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What makes a Fray HO slot car so fast?


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#1 Cheater

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Posted 25 July 2016 - 12:29 PM


Gregory Wells

Never forget that first place goes to the racer with the MOST laps, not the racer with the FASTEST lap





#2 Hworth08

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Posted 25 July 2016 - 09:17 PM

Sorry, Greg, you don't know enough about slot cars to be able to understand! :laugh2:
 
The Fray cars might be the best tuned slot cars ever. Maybe tuned isn't the word, maybe the best matched ever. The tolerances on the Aurora chassis weren't that close so finding the "match" of parts makes quite a difference.
 
The motors have hardly any power, the cars might be up to 10 MPH on a long straight now, so removing all the friction possible is so important. Unless the rules have been changed the car are restricted to an 18 (yes, eighteen) ohm armature. Can't say for now but the arm used to have to be wound by Aurora, no rewinds.
 
The bodies are important but resin made bodies are allowed now and someone often produces one that works well over a range of tracks.
 
The front wheels are around 6 grams and adjustable for weight. From the clip it sounded like the Wizzard rear tires are popular. Very large diameter plastic rims, very short foam tires that are silicone coated.
 
Racing these slow little creatures is a blast! A double blast! So slow compared to commercial track cars but you don't notice. Racing's racing, the speed doesn't matter. The driving is intense, like trying to balance a bicycle on a hose pipe while your getting everything you can! A car to finesse through the turns.
 
Any body that gets a chance to race a Fray car should try it. There's always plenty of extra cars for loan.
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Don Hollingsworth

#3 Bill from NH

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Posted 25 July 2016 - 10:12 PM

Don,

Are you involved in HO racing or is it something you did in the past? I first tried it about 40 years ago and again about 15 years ago. Neither time could I get past the "racing bugs" complex. :)  

I do have several friends who went into HO after having raced open class wing cars.

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#4 don.siegel

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Posted 26 July 2016 - 05:20 AM

Compared to what I remember of my T-Jet cars, the Fray cars seem incredibly fast... hard to believe those are stock arms! 
 
But in many ways they were well engineered cars, and extremely reliable, plus it was possible to hop them up. 
 
Don

#5 Cheater

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Posted 26 July 2016 - 07:21 AM

Sorry, Greg, you don't know enough about slot cars to be able to understand! :laugh2:


Certainly I know very little about HO cars, Don. Guilty as charged in that genre!

I admit I didn't watch that video all the way through, but saw enough to post it here.

I've been very impressed with the whole Fray deal and would love to have more info here at Slotblog about that event, which has got to be one of the best HO events being held now.

Gregory Wells

Never forget that first place goes to the racer with the MOST laps, not the racer with the FASTEST lap


#6 Hworth08

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Posted 26 July 2016 - 02:38 PM

Hi Bill,

 

When I returned to slots I raced the Fray-style cars three years, 2002, '03, and '04. Our middle Tennessee group was called the Tennessee HO Racers or THOR.

 

We also raced stock T-Jets requiring stock uncut Aurora bodies. Only mods were Delrin double-flanged wheels as the stock size silicones would come off stock wheels and replacement brushes as the Aurora were terrible. Stock width, tires couldn't stick out, these cars were a double barrel of fun to race.

 

Third class was the Hot Rods using the Aurora truck chassis that had wider wheels and tread. Aurora made a Hot Rod body that was probably a '32 Ford coupe and one of our group was a resin caster that came up with a nice '34 Ford coupe.

 

With three classes and often around 12 or more racers it made a fine afternoon of races. All with no entry fees or track time, only a donation from time to time for lunch money and about a dollars worth of tires and brushes for all three races.

 

Basement racing can be mighty cheap and fun!


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Don Hollingsworth

#7 bbr

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Posted 26 July 2016 - 08:19 PM

Everything and anything that can be done to make these Fray-Jets run as fast as possible is done.

 

All the bearing holes are re-sized, CNC gear sets, parts matched to each chassis, etc.

 

The sil-coated tires are usually made pretty well, but since there is production tolerance or sometime they don't go on straight, if the tires are not true on the axle you throw them away and try a new set.

 

The Dash motor magnets are stronger than the OEM magnets and do give enough magnetic downforce that it would not pass the HOPRA gravity class pin test. The chassis that lets you run the smallest tires (to get the motor magnets closer to the rails) usually handles better.

 

Lots to do to make these things fast.


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#8 chaparrAL

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Posted 26 July 2016 - 11:39 PM

The latest craze is Gravity racers.
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#9 Cheater

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Posted 27 July 2016 - 08:18 AM

Meaning without traction magnets, correct?
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Gregory Wells

Never forget that first place goes to the racer with the MOST laps, not the racer with the FASTEST lap


#10 Hworth08

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Posted 27 July 2016 - 11:59 AM

I remember the "rather great" debates about allowing stronger magnets. At that time it was Johnny Lightning magnets that were quite an upgrade to stock T-Jets, the Arco 33s of HO cars.

 

I was one of several that either stayed with the old rules or just quit. Driving the Fray-style cars was interfering with my 1/24 scale Flexi racing that required a "lift and punch" if you had a good chassis (Greg's excellent tome).

 

The Fray cars do get a bit traction magnet effect especially with the stronger magnets now allowed. Not near as great as a Magna-Traction car that Aurora re-designed the frame so the motor magnets were open to the rails. A tuned Magna-Trac car is quite a bit faster than a Fray car and a Restricted Open, the fastest, are almost a blur and often raced wide open like a Wing car.


Don Hollingsworth

#11 Dennis David

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Posted 27 July 2016 - 12:03 PM

Would love to see an in depth report of the annual Fray event including the whole experience, buildup of the facility and not just the results which can be a little mind numbing.


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#12 Dallas Racer

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Posted 29 July 2016 - 08:00 PM

I only have a little HO experience so correct me if I'm wrong: I thought tungsten axles were used to add weight. You can't just throw some weight on the chassis because it's against the rules. Tungsten axles is a legal way to get some extra weight.

 

weightcomparison.jpg


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#13 Dallas Racer

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Posted 29 July 2016 - 10:48 PM

To clarify my point in the post above, the video stated that tungsten axles were used because they're not magnetic. That's not my understanding of why they're used. But I could be wrong.


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#14 Cheater

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Posted 30 July 2016 - 10:26 AM

Would love to see an in depth report of the annual Fray event including the whole experience, buildup of the facility and not just the results which can be a little mind numbing.


Me, too. I've been trying to encourage the HO guys to have a larger presence on Slotblog without much success. You know how the hobbby loves to fragment into little special interest groups.

Seems few are with me in believing that presenting model car racing as one great hobby with many diverse elements is the best approach. That's what many other hobbies do to their benefit, but in model car racing, it's seemingly considered an approach not worth taking. Most just want to race what they want to race and damn the ramifications...


Gregory Wells

Never forget that first place goes to the racer with the MOST laps, not the racer with the FASTEST lap


#15 don.siegel

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Posted 30 July 2016 - 01:03 PM

Amen, Greg! 

 

I've been preaching this for quite awhile, but have yet to make any inroads, and many years ago my first column for the Enthusiast, about this very subject, got me into a lot of trouble with a French journalist here... (he didn't want to get gentle home slot racers (Scalextric) confused with the big bad competitive slot racers... 

 

Don 


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