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Color0's Micro RC Blog -- A technical brain dump from the mind of yours truly...
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PNWC 2012 F1 Pro Setup

Posted 12-05-2012 at 03:10 AM by color0
Updated 12-05-2012 at 03:18 AM by color0
I realize I haven't said much about the F1 I own, and it's mainly because this car just takes a lot of work to get it running... mostly electrical gremlins occurring in heavily populated areas.

As far as the Worlds' go, F1 Pro was just pure frustration -- my car was definitely the fastest in the field and proved it with the fastest lap in qualifying and IIRC, the fastest F1 lap of the weekend. But the GLITCH! kept coming back again and again and in the end it just wouldn't hold together for 8 minutes without punting itself into the wall.

Since the mechanicals are good, however, I will go into a little detail on the setup and a couple general thoughts on how to make the Mini-Z F1 dance.

My car is a bit of a Frankenstein MF-015, it's running all the right electronics, chassis, body and accessories but it was put together from a combination and new and used parts. The normal MF-015 Ferrari body is here, minus two sub-wings on the front wing. Taking them out removed some unnecessary front downforce I think, I first noticed this at Kenon that the car got a lot easier to drive. It does NOT help that the new Ferrari has a very shallow rear spoiler vs. the new McLaren and pretty much every other Mini-Z F1 in history -- no rear downforce. I was planning to make a gurney flap for the rear wing the minute I bought it, but after breaking off the front sub-wings, seems like I didn't need it.

I reinforced the rear wing with epoxy, "just in case" for PNWC. Never had to find out whether the epoxy or the plastic wing mount is stronger though.

Edit: If you run the old-school PN F1 motor mount like I do, make sure to dremel out the MF-015 bodies to make enough clearance for suspension travel. My rear end was locked up till I thinned out the offending plastic to near zero!

Suspension and tire wise I was also able to sort it all out great. The combo to run is K30/K20, the newest slicks only (don't use the old grooved stuff, the compound pales in comparison to the new tires). PN6 could be used in the rear but they don't last as long, and I really don't like mounting F1 tires. The front end of the F1 takes very little work (as you don't want too much grip anyways). I stuck with 0deg camber and used Kyosho Green springs with 0.6mm of shims under the knuckle to lower the car.

The rear is nowhere as sophisticated as my MR03, just flex plates and the Kyosho carbon disk damper, which I believe I mounted upside down. Had to ream out holes in the stock bridge to mount the carbon plate under the metal, which lowered the entire assembly enough that I didn't have to cut through a brand-new ASC F1 body just to have some damping.

As far as rear end "feel" goes, the disk damper works well with polished carbon disks and plate, and some Ruby Lube for slickness. It would feel underdamped if I had not removed the middle screw in the F1 flex plates though (keep reading).

The flex plates on the car are Kyosho's FRP plates -- interestingly, they offer more traction than the carbon plates despite being stiffer.

I'm also gonna call it now, everyone should just quit using the middle screw in the F1 flex plates. Sure, you weaken the car but it handles so much better, I promise you won't spin or crash as much. The suspension becomes much softer in roll (good!) and the rear end gains a lot of droop to keep the inside rear wheel planted on the ground (even better!). The corner exit characteristics go from feeling skatey/darty and start feeling like the MRCG, planted and big on rotation. Makes sense, their rear suspensions are similar after you've removed the extra screws. And given I designed the MRCG, you can imagine how much I appreciate the change in behavior.

Rear diff: Always the kicker for 2WD, right? There's something magical about this diff lol. I got it with the car from Ryan Sagisi and it appears to be a straight Kyosho diff with a Reflex spur (borrowed from Alex M). I 1) never had to clean it and 2) it spins consistently free despite visual dirt inside the Reflex spur. I wasn't about to fix something not even remotely broken, and this diff probably contributed a lot to my 12.6 fast lap. Guess I have a thing or two more to learn about building diffs...

But yes, since this car has proven electrically unreliable at Binh's place, I'm not sure I'm going to continue racing it. When it did listen, it was super, super fast, easily keeping up with Mod cars for corner speed. It just needs to listen more often. :roll:


And that's it for my brief review of my PNWC setups... I'm sorry it couldn't be a bit more detailed but recovering from the flu seriously put a damper on my experience, at least on the technical and racing side. Now that I'm all better though, and more caught up on the other parts of my life, we can start playing with a new rear end setup for the MR03 -- next week.
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