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Fixing front end warpage on Digital F1 cars

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  • Fixing front end warpage on Digital F1 cars


    I thought it was time to create a dedicated thread on warpage issues w/ Digital F1 cars. In general, this information is useful for analog cars as well but the warpage is more of a relevant issue w/ the digital cars.

    To begin, the two most common issues you will run into w/ front end warpage is:

    1) inconsistent or no lane changing
    2) more de-slots during high speed turns

    As a way to better illustrate how to know you have a warped front end, here is a pic of a car that had the issue before I fixed it.

    As you will notice, the tell tale signs of the problem is that the guide blade is sticking out of the slot in an upward angle and usually one or more of your tires may not be touching the track. In this configuration, the height of the guide blade is a big problem for lane changing since the idea is that the plunger in the blade needs to go deeper into the slot to activate the mechanical LC gate. With the blade riding high, it will in most cases miss the switch and no lane changing will occur. Also, de-slots on curves will increase because there is just less blade in the slot as well as an imbalance w/ one front wheel being higher.

    To correct this problem, I have found that simply adding a bit of weight to the trouble prone area will reverse the problem very effectively. In addition, because the plastic used on the F1 car is very flexible, no heat is required in addition to the weight (on closed wheeled cars, the stiffness of the plastic on those chassis' would require some heat).

    So let's begin the procedure. The first thing you need to do is strip the car down to its bare chassis. you will need to remove the body, the guide blade, motor, lane change solinoid, and the digital chip (make sure to not bend the chip in anyway due to the fragility of the reed switch located in the rear of the chip). Once this is done, my procedure was to use carefully positioned CD jewel cases to not only prop up the car but to also utilize it as weight (see pics below).

    As you can see in the pic above, the tires are resting on separate CD jewel cases w/ the chassis in between. The idea here is to give the car some height so when weight is applied on top it will bend the chassis just below the car's normal underside clearance.

    In this 2nd picture below, you will notice that I have several CD's now sitting on top of the one that is applying compression to the chassis. Depending on how severe the warp is, this will dictate how much weight needs to be on the chassis to correct the issue but in general you don't need much.

    At this point, leave the car in this position for about 12 hours and the warp should be removed. As an FYI, the chassis will appear to be lower than it should be and that is okay. Once you put all the parts back together, it will be in its correct position and function the way it was meant to.
    Now here is a pic of the car as of today and several months after the repair.

    You will notice that the guide blade is now much lower and both sets of tires are now touching the track. Not only can this baby change lanes very consistently but it can sure handle the curves like nothing else.

    Last edited by LDFan; 09-16-2012, 10:20 PM.

  • #2
    That might actually work with my carrera audi that I'm having problems with