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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.
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.

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.

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 12-08-2008, 09:19 PM   #29851
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Steve...how sure are you of the above? I'm certainly open to correction but I believe you get more camber gain with a shorter upper arm, less with a longer (seems the opposite of what you've indicated). This is one of the reasons "real" race cars use very long suspension arms compared to what was true in the past.

I believe roll center only changes if you change the angle of your upper arms from parallel with the ground (or at the rear, as with the Low Roll kit on Carpet Knives, by raising or lowering the pivot ball). You can also affect roll center by raising or lowering the center of mass. It's been a LONG time since I looked at this but it strikes me that pointed more down at the inside ends effectively lowers the roll center while bringing the upper arms up closer to parallel with the ground would raise the roll center. I believe you want to raise roll center if traction is low, lower it if traction is high (ie. traction rolling, "tripping" over the front, etc).

Again, MOST open to correction...so have at ye knowlegeable mass!!
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Old 12-08-2008, 09:32 PM   #29852
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A more parallel upper arm will yield a lower roll center. A more angled arm is a higher roll center.

Shorter arm more reaction/intial cut
Longer arm more overall steering, not as reactive.
Parallel arm will reduce traction roll, take some side bite out
Angled arm will increase side bite, camber gain
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Old 12-08-2008, 09:48 PM   #29853
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Originally Posted by Scottrik View Post
Steve...how sure are you of the above? I'm certainly open to correction but I believe you get more camber gain with a shorter upper arm, less with a longer (seems the opposite of what you've indicated). This is one of the reasons "real" race cars use very long suspension arms compared to what was true in the past.

I believe roll center only changes if you change the angle of your upper arms from parallel with the ground (or at the rear, as with the Low Roll kit on Carpet Knives, by raising or lowering the pivot ball). You can also affect roll center by raising or lowering the center of mass. It's been a LONG time since I looked at this but it strikes me that pointed more down at the inside ends effectively lowers the roll center while bringing the upper arms up closer to parallel with the ground would raise the roll center. I believe you want to raise roll center if traction is low, lower it if traction is high (ie. traction rolling, "tripping" over the front, etc).

Again, MOST open to correction...so have at ye knowlegeable mass!!
Not sure at all, that's why I'm asking. Ay my age, I've forgotten a lot. Just trying to figure out what the changes will be if I move the pivot points around. I don't get enough track time to just try them all and hope what happens is right.
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Old 12-08-2008, 09:58 PM   #29854
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The end of a longer arm travels in a wider arc then the arc of a shorter arm. Because of this the amount the top of the king pin moves in toward the center of the chassis is less then the amount the top of the king pin moves on a shorter arm. Thus a shorter arm will have more change in camber as the suspension compresses.
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Old 12-08-2008, 10:00 PM   #29855
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Originally Posted by robk View Post
A more parallel upper arm will yield a lower roll center. A more angled arm is a higher roll center.
This is correct. I just looked it up in Fred Puhn's EXCELLENT "How To Make Your Car Handle". It had been too long. So "what he said".

Since our lower arms are fixed parallel to the ground the higher you raise the inboard pivot of the upper arm the closer to the car the instantaneous center becomes. The lower line passes from the instantaneous center through the center of the tread contact to the point of intersection with the same line from the other side which will put the roll center below ground.

With the upper arms parallel your instantaneous center is at infinity (lines described by the upper and lower arms are parallel thus never intersect) which puts the roll center AT ground level.

Lowering the inner pivot shifts causes the instananeous center to come back from infinity (albeit described from the opposite side of the car) and move ever closer to the car. The difference being that instead of taking angles from arms and to tread centers on the same side of the car we're now measuring from the opposite sides of the car so the roll center rises the closer to the car we find the instantaneous center.

Ay yi yi. More stuff to ponder.
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Old 12-08-2008, 10:16 PM   #29856
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Well I held out as long as I could. I've been running brushless in my TC for a while, but I wanted to stay with brushed motors in my 1/12 car for as long as I could because the sight of all that wiring in a 1/12 car just didn't look right to me. After this last weekend I couldn't hold out any longer. Having the only brushed 1/12 car at the regional (Region 1) didn't bother me, but the power fade after only a few laps really did... I saw a post by Carl Giordano in the Speedmerchant Rev5 thread with some pics of a car that odpurple built for him, and it was clear that it IS possible to get all that wiring hidden away. I'm nowhere near the perfectionist that odpurple is, but I at least have a brushless 1/12 car that doesn't hurt me to look at. Here's my newly converted Flexi '07, the Tekin RS makes it pretty easy to get a nice tidy job... Can't wait to run it this weekend at the Toys For Tots race at 360 Speedway in Babylon, NY
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Old 12-08-2008, 10:26 PM   #29857
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Looks great Trips! Those FF cars sure are nice looking...If I didn't have such an aversion to saddle packs I'd be looking at one myself
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Old 12-08-2008, 10:34 PM   #29858
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WOW!!!!!!! So totally true. I raced on Sunday and started to be more consistant. Going slower is totally the way to go. And Looking more forward really helps. I'm still going slower then the top 5 guys but I made it to the A-Main this week which was cool and came in 4th.

Just a couple of questions about setup.

How (with out a setup board) do I set camber and Toe or the CRC 3.2R. I Think I may be having basic setup issues. On power up THe car tends to pull to the left.

Thanks Again
I use an RPM camber gauge to set camber, for toe I just eyeball it. They also make a toe gauge, but I've never tried one. Here's the RPM web page with their gauges... the second item on the paage is the toe gauge, the third item is the camber gauge I use for 1/12 and touring cars.

Niftech makes a tool to measure toe, camber, and to center the rear axle in the car correctly, but I've never had one.


Pulling to one side under power is usually a sign that the car is tweaked. If you don't already own a tweak station, consider the Unity Tool tweak station... it not only does tweak, but it also can measure toe and camber. Pricey, but VERY NICE. I use a MIP tweak station, which does a great job, but doesn't have the camber and toe measuring capabilities of the Unity, but if I ever manage to break it, I'm buying the Unity one for sure.
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Old 12-08-2008, 10:48 PM   #29859
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Quote:
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One of the best writen descriptions of this that I've ever seen! Well done, and I would have never thought of telling this as a driving tip before but should. After reading your post, I realized that this is exactly what's going on when you're the fastest and why I have a tendancy to hit stuff when it isn't. I started racing again yesterday after a 5 year lay off and found that I was not doing a very good job of this at all. I was focusing too much on the car and over shooting corners a lot. This will make next weekend a lot easier I think. Great stuff and thanks for posting!
You know, I almost didn't post that, because it can sound pretty weird, but I'm glad I decided to go ahead and do it.

I never gave as much thought to the mental aspects of racing until I started trying to figure out why I haven't been able to do as well lately as I did a few years ago. I read a GREAT book on the subject, titled "Speed Secrets 3 - Inner Speed Secrets: Mental Strategies to Maximize Your Racing Performance" by Ross Bentley, a professional race driver and race driving instructor. He wrote a whole series of books, you can see them HERE. The third book on the page is the one I'm referring to. While it's really aimed at people driving full size race cars, a LOT of it is helpful to us as well. I've also read the first book on that page, a lot of it also is interesting and helpful to us, but again, really aimed at racers who drive from inside their race cars...

Most any good bookstore can get any of these titles, I just ordered my copies from Amazon...
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Old 12-08-2008, 11:09 PM   #29860
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Looks great Trips! Those FF cars sure are nice looking...If I didn't have such an aversion to saddle packs I'd be looking at one myself
I hear you... I haven't raced a t-bar chassis since back in '94... but the FF is so sweet looking I just HAD to try it... and with Stormer selling the conversion kit for $99 it was too attractive to hold out any longer.

Only two race days on it, but I'm REALLY liking the car so far...
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Old 12-09-2008, 03:39 AM   #29861
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Great write up Trips.

I see people all the time go out to practice without the lap timer on...even some rather talented drivers..far to many people fail to see your point..great write up I will have to check out the book you mentioned.

Another great book is "Ayrton Senna's Princples of Race Driving" it is a little harder to find as it is out of print. Great chapters on race driving,line, and mental fitness.

Cheers

Jamie
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Old 12-09-2008, 07:30 PM   #29862
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i was just wondering if anyone is using a lipo in the ae 12r5 if so what brand is it??
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Old 12-09-2008, 08:17 PM   #29863
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I am new to 1/12scale. I noticed some setups have the rear tires 1.5mm to 2mm larger than the front. Why not run the same size front and rear? Is it a tuning option?
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Old 12-09-2008, 09:50 PM   #29864
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I am new to 1/12scale. I noticed some setups have the rear tires 1.5mm to 2mm larger than the front. Why not run the same size front and rear? Is it a tuning option?
One reason is larger tire = more speed.
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Old 12-09-2008, 10:29 PM   #29865
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i was just wondering if anyone is using a lipo in the ae 12r5 if so what brand is it??
I am running an SMC 4000 1 cell in a 12r5 . . .
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