Over the past several months I have been giving some thought as to what it will take to make my Euro-cars better runners
on my routed track... I have had a constant problem with getting these cars to work. The major problem with the cars is wheel
hop and poor traction.. I just can't seem to get them to smooth out and run quickly...
I know that a number of you are running your Euro-cars on wood tracks and I thought I would pass along my finding and
what I found it took to get the Euro-cars to work on my wood track...
My main goal was two fold... 1) to get the Euro-cars to run well on the wood track and still work the way they should
on my Ninco track.. 2) Was to keep the chassis as stock as possible.
As a test bed I picked my Ninco BMW V12...
The BMW is a nice running car on the plastic track it was designed for, but not very happy on the wood track... So to
get a base line to operate from I did some testing with the car in stock form... The results were disappointing to say the
The best I could do with it was a lap time of 11.7 seconds ( by the way the track is 42 1/2 feet long, 10 turn
road course ) As a comparison my brass chassis inline "Lead Sled" chassis is running in the 5.7 second range.. As you can
see I have my work cut out for me ;-))
The first thing that I did was work on the guide. I made the stock guide deeper and longer, more in line with the Parma
guides I use on my other cars.. I did this by adding a piece of styrene fitted to the bottom of the guide and glued it on
Because the Ninco track has a deeper slot than a lot of the tracks out there I was able to get away with this.. For the
guys running the Scalex track you may not have this option.. I was also having some minor problems with spotty contact with
the small braid that comes on these cars.. So I replaced the braid with some regular Parma braid, I cut the brass tabs and
drilled holes to take screws to attach them to the guide...
This took care of the contact problem but did little to lower the lap times. I also had to open the area around the guide
to allow for the bigger braid and the way I attached it.. And while I had the Dremel out I also took a bit of plastic off
the sides of the chassis to allow it to float better when I backed the screws out..
Now to take care of the main problem with the car.... Wheel Hop.. For this I tried a new product that I have heard the
guys talking about for the past few months. The Slot-it starter kits.. The kits come with nice machined aluminum set screw
wheels, inserts, 3/32 axle and bushings, along with a nice high quality gear. All of these parts are a vast improvement over
the running gear that comes on the Euro-cars... Although I love the bodies on these cars I have a big problem with the quality
of the running gear that they put on their chassis... Something I hope they correct in the future.
After installing the Slot-it rear end and adding silicone tires to the wheels and truing them up.. I then started on
the front end of the car.. I have never liked a free floating front axle, so I replaced it with a brass tube fitted to the
chassis, I used a 3/32 axle and another set of Slot-it wheels and mounted the stock Ninco front tires to them and trued them
up... I also use a independent front wheel system... I solder on a brass cap on one end of the axle and leave the set
screw out of the wheel and the attach the other wheel with the set screw... This allows the wheels to rotate independently...
I was now ready to get back to the track and do some more testing... The results were promising :-)) The BMW was
now running in the 8.2 second range... A vast improvement over the stock time...
The Slot-it rear end did its job and smoothed the car out nicely.. The quality wheels and the tight bushings along with
the gear that gives outstandingly smooth gear mesh are the way to go.....
That was all well and good but still not what I was looking for... I don't want much do I :-)))) The car
was now smoother to drive and much improved over the stock form of the car... But I still was not getting the traction I was
So thanks to the Slot-it 3/32 axle I was able to slip on a set of Parma sponge tires after cutting them to the
right width... And gave it one more shot.. Back on the track the car now hooked up the way I wanted it to and was even smoother
to drive than with the silicones tires.. The car now handles like a good Fly car on a plastic track :-)) Nice and tight in
the turns with just the right amount of slide in the turns.. The car was now turning laps in the 6.2 second range :-))) Now
I am having fun.....
So as you can see by the above picture a little lead weight in the right places and a few simple modifications.....The
end results is that I now have a Euro-car that is will run just as good on a wood track as it does on the Ninco track.. All
I need to do is change the rear wheels on the car to run on either type of tracks I know have
the best of both worlds :-))))
I hope that this will be of help to some of you who are racing on wood tracks as well as you plastic tracks....
After writing this article Slot-it released a new Deep routed track guide... This is a direct drop in replacement guide
and works great..... If you use this new Slot-it guide you will not have to go through the trouble of adding the strip of
plastic to the bottom of the RTR guide.....
And NO I have no connection to the Slot-it products.. I just like good quality running gear under my cars......