Saturday, 17 May 2014

Race Tips 101 : Finding Traction

Everyone wants to have a "dialled in car" for the race and a "dialled in car" means a car that you feel comfortable driving and is PUSHable. What are we looking for exactly?

In my early days of racing, whenever I reach a new track I always try to get the car to perform at it's best. The pit table will be full of stuff, you name it you have it. Front springs, DPS springs, T-plates, tools ......... the list goes on and on. I see a lot people going through setups during practise day. They start wenching their car by changing springs, ride height, body shell, almost anything you can think of just to get the car to perform at it's best. IF it is a need to go through so much things then why not just build a new car at the race? LOL

There is absolutely nothing wrong with your car, it's just the RIGHT TRACTION you are looking for.

Finding the right traction is always the key to winning races, so when talk about traction it is nothing but tires. So you might say I have the right tire combi everyone is using it and their car is performing good but mine is not.

Front Tires

Do you know that same pair tires feels totally different when you glue them, tape them and best of all tape them using different types of tape.

Do you also know that the same tires also feel different when it is of different thickness?

The front tires gives you steering and it is also mainly the cause for traction rolling. Here is a simple chart to help you see the picture better

Tire Status                 Traction Roll Level        Pushable Level        Cornering Speed

Fresh                                     10                                 1                              10
Trued to 23mm                       6                                  5                               7
Trued to 22.5mm                    4                                  7                               6
23mm Glued                           6.5                               4.5                            8          
23mm Taped                           6                                  5.5                            7.5
22.5mm Glued                        4.5                               6.5                            6.5
22.5mm Taped                        4                                  7.5                            6.5

For the rear tires, try to use a brand new set and of course you still have the option of glue or tape.

As you can see, tires alone affect the car quite a fair bit. Your choice, wench and potentially ruin your car or work on your tires.

Happy racing !

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Race Batts

Fuels for your race machines. The mini-z runs off 4 x AAA batteries for those that doesn't know.
There are a lot of battery manufactures out there and over the years I have went through a couple myself.

Just so that you know, here are the list of batteries I went through myself and some simple rating for them. The higher the numbers the better they are.

1.   Orion 1100RT -  Run time - 8 , Punch level - 5, Consistence - 7
2.   Orion 990HV -   Run time - 7 , Punch level - 7, Consistence - 6
3.   Orion 750SHO - Run time - 6 , Punch level - 8, Consistence - 5
4.   TRP RP1000 -    Run time - 8 , Punch level - 5, Consistence - 7
5.   TRP RP900 -      Run time - 7 , Punch level - 6, Consistence - 7
6.   TRP RP747 -      Run time - 6 , Punch level - 8, Consistence - 7
8.   Atomic VP800 - Run time - 6 , Punch level - 6, Consistence - 6
9.   R1Wurks 750 -   Run time - 7 , Punch level - 8, Consistence - 7
10. R1Wurks 990 -   Run time - 8 , Punch level - 7, Consistence - 9

End of the battery journey ($$$) I am pretty much stuck with the R1Wurks 990s. These cells provide consistence throughout 8 - 10 minutes of racing. For the rest somewhat your will feel a drop of power and the car just feels so different from the start till the end. I really need to adapt to like multiple changes to the power band of car.

The R1s are not too costly and they are readily available. Quality of the cells are does not vary much  from different batches and they are work horses. Series charging, Step Charging, High Amp Charging (1.5AMPS). The cells do take a lot of beatings. Of course the hobby shops won't want these on their shelf for one simple reason, how the heck do I make money when the cells are so durable. I would want to sell some shitty stuff that doesn't last so that I get repeated sales.

Anyway, I usually keep 24 sets of batteries for my races. 12 sets for 2 classes and the other 12 for practice before the race. Race batts are only used for races and please do not charged twice in a row.

Recommended charges for charging are individual cells ones, Both Maha and SkyRC makes them. These two are pretty good. However I do have a series charging tray and a series charger with me for race day charging . These pro chargers i.e LRP, Muchmore , Orions do really pack more punch into the cells due to their own charging algorithm. But bear in mind series charging is good for performance but they do wear your cells down pretty quickly.

Some simple tips for battery charging before races.

- Discharge your batteries the night before the race using a individual cell charger or a PN Racing Discharger.
- Charge up your cells before the race using a series charging charger  at 1AMP and right before your heats pump up to 1.2AMP for slightly more punch.

That's all for now. HAPPY RACING ....................

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Stage 1 Upgrade

I am thinking to start this hobby / I have bought the a chassis set. The stock chassis looks plasticky can it run? I need to get some parts for it and I bet these are the common questions that you think of...

- What are the basic parts I should get and how much does it cost? I don't want to burn a hole in my pocket
- What does this basic parts do? Is it a need?
-  What happens next after I buy the basic parts?
- There are so many advise given by others who should I follow?

Well, I came through this process and here is what I would recommend. For a basic Stage 1 upgrade you should be looking at 3 items:

1. Ball Bearings - the stock kit comes with plastic bushing. Some bushing are pretty tight causing the wheels not to spin freely. Some bushing are so loose that the wheels wobble. The bearing upgrade solves all of the above. It allows your wheels to rotate freely thus giving you better battery life and a smoother ride.

2. A set of front springs - the "black" stock springs that comes with the car is hard as stone. Sometimes I wonder even if it  gives you any suspension. Think of it, a car without suspension. Will it work? I don't think so. A set of front springs gives you tuning option to harden or soften the fronts. Well IT GIVES YOUR CAR FRONT SUSPENSION.

3. A set of T-Plates - On the opposite the "STOCK" T Plate provided in the kit is made of plastic and it is so damm soft. A car with a hard  front suspension  plus a super soft rear suspension. A prefect combi for a shitty ride.  A set of  soft. medium and hard T-Plates  gives you tuning option for the rear. Providing you with REAR SUSPENSION.

So whats the damage?

600129 PN Racing Mini-Z 2WD Shield Hub Dry Ball Bearing Set (7PCS) - $9.95 USD

MR3010 PN Racing Mini- Z MR03 Front Suspension Spring Set (5 Pairs) - $6.99 USD

MR3001S MR3002S MR3003S PN Racing Mini- Z MR03 MM Silver Carbon T-plate #3, #4, #5 -$16.98 USD

A total of $33.92 USD

Ask your local hobby shop for a bundle price. I am sure they will be pleased to give you a discount.

Stage 2 Upgrade

I have done my stage 1 upgrade and I have been racing for a while now. What comes to your mind next? LOL

"I WANT TO GO FASTER." Yeah and most of the time everyone goes through the same process. So time to spend some money. Here is my guide to Stage 2 Upgrade and it will cost you some money.

1. PN50T Bushing Motor - I would strongly recommend this motor as the first upgrade as the stock motor motor from the Kit is somewhat about 80T so moving from a 80T to a 50T is a good increase in speed. The upgrade motor from Kyosho is the X-speed and it is running somewhere around 48T but I feel the motor is slightly over priced and it does not give sufficient torque.

2. Damper System + Centre Shock - With a increase in speed the stock parts on the chassis can no longer provide you with sufficient damping. The DPS + Dual Centre Shock will help you to eliminate this problem providing good damping and shock absorption.

3. 98MM LCG Motor Pod - Well the name said it. LCG. For the benefit of the Noobs, Low centre Gravity. The motor pod provides not only LOWER Centre Gravity for additional stability, it's open concept full aluminium design is light weight, helps to dissipates heat and provides micro fine tuning for superb gear mashing. The stock plastic motor pod holds the motor in a tilted manner, uses plastic spacer for gear spacing and fantastic "keep warm design". Very good chance your upgraded overheats in there.

4. 64 Pitch Ball Differential - A lot of times, people ask do I really need a ball diff? Won't the stock diff do its job. Then the question is do you know what was provided and what does the differential do? What was provided is a 48 Pitch Gear Differential. The stock gear diff works in a way that the drive is lost to the spinning wheel until the car slows and traction is regained. Where else a ball diff still allows drive to both wheel and it can keeps the power going to the wheel with grip.
Further more 48 pitch is a little dated. Till you tried the 64 Pitch, sweet, smoothness and much more ratio to play with. I drive the 126 Pitch myself. :)

Enough said, whats's the damage?

113250 PN Racing Mini- Z PNWC Bushing Motor 50T - $9.99 USD
MR2060 PN Racing Mini- Z Multi Length Disk Damper Set - $19.88 USD
MR2161 PN Racing Mini-Z Dual Spring Centre Shock Set - $11.88 USD
MR2289 PN Racing Mini-Z 98-108MM LCG Motor Mount - $39.88 USD
MR2049 PN Racing V2 Light Weight 64P Ceramic Ball Diff Set - $36.88 USD

Total $118.51 USD

Time Needed - Approximate 30mins

Stage 3 Upgrade

All good things have to come an end. We are here for the FINAL stage upgrade. Yes you heard it correctly FINAL stage.

In this stage we are looking at having the fronts souped up simply because we want a complete modded car. Yes and No, well here is my recommendation YOU DECIDE !

1. Aluminium Tower Bar - This part replaces the stock plastic parts that holds the arms. You will need to cut off the original plastic parts to fit this. Aluminium is light weight yet providing strength and durability to the JOINT that holds your front suspension arms . Precision made to minimise any slops in between the arm joints. Screw holds that hold the arms are metal therefore you will not ever have to worry about over tightening and stripping the plastics.

2. Aluminium Caster Upper Arms - Replaces the original plastic arms. Take a close look at the original plastic arms, compress the suspension a little and look closely. Not only the springs move, the arms flexes as well. So the next time someone tells you to use a YELLOW spring you may have to discount that a little as your stock arms contributes to additional "SOFTNESS". The Aluminium ones recommended provides consistence, durability as well as castor functions. Placing the provide shims in various position gives you 0.9/1.8 castor. Trust me you will need castor.

3. Aluminium Low Down Knuckles - These knuckles is a MUST HAVE. lowers your front ride. The delrin insert provides superb smooth sliding movement and theses knuckles are so durable they sure take a lot of beating. The stock knuckles breaks at the tie rod joints with just a slide impact, you won't want this to happen during a race.  Sliding movement is definitely not smooth and therefore it does effect the suspension. And worst, the ride height these stock knuckles provides makes the car look like a LORRY.

4. Pro Front Lower Arm Set - This kit includes a couple of very nice feature and functionality. Firstly lets look at the stock plastic piece. Flexes a lot, at times the left ride height and the right ride height is not even balance. Try switching a tie rod, be prepared for a 15 mins job taking everything apart just to change a tie rod. Lastly the king pins POPs out at time during heavy races. Well this kit solves all the above problems. Aluminium bottom fronts bolts to the main chassis ensuring you a prefect left and right ride height. Bundled with  separated carbon piece allows you to remove and change your tie rods on the fly. Specially tailored king pins are provided, held in place by metal c-clips. There is no way the king pins are popping in any harsh racing environments. And of best of all, engineered in way that allows you to do a reverse king pin install that provides 30-40% more smoothness to your front suspension. Worth it? YES every single bucks.

5. Aluminium Front Spring Holder - What is this? A blink part? Nope. The stock plastic spring holder is not even a spring holder. I call it a spring stand not a holder. The nipples on the plastic piece is so small it hardly does it job keeping the springs in the correct position. This aluminium piece as "HUGE" nipples. Yes HUGE, it keeps the the spring in place and there isn't a single time the springs pop out in races. You can even purchase shims to be inserted for micro tension tuning.

6. Aluminium Shims - Small little colourful pieces. Precision made to exact thickness. Come in 2 various thickness to allow fine tuning of front ride height. Do yourself a favour throw those stock plastic ones away. I never believe plastic moulding for such small pieces can be consistent. Some pieces are thicker while some have excessive plastic left causing binding if placed above the knuckles .

Enough said, this last stage upgrade seems to be lengthy. So is this looks or performance based?  You tell me.


MR3051 PN Racing Aluminium Tower Bar Wide - $13.88 USD
MR3033 PN Racing Mini- Z Aluminium Caster Upper Arm - $28.88 USD
MR3032 PN Racing Mini- Z Aluminium Low Down Knuckle - $18.88 USD
MR3052 PN Racing MR03 Pro Front Lower Arm Set - $26.88 USD
MR3011W PN Racing Mini- Z Front Spring Holder - $7.99 USD
700409 PN Racing Mini- Z Color Shim For King Pin - $4.68 USD

Total $101.19 USD

Time needed - Approximate 20mins

PN Racing Pro Kit V1

After going through all 3 stages, here we are the final product. A PN PRO KIT.

We as racers alway want the best chassis, the best parts and the best setup for our ride. And I have spent years looking for one myself. At a scale of 1/27 small little mismatch parts makes the entire car haywire.

You must be thinking? Why are all the parts PN Racing?

There are many manufactures that makes parts but I would say PN Racing makes one of the best parts for the mini z. Why do I say that?

- Precision for the parts are there with very little tolerance (play)
- R&D involved, all the parts goes through months of design, planning and testing before they are available on the market.
- Replacement parts for each individual components are available for sale. Should you break or damage any of the parts you can always just purchase spares instead of buying the entire set.

All parts come in 3 fabulous colours - Orange, Silver and Blue.