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Your #1 Tuning Tip - Time To Cough It Up!

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  • Gordo Bond 007
    started a topic Your #1 Tuning Tip - Time To Cough It Up!

    Your #1 Tuning Tip - Time To Cough It Up!

    Hey Guys; Gordo Bond 007 here again. I have been thinking about doing this thread for a while now, so I figure that today is as good a day as any.

    So you know how we all talk about our "tuning tips" here on this fine board all the time. I figure that we are all doing our best to help each other out, but I also think that most of us have a tip or two that we keep in our pocket that we are a little reluctant to share. You know that "super secret" tuning tip that makes us feel like our car is going to be unbeatable the next time you race.

    What I would like to see here is everybody post what they feel is their #1 tuning tip that makes their cars run significantly better than they do without this proceedure. This doesn't have to be something that you invented, or that you necesarily keep to yourself. It just has to be the single best tuning tip that you perform. Keep it to one tip only please.

    Thanks

    Gordo Bond 007

  • WigWag Workshop
    replied
    Originally posted by Kennm113 View Post
    Where can I get one of thoes...? I think I'm just messing my tires up
    Search for "slotcar tire truer" there are a couple varieties out there.

    Leave a comment:


  • Coquitlam Kid
    replied
    Originally posted by Wet Coast Racer View Post
    Does this not conduct electricity?
    I don't know exactly what you're asking?

    You never use an Acid core solder on Electrical connections because it will cause corrosion. You always use Rosin core solder for electrical or electronics soldering ( with a caveat. See below ).

    Acid core solder or a separate Acid Flux is only used for fairly large soldering of metal plates or tubes, like in plumbing or scratch built chassis building. It aggressively etches the metal to form a good bond for the solder to the Metal. Even then it should be washed off or neutralized after use. Silver Solder flux is even more aggressive.

    Acid flux is impossible to thoroughly clean off of fine wire strands and small electronics circuitry. It will wick into the wire strands under the insulation, and underneath small electrical or electronics components. It will eventually cause a failure as the acid slowly eats away at the metal.

    Some Acid core fluxes will conduct electricity, which is another reason to not use it on any Electronics or electrical connections.

    A proper Electronics grade solder will not conduct electricity along circuit paths if you have a bit of residue left over and it is non-corrosive. " No Clean " electronics solders ( such as MG Chemicals ) are the best for DIY electrical and electronics soldering.

    Edit; Some Rosin core fluxes do contain a mild acid to clean the metals being joined. But it is designed to be neutralized after use. There are three common grades. Electronics grade solder ( No clean ) is an R rating. Automotive electrical flux is either R or RMA rated. RA rated Rosin core solder or Rosin flux should never be used near anything electrical.

    Source Wikipedia:

    Traditional rosin fluxes - available in non-activated (R), mildly activated (RMA) and activated (RA) formulations. RA and RMA fluxes contain rosin combined with an activating agent, typically an acid, which increases the wettability of metals to which it is applied by removing existing oxides. The residue resulting from the use of RA flux is corrosive and must be cleaned. RMA flux is formulated to result in a residue which is not significantly corrosive, with cleaning being preferred but optional.

    Bottom line. Don't buy your solder or flux for working on your motors or wiring your track from Home Depot or Napa. Buy the proper electronics grade solder and flux from local electronics supply shops.

    Edit2: Always use an external application of approved flux even if the solder itself contains a flux in the core. The job will go much faster and you will get a better joint every time... This applies to either Acid core solders or Rosin cores solders.
    Last edited by Coquitlam Kid; 01-25-2015, 03:53 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Wet Coast Racer
    replied
    NEVER use an acid core flux or solder on electrical connections.
    Does this not conduct electricity?

    Leave a comment:


  • Coquitlam Kid
    replied
    1: Log the recorded weights of each car as a baseline and keep a Log Book of any ballast changes or other changes in setup.

    Really helps if things performance deteriorates or improves and you can go back and look at the exact changes.

    2: It's already been mentioned, but " Blueprint " the entire car before racing.One thing that gets overlooked is the soldering of the lead wires to the Motor. I often find " cold " solder joints or frayed wires, even on brand new motors. Leads can flex and fray over time as well. This will affect performance of the Motor.

    Soldering tips for electrical wiring:

    Add a bit of Electronic solder flux to each motor terminal. A good ELECTRONICS flux is critical in electronics soldering. I use MG Chemicals " No Clean " flux paste in a 10 ml syringe with needle point applicator. The syringe tip makes it super easy to apply. Kestor makes good Electronics flux as well. NEVER use an acid core flux or solder on electrical connections.

    Use a fine gauge Electronics solder. I use Kestor Rosin Core 60/40 in either .032" or .040" diameter.

    Use a good HOT iron with a 1/4 inch chisel point. 45 watts is good. A Hot iron makes the job nearly instant and avoids damaging the motor. You should literally be able to de-solder or solder a lead wire to a motor in one second.

    De-solder the offending wire. Trim of the old end and strip a short clean section. Apply a bit of flux to the wire and quickly " Tin " the wire with fresh solder. I find it's easiest to leave the iron on it's rest with the chisel " flat " facing up. Quickly touch the wire and solder at the same time to the chisel point. Wire should " Tin " in about 1 second of contact.

    Apply a drop of fresh flux to the Motor terminal and a drop on the Tinned wire end. Add a touch of fresh solder to the Iron tip. Position the wire on the terminal and quickly touch the Iron point to the motor terminal and wire. Solder should melt and flow within about one second. Lightly scrub away any extra flux with a toothbrush. Although this step may not be needed with a " No Clean " flux like MG Chemicals, it does look a bit nicer.

    DON"T USE YOUR WIFES or GF's TOOTHBRUSH!!

    Inspect your work. Solder should be bright and shiny with smooth lines and should clearly have flowed into both wire and terminal. Dull joints and a ragged look usually mean that your Iron was not hot enough or that you used too thick of a diameter solder.

    Leave a comment:


  • Speedynh
    replied
    has anyone heard from Robert recently? I just wonder how he is.

    Leave a comment:


  • Abarth Mike
    replied
    Something I did yesterday because..

    #1 Rear wheel bushing loose in the chassis! I don't like the permanent nature of supergluing the bushing in. Call it a personality flaw? So I dipped a tooth pick in some super glue and ran the bushing up and down the tooth pick spreading superglue onto the bushing, thus increasing the diameter of the bushing. I did it twice. Then I had to very gently file square the "grove" in the bushing but hey presto now the bushings are tight.

    I still had to superglue the internal diameter of the bushing to get rid of the axle slop but...

    #2 One rear wheel had almost 1mm of lateral wobble. Not having a tire truer and because the wheels are too small to run on sandpaper. I ground the end of a broken hacksaw blade square, ground a knife edge on it and used it as a lathe tool to true the wheel. Bingo.

    Oh the car? Revell Gr.5 BMW 320

    Leave a comment:


  • Big Bill
    replied
    Great thread for someone new to Slot Cars. I had raced RC cars for 30+ years, and had forgotten many tips that were mentioned in this thread. I am finding that set-up for a Slot car is more like tuning RCs many years ago, alot of tips in here that I just overlooked. Thanks.

    Leave a comment:


  • Morry
    replied
    Tuneup Tips

    One of the first things for me (after letting the motor run in properly) was to inspect and re-tension the motor brush springs. Unless I missed it I haven't seen it mentioned here.
    I never had a car where this didn't help.
    Later,
    Morry

    Leave a comment:


  • linkster
    replied
    braid science

    Exellent topic!!
    I find spending a lot of time with braid tension and length will give smooth power delivery and pickup when sideways- long, soft, and wide parallel to the track surface and pointing at the back of the flag. Making sure the wires are set to center the guide helps too. I flatten a tiny part of the copper thingie on the wire to help get it in the slot with the wire facing the braid then glue
    the copper thingie to the flag. I have started to tin and drill bulk braid (30mm) to use with lmp style flags and noticed if there is any contact between the braid tops and the flag pivot it will bind the guide and thats bad. I have been cutting up a paper nail file into guide flag width wedges and when I notice flag slop I insert a wedge and press down until the flag turns with no back and forth play then I "goo" it it place great product "goo" good for motor to pod glueing, holds stays flexible to absorb vibration but comes off not like ca types. I figure with all the talk about triangulation the flag and the rear bearings are the main areas to work on
    thanks cd

    Leave a comment:


  • dansula
    replied
    In my vanity I some times work on my cars with out the magnifying glasses that i now need for the fiddly stuff. Well this tips won't make the car faster but it will be easier to assemble and tune.

    Ever found it tiresome to thread copper braid into a guide? Get the braid flat and as smooth as possible, close to the guide hole measurements. Take clear scotch tape and wrap around the braid, trim with scissors to be thiner than the guide hole and then slide in the scotch tape wrapped braid into the guide.

    simple

    Leave a comment:


  • slimshady
    replied
    I like to take the front tires off and replace them with the no grip front tires. I also take the spacers out of the front axle on my Slot It cars. They seem to run better on wood routed track.

    Leave a comment:


  • mad_john
    replied
    Originally posted by Robert Livingston View Post
    I set the guide post with about one or two degrees of rake. The top of the post leans ahead of the bottom of the post. This arrangement mean that the guide acts more like a hook as the car slides out, contacting the slot along the bottom edge of the flag. This can only be done if you are building your own guide mount, although I have bent plastic ones down, if they are wobbly, so the rake compensates for the angle you lose due to a poor fit of guide post in its holder. Cars built like this stay in the slot.
    That's strange. Remember the old RussKit slant post guide flags. They had 10 degrees of rake, the bottom leading.

    I always though Jim Russel intended the increased friction of the flag in the slot would slow the car enough to save it.

    Leave a comment:


  • ckouba
    replied
    I can't confess to having read this entire thread so it may be mentioned already but the most valuable tip for someone wanting a fast car- get a reliable timing system and use it.

    I had previously tuned cars with the SSD lap counter and all I could do is get fastest lap. I recently modded up some dead strips and got UR3 working on my track and it's an ENORMOUS help tuning the fleet. You get data, can objectively correlate a good lap, see how close it was to your fastest, see where and how you're losing time on your track, and actually learn how to drive. It was a revelation.

    I highly recommend it.

    Chris

    Leave a comment:


  • rperyon
    replied
    Thanks for the input. I think I was using much to heavy sand paper to start with.

    Leave a comment:

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