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TYRES - AN IDIOT'S GUIDE

OK, I'm the idiot :), but I have learnt a lot about tyres and tyre prep that might interest you and, hopefully, save you the pain of having to research the "dark art" of slot car tyre preparation.

Firstly, it''s important to understand how slot car tyres work (the science bit) so I can explain the clever stuff that I''ve discovered.

Most people (including me) begin by thinking that more rubber on the track equals more grip. It doesn''t. You can see this with a simple experiment. Get yourself a school eraser. Place the eraser flat on the track, apply a small amount of pressure, and try to slide it. You'll find it moves quite easily. Now put the eraser on its edge. Apply the same pressure and you''ll find it's more difficult to move. This proves that less rubber on the track equals more grip.

If you''re driving with a magnet, then this isn''t much of a problem. But, if you''re into serious competition slot car racing, it''s very important. The reason why the edge of the eraser had more grip is to do with down pressure. Obviously, the more down pressure you apply, the more the eraser will grip the track. But, if you''re driving without a magnet, the only down pressure comes from the weight of the car; and, as you know, lighter cars run faster. When I first started out, I used to put lead weight over the rear axle to get some down pressure on my tyres. It worked - sort of - but made the car slow and that weight down the back end caused the car's tail to kick out. The real secret is to get more grip from your tyres without adding any weight to the car. These days, I seldom add any weight to my cars and, providing I've correctly prepared my tyres, they grip the track beautifully.

The next thing we need to understand is how tyre size affects grip and performance. We''ve already established that a narrow tyre will give more grip than a wide tyre. A narrow tyre will also result in less drag along the straights; I.e. Your car will go faster. That said, a very narrow tyre won''t corner as well as a wider tyre. That''s because the car 'leans' onto its outside tyre as it sweeps around the bends. This means that the car''s weight is transferred onto the outside tyres. Remember that more weight (down pressure) equals better grip, so we can get better performance if we use wider tyres (operating under increased down pressure) for going around the bends.

When the slot car is properly set up - loosening body and motor pod screws, fitting a suspension, and all that stuff - you get considerable downforce on the two outside tyres, while the inside tyres, especially the inside rear one, will lift and get less grip. (Note: fitting a spring suspension will help reduce the lifting of the inside rear.) This means that ALL of the motor''s power is now going through just one tyre. That''s another reason why you want a wider tyre for cornering; otherwise the tyre has a tendency to skip-and-judder as it can''t maintain sufficient grip to transfer all of your motor''s power to the track; spread across two tyres and everything was fine, but with that inside thre lifting, you're going to need to give more grip to that outside tyre. (Note: this same symptom can be attributed to so-called "Ninco hop", where the motor is twisting in its mount. You can usually spot the difference, as what I'm talking about will only occur when cornering.)

If you''re still with me, you now understand that you want a thin tyre for great grip and low drag when running flat out along the straights, and you want a wide tyre for maximum grip - stopping the rear end from sliding and giving good transfer of accelerating power - when cornering. It sounds like you''re going to have to go for a compromise tyre width for optimal performance. But, if you''re into serious racing - like the Slot.It Challenge - there are rules that specify what tyres you have to use. So, we need a way to get our tyres to change their characteristics depending upon whether we''re accelerating down the straight, breaking hard before entering a corner, minimizing tail slide on entering the corner, and maximizing power put down as we accelerate out of the corner. This is the secret of tyre preparation and conditioning. Now we''ve discussed the science bit, we''re almost ready to look at the ''how to''.

One last thing before we get down to business. Tyre diameter also affects gearing. The larger the diameter, the higher the gearing effect. The smaller the tyre diameter, the lower the gearing effect. So you want tall tyres for maximum speed along the straights, but you need a smaller diameter for low gear grunt when accelerating up to maximum speed. Again, we have a conflict: and, again, correct tyre preparation ("conditioning") will resolve the problem.

MOST SERIOUS RACERS in Slot.It Challenge type races use one size of wheel and tyre. As it''s a 'Slot.It' race, they use that manufacturer''s 15x10 hubs with 19x10 rubber tyres. This choice is supposed to give an ideal diameter for correct gearing (don't ask me: that's what the experts told me). Ventilated 'Air Hubs' are the best choice (as we''ll see later). Tyre compound depends upon the type of track you''re running on. Also, to answer the perennial question of ""which tyres are the correct size for my car/hubs?";" (something that drove me crazy when I first started racing); with the exception of F1 tyres, ALL Slot.It tyres will fit all Slot.It hubs. What you need to look at is the overall diameter (the first number) and the tyre width (the second number). So, 19x10 tyres fitted to 15x10 hubs will give an overall diameter of 19 mm and a width of 10 mm. You can mostly ignore the 15 in the hub size. Someone else can explain that bit...

GLUING & TRUING isn''t just about ensuring the roundness of the tyre and that it doesn''t come off the hub. You glue just the edges of the tyre. It''s crucial that you never get glue on the central area of the tyre, just the edges. (We''ll see why later.) As for truing. You can use a bit of abrasive paper under the rear tyres, but you''ll get much better results if you use a professional tyre truer. This is because the abrasive action of truing the tyres doesn''t just ensure that they''re round with a flat contact surface. Of more importance is how the abrasive 'roughs up' the outer surface of the tyre tread; what I call 'scuffing' or breaking up of the tread surface.

If you look at a tyre that has been prepared on a professional tyre truer, you''ll see that the outer surface of the rubber has a ''scuffed'' appearance, where the relatively soft compound is difficult to abrade, it breaks up rather than coming out smoothly sanded. This is precisely what you want. (Some people have suggested ways to get a smooth finish on the tyres after truing. Ignore them. That slightly scuffed surface is of huge advantage when we use oil to 'condition' the tyres.) I won''t go into truing in detail - there are already many excellent threads on this subject elsewhere on Slotforum. Just be aware that tyre truing must be done slowly, else heat from the abrading action will ''cook'' the outer surface of the rubber, making it hard, and impossible to complete the essential oil 'conditioning' process.

OIL CONDITIONING is the real magic! You might think this is simply a way to soften the rubber and give your tyres more grip on the track. In fact, we are seeking to soften the outer surface of our tyres, but that''s only the beginning of the story. Remember that lengthy preamble about tyre widths and tyre diameters? This is why it''s important you understood the science.

When you apply oil to the tread of your tyres it''ll damage, or ''degrade'', the rubber. The rubber will both soften and expand. (Try dropping a new tyre into oil and leaving it a couple of days. It''ll come out softer. It''ll also come out about 5% bigger!) That''s why it's important we only apply oil to the outer surface of the tread. What we want is to cause just the outer surface of the tread to soften and expand. This is where the 'scuffing' of the rubber, created by professional tyre truers, helps. The roughened tread has more surface area (the gaps the scuffing created in the slightly broken up tyre''s tread) which will absorb that rubber-degrading oil much quicker, as well as causing expansion upwards/outwards, the cracks in the scuffed tread will expand sideways. Thereby we get a 'mushrooming' effect on the outside tread of our tyres. It also reduces the risk of oil permeating too deep into the tyre. You only want so soften and mushroom that outer surface of the tread.

Apply the oil in very small amounts. Just a smear. Do NOT attempt to speed things up by applying too much oil. It will soak too deep into the tyre with disastrous results. The cracks in that scuffed roughened tread will hold enough oil for our needs. So wipe away any excess. I usually apply one smearing of oil every day, and no more than every 12 hours. The degrading action of the oil takes at least one week before you''ll see the desired result. (In fact, Slot.It Challenge enthusiasts usually have several sets of glued and trued wheels and tyres on the go. As we always use the same size hubs and tyres, this means we can put our best conditioned tyres on the car whenever we race.)

You''ll know when your tyres are ready because you''ll see a slight bulging or mushrooming (termed 'blistering') of the rubber around the centre of the tread. This blistering, caused by the rubber expanding across the tread, is that little bit of magic that we''re after! If you''re using normal hubs, as versus those with holes drilled through them, you can help the formation of the blistering by injecting air under the centre of the tyre using a hypodermic syringe. In part, this is why we didn''t permit any glue to get onto the central ridge of the hubs; we need that space for injecting air. We also need the rim of the tyres to be airtight enough to hold the injected air while the oil is doing its stuff. Don''t inject too much air, we're only after a swelling of about 0.5mm, and go right around the tyre to ensure even inflation. (Note: over time, the air will leak out of he tyre, but doesn''t need replacing, as the action of the oil will already have done its job in permanently reshaping the tread.)

Ventilated hubs and Air Hubs work slightly differently. Those ventilation holes, or the air inside the Air Hub, facilitate easier expansion of the tyre (its overall diameter) due to centrifugal force as the wheels spin faster. Also, the Air Hubs, where the tyre sits on a pair of thin disc supports without a solid centre, have the additional advantage that the softened 'bulged' part of the tyre has nothing underneath the bulge. At speed, the tyre takes on a narrower more bulged shape entirely supported by centrifugal force. But, as the car decelerates, the centrifugal bulging reduces AND there''s a hollow space into which the tread can drop; so that the tread becomes completely flat, giving that wider flat tread we want for breaking, cornering, and transfer of power under acceleration. (Note: if you examine a correctly conditioned tyre that's fitted to an Air Hub, you won't see as pronounced a mushroomed bulging as you'd see on a standard hub, where the tyre is supported from underneath. Instead, the test of when the tyre is ready is to look for a very slight bulge combined with the tyre being very soft when you press it down into the gap of the Air Hub.)

If you''re using standard or hubs with just ventilation holes, there is no air space for the bulged tyre centre to drop into, so although the conditioned tyres will change their shape according to how fast the wheels are spinning, your tyre's treads will never become completely flat when the car slows and leans all of its weight onto the outside wheels during cornering. This is why the Ventilated Air Hub is your best choice.

Finally, it is possible to over-condition your tyres. With standard hubs you only want a maximum mushrooming of about 0.5 mm. With Air Hubs, it's the softness that matters: this is easiest tested by having an untreated tyre to compare with the one you're conditioning. You'll know when you've got it right, because your lap times will drop incredibly and the car's handling will be superb.

So, there you have it. Tyres that become wider or thinner, and taller or shorter, always giving maximum grip and minimal drag, with a self-adjusting 'virtual gearing' effect, according to your car''s needs. It took me a long time and a lot of frustrating mistakes before I discovered all this, so I hope it will be useful in helping others to understand what they need to get to grips (sorry, couldn''t resist) with the dark art of slot car tyre technology. Clever stuff: I wish I''d invented it!

Success,
Rick
 

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Brilliant stuff - the best explanation of 'the dark art' I have ever read. Thank you.

I have pinned it so people can find the information easily.
 

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Thanks to Rick for sharing his experience of what works with Slot.it cars.
Getting the best from slot tyres is indeed something of a black art. Unfortunately there is no "one size fits all" way to make all slot cars go better. Tips that work well with some sorts car / tyre don't necessarily work on other car /tyres - for example some tips that don't make much difference to some cars and exactly the opposite of some tips works best on some cars. Now if racers who understood what works on each type of car /tyres explained what tips work for their cars we'd have a really valuable resource.
 

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Circuit Owner
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Great guide.

I would add that the oil trick only works with RUBBER tyres. Silicones and Urethanes don't respond positively to oil.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you, Brian and Flemming for your kind words.
I'm pleased you found my description easy to follow, as I'm a freelance technical writer, producing technical descriptions and illustrations for the manufacturers of r/c aircraft, model trains and, more recently, I am having a go at explaining some of the more complex aspects of slot car tuning and race preparation. I hope people will enjoy my writings.

I'm delighted to see comment from the Maestro, Maurizio Ferrari, as he's someone who we all should sit up and take notice of. His request for others to come forward and share their accumulated 'know how' of what works to get the best out of various slot cars is precisely why I started this TYRES thread. What I've written applies mostly to Slot.It Group C and similar Le Mans Classic and LMP cars. That said, the physics of a slot car's dynamic behaviour, and the chemistry of how oil degrades rubber tyres, is applicable to all slot cars. So I hope it will be a useful starting point for further discussion.

Addressing Maurizio directly: one area of the "Idiot's Guide to Tyres" that I've skimmed over is one that confuses everyone. That is the selection of tyre compounds, together with wheel hub and tyre sizes. I've seen 'compatibility' tables which are supposed to help us. But, unless someone gives us an 'Idiot's Guide' to using these tables, then they're not that much help. For example, I would expect the car manufacturers to tell me the inside diameter of a tyre, so that it will fit the corresponding outside diameter of the hub; "all tyres fit all hubs" doesn't sound right. It would be great if you could please have a go at explaining. This would be of especial interest for people who want to fit, for example, N22 compound tyres on a Ninco or SCX car.

Mr. Modifier, yes indeed, my oil conditioning description only applies to rubber compound tyres. I have no experience of 'conditioning' Silicon and Urethane tyre compounds; if indeed they require conditioning. Is this a piece of expertise that you (or anyone else) might be able to add to the Idiot's Guide on Tyres?

Many thanks to all contributors. I'm still learning (always shall be) and especially enjoy reading the hints and tips from contributors - new or experienced - on this forum. Often it's the case that the newer enthusiast will ask the most important question, so never be afraid to stick in your post.

Success,
Rick
 

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Kevs Racing Bits
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There's a couple of things I'd like to add re: the original post.
You can't apply pressure, you apply force. Pressure is a result of force and contact area, from our Physics lessons Pressure = Force/Area or p=F/A. So as tyres get wider the pressure on the road reduces for the same area.

As with every area of a race cars settings, any adjustment compromises another setting. Yes it's true that thinner tyres give more grip due to a smaller tyre contact patch but that comes at the expense of something else. One of those is tyre wear is increased and the rear end will tend to let go more easily as the increased load on the tyre contact patch cause overheating and thus loss of grip.

Don't forget that tyres only give grip when they are at the correct temperature...which is another variable unfortunately. Why do you think F1 cars have such wide tyres?...The main reason for tyres being the size they are is actually heat management. Wider, low sidewall tyres will cool better than narrow tall tyres. If you can't get a tyre up to temperature it will give reduced grip, if you get it too high you will cook the rubber and ruin the set of tyres.

There's a good debate here - wide tyres giving better traction
 

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Nobby Berkshire
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Nice tips, but different types of tyre respond differently. You can't generalise! And what kind of oil? 3in1 oil on good condition Fly tyres keeps them fresh for about a year and you only need one generous external wipe.
 

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ParrotGod
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Excellent guide but I think you should add some pics to help people visualise what you are describing as blistering.
I have started a thread not a long ago here. Very interesting tips there as well.
Personally my best tyres come from a very smooth finish even after treating the tyres with oil. My gut feeling (and I am surely wrong here) is that any "blistering" would cause the rear tyres to bounce and produce too much vibration. That is why I am really curious to see a close up pic of this blistering effect!

thanks for writing this.
 

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Ah, perhaps I should have said that my article wasn't intended to be a 'one size fits all' set of general purpose 'how to' instructions.

It's more of a 'discussion document', intended to discuss how the various aspects of truing and conditioning come together to improve the slot car's handling, as versus the common misconception that we're simply providing more grip by softening the tyre's tread.

It would be really good if others could add detail regarding how this applies to specific tyres - the abovementioned Fly tyre, for example - as such sharing of specific application would be greatly appreciated within the slot car community, myself included.

I'm simply explaining that 'blistering' of the tyre's tread should be our ultimate objective when 'conditioning' rubber tyres, as well as explaining the remarkable way in which blistered tyres are a technology in themselves. "Awareness" of how and why blistering works, together with what it does for you, rather than a detailed 'how to'.

Thanks,
Rick
 
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A nice read but it only helps if oiling the tires is allowed.

Here in the Netherlands most of the clubs do not want their members to use oil or anything else. They do this to protect their track and to keep a more equal playing field. Imagine you move from lane to lane with nice new clean tires and the guy who was in the lane before you uses oil or other stuff: you can't figure out why you don't have the same grip as last week with the same car and tires


In most series the tires are hand-out, no sanding or oiling possible. So it comes down to other tuning skills and most of all driving skills. Much more fun for all
 

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ParrotGod
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if you guys only race on handed-out tyres then it is a fair assumption that no treatment is done. But otherwise is really difficult to enforce the no treatment rule.
Unless of course you use urethane tyres.
 

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QUOTE For example, I would expect the car manufacturers to tell me the inside diameter of a tyre, so that it will fit the corresponding outside diameter of the hub; "all tyres fit all hubs" doesn't sound right

Well for Slot.it rears they do. They fit 15.8 (nom. 16mm) and 16.5 and 17.2 (nom. 17mm) . They simply stretch to fit. So all 19mm tires fit as do all 20mm. 10mm wide tires fit 10mm rims as do 12mm wide ones.

QUOTE It would be great if you could please have a go at explaining. This would be of especial interest for people who want to fit, for example, N22 compound tyres on a Ninco or SCX car.

If you have a SCX or Ninco car with 16 or 17mm rims and a 5mm ridge and 10mm wide wheels then yes all slot.it rear tyres will fit. Even NSR or Scaleauto or, or.

The difficulty comes with cars with "not standard wheels. This includes all "existing" Scalextric ( now changed to std. 5mm ridge) some "scale" SCX like the Renault R5 etc.which have oddball wheels and cars with very small 15mm rims like say MB slot/Sloter Loa as an example.

No It is not easy. If it was then there would be no challenge!

QUOTE And what kind of oil?

I could tell you but I'd have to kill you
I've heard CRC 2-26, Singer sewing machine oil, There are even some slot car specific ones


QUOTE Does temperature relate to slot cars? As in, is it even possible to overheat the tyres?

Yes tyres can get hot on tire truing machines
Sometimes they get quite soft.

The main thing with tires is not to get over conscious about buying the wrong ones. If they don't exactly fit the model you wanted them to, just put them away in a box and eventually you will buy a car they do fit or you will meet someone who has a car...
 

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QUOTE (LeMan1960 @ 4 Sep 2016, 15:31) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Most people (including me) begin by thinking that more rubber on the track equals more grip. It doesn''t. You can see this with a simple experiment. Get yourself a school eraser. Place the eraser flat on the track, apply a small amount of pressure, and try to slide it. You'll find it moves quite easily. Now put the eraser on its edge. Apply the same pressure and you''ll find it's more difficult to move. This proves that less rubber on the track equals more grip.
To clarify, you are saying the same downwards force over a smaller area (=more pressure) gives more grip. So you are saying the effective coefficient of friction increases with pressure.
The physics we were taught in school says the coefficient of friction stays the same pressure. This is of course an oversimplification, when downwards force is plotted against friction for real materials it isn't necessarily a straight line. This is something that has been very thoroughly tested for 1:1 racing tyres.
The data for most 1:1 racing tyres has a fairly consistent pattern - the effective coefficient of friction decreases with pressure. That is exactly the opposite to what Rick is saying.

Unfortunately that depth of understanding doesn't exist for slot car tyres............. unless of course somebody would like to tell us where it is all explained more fully.
Question about a deeper understanding of slot car tyres have been asked many times on various forums, responses are either something like "it's not understood we just work with practical experience" or trivial responses from those who didn't understand the question.
 

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Well, actually, I was trying to avoid getting into any complex physics discussion. The eraser experiment was simply a way of demonstrating that things might not always work as we'd expect: specifically, that having more tyre tread in contact with the track won't necessarily give you what we might loosely describe as more 'grip'. My intention was to get people thinking, without getting bogged down in a technical debate.

Interestingly, it's said that the reason why F1 introduced very wide tyres was to reduce speeds on the race circuit. As with the Le Mans races around 1970, the cars were getting too fast for safety. (And, PLEASE, let's not get into a detailed discussion of that subject on this thread!) ...this thread is titled an IDIOT'S GUIDE, as the idea is to keep things simple. My hope is that it'll provide a useful resource for beginners, putting simple explanations all in one place. And, if someone's posting sparks any interesting technical discussions, may I suggest we examine these in a new thread. As Maurizio said, there is little scientific understanding of how our slot car tyres work: therefore, we (mostly) have to rely upon pragmatic experimentation. Discussing what works, and what doesn't, is probably more useful to the majority of slot car enthusiasts than getting bogged down with the theory.

Getting back to the exchange of knowledge and experience in tyre preparation. Some people have mentioned Fly tyres, as well as Silicon and Urethane compounds. It'd be really interesting if we can discuss the various aspects of their preparation techniques, and any performance benefits they're seeing on the track. For example, I've seen a measurable improvement in lap times with 'blistered' versus simply 'softened' tyre treads (that's with P6 compound rubber tyres). For my money, that's the really useful information. Before anyone told me about 'blistering', I wasn't sure whether my tyres were optimally conditioned, or whether I should keep on adding the conditioning oil. But, when someone showed me the tip about injecting air with a syringe (for my standard hubs), and explained that we are looking for a bulge in the tread (so-called 'blistering' of the rubber) I was able to do more research on Slotforum and do some pragmatic experimentation on the race track. In my experience, blistered tyres perform considerably better than tyres without blistering. I then overheard a very expert racer recommending Air Hubs. Hmm, there's no way to use the hypodermic syringe to inject air into an Air Hub. So how would I combine 'blistering' with whatever benefits the Air Hubs might bring? I couldn't find any information on how Air Hubs work, other than mention that the holes or air space allows the tyre's tread to become convex (similar to the convex shape of a blistered tyre). So, onwards and upwards, as they say. I purchased some Air Hubs, trued them on the Hudy; ensuring that the tread surface was 'scuffed' ready to accept the oil (as described above), and started conditioning them with 3-in-1 oil (which we use in the UK). After the usual amount of conditioning, I observed that there was some blistering but, because the centre of the tread was unsupported (there being an air space under the tread when you use the hollow SIPA49ALH Air Hubs). Also, because the hollow allowed the now very soft tyre tread to be pressed inwards, this seemed to confirm the possibility that the tread moves outwards to create a convex tread under centrifugal force. I also found that the tyre tread was completely flat when viewing the car on a chassis truing plate. From these observations, and the various discussions on Slotforum, it's reasonable to assume that blistered tyres with an air space created by use of the hypodermic syringe fitted to standard hubs (the ones where there's metal supporting the tyre tread) and hollow type Air Hubs have interesting similarities. In both cases, the very flexible tread could bulge outwards as the wheel spins up to maximum speed. This increases its overall diameter as well as narrowing the contact patch. The key difference is when the car is stationary. With the standard hub the bulge, where the rubber has expanded (blistered) means the tread is never completely flat, whereas the hollow in the Air Hub combined with the flexibility of the conditioned tread is sufficient to accommodate the bulge of the blistering, allowing the car's weight to completely flatten the tyre tread. As for whether the holes drilled through the Air Hubs are of any significant advantage in allowing air to get in or escape from under the flexing tread, I'm guessing these would help on the supportive type hubs, but are unnecessary on the hollow tyre hubs. On the hollow hub, the drilled holes are probably mostly to lighten the weight of the hub. (Of course, there are many different tyres of aluminium hub: basic, basic with lightening holes drilled through, Air Hubs (no drilled holes), and Air Hubs with lightening holes. Each will affect the ability of the blistered softened tread to move in or out under what's often termed centrifugal force. (And, I know, the physicists say there's no such thing as "centrifugal force". ;-) But I'll leave it for someone else to discuss the various hub designs and their various advantages in different racing scenarios.)

Returning to "down force" or "pressure", or whatever we want to call it, it's interesting to note that I'm gaining a huge increase of grip without doing any so-called 'weight tuning' on the cars. In fact, use of drilled Air Hubs may actually be reducing the cars' weight/downforce. So when I spoke of "down force" in my eraser experiment, I was merely saying that you need to press the eraser down slightly for the purposes of the demonstration. I wasn't talking about pounds per square inch or whatever. It was just a quick demonstration that increasing the surface area of the tread's contact with the track won't necessarily increase your car's grip. As you know, many people think that bigger tyres = more grip. I'm a 4x4 off-road Land Rover enthusiast. I always laugh when I see people fitting big balloon tyres to their Landies. Why do they think that the Army fits tall narrow tyres to their 4x4s? ...but that's another discussion (let's NOT debate it here. PLEASE!).

FINALLY (else this posting will go on forever :), can those of you who have written about (or have experience of) preparing tyres for the Fly Classics, as well as Silicone and Urethane tyres, please give us an insight on what works with these tyres? Not just a brief comment, please, but a full explanation so Idiots like me can really understand the why's and wherefore's.

Many thanks,
Rick
 

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Tony
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I have found a simple tyre prep that seems to work on all rubber slot car tyres. After gluing and truing I give them a final polish on the Hudy using a lighter fuel soaked rag then apply Koala Claws tyre treatment twice and then again ten minutes before racing. For me this even worked on the standard Scalex Bentley tyres, I run on a wood track

Tony
 

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Bob Chapman
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In all my clubs over here , we dont use any tire substances.
I glue and true using water to keep the heat down, and then polish with 1200 to 1500 grit wet dry paper .
One thing I sometimes do is put a slight bevel on the tires so,that when the tire leans over on a corner , it puts more contact patch onto,the track surface.
It may be as little as 2 degrees. This gives a smaller contact patch on the straights , but also gives an increased contact patch onnthe corners. Cleaning thentires is with water pr saliva, but we run urethanes only.
Lighter fluid is used to clean the braids only..
I suppose every one has their preferred methods , depending on rules and personal results.
But I must say this is an excellent article and will help many a newbie and even a few not so new except to,the black arts of tire treatments.
In closing , all parts of tuning are important, but aside from braids the only thing touching the track is your tires. They deserve to have extra care and time spent on them.
Bob
 

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Oops, I should have been clear that the conditioning oil is mostly dried out before the car is allowed on the track. Some race rules actually require that the car is placed on a sheet of paper, to test that there's not an excess of oils leaking into the paper, therefore no risk of contaminating the track. Of course, I'm talking about oils used to blister the tyre, to effect a permanent change in its physical characteristics, rather than on-track tyre treatments which are applied immediately before racing.

Bob, your recommendation to bevel the tyres to increase the contact patch as the car leans into the corners is interesting. I guess that the very slight convex bulging of blistered tyres might have a similar effect in increasing tread contact patch? I also understand that bevelling the tyres is advantageous if the tyre breaks free - tail sliding - as the rounded or bevelled edges will not give such a sudden side slip. It's a technique used on untreated tyres where you actually want to have controlled tail sliding. Whereas with super-grippy conditioned tyres, the tail breaking free too often equals "game over" with a catastrophic deslot. Is this correct?

Tony, Koala Claws is amazing stuff. We've a few New Zealanders who dreamily sniff it all night long
.

Thanks,
Rick
 
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