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Rookie flexi car driver with pre-first race questions


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#1 Rich Joslin

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Posted 25 November 2019 - 08:53 PM

My first race is coming up. I will be driving a flexi with a Pro Slot 16D motor on a JK Cheetah 21 chassis at our local track. I have never raced before and I am in to this hobby for only about a month now. I have been searching and reading old threads on here daily and asking questions of the local racers. Everyone has been very gracious and helpful. 

 

My questions involve oiling frequency in general and specifically during a race. We will be running 2 minute stints on an 8 lane 145' Ogilvie Euro Hillclimb. I have read and been told to be careful not to "over" oil the endbell. I would like some idea of what this means in more concrete terms if possible. Should I go by a certain number of laps? Hours run? Some other measuring stick?

 

This is what I am thinking for the race:

Start - Oil axle bushings, motor can and a tiny drop on the endbell. Clean braid with lighter fluid and brush.

Remainder of race - Alternate oiling process (except endbell) and braid cleaning between stints starting with braid cleaning on the first break.

 

Would I be oiling too much? Not enough? 

 

Thank you for any advice. Please don't hesitate to chime in if there are other things I should consider.






#2 Highnoon

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Posted 25 November 2019 - 10:02 PM

I oil the axle bearings and motor before the first heat and after the 4th heat for. 2 minute heats. I use a very small amount on endbell and am more liberal on axle and can bearings but not too much. Just a little bit. I just use a small amount of various kinds of braid juice every heat, again, small amount,  I’ve used all the popular kinds, currently using rail zip, they all work about the same. 


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#3 Shiggy

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Posted 25 November 2019 - 10:01 PM

Oil before the race.
No need to during.
Should not need to do anything to the braids except to make sure they are flat/straight.
Most importantly, have fun.
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#4 gotboostedvr6

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Posted 25 November 2019 - 10:34 PM

I've recently stopped using braid juice. I've tried them all. Waste of time and the liquid attracts dirt.
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#5 Rich Joslin

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Posted 25 November 2019 - 10:53 PM

Thank you for the responses so far. Just as I expected the suggestions are varied. I am hoping that with a larger sample size an obvious trend will develop.

 

Please keep the advice coming!

 

Per Shiggy, I expect to have BIG fun. 

 

Take care and Happy Thanksgiving to all.



#6 idare2bdul

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Posted 25 November 2019 - 11:41 PM

Ok advice #1 Corner exit speed is more important than entry speed. Take it a bit easy on corner entry try to avoid falling off.

If you do deslot it is likely your tires have cooled off a bit so don't try to banzai your first lap back on. 

Drive your lane not the one next to yours. 

Before or after the race if possible let an experienced racer check out your car and offer suggestions.

Bad gear mesh almost never self improves and is responsible for a lot of DNF's

Enjoy yourself regardless of where you finish

Consider making up a pre race check list for future races

After each race ask yourself what did you learn?


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#7 Bill from NH

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Posted 25 November 2019 - 11:42 PM

Rich, if your car had Slick 7 bronze axle bushings, I'd recommend oiling before the race & between each heat with a synthetic oil. If your car has oilite axle bushings, oiling between every other heat would be plenty. The bronze bushings don't absorb oil like oilite does & they lubricate with an oil film which requires more frequent oiling. When I ran flexis, it was usually 4-min. heats & that's how I oiled them then..If you're careful when oiling & don't dump on lots at one time, you shouldn't have a problem. In the days before braid juice was used on the cars, we used lighter fluid on a rag to clean the track braid between heats, so it was useful to bring a friend or two along whenever you went to a race.

 

Good points by Mike Boemker in the post directly above.


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#8 Highnoon

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Posted 26 November 2019 - 06:54 AM

I use slick 7 bearings exclusively and in 2 minute heats I have not had any wear or issues with oiling 2 times per race. I use oil Mike Swiss sells. For 4 minute heats I would maybe oil every other heat. 


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#9 Bill from NH

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Posted 26 November 2019 - 08:49 AM

Mike wasn't selling oil when I last ran flexi cars. I too used Slick 7 bushings on everything I could. That excludes any chassis requiring the Parma or Slotworks square bushings. Slick 7 bushings have higher tolerances than oilites. I only mentioned more frequent oiling of them because they can be more prone to seizing up. In the past, some scale racing rules required you to only work on the cars during a "green". In those classes everyone used oilites, if bearings weren't legal. I forget whether these were CASRA, ANEAMCA, or early iSRA rules from Lou Pirro..


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#10 blkdout76

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Posted 26 November 2019 - 08:55 AM

I've recently stopped using braid juice. I've tried them all. Waste of time and the liquid attracts dirt.


You're using the wrong braid juice then, I've seen braids without it, all they do is burn and you'll need to replace them during the race as you'll start to loose power. Redrum Braid Juice is what all the winners use!
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#11 mreibman

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Posted 26 November 2019 - 10:02 AM

I don't know the last time I was in an actual "race" with flexi kars, but we run them weekly for fun.

 

My advice here may or may not be "race-specific" but try out these tips:

- Check your braids before you start. They should be clean and straight. I recommend using some kind of cleaner or braid juice on them as well as a wire brush. Brand new braids to start an actual race is even better, but still brush and juice them. (Railzip is very nice, but most any braid juice will work)

- Check your braids again between each heat. Replace them if needed, juice them every heat, brush them every heat unless they're pristine. (use your judgement, get help from experienced racer if needed).

- I personally oil 1 drop per bushing/oilite, so that's can, endbell, and axle, at the beginning of each session. In a race situation, I would oil them in between every heat. I use a synthetic oil for this purpose. If you are concerned about over-oiling the endbell and getting oil in the comm, then you need a better method to deliver the oil (industrial syringe, perhaps) or a conductive oil that won't interfere. You could try voodoo comm drops or the equivalent, or marvel's mystery oil.

- Before you go out racing, check your tires. Are they worn down? Are they square? You don't want brand new tires, but if you have new ones or trued ones, then run some laps on them ahead of time to break them in. If there are chunks missing from them, grooves, etc - replace them.

- Is your body torn, dented, ripped pinholes, etc? Make sure you have reinforced the front of the body, the sides where the pins go through, and the rear around the wheel wells where it's thinnest. Make sure your body does not cut your tires or interfere with the mechanics in any way.

- Does your guide flag snap back to center by itself? Make sure it's not too loose or too tight (should move easily but not wobble). The "spring action" is done by the setup of the lead wires. This takes some doing. You will need to see examples of it or get an experienced racer to help.

- Usually not mentioned for flexi races or beginners - but is your controller clean, smooth and working the way it should? Controller maintenance is often overlooked. Sometimes a q-tip and lighter fluid are your best friends. Other times it's a little sandpaper. (PSA: do not use sandpaper on electronic controller boards)

 

I know I'm rambling on about more things than you asked about, but remember these other pointers:

- the first step to winning a race is to enter the race.

- the second step to winning a race is to finish the race.

- Smooth is fast, and fast is smooth.

- Watch your car, watch ahead of your car, if something is in your way, STOP, let it get cleared, then continue.

- Your best bet is to try your darndest to stay in the slot and stay moving.

 

Semi-pro tip: keep a spare set of tires handy by your pit, keep an allen wrench on your person and one in your pit.

 

If I sat here for a little while, I would probably think of another dozen useful things.


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#12 Brian Czeiner

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Posted 26 November 2019 - 01:11 PM

The other guys are far more experienced than I. I only wish to ad, don't get caught up racing for position. Let the next lane pass if he is coming up on you. Racing him leads to de-slotting. You lose more laps getting put back on than if you just let him pass. You are allowed to talk, so communicate with him. "Next straight I will slow down, you can pass me". As a new racer its more important to finish than win. Get more competitive as your experience grows.

 

You may ask a better faster racer to meet you for practice. Have him follow you as if he is ready to pass. Sometimes allow him to pass to work on communication. Other times try to stay ahead. Work this out with him in advance to keep damage to a minimum.

 

Above all, have fun. This is a hobby.


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#13 Rich Joslin

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Posted 26 November 2019 - 01:43 PM

Wow!

Great stuff everyone. I would quote some posts but don't want anyone to feel slighted for not quoting their's as I really appreciate all of the information. It gives me a lot to consider and think about. 

We race tonight and I am already getting a little anxious about it; excited about it may be a better way to put it. I will have to calm myself down a bit before the start to avoid flying off the track in the first turn!

I "like" everyone's post because I appreciate the time you take to write it.

Thanks again and please keep the tips coming.

 

Take care



#14 Rich Joslin

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Posted 26 November 2019 - 10:28 PM

First race down. What a rush!

Typically there is an A main and B main so the slow and fast groups are segregated a bit. Tonight that wasn't the case as there were 10 racers and only one other B racer besides me so we raced in one big group with drivers rotating between racing and marshaling. It was a bit intimidating but I did learn a lot. 

1. Two minutes between heats is not as much time as it seemed when I was only marshaling the last few races.

2. I don't need to take the time to write down my "fast lap" per lane or "total laps" per lane, the computer system has all that information for me at the end of the race.

3. I focused on keeping it in the slot and did a decent job of that but speed obviously suffered to do so.

4. Depending on the lane and with 7 other drivers lined up beside me it was difficult, in fact impossible at times, to see my car in the critical area of the track, the donut. I found myself practically stopped at times through that section.

5. Once I get my own controller I really need to work on dialing in the brakes and sensitivity especially for red and black lanes.

6. I was only occasionally smooth in the donut and it killed me. 

7. Everyone was helpful and friendly but sometimes offer conflicting advice. 

While I fully expected to finish last and I did; it was still a bit of a bummer. I have to remind myself I have only had my car since last Friday and have only had about 2 hours of practice. I have a lot to learn but I am willing to put in the time and effort. 

It was fun and I am looking forward to next Tuesday.

 

Thanks to all who have offered advice and information. I tried to utilize as much of it as I could. If you have more please keep it coming either here or PM me.

 

Take care


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#15 Bill from NH

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Posted 26 November 2019 - 11:23 PM

Rich, you had fun, that's the main thing. Recall your total laps tonight & set a goal next time to top it. You'll find as you get more practice time &  more races under your belt, your lap total will increase. Not knowing your track, I assume the "gutter lanes" (red. white, purple, & black) are the most difficult to drive & your lap totals may be lower when on them. With that said, I like to practice on one of the gutter lanes rather than the middle lanes which are usually easier to drive. As you say, once you have your own controller, your driving should improve too. in the meantime do your best with what you have & soak up what you hear & see others do. I think you're already doing this, but you never can know too much. Just when you think you got everything learned, somebody is apt to come along with something new or a different way how to do something you're already doing. And don't hesitate to ask questions, both on here & at the raceway. :)

 

Are you familiar with the Rochester Natural Science Museum? I visited it mid-October with my two grandsons from Arizona.That place is full of hands-on exhibits, We spent a full day there & found a nice Italian restaurant.in Rochester to have supper.


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#16 swodem

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Posted 27 November 2019 - 02:48 AM

In a short race like yours, no need to oil anything if you have oiled it at the start

We regularly do enduros where the car isn’t touched for 30min driving stints

So long as you use an oil that’s designed for bushings you’ll be fine

Focus on doing things that you only NEED to do, change lanes, change stickers, compose yourself

Pick a bold car colour that’s different from most other drivers and clearly opposite to the colour of the track. Use it exclusively and own it. Don’t dull it down with other colours or unnecessary decals




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#17 MSwiss

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Posted 27 November 2019 - 06:48 AM

While I fully expected to finish last and I did; it was still a bit of a bummer. I have to remind myself I have only had my car since last Friday and have only had about 2 hours of practice. I have a lot to learn but I am willing to put in the time and effort. 
It was fun and I am looking forward to next Tuesday.

Rich,
Some simple advice.

1 - never stop in a turn, to let someone by.
Just get off the trigger, a split second, on the next reasonably long straightaway.

2 - don't worry about racing anyone or anything, except your lap total, from the previous week.


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#18 Bill from NH

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Posted 27 November 2019 - 08:05 AM

Steve mentions color in his post above. I liked to use yellow or white, they both stand out for me  And I used a contrasting metallic, pearl, or fluorescent color on the car nose. if you're not airbrushing, this color scheme can also be done with spray cans. 


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I intend to live forever!  So far, so good.  :laugh2:  :laugh2: 


#19 Rich Joslin

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Posted 27 November 2019 - 04:12 PM

Rich, you had fun, that's the main thing. Recall your total laps tonight & set a goal next time to top it. You'll find as you get more practice time &  more races under your belt, your lap total will increase. Not knowing your track, I assume the "gutter lanes" (red. white, purple, & black) are the most difficult to drive & your lap totals may be lower when on them. With that said, I like to practice on one of the gutter lanes rather than the middle lanes which are usually easier to drive. As you say, once you have your own controller, your driving should improve too. in the meantime do your best with what you have & soak up what you hear & see others do. I think you're already doing this, but you never can know too much. Just when you think you got everything learned, somebody is apt to come along with something new or a different way how to do something you're already doing. And don't hesitate to ask questions, both on here & at the raceway. :)

 

Are you familiar with the Rochester Natural Science Museum? I visited it mid-October with my two grandsons from Arizona.That place is full of hands-on exhibits, We spent a full day there & found a nice Italian restaurant.in Rochester to have supper.

 

Bill,

 

We have been to the Natural Science Museum a couple of times. It is a pretty interesting place. I am glad you enjoyed your visit. We have lived in Rochester for about 16 years now and like the area a great deal.

 

Take care,

Rich



#20 Rich Joslin

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Posted 27 November 2019 - 04:20 PM

Thanks for all the great advice.

 

I did write down my lap total and that will be a good barometer for whether I am improving or not. I had set a goal of 170 laps and fell 10 laps short. 

 

Another thing I had difficulty with was finding any kind of rhythm as there were numerous "track" calls stopping the action. Starting again from odd locations was interesting for sure. 

 

Take care,

Rich



#21 Bill from NH

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Posted 27 November 2019 - 08:44 PM

Don't be discouraged if your lap totals doesn't increase every week, but drive like you expect they will continue to increase. :)  Track calls not only will interrupt your rhythm, they can cut into lap totals too.


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Bill Fernald
 

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#22 Dave Buchholz

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Posted 27 November 2019 - 10:09 PM

You will find some spots are really heard you restart from, like under the bridge, and just before a tight gutter lane turn.

You have a good attitude and willingness to learn. That in itself is a big plus.

It was a pleasure to race with you. Hope to see you again next week.

I will buy the beer the first night you best my son's lap total. Two beers when you best me.
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#23 Rich Joslin

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Posted 27 November 2019 - 10:40 PM

You will find some spots are really heard you restart from, like under the bridge, and just before a tight gutter lane turn.

You have a good attitude and willingness to learn. That in itself is a big plus.

It was a pleasure to race with you. Hope to see you again next week.

I will buy the beer the first night you best my son's lap total. Two beers when you best me.

 

Thanks Dave!

It is a great group to race with. I appreciate all the encouragement. I definitely plan to be there Tuesday. 

I only hope I live long enough to drink those beers!


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#24 Arne Saknussem

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Posted 30 November 2019 - 04:22 PM

Not to worry, Rich.

 

Dave B is a Tuesday winner and a contender every week.  Not THAT long ago he was neither (no offense, Dave) but practice, testing, and a positive attitude got him to the front.  You can do the same.

 

See you at the raceway.


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#25 Dave Buchholz

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Posted 30 November 2019 - 11:23 PM

No offense taken.

On the contrary, my sincere thanks to you, Jeff and Mr.X, for taking me under your wings back when I was in Rick's shoes.

You were kind enough to share your time knowledge and love if the hobby. Thanks.

(PS. Get ready for a butt whippin' on Tuesday)
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