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King of the Mountains

7791 Views 20 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  Mr. Olufsen
This is not a review, just my experiences with the NSU TTs as an SSD racer. There's at least one in-depth review out there, and on this Forum there are a number of threads where the car is discussed.

I'll be earnest: NSUs had never been on my radar, but working on my hilly Sicily-inspired track constantly has sent me on lots of little nostalgia trips, and there I met the NSU TT Prinz. Whether you think it's a beautiful car is a matter of taste, but old commercials and youtube hillclimb videos certainly have done a bit to give this historic car a sporty 'King Of The Mountains' image:

Add to this the Revell series of slotcars - tiny, nice looking, cute, affordable, and out in at least nine liveries that I know of - and soon I had grown an irresistible urge to establish an entire stable for round robin racing purposes in our SSDDK 'Club'.

For certain, they look at home on the track:

And please take at look at those rear transverse mounted extra cooled cool engines:
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A nice surprise: After a few seconds of thinking, this turned out to be very easy.
The interior tray is shallow, almost flush with the bonnet, leaving plenty of room inside the car.

However, the car is so short that standard mounting of the IR LED would leave it almost mid-car, so I opted for the SureChange Racing guide. I took care to chamfer it a little bit as per the Scalextric chip instructions.

There is no room for a ferrite man on top of the motor, so after getting rid of the factory mounted resistors and capacitors, I soldered down the motor ferrite man, bending the legs so his head pointed down towards the bottom screw hole. I put the Scalex F1 chip transversely behind the front axle, fixing it with a small lump of blue tack. The guide wires were shortened, the front ferrite man re-soldered with two 2.5 cm lengths of wire. There was no need for extending the LED wires, so the LED was simply pressed into the SureChange guide, making this nice and tidy package:

Testing and gentle tuning
After fitting the chips, the weight landed at 67 g, except for one car, which weighed only 65 g. The chip incl. ferrite men normally weigh in at 5.5 to 6 g. This lead to cars that were fairly front/rear balanced (31 g front axle/guide, 36 g rear axle). No more extra weight was added.

I don't run analogue, so no testing was done prior to chipping. Running the cars w/ magnet was not a lot of fun in my opinion. They behaved quite 'stop-go-deslot'-ishly, staying glued to the track until optimistic cornering was rewarded with your typical rocket-like deslotting.

Out went the magnets. Nice... But some flaws were revealed immediately - rear axle slop and untrue tyres. So, I did a few things:

- The rear axle bearings were glued to the chasses
- All the cars were given a super glue collar rear axle treatment
- The rims were cleaned and sanded
- The rear tyres were checked on the inside, sanded, and glued to the rims
- One car kept whining loudly with the body mounted. This stopped after the edges and posts of the chassis had been sanded a bit
- On one car, the front wheels had to be straightened up

Handling was not completely even across the six cars, but I'm sure more tinkering would have levelled the field even more. Anyway, for a round robin series, the very small differences would only add to the competition.

Tune-up and maintenance
Replacing the gear with inline crowns/pinions definitely is possible. The wheels are very small, and the ground clearance is only approx. 2.5 mm, but at Ø 16.7 mm and W 9 mm, short hub Ø 15.8 mm wheels and low profile tyres would be an option if the original ones are worn down. The original hubcaps could be sanded and used as inserts.

Last week, a few guys popped in for a race night - magless only. After a few laps to get a feel for the cars, we ran a four round 25-lap GP series, with a 5 min back-to-front qualification session.

Of course, the NSUs were tipsier than a LMP or an NSR classic, but that is part of the sport: the ability to handle different cars well. In this case, delicate cornering became paramount to success. As a safety precaution, we ran the series at 12V DC (in), just to get rid of any stop/go controller issues for all drivers, regardless of abilities. All controllers were clean, and calibrated in RCS64.

The overall fastest lap of the night was 7.2 secs ( Alfa 33/3), against the fastest NSU lap of 9.5 secs. For a Scalex TransAm Ford Mustang without magnets 8.6 secs is a good lap time. However, remember that my tiny 13m track includes 5 R1 hairpins. I will post again when they have been tested on another track. In my opinion, running them at 13.5 V is fine too, though I prefer a throttle profile like L-SPD -1 in RCS64.

The repair ratio (deslots) did not go up, people were very focused and enthusiastic, and we had just as many laughs as we had with 60ies/70ies classics or modern GTs.

In a nutshell: A success. If you like variation, if you're not dedicated to fast-fast-fast only but want to reward versatile driving skills, then the NSUs might be for you too.

Thanks for reading,
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Brilliant review
Excellent review and info!
I was completely unfamiliar with this brand of car, but picked up one of the Revell models last week on eBay (green #520). I was attracted by the level of detail like the stickers in the left rear window, the oil cooler, the peekaboo engine, and the driver. It also resembles a BMW 2002 slightly, and I'm fond of those. I can really see how these would make a fun class to run: I made an SSD class of six Revell Fun Cup VWs, with similar running gear and wonderful detail. I've not chipped my NSU TT yet but after reading your post, there may be five more in my future!
Hear hear! Excellent posts, Christian! This is the kind of thing I'd love to see more of.
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Great write-up Christian, mixing several elements & excellent photos. You could even do this sort of thing for SlotCar Mag.

I have noticed there's lots of good SSD stuff coming out of Denmark at the moment - is there something in the beer

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Great review Christian ,re rims , 15.8 would be too big,what I use in small cars are SIPA33als(Ferrari 312 fronts)
with Avant Slot #20306 tires.
Thanks guys, I'm glad you liked it, and it's nice to hear that I'm not the only one, who has had some good experiences with these cars.

QUOTE (alexis in greece @ 11 Nov 2013, 09:41) <{POST_SNAPBACK}> 15.8 would be too big,what I use in small cars are SIPA33als(Ferrari 312 fronts) with Avant Slot #20306 tires.
That is a good alternative choice of replacement wheels, of course PA33als wheels are fine. I have to disagree re. the Ø 15.8 wheels. They are a good fit depending on the wheel/tyre combination.

Here is a Ø 15.8 PA24alf wheel and an original NSU TT hubcap:

After filing it lightly, the cap pressfits nicely into the rim, and wheel and tyre fit nicely and spin freely. Mind you, this is not the correct tyre, just a PT20 tyre that I had in the bits box (total wheel diameter approx 18 mm). I would go for PT9670E1 tyres, which would bring the total wheel size down to 16.7 mm before truing; very close to the original wheel size (approx 16.5 mm):

If you paint the rim edge black before fitting the insert, the wheels will look almost like the originals too.

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IXWA, when will we see the NSU or one of the VW Fun Cup cars at FRC ?
Great timing on the article as I am thinking of buying one of these and have a couple of questions.
-Do I have to change the wheels to make it a good runner?
-Lastly, are they smooth and quiet or noisy and rough?
I suppose these cars Will never be "good" runners. But they sure are fun to run.
Hi Slots-O-Fun,

Gysse is right, lots-o-fun, but "good runner" as in or NSR... Well... You will change the properties by using wheels and tyres, for certain, but I love their distinctly tipsy qualities, and getting into a nice flow with a Revell Prinz is definitely rewarding. I have been planning to change rear wheels and tyres on all of'em, but I'm afraid of creating 'just another slotcar'.

Smooth or noisy? As mentioned, there is quite a quality variance; I have three favourites that have a lovely sound, and one that sounds like I-don't-know-what. It's a gear issue, and with a bit of paste (or change of gear) it should go away.

As you know, the purpose of creating good runners is not important when running balanced round robin type events. A level palying field, challenges, and fun are the key elements.

Anyway, this is truly a car for you, so get one while you can! I really want to see a video with an NSU climbing the BPHC

Best regards,
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They're also super quick (at least, mine is), so a reduced voltage, power, or smooth throttle curve is highly recommended.
I love the Jager cars but they are ridiculously priced. I'll have to think on the others.
Yes, the ltd. ed. Jägermeister no. 71 W. Bergmeister is hard to come by these days. Still, there are a lot of nice liveries out there.

Here two more from my collection. As they haven't been chipped, staff must push them on to the track for a photo session

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Last week I found a Castol / 511 car with a few parade laps on it. I decided I've waited long enough! Can't wait to run the mountain!
I will keep you posted.
I bought one of the vw fun cup cars and I like the quirky looks of the nsu, but I,ve been put off buying one because of my experience with the vw. no mag the car needs so many modifications [almost a total redesign of the chassis] to make it run even half respectably. my track is fast and flowing and just doesn,t suit this type of car
As this is a fairly narrow and tall (high CoG) car, it simply can't be driven in the same way as a Corvette, LMP, or Aston, or whatever you normally drive. Even R4 would need to be taken more gingerly with this car than most other slot cars, because it will just roll if you corner too fast. But, the game of slots is not to drive all cars the same as your fastest car. The game is to drive each individual car the fastest that IT can be driven around any given track, whether it has all R4 or all R1 turns, whether the car is a magnet LMP or a magless NSU.
There is nothing inherently mis-matched about this car on a fast, flowing track.

Given that you don't like how the VW Fun Cup cars behave, I think it's wise that you don't spend money on this car. It's definitely a challenging car to drive, on any track.
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