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Tuning an AutoArt

4838 Views 21 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  stoner
Well now we've got a class for AutoArt 'supercars' - the performance of which is generally anything but. Wobbly gears, loose tyres and general graunchiness abound, so it's now become the club's only tuning class.

In fairness I've never had a problem with my original choice - the Porsche 997 Carrera. It's pretty and, with a load of weight stuffed in the nose, has a very nice habit of drifting gently through the corners. Here's the old original:

With a decent amount of acceleration my 997 is one of the fastest 'stock' cars (mag removed) at the club, but because of chronic unreliability we can now tune our AutoArts. Tyres, hubs, axles, gears and pinions are free - although motor, guide and chassis must remain as standard. Given the yellow peril's rear-mounted motor she's not going to be able to live with more conventional arrangements, once they've been tweaked, but I wanted to stay with Porsche and so got a traditional mid-mounted sidewinder within the rather lovely 996 GT3R:

And so to a bit of tuning...

First off I've removed the retaining spring on the front axle which pushes it down towards the track. I hate front-end deslots with a passion, and increasingly find that highly detailed slot cars are build as shelf queens with no thought for whether or not the front wheels will lever the guide out of the slot. I've also unscrewed the magnet and fitted wheels and axles from the Scalextric Porsche GT3, which are wider and hopefully will give a bit more grip than drift:

Eagle-eyed viewers will notice that the rear tyres are different. I've gone for Ortmanns, as Scaley typically doesn't do a great compound for non-mag running.

Everything sits together reasonably well but there's a hefty amount of slop in the rear axle now - about 4mm worth! I've ordered some shims but also decided to go for a Slot.It axle and gears - 12 tooth pinion and 36 tooth crown. I think it's about the best balance in ratios for our track.

The bits should arrive in time for next week, when I make a belated debut in the class. It's hardly the biggest tuning job in the world but hopefully, once run in and with a bit of weight behind the guide, will be able to keep pace with the Gallardoa, Murcielagos and Koenigseggs.

I'll let you know!
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All very fair points. But this is just one out of 50+ classes - combination of 'own car' and 'club car' - currently on the roster, and there are some very good, close-matched and entertaining classes in the mix.

The plus side is that with new AA cars available for a tenner or less, you can upgrade all the relevant parts and still have change from 30 quid. The downside is, like any tuning class, it's all about what you've put in the car.
Well she'll get her first run tomorrow.

Unfortunately Pendle was out of stock for 11-tooth sidewinder pinions, so the Slot.It gears and axles will have to wait. As it is she'll make her debut with the Scalextric Porsche GT3R axle shimmed to cut out the 4mm or so of slop in the chassis and the standard AutoArt pinion.

I'll pop a pic of this 'setup' up here when completed and tested.
I'll find out in about an hour!

Not glueing anything on at the moment so may well find wheels and tyres scattered to the four winds, but will complete definitive setup once the Slot.It parts arrive. Meanwhile here's the interim spec:

Axle shimmed so no play left now and a decent bit of weight up front. When the sharper ratios are in I might put a dab of weight at the back of both sills but hopefully the Ortmanns will hook up OK on Ninco track...
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Well it wasn't too bad. The best thing was being able to run for two laps door-to-door with the Koenigsegg that's fully loaded with Slot.It goodies.

The downside was too much grip from the Ortmanns on Ninco track. The car handles like it's got a magnet in there, except it hasn't, which means that everything's fine and lovely until the tyres dig in rather than slide. A third and three fourth places were the result (five points from a possible 16). Parked it very neatly on the outside of Turn 1 having barrel rolled across all three other lanes and their incumbents, which was rather special.

Funnily enough I had the same problem a few years back with the old Scalextric C125 Porsche 911. I put Ortmanns on to replace the dried-up and cracked original tyres and after truing and glueing it refused to enter a corner at racing speed without rolling past the apex, where before it had done a delicious bit of tail-wagging and that was that.

For now I'm going to round off the outer walls of the tyres and be a bit more circumspect on corner entry until I've got a proper 3:0 ratio in place and some braking effect might happen (we run without brakes).

All in all, however, I'm encouraged.
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QUOTE (Abarth Mike @ 4 May 2012, 04:01) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>An AutoArt class is an inspired choice arrived at by someone with independent thinking or someone who has a store full of unsold AutoArt.
Quite a technical challenge and involves some skill and not simply an on-line parts order.

I do believe the culprit who put this class forward might have had an interest! That said, there are precious few RTR cars available for less than 10 quid. Originally they were to be run 'stock' but having all the usual AutoArt frailties this became impossible for a lot of people, requiring aftermarket parts to make them go. This in turn caused a bit of umbrage, so it was thrown open.

QUOTE (Abarth Mike @ 4 May 2012, 04:01) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Added to that they (AutoArt) race without brakes.
I can hear the tongue clicking already. So how to improve braking when there is no electrical braking allowed? Adding weight would seem counter intuitive. How to change ones driving skill or equipment to do this? Complex adjustable controllers maybe of limited use?

We do have brakes on the track, but they remain firmly switched off in all but one or two classes. It's a religious issue, I believe.

"If the Lord intended our slot cars to have brakes, then He would have bally well made sure that they were on from the outset." (Revelations: 1/32)."

There will be a renewed debate on this matter between the People's Front of Judea and the Judean People's Front at our forthcoming AGM, but for now we'll keep coasting at unabated speed towards our destiny.

I keep throwing weight in my cars in the vain hope of getting the CofG in tune with my ever-optimistic cornering methods. Sometimes it works. Other times it merely accelerates the rate of roll.

Complex adjustable controllers are always of limited use in my case - however their principal function is winding up one's competitors even when most of the functions are disabled by technology that Isambard Kingdom Brunel would have thought rather dated.

Thanks for all thoughts and comments, if nothing else tuning an AutoArt provides decent entertainment!
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Got some serious laps in last week when only four people turned up for club cars night and, although I managed to snap the rear spoiler, got a lot more used to running the car on the big track as we made it a test session. It was still digging in (hence spoiler) but that was the only obvious problem.

This week I trued the tyres again and rounded off the outside edges. Boom! Suddenly we've got a real racer on our hands. Best lap was a 11.8 seconds, being much more forgiving on corner entry and able to get the power on much sooner. It's quite light and with so much grip in the tyres this AutoArt has developed a 'Ninco hop' but it's tolerable and now I'm reasonably happy with the setup I'll glue everything in place.

On our brakeless track that's about half a second faster than a Slot.It Porsche 956 with the magnet out and no weight. Three wins out of four races - inexplicably stayed on the throttle too long on the run up to the hairpin in the other race when a good distance clear.

The pristine white bodywork is now looking like a 24 hour racer after the chequered flag thanks to the volume of rubber and grime that's built up in 35 laps of racing! Weathered doesn't begin to describe it.

Not bad for just snapping in Scalextric hubs, axles and gear with the original pinion! I might keep the Slot.It parts for a rainy day.
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Mac - that's some fairly heroic chiselwork been going on there!

Stoner - just enjoy them any way you like.

Last race of the season for Mighty White next week. Definitely the most fidgety car I've got but when I've got my brain in gear she's still a winner. The original pinion is about to grenade itself, though, so will go ahead with the Slot.It cog transplant before next season.

The moral of the story is: AutoArts can be fun and reasonably fast. In their own 'special' way!
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