Now say it backwards...
This describes the first 5 runs of my newly acquired, slightly used, FK05. During the last couple of months, through numerous tips and tricks, I was able to get my now sold FK04 to run quicker lap times than at least a third of the local new FK05's. But unless I'm nuts, I'm sure I picked up several tenths, if not a half second, in lap times last night during testing.
To start, I decided not to waste all of the previous six months of hard work testing and tuning the 04.
Plus, I run a very uncommon, dare I say unique (or some would say crazy), tire combination of Nitro Shoe foams (26mm 40 shore fronts & 30mm 30 shore rears). The artist in me demanding style with function, my desire for being different, & most of all my current economical situation ($10.50/pr with 3 days shipping from HongKong) pretty much made me decide to stay with my status quo of tire choice.
So I stripped down the FK05 chassis and bolted on the entire suspension combination from my 04, excluding rear pins/spacers. This included bumpers, roll bar, shocks/towers (including my very own creation of a slightly modified FK05 standard front tower that has mount holes that lower it approx 1mm lower than the new FK05 foam tower & has a camber link mount 2mm towards the inside of position 2 on the FK05 standard tower for slightly longer links), arms, hubs, & camber links. Of course I cleaned and relubed all the bearings and diffs. Unfortunately I didn't have the new Mdiff when building and I couldn't use the one-way from the 04, so I had to use a standard front diff.
One huge tip of note that I received from one of the frugal local aces who had been running an 05 for a few months, is to use 3mm counter sunk aluminum washers under the top deck mounting screws. ( http://www.gsracing.com/web/page.asp...id=103&id=1118
) I had put them on the FK05 rolling chassis as received before starting this build process and the difference in chassis flex of the stock 2.5mm chassis and standard top deck was amazing. I compared the newly found rigidity to my trusty FK04 3.5mm XRC chassis and found that the washers had actually made it stiffer than the XRC without the use of a thicker & heavier FK05 chassis or top deck
(please forgive me Mario & Co., but I'm always pushing outside the standard rhetoric...er, I mean envelope
) Now all I had to do was figure out a way to protect the motor as well as mount my endbell fan low on the chassis.
"Where's that beatup FK04 2.5mm chassis?" "Where's my dremel?" "Where's my dust mask? -cough...cough-" Voila
(Forgive me again since I didn't have the time or money to order the Xray version)
After cleaning up the wiring and mounting everything, the scales confimed that the new 05 was 45 grams lighter than the 04. On the 04, the weight was distributed between front and rear with a 51% bias towards the rear. On the 05 I now had the rear 40 grams lighter than the front (more steering anyone?
I used the exact same setup as on my 04. You can find it at http://www.teamxray.com/xforum/xform...8&setup=t1fk05
First run - I quickly realized, as my car wanted soooooo much to take a right turn, that I needed to adjust the servo steering link to bring it inline with my transmitter wheel center. Next, I aligned the EPA settings on the track running very slow speed semi-circles. Then I ran about 5 mins on the first pack while the diff rings were breaking in. I had set the front diff to medium-heavy and the rear to low-medium. The car handled great, although the diffs started slipping right away and they couldn't transfer the torque until halfway down the straight. But when they caught, it felt like I was hitting a NOS button and the car would almost launch itself into the boards if I didn't turn in fast enough for the sweeper at the end.
Second run - Tightened diffs back to Medium and Low and she became a rocket. Whoa now boy!
The car was turning into the corners way too fast and I kept ending up "hitting" the apex's. What was interesting was that, although it was turning an arc previously unheard of with the 04 at insane corner speeds, the rear was perfectly hooked. I came to realize the "rails" just got tighter, so I had to dial out 15 points of steering throw on my XS3 Pro (maybe the third position on the knuckle extensions may work for me now?!?). On to the next issue...now I could definitely tell that I had a diff in the front! The car was on rails, just like the 04 with this setup, until I gave it the gas on corner exits. Without the one-way, the excessive torque coming through the 05 drivetrain would send the car out to the boards with a lot of push. I kept breaking it in and about halfway through the pack, the diffs were slipping slightly again.
Third run - Tightened the diffs a second time and raised the rear ride height by .25mm to help with the exit push. This seemed to give me enough steering if I drove smoothly and put aside my naturally aggressive style. However, if I missed the apex I would have to let off the gas in order to keep my car from becoming one with the barriers. "Wooossaaahhhh..Hhhmmmmm..."
Can I say WoW again
Fourth run - Just as it was gettin' goooud (American southern accent intended) I found the only gripe I have with the 05. After getting happy, pushing hard and making a slight mistake which sent the entire front end through...I mean "into" the boards, I noticed the car had completely died, while I was trying to figure out what it was that had just passed my car flying in the same direction.
Ooops,...was that my battery that had been slung out and over the car
Yup! Back in the pits I tried putting some sticky foam above the inside two cells, the outside two cells and all of the cells, but each time the chassis would bow down in the middle when checked using the ride height gauge. Not gonna work
And I had grown so accustomed to the firm but non-tweaking twin straps in the 04
But alas, with everything else, maybe a change was needed. Even us R&D engineers get too comfortable at times. A trip to the front counter, a few bucks lighter, & after spending a few moments getting acquainted with all this new sticky STUFF, the car was back on the track and flyin again. Maybe it was just a mind thing, but I may have been able to notice the weight savings there. Although I didn't take the time to weigh the strap, and I didn't properly reset the spring tweak (just a few mm turn out on the right shock collars and in on the lefts), I'd say maybe 10 to 15 grams difference? Ok, 5 maybe? "I'll have to find out tonight at the bat cave."
Last run - After being informed that the store had actually received a few more Xray parts (thank you Lord), I was EXTREMELY pleased to purchase my very own Mdiff.
But alas, not enough time to put it in before my last run.
Now I'm hearing rumors that the track "powers that be", a.k.a. "they" or "them", might start running the new track layout backwards this weekend.
I decided to test the car in the counter clockwise direction for the last pack.
WoW, one more time...anyone?
The difference in the flow of the track was significant and it suddenly became a bit more technical and slower with a more balanced combination of slow speed left and right corners. However, the FK05 didn't miss a beat. In fact, the cars ability to handle lightning quick steering transitions in a smooth manner, without any hint of over rotation, was confidence inspiring. Within three laps, I was comfortable tightening up the corners and aiming for the apexes without worrying about the few times I had to make slight corrections on turn-in with all of this new steering I'd found. "Now thats why Josh C and others were running the left side of their saddle packs all the way forward on the 04!"
In closing, all I can say is...