Axles and wheels modding

Go_Time Monday, 12/10/2018

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Ok, I am really new to the 1/64 stuff, and only got into it because I built a track and timer system for my little boy.  But I have a question.  Now I understand polishing the axles, and trying to make the care drive as straight as possible, but what I dont understand is why the "fixed axles"?  Even though the axles are polished it seems like restricting the axles from spinning is just adding friction to the wheel/axle point of contact, almost like putting a brake on?  Ive modded a few cars, the first ones i destroyed, the next few i just polished axles and put back together with minimal gains in speed, and even managed to make a couple of cars slower...Lol.  anyway just wondering about the fixed axle?  Thanks in advance for any info.


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redlinederby 12/10/18
Site manager

Fixing axle is reducing friction...in theory. If the axle is spinning, that's generating friction between the wheels and the chassis. Getting it down to 1 thing spinning and generating all the energy suck is better than 2...or it should be.

To your point, we've all modded cars that end up slower than stock cars. It just comes with the territory, but we'd all agree that it's ridiculously frustrating.

But also, try some experiments and see for yourself. If you find that not fixing the axles doesn't seem to have any impact, then don't bother. I've seen cars do well both ways. Probably different per car too...based on weight and just how it's put together.

However, polishing the axles and making things smooth across the board can only help, fixing axles or not.

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darkartsracing 12/10/18

As stated above. Plus, when you think about it, those three little folded-over nubs on the floor of the chasis where the axle is retained aren't really the best bearing surfaces for anything rotating in them.

Gluing axles down fixes several issues but generates one: suspension compliance. glued down axles offer little wheel travel and when the car hits track gaps and bumps at speed, there can be a strong jolt that the car has to deal with when running over them. best solution imo is to make sure the track is as smooth as possible.

  • Good call on the suspension. A lot of the older MBX cars had a lot of give so they almost bounced. Certainly comes with its own concerns but not entirely bad. — redlinederby
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41-14 12/10/18

I’d like to see pictures of the track and timer you built. 

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Go_Time 12/10/18

All, good points and info.  Thanks!  Sure 41-14 I'll share some pics, but please disregard the messy garage.  Its just a 2 lane arduino build, nothing crazy or super fancy.  I did get a little creative with the starting gate.  I used some old RC car parts to build gate drop mechanism. 

The last pic is the track record.  Its a little over 3ft drop with a little over 20ft total.  I needed the drop to be short so my kids could reach it.  Also, I have zero experience with Arduino and electronics, although my soldering skills are ok from my old RC racing days.

  • At least you're using your Arduino...mine is just collecting dust :( — redlinederby
  • That’s a pretty sweet setup. Was thinking about building a 4 lane finish line with timers but I don’t have a clue when it comes to electronics and I wouldn’t have a clue when it comes to writing the code for it. — 41-14
  • So I bought the 3DBotmaker finish line. — 41-14
  • Nice job Go Time. I'm currently building something similar myself, although I'm only just starting. Oh, and for the record, that is NOT a messy garage! lol — PeteB
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Go_Time 12/11/18

redlinederby, get that arduino going!

41-14, the 3d botmaker finish lines are awesome!  I almost bought one.  I had zero experience with arduino and electronics, but that was the beauty about the arduino/PDT setup its all done for you.  Code is written, all you have to do is build a box and wire it up.  There is quite a bit of soldering to do though.

It looks way more complicating in the pic than it actually is.

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Jav74 12/11/18

That’s an awesome setup! I’d be honored to have my arse dragged down it by one of our racing bros here at the redline derby. 

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41-14 12/11/18

If you don’t mind me asking. Where did you find all the components and Arduino board with the code. I’d like to try my hand at building a 4 or 6 lane with a timer system. 

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Go_Time 12/11/18

No Sir, dont mind at all.  You will find everything you need at the website below, minus the arduino, which can be purchased for about $25 elsewhere. 

www.dfgtec.com/pdt-construction

Everything you need is on the website, including detailed instructions, and arduino code.  By the way, I am in no way affiliated with this web page, its just a page i ran across and followed which worked out GREAT!!! On the website they also offer a free program to test cars, pic attached. Let me know if you need any additional info. Hope this helps.

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41-14 12/13/18

Wow. I think I’d have a better chance of getting into space than understanding that stuff. The design of the track and the build. The tower for the finish line and the starting gate. Yup. Got that covered. But the electronics and stuff. That’s a big NO for me. 

  • Maybe when I get home and have a look at it on the computer it may be a little clearer. I think I’m going to see if I can find help withthis cause I sure would like to make an attempt at a 4 lane. — 41-14
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Chrisw 1/13/20

Hey guys . Name chris new to rld . The problem I always have is , when using existing  axles or even axle tubes I get vibration  when I spin the wheels after I graphite even before . Now to glue the axles in ,  I do two glue methods.  1. Is to use super glue gel and baking soda. 2. Is to use epoxy . Is there anyone that been through this an can help!!!. Soon to be racing an that's a negative against me. Thanks in advance. 

  • I think fixing that depends on where the vibration is coming from. I've seen cars which have a bit of extra plastic on the axel connection side which then rubs on the plastic base where the axel rests. Easiest solution to that is actually to just give it more slack. Since it rotates fine when not touching the wall, giving it room to bounce off and away from the base is an easy fix. Rarely affects speed. Also seen vibrations coming from bumps on the wheel rubbing against the fender - requies some sanding. Depends on the issue! — WorpeX
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redlinederby 1/13/20
Site manager

Welcome, Chris, glad you found us and can't to see your cars in action.

Vibration is indeed an enemy of speed but I really don't know of anyway to solve it, but to be fair, I haven't spent much time thinking about it. I guess I figure that the axles and wheels are what they are...ultimately there's not much I can do to change them. Sure, I can sand them and smooth them out but I suspect there is so much variance in the wheels that it take some serious trial-and-error testing to find a set that have as little vibration as possible.

However, I am interested in your super glue + baking soda method...why the baking soda? Just not a technique I've heard of before. I usually just go with the JB Kwik epoxy and it seems to do a good job.

Again, welcome to the community. I hope you have fun while you're here.

  • Thank you for having me . Super glue gel + baking soda is much like epoxy dries very quickly . Instead of 24 hr , 6-12 hr. Cure Works for plastic and metal always score the surface and get the gluing. Oh and dont forget alcohol and super glue , when applying super glue , when done spray or apply alcohol on top an blow air for a quick set. — Chrisw
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LeagueofSpeed 1/14/20
Event coordinator

JB Kwik to set the axels...and wheel farm...once you know the axel width and wheel size...don't settle just because it fits...fine a set of wheels that don't wobble/vibrate when you spin them....and glad to see you made your way over here...Welcome 

  • Ok thank you LOS now how a bout to as well if they're the stock wheels to the car out the package . Ok I understand it's not the gluing technique , maybe check the wheels an the axles . Some axles come thin while others come .032 . . If I'm still missing the point please let me know thank you for the help , I'm going to find more donor cars now???????? — Chrisw
  • Also LOS try the super glue gel an alcohol technique , then try the super glue an baking soda . Now me I do all of them an even use both super glue gel to an alcohol to quick set then use epoxy for final — Chrisw
  • JB Kwik sets in 6 minutes and completely cures in 4 to 6 hours. — LeagueofSpeed

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