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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Front wheel rotation - which do you prefer?
1. Independent Rotating.2041.67%
2. NOT Independent Rotating.1225.00%
3. It depends on something - sometimes one, sometimes the other.918.75%
4. I don't think it matters, I don't care or I don't understand the question!714.58%
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I've been meaning to raise this question for for some time but, as usual, other things distract.

What reminded me, was the Guide Position topic currently running.
These things are quite closely related.

There are racers who swear by independent front wheel rotation and, if their cars haven't got it to start with, they convert them to it as a matter of urgency.
There are others who, equally definitely, prefer a solid front axle.
There are those who reckon some cars should have it and others should not - let's hear about the differences please.
There are others who have never given it a thought and just race it the way it comes.

I would hesitate to even wildly guess the proportion that might prefer one or the other and I hope my categories cover the possible responses reasonably well. The poll won't mean a lot, but might give a VERY rough indication of proportions. However, the REASONS for choices will, I think be well worth seeing, as there are usually good reasons for the choices people make in this area.

I'll kick off by saying that I think the subject of front wheel rotation is nowhere near as simple as it might at first seem and I haven't even made up my mind which selection I will make myself yet! Please treat the poll as a only a bit of fun, but I am most interested in the discussion of pros and cons, not being at all certain of some facts.
 

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Yes, agree with Grah, a very nice modification.
I have seen the Wix-mod before but it wasn't here and I'm delighted to get this one on to our board too.

Now, to throw a few scraps into the ring for scratching at!

Even when running a tripod with front wheels designed to be suspended more or less permanently, under hard cornering, I think we should probably assume that the outer tyre MUST touch the track surfaceat some point?

For simplicity's sake, let's assume the front rubber is touching track at least some of the time. There seems to be a common acceptance that minimising the tyre width is a good thing and using hard tyres or in some way hardening their surface is a good thing. But I am not even totally convinced that this is always, necessarily, true - I may come back to that point . . . if I can remember long enough!

The basic argument for independently rotating front wheels is that, during cornering, the outer one must travel a greater distance than the inner. If they can't rotate at different speeds, then this will create drag and slow the car down. But I'm not sure it's as simple as that. For a start, is it NECESSARILY a bad thing if the car is slowed a little in a curve? In any case, there are similar arguments used in favour of a differential on the driven wheels, but decades of experience by a massive horde of expert drivers has pretty well conclusively proven that a diff adds NO overall advantage and is, if anything, a hindrance! Certainly top end racers wouldn't dream of using one, not ever. That's worth thinking about before concluding that independent fronts MUST naturally be advantageous - it is certainly not a foregone conclusion in spite of seeming so obvious at first thought.

That's enough for this post - it is a complex business and I want to sit back and see what happens before opening it to further doubt (and my particularly abstruse theories!)
 

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Erggghh!
Fergy, you brought up too many things at once for my noddle!
Let me look at just one.
QUOTE nail polish on the front tires is nothing more than an attempt to reduce the scrubbing that independent fronts will already eliminate
This is the obvious and common perception.
it's so glaringly obvious that it just has to be so.
But nevertheless, I query it gently.
Note, NOT dispute, just query gently!

I would suggest that MAYBE the sideways scrubbing of front tyres so vastly outweighs the relatively small discrepancy in rotational speed that having independent fronts might not matter much, if at all. That would apply when not varnished. Furthermore, that if they ARE varnished, independents matter even less again.

An additional point, just for thought, not rammed down throats - if there is lateral weight transfer at the front, the inner wheel tends to lift and the case for independents is reduced even further.

Finally (for now!), if in spite of points suggested above, if it is still thought that independents are good, then I really can't understand why steering fronts aren't thought to be even better! Yet the vast majority poo-poo steering. Some factors, generally perceived as facts, don't seem to make complete sense when looked at clinically.
Or do they?
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
Let me throw in another little snippet to poke at!

Back end sliding - a nuisance.
Non-independent front wheels help to reduce it, IF both touching track!
Want a demo?
Hold the car down hard on the front end, rear wheels off the track and try to swivel the car around the guide.
It swivels much more easily with independent fronts and much less easily with a fixed pair.
Interesting!
 
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