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

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  • 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.


    Gordo Bond 007

  • #2
    Here is my "ACE in the hole" tuning tip!

    I have done this to a number of my cars in the past but until I started running on my wood track I never really new how big a difference it makes.
    The tip that I am talking about is where you remove the play between the bushing and the axle on the rear of the car. I used to think that some play in there would reduce friction and even help to soak up the bumps a little bit. I was wrong! On a wood track all that this "play" does, is introduces hop into the rear wheels when you floor the throttle.

    99% of you guys know how to do this tip, but for those that don't know, here is what I do.

    Get yourself an old axle or better yet a piece of 3/32" bar stock from your local hobby shop, and cut about 4" off of it. Put the piece in your hand drill and then take a file or your dremel tool and sharpen the fist 1" or so into a point. Take some 800 grit sand paper and rub it over the entire length of the steel until it is perfectly smooth. This now will be a "tool" that you can use over and over again, so put it somewhere safe or you will end up having to do this a million times.

    Okay so now remove you axle from your car and remove the wheels from it. Grab the bushing and try rocking it back and forth on the axle to see how well the bushing fits that axle. If it rocks, there is room for improvement.
    Take som C.A Glue and put a drop of it into the hole in the bushing. Roll it around a bit and blow on it. Then put you sharpened tool into your drill with the point part facing out. Put a few drops of oil on this tool and slide your freshly glued bushing onto it. Slide it back and forth on the shaft for about 20 seconds. If the bushing sticks to the tool, just grab it with some plyers and run the drill again it will come loose. Try to slide the bushing off of the end of the tool, but if it gets stuck don't force it, you will just end up pulling the glue out of the bushing. Take a razor blade or a piece of sand paper and clean the end of the tool off from any glue that may have got stuck on it. Once it is clean, the bushing should come off no problem.

    The next step is to clean the tool off really well and put it back into you dril. Now take your favorite brand of tooth paste and apply it to the entire leangth of the tool. You heard me right, just regular old toothpaste. Slide the bushing onto the end of the tool and slide it back and forth for a minute or so. The toothpaste works as a polishing compound to help smooth out the glue inside the bushing.

    Rinse the bushings off and test fit them onto the axle to see it there is still any sideway rocking motion. If there is, put another drop of glue into the bushing and do it all again. If not, then you good to go. Put some oil and some grease on the area of the axle that will be inside the bushing and reassemble the axle assembly. The axle should fit snuggly in the bushing, but not too tight or you will loose some of your top end and your motor will have to work to hard. It it is too tight you can put your axle in your drill and do the toothpaste trick with the axle instead of the tool this time. Keep polishing the bushing until the axle spins smoothly in it.

    Now put a drop of CA glue into the bushing holder on the chassis and carefully snap the bushing back into place. Reassemble the car and let her rip.

    This proceedure is kind of messy and it is a pain to perform, but I have found that by doing this tune up, my cars become far, far easier to drive, especially in the corners. In fact I have had people accuse me of cheating when I have done this to a car, but I haven't....really! On some cars it can make that much of a differnce.

    Let me know if you have any questions and I will do my best to help you out.


    Gordo Bond 007
    Last edited by Gordo Bond 007; 10-26-2006, 01:09 PM.


    • #3
      keep them coming! I was thinking a while backk, about posting a similar topic. I really have not done any 'tuning' to cars and it is all still a mystery.

      my question was going to be: give me a list of all the things you do to ANY car when you get it straight out of a box. Surely there is a list of 'must do' things you guys do to all cars.

      this thread should shed some light on those things for me.

      thanks for the details on how you do it Gordo.


      • #4
        The one area of tuning that will give you the greatest return is to change and true the rear tyres.......I'm not going to start another tire debate but just change the stock ones to the tire of your choice and true them and will will get a great improvement over the standard car.




        • #5
          This Thread should generate some interest I bet!

          Good thread Gordo! And 33 views already on a quiet Thursday morning ...

          As a wood track racer, one thing that I learned early is to ensure that the motor is secure (unable to twist back and forth under acceleration/braking thus wasting power and delaying response) by glueing it into the chassis or pod if necessary; also that fixing the bushings in similar fashion helps to guarantee the smoothness of the gear mesh.

          These things alone can make a huge difference to how well a car performs!


          • #6

            Polished rear axle.



            • #7
              Remove as much weight as possible from the rear of the car. I try to build my cars with nothing behind the rear axle, not even Slot.It motor pod mounts. Gone!


              • #8
                Take it out of the box, check the rear axle to see that it spins freely. Set it on a piece of track rigged to a 6vdc power supply. Block the back end up so the rear tires are in free air. Let it run for 30min to an hour.



                • #9
                  1. Gear mesh is critical. If your gears are loud they need to be replaced with gears that are quieter. You'll go faster with gears that are happier, and quieter, together.

                  2. Also wheels that are the least bit out of round need to be all those plastic wheels out there that you think are really smooth, try replacing them with your favorite brand of metal wheel, re-time the car with the new wheels in place, and I'll bet you've gotten a faster car out of the deal.

                  3. If your car has a motor pod go around the edge of the motor pod and scrape away all the flash. The pod should be able to rock smoothly. Nothing should touch the chassis except the posts where the pod is attached. If you can't see a fine line of daylight between the chassis and the pod, you're not getting the full amount of movement (and losing speed) out of the pod.
                  Last edited by DaveKennedy; 10-26-2006, 12:22 PM. Reason: thought of another


                  • #10
                    Check to see if the chassis is straight and square

                    One of the first things I do with a new car is to check if the chassis is straight and square. Many are screwed on to their protective base so tight that they are actually bowed in the middle.

                    Get a flat, smooth 1/2 inch piece of hardwood or plastic for a plinth (a base to sit the car on). Clear plexi-glass works very well (ask a plastics manufacturer for scraps). Check it with a level or straight edge ruler to ensure it is flat. Dremel or route out a slot deep enough for the guide to sit in. Place the car on the plinth with the guide in the slot and examine the car from underneath. Are all four tires touching the plinth? Only the back two? Maybe one at the front? Loosen up the screws holding the body to the chassis... does it change the way the car sits?
                    Depending on whether you prefer the "tripod" effect with only the guide and rear wheels touching, or all four tires touching, it is important to see if the car has equal clearances in the wheelwells and under the chassis itself. Perhaps the body and the chassis are binding or overlapping on one or more points. It does not take much to trip up a car if it touches on a bank or a hill.

                    If a chassis is warped from the box, I would try to exchange it. If it is a "no return" purchase, dipping a chassis in boiling water or very hot sand for 30-60 seconds might allow you to gently flex the chassis square and straight.
                    Be Gentle and bend a little at a time.

                    Hope this helps,



                    • #11
                      Well Mr Bond, you did say I guess that includes the beginners like me.

                      I will say that variable power with lap timer is key. Set track power at the upper limit such that throttle can be maintained maximum with no de-slot. And then use the lap timer to evaluate car tuning benefits.


                      • #12
                        Don't forget to make sure your front wheels and tires are straight and true. This is often difficult to achieve, but many cars allow you to put the front tires on the rear wheels to true. When done, put clear nail polish on the front tires so that they can't grip the track. I find that the front end is the most ignored part of slot cars, and yet a very important one to fast and more importantly, consistent laps.


                        • #13
                          I cheat


                          I know that chinese slave labor is cheap and inattentive, and no one gets fired for a bad car!

                          Thus, if I am to run the car stock, I disassemble it down completely, start with truing up the bits, bushings, wheels axles and so on, remount everything. If it can move once I have everything straight, I glue it down.

                          First blueprint THEN worry about "improvements".



                          • #14
                            Funny... *I* coughed it up, and all I got was a handful of phlegm. Worked great as gear lubricant, though -- does that count?



                            • #15


                              About the best improvements can be made with round grippy rear tires IMO.



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