Sunday, May 1, 2011

First outdoor runs 2011

The local parking lot was open for a practice day for the first time this year, so I wanted to try a few things.

First off, I wanted to try the F104W with the kit rubber tires.  In the video, I outlined some ideas for the car, but basically it's a washout for competitive racing unless there is some way to make the tires work better.  The rears are ok, but the fronts really produce no grip.  The other problem is that I really have no way to soften them-I'm not aware of a traction additive that would work right on the tire.  Almost everything makes them feel greasy.  I went through a bunch of things, but unless I figure something out later concentrating on the normal F104 is the best idea.

I ran the F104 black car with the split upper deck, no damper plate, and weighted pivot post with a set of tires I knew to be good from last year.  With the initial setting I had, the car pushed a bit mid corner and out.  It was stable, which was promising since the track was dirty despite being blown off.  It was also windy with temps around 60* F and the pop sprayed on the track was very light- 2 liters per 3 gallons of water.

Normally, they spray the track with grape soda pop straight from the bottle, but last year the track was re sealed and that prep caused the tires to glaze over.  The winter seems to have worn off some of the sealant, so the lighter amount of preparation was not very effective.  This was good for me, however, as it would give me a chance to see if the car would perform in less than ideal traction.

I went back to the pits, and added 1mm under the upper arm at the steering knuckle and 1mm under the rear ball stud of the upper arm.  I wanted to get the car to bite in the middle of the corner and to be a little more aggressive overall.  This actually worked perfectly.  The car was just right, and got around very well.  I made a few more runs set up this way, and the car was great.  The wind picked up towards the end and dropped the temperature a bit, which loosened the car up slightly.  This didn't worry me too much as the other cars out there were sliding around a bit as well when the wind kicked up. If anything I would have taken .5mm out from under the ball stud, but that's a minimal change.

Next Saturday is the opener for Leisure Hours, a permanent facility with curbing and the whole nine yards.  I'm going to concentrate more on tires there and working with the new split upper deck post positions.


  1. thanks rob for the information.

    i'll give your tips a go to try and get some better steering on my F104 with rubber's.

  2. Thanks rob.. We had our first outdoor TCS this weekend in Ottawa. Finished 3rd my 104 was the best of the bunch but the two 103s were hard to catch.

    That being said I ran foams but I am unhappy with the wear on our current surface. So I am going to switch to rubber.

    Suggestions on the compound? would like to stay with Tamiya as that is what I am testing for.


  3. I usually use the kit front tire and the option soft rear.