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The T-Flex Tome


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#1 Cheater

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Posted 05 April 2008 - 09:46 AM

As many of you know, a few years ago I penned a Champion Turbo-Flex chassis blueprinting guide, to try to put on paper what I had learned in over fifteen years of running that chassis almost exclusively. And I've shared it with literally hundreds of racers around the world, many of whom subsequently let me know that the set-up worked well for them, too.

I responded to a racer's request on OWH a couple of days ago and offered the guide to anyone who wanted it, as I have done several times before on that board as well as on others (including Slotblog). The response this time was pretty massive, with over 30 folks requesting the guide in the last day or so. If there's that much demand, I guess it's time to post it here for all to download.

If one is to be truthful, the T-Flex chassis is getting a little long in tooth. The newer three-piece stamped steel chassis are probably faster overall, but I still maintain that the T-Flex works better on more tracks than just about any stamped steel chassis ever made. And IMO it is still the champ for durability.

These specs are offered not as the only way to set-up a T-Flex, but as a well-tested way that has been successfully raced at all levels, including national championship events on multiple continents. My suggestion is that racers should build a chassis exactly to these instructions first and try it before making any changes or additions. In my years of running this chassis, I've tried everything I could think of and what is in the tome is what worked!

Attached File  T_Flex_Tome_2.06.08.pdf   328.86KB   2347 downloads

Here's a pic of a T-Flex built to the instructions in the tome, with a few other tricks that aren't mentioned. (This pic is also included in the PDF.)

FinishedChassis800.jpg

(Thanks to Steve Saunders for converting my text file and pic to a PDF.)
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Gregory Wells

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#2 JerseyJohn

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Posted 05 April 2008 - 09:52 AM

Thanks for sharing with us, Greg. Be well!!
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#3 JEngland

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Posted 05 April 2008 - 11:32 PM

Greg,

In your opinion, do you believe the T/F is still competitive?

How are they doing today, nationally against the newer generation chassis? Are they holding their own?

The JK C11 is giving us a fit at our raceway with changing gears and motors. Lots of burnt fingers and screams from the pit tables.
John England

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#4 Dominator

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Posted 06 April 2008 - 01:10 AM

What kind of specific problems are you having with the C11? Are you munching gears?
A motor is only as fast as the chassis it's in.
 
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#5 JEngland

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Posted 06 April 2008 - 10:32 AM

It just takes us much longer to solder the motor in when you are in a rush, like in between heats.

The C11 is the most amazing Flexi chassis I have been racing. We love the way you can dive into the turns.

I raced a Kelly FX last night with some success also.
John England

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#6 Cheater

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Posted 07 April 2008 - 07:18 AM

John,

To answer your question, I do think that the new three-piece Flexis have the upper hand now on most tracks.

I believe the T-Flex is still more durable than almost all of the other chassis and that it can hold its own with the newer chassis on many tracks, especially if well set-up and dialed-in.

I haven't been doing much USRA/AMSRA racing over the last couple of years, so I am kinda behind the curve as to what's working best in the stamped steel classes these days.

Gregory Wells

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#7 papasmurf

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Posted 07 April 2008 - 09:45 PM

I just want to say thank you for this information, not that I intend on building a T-Flex any time soon, but more for new ideas and tried and true methods of assembly.

I currently have an extremely fast JK C11 and intend on working on a Flexi 5 soon. I'm just getting back into slot cars and have limited cars and tools.

Knowledge is like fun, you can never have too much.
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#8 Dallas Racer

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Posted 09 April 2008 - 06:25 PM

Great write-up, Greg! I already knew most of it, but I did learn a few new tricks that I'll definitely use in the future.

Phil Smith ® ™


#9 Mark C.

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 12:30 AM

I starting running the T-Flex chassis in 2001 and still run them to this day... IMO they are the best chassis out there still...

I have won many series with them and many races... who woulda thought a chassis made over a decade ago would still be kicking the pants off most chassis? :shok:

It's the easiest to set up by far... but I do think if you master a setup on a Flexi 5 or C11 they have the upper hand... but few can get those cars dialed in... It's extremely easy to get a competitive Turbo-Flex though and you can't beat the durabilty of it for new racers and some veterans. :laugh2:
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#10 Dooner

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 05:43 PM

Gregory,

If I understand; is it true for a donut like on a King the rear wheel on the inside would have more spacers?
Tom Backes

#11 Cheater

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 06:00 PM

Tom,

You have it backwards.

If you're having trouble getting around the donut on a King, stick the outside wheel/tire out farther by putting more spacers on that side, not on the inside. It will usually help in the donut without hurting elsewhere.

Really, it's just another tuning variable...

Gregory Wells

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#12 Dooner

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 06:04 PM

Thank you, :thank_you2:

Now I understand.
Tom Backes

#13 Ralph Thorne

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 06:38 PM

IMO the T-Flex is no longer competitive on a National level, except on an oval. Which is mainly due to, as Greg said, its durability. The T-Flex is also still kinda good for Flexi GT, with the front chassis height rule its takes away some of the advantage most of the newer chassis have.

Now the Champion 4-1/2 chassis is a different story; it's still competive on a National level.

After the AMSRA Nats next weekend, I'll let you guys know how many T-Flexes I see there.

#14 John Streisguth

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 09:39 AM

Does anyone have any input as to which steel Flexi-type chassis would have the most grip on a dry, slick track?

I am currently running a Turbo-Flex. The track is fairly clean but no prep such as spray glue is done. I am thinking another chassis may have better mechanical grip than the T-Flex. I have tried various tires, and Alphas treated with Zip-Grip seem to work the best, but you still slide around a lot. If you apply glue to the tires you get good bite for about five laps, then it's back to the skating rink.

Any suggestions about this are greatly appreciated.
"Whatever..."

#15 JerseyJohn

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 09:52 AM

John,

The Cheetah 11 three-piece is awesome!!!
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#16 John Streisguth

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 10:56 AM

Do you have one you can bring this weekend?
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#17 Noose

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 11:03 AM

I do, John... will bring it. Let me know if you are car-pooling with me and Katz.

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#18 John Streisguth

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 11:57 AM

Thanks, Noose. I know some of the other guys have them but they chatter pretty badly... of course that's not to say they have the set up perfectly but they are some of the faster guys there (Slot Car Revival). I figured maybe they were too light.

I'll let you know about the carpooling. Things are still up in the air.
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#19 JerseyJohn

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 12:23 PM

John, they also came out with a two-piece which should keep your chatter down.
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#20 John Streisguth

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 01:35 PM

That's a good thought, John. I'll have to check them out. Have you raced these and found that they grip better than the other chassis in slick conditions? I would describe the track as no glue... ever! LOL
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#21 slotcarone

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 04:51 PM

:D John,

I have a three-piece C11 and it doesn't chatter - have never heard of that problem with that chassis - it is awesome and handles great.

Mike Katz

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#22 Phil Irvin

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 05:11 PM

I would describe the track as no glue... ever! LOL


The first Parma Flexi-Kar was designed for no glue racing. When we even slightly glued the track, it became very tippy rather than slide. We tried narrowing the tires and that helped but going to the old harder orange did better.

I like my TF cars loose and set them up very loose. Floating pin tubes, making sure there is enough wing slop, etc., to work on a very stuck track. When going to a slippery track. I first tape the body to the wing. Starting in the rear. Then tape the whole length to the wing. If still sliding, I tape all across the back of the chassis, body to body to limit the movement to the front. Only once did I have to tape everything... And I got beat by a Parma. :blush: He was no contest on a sticky track. :laugh2:

Also move the body forward on the chassis. You might be surprised as to what a 1/8 to 1/4 inch movement can do ;) ...

Olphrt
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#23 JerseyJohn

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 07:38 PM

John,

I use the Cheetah for B-Production and the Flexi on Dom's track with no glue. With natural rubber tires it handles great.
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#24 John Streisguth

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Posted 26 March 2009 - 05:29 AM

Thanks for all the suggestions, guys. John, compared to this track Dom's is bogged down in glue (LOL)... I mean REALLY slick.

I'll try some of the T-Flex tuning suggestions, and I do have some old Flexi-1 chassis so maybe I'll set one up for the next race. Then I may spring for the C-11 chassis...oh no, MORE cars??? (ha ha)
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#25 John Streisguth

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 07:39 AM

Thanks for everyone's advice.

I set up a Flexi-1 chassis and won last night's race by 17 laps. I also mounted a different body on the T-Flex which was a bit lower in the rear and a tad farther forward. That worked to help the traction but I was curious how the Flexi would run, so I went with it.

I also had a chance to look at the Cheetah the other guy was running: one rear axle bushing had become unsoldered and must have been spinning, as it had about 1/32" slop. That explains the chatter! Unfortunately that may mean he'll get that car dialed in and beat me... Oh well! :laugh2:
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#26 Cap Henry

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Posted 12 April 2009 - 11:53 AM

You can't go wrong with a Turbo. I won three races in two days with mine. Ran everything from Falcons to Deathstars to Group 10. Awesome cars.

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#27 Randy Tragni

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Posted 26 April 2009 - 05:39 PM

Cheater,

OK, I recently tried probably 90% of the stuff you recommended to do on a T-Flex. It all worked even better than I thought it would. I still have a few more of your tricks to try such as beefing up the guide tongue but my latest chassis is one of the best-handling that I have built to date. I will build one up all the way soon.

All that said, THANK YOU VERY MUCH for posting this article and for sharing what you have learned.

Any chance of you posting a photo of the underside of one of your cars?

Randy

#28 Cheater

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Posted 26 April 2009 - 05:46 PM

Randy,

Thanks for the post. It pleases me to no end to hear that the Tome worked as well for you as I feel it does.

I'll try to dig up a pic of the bottom of a chassis for you and post it in this thread.

Gregory Wells

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#29 Dan Kennedy

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Posted 13 July 2010 - 12:35 PM

Cheater,

Thanks for all the insight into tuning these chassis.

You mentioned weights on the back pans? What material do you use and how do you adhere it to the chassis? Picture almost appeared it was under the car?

Thanks for helping all of us noob racers out!

#30 Cheater

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Posted 13 July 2010 - 02:11 PM

Dan,

For weight, I use Slick 7 self-adhesive lead sheet, which should be available over the counter at any decently-stocked raceway. JK and perhaps a couple of others also distribute self-adhesive lead sheet.

The lead pieces added to the pictured chassis utilized the cut-outs specific to the Turbo Flex chassis to lower the weight to the level of the chassis metal itself, rather than on top of the metal. Having the lead be .035" lower doesn't sound like much, but it does help IMO.

The lead "dots" at the backs of the pan were first punched out (using an old set of chem lab cork borers I acquired somewhere) in a size that fits the holes in the pans. The dots are positioned flush with the bottom of the chassis with the adhesive side up. To give the adhesive something to stick to, I have placed strips of Lexan bulletproofing on top of the pans, with the adhesive facing down. This gives an adhesive-to-adhesive bond, which is very strong.

The lead in the center slot is done the same way.

Here's the chassis pic from the first post again for easy reference.

Tflex.jpg

Gregory Wells

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


#31 Matt Sheldon

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Posted 02 November 2010 - 09:51 PM

I have had huge success with this tome and have shared it with many others. A great descriptive piece that helped me get my son's cars dialed. We have ten of these chassis now for various classes and the only diversion I have done is that the weight on the rear pans does not make any difference on the slow motor racing (Mini-Brutes etc.). In these classes the car works and is faster on our local track without the pan weight. Falcon 7 motors and bigger the tome is a fantastic set-up.

Thanks, Greg, for taking the time, it has made a difference.

Matt Sheldon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


#32 Preston M

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Posted 23 November 2011 - 01:13 PM

Greg,

Thanks so much for this. I had an old T-Flex laying around bent out of shape. I followed your guide, and well... now I have the track records on every track at Slots-A-Lot, and am running 5 tenths faster then everyone. Driving is effortless...
Preston Meyer
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#33 Cheater

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Posted 23 November 2011 - 01:48 PM

Wow, guys. It's flattering to think that the tome is still doing anyone some good with a T-Flex.

I get a big kick out of hearing that, which is one of the motivations I had for putting all that info down. Puts a smile on my face every time.

Gregory Wells

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#34 gotboostedvr6

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Posted 23 November 2011 - 01:48 PM

Preston,

What classes are you guys running?

_dave
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#35 Phil Irvin

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Posted 23 November 2011 - 02:12 PM

Wow, guys. It's flattering to think that the tome is still doing anyone some good with a T-Flex.

I get a big kick out of hearing that, which is one of the motivations I had for putting all that info down. Puts a smile on my face every time.


HEHEHEHE...THANKS, GREG... The tome helped me years ago to 'remember' :yes: all the work I did put into my chassis... And learned some new stuff, too. It also can be used on just about ANY chassis. The basics learned from the tome and done two + times will always come back to you. It also teaches you what to look for when you pick up any chassis after a race or 'accident' :spiteful: so you can fix it to go fast again... I have had many ask for me look at their chassis :help: real quick to see what is wrong with it...

OLPHRT
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#36 jenson46

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 04:27 AM

Gregory, you talk about using a Magnahone diamond coated guide tool, to ensure both sides of the guide tongue are flat. Is this also the Magnahone guide threader?
Paul Caplan

#37 Bill from NH

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 07:46 AM

Paul, yes, it's on one end of the Magnahone guide threader. :)

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#38 Cheater

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 10:36 AM

Paul,

Here's a couple of pics I snagged from the guide flag thread. This is the Magnahone tool being used to "true" the guide flag itself, but it's the same operation I do on the top and bottom of the guide tongue.

tool1.jpg

tool2.jpg


Gregory Wells

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


#39 TG Racing

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 04:57 PM

Greg,

Great article!

One question, In your picture of the chassis what is in the middle cutout towards the front? Wire guides? Weight?

Thanks again!

Thom
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#40 Cheater

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 05:15 PM

Thom,

It's lead weight, hanging from a couple of strips of Lexan bulletproofing. The Slick 7 lead's adhesive is stuck to the downward-facing adhesive on the bulletproofing, making for a very strong bond.

The idea is that the lead is .035" (the thickness of the chassis metal) lower than if it is placed atop the chassis.

Thanks for the nice comments.

Gregory Wells

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


#41 MantaRay

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 06:01 PM

Simply, a classic...
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#42 Cheater

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 06:03 PM

Ray,

You're just a shameless flatterer, my good friend. LOL.

Gregory Wells

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


#43 MantaRay

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 06:05 PM

Edited... awaiting your changes... LOL!
Ray Price
11/4/49-1/23/15
Requiescat in Pace

#44 Cheater

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 08:21 PM

Done! LOL.

Gregory Wells

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






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