Sorry it's been a little while since my last update. This is partly due to being very busy, but also because there haven't been any significant developments with the car.
Towards the end of the season I updated the car to use TC6.1 arms and hubs. I ran these for a few meetings but they just seem to cause understeer compared to the TC6 parts (which is strange as most people find the 6.1 more agressive). I also experimented a bit with other setups; I tried different track widths, roll-centres, wheelbases, rollbars and shock positions. None of these were an improvement over the setup I'd been running for most of the year, so I think this is about as good as the car's going to get in it's current guise.
That's now about it for this season, as winter is pretty much here in the UK. I do race outdoors over the winter, but will only run this car if it's dry, so it may still get some running over the winter.
The car has exceeded all expectations. It was a lot of work to design and build the car, but once at the track it's been fairly pain-free. The performance has been fantastic and was a big step forward from a standard TC6. The car is very positive without the rear ever feeling loose, and has great direction-change.
The three-belt sytem and shorty lipo have been just as fast as a dual-belt car with a normal lipo. In boosted the ESC setup and motor temperature dominate the performance to such an extent that other elements have little effect.
I'm sure the car can be made even better with a carbon chassis, twin-crank steering and some improvements to the belts and tensions. I've also considered the Exotec bulkheads and arm mounts to get Tamiya/Yokomo style wishbone hangers. This would be more accurate and give more flex.
However... I've decided to go in a different direction for next year, as a result of some of the things I've learnt from this project:
- I want to add vertical camber-link mounts, twin-point steering and Tamiya style wishbone handers. I could buy all of these, but they add up to almost the cost of a new car...
- I want to move away from the TC6 platform to something of a higher quality.
- Although the 3-belt system performed okay, it was a pain keeping the belt tensions correct. I always had some amount of belt slip due to the belts pulling the pulleys towards each other under acceleration and braking. The only way to fix this is to add braces across the top of all the layshaft mounts and bulkheads, which will harm the chassis flex.
- I think the amount of belt-tension required to prevent belt-slip will be having an effect on the handling of the car, especially the middle belt which has to run very tight, and is offset quite a long way. Running the belts tight causes the bulkheads/chassis to flex.
- It's cold and dark over the winter and I need a new project to work on
So for 2013 I'll be working on something new. As with the TC6-C it will be based on an existing car, but with a shorty lipo and improved weight distribution. There is a way to achieve a low CoG, tight weight spread, even chassis flex and an efficient/reliable drivetrain, so that's what I'll be targetting.
So watch this space, and thanks for listening. The positive comments in this thread (and the negative comments about all the manufacturers copying each other and having boring identical cars!) have certainly helped the motivation