Originally Posted by T1bobo
I have a Q about my Reflex and it seems that everywhere else can not answer for me so i'll come here!!
I dont know how to adjust my toe,camber,ride height,caster,droop and car width could you guys point me in the right direction on this please im lost and i race in 3 days!!!!
Hope this helps
TUNING THE TRINITY REFLEX NT
by Greg Vogel with Joel Johnson for RC Nitro Magazine
Chassis and suspension tuning isn’t for everyone; many wing-it drivers just like to build and go, and however the car works is fine by them. Too bad; way too many “wing-it” drivers suffer at the track when they could run better with just a few tweaks here and there—if only they knew what to change.
To help all of you “wing-it” drivers, we cornered Trinity team driver and RC legend Joel Johnson, held a fuel gun to his head and made him tell us all the tuning secrets he has learned while testing Trinity’s Reflex NT. Many of these speed secrets for the Reflex NT can easily be applied to other cars, so read on and see how to tune a nitro sedan.
Here’s what Joel added to his personal Reflex NT:
Front layshaft mount (item no. NT2517)—a sturdy aluminum mount for the shaft.
Hardened pulleys (NT2077, NT2078, NT2064, NT2065, NT2037)—these free up the drive train. Lowered motor mounts (NT2524)—to lower the car’s CG, keep the car flat and reduce chassis roll. Vented lightweight brake disc (NT2155)—reduces rotating mass and cleans the pads for more consistent braking.
Ball-joint shock mount (NT2519)—allows the shock to float and reduces the chances of binding if the arm positions are changed.
Big bash bumper (NT2517)—you can never be too careful.
Clutch mods—Joel trims 1mm off the back of the clutch shoes (closest to the clutch nut) to lighten them and uses the stock retaining springs.
Gearing—changing the gearing really depends on the track. Joel uses the stock gearing, which should be good for most club tracks.
Servo height—adjust the steering servo as low as it goes. Reposition the ball ends on top of the servo-saver to ensure that the steering tie rods sweep up; this will reduce the chances of bump-steer.
Joel typically runs 60wt oil in the front shocks with the stock piston, with stiff yellow springs and the shocks mounted in the stock locations. If he runs on stickier tracks, though, he goes with heavier oil—up to 90wt—and he has even used a Mugen gray spring, which is slightly stiffer than the yellow unit. Keep in mind that when you change the spring, you should also change to a heavier oil; if you don’t, it might have a pogo effect on the damping. Joel found that 50WT oil with orange springs generally hooks up the back of the Reflex. In some instances, 60WT might be preferable; it all depends on the track’s condition.
Wider is better, so Joel’s Reflex is set to the maximum width of 200mm. The wheelbase on his Reflex is set up as short as he can make it; two shims behind the arm help the car turn better on shorter tracks. For big tracks, you might want to run one shim on both sides of the arms to lengthen the car a little for high-speed stability.
Up front, Joel runs about 1 degree of toe-out to make the car go straight and feel stable. Toe-in up front is known to make the car more twitchy. In the rear, toe is usually set to -2 degrees on each wheel. You probably don’t want to run more because it slows the car down. Rear toe can also help the car rotate and will straighten the car on power.
Ride height up front is set between 4 and 4.5 degrees, depending on whether the track is bumpy. Joel runs about 1mm droop (“droop” is when the car is picked up off the ground, and the arms hang down). He does not have the down stops set on his Reflex because if the suspension is compressed, the chassis might scrape.
In the rear, the ride height is also set between 4 and 4.5mm. Rear droop is set in the 1 to 1.5mm range. The more droop that’s present in the rear, the more the front dumps under braking; this loosens the rear and makes it rotate.
Joel will usually run his chassis with “rake” (that is, the front is a little lower than the rear); this causes the car to push at high speed and rotate better at low speed. If you run the front higher, it will go around sweeping corners better but does not rotate as well at low speed.
Joel sets his camber so the tires wear flat. If the track has a lot of left turns, for instance, Joel dials in 2 degrees of camber on the right side and 1 degree on the left to prevent tire coning. (When a tire cones, it makes the car pull to one side and, in Joel’s words, “do strange things.”) Joel suggests that you start with 1 degree, run a couple of tanks, then measure the tires and adjust camber from there. You may also want to re-true the tires before you race with the new adjustments.
Joel feels that using a front swaybar is the driver’s preference; he prefers to try a stiffer spring before he installs a swaybar. Swaybars keep the car flat and should be used to reduce steering and help eliminate traction rolls. Trinity offers a knife bar, which Joel believes works better on larger tracks, while a wire-type bar works better on smaller tracks.
Right now, Joel is testing with a Kyosho medium swaybar in the rear of his Reflex. His best advice is to try one at the track where you run. High bite, you’ll probably leave it on; low bite, you’ll probably take it off. A swaybar in the rear unhooks the car.
TUNING CHASSIS ROLL
Adjusting the angle of the rear camber link changes the car’s roll center. If you increase the angle of the rod by dropping it to the lower bulkhead hole, the car will be a little less forgiving and can break loose. Joel found that flattening out the camber links works best in the rear of the Reflex, and playing with springs and swaybars is a better tuning aid to compensate for roll. He generally runs the rod in the top hole of the bulkhead and hub.
Trinity is currently working on a new front shock tower that will offer other mounting locations; it might be available by the time you read this. For now, drivers are using a Kyosho V-One R tower that is a direct bolt-on to the Reflex and allows the shocks to stand up, which makes the springs feel a little stiffer.
In the rear, Joel uses the center hole in the shock tower. To hook the car up for loose conditions, Joel suggests trying the outer hole on the tower. Josh Cyrul has even drilled another outer hole to stand the shocks up even more. It’s really the driver’s preference.
Joel typically runs the caster straight up as far as the steering knuckle will stand up, which means that all the spacers on the upper arm hinge pin are in back. The more caster the car has, the less able it is to corner hard. But it does have a good amount of on-power steering, which generally works better on larger tracks.
Braking should be set to slow the car and not lock the wheels. Trinity’s optional vented disc brake helps clean the brake pads and provides more consistent braking.
Joel likes to use red TRC hard-compound tires up front, and he has also used Double Purples. The two tires have different characteristics even though they feel the same. The reds are low-bite tires that take time to heat up and have traction, while the purples are consistent at any temperature. Each has its benefits, depending on track conditions.
Joel usually uses purple compound tires in the rear. He has found that they’re good all-around rear tires for tracks of all sizes.
A 50/50 mix of kit oil in the front diff is a good combination for average-bite tracks. If you need less steering, go with heavier oil in the front. Oil is a great tuning aid; for instance, if you don’t have a harder tire but you need less steering, you can just change to a heavier oil. Try using the kit’s light oil in the rear diff to hook the car up on lower-bite tracks. A thicker oil unhooks the car and allows it to rotate on power; a lighter oil helps the car rotate better off power. When you get on power with the lighter oil, however, it has a better chance of unloading power to the inside tire.
Special thanks goes to Joel Johnson for sharing his tuning secrets. Are you psyched to dial in your nitro tourer now? Go wrench!