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Any interest in more stuff like this?

  • No- leave me alone or I’ll hit you with a bag of oranges!

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· Registered
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Guys!

My name is Doug- I restore vintage COX slot cars and share these restorations/mods on my YouTube channel, “Full Earth Workshop.” Thanks for all the great info posted here.

I’ve been a big fan of the rather rare Ackerman Steering Mechanism which COX manufactured and included in their Lotus 40 and Ford GT40 ready to run cars. I wanted to add this mechanism to some of my restorations, so I back-engineered it and placed it on Shapeways.com to share with others. It is nearly identical to the COX mechanism; it requires 5 self-tapping screws (M2 5mm pan head) and a small spring (7mm diameter). The screws are the same size used for fixing brushes on vintage COX cars. No C clamps are needed to fix the wheels…just two of the self tapping screws.

It’s recommended that you have access to an Ackerman steering mechanism for reference while building.

If interested, here is the link:
https://www.shapeway...590531&li=shops

I just finished building the first print and it works great!

All the best!
Doug
 

· Rich Dumas
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4,570 Posts
That is a new one on me, I bought a Cox 1/24th scale Lotus 40 in 1965 and it did not have Ackerman steering. I don't recall seeing any Cox car with steering. I will have to look through the issues of Model Car&Track that I have to see if that feature was mentioned.
 

· Administrator
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It was the RTR version Rich, and they sold a lot fewer of those than the standard kit without steering.

As Doug and Slot Mart say, Cox did the Ford GT and Lotus 40 with steering, but only made specific GT40 wheels for their steering unit.

Don
 

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I don't think all the RTRs had steering Rich, but all the cars with steering were RTR... in fact, didn't even think Cox had come out with an RTR as early as 65!

But I was 13, what did I know?

Don
 

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I thought all the rtr cars had steering, but that is just what I thought. They all did have Ford GT wheels. The Ackerman unit was also available as an accessory. I don't think it helped handling at all. If a car is set up correctly the front wheels either don't touch the track or they are so close a piece of paper will barely slide between them and the track. When the car goes thru a corner, it naturally lifts the inside wheel and that eliminates all drag from having each wheel trying to navigate a different turn.

All this Rube Goldberg stuff looks neat but in practice it never helped performance.
 

· Gordon Steadman
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7,187 Posts
I suppose it depends on what you mean by set up correctly.

For me, a slot car should have both front wheels solidly planted on the track, not lifted by the guide. If that is the case, I still wonder if there is any advantage to the steering. Might be milliseconds but that might make a difference over a race.

Even if there is only one wheel touching, it is, in theory, still dragging rather than tracking the curve.

Who is this Rube Goldberg chappie? Never heard of him.

(Ah, you mean a yank Heath Robinson. Steering sound a bit simple for such a one)
 

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Rube is the guy that invented 4 wheel drive for slot cars, dual motors, differentials for the rear axle, steering for front wheels, batteries in your controller to make wheels spin backwards when the throttle is released and other contrivances that actually slow down slot cars.

Unfortunately the fastest slot cars have NO front wheels and just ride on the guide flag. I like all slot cars to have front tires, but I like them to be narrow or at least have an angle cut into the tread face so the whole tread doesn't make full contact when it does roll over and hit the track.
 

· Gordon Steadman
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Slot thingies that have no front wheels can't be called cars....unless one has been invented that will run just on the back wheels:)

I'm still interested to know if steering has any advantage if both front wheels are sitting properly on the track!
 

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Agree about no front wheels. Seems prety ridiculous to call something without front wheels a car. Maybe some experienced guys will chime in here abut steering.. I think it is shown in the history of slot car development that steering front wheels have never out performed a simple single axle setup.
 

· Gordon Steadman
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No argument thats it's faster but there are those pedants like me who believe that a slot car should a) look like a real car and b) sit on the ground like one. OK, OK I know that very few full size cars feature a lump under the front somewhere that sits in a slot in the road but the illusion has to stop somewhere.
 

· Slot King
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4,698 Posts
I think we can all agree the fastest way round a track is to have 100 percent of front end weight on the guide to keep it in the slot.
I don't agree with that, too much weight on the guide means more friction and a slower car. A car (flat wooden track and front wheels touching) doesn't need much weight on the guide. Just my take on it 🙃🙃🙃.


Joel
 

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In 1966 or so, there would have still been some cachet to having something sophisticated like steering... By the following year, with handling bodies and such, not sure that would apply.

The early Model Cars magazines were full of long debates in the letters columns about the virtues of steering versus rigid front axles. The consensus seems to have been that steering helps on small twisty tracks, but not on the longer ones with wider curves.

There was also the subsequent claim that independent front wheels performed the same function without the complication of steering.

I'm an agnostic on the subject, since I have yet to carry out any scientific studies, but really like seeing the steering operate in curves, or even just standing still!

Don
 
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