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Tony
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was looking at US Ebay and found a make I haven't heard of Ulrich. There is a very strange chassis and motor for sale. It has a swivel front axle and independent rear suspension with a split axle. Looks a very clever design but complicated and not sure it how would handle. Here is the link http://www.ebay.com/itm/ulrich-slot-car-fr...=item19d5113236. May be of interest to someone, there are a few other ulrich parts for sale including a boxed chassis
 

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No wonder we haven´t Heard of it, the pics are clearly from the future, 2216 to be clear. Nice to see that Slot Cars are still alive and kicking and that someone finally solved the independant axle.

 

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Hi,

I've moved this over to the vintage section because these things date back to 1964!

The Ulrich chassis was in fact very much a 1/24 item, since it was hard getting the rear track anywhere under 3"! They soon came out with a matching front unit, offering steering and suspension as well.

I'm sure I've put up some info on this chassis elsewhere, so try a search on "Ulrich suspension". They were pretty popular at the time, since everybody was still trying new stuff, and also trying to duplicate real cars, not to mention they probably thought a suspension would actually work - it doesn't! But "all singing, all dancing" cars are a lot of fun!

Ulrich was an established maker of die-cast model train parts, and went into slots pretty early. These suspension units were not that expensive either, about $3 for the rear and $4 for the front, pretty reasonable at the time.

Here's one I adapted for an Allard, with a K&B steering unit grafted on; also placed the motor flat, instead of the usual on-edge position:



A close-up of the rear:


Both front and rear suspension units, but with a semi-scratch frame in the middle:



Don
 

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Tony
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The only thing they missed out on is fitting a differential. Thanks for showing your cars, I wondered if they had used dog bone drive shafts as in R/C
 

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Don,

When you say suspension doesn't work you mean that for completely smooth tracks. If slot car tracks had any bumps like real roads have, then suspension would be essential. An indication of that can be seen in rally tracks with elevations done with plastic track so not totally smooth, there you will see that suspension of Ninco cars helps.

I wish all rally cars had suspension.

Thanks for posting the photos.
 

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All the best cars have steering and suspension, see the cars in my sig for details


Even if suspension helps, there's still the questions of whether it's worth it in terms of weight and complexity on a race car.

More vintage suspension below
 

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QUOTE (Bigtone @ 11 Sep 2012, 07:16) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Surely if you have suspension on a slotcar you need some sort of damper system or it'll just keep bouncing. None of these seems to have it.
Good point.
Friction damping is all the damping you'd get, and as any 1:1 suspension designer will tell us, friction damping is a very poor substitute for even the 1:1 damping systems around in the 60s.

Another problem with this sort of suspension (and most slot car steering) is the clearance in the pivots and wheel bearings. The precise angles 1:1 suspension designers aim for are lost in the slop of these slot car set ups.

Quicker slot cars use chassis flex or moving motor pods, that works much better than these rather poor copies of 1:1 suspension on all but the roughest tracks.
 

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Amen John! That's what I like about this early slot technology, before everything became pretty cut and dried. I've got a lot of these experiments in my collection and there's some pretty amazing stuff.

Thanks for that comment 300SLR, I think that sums up pretty nicely what's at stake here...

Part of the reason behind the search for suspension, steering, etc. at the beginning was that a lot of the routed tracks were not exactly smooth, as I've pointed out before. But turns out that a little movement goes a long way, without adding complications... Loose body mounting was already a pretty standard thing back in the early to mid-60s - all the Midwest guys and their pan chassis were already using it, and I'm sure a lot of other advanced racers were too... although it took a while to be translated into floppy body mounts for the 1/24 pros.

I couldn't say about suspensions for Rally tracks, but that seems a rather special case.

Don
 

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Well, I am designing a routed rally track and cars not having suspension makes it impossible to do soooo many things.

I agree that for speed racing a suspension as crude as the one in Ulrich chassis will be negative.

I just wonder if slot tracks had the bumps on the track similar to the ones in the real circuits like even Le Mans in the 60-80's, would these new forms of "suspension" used in slot cars like moving motor pods and flexible chassis do the job? or we actually would need a proper type of suspension for the slot cars?
 
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