Matches for: “camber” …

Front Links and Camber at OCRC

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Today I was testing at OCRC Raceway, this time with JConcepts tyres, that we are going to use for the race. Going from the AKAs I have been running, it was a shock to find that the JCs are so loose in comparison. I was doing donuts out there at first. In the end, I got my car good, and was able to match my best laptimes.

One thing I did, was mount these new pieces PR Racing had made, that enable you to shorten the front link, as well as adjusting it vertically. The stock link just attaches to the tower. Shortening the link made the car a lot easier to drive for me. It has less high speed steering, and more low speed steering. The car is more precise and responsive low speed. It also squares up and goes more straight out of corners, which I like.

Another thing that helped a lot, was adjusting camber. I have written about adjusting camber before. Getting it right makes the car a lot easier to drive, specially in 2wd. I went out and drove for about 5-6 laps, then stopped and adjusted camber, then went back out, and did this until I zoned in on the best setting front and rear. I ended up with 0 front and 0.5 rear. Hitting the right camber setting, which was not far from what I had, I had about 0.5 front, 1.5 rear, made the car a lot easier to drive for me, and I was consistently about 0.3s faster. Every little bit counts!

Tuning Engines & Setting Camber

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Today I went to the track with Teemu Leino, who is running onroad for Infinity, and offroad with whatever he wants, which right now is Kyosho. Teemu is usually the fastest, or one of the fastest based on laptimes regardless of what class he is racing. In the last few years he has had the best results in nitro on road, TQing the worlds amongst other things, sometimes lapping unreasonably faster than others. So it’s always good to go testing with Teemu, specially now since he is wheeling the magic Japanese car.

Engine Tuning

Engine tuning is SUPER critical in on road, you have to get the maximum out of your engine, or you won’t win, it’s as simple as that. Today we decided to do something different, so Teemu tuned my engine how he tends to tune his. It’s possible to tune nitro engines so they “work right” in different ways. I tend to tune my engines in a way where the top end is leaner, and the low end is richer. Teemu doesn’t like this because it causes a non liner power delivery, powerful yet smooth low end, and mid to top a peak of power as the motor clears out. So he ended up richening the top end an hour or so, and leaned the low end two hours, as well as lowering the idle as much as needed.

It wasn’t a huge difference, but I did notice that the powerband was smoother, and in the slick conditions I had more forward bite without having to think about it. The power delivery gave me more grip. It was a good experiment, and something to keep in mind, and test more! The harder the track is to drive the better this way of tuning is, that’s my feeling.

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Setting Camber

I have written about camber before somewhere, long story short, on a good car, camber makes a big difference. It seriously can make a nervous or loose car dialed, buy just small adjustments. On the old Yellow Edition camber didn’t make a big difference, this was because the car geometry was so far off, that the tyres were such a short amount of time at the “right angles”. On a good car, such as the Kyosho or the JQ WE, and specially the LV, the reason for camber making such a big difference, is that on one lap, the tyres will spend most of the time at the “right angles”, so this means that any change you make to that angle will make a noticeable difference.

Since it is such a precise setting to get right on a good car, the best way to find the right setting is to drive and make adjustments on the fly, so Teemu drove, and I set his camber. We ended up adding a bit to the rear, which made the car corner more smoothly, with more steering also,  and have smoother rear grip. On the front, at least c-hub cars tend to have one setting which is twitchy, and then add or remove camber from there will make the car smoother to drive, just with a different feel. Less will make it better at low speed, and more will make it better at high speed, roughly speaking. Teemu preferred adding camber from the twitchy point, which is no surprise as his driving style is so aggressive.

At the end of the day Teemu got the best lap by a 10th with 37.1, but I got the faster 5 minute time, for now at least with a 8L 5:01.5.

And then the rain came...

And then the rain came…

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Neo Day 1 -PRACTICE

Day 1, so far so good. Practice has gone better than ever before at NEO. I seeded into both top heats, 14th in both, which I have never done before. My lap times are OK, but still 1 second off the best. I would like to see if I can find the pace needed. My cars feel really good. I made changes for each round, and both times the changes improved my car. Now for tomorrow  I will just leave them, and drive as well as I can! Sounds easy.

The track is very good in my opinion, faster and more flowing than most years. Similar to last year, which was the first of this new style. I prefer this a lot to how it used to be, tight, hairpins, etc. This is wider, and more raceable. It also has sections where good drivers can go for it a bit more, and make up time, which is how great tracks should be. We don’t want everyone doing the same thing every lap. The surface seems really bumpy and uneven, catching a lot of drivers out in seemingly easy sections.

There is really no rest, you have to be driving your car and concentrating at all times. In the first practice, I kept forgetting that the front straight ends right after the driverstand. I just went straight and then last minute handbrake, which was quite embarrassing.

Everyone seems to be running clay compound once again, the AKA guys running slay Typos for the most part it seems. I don’t know if one tyre is better than another, they all seem to be pretty equal at this point. As for car’s, this track isn’t really the kind of track that will favour one type of car, because it has a good mix of everything, it has the jumps, and woops, but it also has on power bumpy corners, as well as off camber sections, and tight corners. So a car really needs to be good at everything, and not be lacking in any department………………….C-hub!

Max Mört is doing very well at his first NEO, and so is Petri Ström, the mini cup champ running a loaner. After each other in 54th and 55th.

I really only have one main point from today.

We started racing at 8:30 or 9, and the day ended at 8pm. There were 23 heats, and we all raced 3 times, except the lucky ones racing both classes, that got to run 6 times. INFINITELY MORE ENJOYABLE THAN 6:30 TO 4AM COMPLETE BULLSHIT “RACES”. Just sayin’. We actually had time to socialise, and get some sleep.

Neobuggy is a race for the RACER, and one that looks to improve RC, with extensive coverage, a lot of track time (value for money), special dash for cash and junior final events, food, snacks, hobby shops on site, and even accomodation. It’s just really damn good, and all these professional race promoters running  these money grabbing races elsewhere should take note.

Peace.

 

NEO17 – Day 0

Above you can see the track. Looks very nice, There is a berm, shame that it’s shallow, and in a relatively blind spot from the stand, but it could get dicey. Nice hip jump in back corner, cross over, woops, off cambers, rollers, looks flowing. Looks like a lot of fun to me! Can’t wait.

The JQ team have all arrived, I think there are 12 of us here, and that includes two rental ride drivers. First guy is the retired Petri Ström, who made a comeback, won the Tamiya mini championship back home, and automatically qualified himself for a NEO17 rental ride. Should be good. Preparation for this race, 0%. Received everything at the race. Brought his radio. Should be solid.

Fat Jesus was humbled at the sight of such immense beauty and incredible engineering.

The other rental ride was a no brainer. When we heard Fat Jesus, aka David Gibson applied, we just had to give him a go with the BLACK Edition. I mean if it’s good enough for Jesus, then how much better can things really get?

 

When Fat Jesus made the pilgrimage back to his homeland, he did not expect such a warm welcome.

Everyone received a nice gift pack that THE Galvinator put together, BLACK Edition beanie, gloves, earplugs, easter eggs, the right pistons, and some sort of penis pump.

 

Max immediately decided to launch his modeling career.

A few beers and some laughs, after Fat Jesus turned water into beer for us!

And at some point I actually managed to finish this!

Fulfilling Yesterday’s Promise

I just refuse to face reality.

1. How it feels to suck:

To do your best and still get beat badly, to fall short of your goals, and to fail in general, is a terrible feeling. There are only 2 possible outcomes, there is no middle ground. Everyone hates the demoralising feeling of failure. The more you have invested, and sacrificed, the worse the feeling is. Option one is to quit. Most people do that. Others get motivated to work harder and succeed. I guess there could be a 3rd category, reserved for idiots, who change nothing, and just go through life failing repeatedly and hating life.

For me I think setting goals and constantly failing to achieve them is really motivating, it pisses me off so badly. I feel so terrible already that whatever spiteful stuff haters write, really doesn’t get to me, because they can’t make it any worse. Friendly banter and shit talk helps to lighten the mood a bit.

Having said that, looking at the big picture, THECar and my driving have improved a lot in the past year. I am now able to match the best on lap time when things are right, and am able to stay within a few seconds over a qualifier, and occasionally beat them, which was not possible a year ago. Even at this race, although I did not achieve it, due to another car cartwheeling across the track taking me out in the process, I was still on a 10lap run on the 5th lap of the 2nd qualifier, and my best lap was a 32.6 vs 32.3 from David. Had I achieved that 10 laps, I would have been 3 seconds or so behind David’s TQ time. 3 seconds over 5 minutes is in the ballpark. That was not possible a year ago. So there is that.

2. How I suck, and what I need to do in order to suck less:

The difference between very good and great is a slight difference in corner speed and controlled aggression. It’s not a massive difference, it is tiny, but over one lap, it builds up. It is most evident in sections of track where there is a combination of corners that require being stringed together. What great drivers do so well, is pinpoint the limits of the car, and then maneuver and dance around the track without exceeding them, but also staying as close as possible to them. This means going as fast as the conditions allow, without loading the tyres too much where they will lose grip, or pushing the car too much to where it will not stay within the pitch, roll, weight transfer, camber change range that provides the best performance.

This means going as fast as the conditions allow, without loading the tyres too much where they will lose grip, or pushing the car too much to where it will not stay within the pitch, roll, weight transfer, camber change range that provides the best performance.

Basically I can’t do the above as well as the best, unless I get my car really good, and I practice a lot in the exact conditions that a race will be in. I can’t adapt as well. I can match the best at times, and those are the times when everything is perfect. So the way I will become better, is to improve my setup, and make it less “knife-edge”, where you lose speed if you make a slight error. I can already go for as long as needed, being extremely consistent, I can hit the same line for a whole main, I can avoid mistakes. That’s not the problem, I need to be a bit faster all the time, and that will come from a better setup, and learning to identify where I am pushing the car past it’s best performance, and scrubbing speed, and focus my practice on avoiding that.

At this race, I already know what I should have done differently. The track had a lot more grip than I expected, so my setup was too soft. I needed thicker swaybars, and thicker diffs. Now I would go into a corner too hard and the car would roll too much and scrub speed, or I got on the gas a bit too hard and the car would squat and diff out, and I would lose drive. Nothing major, we are talking small errors like that. David could have taken my car and done the same as he did, I’m sure, but I can’t do that. I need to get those things spot on, and then I can be more competitive.

3. Why I think David Ronnefalk will be the most successful 1:8th Offroad driver over the next 5 years.

There are a number of reasons for this, I had an idea for a future blog post about this, that’s why I have been thinking about this subject. I will list the reasons:

  1. Obviously, as far as talent and speed goes, he is right up there with the rest of the best , Maifield, Boots, Battle, Tessmann, Cavalieri etc. One thing he has going for him compared to many of his competitors, is that his clear main focus has been, and more than likely will continue to be 1:8th Offroad, instead of spreading out his time on many classes.
  2. Unlike most of his competition, we haven’t seen the best of David yet, because up until his recent switch to HB, he had never been a paid professional RC racer. Kyosho didn’t pay him a salary, he lived with his parents in Sweden, and went to school. The closest track was almost 2 hours a way. Add to this the short Swedish season, you can see that practice has been limited, and it’s not really until now that his program is getting to the point where he truly is well prepared for the races.
  3. He is still only 20 years old, still freshly motivated as a paid professional, and thanks to his parents I would suppose, clearly understanding and appreciative of the situation he is in, and the opportunity he has.
  4. I don’t see anyone with equal talent, that also has the same level of commitment and dedication as David at this point in time. There are no distractions, there is no family, there are no kids, there are no larger plans outside of winning every race, and that’s a scary prospect for his competition. He is looking at possibly moving to Spain in order to be able to practice and race more, against better competition, and all the year round. He is practicing, racing, or working on his cars almost every day now, unlike before. He is investing in his own career.
  5. He has a solid crew behind him, with HB/Orion fully committed to keeping him winning. His father has been his mechanic since the beginning, and Adrien Bertin has been guiding him for a long time, and is a great help when it comes to approaching the races, motor and car set up. It’s a team effort that is working.
  6. Finally, one thing that I think is very important for continued and constant success, is driving style and setup preference. David’s driving style, as well as the way he sets up his car is very solid, and safe. Some great drivers are so extreme in their preferences that it’s just not going to work out every time, or in the long term, if something changes, like the tracks or the tyres we race, or the car they race for example. I’m not saying anyone can pick up his car and go fast, but what I am saying is that it’s nothing crazy or extreme in one direction. The car does everything well, jumps, corners, turns, it has traction, it stays flat and balanced, it’s not super low, it’s not super high, it’s not super soft, it’s not super hard, it’s a good compromise of everything, that will work on any track, US style or European, and his controlled yet aggressive driving style complements it perfectly. You don’t have to hit your marks perfectly, the car will still handle it, and on the other hand, if need be, he is still capable of pushing the pace to a higher level, he isn’t maxed out all the time.

I would draw a comparison to Ken Roczen, young fast, very confident, very strong program, very solid style, with the difference that no injury will sideline David, so I predict he will be the most successful 1:8th Offroad racer over the next 5 years.

 

Great Last Race – Learning From The WC.

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Today was the 2nd night I raced the PR Racing FM, the laydown gearbox 2wd. This time I figured it out, and got it really good. In the morning I played around in CAD and did one of my magic setups, in theory at least. The car wasn’t feeling balanced, so I balanced it out on the computer. I was super excited to try it on the track, and once again, theory beats hours of trial and error at the track. Once I got the full setup on I had come up with, moving the front and rear camber links to new locations, as well as reducing downtravel, and adjusting camber, it was super good! I actually managed to run the best 2wd race I have ever done, even leading at one point as Rivkin crashed.

Then something happened that frustrates the shit out of me. I made a stupid mistake while leading, because I was impatient. I mean with the World Champion behind you, you kind of just have to go for it, but still. I was coming up to lap a driver, and instead of playing it safe at the end of the straight, I took an inside line, and clipped the pipe at the end of the straight. What I should have done is slow down more on the normal line, then pass the driver safely, as it would have been really unlikely that Spencer could have passes me there. Hindsight is 20-20, but after watching so many races for the win, I should have known better. It’s not like I would have beat Spencer, but I could have held him behind me for a few more laps maybe. When you are leading the race, you control the pace, so don’t take unnecessary risks, where you can lose the lead. It’s so stupid to let the other guy by because you crash. Go just as fast as you can, while being safe, and block every passing line. But at the end of the race, to be only just over 7 seconds behind Rivkin after 7 minutes, I’ll take it! That’s 1 second a minute. 1 second a minute? That’s not something that feels impossible to figure out. It used to be 1 second A LAP!

Best action after 4:25.

In 4wd Spencer raced the main, and we had a good battle. It was good to race close to a better driver than me, so I could see where I am losing time, and where I am doing well. What I could tell, was that in the tight corners, my perfect corner was Spencer’s average corner. I need to step up the corner speed in the slow sections. And on this layout, landing the quad and going into the next section I am also slow. The best way to learn to be faster once you are consistently fast, is to race close to someone faster. Just a few laps will already teach you a lot if you are paying attention. Also, it’s so much fun to do!

Small Changes To Get It Right

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One thing I have written about before, and I even mention in the manual, is that the right way to set up a car is to make a few small changes, and not to make huge ones. With a good, balanced car, like the White Edition LV, you can go from a loose, hard to drive car, to a stable easy one by only changing a swaybar 0.1mm, camber 1 degree, and a change in rear arm height of 0.5mm. That’s not a lot of changes at all. You might say, isn’t that a bad thing? Well, yes and no. The good cars out there are like that. Ever wonder why the Kyosho guys always run almost the same setup? The changes aren’t significant that they do, but sometimes they are dialed, and sometimes they are off the pace. And looking at their setups, it’s almost like nothing changes, only minor changes to camber, rideheight, downtravel, swaybars, springs. That’s because the car is good, and  that’s where the White Edition LV is now.

Most people would go overboard, changing links, diff oils, shock springs, tyres, 3 deg camber, adding weight, different wing….Take it easy. If you start from a setup that I have posted, to make it suit you, all you need to do is make small changes. Trust me. If you don’t know what to do, ask me.

Today I was at Revelation and my car was a bit nervous and loose for my liking, so I lowered the rear arm 0.5mm, I put a 2.6 rear swaybar on from a 2.5, and I reduced rear camber buy maybe 0.5 deg. The car was suddenly a lot better and really good for me. If I wanted to calm it down even more, I would have done some more minor changes like that, I would not have made it a whole different car!

Invisible Speed

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If you have been reading this blog, you will know that this year I was finally at the point where I felt THECar was good enough to win any race, the company was at the point where I could take some more time to focus on my driving, and that my goal was to fine tune the car, and learn to drive better. Improving my driving is the only way I can ever achieve my ultimate goal of one day winning something with my own car.

What I want to write about today is what I like to call invisible speed. You do everything the same, but you are slow, or you are fast, and you can’t figure out why. If you lose a 10th of a second or even less in the critical accelerations on a track, you can easily notice a 1 second loss per lap. How to gain time here?

Spinning the tyres tends to be slower, the more you spin the tyres, the slower you accelerate, but if you don’t spin them at all, you are going too slow. It’s a balancing act. This is possible to test on a slippery track. Approach a jump out of a corner and smash the throttle, then take the same line and smoothly apply throttle, you will jump much further.

It is one thing to work on this with your driving, and that’s a thing I have been focusing on lately, but another way to approach this issue, is to work on your engine tune as I wrote about here, and your clutch. The power delivery can do the work for you, and when you combine a better mechanical power delivery with a better in tune driver, you will go faster!

Fullspeed RC have such an awesome track to test on here right by the Helsinki Airport!

Fullspeed RC have such an awesome track to test on here right by the Helsinki Airport!

David Ronnefalk won the Euros at Reims in France. That track is the slipperiest damn surface ever invented. I tried his car after the race and noted how strange his engine felt, super slow and smooth pickup of power, and to me the clutch felt broken. At the time I thought this is how he likes it. Fast forward to a higher grip track, I again tried his car and this time the engine and clutch were snappy and powerful. Put 2 & 2 together, fine tuned engine powerband and clutch to the conditions = Go faster, win Euros.

Today I grabbed a carbon shoe off a JQ RTR 🙂 and ran one carbon shoe, and 2 alu shoes, all with 1.1 springs (JQ springs run softer). Went out, car felt slow, did a good time anyway, with 8L 5:05. Leaned out the low end a bit, went faster. Then just drove and got used to it, did a run that honestly felt slow, I noted that the car was easier to control in the corners, I could apply throttle and the car would maintain its line and just increase it’s speed slightly in the corners, but overall I still felt slow. Crossed the line with a new track record, 9L 5:36. I didn’t learn to drive better in the last 2 days, I didn’t drive any differently, I found the right engine tune and clutch setting for the conditions. And maybe for my driving style too at this track.

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Shock Setup Update

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Max Mört and I have tested some shock settings the last couple of days, with Max testing front pistons, and me rear. We came up with a setup that was better on our home track, which is medium grip, a lot of off camber, elevation changes, big and small jumps, hairpins and sweeping corners. So a bit of everything, great for testing. Our conclusions so far:

Front: 5 x 1.4mm Flat piston, 400cst (30wt) at 20deg. I assume anywhere else in the world, start with one or two steps thicker oil. The feel is medium, you feel the oil, but it doesn’t feel thick or slow.

Rear: 7 x 1.4mm Flat piston, 350cst (27.5wt) at 20 deg. I assume anywhere else in the world, start with one or two steps thicker oil. The feel is light, you feel the oil slightly, it doesn’t feel springy, but it is light and fast.

Springs: JQ grey all round, or HB Yellow, or Kyosho Blue. JQ gives less support, so if the car feels too soft, try one of the others. We didn’t compare HB and Kyosho back to back. They were both good, a bit more firm than the JQs.

Locations: Outer on both towers, middle on both arms.

Ride height: 26mm front and rear. If it feels like it isn’t going over bumps or jumps well, raise to 27, or max 28. But start with 26/26.

Downtravel: Measuring like this, 58mm front and rear with AKA Grid Irons.

Conclusion: This setup improved how the car landed, it didn’t slap the front end and get unsettled, it also made the front ride higher, it didn’t seem to dive as much in bumps and on corner entry. The rear was more plush and handled the bumps better. It had a bit more of that “wet rag” feel, where it just follows the track conforming to the track like a wet rag being pulled along the surface. I also ran conical pistons, flat side up, which were great, but I have some other things I am testing which make the car more stable, and that’s why I may be able to get away with running them. Flats are the safe bet.

 

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Mähän Sanoin – Kyosho Setup Changes After 27 Years?

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I have become numb to people talking about copying. Oh he copied this, he copied that. If someone makes a pillowball car it is inevitably a Mugen, C-hub it’s a Kyosho. I used to get mad at these people but realised that there is no point in even trying to explain anything to them because they don’t know what they are talking about. If it looks similar it is the same. That’s generally what people think. I do admit though, that I can count the companies that actually design and develop their products on one hand, and I don’t even need all my fingers.

Anyway, today I feel like I need to brag a bit. Just a bit. What an arrogant dick I am. Just as a sort of tip of the hat to these knowitalls from all these years. For the past couple of years or so I have been going on about high links, low roll centres, and camber change. I learned to understand theory, applied it in practice, and saw that this was the direction I should develop my car.

Now the Kyosho setup has been the same for the past 27 years. Kanai and the team always had the links in the same place. No matter what the track it seemed like the links were always the same. To me, with my newly discovered theoretical understanding, the setup, and the rare changes some drivers made to it in certain conditions didn’t make sense. I questioned my conclusions. I tried figuring out why this Magic Japanese car did not follow my theory. What the hell was going on? I couldn’t figure it out, so I began helping Kyosho drivers. Even team drivers (you know who you are). I had a number of different drivers change their setup to what I thought would work better. It was hard to convince these conservative magicians to do it, but I managed after a while.

Basically the point was, raise your links, and adjust camber after raising them. This was just the first basic step. Unbelievably the Magic Japanese car improved in the hands of my test subjects. I had improved on a 27 year old setup without driving the car. Based on my findings I now understood why Ronnefalk had been so dominant at the Worlds Warm up in Argentina, with his whacky rear link setup, and punched driving style. It all made sense again. I returned to my cave and waited.

This summer it finally happened. Kyosho released an update, a higher link position than what was previously possible for the front. Also, the former 3 top rows of holes on the rear tower, which previously had been there mainly as a cosmetic detail, began being used. Kanai is testing higher links, he is heading in a direction that I understand. What will he conclude? How many years will it take for the team to make the necessary changes to their standard setups to reap the benefits? Time will tell.

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