Helpful Tips and Tricks

                               Some  of  it I have found on  the  net, others is just from my own observations. I  don't know if they are right  or wrong, so  read  it and make  your own conclusions. We race Turbo Flex 1/24th cars, but  you could apply the following to pretty much any type/scale of slot car chassis.

1. Colour
              When painting your bodies, try  not to  paint them  the  same  colour  as the lanes,  or as  less try and make the bonnet/front  a  different colour. This helps to  make the lane stickers stand out.  Also  when putting  on  the lane stickers  try and put them on  the  front of the car or the windscreen, so when the marshall picks up  your car he can see what lane to put it on.

2.  Practice, Practice,Practice
                                           Ever wonder  why some people are quicker  than you,  especially  on  their home track. It might  not be as simple  as them been  a better driver than  you. It might  be because they have  tried different setting to their chassis and have found out what works and what doesn't. What works for them might  not work for your driving style.Try different things like tyres, rim sizes, pinion/spur ratio and even the position of the body to name just a few. There is a ton of stuff  on  the net, so google and the  lap  timer will be your best friend on  this subject.
What works on one track  might not suit others, so if racing on  more than one track it might pay to  have a different car  for each track.

3.  It looks the same as last time you raced it.
                                                                  After each race take your car apart & straighten the chassis.This is a simple part of routine work done to give you the best chance of winning each race.To whine about how your car doesn't seem to be handling 'right' & yet you've done nothing but look at it doesn't make a lot of sense.Yes,putting on a new set of tires will help.To get the most out of what you just spent on tires,you should go ahead & take the car apart,check & FIX anything that's bent,worn out,misaligned,straighten the chassis-flatten it,& put it back together. Ever had a lead wire break. A simple check would of found the fault before that happened.

4.  Road Rage.
                       When racing it is easy to get caught up in the heat of the moment and forget  about the  bigger picture. When someone  is coming up to pass you, instead of trying to hold them out for  long as possible, sometimes it  is  better to back off a little bit on the straight  and then tuck in behind them. That way you seem to get sucked along at their faster pace for 3-5 laps until you lose sight of them. In (our racing format) you are  not just racing the 2 other people on  the track, but everyone else on the board. Consistency will give you the overall win for the  night.  

5. Confessed. No, Yes ,Maybe.
                                                 If you ever had to  change tyres between  races or if you have more than 1 car it is very easy  to to get your tyres mixed up or forget what type are on the car. While you can measure the diameter of them you can have a pretty good guess a matching up the pairs, tyre compound can  be pretty  tricky to  get right. If  you use a non permanent marker pen (white board etc) simply colour  the  inside of  your  hubs. (Red for Piranha, blue for treated Piranha etc). You can simply wipe  off the colour when you glue  on new donuts (if you use them) and re-colour them to suit the new type of rubber.
6. Flippers,Snorkels and Togs.
                                                 Should I  run my  motor in underwater?. The  short  answer is I  don't know, but  what I  do know your motor should be run  in before you use it.  Read  the  link below and make  up your  own mind. Also, once your motor is run  in  you  should never  rev  your motor at full  revs with  no load  on it  as it can cause arcing.

7. Want to play around.
                                    How much play/slop should there be in the Turbo Flex pan comes down to how the car feels for the driver, but the following is a general rule. Motion in the pan allows forces which are trying to deslot you to be isolated from each other. Usually a lot of rock improves traction ,but isn't as easy to  drive. Sideplay works the opposite, lots of play loosens the car -  usually. Some cars just don't obey this theory. Like most thing do do with slot car chassis, only testing will find the best answer.

8.  Am I going nuts
                              Some people  use a brass nut on the guide instead on adding weight on  the front. Again it all depends on  who you talk to. The general consensus it as it makes the car slimey vs adding lead behind the guide. In some classes like USRA 12 would be ideal, where others might not be so great as we're all oriented in going as light as possible in many cases.Thus my tip is -try it for yourself & come to your own conclusions which may be tough as it's not a big difference in weight.Try both ways AFTER A RACE in as close to the conditions you would normally race in which will give you the best chance of giving you accurate info. 

9. Sticky Spots
                      Fold the corner of the lane sticker onto  it's self to make it easier to peel off. You can  also use a Stanly  knife to peel the old sticker off. You should  not put the new sticker over the old one,  as if one falls off you will have a good chance of your car been put on  the  wrong lane. Also don't reuse old stickers, they are only worth a few cents and not worth the hassle if they fall off.

10. Strap  me in.
When soldering in a motor to a Flexi Type chassis,be sure to solder it in 'front' & 'back' if the chassis has a motor opening where the motor sits flush w/ the bottom of the chassis.You can solder it on the side also-which I recommend-but to keep the chassis from bouncing(chattering) on take-off be sure & solder it on both sides.Use brass tubing to fill any gap you might have & don't try to make the tubing short as it acts as a 'static brace' that stiffens the chassis helping to keep it from 'bowing'(bending) lengthwise & dragging. 

11. Those black  things                                  
                                     Tyres mean more than Chassis Design as the cars get lighter. After  truing  up your tyres  run  them in in until the car feels hooked up & your times confirm it. Clean them with fuelite (or sim) or with cellotape .The guys that don't break in their tires before qualifying are usually the guys who aren't ready to race along with their tires.
Tyres usually make the difference in a good car & a great car. The better the tires, the better the car handles. Power can't be applied properly without good tires. Take the time to prepare your tyres and it can make a huge difference in the outcome of a race.

            Make sure when putting a guide on the Flexi Type chassis of your choice that the guide holder isn't bent at a down angle.The "tongue" should be level or higher than the highest part of the holder to give you some up angle.How much,is up to you but if you bend it up too much,you'll have to add more guide spacers so the front of the chassis doesn't drag &/or not pass tech.You should always try to get all the wobble out of the guide & to be able to do this you may have to beat the tongue flat w/ a hammer.Use common sense Hercules.Also after you get the 'wave' out by wopping it,be sure to check by practice fitting the guide through the hole in the tongue that you just taught a horible lesson.Make sure the tongue isn't now sitting crooked,off to one side.This makes for some poor contact even on a heavier car which means lousy handling,burnt braid,& slower speeds.The guide & how it sits in the chassis are very,very important.

13. Leave some hoof on  that horse   
                                                  When rounding off your tires on the outside edge,try leaving the side as it comes instead of filing it off until it hits the hub.One of the reasons is that the 1/32" or so of rubber acts as a cushion that absorbs some of the impact in a side wreck.This can mean less bent rims or not bending them as bad as if the magnesium gets hit directly.After you true your tires also they will tend to draw up a little bit when getting them hot as in trying to hog off the material & end up slightly pulled back from the rim over an extended period of time.Why bother?It may make the bond between the glue on the edge of the hub & the rubber stronger also.So don't grind that area away,save some time,& live happily ever after.

14.  Freeze
               Store your tyres in the freezer. The condensation that is sometimes evident doesn't seem to have any effect on them & you don't need to coat them with anything to make them  last for a long time.

15. Spaced out
                      When putting your axle spacers on-either 3/32" or 1/8"-be sure to use a Koford .010 Phosphor/Bronze spacer between the spur & oilite as well as up against the bushing on the non-gear side.With bearings,the .005 Slick 7 Stainless spacer is fine but the car WILL RUN FASTER w/ the Koford one for bushings.

16  Ready, Aim,  Fire
                                       Each armature stack is energized twice per rotation in a sequential mode at alternating points. The degrees at which the stack fires equals the timing degrees of the armature. The stack and the magnet repel each other at the point of fire. So by placing the strongest edge of the magnet at the point of repulsion will increase torque. (See Note) 
The figure shows the deferent points of degrees, where the center of the stack falls during the time of fire. This point of degrees depends on the timing of the armature. The degree of time that a stack stays energized from start to end, solely depends on the circumference of the commutator and the size of the brush face.

Note: The torque of the motor is in direct proportion to its field strength and the armature current.

17 What is a Spinion
                   Soldering on a pinion

    The step-by-step method to make sure your pinion never spins.
  1. Armature shafts are filthy. Clean it with heavy duty brake cleaner  or sim.
  2. If you're using a ball bearing motor, be sure you have a phenolic on the shaft before you go any further. If you are using a can with an oilite in it, don't worry about it.
  3. Apply a small amount of acid flux to the shaft with a small paintbrush (only use this paintbrush for acid flux).
  4. Melt a small amount of solder to the tip of your well heated iron and immediately bring it in contact to the entire circumference of the shaft. Be careful not to get solder in the bearing or oilite!
  5. Prepare your pinion. Inside of pinions are filthy. Clean it. After using brake cleaner, get a small circular file that fits into the pinion and rotate. With the dedicated acid flux paintbrush, paint a small amount of acid flux inside the pinion.
  6. Place the pinion over the end of the tinned shaft. It should not slide onto the shaft because the solder expands the armature shaft to greater than the inner diameter of the pinion.
  7. Clean every bit of solder off your iron. Failing to do so will result in solder all over the pinion. If you do somehow get solder in the teeth, Rudy Gariga of Slick 7 products made an excellent suggestion. Heat up the pinion with a soldering iron with the motor hooked up to a power supply. Once the solder in the teeth has turned to liquid, remove the iron and let your motor rip! Close your eyes to avoid getting solder in them. You'll open them to a brand new pinion!
  8. Put the hot iron over the pinion and gently push it down onto the shaft. As the solder melts, it should slip on easily.
And you're done.

18. More tyre  stuff
                            For maximum performance and control, the rear end of a slot car must break loose and "drift out" a little in the corners. This "power on" slide enables you to take the corners much faster than if the car just tracks following the slot.
If the rear tires don't provide enough grip, the rear of the car will slide out too easily, or it may "fishtail" making it very difficult to control the car. The car will slide out until it can go no further because the guide flag is locked all the way to one side. At this point the car leaves the slot. This de-slot is the result of having not enough grip or traction.
A slot car can indeed have to much traction. When this happens the rear end of the car cannot "break loose" and slide out in a controlled power slide. The rear tires track tightly following the slot. But if the car is driven too fast, the car will suddenly tilt and the guide flag tips out of the slot. When a car is tilting out of the slot it usually will head straight into the wall. This happens very suddenly and makes it very difficult to race the car without de-slotting.
Another way a slot car can de-slot is when it is bouncing or chattering on the rear tires. This chattering can sometimes become so severe that the car actually bounces out of the slot. The chattering is very undesirable. It is usually caused by a broken chassis or motor mount, a bent wheel or axle, or worn out bushings.
When the car is set up properly, it will drift out into a controlled power slide. If you drive improperly, it may tilt out of the slot or it may slide out. It won't always de-slot in the same way. It will be much easier to drive and race than a car which always slides out or always tilts. By observing just how your car is de-slotting when you race it, you can tune it by changing things to make it run better.....

If the car swings out to easily.....
Try grippier or wider tires.

If the car tilts to easily....

Try firmer tires or narrow the width of the tires.

Try adding lead weight up front.

Are you using the proper size of tire? Tires that provide the minimum legal clearance will work best. Taller tires make the car tippy.

Remember that no combination or set up will work for all tracks. You must be ready to adjust and make changes on your car to suit the conditions you find.

19.  Sanding and Shimming Motor Magnets

EditDrop a pair of Magnets into your chassis - how do they fit? Is one looser than the other (one is usually a little tighter than the other). Do they sit flat? Do they sit at the same height? You'll want your Magnets to be relatively tight, close to the armature to maximize the use of available field strength and minimize the air-gap turbulence between the magnets and armature.



If you are going to shim, consider cleaning the Magnets with grease cutting soap (like dish soap) and using adhesive backed labels, masking tape or similar to use as shims. Shimming is something that is done to the backside and/or underside of the Magnet. Shimming the underside of one or both Magnets may possibly help align the Gear Plate, while shimming the backside is typically for getting the Magnet faces closer to the Armature's lams... Think about both aspects while you're trimming & shimming!



Another way to accomplish proper placement is by filling the rivet hole directly below the Magnet with a drop of epoxy (or similar), align & level the Magnets and let 'em dry. This method will ensure your Magnetic field won't 'shift' once you've decided on a pair of suitable Magnets. This is usually only needed on very high performance applications like drag racing.
A consideration with Epoxy is whether or not you'll need to retrieve the Magnets later for another project. We're generally discussing Road Racing, but retrieving the Magnets becomes a bigger issue when Drag Racing & using Polymer or NEO Magnets. At $20-$50 per pair (and a higher incidence of chassis burn-ups) you may find yourself moving the Magnets from chassis to chassis more often. Paper shimmed Magnets are obviously a lot easier to remove. Paper shimming is also good for tuning, as you'll be able to change out Magnet pairs until you are satisfied with a set, then making your Epoxy decision.

20.  Remember the number 1  rule. 
                                                                  Have  fun. Sure  winning is good, but it's not the end of the world  if you don't. What makes  a good club is the  people,  who  just  happen  to share interest in slot  car  racing. A happy club is a good club.

21.  Be A  Tidy Kiwi. 
                                     I'm  not your  mother.  Most places have rubbish  bins,  so  do  try  and use them.  It's not  fun vacuuming up old braid and stickers. It is also  especially important if you are trimming your braids as the loose ends can end up in  your motor.

22.  Interiors 
                        If you are  using  interiors, only loosely tape the interior in, otherwise  it  will make the body  too ridged. Simply tape  the rear in  (1 piece in the middle) and  let the front  hang  down. You can tape the front, but then the wheels can  wrap around the  interior and drag  it down. 
23. Some   useless  information, but interesting.
                                                                                           Here's how to figure RPM, but there are a few factors you need to consider. First, the number you get will be an average for the entire lap, so the maximum RPM is greater. Second, there is no allowance for wheel spin, and even heavily glued cars slip a bit , so the maximum RPM is even higher. Finally, you need to factor in your lap length. In solving this specific question, I will assume the popular king track length of 155', but you should use whatever your track actually measures. PI times .765 = 2.403" = distance per tire rotation. Divide by 4.333 (your gear ratio of 9-39) to get .554" per motor revolution. Now, divide 12 x 155 by the .554 to get revs per lap, which is approx. 3360. Divide by the lap time for revs per second: 1221. Multiply by 60 for RPM = 73,260. This involved some rounding off, and is certainly well below the top speed of your motor due to the previously mentioned factors. RC racers, eat yer hearts out! I figure the top RPM on a group 7 record lap to be about 175,000!!! The average RPM on a dragster hitting 120 mph geared 12-50 with .960 dia. tires is very similar. As the other respondant states, most racers don't really care, but it is a nice fact to impress the newcomers with.  

      Recycle  Your Tyres.
                                              Tyres are about  about the number 1 ongoing expense you will have in  slot car racing.  Tyres should be flat with slightly rounded edges and down to  the minimum legal  clearance (usually 0.6mm). To get 2 lives out  of your  tyres, you will need 2 chassis's. The first one with standard height oilites and the other with  the oilites raised up. (this will also lower the center of gravity).  Start  off with  the raised up oilite chassis  and  grind down the donuts to the clearance you  want and go  racing. When you  have finished with  them,  regrind them  down  to suit the standard chassis and you will  have a good set to go  racing with. You can have a 3rd  go from  your tyres if you lower the oilites in a 3rd chassis. This will  raise  the center of gravity and will only leave a very small amount  of rubber  on  the big diameter rims.
 Also changing tyre diameter will also alter the gear ratio, so you  might need to take that into account.

       27, 28, 29, bugger, 1, 2, 3......
                                                           Ever had trouble counting the teeth on the spur gears, especially on the 64 and 72 pitch gears. Simply get a pen and put a mark on the side of the spur and then roll the spur gear on a ink pad. Then roll the spur gear on a piece of paper taking note where the mark is. Simply count the lines on the paper to find out how many teeth it has.