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jphanna

Is It Worth The Weight?

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I have seen threads about adding weights to cars before, and even at various race venues where the topic has been brought up……the consensus is very clear that IF the

  • chassis is straight
  • all wheels trued
  • all tires trued
  • with chassis tuning only

 

then weights are not needed.

 

It is almost seen to be an admission of failure to add weight to a car to make it handle in some instances. You can be standing next to a person who is impressing the other people around with a very fast and smooth car, then when pressed about the set up of the car……it has a variety of lead weights in it. Then there is almost an awkward moment when the perception is that he (meaning also me 99% of the time) didn’t know how to set it up, so has resorted to weights.

 

I remember back in mid 80’s when I was obsessed with light weight cars, and proudly boasted to Kev and Julie Wildash that my new car was X amount of grams lighter than my old car……and got the exact same lap times. Julie (sharp as a whip) fired back within a split second,………’Then why use the light car?’.

 

I know of a few people that swear when their cars is on the track that it has no weights in it at all. I have a lot to learn about 1/32 plastic cars but I do know that a subtle amount of weight, in various places, some that are logical…..and some that don’t make sense at all, can make the car behave in the manner that I want it to.

 

Am I a lesser driver, because I use weights? Probably

Am I admitting that don’t have the art of no weights tuning? Probably

Should I hide my head in shame because my car, which is identical to the person next to me is heavier? I don’t think so.

 

I just want my car to drive to my style so I can ENJOY it. i will also put it out there……that the staunch ‘my car has no weights’ people, may just be saying that to throw some competitors off the trail. There may not be a lot of weight in there, but just a few tiny bits that help the car behave a bit better.

 

There is ‘NO weight’…..and ‘not much weight’. Which category do you belong?

Edited by jphanna

Shed People Mutual Admiration Society

2 times Australian National Champion

1991-Flexicar 1999- Group 12 Sedan

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When I first got into plastic cars I used to add quite a bit of lead to get the cars to handle to my style of driving.

But now that I am getting better at driving I am removing most, not all, of the lead.

I find that the more you "play" with weight, the better you will get at that happy medium, where your car is light and handles just the way you want it to.


A man without a woman is like a neck without a pain.

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i suppose its a reality check now. i got a long way to go still.


Shed People Mutual Admiration Society

2 times Australian National Champion

1991-Flexicar 1999- Group 12 Sedan

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Ive never set up a non-mag car properly, so just guessing here, but does the more weight you use slow the car anyway, so the less weight you can get away with give it faster acceleration. Or do you trade handling for speed. Im just about to set up my sideways cars as non-mag so picking peoples brains here.

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Ive never set up a non-mag car properly, so just guessing here, but does the more weight you use slow the car anyway, so the less weight you can get away with give it faster acceleration. Or do you trade handling for speed. Im just about to set up my sideways cars as non-mag so picking peoples brains here.

 

hi mate, i will try to explain to you what happens to ME with soem cars...Before and after a bit of weight is applied.

 

BEFORE weight is applied, (taking into account scrubbed racing tyres, body rock dialed in) you enter a large sweeper, and the tail goes out, coems back in, goes out, comes back in, its fishtailing all the way around. when this happens when you finally get to the straight, you cant nail on the exit of the corner, as it will continue to fish tail on the first past of the straight. in the mean time, your competitors have waved goodbye to you, while you wait for tail to straighten.

 

a bit of weight in various places, or just one place, can eliminate or dramatically reduce that to a progressive, controllable slide and when you hit the straight.....you can nail it asap..


Shed People Mutual Admiration Society

2 times Australian National Champion

1991-Flexicar 1999- Group 12 Sedan

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For me it's different weights for different chassis...

And if you don't change every little part (guide, axle, bushing, gears, wheels, etc.), you will find that you probably need more weight to compensate for poor tolerances.

 

i.e.

Slot-It's are very good handling cars without weight, or with very little.

Carrera / Revell classic nascars needs about 450kg of weight to get them to handle...

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We used to weight the old Parma brass chassis - a little on the pans either side of the guide, to help stop it coming out when standing on it out of a corner. Same for the international 1/32s.

Plastic chassis sit much higher, and benefit from balancing the chassis and setting to flex where you want it to. Sometimes a little weight is req for that.

I guess that if the torque is high enough, some weight at the front helps keep the guide in. It it can be made to handle without extra, why not?

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I have seen threads about adding weights to cars before, and even at various race venues where the topic has been brought up……the consensus is very clear that IF the

  • chassis is straight
  • all wheels trued
  • all tires trued
  • with chassis tuning only

then weights are not needed.

 

It is almost seen to be an admission of failure to add weight to a car to make it handle in some instances. You can be standing next to a person who is impressing the other people around with a very fast and smooth car, then when pressed about the set up of the car……it has a variety of lead weights in it. Then there is almost an awkward moment when the perception is that he (meaning also me 99% of the time) didn’t know how to set it up, so has resorted to weights.

 

I remember back in mid 80’s when I was obsessed with light weight cars, and proudly boasted to Kev and Julie Wildash that my new car was X amount of grams lighter than my old car……and got the exact same lap times. Julie (sharp as a whip) fired back within a split second,………’Then why use the light car?’.

 

I know of a few people that swear when their cars is on the track that it has no weights in it at all. I have a lot to learn about 1/32 plastic cars but I do know that a subtle amount of weight, in various places, some that are logical…..and some that don’t make sense at all, can make the car behave in the manner that I want it to.

 

Am I a lesser driver, because I use weights? Probably

Am I admitting that don’t have the art of no weights tuning? Probably

Should I hide my head in shame because my car, which is identical to the person next to me is heavier? I don’t think so.

 

I just want my car to drive to my style so I can ENJOY it. i will also put it out there……that the staunch ‘my car has no weights’ people, may just be saying that to throw some competitors off the trail. There may not be a lot of weight in there, but just a few tiny bits that help the car behave a bit better.

 

There is ‘NO weight’…..and ‘not much weight’. Which category do you belong?

 

 

John,

 

I once spotted this image on this forum.

I think you know who it is.

 

nsrandnincoF1016.jpg

 

On another branch.... I was talking to another "serious racer" recently and asked if he used tire treatment.

"No" was his answer.

 

Talking with him further..... I asked more questions and I eventually gleaned from him yes he use treatment, but not at track.

Further talk and I got ......before and after race I clean ???? tires with lighter fluid.

 

 

It seems you must ask the question in round about ways ......many round abouts.

 

Do what ever you have to do....cause everyone is bending the rules.

Edited by Roger Miller

...............Take it easy

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We used to weight the old Parma brass chassis - a little on the pans either side of the guide, to help stop it coming out when standing on it out of a corner.

 

 

I can always tell when HLR sprint car is "hooking up"

 

RM-Speedway-HLR-4-13--41.jpg

 

RM-Speedway-HLR-4-13--36.jpg

 

RM-Speedway-HLR-4-13--29.jpg


...............Take it easy

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roger,

 

i see the pic and i see the weights. BIG pieces too!!!. thanks for that. i dont want to make this a trial over who claims that they dont run weights, when they clearly do. when you are at the top level of your sport/hobby, i think that you will do what you can to get the edge. my top level days are long gone. i just want my cars to go round corners. i only get access to a track once a week for 3 hours. doesnt give me much development time. throwing in a weight can mask handling deficiency for a nights racing.

 

 


Shed People Mutual Admiration Society

2 times Australian National Champion

1991-Flexicar 1999- Group 12 Sedan

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it seems to be a common misconception that:

- plastic chassis' are perfectly straight

- rims (including alloy rims) are perfectly straight

- tires are perfectly straight after sanding

- axels are perfectly straight

 

hell, a really out of ballance motor can make the car handle bad/weird

 

the rule of thumb is:

- generally, the more you pay for something the better/straighter it will be

- be suss of anything coming out of china/tiawan/etc (japan is ok)

 

;)


i hope all of your racing is enjoyed

slot on!

:)

 

www.slotcaraustralia.com

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I must say that I have never come across the "adding any weight is an admission of tuning failure/incompetence" school of thought before. I also find it rather odd. Actually, make that VERY odd. Recognise that cars of different manufacturers and of different classes and make/models vary dramatically in proportions and weight. Implicit in this attitude seems to be one of two fundamentals:

 

First alternative: you believe that all cars can be tuned for maximum performance without adding weight. This implies that the height of the centre of gravity and the fore/aft weight distribution does not affect handling. Quite frankly that is patently absurd. Example: I have some extremely well prepared front engine cars. However: to think that the overall performance of these cars cannot be improved by adding weight to move the CoG rearward is seriously flawed. This same principle applies to a greater or lesser degree to pretty much all cars. Another example: I run a Scaley Lotus Cortina. I cannot believe that anyone who has driven one does not believe that the car's handling (and more importantly drivability) can be improved by adding some weight low down. This is just basic physics.

 

Second alternative: it is not so much that all cars can be tuned for maximum performance without adding weight BUT I am a purist and adding weight to a car to improve performance is "unclean": "real racers" do not add weight to their cars. I have no problem with anybody that feels that way. BUT that is definitely not the only valid perspective: just because one feels that way in no way diminishes the potential value of adding weight or someone else's right to do so without being scorned. By the way: a large percentage of my cars have no weight added at all and they run beautifully. But that does not mean that I could not possibly improve their lap times by judicious addition of weight had I felt like doing so: I just happen to be OK with how well they go as-is.

 

As for "a lighter car must be faster than a heavier car": that is flat out not the case. This is particularly true on more twisty, "technical" tracks. Anybody who has driven a large number of superbly prepared proxy cars would be bale to attest to the fact that weight is only one of the characteristics of a fast (or slow) car. Especially in proxy races where cars do a lot of racing being driven by all kinds of people and where getting the most laps over a longish period is crucial: a nice stable, sure-footed, great handling car with OK but not fantastic straight line speed is far more likely to do well than a rip-snorting, fast in a straight line car that is not as forgiving: it only takes one deslot to negate 10+ laps of slightly better lap times.

 

And BTW: I am certainly not talking of taking a 65g car and adding 50g of lead to it. Typically I have found that pretty significant changes can be realised by adding 5 - 10g in the right places.

 

So the bottom line: I certainly do not advocate plonking masses of weight in each and every car. But I certainly believe there is a place and time where even a smallish addition of weight to even a fantastically prepared car could reap some pretty significant benefits.

 

To each his own.

 

And recognise that I race on wood on a technical track.

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thank superslab, that was intense, but made a lot of sense.

 

i bought my first plastic car in january 2013. the only cars i had before that were scratchbuilt brass and piano wire, or spring steel ones later on.

 

i was told by one of the greatest names in slot car world in South Australia, "MILLER", Dennis in particular, a trusted friend for 30 years, that 'you dont run weights in slot it porsche. i bought the right tyres and wheels and adjusted the pod screws tight, loose, 50/50, every configeration. it wouldnt go round the track with out a touch of weight behind the axle, just under the rear spoiler!! there isnt a phsyics rule in the book that can make sense of that.....

 

then you get the guy who rolled up to a race with same model porsche for and enduro at FPR, he bought it 2 days earlier from thunderbirds. its the SECOND version of the jagermiester 956 porsche slot it, that he bought. the orig version he spent 1 YEAR trying to set it up! i can get his name tonight and he can verify this. in that enduro, with a 2 day old car he just slapped on some racing tyres and nothing else. didnt even open the car up. he blew us into the weeds. no one could go near that car all night. some cars, even identical models, just need a litle help with weights.

 

 

 


Shed People Mutual Admiration Society

2 times Australian National Champion

1991-Flexicar 1999- Group 12 Sedan

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Howdy

 

Just my 2 cents worth, I think after all basic tuning is done weight is king. Plastic cars vary wildly in shape and performance. As mentioned some need little ( NSR,Slot.it etc) and other need more. When I ran plastics in local club racing , my cars varied in weight from 95 - 110 grams for best performance.

Some Scaley ,Carrera or SCX cars come out of the box at 85 - 90 grams and only need 5 - 10 grams if anything at all to drive well . A few years ago I had a Ninco Honda NSX that was unbeatable at 115 grams.

 

Fast forward to 2012 at the Australian Plafit Championship , even running metal chassis cars none of my cars ran minimum weight. The Japanese Factory guy ran a Mini-z 20 grams over weight. The fastest ScaelAuto cars are also running over minimum weight.

 

Fast cars are fast through the corners , most cars do similar speeds down the straight regardless of weight. Sure you gain or lose on acceleration and braking a little , but thats where the balance lies. Add weight , keep it low and out as wide as you can like the Ninco GT cars above. On taller cars you can place the weight under the chassis to help lower the CoG. The only reason I add weight is to stop them tipping .

 

The best advise is to experiment with testing and make your own mind up. I will add that weight is the last tuning tool to go for . As for whether it makes you a lesser driver/tuner , I don't buy into that one. You do what you can to make your cars enjoyable to drive then win races if your that way inclined. I'd rather win with weight than come 6th with a car that tips out unpredictably.

 

I must add this is all for non-mag racing . Weight won't work with magnet racing at all.

 

Cheers

Paul

Edited by paulthetexan

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Howdy

 

. I'd rather win with weight than come 6th with a car that tips out unpredictably.

 

Cheers

Paul

 

ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner.

 

the only time this practice will be in question, is when the rules clearly state...'no weights at all' so then its up to scruteneers to ensure none are placed in car, and all is good. clean, fair racing.


Shed People Mutual Admiration Society

2 times Australian National Champion

1991-Flexicar 1999- Group 12 Sedan

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I'm only a leisure driver and a very ordinary one at that. But surely it's personal preference how you achieve the desired effect providing it's within the specified rules.

 

No mass produced car is going to be perfect. If all slot cars were perfect they would all be of similar shape and proportion and very probably all wedge shaped thingies rather than recognizable model cars. Surely weight adjustment is just another tool in the arsenal to improve the performance an imperfect car.

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_AM_sig_zps00cdfd1a.jpg

 

Tiny Tyers Targa - The build saga continues - Aging wood - A recipe for staining wood - Don't take a fence - Step by step paling fence - An old shed for my new cars - Wooden garage under construction

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But surely it's personal preference how you achieve the desired effect providing it's within the specified rules.

.

.

No mass produced car is going to be perfect. If all slot cars were perfect they would all be of similar shape and proportion and very probably all wedge shaped thingies rather than recognizable model cars.

.

.

Surely weight adjustment is just another tool in the arsenal to improve the performance an imperfect car.

Amen to all of these thoughts!

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Hi Ember,

 

it comes down to this. if you are standing next to a person with an identical car, identical tyres, same track conditions and even if you are just there for kicks to fang a car around. not for the championship of the world etc, and his/her car seems to get around the track much smoother, then if you ask tem to drive thiers, and you find that you are enjoying thier car more than yours....there are 2 things that can be done.

 

1. they share thier set up that may not need weights

2. they share thier set up that may have a little weight in it.

 

i was one of the 'less weight equal more', brigade 30 years ago. today if i cant get a car to work nicely for me then the quickest way to iron out a glitch on a corner, or several corners, is to add tiny bits of weight aruond the car and see the result.

 

today i will take my beloved Mclarn M8D for its first race. its done 5 laps with new tyres on firday. i have to race an untried car tonight. if during practice, it works okay, then will race as it is. if its not favourable.....then purists, burn me to the stake, i will put in a few grams to try and tame it. i wont know till i get there in 60 mins.


Shed People Mutual Admiration Society

2 times Australian National Champion

1991-Flexicar 1999- Group 12 Sedan

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This is a thorny old subject since the start of time in my case 1963 to weight or not in those day a lump of plasticine stuck in the rear of the body helped traction , from there you built the weight in with metal chassis, today horses for courses and the thing about other factors is true, just taking the Slot it McLaren M8D as an example mine was dreadful out of the box warped chassis, yes todays plastic chassis are not always straight and flat to start with, and a number of other things were wrong as well, doesn't matter if you stick an Elephant in the car if the basics are no good it won't give you what you want, now with new chassis and rebuilt the car is as it should be but there is more a little weight near the front axle guide made it slightly better and a bit also in the magnet well made a difference , you don't need much , and it does not make that amount of difference but enough for you to be the person they come to and say what have you got under there mate. :) .

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...you find that you are enjoying thier car more than yours....there are 2 things that can be done.

 

1. they share thier set up that may not need weights

2. they share thier set up that may have a little weight in it.

 

i was one of the 'less weight equal more', brigade 30 years ago. today if i cant get a car to work nicely for me then the quickest way to iron out a glitch on a corner, or several corners, is to add tiny bits of weight aruond the car and see the result.

 

But all things are NEVER equal. There are 'acceptable tolerances' in the manufacturing processes. Two identical cars are not identical. It may be a poofteenth of difference and it may have a massive impact. And if a bit of weight makes it a more joyful and easy drive and the rules do not negate its addition then whatever makes it better is good. I still think its about balance and handling more than out and out speed.

 

If you can drive a heavier car faster and easier than a lighter one then the heavier car is the winner. Motor speed is only any good if it can be transferred to the track. Torque is also only ever good if it can be transferred to the track.

 

My problem is not with the addition of weight. My problem is with those who are so intent on winning at all costs that they lie about what they have done to win. If someone is insecure enough lie about what's done to win, then they really have some issues to work out.

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Computers. They'll never catch on.

 

_AM_sig_zps00cdfd1a.jpg

 

Tiny Tyers Targa - The build saga continues - Aging wood - A recipe for staining wood - Don't take a fence - Step by step paling fence - An old shed for my new cars - Wooden garage under construction

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DSCF1086.jpg

 

last night i rolled up with this untried car to local track (Fulham Park Raceway) the race was sceduled to start 7.30pm. i was there at 4.30. the tyres were a new compound BRM compound john was selling. they were blue? I was assured that they are good. so i had untried brand new blue tyres, glued on rims and only a very light skim on the truing machine. no weights and it was not competitive. it had to be nursed every inch around the track. i started increasing, decreasing the cradle screws, body screws, systematically taking note of every movement and reaction to the car.. the tyres needed to be scrubbed with water and wet/dry sand paper regularly. john Smedly knows his tyres best so just follow his instructions.

 

start to add tiny bits of weight. back on the track, 5 laps take it off, take note. try different position for weight, 5 laps take note. did this for 2 hours and it was neglegible as to whether running weight in the middle was needed. the 2 5mm square bits in front of the guide were to stay for sure.

 

so with weight in about 20 different positions was slight improvement or none at all. back to no weights. the tyres were a real worry. they only worked when they had just been scrubbed with water and wet/dry, then put on track for 3 good laps then they lost it. i didtn like the inconsistency of them for sure. by then the other guys had rolled up and i was in front of some on times but well behind the big guns.

 

then.......the single piece of weight you see in the picture, vertical to the can was tried. that single piece absolutely transformed the car. it just gelled, and i blew the others in practice times instantly. the car was ALIVE in every aspect of the track.

 

i packed the car away, put the same tyres on my chevron and started doing umpteen laps to try and scrub the tyres more as they didnt appear to be consistant on the surface. it was patchy and looked like they werent round. i thrashed that chevron and the tyres started to get warm and come into thier own. the chevron lost 3 tenths by the time the blue tyres were warmed up with numerous laps going round the track.

 

i tried the other track as the race was going to be held on 2 tracks. equally as good. i put the tyres and wheel back on the mclaren M8D and waited for the race......

 

first race i got the the line and forgot to tape up my body screws so grabbed some blue tack and filled the rear hole with it. come race start the car was bouncing around the corners and i had the nurse the car for a few heats until i realised that the blue tack is restricting the body movement. after 4 heats i was wondereing what i dont wrong and then removed the blue tack and replaced with stcky tape over the hole. lap record followed after that. because i lost so much time in first 4 heats i came second so it wasnt a dream debut for my beautful mclaren M8d, but it was a lot of fun.

 

in summary, with the 2 small weights right in front of the guide, and no other weights......it is really fine. but to transform the car.....that tiny bit in front of the can, just stuck with blue tack turned it into a real race machine, that egged me to go faster. it was wonderful night.

Edited by jphanna

Shed People Mutual Admiration Society

2 times Australian National Champion

1991-Flexicar 1999- Group 12 Sedan

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Thanks for the info, for our tracks down here ( all very tight) I had to add one piece of weight that filled the whole area in front of the motor. Just shows the difference from track to track.

I am running NSR Ultras, Black of course so they look right, I just dislike coloured tyres!


Phil

 

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