I’m an LA County firefighter and a certifiable RC nut. I’ve been building and racing RC vehicles for more than lo years and have gotten my entire station hooked on RC. A bunch of us decided to buy 1/18-scale HPI Micro RS4S because their smaller size allows us to set up a track in the yard and hold races-that is, when we’re not putting out fires. We need some setup advice because none of us is familiar with the Micro chassis and its tuning capabilities. We run 5-cell NiMH battery packs and Team Orion and HPI 45-turn mod motors. Most of the cars are stock and are set up with the longer wheelbase (150mm). The track surface is asphalt and is relatively bumpy-for an 1/18– scale vehicle, anyway. The track is also very slick, and this makes it difficult to get the power to the ground. Which types of tires should we use? Would installing optional shock springs prevent our cars from spinning out?
Kent Meyers, Los Angeles, CA
Kent, before you adjust the cars, you must first prep the track. Sweep all the dust and debris off its surface with a broom or a leaf blower. Next, using a plastic pump-spray bottle, spray sugar water or regular (not diet) soda pop onto the track surface, especially around the corners. When the liquid has dried, it will provide the traction your cars need for racing. When the day’s racing is over, hose down the track with water to remove the sticky residue.
After you’ve prepped the track, you can concentrate on tuning the cars for optimum handling. I suggest that you apply thick tube to the front and rear shock shafts to provide the necessary damping to cope with the track’s bumpy sections. The stock, hard-compound tires should work well on the prepped track surface. If your cars tend to spin out in the corners, install stiffer front springs or increase the rear width to the next outward position. If the cars “push” (understeer), apply stiffer rear springs or slightly increase the front track width. Have fun racing!
Copyright Air Age Publishing Oct 2002
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