Slotcars.it Technology Tyre Truer
Ray (Ratracer) and Chris (cbr) decided to do a dual review of the Slotcars.it Technology tyre truer. Chris has had one of these machines for a while now and recommended this machine to Ray via discussions and PMs on Slotforum. Chris also advised on the required parts for the various slot car manufactures which was not well know by some of the suppliers.
Slotcars.it Technology has also been very helpful with their advice and assistance. Thank you to Stefano for your assistance.
I (Ray) have had my tire truer for just over one month now and have recently received all of the axle attachments for the various popular cars on the market. Having now trued a reasonable number of wheels and tires Chris and I decided that a review was timely. So from Chris in Belgium and Ray from South Australia here is our review.
This truer is extremely well designed and manufactured, a testament to Italian craftsmanship. Reading the instructions you are told that 10 prototypes were designed and built before the production machine was finalised. This shows as the machine is well thought out and easy to use for both the beginner and professional.
This machine can true wheels/tyres signally or in pairs. Two styles of attachments are available for the axle sizes available a long spindle axle holder which takes two wheels and a mono wheel attachment which can be used for plastic wheels/tires or truing wheels individually. Truing a pair of tyres together is a great advantage if you are after the perfect set of racing rubber.
Materials were selected for the truer have been selected “with the double intent of obtaining high reliability at a limited cost, using the best technologies available on the market”. You can see the quality of machining with the CNC witness marks on the machined metal parts. The machine is very well presented with a compact well though out layout and stylish appearance.
The truer consists of sturdy assembly frame which houses the motor, sanding drum, and axle holder which will accommodate tyres and wheels up to 30mm in diameter. The axle assembly is simply and accurately adjusted by rotating a centrally located “turn handle” which slides the axle holder along two sturdy rails. A threaded rod is provided on one side of the sliding axle assembly to provide an accurate depth gauge when you need to true a number of wheel/tyre sets or matching wheels when using the mono wheel attachment.
A variable power supply providing 12v, 3amp min is required to run the truer.
The truer also has a double gorge entaining pulley on the wheel axle which allows the wheel/drum relative speeds to be selected to suit silicone, sponge and rubber tyres. This plus the variable power settings from the power supply allow you to set the truer up to suit your specific needs. Two “O” rings drive the tyre axle and sanding drum via the motor. The sanding drum can be fitted with three grades of abrasive rolls to suit your preference 120-150-180 grit.
Tyre truing is a messy business with rubber flying everywhere, however this unit is better than most as it direct the majority of machined spoil into the bottom draw. An extractable panel at the bottom of the machine can be removed by sliding it out for easy cleaning of the machine. You will still make some mess but nowhere as much as others that I have used.
The machine is easily disassembled for adjusting and replacing sanding drums, belts and cleaning. Four sturdy bolts at the top of the machine provide access to sanding drum which easily pops out of its bearing holders.
The only tools that you need are two Allan keys 1.5mm and 3mm, a Phillips head screw driver, a brush and Lube oil.
The unit comes with an axle suitable for Slotit/NSR wheels however it is recommended that you get the specific to the axle sizes that you need these are:
(1402S9) 2.38mm (3/32) Slot.it, MB Slot, Shockslot, Guman, PRS
(1402S10) 2.37mm NSR
(1402S11) 2.48mm Ninco
(1402S12) 2.40mm Spirit, Fly
(1402S13) 3.0mm Plafit, Parma, Vintage
(1402S14) 1/8 « Plafit, Parma, Vintage (under preparation)
Scalextric attachments are also available for both plastic alloy wheels.
Axle assembly for truing two wheels at a time. This photo shows the two parts show at the top of the photo and a complete assembly at the bottom.
Mono wheel axle.
When I received my axle sets recently they each arrived in there own individual plastic cases which was a nice touch I though.
A visit to the Slotcars.it web site shows that many spare parts are available should they need replacing.
Using the truer
Once you have selected the axle size that you are going to use extend the sliding draw (P7) (please refer to exploded image for part numbers) which holds the axle and wheel assemble out to the desired distance from the sanding drum and install the axle holder drive attachment or spindle (P6) and tighten the grub screw, slide the axle (P9) through the bearing (P4) on the left hand side of the machine, attach the wheels to the axle (with the wheels grub screws) and then fit the axle into the axle holder (P6) and tighten the remaining grub screw. The machine is now ready to use.
Run the power up to the desired speed and simply move the axle assembly draw in or out by rotating the “Turn Handle” (P11).
I normally do a dry run when placing the tyres on to the rims to ensure that they are placed square on to wheels. A quick spin up will confirm if there are square or not. This can save a great deal of truing time if the tires are well seated in the first place.
I would recommend gluing any tires to the wheels a good 20 mins before truing the tires so as not to have glue thrown around and deposited on the machine, the user and anything else that you do not want soiled.
I then run the machine up at a medium speed and slowly move the axle try into the sanding drum (Stefano has advised that the machine needs to be set to 12v and the amps varied to suit the desired speed). Some tires NINCO particularly I have found will make a drumming sound until the high spots have been sanded down at which time the sound will change to a hum. I then quickly run it up in speed for a short while until the colour and texture of the tires appears even and the sound of the sanding drum and tires has evened out and the machine is not labouring under load.
If truing tires that have been softened up with oil, voodoo juice, zippo or whatever in your favourite drop I tend to re-true these tires slowly so that the centrifugal force does not expand the centre of the tire and wear this down too much. Remember there is only so much that you can take off.
You can also use the truer to reduce the width of tread on you tires by using sandpaper a fine file, emery board or sharp hobby knife. The file or emery board method is simple you just sand down the sides of the tire. Using a hobby knife is a little trickier, you need a steady hand to cut off the desired amount of tire by slowly moving the blade of the knife into the tire until it cuts to tread off. Be careful not to let the knife bounce as it will make several cuts and spoil the tire.
Round the edges of tyres - use a little piece of fine sandpaper to round the edges, makes handling in corners better (tyre edges could be to square after truing).
Finishing – give the trued tyres a quick finish by hand using a wet fine sandpaper.
As the Slotcars.it tyre truer is perfect for aluminium hubs with allen screws, I’d rather true the tyres that go on plastic hubs with aluminium hubs and replace them after finishing. (Chris) The truer can however be successfully used to true these hubs/tires if that is your preference (Ray).
When not gluing the tyres to the hubs, a little bit of zippo on the inside of the tyre, makes it possible to turn it around the hub, so it sits perfectly. I’ve noticed that when dried out, the zippo tends to stick (a little bit) the tyre to the hub.
Plastic rims can be an issue if not true to start with. We have all had wheels that seem to be square rather than perfectly round and a true set of plastic rims is the basis for competitive racing. I have found that some plastic rims do not have the axle hole in the centre of the rim which is not a great start. This is where the mono wheel attachments come in to its own. A couple of minutes to true up the rims prior to the tires is well worth the effort and a sound basis you tire set. Using the threaded rod depth gauge (P12) you can get the plastic rims perfectly round and consistently to the same diameter. This method may cause the initial seating of the tire to have a slight hollow in the middle of the tread but this is easily trued out with the tire truing. To hold a plastic wheels to the mono axle Slotcars.it recommends the use of woven polypropylene (like use and throw away shirts doctors use) which is placed over the axle and the wheel then revolved a number of time to seat correctly. I have done this many times recently and it works a treat. It is interesting the variation in the diameter of the hub holes, even from when new and out of the same packet. You may need to have one or two layers to hold the wheel securely.
Polypropylene used to secure a single plastic wheel to the mono wheel axle.
Plastic wheels set on mono wheel assemble ready for truing.
You can also use the Slotcars.it tyre truer to make pseudo O-ring front tyres – if you use one hub/tyre on the axle and fix it just past the sanding drum, leaving only a little bit of the tyre of the sanding area, you’ll have minimum contact on the front wheels in no time.
It is the practice at our club (Ray) to use super glue on the front tires and I have adapted a technique for this with this truer. I reduce the tires down below the minimum size (18.5mm at our club for most cars) and then build up the surface by revolving the wheels/tires on a spare axle in super glue to get a number of even coatings as true as I can get it by hand, this may take some time as each coat needs to dry before recoating. I then slowly true the tires on the truer until they are as smooth as I can get them without cutting all of the way through the glue. I use the depth gauging threaded rod to ensure that I do not go too far. I finish off with small piece of wet and dry sand paper with the smallest amount of water on the paper and polish the surface of the tire to a high gloss. Be careful with this as super glue in nasty stuff so you may want to use a face mask to avoid breathing in the dust. This technique works a treat for me.
The maintenance requirements of this machine are quite simple. Regular and frequent lubrication of the bearings and a regular clean up are all that is required.
Replacing sanding drums and “O” ring drive belt is undertaken in a coupe of minutes by simple removing the four bolts on the top of the truer and lifting out the sanding drum, drive belts etc and replacing the required parts.
I have an air compressor so I give the unit a quick air blast occasionally to make it look as good as new.
I have found this unit to be reliable and simple to use and would recommend it to anyone who is heavily into slot cars. It is quick to setup and use with a set of tire only taking a couple of minutes to true. I could not true tire manually to any where near the precision as this unit does.
The Slotcars.it tyre truer is perfect for those into competitive slotcar racing. The possibility to true two tires at once is a big plus, definitely if you mostly use aluminium hubs. Round-to-round truing gives perfect results!
Slotcars Technology are going to post more details of their accessories on their site in the near future I have been informed by Stefano and will provide an English link.
Regards and happy slot cars.
Chris and Ray
|Lo-Fi Version||Time is now: 23rd May 2013 - 18:02|