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Thanks to Nick for taking the time to review the car and submit the article.

As always it is interesting to hear what a car is like and hence which direction one's hard earned pennies might go.


However, could I ask that all reviewers first try any car they are reviewing out of the box without making changes to the set-up/magnets. This is how a lot of purchases will be run (maybe a drop of oil/grease and then away she goes!). Many people use magnets and while I understand that the FF motor with magnet combination is not often a club or seasoned racers choice of set up, but it is what a lot of home "Sunday-drivers" use.


So if possible, it would be good to know how a car runs with all the standard fixtures and fittings in place.

Many thanks once again for all the reviews and please keep them coming.


Philip
 

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David H
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An interesting review that confirms what lots of us have discovered; that the FF motor is hopeless in any situation and the Sebring chassis is horrible. That's a real shame, as the MRRC Cobra is one of the prettiest on the market.

However, to suggest that "Scalextric, Carrera and AutoArt, whose cars - in standard form - can usually complete a lap only with the assistance of magnetic adhesion." is a massive exaggeration and very unfair. I have no experience of AutoArt, but loads with Scalextric and Carrera, and can say with certainty that the majority can be driven easily with their magnet removed. Just use a more delicate throttle finger and don't expect them to compete with tuned cars.
 

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Gregory Petrolati
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If this is the general opinion about MRRC's Sebring chassis, I think I'll start Greenman's Sebring Chassis Rescue.

Please send all your unloved neglected and abused MRRC Sebring chassies to me and I'll provide them with a good home, a less powerful motor and an interesting body to be under... like this one.



Here's some comments (not mine) about my "5 & Dime"

QUOTE (by mether) Greenman62 Datsun smooth, good handling, quiet, forgiving, easy to drive...

(by Brain)#46 Greenman62 Datsun. Love these Datsuns....looked great on the track. Enjoyed driving this car…could do better at other tracks.

Greenman62
 

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A ten OHM resistor makes a cheap instant repair for these way too fast motors. I just solder the resistor in the motor lead and it done for less than a buck. My local Radio Shack has them in stock. . . Ken
 

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Phil - with magnets it should run fine, in the same frenetic vein as a skinny motored Scalextric Mini, Cortina, Escort etc.

The issue with the guide will remain the same, however, so with higher cornering speeds you should expect it to be an even bigger problem. Here's how it sits straight out of the box:



And here's how it now sits, which is far from perfect but does stand a better chance of making it through a bend:



Magnets do mask a lot of deficiencies in a lot of cars - and these days you could be forgiven for thinking that there are more deficiencies than ever with RTR slot cars.

Super-detailed interiors are lovely, for instance, but make cars top-heavy on the track. Gorgeous little F1 cars can now be produced in scale - 'Sharknose' Ferrari for instance - because of the tiny motor, but if they only go at a million miles an hour with the magnet in or not at all then perhaps that needs rethinking.

Increasingly there also seem to be issues with how the front wheels interact with the guide across a number of brands. Certainly with classic cars and with some F1s. The general feeling seems to be that if it looks right on the shelf it will do.

When I first got back into slot cars, about 10 years ago now, I'd never tried a car with magnets in. The advice I was given at the club - and repeated many times on the Forum - is that if you can get a car running well without magnets, it will fly once you pop the ferrous fiends back in - should you wish to do so. I've never seen that advice proved wrong!

Dopamine - the point in naming those manufacturers was that when it comes to cars with skinny motors, there isn't a mass-produced slot whose chassis or tyres are up to the job without reliance on magnets. The brands I mentioned have fairly universal flaws, starting with the tyres and working up from there.

My old Scalextric Fabia WRC was a delight without magnets. With weight, my AutoArt Porsche 997 is no worse than a Fly 911 in the same state. But neither of them have skinny motors.

As Ken and Greenman have shown, you can engineer a fix - but that's not how the cars are sold. A well-honed slot car with a skinny motor can be a thing of beauty. My resin-bodied brass-chassis GP cars are great with skinny motors - even a 30k Scaleauto unit in my Auto Union becomes potent but controllable. But that takes us into the realm of Scratcher's Corner, rather than an RTR review.
 

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scaleauto do a 10k version of the slim motor, a straight swap, but makes you wonder why the makers dont fit a similar rated version as standard in these period cars.
But then again, it looks like they dont even track test them non mag.
 

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Like Greenman I too like the sebring chassis and all it takes is a little perseverance with small mods to get them to run reasonable on plastic track.
Cheers
Nigel
 

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I've never run the Sebring chassis on plastic....but love them on my wood track. It's one of my favorite scratchbuild chassis...also, for what it's worth, I tried 4 different Sebrings at random just to see if any of them has that "high guide" issue, and none did...so a little confused by that. I appreciate all the effort that went into the review though...(and I saw the pic, so not contesting that car has an odd guide!)

John
 

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QUOTE (John Cahill @ 22 Oct 2011, 07:50) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I've never run the Sebring chassis on plastic....but love them on my wood track. It's one of my favorite scratchbuild chassis...also, for what it's worth, I tried 4 different Sebrings at random just to see if any of them has that "high guide" issue, and none did...so a little confused by that. I appreciate all the effort that went into the review though...(and I saw the pic, so not contesting that car has an odd guide!)

John

It's not so much the guide that's the problem; it's the stiffness of the braid. I swapped the hard braids with some Ninco ProRace braids and my Porsche runs fine now, even if it is a little top-heavy.

Cheers,
Chris
 

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Nobby Berkshire
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It sounds like a truly dreadful model from this review.

Why didn't you leave it stock before you tried it first with the magnet in as MRRC made it to race? As soon as you start playing around with it then it's not the original car you are racing!

And if a 45ohm controller was not able to control it, then a 25ohm or 15 ohm sounds exactly what this motor needs to perform correctly. The sudden flat-out speed at 45 ohms is a classic sign that it needs a lower ohm controller.
 

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QUOTE (Screwneck @ 23 Oct 2011, 13:05) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>It sounds like a truly dreadful model from this review.

Why didn't you leave it stock before you tried it first with the magnet in as MRRC made it to race? As soon as you start playing around with it then it's not the original car you are racing!

And if a 45ohm controller was not able to control it, then a 25ohm or 15 ohm sounds exactly what this motor needs to perform correctly. The sudden flat-out speed at 45 ohms is a classic sign that it needs a lower ohm controller.

Reviewing it with the magnets in would be: 'Very fast, runs like a modern F1 rather than a classic car. No brakes. Front end deslots.'

To be honest, the use of a universal chassis smacks of cost-cutting. Going down this route, the manufacturer doesn't have to retool for different models. Presumably horrid little skinny motors are far more plentiful and cheaper than can motors, too.

All of the MRRC cars look beautiful. None of the MRRC cars run nicely. It's a 'one size fits none' solution, but if you stick a big magnet in there a lot of people won't notice.

Establishing how and why a car behaves the way it does means taking away the masking effect of a traction magnet and seeing how the chassis and motor really work. If you want to run an MRRC Cobra (or any other Sebring chassis car) with mags in, the corrective work on the front wheels and guide is still valid. Equally, the slack axles and bushings will still play their part in how the thing behaves.

As for the controller, you really need higher resistance for whizzy motors to try and moderate their behaviour a bit. Personally I only use 25 Ohms for cars with strong magnets in place like Fly GTs or modern F1s, which can get bogged down and need a boot up the bum - the last thing that the MRRC Cobra needs!
 

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David H
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QUOTE (Screwneck @ 23 Oct 2011, 12:05) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>And if a 45ohm controller was not able to control it, then a 25ohm or 15 ohm sounds exactly what this motor needs to perform correctly. The sudden flat-out speed at 45 ohms is a classic sign that it needs a lower ohm controller.
That all sounds back-to-front to me. 60 ohm would probably work better. 25 or 15 ohm with FF motors definitely makes them undrivable on anything other than huge straights and very gentle sweeping curves.
 

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re: To be honest, the use of a universal chassis smacks of cost-cutting. Going down this route, the manufacturer doesn't have to retool for different models. Presumably horrid little skinny motors are far more plentiful and cheaper than can motors, too. None of the MRRC cars run nicely. It's a 'one size fits none' solution"

You really want to go with all that? NONE of the MRRC cars run nicely? *grin* I have a wood track, no mag, Professor Motor Silver controllers, regulated power supply and use urethane tires on the rear...so I don't know, maybe that totally changes everything. Maybe that's the fix right there. But I find the little buggers are fun and easy to run...no problems with the motors, no lack of braking. And I'm glad the manufacturer had enough sense to go with a tidy little universal chassis...cuts down on costs. Slot Classics are top end cars with universal chassis, HRS makes an exquisite "one size fits none" chassis. Works for me..

I reread your review...I think you are coming at this from a particular angle, that of a serious non-mag racer who expects a serious race car out of the box...for $45. I think it's a solid review, well thought out and detailed...if you state that position up front. Not sure all this contempt is relevant to a guy who buys this car to have fun with on his home track. Seems to me this is a cute, quick car for a fair price...MRRC really hit the mark in that instance.

John

PS here's an example of how manageable these buggers are....would you agree this is more top-heavy than any MRRC? *grin*

 

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QUOTE (John Cahill @ 24 Oct 2011, 21:38) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I'm having a little trouble squaring my gobs of delightful MRRC cars (and other scratchbuilt or Monogram with Sebring chassis), and this extremely opposite point of view. I can see them not being your cup of tea...but you seem to absolutely despise them. Have they offended you in some way? *grin* I don't see why a nicely adjustable chassis is a BAD idea, nor why saving the cost of retooling is a bad idea. You can buy a super expensive Slot Classics limited edition car...and get an adjustable chassis. HRS makes an exquisite "one size fits none" chassis. So, I get that you don't like MRRC...but do they really deserve this much contempt?

John

PS I only run non-mag...and the stock guides work fine for me, although I do swap out the rear tires for urethanes

Hi John,

As I said in the review, I wanted MRRC, with its long history of doing very good things, to show that peaky little FF motors could work nicely in an off-the-shelf slot car.

Adjustable chassis are a fundamental tool for scratchbuilding, agreed. Most of my cars have been resin bodies sitting on Slot Classic, PCS or Penelope Pitlane chassis, but the review isn't of a scratchbuilt or even modified product.

HRS chassis come with a dream of a motor, wonderful hardware and the kind of fit and finish that very few RTR manufacturers even bother aspiring to. The reason why MRRC got a disappointing review was that traditionally it was a manufacturer which delivered strong performers - but not in this guise.

The main chassis flaw, illustrated above, is common to all the RTR MRRC Sebring cars that I've seen at our club, namely: the guide is mounted too high and is too shallow. As you can see, it's barely on speaking terms with the slot on the stock braids.

This wobbly ensemble is then propelled by a motor with wild power delivery and no natural retardation off the throttle... with predictable results.

I've done what I can make the car get around the track in the form that it left the factory, changing just one consumable item - the braids. The complete cure would be to change the guide, the motor, the gearing, the axles and the bushings.

Everyone contributing to this thread knows of the parts that are needed to improve the MRRC Sebring chassis. Presumably the powers that be at MRRC also know of these parts - yet still chose to send these models to market as they are. I don't think they deserve a round of applause for that approach.
 

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hi, driver #8
You managed to respond to me at the exact same time as I was modifying my original post to you. In my rewrite (which is what you will see now if you back up a post), I actually approached things differently...trying to be clearer. I showed a pic of a typical MRRC guide post (unaltered, although it is the grey one that came with Monograms...same for black MRRC's though if you want another pic) and how it isn't too high. I also listed my track and power conditions, hoping we might determine why the motor characteristics you are experiencing are so different from what i am experiencing. (btw, I'm running at 12 volts...what are you running at?)
I completely understand what you are saying, and why you are saying it...and clearly the guide post in your test car was a mess. I'm just not so sure what you are experiencing is representative of the lot (and yes I note you are saying you have seen others at your club)...enough though to say, for example "None of the MRRC cars run nicely"...or to call the motor "horrid". I don't have an axe to grind on this, don't own stock in MRRC etc...don't really care all that much. But thought I'd recap this since my post changed, not sure if you saw that.
I do want to come back to one thing...they can't be too darn impossible to drive if I can comfortably run a Renault Dauphine on one (boxstock,without magnets). Honestly *grin*

best regards,
John
 

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David H
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QUOTE (driver#8 @ 25 Oct 2011, 00:39) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>This wobbly ensemble is then propelled by a motor with wild power delivery and no natural retardation off the throttle... with predictable results.
Whilst I appreciate your review and share your dislike of the FF motor, you really must tone down the exaggeration, not least because any review will influence the purchasing decisions of some, decisions made on flawed/biased evidence.

"No natural retardation off the throttle"? Really? Come on now. Before you'd even driven the car, you'd added weight, which would only make worse already poor braking performance.

QUOTE Immediately a lump of lead was added to both the front and rear magnet holders in the hope of keeping some semblance of control. This delivered an all-up weight of 71g. With the gears bedded in using toothpaste and all lubrication done, it was time to fire this baby up...

The FF motor is truly horrible (in my opinion), but to say that it has no natural retardation is silly and casts doubt on the accuracy of your whole review. I've got a load of FF motored cars that brake perfectly adequately.
 

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Tore
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QUOTE You expect that sort of behaviour from Scalextric, Carrera and AutoArt, whose cars - in standard form - can usually complete a lap only with the assistance of magnetic adhesion. In contrast, MRRC used to be a purist's brand whose cars encouraged finesse - but apparently no longer.

This gives me the impression that the reviewer was expecting a great running non-magnet slot car out of the box. I've only been into this hobby since 2005 but none of my MRRC cars were great out of the box, so what is that expectation based on?
 

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I found your writing style interesting and the presentation well made. Some of your conclusions are a bit dodgy. We as slot car hobbyist types approach an offering from a manufacturer from a variety of angles. Some want to put no effort into a purchase wanting NSR performance from box to track while others tear it to pieces before it's ever on a track. A number of the responders indicated they would bypass MRRC offerings from reading this review and that would deprive them of some truly unique and very nice models. Perhaps this is a case of a good writer presenting their view too well.... I for one think this chassis is the best small all round chassis available. Every flaw can be corrected and there are few chassis from any manufacturer that can't use some tweaking. I have these under many scratch built resin cars, converted models and older slot cars that needed better running gear and with a little work they all handle very well. While the motor is peaky and down on torque it is not too much for the chassis (non mag) and if you must have a slower motor any number of 15K motors, that hey.. just drop in, are available. Yes the chassis has some minor issues but the combination of small FF motor and a tiny adjustable chassis brings too much to the table to ignore and the bodies available from MRRC speak for themselves. The revamped company has accomplished a lot in a short period of time and I find the models they are bringing to market at that price point of interest. Looking forward to their new releases, if we got a Kellison what other obscure scale, did I mention scale?, sports cars can we expect!!
 
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