IF those of you out there have not yet purchased a Slot Car Corner Setup Block then you seriously need to consider doing so. I've had four days of setting at the hospital to polish the chunk of aluminum that you receive in the mail. You know how you'd like to have a Mirror under yoru favorite car so you can see under it to show the detail without picking it up and having people touch your car???
[Okay, I'm not that bad I actually do have a MicroFiber towels (36,000 ultra thin fibers per square centimeter) so that I can wipe away any finger prints on my cars...one in my box, one in the livingroom in the display case and one in my room where the cars are]
You should KNOW that the Aluminum brick that you receive will shine as clear as a mirror finish. I used the saem stuff on my cars...DuPont Showroom Finish Teflon Ultra Spray Wax. It is a whitish cream spray but I sprayed it on a soft t-shirt for teh block application. the Aluminum will polish up so nice!!! I'm going to have to get another one now so I can use one in the display case in the Living room! I haven't used any tools but I would imagine that with a buffer you could do them up really nice as well as long as you keep the material clean.
There really is an advantage to having a setup block with a shiny surface. You would think that using something made of Corean or just MDF would be good enough. For one thing the Slot Car Corner setup block is guaranteed to be flat and the shiny surface makes it easy to tell if all four wheels are touching, the tires have a good contact patch and nothing is dragging under the car.
I'm going to order one of the SCC set up blocks as they are geared more for 1/32nd scale than my other blocks which tend to be more for 1/24th scale. I will continue to use my clear lexan block to judge the tires though. I can better see the contact patch of all four tires with the clear lexan.
so far, i have used mine mainly to make sure that my tires are contacting the track properly and that my guide sits deep in the slot. on my track, the optimum setup seems to be when the front end weight is resting on the braids and the front tires are just barely grazing the track. i wasn't able to really set them up properly until i had this tool.
if you don't have a perfectly flat surface to work with, even if it is just a hair off, you might only have three tires touching the surface and handling will be affected. so a set up block is a major improvement over using something like a spare piece of track.
i'm sure there are other things that can be performed with a set up block, but the above is all i have used it for thus far. maybe some others can list other ways to use the block?
A perfectly flat surface plate with a slot allows you to adjust your car so that all four tires and the guide are right where they should be for optimum handling. With both front tires and guide firmly on the block, you can try to lift the right and left rear tires alternately; there should be the same amount of lift (or travel) in each side. This goes for cars with suspension as well as cars with solid chassis. There is always a little play in the bearings, and if you add that of the front bearings to the rear bearings, you can feel it on a setup block.
I use old black plastic bases from the cases the cars are sold in as surface blocks (Fly bases seem the best for this). I saw out the slot near one end so the car can be rolled until the guide is visible at the edge of the block; this gives a good visual indication of how deep the blade penetrates the slot. The plastic bases are very flat and square, but you must remove any upward projections like ribs or the lips around holes for fasteners.
The SCC blocks have a slot just long enough to allow you to roll the car through one complete revolution of the tires, which gives you an indication of the contact patch all around the tire, if you hold the car up to a light while you ar doing it. You are looking to see if "daylight" shows under any parts of the tire. Some people prefer a clear plastic block so they can look at the contact patch from below.
As Kurt mentioned, many rules systems call for a minimum ground clearance, so a surface plate allows you to use feeler gauges to see if the ground clearance is OK. I use tubing or rods of the right diameter, which I pass under the car as it sits on the plate.
I've also used flat pieces of wood for surface plates, with a slot sawn a few inches into one end. Many improvised surface plates or setup blocks can work; there is no single best plate or method.
Last edited by Robert Livingston; 12-09-2009 at 12:06 PM.
so far, i have used mine mainly to make sure that my tires are contacting the track properly and that my guide sits deep in the slot. on my track, the optimum setup seems to be when the front end weight is resting on the braids and the front tires are just barely grazing the track.
boopie - that's what I do and then I push down on the each front fender over top of each tire until it is in full dead-stop contact while watching for the opposite rear tire to lift. Have thought for a while that the realy good chassis will not result in lifting that rear tire off the track. Not sure if that is right, but it isn't hurting any that I can tell.
I also look for the guide to be lower in the rear than in the front.
Your Corvette is a really nice car to start with...Hopefully you pulled your tires off and checked the wheels first though. They can be off and also have mold lines that need to be sanded off as well. I'm not a big one on PLASTIC wheels. FOr one they always need some cleaning up because it's the nature of the business and it is time consuming to have to sane each wheel perfectly...then you always have the issue of being pressed on and I can very seldom get the exact shimming on the rear axle...too after a while I have had wheels slipping on the axle. Slot Car Corner offers some very nice wheels and you will find that BRM Wheels are about as perfect as you can buy anywhere. The nice thing about the Magnesium, Aluminum wheels is that they are set into place and won't move once the setscrew is placed. IF you don't yet have a Slot.It Torque Wrench (SIPA23) I VERY HIGHLY recommend one Actually I have two one for the box and one for my workbench...Should I ever lose or break one another I'll buy 2 more. the torque that they are set at is just perfect. When the screw is perfectly tight hte driver just snaps like a real torque wrench does, and it prevents you from strippping things out. Once you have the shimming of the axle set you can place the wheel exactly in position and it won't move. PLUS they are neaerly perfectly balanced! Tires are the very best first improvement you can do to any car. Depending upon the track surface tires will vary. On wood the SCC YellowDog Urethanes are perfect. Track surfaces vary from nice and slick to a very tight grip NINCO. I personaly have NINCO Track but don't use it as I have no space in my apartment and I do NOT like the surface/traction. It is a great track to setup and take down and the rails are magnetic...