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Tiny SlotIt Set Screws

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  • Tiny SlotIt Set Screws

    I raced in the second IHSR endurance race this summer. Both races were 4 hours long -- a total of 8 half-hour segments. All the cars were SlotIt brand, and largely stock. The teams were typically two drivers. In both races there was a three-man team, because an odd number of racers showed up.

    The rules for the race required at least one driver change per segment, and at least one change of the rear wheels and tires, done under green. No work could be done on the cars except during green-flag racing.

    The wheel/tire changes turned out to be very challenging. The reason? SlotIt brand cars use 2mm set screws for the rear wheels. In both races, despite the fact that I, my teammate, and others who tried to help out, had a devilish time trying to get our tools to fit and turn those set screws.

    We had a selection of quality tools, including the allen wrenches provided by SlotIt with their cars, premium Wiha brand hex drivers, and other industrial quality hex drivers sold by McMaster-Carr. We couldn't get enough purchase to unscrew the little -- danged -- screws. And then we couldn't get them tight again.

    At one point I used a Dremel cutoff wheel to grind a new, sharp end on the SlotIt allen wrench. That helped a little bit, but not for very long.

    I also tried substituting brand new 2mm set screws I had purchased from McMaster-Carr. Again, presumably industrial quality fasteners. Didn't solve the problem.

    During the race today the track owner/race director got out his own tool and tried to help us. He finally allowed my team to finish the race without any more tire changes.

    In both races my team lost so much time in the pits we had no hope of being competitive. We finished last in both races.

    No sour grapes here. Endurance races are notorious for WTF issues scuppering teams. But I am frustrated that both our races were bitten by what can only be quality issues with the equipment.

    My solution will be to drill out and re-tap all of the SlotIt set-screw holes for larger screws, and hope they pass tech. I suppose I'll have to bring along stock hardware just in case they don't.

    Has anyone else run up against this issue? Any better solutions?

    Comments please.

    Ed Bianchi