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This is a place to share knowledge related to 1/12th scale racing. It is not to be used for conversations.

KITS:
Click links to go to manufacturer product page. If any are missing please add them!

TIRES:
Pre-mounted tires readily available in the US:
Pre-mounted tires readily available in the Europe:
  • Hot Race ??

Gluing your own donuts:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hm7z1rz-74s - Special thanks to Edward Pickering!
Truing tires:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wqHOLWq6Uc - Special thanks to Edward Pickering!

The following information came from HERE, with some editing and information added. Thanks Christian!

THIS MAY NEED UPDATING FOR THE NEW BLACK CRC CARPET

Brands:
BSR, CRC, Jaco:
Pro One is no longer selling to the public, but it and the brands above are all mounted by BSR and use the same foam. The nomenclature of the BSR vs Jaco/CRC is a little different in a few instances but is otherwise the same. The BSR foam consists of three families, and can be identifed as synthetics, naturals, and blends.

Synthetics - The old school, light weight, easy to true "dry feeling" tires. These include tires like CRC/Jaco Yellow (BSR White), Black, Gray, etc. These tires offer the highest wear rate and lowest grip. Many racers continue to use these nder high bite conditions.

Naturals - These tires are usually the best alternative for low bite and asphalt. They include Pink, Magenta, Double Pink, Lilac (BSR Team Purple), Purple, and other tires. These tires provide a ton of grip, but tend to get sticky in high bite conditions. This rubber does not wear as easily, and the cars will pick up gunk and fibers from the carpet under most high bite conditions. This is especially bad if the humidity is high.

Blends - These are the tires most people run today. They were initially called "JFT foam" by some, as it was believed that the tires were the same as the JFT tires. We can divide the blends further into two groups: high rubber and low rubber content. The high rubber would be the new rear Orange and Red from the BSR family, and the low rubber would be the Green and Blue varieties. When, asked about the difference, John Foister from BSR Tires said they came from the same "family" of foam, but they offered different grip. According to John, the Green/Blue has more bite than Orange/Red, but from track testing Oranges offer more bite than Green (being equivalent to in hardness) when the grip is high and absolutely no grip when it is lower. The Orange foam has a denser pore structure and the tire is not as prone to chunking. It is also important to note is that BSR Blue rears are not the same as the BSR Blue fronts!

JFT:
JFT stands for Japan Foam Tire. They started the new wave of foam tires we are all using now (Blue/Blu, Green/Greene, Dbl Blue, etc). These tires are a little different than the BSR tire family, but work in very similar conditions. They offers four varieties A (asphalt), C (carpet), S (???), and R (???). This does not mean that those types only work on that surface, but this is what they recommend.

JFT uses the same foam for fronts and rears if the color is the same.

A: Used on asphalt, considered close to the natural rubber variety and are named consistently with other natural tires.
C: Used on carpet, considered a blend.
S: Used on carpet?, tires are ???
R: Used on carpet?, tires are ???

For setup, the JFT foam seem to generate more bite than the BSR, therefore the car tends to be a little more aggressive.

Ulti:
Ulti is another Japanese brand that offers an array of compounds. They have their own way of rating tires, and are difficult to equate to other brands. They have 4 different varieties, each in varying degrees of hardness.

J: High rubber content tire, similar to Pink/ Magenta. Soft would be close to a pink. These offer the most bite and are great for asphalt/carpet front tire. (J hard being very popular)
X: "Balanced" blend, similar to JFT Blue/ Green. Soft is equivalent to Green, medium to Blue in hardness. Great for carpet!
Y: High synthetic blend with lower grip, and is not a very popular variety.
Z: A very expensive "special" foam that is supposed to be magic on asphalt. Only make it in soft shore.
European tires:
There are many great European foam tire brands that use their own types of foam, as well as traditional foams. SOmeone with more knowledge about them will need to fill this in!

Tire Diameter:
If you are racing on carpet, you have to evaluate how much grip your track has. If your track is low to medium grip, you can run bigger tires. If you are on higher bite you have to cut them smaller, there is simply no way around it. Bigger tires are needed for asphalt, especially in the rear. The larger tires provide much needed lateral bite.

Carpet (mm):
Low - Medium Bite
Front: 42.0 - 42.5
Rear: 42.5 - 43.00
Medium - High Bite
Front: 40.5 - 41.0
Rear: 41.5 - 42.0
Big Race
Front: 39.5 - 40.0
Rear: 40.5 - 41.0
Asphalt (mm):
Parking Lot
Front: 43.0 - 44.0
Rear: 44.0 - 45.0
Prepped High Bite
Front: 42.0 - 43.0
Rear: 43.0 - 44.0

Tire Saucing:
Most facilities have moved towards odorless traction additives such as SXT. Some of additives evaporate very quickly and some do not. This seems to be something that is also dependent on tire compound and ambient temperature. For example, saucing a Green compound seems like it never dries, especially when tjhe temperature is lower. We have found that wiping the tires off 15 minutes before we go run allows the sauce to cure, which makes the car come in much quicker with Green rears. Blue compounds on the other hand, do fine when wiped off right before hitting the track.

Saucing half front and full rear is a good initial starting point. If the front of the car is too agressive you can sauce les than half, or for a shorter amount of time. On black carpet the car may be numb to sauce changes, either a long or short sauce can produce very similar handling.
Tire Fuzzing:
In conditions of increasing grip, foam tires will somewtimes get sticky and pick up fuzz and debris from the track. This is highly dependent on the rubber sedan tire that is being run at your local track and the compound/ type of foam you are running on you car. The softer the sedan tire and the harder/higher rubber content in your foam tire, trouble with fuzzing seems more likely to occur.

There are ways to get around fuzzing under most conditions, and usually involves the selection of the correct foam compound. The more fuzz you get, the softer/lower rubber content you want to run.

Examples:
Problem: Car fuzzes with Lilac/Team Purple fronts and car starts pushing.
Solution: Use a softer front tire and or different family of foam. Replace it with Blue or Double Blue front. Alternatively you can sauce the front tires harder and tune the car for less front end bite.

Problem: Car loses rear bite 6 minutes into the run. Blue rear tires look almost clean but have small carpet hairs.
Solution: Use Green rear tires. The softer compound wears instead of getting sticky, minimizing fuzz. Possibly a longer sauce will prevent fuzzing.

Tire Selection:
Starting out, pick 2 tire compounds for the front and rear. The following should have you covered 99% of the time.

Rear - Green and Blue (BSR) or Green and Light Blue (JFT)
Front - Blue and Double Blue (BSR) or Blue and Dark Blue (JFT)

You may wonder about other compounds out there and if they might be better, trust me, they probably won't be. Even if there are other tires that can be as fast, the synthetic family wears out really fast and the high natural rubber will probably fuzz on you over an 8 minute run. The blends family seems to be the most versatile foam type available today. They last awhile, and sticking to them will make your process of tire selection simpler.
Tire Charts:
BSR/CRC/Jaco



Contact



Corally



JFT (Japan Foam Tire)



Ulti



Enneti (Xceed)



ELECTRONICS:
ESC:
As of now, ROAR is staying 1S (3.7V nominal; 4.2V fully charged) for 1/12. There are many 1S ESC's with a built in BEC so nothing else is required to power the receiver and servo.

If you don't want to lock yourself into a 1S specific ESC, you do have other options! It is possible to use your 2S ESC without a booster or receiver pack, and the ESC simply supplies the lower voltage. If that does not appeal to you, you will need to use an Rx pack or booster. The Rx pack and booster will both supply the receiver with a higher voltage than the 1S pack.

If you decide to use an Rx pack, MAKE SURE TO REMOVE THE RED WIRE FROM THE ESC PLUG THAT GOES INTO THE RECEIVER!!!

If you choose to use a voltage booster, it works exactly how it sounds. Instead of plugging the ESC into the receiver, it plugs into the booster, and the booster plug goes to the ESC, supplying the higher voltage.

1S ESC:
If there are any missing please add them!!

If anyone would like a need for a chart comparing the ESC's specs PM fenton06 and I'll get one made and put in here!
DISCONTINUED 1S ESC:
If there are any missing please add them!!


If anyone would like a need for a chart comparing the ESC's specs PM fenton06 and I'll get one made and put in here!

Voltage Boosters:
If there are any missing please add them!
Servos:
BODIES:
Black Art (CRC - US Dist):
  • Audi R8C - BA002 - .020 Thick



  • Black Market (Mohawk 12) - BA005 - .020



  • Lola B10 - BA006 - .020 thick
  • Toyota TS030 - BA008 - .020 thick

    Lola - black/red, TS030 - green/pink


PROTOForm:

Reflex Racing/RSD:

SUSPENSION ADJUSTMENTS:
Pan Car Front Suspension Tuning:
DISCLAIMER : The following tuning advice was written based on the tuning experience of the author and may not hold true for all cars, drivers, or surfaces. In the end the best tuning advice is to experiment and make changes one at a time so you can track your changes and find the car balance that works best for your driving style. One real world test is worth a million ‘expert’ opinions.

Front End Type:

All popular modern pan car front suspensions are very similar, with a few exceptions such as Speedmerchant New School but most of the info in this wiki applies to them as well. For the most part, they consist of a rigid bottom arm, an upper A-arm, and a kingpin with a spring. There are different flavors of this general design, such as the CRC Dynamic Strut that uses a threaded kingpin and upper pivot ball instead of the Associated style that uses a kingpin that goes through the entire steering knuckle assembly, but their operation is the same with the rigid lower arm and the upper arm controlling the arc of movement as the suspension is compressed.

Assembly:

More so than in almost any other part of the car, the front suspension of your 1/12 car must move absolutely free. Reamers and hobby knives are important here, as any binding will cause the car to corner unpredictably. A little play in the suspension is a good thing, and racers will often find that ‘worn in’ suspension pieces function a little better than new.

Springs:

Besides tires, spring rate is the most important part of deciding how your car will handle through corners, but are somewhat complicated. As a general rule of thumb, a very hard front spring will have somewhat less steering grip than a softer spring with the same suspension setup and tires, but not as much as in other classes such as touring or offroad. On carpet, springs of different tension can be used to tune how your car will maintain or lose energy through corners with the following general rule of thumb:

Hard Spring (0.55mm or harder): Less overall steering, quick reaction to driver input, less on power steering, harder turn-in with potentially lazy mid-corner and exit.

Soft Spring (.45mm): More overall steering especially at low speed, slightly slower reaction to driver input, more on-power steering, less aggressive turn-in but can ‘hook’ and give better mid-corner and exit.

It is worth noting that front springs from different suppliers are often very different, in both height, wire thickness, and coils for a given spring height meaning that a “medium” spring from one manufacturer may be the “hard” spring for another. To make accurate changes you may want to use one spring maker and stick with their line.

Another aspect to pan car springs is that they can get “blown out” and collapse, no longer as stiff or as tall as they were. These should be replaced with fresh springs to ensure consistent handling.

Dampening:

This is generally a minor adjustment, but adding dampening tube fluid to the front kingpins of a 1/12 car can give it a little more initial steering. Often unusual compounds see use here, such as Losi Smart Diff Grease or Associated Green Slime being a popular front kingpin lube.

Caster and Reactive Caster:

Caster is the angle of the kingpin, almost always angling back to the rear of the car, with a typical range from 0-10 degrees. Increasing your caster will typically result in less turn-in but a little more control, more steering exiting the corner, and somewhat increased straight-line stability with less tendency to wander because a wheel running caster will tend to straighten itself. Less caster will usually give you more off-power steering, but often with correspondingly less on-power when accelerating out of the corner.

Running reactive caster attempts to use both of these aspects to increase overall steering: when the car loads up on the outside front tire, the caster angle decreases, increasing the front end ‘hook’ as you enter the corner and then giving you the high caster on-power steering as you exit and weight is transferred off the front end. More reactive caster means more overall steering, but can mean you may have to adjust your driving style to drive more ‘ahead of the car’, needing to predict where the front end will grip.

As grip increases, less reactive caster is the normal tuning change made to keep the front end of the car from gripping too hard and oversteering and prevent traction roll. Static caster adjustments are still used to change the cars on power / off power steering balance.

Reactive Camber and Front Roll Center:

Reactive camber or camber gain is how much camber is added the front wheels as the suspension compresses. This can be increased or decreased by changing the angle and length of the top arm. Short, angled arm = more. Long, flat arm = less. More reactive camber will typically cause the car to “roll up” on the outer front wheel, transferring more weight in a turn and give more steering up to the point at which the tire is overloaded. This is generally more front grip and weight transfer than wanted on carpet, and as a result most cars run a flatter longer front arm.

Roll Center is the point on which the car will twist laterally or ‘roll’ during cornering. This can be raised or lowered by changing the angle and length of the top arm, with a short angled arm raising is slightly and a long flat arm lowering it. From what I have calculated most modern 1/12 cars meant for carpet have a roll center somewhere around the height of the chassis plate or just below it, but due to the lower arms being rigid and flat the roll center cannot be under the bottom of the tires like it often is on a touring car.
These two are inexorably linked in pan cars. Top arm length can be changed by the top arm mount in or out using shims or a CRC Long Arm kit, but is generally a minor tuning choice. Tuning of roll center with shims is usually a minor tuning choice in a pan car with a rigid bottom arm due to how the car cannot gain extra mechanical advantage on the lower arm as you can in a touring car, while reactive camber can be a significant driver of the car’s performance. In a modern car running on carpet the kit setup is usually perfectly fine.

Front End Alignment:

Static camber is the angle of your front wheels at rest, typically somewhere from 0 to 1.5 degrees on a pan car depending on surface, tire choice, and other factors, but a good starting point is usually somewhere around 0.5 degrees. More camber will typically give more steering, but many racers use static camber to ensure that their tires wear flat even if that means not having exactly equal camber on both sides of the car. This is adjusted by threading in and out the upper turnbuckle or pivot ball.

It is also worth noting that when running on high grip the flex and deformation of your chassis, suspension parts, and front wheels can become significant and cause uneven front tire wear. Some troubleshooting of the right combination of static camber, camber gain, caster, and tire/rim choice may be necessary to ensure even front tire wear.

Toe-In:

The front toe is one of the more easily adjusted aspects of the car and can have a significant effect on the attitude of the car due to it being a quick way to moderately adjust Ackerman without making significant other changes. With nothing else being adjusted, going from zero toe to toe-in will give a car a harder turn-in and will tend to scrub speed with the front end as opposed to using drag brake. This can be necessary when racing in Super Stock or higher power classes and will allow you to drive more aggressively, and can help the car track straighter under power. Toe-out will tend to make the car coast more through corners due to reducing the steering angle of the outer front tire. If a car has too much off-power steering but is otherwise stable, adding toe-out can calm the car but may the car to wander on the straights especially if the front end setup is very soft.

Ackerman:

Ackerman is the difference in steering angle between the two front tires during a turn. It is the result of how during a turn the inside of the car experiences a tighter circle and needs correspondingly more steering angle, but is also an important tuning tool. More Ackerman means having more inside wheel steering angle relative to the outer wheel, less means that the difference in steering angle is smaller.

To add or remove Ackerman, using a servo horn that spaces the links further apart (such as a Kimbrough Small Servo Saver, the outer holes on a Tamiya or Xray servo saver) will have more Ackerman than a servo that puts the links close together (Kimbrough Medium inner holes, Tamiya or Xray inner holes.) The rule of thumb is that a servo that puts the ball studs close together but spaced away from the servo horn will have less Ackerman than one that spaces them far apart and close to the servo horn. Ackerman changes will have the same effect as changing toe with more Ackerman being effectively toeing the wheels out and less toeing them in, but will not affect the straight-line attitude of the car.

Turning Circle / Steering Angle:

In offroad or even touring car you can set up the car to use the full angle of the steering 100% of the time. You will almost certainly not be able to do this in 1/12 scale. It goes without saying that as you turn up your steering angle you will gain steering often to the point of the car being undriveable. The quickest way to set the steering correctly is to set the sub-trim in your radio such that the car tracks straight and the servo horn is straight up and down, then set the endpoints equally such that they don't quite hit the steering bump-stops, then turn down the dual-rate or total throw from there. A typical starting point is somewhere between 45 and 60% of the total steering throw, or a 4-5' turning circle.
SOMEONE ELSE DO THE REAR TUNING SECTION! AND A TROUBLESHOOTING TREE! FEEL FREE TO MAKE YOUR OWN CHANGES!

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Old 01-26-2006, 06:11 AM   #17086
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick-C
I wonder if anyone there was tempted to run a thinner chassis to help with the bumpier than normal track conditions?
I know of at least one mod 12th driver that switched to a thinner chassis this past year at Cleveland, but that was due to the lack of traction compared to previous years. He was trying to use the flex in the chassis to create traction, as you would on asphalt.
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Old 01-26-2006, 06:22 AM   #17087
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That was a great post Nick. Lots of good points.

My take on the t-bar argument is that drivers of t-bar cars can generally get setup to the surface faster. Especially on asphalt due to lack of grip. Carpet is a big equalizer since you have so much grip.
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Old 01-26-2006, 07:14 AM   #17088
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James35,

I took a second look and I can kinda see how it could cause some binding. I guess the shims I have are small enough in diameter that I have not run in to this.

I was thinking that maybe you had made a mistake that I had in moving the suspension with the wheel off to see how freely the king pin slides through the pivot balls (both top and bottom).

For the past two weeks all I have done is fiddle with things on my car trying to get a better understanding of how the parts work together and what I can do to make them fit or move better. I have spent most of that time on the front suspension and now have it freed up so it works properly.

These cars look so simple but the detail work it takes to get them right is amazing.

Greg
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Old 01-26-2006, 08:04 AM   #17089
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how would (accidentaly) installing the upper eyelet up-side-down affect handling?
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Old 01-26-2006, 09:33 AM   #17090
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in my experience with the t bar cars,i found pretty much what adrian said.they seem to be very easy to set up and they seem smoothe.i love the idea of the link car.i like isolating the suspension action.it seemed to me that the link cars were much more aggressive and i think it is due to having to use a heavier shock spring than a t bar car because all of the spring tension is at the shock instead of being shared by the 2.with more spring tension up high changes the rate at which the weight is transfered front to rear and rear to front which is what i think the difference in feel comes from.this is also why being that i mostly run asphalt only is why i prefer the T bar car.from what i hear though,they both work real well on both surfaces.i will be experimenting with a link style setup with the same shock setup and an extention spring below to see if i can run the same center shock spring as a T bar car.i will let you know how it works out.
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Old 01-26-2006, 12:19 PM   #17091
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smoking motor..
Note I respect your knowledge and your probably faster driver than me.
But please look at what I am saying.

It is not a live axle car !!!! (live axle are a stupidly different ball game! and always considered to use eliptical springs,Panhard rods.)
When it uses links or de dion supension it is referred to as a trialing link supension or an de dion axle.Yes I study automotive engineering and have messed around with kit cars etc.
You also need to consider the tyre as the most effiecent point for the damping and springing to occur that why single seater race cars use tall tyres (inflated with nitrogen to ten to 15 psi) and very stiff supension so they can transfer the wings down force to the tyre contact patches. So you can do stupids thing such as pull 4g in braking, in a formula renault when braking from a 160 mph 30 mph in less tham 50meters. This is just data of a black box.
With heavier race cars such as rally cars and touring cars the rules are different and the reliance of Down force is much less so the tend to let the supension do the work rather than the tyres thus the use of low profile tyre the make the car more reponsive in terms of changing direction as they have a reduced slip angle.
It is very much akin to a go kart (t-bar) or a trailing link setup (link car). Any of these cars can be adjusted to cope with roll rate, i.e tweak springs on the carpet knife and the t-fource, changing the t-bar thickness will control roll rate. Chassis thickness won't it but may effect the effiency of the supension by absorbing the bumps of the car, that why you use an flexible chassis. this will not effect the roll rate.
Any way the roll rate is controled by the side damping of the plate or tubes no the fore aft damping of the center shock. That controls the fore and aft transfer of the cars mass around the point of inertia in the accelarating and braking.
True that in the Automotive world, this is not truly a live axle, but is always referred to as such in the R/C world.

Unfortunately fullscale engineering principles do not always equate well to the r/c world. I know many very talented Auto/Mechanical Engineers who are without a clue when it comes to R/C Vehicle Dynamics. In actuality, the T-bar, or the link system is what deals with bumps on the track. It's not theory, it's fact. On a bumpy track you can actually watch the cars work, and see the suspension in action. I've been doing this for quite a while and have had cars with various rear suspension designs, and each has it's own strengths and weaknesses, but each also readily displays it's charcteristics on the track. I prefer a car with little to no chassis flex, that can be tuned separately fore and, side to side. I understand that the center shock primarily controls fore and aft weight transfer, but oddly when you soften it up, it absorbs bumps better.
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Old 01-26-2006, 12:36 PM   #17092
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CypressMidWest
I prefer a car with little to no chassis flex, that can be tuned separately fore and, side to side. I understand that the center shock primarily controls fore and aft weight transfer, but oddly when you soften it up, it absorbs bumps better.
Masami Hirosaka, Mike Blackstock and Mike Lufaso disagree with you

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Old 01-26-2006, 12:44 PM   #17093
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Oddly, Masami has more tan than both of them.
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Old 01-26-2006, 12:47 PM   #17094
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hey jason sent you pm... let me know when I can get something. Thanks
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Old 01-26-2006, 12:48 PM   #17095
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Yeah, Mike and Mike are northern boys. The only light they get is flourecent from their carpet tracks...lol!
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Old 01-26-2006, 01:25 PM   #17096
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdrianM
Masami Hirosaka, Mike Blackstock and Mike Lufaso disagree with you

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Yeah but none of us have their level of skill either
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Old 01-26-2006, 01:30 PM   #17097
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I doubt how many stiff chassis was used in 2004 Worlds 1/12 A-main, not even one. Results speak for itself. Stiff chassis works on carpet but not on asphalt(most of the time). As you said, real world automotive enginnering doesn't always work on our little cars.
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Old 01-26-2006, 01:34 PM   #17098
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I bet real world technology would work just fine if we could get it small enough and light enough. I mean, we are running springs only up front. Imagine micro oil shocks, and tiny anti-roll bars, etc...
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Old 01-26-2006, 01:38 PM   #17099
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T-bar is a spring, spring can be designed in many ways, not just coils.
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Old 01-26-2006, 02:00 PM   #17100
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James35
I bet real world technology would work just fine if we could get it small enough and light enough. I mean, we are running springs only up front. Imagine micro oil shocks, and tiny anti-roll bars, etc...
The big problem that we have with scaled down cars is the fact that the molecules do not scale down with the pieces. Oil dampers are about as small as they can really get and still work feasibly... Oil dampers that small would not do so good as the molecule of the oil is still just as big as it was when we started. Maybe if we were able to find another fluid with such damping capabilities... WTF do i know... I stayed at a Holiday Inn but couldn't sleep...
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