Axles and wheels modding

Go_Time Monday, 12/10/2018

Ok, I am really new to the 1/64 stuff, and only got into it because I built a track and timer system for my little boy.  But I have a question.  Now I understand polishing the axles, and trying to make the care drive as straight as possible, but what I dont understand is why the "fixed axles"?  Even though the axles are polished it seems like restricting the axles from spinning is just adding friction to the wheel/axle point of contact, almost like putting a brake on?  Ive modded a few cars, the first ones i destroyed, the next few i just polished axles and put back together with minimal gains in speed, and even managed to make a couple of cars slower...Lol.  anyway just wondering about the fixed axle?  Thanks in advance for any info.


View member profile
redlinederby 12/10/18
Site manager

Fixing axle is reducing theory. If the axle is spinning, that's generating friction between the wheels and the chassis. Getting it down to 1 thing spinning and generating all the energy suck is better than 2...or it should be.

To your point, we've all modded cars that end up slower than stock cars. It just comes with the territory, but we'd all agree that it's ridiculously frustrating.

But also, try some experiments and see for yourself. If you find that not fixing the axles doesn't seem to have any impact, then don't bother. I've seen cars do well both ways. Probably different per car too...based on weight and just how it's put together.

However, polishing the axles and making things smooth across the board can only help, fixing axles or not.

View member profile
darkartsracing 12/10/18

As stated above. Plus, when you think about it, those three little folded-over nubs on the floor of the chasis where the axle is retained aren't really the best bearing surfaces for anything rotating in them.

Gluing axles down fixes several issues but generates one: suspension compliance. glued down axles offer little wheel travel and when the car hits track gaps and bumps at speed, there can be a strong jolt that the car has to deal with when running over them. best solution imo is to make sure the track is as smooth as possible.

  • Good call on the suspension. A lot of the older MBX cars had a lot of give so they almost bounced. Certainly comes with its own concerns but not entirely bad. — redlinederby
View member profile
41-14 12/10/18

I’d like to see pictures of the track and timer you built. 

View member profile
Go_Time 12/10/18

All, good points and info.  Thanks!  Sure 41-14 I'll share some pics, but please disregard the messy garage.  Its just a 2 lane arduino build, nothing crazy or super fancy.  I did get a little creative with the starting gate.  I used some old RC car parts to build gate drop mechanism. 

The last pic is the track record.  Its a little over 3ft drop with a little over 20ft total.  I needed the drop to be short so my kids could reach it.  Also, I have zero experience with Arduino and electronics, although my soldering skills are ok from my old RC racing days.

  • At least you're using your Arduino...mine is just collecting dust :( — redlinederby
  • That’s a pretty sweet setup. Was thinking about building a 4 lane finish line with timers but I don’t have a clue when it comes to electronics and I wouldn’t have a clue when it comes to writing the code for it. — 41-14
  • So I bought the 3DBotmaker finish line. — 41-14
  • Nice job Go Time. I'm currently building something similar myself, although I'm only just starting. Oh, and for the record, that is NOT a messy garage! lol — PeteB
View member profile
Go_Time 12/11/18

redlinederby, get that arduino going!

41-14, the 3d botmaker finish lines are awesome!  I almost bought one.  I had zero experience with arduino and electronics, but that was the beauty about the arduino/PDT setup its all done for you.  Code is written, all you have to do is build a box and wire it up.  There is quite a bit of soldering to do though.

It looks way more complicating in the pic than it actually is.

View member profile
Jav74 12/11/18

That’s an awesome setup! I’d be honored to have my arse dragged down it by one of our racing bros here at the redline derby. 

View member profile
41-14 12/11/18

If you don’t mind me asking. Where did you find all the components and Arduino board with the code. I’d like to try my hand at building a 4 or 6 lane with a timer system. 

View member profile
Go_Time 12/11/18

No Sir, dont mind at all.  You will find everything you need at the website below, minus the arduino, which can be purchased for about $25 elsewhere.

Everything you need is on the website, including detailed instructions, and arduino code.  By the way, I am in no way affiliated with this web page, its just a page i ran across and followed which worked out GREAT!!! On the website they also offer a free program to test cars, pic attached. Let me know if you need any additional info. Hope this helps.

View member profile
41-14 12/13/18

Wow. I think I’d have a better chance of getting into space than understanding that stuff. The design of the track and the build. The tower for the finish line and the starting gate. Yup. Got that covered. But the electronics and stuff. That’s a big NO for me. 

  • Maybe when I get home and have a look at it on the computer it may be a little clearer. I think I’m going to see if I can find help withthis cause I sure would like to make an attempt at a 4 lane. — 41-14
to join the conversation or sign-up now