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Z-rail chassis


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#31 Steve Deiters

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 12:05 PM

Thanks, Mike.

One thing I haven't heard anything on is the theory behind the Z-rail and has it played out as the original concept was envisioned? I saw some run on Saturday at the ORS race and they ran like they were on "rails". No pun intended, but maybe it was!
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#32 MSwiss

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 01:05 PM

I posted the history before but I don't really rememember exactly where.

Anyway, the original one was designed and built by me for our Falcon II-powered, scratchbuilt, Saturday night Hot Rod class that we (mostly) run on my flat track.

While I was partially inspired by the multiple back and forth rails on early Eurosport chassis, I never studied their pattern nor have any
idea what the designers were trying to acheive.

My theory on the first Hot Rod chassis was to increase the length of the main rails to increase the bite
and to do it as simply as possible.

Thus the fairly uncomplicated Z-rail pattern I came up with.
Unlike early Eurosport chassis, there wasn't any center hinges or steerable guide tongues.
I wanted something quick and easy enough to build, if it worked well, I wouldn't hesitate
to build another.

It was built with three .047" rails on each side.

It was so spongy, I told the guy I built it for, I would try it for a few laps but would probably have to go back and solder up the rails solid.

The car ran superb, so I of course left it.

The inexperienced racer wasn't able to beat Sano Dave with it but could give him a good run and sometimes run a faster "best time" of the race.

Buoyed by that success, I decided it might work well with Retro cars on the flat track if I went with bigger rails.
I built the original Retro version as an F1 car and it was really excellent on the flat track and went on to easily win the Sano flat track race with Chuck Gambo driving, albeit with Sano Dave in the hospital and missing the race.

I was sceptical, with the extra flex, it would be good on the King and I don't think I originally even tried it on it. In the meantime Manta Ray Price built one similar and left it at the raceway for me to try. I was pleased on how well it ran except without downstops, I could see it was dragging the rails in the bank. Once Ray corrected that, the car was a winner, and he went on to beat Sano Dave in a weekly F1 King race preceding the Sano.

The original "flat track" F1 I built, turned out to be real good on the King also.

Along with Chuck winning F1 on the flat track, the actual owner of the car, Greg "Wags" Wagensomer, managed to make the F1 A Main with it, finishing a solid sixth, in an All-Star field despite just recently returning to slot racing and being more of a GTP/wing car guy.

I had also built a Can-Am for myself which also won on the flat track that year with Chuck driving. I also lent it out for the King to Steve Grider who TQ'ed in GT coupe with it and podiumed in Can-Am, finishing behind Howiewood and Jay Kisling.

I finished fourth in both F1 and Can-Am at last year's R4 with Z-rail cars. I was pretty proud considering the guys who finished ahead of me were guys with much more experience on the challenging Tom Thumb King track.

The only thing I regret is never having the time to develop and fine tune the design. I've run them pretty much exactly like they were originally designed and built.

Luckily guys like Rick Davis, Ray Price, and Graham Climpson have picked up the ball, building and having success with five rails per side, Can-Am torsion style, and .078" rail versions.
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#33 JohnnySlotcar

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 02:39 PM

I too love my Manta Ray-built Can-Am. TQ'ed and lost to Sano Dave by one lap at the IRRL race in Lake Barrington Speedway! Despite being 10 grams too heavy for Roger's Gerding king, it still ran a 4.2 in qualifying.
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#34 Fiddler

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 03:22 PM

Hey Tom H.,

how was the drive home from the Checkpoint? Much snow? Or were you ahead of it? I hear the Seattle area got hit pretty good. Take care.

Phil, that damn picture is making me dizzy! I wanna see somebody make a chassis like that.
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#35 FastG

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 03:26 PM

They are much easier to build than they look. With no pans or hinges they are very simple. If you use the correct rear end everything just falls into place. I built the front and the back separately and then Z them together.

So I build the front with the rails going backwards, then build the rear with the rails going forward. You just put then into the jig and lay the center rail down. Then solder the center rail front and back and your done. I use aluminum foil to stop the solder flowing down the rail.

Graham
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#36 Rick Moore

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 03:31 PM

Steve,

My own experience and attempts at building the Z-rail were taken from Eurosport chassis designs. The idea was to lessen the forces working on the front assembly of the chassis affecting the motor box/drive assembly at the rear of the chassis. The result was the tighter “tracking” through the turns you have witnessed.

Ricmf3k ;)
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#37 MantaRay

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 04:09 PM

Rick,

I'm glad you chimed in. Do you have any pics of your Z-rail design? I have looked at a lot of your bent wire beauties and cannot seem to find them.

Marty, Please post pics of your dampener chassis.
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#38 Rick Moore

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 05:20 PM

Ray,

Here are some pics of two of the chassis I’ve built with main rails using the “Z-Rail” (the nomenclature used here) concept. In the case of these chassis (and on most of my builds) the main rails are tapered in toward the front assembly, as opposed to running parallel to the midline.

The A306 was my first F1 chassis using this design concept.

A306-01e2.jpg

A306-02e2.jpg

A306-03e2.jpg

A306-04e2.jpg


The 1225-C was a later adaptation for a CanAm chassis (with way too much stuff going on; sorry for the migraine Tony…).

1225-C-06e2.jpg

1225-C-07e2.jpg

1225-C-08e2.jpg

1225-C-09e2.jpg

1225-C-10e2.jpg


Even with the 1225-C being an all-wire chassis, I am aware it is dang near impossible to follow where all those wires go. As an FYI and for those interested, there is a sub-gallery with all my posted builds in the Photo Gallery of “that other slot car forum”. Many of the later builds using “Z-Rails” have diagrams to help figure out all those little wires I enjoy bending up and soldering on. (Honestly, I don’t make them “overly complicated” for the sake of it; I just want to see what I can do with the old needle-nose… Hope you enjoy looking at ‘em, too!)

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#39 MantaRay

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 05:32 PM

Thanks Rick, Beautiful work as always..........but I'll be darned if I can see the Z-Rails........I will look at the diagrams
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#40 Guardrail

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 11:28 PM

Man, those cars are works of art, but I'll be danged if i will try to copy those.
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#41 Rick Moore

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 05:55 PM

Sorry for the slow reply (busy doin’ skool shtuff). :crazy:

If you look at the front chassis assembly on the bottom pic of the A306 F1 chassis you might possibly be able to make out an unattached 3-wire set adjacent to and between the center-guide section and the front-side assemblies (and behind the front wing assembly spanning wire). This is the front of the “Z-Rails”. There are three wires because I run two forward from the motor box assembly; the third wire runs back to attach to a fourth wire that is soldered to the front spanning wire.

The front of the three corresponding wires on the 1225-C CanAm chassis can be made out (maybe) if you look closely at the top, left and/or front-left views. In this case they still are adjacent to the front-side assemblies, but there is another 2-wire rail between them and the center-guide section.

When I first started doing these I tried soldering various combinations of 0.047” wires together to see which combo I liked. Since I was only working in 0.047” wire (or smaller) frames, I didn’t try any other diameter wires. My preference was for this combination using the two wires running forward from the motor box (then one back, and finally one forward to attach to the front assembly). When I was just playing with them in my hands this combo seemed to offer better structural integrity with the minimal amount of wires, especially when I applied force on the front and pushed rearward. No doubt others will find many variations on this type of main rail assembly.

For various reasons I prefer to “sandwich” all the various chassis structural component assemblies so they are directly adjacent to one another, even when they are not soldered together. Admittedly, this makes the main rail system hard to discern (or, as you can easily see, they just look like a bunch of wires running side-by-side).

And thanks ever so much for your very kind compliments.

Break-time’s over! Back to stoodyin’… :dash2:

Rix
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#42 Tex

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 06:51 PM

By all means, get a copy of his color drawings. Each sub-unit is color coded in order to easily distinguish it from the other sub-units and thick black lines make it obvious where things are NOT soldered together. Pull up the .jpg in a 5"x7" format, print it off, and you're looking at a 1:1 scale color drawing you can literally lay your wire on top of and build your chassis right on top of it.
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#43 Dallas Racer

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 10:11 PM

That is really nice design and craftsmanship, Rick. Where can one view the drawing?
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#44 Tex

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Posted 28 January 2012 - 11:31 AM

The drawings used to be attached to thread posts over on OWH. Rick's handle there is CMF3.
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#45 Duffy

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Posted 28 January 2012 - 11:59 AM

For anyone interested in Wrick's builds, including fullsize, color-coded diagrams of the chassis and soldering sequences, HERE is his full index of links to those threads.

Duffy
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#46 Rick Moore

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Posted 28 January 2012 - 04:14 PM

All apologies. I certainly didn’t mean to junk up Steve’s thread with my stuff, so let me wrap this up.

Thanks Duff-man! The chassis diagrams can also be seen within the chassis pics in my sub-gallery of "that other slot car forum" Photo Gallery. Here’s the one for the 1310-C chassis, which is the “panned” version of the 1225-C pictured above:

1310-C-5x7-color-guide--e.jpg

Key:
Bold Lines = adjacent wires not soldered together (like cuts in a steel pan)
Blue Violet = motor box / rear axle assembly
Purple = center-guide assembly w/ flanking pans
Yellow = front axle upright rails
Olive Green = main rail damper rails
Indigo = front wing assembly
Orange = outer perimeter wire side "pan"
Lime Green = inner side "pan"



Back to Steve’s original questions:
There are a lot of variations on this type of “Z-Rail” main rail system that might be tried. Different angulations of the main rails; different sizes of the component wires, or even combinations of different wire sizes; different numbers of wires; different lengths of wire; varying soldered/unsoldered lengths between adjacent wires; so on…

We’ve probably only scratched the surface in this regard.

Rick / CMF3
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#47 Mad Mexican

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Posted 28 January 2012 - 04:37 PM

Amigos,

All I can say is WOW! simple in design but complex to the untrained eye. ( l'm still trying readjust my bifocals! )
Thank you for your works of art !

Adios Amigos
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#48 Phil Irvin

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 12:23 AM

All I can say is WOW! simple in design but complex to the untrained eye. ( l'm still trying readjust my bifocals! )
Thank you for your works of art !



I have held his chassis, twisted, moved everything that flops.......With my 6 eyes...FORGET IT. Rick can picture a chassis and see WHY it works......I WISH.....I have been able to drive 3-4 of his Can Am cars and they are SMOOOTH and track better than any of my cars. Since moving back to FL.. I have not been able to build any but still look and do have some ideas.....A LITTLE simpler than Ricks but kinda along the same idea... Hurry up and finish school so you can come play with us more...Hope I can get out more too.....

OLPHRT
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#49 MSwiss

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 12:59 PM

Speaking of Z-rail chassis, Cap Henry used the below beauty, Parma's Mike Muir built, to win the
R4/5 F1 warm-up race yesterday in Columbus.

Attached Images

  • cap henry z-rail.jpg

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Mike Swiss
IRRA® Components Committee Chairman

Eight-time G7 King track single lap World Record holder
Five-time USRA National Champion (two G7, one G27, two G7 Senior)
Two-time G7 World Champion (1988, 1990) 

Chicagoland Raceway
17B West Ogden Ave
Westmont, IL 60559
(708) 203-8003
 
mikeswiss86@hotmail.com  (also my PayPal address) 
Note: Send all USPS packages and mail to: 5858 Chase Ave., Downers Grove, IL 60516
Make checks out to Chicagoland Woodworking, Inc.


#50 TeamCHR

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 02:22 PM

Just a quick side note, Mike Muir built that, not myself. The Z Rail I built isnt worth showing LOL
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Signed: Cap Henry
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#51 MSwiss

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 07:37 PM

Cap,
You've been such a chassis building machine, I assumed you built it.

I'll correct my post.

Super-nice job by Mike Muir.
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Mike Swiss
IRRA® Components Committee Chairman

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Five-time USRA National Champion (two G7, one G27, two G7 Senior)
Two-time G7 World Champion (1988, 1990) 

Chicagoland Raceway
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Westmont, IL 60559
(708) 203-8003
 
mikeswiss86@hotmail.com  (also my PayPal address) 
Note: Send all USPS packages and mail to: 5858 Chase Ave., Downers Grove, IL 60516
Make checks out to Chicagoland Woodworking, Inc.


#52 TeamCHR

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 12:16 AM

I can't seem to get my z rails to move as nice as Mike's. And plus he's just so neat and clean with his builds!
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Signed: Cap Henry
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#53 Lucky Me

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 01:37 AM

Cap,

Nice job on the warm up race.
Question, is your F1 pictured a "Z Rail" design ? ,,,it looks like a shaker to me, and it looks like .078 wire for
the main rail's ?....what does it weigh ?

Thank's, Rick M.
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#54 TeamCHR

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 10:19 AM

It is a Z-Rail. It's more or less a copy of a Rick Davis car.

.062 Main Rails, 3/4" R-Geo Guide Tongue, 1" Swiss Versa-Bracket and Brackagra.

You can easily see the front down stops, the rear down stops go through holes drilled in the motor bracket. If you want more details photos, check out Bill Fulmer's pics from the ORS/MRRA race at HMS. :)
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Signed: Cap Henry
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#55 MSwiss

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 12:26 PM

Here are some good pics of the original 2 F1 cars I built and helped build that inspired
the Davis Z-rail F1 chassis.

Also, FWIW, Bryan Warmack came up with the term "Z-Rail" in the time frame when I lent
him my Z-rail Can-Am car he won the flat track at the Boola Bash last year.

Attached Images

  • Z-rail #4.jpg
  • Z-rail #5.jpg
  • Z-rail #6.jpg

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Mike Swiss
IRRA® Components Committee Chairman

Eight-time G7 King track single lap World Record holder
Five-time USRA National Champion (two G7, one G27, two G7 Senior)
Two-time G7 World Champion (1988, 1990) 

Chicagoland Raceway
17B West Ogden Ave
Westmont, IL 60559
(708) 203-8003
 
mikeswiss86@hotmail.com  (also my PayPal address) 
Note: Send all USPS packages and mail to: 5858 Chase Ave., Downers Grove, IL 60516
Make checks out to Chicagoland Woodworking, Inc.


#56 Ron Hershman

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 12:28 PM

the rear down stops go through holes drilled in the motor bracket. I


The "next" question will be........ what size Drill bit was used to drill the holes in the bracket?? ;) LOL
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#57 TeamCHR

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 12:50 PM

Now thats a secret ;) LOL
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#58 S.O. Watt

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 01:44 PM

Looks like they were drilled with a "Dremel # 409 drill bit" in the latest pix posted here.

But I could still be asleep.
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