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Pod racing

Not Star Wars - but Car Wars.

I checked 'The Manual' but haven't spotted anything on how to set up pod racers - slot cars with motor pods.

Too much adjustment. Where do I start?

With more basic cars you loosen the body screws to let the body move a bit. 

Do you do the same for a motor pod chassis, or do you keep the body screws tight and loosen the pod, or have both loose?

For the pod, which of the three (or five now!) pod screws should be loose and which tight?

Are such adjustments the same for an AW, SW or inline pod? 

I know there will be tons of variables but as a starter for ten please?

First you change the 2 front screws with Metric Screws 2.2x5.3mm Tapered Large Head x10 Ref : SICH54B
You keep the screws moderately tight so that the pod moves up and down but not sideways,youwill  find the right amount by trial and error.
Then you can add suspension using the 2 rear screws and either springs or magnets.Ensure that the pod moves up and down freely not scratching the chassis.

If you have a newer Slot it or Scaleauto, the screws provided are usually fine for the job, being half threaded. (I like the newer scaleauto screws but I don't think you can buy them separately).
Experimentation is the key, but I usually start with all 4 centre just loose enough to allow a small lateral movement with as little as possible vertical.
If its an evo pod with 6, I have the 2 outside a lot looser or often don't bother with screws there.
If its a 3/5 with one central point at the front, usually I will have that just barely tight.
I don't see the benefit of suspension, but I run on smooth wood tracks, It's all personal preference really.

Thanks  Thumbup I forgot to mention a crucial point though - it's for magless racing.

Oh, and I have equal numbers of Racer Sideways anglewinder and ScaleAuto sidewinder cars - of various ages and iterations of chassis, just to make it more challenging.

Can each type be treated in the same way and should the chassis to body screws be done up tightly then?

Top down, 
It's  a master's thesis to write up slot car body/pod setups and how they affect handling.  Cool

The only consensus I hear is that no one (in magless racing) locks the pod up solid.
In every other aspect, you will find a huge range of opinions.

The pod setup insulates the chassis from the motor's torque and the motor from the chassis vibration as it corners and traverses track imperfections.
The pod acts as a Newton's cradle transferring momentum from one component into another.

The best 3 word description I've heard is "Primitive mass damper" (Gary Skipp) 

Certainly , different pod config (angle winder , side winder and inline) seem to require different tensions and different amounts of play. 

Pods can have 3, 4, 5 or 6  mount point depending on the manufacturer. 
Pods are available in different materials and thicknesses which affect the cars handling.

Suspension allows some control over the weight transfer under cornering and acceleration/braking. 
On extremely rough tracks, suspension helps keep the car on the track. In very extreme circumstances, A suspension guide can also be used. 

Suspension allows control over the torque forces produced by the motor. 
Tuning the suspension screws can allow you to mitigate against too much or too little traction at the rear.
Selecting different springs can help mitigate against bad car behaviour, such as start-line power DeSlot (without loading your car up with ballast)

I would say that the more torque the motor produces, the more important the suspension becomes.
BSCRA racers will be laughing all of the way through this write up. BSCRA have No suspension pods, massively powerful motors.

So, how to learn how to set up pods? 
Left and right springs should be identical and under identical tension. 
Front to rear, tensions and springs can be different and create good car behaviours.

Take one of your cars that has a bad behaviour and experiment. 
Or take a car you are happy with, alter the pod setup and observe the result on track. 
You'll see top racers often have a screwdriver to hand when testing and tuning a car at a club.

Once you get to grips with pod setup, you'll be able to alter the car's handling by very small adjustments and be confident that you can predict the results of each turn of each screw. You'll also be able to create a suspension type behaviour where a class of racing prohibits springs.

[+] 1 member Likes Nonfractal's post

Thumbup  Yes, I appreciate it's a huge ask.

Main thing seems to be - lock the chassis down and just experiment with the pod screws.

The ACTUAL set-up is more subjective and will depend on body style, motor, tyres, track, driver preference, 'et alia'.  

Still, the above gives me a start. I'm not wanting to change any components on the car - just tweak what's there.

(15th-May-20, 10:44 AM)Top Down Wrote:  Main thing seems to be - lock the chassis down and just experiment with the pod screws.
It's a good to leave the body to float too. 
The balance between pod float and body float is something to experiment with.

OK, back to square one then - mess with everything until you hit the sweet spot  Bigsmile

This is a black art to me also , it seems to be do everything logically and if that doesn't work do everything illogically , somewhere something will work . Tease

Back in the 60,s I could build stuff to win ,now not so , it's all got more complicated .
Keep experimenting , that's the key 


Snag is 'I'm a visual person'.

If someone stood in front of me and said 'tighten this, loosen that and don't touch that bit' I'd get it - and have a baseline to start from.

As it is the baseline is 'screw everything down' then  - mess with everything until you hit the sweet spot. 

Trial and error. Still, I suppose that's the way everyone learns.  Thumbup  

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