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Flexi chassis: front axle or no front axle?


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#1 Mark Wampler

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Posted 06 August 2019 - 12:37 PM

A local raceway has come to a boiling point over the new design features that omit uprights for front axles.  Old school racers want to only allow for chassis with front axles and front wheels to be raced. 

 

So, I said I'll take a pulse and find who, if any other tracks are a stickler for front axles and tires.

If so, why.....


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#2 Steve Deiters

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Posted 06 August 2019 - 02:07 PM

While I don't race in a flexi class in a local raceway I do have some flexi chassis's to goof around with,

 

To me there is just something unholy about a slot car with no front wheels. Three points of contact-guide and two rear tires just don't seem to cut it as a ""car".  A "sled" maybe but not a car.


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#3 Justin A. Porter

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Posted 06 August 2019 - 02:21 PM

Some of the guys and I at A&J have been kicking around a "vintage Flexi" night since for the most part we all started racing Group 10 Junior in the 90's, so it would be old Trinity and Parma and Champion chassis with 1/8th inch axles and Parma or Slotworks D-cans and 5/8th's front wheels. 

But outside of goofing around like that, all you're doing is ensuring that you're racing out-dated ill-handling junk compared to the current generation chassis. 


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#4 John Streisguth

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Posted 06 August 2019 - 02:21 PM

Except for a few classes that use older style chassis, most flexi racing around here gives you the option of front wheels or "stickers" on the body.  As long as they actually look likes wheels/tires and aren't just some round "thing", I think the latter looks more realistic.


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"Whatever..."

#5 blue&orange

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Posted 06 August 2019 - 02:32 PM

At Trains and Lanes our LMP class uses JK 25 and Mosetti Patriot chasses with sticker fronts; racers who also race in the Penn Jersey Nascar series can literally just change bodies.  Our Can Am class, however, uses older flexis (Parma, Champiion, JK etc.) because everybody had a box full of them, and those chasses are required to have front axles and wheels.  The classes are run on alternate weeks, and we alternate every 2 weeks between the King and the Altec Titan.  No reason to go "boiling point"-- let the old school racers race the old stuff, and let the new school racers race the new stuff if they really can't agree.  At T&L most of the racers race both kinds of cars because it's both challenging and FUN!


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#6 Alan Dodson

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Posted 06 August 2019 - 03:30 PM

As a current retro racer I can see why some old school guys like to run front wheels, but IMHO if the front wheels don't touch and roll, what's the point? As a former wing car racer, the "pretend" front wheels we were required to have were ridiculous! They weren't required to touch or roll or be vertical or even look like wheels! They should have been eliminated like the new flexi's. 

 I think Justin has a valid point about the newer state of the art chassis also. They are just faster! I don't think o-ring fronts look like very realistic front tires anyway. The stickers look better.


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#7 Pete L.

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Posted 06 August 2019 - 04:50 PM

I like this outlook on racing that Trains and Lanes is running and hope to be coming up now and then to run your Can-An class !


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#8 Shiggy

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Posted 06 August 2019 - 05:35 PM

We race two classes of flexis.
LMP, no front axle/tires required
4-1/2" Stock Car. Front axle and .75 x .375 tires required

No complaints about either
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#9 Matt Sheldon

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Posted 06 August 2019 - 05:42 PM

I like front wheels and interiors!

 

That being said if the rules don't call for them, then I don't run them simply from a competitive mindset. If the lack of a front wheel makes you that upset and the threat of not wanting to race, how committed to having fun driving a slotcar are/were you really?

 

I know a former track I raced at in my former life mandated front wheels to protect the track. That makes sense minus the fact that we set them up so that the ears drag anyways.


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#10 Pablo

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Posted 06 August 2019 - 08:15 PM

My "pulse":

 

The front axle isn't a problem. Once you attach front wheels to a flexi, it destroys the handling.

I only put front wheels on a car if the rules and/or vintage police require it.

 

If the rules call for front wheels, I'll spend many hours finding ways to make them not hurt my race car, yet still be within the rules.

 

If I wanted to race cars where front wheels helped handling, I'd race R/C cars, or real 1/1 cars.

 

Front wheels are the enemy of flexi race cars, IMO


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#11 John Streisguth

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Posted 06 August 2019 - 09:33 PM

At Trains and Lanes our LMP class uses JK 25 and Mosetti Patriot chasses with sticker fronts; racers who also race in the Penn Jersey Nascar series can literally just change bodies.  Our Can Am class, however, uses older flexis (Parma, Champiion, JK etc.) because everybody had a box full of them, and those chasses are required to have front axles and wheels.  The classes are run on alternate weeks, and we alternate every 2 weeks between the King and the Altec Titan.  No reason to go "boiling point"-- let the old school racers race the old stuff, and let the new school racers race the new stuff if they really can't agree.  At T&L most of the racers race both kinds of cars because it's both challenging and FUN!

Unfortunately with their new rules for LMP, the only thing they have in common with Penn Jersey is the 11 tooth pinion.  Any chassis is allowed, the motors can be worked on and ball bearings put into the can.   I don't get their rules decisions...

 

But that's a discussion for a different thread.


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#12 GT40

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Posted 07 August 2019 - 12:15 AM

I've mentioned this before so I am expecting flack, but I use working front wheels on my Flexis and it works fine.

 

I am running a Mossetti Patriot Striker 3 piece chassis and I used them on a Cheetah 11, as well as a Champion Turboflex. You need to use the right wheels, set them up correctly and maintain them,

 

There's a lot of variables to how a car works, but I can say that these Flexis with working front wheels are competitive with anything anybody else is running at our track.

 

The Mossetti with Pro Track PTC-166 fronts handles particularly well. I have had a number of wins and set fast laps with it.

 

Using O-ring fronts has not worked very well, they seem to transmit a lot of vibration to the chassis. The Pro Track with the thin sponge rubber on it is much better.

 

I can only speak for my experience with our classes on our track, and the way I set up these cars. The least that can be said is that the front wheels have not put me at any disadvantage.  


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#13 Shiggy

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Posted 07 August 2019 - 05:41 PM

My "pulse":
 
The front axle isn't a problem. Once you attach front wheels to a flexi, it destroys the handling.
I only put front wheels on a car if the rules and/or vintage police require it.
 
If the rules call for front wheels, I'll spend many hours finding ways to make them not hurt my race car, yet still be within the rules.
 
If I wanted to race cars where front wheels helped handling, I'd race R/C cars, or real 1/1 cars.
 
Front wheels are the enemy of flexi race cars, IMO


Of the two classes I race that require front axles/wheels (one at my home track, one at another) neither says the wheels must touch the track. Nobody sets up their cars so they do.
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#14 Pablo

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Posted 07 August 2019 - 06:09 PM

I think a lot depends on how precise the track surface is. On an older bumpy track, front wheels touching can be the kiss of death. If you race on a smooth track and have precise front wheels, it can be OK. Just like GT40 says.

 

Cheater's old TFlex tome shows him using O-ring fronts on a solid axle that worked for him well, but that was then, this is now. Some of these new chassis aren't designed to use fronts, for a good reason. If there is a flaw in the track surface that catches a front wheel and upsets the car, you launch, hit the wall, the tongue is now bent, and your handling goes away. You launch again because your chassis is bent, and it just gets worse from there ……… until, eventually, you pull off and DNF. I'm saying this from a newbie's perspective. If his car launches every race, he will probably change hobbies to knitting sweaters or golf.

 

I've personally witnessed a scale fanatic who always preaches slot cars must have front wheels, during a race, tweak his front axle up on both sides to keep the front wheels from causing his car to de-slot. He didn't know I was watching him, but I'll never forget it. 

 

There are so many ways to prevent front wheels to keep from de-slotting your car I cannot list. My local track has some classes where the rules say "fronts must touch and roll on the tech block"  :laugh2: . I pass tech every time. And my cars never launch. You figure it out  :shok:  :laugh2:


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#15 Tim Neja

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Posted 07 August 2019 - 07:29 PM

THe only reason I don't want to run front wheels---is the rules state they DON'T HAVE TO TOUCH!!! SO---then what is the point??? You can't see them--they don't work--their useless!!  Completely pointless and an added small expense and hassle that accomplish's nothing.  And the newest chassis for the flexi class's--DON'T have front axle mounts at all???  Again--pointless added for nothing---doesn't improve the looks--doesn't improve perfromance.  Just an ego thing to say you have to have them. :)


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#16 Dave Buchholz

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Posted 07 August 2019 - 08:43 PM

I have thought of the front wheels from opposing views, cant say which is better or which is right.

 

 One view point I have is maybe having them adds a little weight to help keep the guide flag in the slot.

 

 Another  perspective is that it raises the center of gravity , not such a good thing. Additionally the  mad scientist in me says the motor must accelerate more mass   than the next guy  without tires for every lap of the race.



#17 MSwiss

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Posted 07 August 2019 - 08:50 PM

On flexi cars, no reason to run them if not required.

On a car that doesn't have skids, especially like a Retro F1, you definitely need them, and it's better that they touch a bit.
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#18 Mark Wampler

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Posted 07 August 2019 - 09:46 PM

One thing I'm seeing as being ignored is that the right kind of contact front tire serves for good dampening / vibration control.  Front, full contact tires should please every track owner.  Mr Steve  has literally dominated GTS class for months and continues to set fast laps on race night.  Can't argue with results. This was a good discussion and everyone's mileage will vary.


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#19 NSwanberg

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Posted 08 August 2019 - 05:38 AM

I think we should have kept the front wheels just because it is a work around for the body designers and lends some semblance of realism.


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#20 elvis44102

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Posted 08 August 2019 - 09:56 AM

back in the 1970s one of the raceways used either 0.55 or 0.63 piano wire taped to a routed test block for tech inspection for race....race directer put my car on block and asked me if i was aware that NONE of my wheels touched the track...i looked and replied that's OK i will run it that way!...i passed and raced it

 

so apparently NONE of the tires need touch


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#21 Bucky

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Posted 08 August 2019 - 01:57 PM

I personally think the decal fronts look better and more realistic than an aluminum disc with an o-ring on it.
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#22 gc4895

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Posted 09 August 2019 - 08:41 AM

Front tire stickers work best, look best. Thats all that is needed. On the other hand, if ill-handling junk is what is desired, there are many anachronistic options available.
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#23 SpeedyNH

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Posted 09 August 2019 - 10:45 AM

I still like legacy GTP's with Super 16's and 5/8 fronts that touch and roll. there was a bit of an art to get 'em to handle like it was riding on the chassis ears, but it could be done.  that'd be about the only thing that I like 'em on- anything else and it just makes the car slower.

 

for example, in my 'scale' series a decade or so ago, for our two flexi classes (B-Prod and A-Prod), we even allowed cutting off the uprights. (we took all the "cheater" mods and made them legal so that everyone had the same stuff.) and we did have a $5 track bucks concours' award per class, so most of the cars looked pretty decent.   

all classes (except JK Indy and 32nd F1 of course) used sticker fronts.  we had some pretty nice-looking ones, as opposed to having a plain aluminum wheel in there with a lot of negative camber on it.

Speedy  


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#24 gatormark

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Posted 11 September 2019 - 02:27 PM

Like putting a wristwatch on a boar hog...whats the point?
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#25 W. J. Dougherty

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Posted 11 September 2019 - 02:52 PM

There was a point in time at The Track in Gaithersburg, MD, that they raced 4.5 NASCAR with no front wheels. They used sticker fronts just like the 4 cars. Man were they fast...
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