miller cars do not have the names printed on the cars.

                            What gives ? Is this the way they are being produced? Will thay have peal off "covers" like the Slot-It cras have for the tabacco adverts? Or is that it, the way they come ?



                            • #15
                              Originally posted by WRW13 View Post
                              ...and I noticed in the pictures of the IMSA cars that the Bud and Miller cars do not have the names printed on the cars...
                              I spied with my little eye that pre-production samples shown at the iHobby Expo in Chicago have no such issues. (see pix in show coverage)

                              Hopefully the production versions will be the same.