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Premium Member
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Hello All

I've been asked by a few people how I set up my front axle tubes on my 1970s Scaley F1 cars that I will be using in the Heart of England Classic F1 Championship 2012.

I would like to stress that axle tubing is nothing new and there are many ways that you can do this process, but here is a step by step process that I have developed for my cars which works very well indeed.

The axle tube takes all the unneccessary movement out of the front axle and stabilises the front end of a slot car to increase cornering speed dramatically.

I'll be using a Scaley Tyrrell 007 that I have recently built for Under 16 Bearwood racer Jonathan Davies as the example chassis.

Step 1: Strip the braids out from the guide.



Step 2: Measure the distance between the front wheels on the front axle.



Step 3: Cut a section of 1/8' tube to the length that you've just measured. It is important to find 1/8' diameter tube as the internal bore is 3/32' which is the diameter of the front axle. This is a perfect fit and allows the front axle to spin freely when inside the tube.



Step 4: Put the chassis with the braidless guide installed into a flat set up block. I use a piece of laminate flooring with a slot cut into it. Make sure that your rear axle and tyres are installed in the chassis and true the tyres to the hubs that you are going to use before you start this process.



Step 5: Install the tube into the axle locations in the chassis. You may need to widen the locators using a dremel or file. Make sure that it's a close snug fit and that the tube is square to the centreline of the chassis.



Step 6: Install the front axle and wheels and tyres. Make sure that the tyres just touch the surface of the set up block. TIP: True the front tyres before you start the process.



Step 7: Without upsetting the alignment use hot glue to "weld" the axle tube to the chassis. Allow the glue to cool thoroughly before you go to the next stage.




Step 8: Install your braids.



Step 9: Re-assemble the car and check the alignment. Now that you have installed the braids there should be a small clearance gap between the front tyre and the set up block. I've tried many set ups on different tracks but a 1 to 1.5 mm gaps seems to suit me perfectly.



Your car is now ready to race.

The beauty about using hot glue instead of Araldite is that it is adjustable and easily removed. If you need to adjust the gap between the front tyre and the surface of the track all you need to do is apply a hot soldering iron directly to the axle tube and the hot glue will melt allowing you to adjust the position of the axle up or down.

As I said at the beginning there are a few ways of doing this but my process works for me. It may work for you too!
 

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Jon Grainger
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3,825 Posts
I'm suprised you don't set the tube up with the braids fitted, I was always advised by the fast guys to have the front wheels just touching the deck. I now make sure that they are touching the track and it makes a big improvement.
 

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Premium Member
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Whatever works for you. I think that you need to experiment depending upon the chassis/car type/surface that you are running on.

I've found that if you run too close on plexi track (like we use at Bearwood) the bumps can deslot you. But I'll grant you that you probably need less clearance on a wooden routed track.

The hot glue enables you to adjust the ride height quite easily as shown in the procedure.
 

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Giacomo
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667 Posts
I found that with wood track the clearance should be minimum. I do it with the braids fitted but leave some thou of clearance so the front tyres will touch only in the curves and not much on the straights. As you say, the clearance really depends on the track surface and on the cars as well. Some cars get huge benefits from the 1/8" tube some others less noticeable.
I like the idea of using hot glue, it makes the life easier to reset the clearance if something goes wrong, even if with other glues the work is more "clean".
Thank you for sharing.
Cheers,
JamieG
 

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Premium Member
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If you allow the glue gun to warm up fully the glue becomes very "fluid" and I find that it is easier to use with virtually no mess at all.

Besides which I always get into a horrible mess with Araldite, so it's six of one and half a dozen of the other.

Many thanks for your feedback, I do appreciate it.
 

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Bill Beggs
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I use plastic tube and leave the braids in. I just hold the chassis down til glue sets. Can't beat hot glue for this mod. I run on wood so like the wheels touching the track.
 

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Premium Member
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The beauty of that technique is that it allows you to try different chassis set ups quicky and easily without having to strip the car down.

It also allows you to change depending on the kind of track surface that you are running on.

In the Heart of England F1 championship we are running on Scaley plexi track, Routed wood tracks and Ninco track so you need to be able to adjust to suit the circuit type.

Thanks for the feedback!
 

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Premium Member
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Great tip, thanks for sharing
 

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Premium Member
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1/8th o.d., 3/32 I.d. tube is a standard size in the K & S Tube Centres (basically a rack of sections) which are seen in many model/toy shops and model railway outlets. My local surplus tooling store has one, and I can guarantee any model railway exhibition will have too.

These are a great source of brass and aluminium sections - round and square tubes, flats, angles and channels.

Cheers,

Keith
 

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Bob Chapman
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6,935 Posts
Good tip Ian , and you are right it is adjustable for those on different surfaces. A very easy and adaptable answer to the old floating wheels issue.
A coup,e of things I have seen done are drilling small holes in the tube to except the are being glued. This does 2 things, one allows for lubrication, and two removes material lessening friction.
The other thing I have seen somemof the faster lads do, but I dont know it would work here, is use square tube as it again reduces the friction points between the axle and the tube. It would in this case require more work on the axle supports though.
Thanks again Ian I have a few old girls that can use this tip to help their performance.
Bob
 

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Al Schwartz
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3,392 Posts
I use 1/8" OD tubing routinely for front axle supports (although in a different chassis application) In many cases there will be a rule requiring the front wheels to touch and rotate - a proviso that I wholeheartedly support - so free running is very important. Using the K&S tubing, I have found it best to run the axle dry with no lubrication. It will spin freely in this application. Adding lubricant simply adds viscous drag and, given the very light loading typical of such an application, is unnecessary.

EM
 
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