Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Martin Hofer Discusses Chassis Building

We found this article a few years ago written by Martin Hofer concerning the Schumacher Mi5 and details the difference in a car (or buggy) that's just built versus one that's built well.. We've taken and paraphrased the important bits for you below. The ideas and methodology presented here apply equally to any surface vehicle you may own and run.

The original article can be found here: Martin Hofer: The importance of 5P 

".. When I first started to do this hobby my cars were like most other’s; they were built … and sort of holding together.

But there is a HUGE difference between a car that is built and a car that is built well.

Not only by the effort you put into the building process but also on track. With a well built car, you will find that you never really suffer from setup issues! It simply works. Everywhere, in every situation, on any tire. My cars (may it have been Mi4, Mi5 or previous ones) were always good right away. This is important as it enables you to focus on your line, the track, tires and tire prep, power package. The list goes on and on.

So what is the difference between a good and a better car, even if the setup might be the same one?

First of all: Binding

Everything NEEDS to move freely. A binding suspension never works. An arm reamer is therefore mandatory. You just need one.

Second but not least important: Slop

Slop, and this I have tested on multiple cars, reduces grip, precision and ultimately corner speed. It also softens the car’s reaction (might make it easier to driver but at the end of the day also slower). But let’s not get carried away. To let you get the maximum out of your car,  here is what I do, when building a new kit / or rebuild my car ahead of / at races:

 When I build my shocks, I always run (the appropriate) drill through the piston holes just to ensure they are (all) perfect in size. I then -> glue the piston to the shaft. Since the shaft is (usually) Ti-Nitrid you can still easily remove the piston if you really need to. With no glue, you will have slop either right away or with time. It might not be much in the shock itself but on the wheel it can be something like 1mm undamped movement -> why use dampers anyway then? You could also use a shim to take the slop out, but I prefer the gluing method as it also reduces the load on the E-clips

As there is no relative movement between hub and pivot pin anymore, you need to ream the holes in the wishbone itself to ensure, the hubs are falling under their own weight.

It takes time but only once, so I classify it as: worth it!

Still on topic: camber links

(When new) the ballcups fit nicely onto the ballstuds. ( However, over time ) when slop occurs, there is an easy way to get rid of it (which again is something I have done to pretty much any car I have ever built like Tamiya, HB, Yokomo, Xray … you name it).



Always take your time with sway bars. they need to be slop free and fall under their own weight. When you have achieved that, you can make sure it’s neutral -> every side lifts off at the same height added to the other side (shocks disconnected, car flat on setup board, droop gauge placed underneath the wishbone (where you measure droop)).

A long to do list. But I promise it’s worth it. Some things might really impact your outright pace, others may be more noticeable in track-to-track-performance. "

Awesome insight Martin.. Thank you for sharing ..!


#discountRCstore #Schumacher #XRAY

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