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    In order to do a comprehensive paint texture and tire traction test I made a 19” diameter skid pad.
    The Paint Test Skid Pad was painted with two coats of primer and two coats of Behr Eggshell Latex paint using a fine texture sponge roller.

    I tested nine different types of tires using a test chassis.
    The results of this test are listed below.

    The rolled paint surface was then repainted with two brush coats.
    All the tires were tested again.

    The whole surface of the skid pad was then wet sanded with 320 grit sandpaper.
    The entire skid pad’s surface was polished with Soft Scrub using an automotive polisher.
    All the tires were tested again.

    The Paint Test Skid Pad was then sprayed with Rust-oleum Textured Paint.
    All the tires were tested again.

    The test chassis used in the skid pad tests uses only one wheel, and tests just the fastest constant turning speed of each type of tire. (see photo)

    Each test was run by increasing the speed slowly until the fastest lap was recorded. Each test was run for a minimum of fifty laps.

    These test results are the fastest recorded lap for each tire, on each of the different surfaces.

    Tire Brand……….Rolled…………Brushed……...Polished…………Texture d
    Slot it P3.………..1.085 sec………1.109sec………1.021 sec…………1.243 sec.
    True Grip………..1.002 sec………1.083sec………1.091 sec…………1.295 sec.
    Yellow Dog……...0.912 sec………0.903sec………0.884 sec…………1.261 sec.
    Indy Grips……….0.911 sec………0.967sec………0.988 sec…………1.246 sec.
    Jel Claw…………0.895 sec……...0.984sec………0.917 sec…………1.052 sec.
    Super Tire……….0.881 sec..…….0.969sec………0.832 sec…………1.143 sec.
    Slot it S2.………..0.871 sec..…….0.831sec………0.825 sec…………1.114 sec.
    Slot it S1 Old……0.855 sec..…….0.835sec………0.812 sec…………1.176 sec.
    Slot it S1 New…..0.786 sec..…….0.801sec………0.765 sec…………1.086 sec.

    During the skid pad tests, the New Slot it S1 outperformed all of the tires on all surfaces, except one. The Jel Claw outperformed all of the tires on Rustoleum.


    This test was done to measure the amount of force that can be generated in a straight line by a slot car on different paint textures. The only limiting factor is the traction the tires have on the different paint surfaces.

    The car is placed against the Magnet Marshal and the power is increased slowly until the wheels start to spin and the force generated starts to decrease. Each test was repeated five times.
    The scale readings are the maximum force the car generated. (see photo)

    These are the results of the tests on Rust-oleum and Behr Eggshell Finish.

    Since the New Slot it S1 is the tire of choice for my track, all the tests used the new S1 tires.

    Rust-oleum……….120 to 130 grams
    Brushed texture….150 to 160 grams
    Rolled texture…….170 to 180 grams
    Polished texture….210 to 220 grams


    I ran each tire five times in both tests to get the average times shown for each type of tire.
    The test was conducted on polished Sears Latex paint @ 10 Volts.

    SUPER TIRE 1402 19X9
    Ten foot test…0.749 sec.
    Six foot test….0.526 sec.

    Slot-it P3 20x12
    Ten foot test…0.765 sec.
    Six foot test….0.562 sec.

    Slot-it S1 20x12 Original
    Ten foot test…0.733 sec.
    Six foot test….0.524 sec.

    INDY GRIPS 6001 20.5X12
    Ten foot test…0.721 sec.
    Six foot test….0.524 sec.

    Slot-it S2 20x10
    Ten foot test…0.712 sec.
    Six foot test….0.513 sec.

    JEL CLAW 19.5X9.5
    Ten foot test…0.742 sec.
    Six foot test….0.542 sec.

    TRU GRIPS 19X9
    Ten foot test…0.836 sec.
    Six foot test….0.608 sec.


    To find the Kinetic Coefficient of Friction, divide the Force that it tales to drag two tires at a constant speed, by the Weight on the tires.

    The test was conducted on polished Sears Latex paint.

    SLOT-IT P3.….357% C of F
    JELCLAW…….370% C of F
    INDYGRIP…….380% C of F
    SLOT-IT S2.…..409% C of F
    TRU GRIP…….416% C of F
    SUPERTIRE….421% C of F
    SLOT-IT S1.….440% C of F


    Jel Claw tires showed the best performance on the Rustoleum skid pad, so I tested them for a longer running time to see if the traction changed.

    This are the results of a 1000 lap test on the Rustoleum Textured skid pad.

    0 to 10 laps……….1.050 sec.
    10 to 100 laps……0.990 sec.
    100 to 200 laps…..0.970 sec.
    200 to 300 laps…..0.960 sec.
    300 to 400 laps…. 0.950 sec.
    400 to 500 laps…..0.940 sec.
    500 to 600 laps…..0.930 sec.
    600 to 700 laps…..0.920 sec.
    700 to 1000 laps…0.920 to 0.930 sec.

    No other tire I tested showed an improvement with extended running.

    Last edited by davejr; 12-06-2008, 08:23 AM.

  • #2
    Very cool tests.

    I like this one:
    SLOT-IT P3.….357% C of F
    JELCLAW…….370% C of F
    INDYGRIP…….380% C of F
    SLOT-IT S2.…..409% C of F
    TRU GRIP…….416% C of F
    SUPERTIRE….421% C of F
    SLOT-IT S1.….440% C of F

    This means we can expect more "downforce" for each gram of weight we use, to overcome the inertia of the car weight. That is, the tendency of the weight in the car to push it sideways is exceeded by the increase in traction caused by that same weight. That means the fastest cornering speed is achieved by the heaviest car. Roughly stated, every gram we add to the car increases cornering force by ~4 grams (~400%, for a coeff. of friction of ~4.0). But do other experimental results bear this out? I think I recall that Davejr came up with an optimum loading of 40 grams static load per tire, where more weight reduced cornering speed, and less weight reduced cornering speed. Am I recalling this wrong?


    • #3
      Dave, any chance that the radius you chose for your skidpad is equal to one of the plastic tracks so you could perform that same test on plastic? Although, technically, I guess you could equate the two mathematically, even with different radius. I love what you've done so far, but I think that might add a bit of extra information that many would like to know.


      • #4

        Another great test in slotcarology.
        I would like for you to add NSR ultragrips in some of your future tests. Our little group thinks it's the best rubber tire currently on the market. The reason we use NSR is that they perform well on our Sport, Classic, NINCO and wood tracks in our club. Another great rubber tire is BRM shore 15.
        Hey! That may be a good project for your next tire test. What tire perfoms the best on a variety of surfaces?



        • #5
          Wow, I am glad I didn't go ahead and paint my track with the Rustoleum....seems a glossy finish with S1's is the way to go.....


          • #6

            All of the tests were done over the past year, I edited them and made one article out of all of the tests.

            The C of F test was done at 22 grams and 42 grams on each tire. The test results were the same for both weights. The increase in weight didn’t increase the C of F. This test was done in a straight line and didn’t consider side loads.

            I believe the one wheel skid pad test gives the best overall C of F results. It measures the tire grip of an individual tire in an almost normal operating conditions.

            Zoom Beedo

            The only way to do a comprehensive test would be to compare all the tires on each type of plastic track.

            The only constant measurement on a skid pad is the G/Force created by the car. This would be the only constant when changing the diameter of a skid pad.

            The surface of each track would change any measurements and they are only relative to that track surface.

            If anyone wants to send me a full circle of plastic track and any brands of tires I don’t have, I would be willing to perform a similar test and post the results.



            • #7
              Dave - I don't know if this further testing has anything to do with my advocacy about Rustoleum texture paint, but if so there's 2 points I have made that aren't addressed in your testing.

              First, I have always said it is not the perfect surface, but overall for stock RTR tires it is the best I've run on - that list includes all the plastics as well as several latex painted wood and plastic tracks and other type paints.

              Will a car with a aftermarket XYZ tire grip better on a particular different surface...sure, but how many out there can run stock Ninco, Artin, Scalextric, Slot.It, SCX, Fly, ProSlot, R-M, etc. in all their various sizes and compounds with a minimum to none tuning and have acceptable handling???

              Second, I have mentioned that aftermarket tires show little to no gain or even less grip on this surface over stock tires. So your testing of these type tires agree with my own, these compounds are formulated for plain plastic or latex as they are the most common surfaces raced on.

              I would also say that given two exact layouts except one with texture and the other latex, that a faster lap time could be had with the same car with an aftermarket tire on the latex vs any tire tried on the texture in most cases. However, I believe the stock tire will perform better on the texture than the latex in most cases. How well do your Slot.It's run on your track with their stock rubber tires? On mine they grip surprisingly well.

              It also should be noted that I don't mind a slightly "loose" handling car...makes the driving more entertaining then one that's so stuck in the turns.

              On a seperate note, what I find interesting is the dichotemy of some current posts - this (and others) trying to find the best traction while another is looking for a way to slow down the speeds in the turns because of the high grip that can be had with aftermarket tires...???

              Da Vols - Bruce & Harriet & Kali


              • #8
                Da Vols

                None of these tests are new, I took all my original paint and tire tests and edited them. I put all the results in one article so they can be compared to each other and so newer members can see the results of these tests.

                I am not an advocate for any thing, my testing is just to find the best slot car equipment for my track and to share my findings.

                I am also trying to find a paint to match what is on my track so I can touch up the bad spots or to do a total repaint.

                My ideas about racing are to make a car go as fast as it possibly can, under certain guidelines.

                I originally started testing tires to find the best replacement for the tires that came on my original Slot it cars. I found the Slot it S1 performed the best on my track.

                Every time I read someone’s opinion about a better tire, I would buy it and test it, trying to find a better tire than the S1s for my track.

                I make all my testing available to everyone so they can not only see a performance comparison, but also to see how to do the test themselves.



                • #9
                  Dave - I know you're not "advocating", but rather just sharing excellent information as you've always done.

                  On the other hand, I have been saying that this texture paint does have a lot of +'s and some -'s. All of which is about the traction improvement I've found using the tires that come on the cars we buy.

                  The only reason I commented is because of "brockfan's" mention that he was glad he hadn't gone ahead with the texture paint and was opting for gloss and S1's. While that combination may give the optimum results - I thought I needed to reiterate that my suggestion on another post was entirely about the benefit for stock tires and the lack of necessity for aftermarket tires in most cases...if folks have no qualms in purchasing aftermarket tires for all their cars then your testing is indeed quite valuable to them.

                  Like you, I'm always interested in getting the best performance...just find it funny odd that now when we have so many tire choices of late to improve grip that there's now folks trying to reduce the speed thru turns to be more realistic...???

                  Da Vols - Bruce & Harriet & Kali


                  • #10
                    Davejr is doing real scientific research here, and the results can be used for all-out speed, if that is what you are looking for, or lesser speeds, or even getting every car to go the same speed, depending on what you want.

                    The other thread, "Scale Speed", is more philosophical, or ideological, in that some of us have grown tired or bored with the quest for all-out speed, and want something else out of slot cars, like a more realistic, satisfying visual representation of the actual motion and handling of the cars. That would be achieved through engineering, but is in service of an ideal. We have not achieved it, and are not sure what combination of factors will get us there. Unlike the quest for all-out speed, which is very simple to measure, the concepts of "scale speed" are subjective and more personal.


                    • #11
                      I thought this thread would best suit the question I have posed below. I currently have a 2 lane, 90'/lane Carrera track and recently started a project to de-magnetise all my 1/32 and 1/24 slot cars. Without magnets, I am having a lot of problems with traction. The cars would either spin out or just slide down the embankments on the corners. On the straights they would just spin the tires and fishtail all the way to the braking areas. That was the reason I was considering texture painting the track.
                      Dave's test results seem to indicate a smooth glossy surface offers more traction than a textured finish, especially if you use Jel Claws or New S1 tires. I will standardise all my cars on one tire as mine is the only track they will race on in the foreseeable future.
                      I am now considering routing a track and scrapping the Carrera track. I like the idea of having long sweeping corners with changing radii and the freedom of shape this affords.
                      Now, after all that diatribe, the question is, based on Dave's findings of a smooth, glossy surface, I am seriously considering using MDF with a Formica or Melamine veneer surface. Has anyone tried this surface and what are your thoughts on the expected traction levels?


                      • #12

                        Before you start tearing up you track, try cleaning it thoroughly. This might solve your traction problem.

                        Formica is the best traction surface I have ever raced on. It was great for a drag strip. The only problem is if you make a mistake routing a road course, there is no way to repair the surface.

                        Semi-gloss latex paint applied with a fine foam roller gives a good finish. But if you want the smooth polished finish you can do like I did and wet sand the latex paint and polish it to what ever luster you want.

                        I would suggest sanding and polishing the paint surface before taping.



                        • #13
                          Hi Dave,
                          thanks for the response....I have tried cleaning the track with about every concoction known to man....even gave it a light sand with 0000 grade steel wool polishing cloth. Although this improved traction, it is still not where I feel it could be.
                          I was considering painting it with a sanding compound to smooth the textured surface, a coat of paint to get the color, then giving it some coats of clear finish poly. I am still not completely convinced this will give me the grip of a routed track. No offense to Carrera or plastic track in general, but no amount of polishing will make a plastic track the equivalent of a routed track for smoothness or freedom of shape.
                          I am pretty well sold on the idea of routing my own track, it really is the question of what finish to give it.
                          Your comments on the grip afforded by Formica are what I thought they would be and I trust your opinion implicitly.
                          As for errors during routing, I believe I have that beat. I did a couple of experiments and found that by cutting the slot in the MDF before applying the Formica, you can go back with a bottom bearing (trim) router bit and just follow the slot around the track to cut the slot in the Formica. I still have some more experimenting to do for cutting the braid recess but I have a couple of ideas for that as well.
                          If I do get the time to build a routed track, I will post pictures of the procedure.
                          I kinda like the track Knoad is in the process of building.
                          Tell me Dave....and any others that may care to comment here, disregarding any difficulties you may percieve, if you had the choice of any surface, would you choose Formica?


                          • #14
                            Oops, sorry Dick, that should read Knoath.....duh!!!


                            • #15

                              I didn’t know you could get a 1/8th bit with a guide roller.

                              I don’t think I would use Formica, with the extra expense and work involved, I think I will stay with paint. With the luck I have, I know I would ruin the finish somehow.

                              When we discovered that someone had sanded the starting line on the Formica covered drag strip to "improve traction”, the only remedy we had was to relocate the starting line.