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Tyco 440x2 set up questions

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  • Tyco 440x2 set up questions

    Hi Guys,

    I tried to build a Tyco to race a few years back and despite selecting all of my best components and putting them in the one chassis, it was in Woodcote's words "crap".

    Ill handling and slow so I shoved it in a drawer and left it.

    I thought I'd have another crack and this past week or so I took apart around 50 of the little blighters, measured all of my magnets, ohmed all my armatures and built 7 chassis. All of them have the Malaysian chassis with the checkmark front bulkhead and 4 dot rear bulkhead which I've been assured are the best of each.

    Top speed is nothing special in any of them compared to my usual Mega G and SG+ race cars but I was expecting to be dazzled through the bends and I'm just not sadly.

    Then I noticed something weird. One of the cars was way easier to pick up off the track than the others despite ostensibly being chassis #1 with the strongest magnets. Using a SG traction magnet it was being repelled on one side of the car and it seems to be almost repelling the rail as well. So I tried a test of measuring downforce on the scale of the complete chassis and I'm seeing wildly different figures.

    So my question is, how do you work out which way round the traction magnets go? How do you set up your Tycos?

    With a Super G with "handed" magnets it is easy. Best armature plus best matched motor and best matched traction magnets equals best car from your parts. But the Tyco seems to have this extra factor which I've not quite figured out yet.

    Should the rear face of the motor magnet and front face of the traction magnet attract or repel for example?

    Be great to learn anything you wish to share. I'll happily share my results and we can maybe help more people in the future!



  • #2
    Not sure if this post will work but here's a try...

    First off, the polarization of the traction magnets is on the Z axis, 90 degrees to the ground plane. So there is no "front" or "rear" face of any traction magnets, just top and bottom, positive and negative. Same with motor magnets... they're polarized through the center, facing the armature, and front and back don't matter.

    You're used to SG+ and others with 'left' and 'right' or high downforce/low downforce setups. On those cars, you have 1 traction magnet matched with 1 motor magnet on each side, and the traction magnets are opposite polarity from each other. High downforce: the traction magnet on each side attracts the bottom of the motor magnet on that side. Low downforce: they repel each other, but the car still sticks to the rails because the rails are un-polarized steel. Simply swapping the traction magnets around can get you one effect or the other.

    The big difference for TYCO is, their traction magnets all have the same polarity, so there is no swapping around to get a desired effect. The traction magnet on the left side attracts the white motor magnet like a high downforce setup, and the traction magnet on the right repels the right side motor magnet like a low downforce setup, making a "medium" downforce setup over the whole chassis. It sticks in the corners a bit better than low D, but still allows the motor to run out a bit more than high D. I've had some super smooth cars over the years too, so it doesn't appear to upset the balance on the armature.

    Mattel traction magnets with the smaller step are reversed polarity, and there are people out there who do magnet flipping on the old stock TYCOs so you can have a matched setup like an SG+ with high/low downforce configurations--swap in 1 of the flipped magnets and keep 1 original, then decide if you want HD or LD by switching places. You can also try 1 Mattel and 1 TYCO since they're opposite polarity, but you'll have to figure out how to shave down the shoulders without breaking the ceramic--the smaller step on the Mattel version means it can't get as close to the rails, since it's not flush with the bottom of the chassis, so there wouldn't be any advantage in doing the swap unless you could get it lower to the track. Also, most aftermarket poly traction mags for the X2 are matched sets, if you felt like going a little faster. My poly mag equipped X2s are some of my favorite cars to drive, especially with Lexan bodies.

    All that said, I've also found at the limit a stock X2 just doesn't seem as quick as a similarly equipped SG+ or Mega G (open frame, the can motor G+ is a whole different animal), so your results are consistent with my experience too. Another problem area is the body--TYCO bodies are some of the biggest and heaviest of all. On the speed front, try swapping in a Mega G armature. I was surprised at how much quicker they are, even like-for-like (6 ohm vs. 6 ohm).
    Last edited by el gecko; 03-06-2019, 07:45 PM.


    • #3
      Mega G arms are 6 ohms, stock Tyco are 6.6 ohms. Less ohms, more RPM (all other things being the same). Lucky Bob sells reverse zap traction magnets (this is the same as swapping Tyco and Mattel magnets around). Stock traction mags give around 10 grams of downforce. With reverse zap magnets I can get to 14 grams of downforce. For tips on magnet alignments visit HCSlots tuning video's.
      BTW, Mattel motor magnets are usually a bit stronger than the Tyoco magnets. Hopefully you are running the narrow chassis as they handle a whole lot better than the wide pan in every way. If you don't care about rules swap out for Pro4 strength traction magnets and hard rubber tires (I run an IROC truck fleet this way and they can be a real hoot).
      Last, pigs ear, the Tyco chassis has a very high center of gravity compared to most other contemporary chassis. You will have way more fun with a Viper and/or even a Mega G chassis.


      • #4
        Even with reversed zapped magnets a Tyco is never going to stay with a good Super G+. Even with all the mods it just doesn't have the down force. The SG+ became dominate over the ceramic magnet Tyco in the early 1990s. A Tyco with polymer magnets is a different story. Sounds like they are not appropriate for this thread.


        • #5
          Thanks guys. I should have added that the reason I'm pursuing this is because in WHO F1, the SG and MG have a minimum tyre height rule and they just cannot compete on the very twisty tracks that seem to have become the norm in F1 over the past year.

          The Mega G+ is not restricted by tyre height so if you've got one with a fast motor you will do well. I have 3 And they're all bad. But I've noticed one of our members always does well with his Tyco when the tracks get twisty.

          I did a head to head comparison with his car on Weds and while I had more top speed, his car was more planted. I don't think that was purely a tyre height issue. He just had more downforce.

          I can run the 3ohm stock Mattel/Tyco arm but motor and mags must be stock. And not worked up or anything.

          I'll check out the HC videos. And post some photos showing the cars on the scales. Each traction magnet is giving just under 15 grams of downforce. But the complete chassis would then vary between 15 and 40 grams of downforce which is what made me think something was going wrong.


          • #6
            One issue with Tyco/Mattel cars is that the motor magnets are not flush with the bottom of the chassis and that reduces their effectiveness. At one time Scale Auto/BSRT had replacement magnets for the 440X-2 chassis that were flush and those would lower the lap times by 0.1 second on my track. Tomy SG+ cars made for the Japanese market had somewhat stronger motor magnets and the polymer traction magnets could also vary in strength. The ones with two dots that I measured were 100 gauss stronger.


            • #7
              Chassis wear can only be by natural means but I'm toying with the idea of running a car on progressively lower wheels for a few thousand laps to channel the chassis. I've just done the same thing with a Micro Scalextric but that suffers from horrendous oversteer.


              • #8
                Originally posted by Gareth View Post
                Chassis wear can only be by natural means but I'm toying with the idea of running a car on progressively lower wheels for a few thousand laps to channel the chassis. I've just done the same thing with a Micro Scalextric but that suffers from horrendous oversteer.
                Gareth, wearing in the chassis is a good idea and may help. You might also consider trying a Mattel rear bulkhead to see if your driving style likes having the traction magnets move a little bit more (some do, others do not).
                Stock magnets should be zapped to bring them back to full strength (they lose flux over time).
                Often overlooked is that the bulkheads may be loose in the chassis. See if you can move the bulkheads up and down in their detents. If so you want to shim them so the arm is level to the bottom of the chassis. Shimming the arm to minimize slop is a good idea.Shim to 0.005 is about right.
                Are you running plastic or routed track? Plastic track use soft front tires just big enough to float the guide pin (roll). Routed track use hard rubber/o-rings same set up. Overall chassis should end up level front to back. Independent fronts are an advantage, especially on a twisty track.
                Last tip, use silver motor brushes from Wizzard with 0.006 silver brush springs. Makes a big difference once they break in.


                • #9
                  Thanks Aptos. Independent front ends are a no-no unfortunately but I see armature shims are allowed. Can't shim the magnets though.

                  Here's a link to the WHO F1 rules to show what I'm building to.


                  It's quite tight in terms of keeping the car stock which is why I'm looking at such advanced methods of box stock tuning.

                  We run on plastic AFX track for all classes.


                  • #10
                    OK, quick read through the rules and this is what I would do:
                    Reverse zap traction magnets (seems to my interpretation that this is allowed within the WHO rules?). Zapped motor magnets.
                    Use longer Wizzard CH4 guide pin. Set up to maximize penetration on the plastic track you are running (test until right depth).
                    Rears, use full width, double flange Quicker 0.265 diameter rims (purple). Use white or green Super Tires. Test until you find the combo.
                    Use BSRT (or Tyco 440, not X2) ski shoes. Clean the contact points, set up for full contact. Test on track you will run.
                    Use silver Wiz motor brushes with 0.006 springs.
                    Use o-ring fronts, stock F1 diameter (not larger OD from wide chassis).
                    Use 1980's Tyco F1 body, not the late 90's bodies with high CG. Use Ferrari body if you can find one or other non-white body, remove front wings (they will break off anyway). I recommend the Ferrari or Beneton body because the plastic is stronger than Tyco white plastic which will have age reacted. Basically, any non-white plastic Tyco F1 body will last longer. Worst is the McLaren BTW, one hit and they crack in half.
                    Good luck and let us know if this works for you (although I would run the Super G+ given the choices).


                    • #11
                      Thanks again Aptos. I'll have to use black tyres though. I've got the long Wizzard pin on plus the silver springs, double pickup springs, silver flat shoes and the 3 ohm arm in on my best chassis. And Wizzard o-ring front end and Quicker 250s on the rear. Still doesn't grip well so maybe zapping will need to be looked at.

                      As I've mentioned up thread, the SG+ is hopelessly crippled by the .453 minimum tyre height rule. My SG+ is currently one of the quickest in the club and I helped a friend build one of equal spec. It might even be quicker. He raced it as an F1 car on Wednesday....finished 15th out of 16th. Beaten by both Tycos in the field and every Mega G+. Only I finished behind him with a defective car!


                      • #12
                        I think the 3.5 is way to much unbalanced RPM. Stay with a good 6 ohm.
                        Try the Mega arm, Gecko see's a gain.
                        Shoe tips need a tweak, They are called ski's. Make the tips rise up as to slide up on rail joints. To flat they crash into joints.
                        That will smooth the car out and you might find going lower with tires will become able.


                        • #13
                          Agreed, the Mattel 3.5 ohm arm is too punchy for ceramic racing, although they do well with poly mags.

                          One other thing permitted in the WHO rules is rear axle spacers. I feel that it's fairly critical to get the gear mesh dialed in, limit the side to side play of the axle, and make sure the motor brushes are broken in properly... usually this background tuning gives me a decently quick car (or at least a reliable car), even with junkyard armatures. One other thing to check is rear axle slop--if the axle is bouncing around in enlarged holes, that'll throw the handling off for sure. I've had this happen on a few of mine and I just used larger diameter SG+ axles instead.


                          • #14
                            "double pickup springs" : If you use these you need to dial back the force from the stock setting. You should set them for around 4 grams of force, maybe 5, but no more.

                            "Shoe tips need a tweak", yes, if you use the Wizzard ski shoe and you run on plastic sectional track you should increase the radius at the front of the shoe.

                            "the 3.5 is way to much unbalanced RPM" : I agree generally but depends on the length of the straights and how many curves there are in your layout. I prefer the Mega-G 6 ohm arm as a compromise but it sounds like that might not be allowed?

                            No one has mentioned this yet but gears. The stock Tyco gears are not bad but Lifelike M chassis gears are even better and maintain the 7/25 ratio of the Tyco gears. You will get better mesh and high RPM for the same package using the LL gears (try the new ones from Harden Creek, they're even better than the stock ones but you will need to shorten the axle collar to get the correct fit.).

                            Last thing, "rear axle spacers": Shimming crown to get the correct mesh is a great idea but continue to use the gear idler. The Tyco chassis has a lot of lateral flex that robs your car of power in the curves and chews up your gears if you eliminate the idler. You can see the flex when you twist the chassis.


                            • #15
                              The trick for speed in tuning a brush 6 ohm, after you have the chassis sorted out will be brush tension. You can shorten the brush .030, it will free up the spin. Its a ceramic car, you should feel little to no drag when you rotate the drive line.The car shouldn't stutter and shake when you hold it at the bench. If it does check arm location. Does it smooth out when you push arm forward, backward? use shims to here. Against plastic bulk heads use a metal shim where it touches. Plastic to plastic will make friction.
                              Tyco has the plastic bushing. Keep an eye on those. Doesn't take to many high heat cycles to bugger those.
                              Do not over look using TYCO stock brushes, They are a quality brush.