alignment and 3-wheelers

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joe
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alignment and 3-wheelers

Post by joe » Sun Jan 15, 2006 11:15 pm

Looking for that last inch at the finish line...there could be an advantage to a 3-wheel car pulling ever so slightly towards the lifted wheel -- guaranteeing (almost) that the lifted wheel will not hit the guide early and cost precious time. Since it is very difficult to get even a perfectly aligned car down the track without bumping the rail -- too many uncontrolled variables I think -- why not bias the car ever so slightly towards that wheel, or is the cure worse than the disease? I only bring it up because my youngest had a very fast car at the district level and it did exactly that, maybe 1/2 to 3/4 inch off line towards the lifted wheel in six feet, one of those alignment jobs you give up on after an hour. And he beat my other boy's perfectly aligned car every time (same design, etc) What is the cost of that wheel hitting the rail early on?



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Re: alignment and 3-wheelers

Post by WarpSpeedINC » Mon Jan 16, 2006 2:57 am

joe wrote:Looking for that last inch at the finish line...there could be an advantage to a 3-wheel car pulling ever so slightly towards the lifted wheel -- guaranteeing (almost) that the lifted wheel will not hit the guide early and cost precious time. Since it is very difficult to get even a perfectly aligned car down the track without bumping the rail -- too many uncontrolled variables I think -- why not bias the car ever so slightly towards that wheel, or is the cure worse than the disease? I only bring it up because my youngest had a very fast car at the district level and it did exactly that, maybe 1/2 to 3/4 inch off line towards the lifted wheel in six feet, one of those alignment jobs you give up on after an hour. And he beat my other boy's perfectly aligned car every time (same design, etc) What is the cost of that wheel hitting the rail early on?
:D :D :D :D
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Re: alignment and 3-wheelers

Post by joe » Mon Jan 16, 2006 1:59 pm

OK, I'll read between the lines on this one!



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Re: alignment and 3-wheelers

Post by M7 Racing » Mon Jan 16, 2006 7:06 pm

So your thought is that you would have the car aligned so it would very slightly move toward the lifted wheel resulting in the non lifted front weel to hit the inside rail? It is extremely hard to align a car to go completely straight so I think this would definately be more benefitial than the other way around. If the lifted wheel hits the inside rail then you have a chance of the car lifting off the track. Do you think that having the alignment go towards the lifted wheel is better then one aligned to go straight down?[/u]



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Re: alignment and 3-wheelers

Post by Stephen's Dad » Mon Jan 16, 2006 9:17 pm

I'm looking at this the other way...the lifted wheel bumps the guide rail with no braking action to the rolling wheel.

It would still be better to stay off the rail all together. Friction is is lost energy regardless of where it is incurred.

Is there a lesser evil here?



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Re: alignment and 3-wheelers

Post by bowels » Mon Jan 16, 2006 9:57 pm

I have noticed for 2 years since I bought a 32 foot track to test cars after they were built and aligned that the car that is the best aligned has not been the fastest car. There have been 3-8 cars built for my kids and my neice and nephews per year and they all have been wieghted the same and have the same body style, the same polishing of the axles and the same polishing of the wheels. These cars were raced in AWANA`s with AWANA wheels so minimal sanding was done to the wheels. Ny oil II was used for lubrication. Both years the car which was not the best aligned was the fastest car. The cars that went straight were slower. I did not pay attention to whcih way the front wheel was veering towards, but I find it very interesting that you have noticed this also.

Joe if I understand properly the car was aligned so the turning wheel, not the lifted whel was going to hit the center rail ?



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Re: alignment and 3-wheelers

Post by Stan Pope » Mon Jan 16, 2006 10:12 pm

bowels wrote:that the car that is the best aligned has not been the fastest car.
What is the basis for comparing their degree of alignment? The clue to this phenomenon may lie there!


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Re: alignment and 3-wheelers

Post by WarpSpeedINC » Mon Jan 16, 2006 10:39 pm

Stephen's Dad wrote:
It would still be better to stay off the rail all together. Friction is is lost energy regardless of where it is incurred.
Yes it Would!
But unfortunatly, this will rarely, if ever happen. There are just too many variables in the track, noise from other cars, staging ect..
You want to strive for Perfect rear alignment, and Proper front alignment for track set-up and condition.
If you get this right, it may open doors for you in other areas! :wink:
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Re: alignment and 3-wheelers

Post by pinecarpro » Mon Jan 16, 2006 10:58 pm

so whats better 3 wheels or 4? and could the car be drifting because of 3 wheels not bad alinment?



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Re: alignment and 3-wheelers

Post by joe » Tue Jan 17, 2006 1:19 am

Yes, if we have our druthers, we don't want the lifted wheel to hit before the turning wheel. We don't want any friction loss here, but I don't know how to stop the car from hitting the rail, so it would seem safer to hedge our bet and 'help' the car drift toward the side with lifted wheel. If we could run every race in the same lane, same conditions, etc., perhaps we could control it. At the very least, if your alignment can't be perfect, it had best not be turning that lifted wheel into the rail at the start.



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Re: alignment and 3-wheelers

Post by M7 Racing » Tue Jan 17, 2006 5:56 am

Sorry to get really basic about this, however my oldest son is finally at the age where he has the patience to take the time to better align his car.

When we are talking about rails I am assuming that we are talking about the 1/4" x 1-3/4" strip that the car straddles as it goes down the track. If the car goes one way or another the only part of the car that will come in contact with this rail is the inside of the wheels. Is there another part of the track that I am not remembering that the outside (hub cap side if they were allowed) of the wheels can come in contact with?

I still find it hard to believe that if you have everything else equal, that a car going straight without hitting the rails will not be as fast as one hitting the rails. However, I also realize it is basically impossible to not hit a rail because of all of the variables.

From what we have read and our own experiences we have definitely found out that 3 wheels are faster than 4. However, Joe let me make sure I understand what part of the car you are favoring to hit the rail. If you raise your front left wheel, if you could not get perfect alignment would you favor the car moving slightly to the left so the first contact to the rail would most likely be the inside of the front right tire? Am I thinking right?



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Re: alignment and 3-wheelers

Post by bowels » Tue Jan 17, 2006 9:48 pm

Stan,

I used a 8 foot long x 1 foot wide shelving board as a test tract to check the alignmnet and raised it to a ~ 4 inch slope. The board was levelled from right to left. I used wax paper shimming to aid in aligning the cars. There was a couple of cars that would not perfectly align. The cars that would not perfectly align would drift to the 1-2 inches right or left depending on the car after traveling 8 feet. After spending about 1 hour and the car not being aligned I just gave up and assumed the car would be slower, but when raced on a tract the car was actually faster. I realize that other variables may be involved in why the car that was not aligned was well was faster, but I find it interesting that others have noticed this also.



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Re: alignment and 3-wheelers

Post by pinecarpro » Tue Jan 17, 2006 11:10 pm

sorry guys I know I'am new hear but if you are shiming axles then you will be lucky to have a fast car!!! and then try to duplicate it . alinment you can control.... All you are doing by shiming the car to go stright is masking the real problem and binding up the car. Thats why people get the 3 wheeler to go faster it's more forgiving you have to be good to make a 4 wheeler fast. If your alinment is good its good you can control this!!!! but wheels may not be perfict you can try hard but they won't be so if you have 2 wheels on one side of the car and 1 on the other and if they are not perfict the car will drift. Drifting is better than binding. That is why the cars that don't go stright are faster. Drifting dose not mean the alinment is off!!!!! PS plus there is a lot more factors to this.



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Re: alignment and 3-wheelers

Post by Stan Pope » Wed Jan 18, 2006 12:37 am

bowels wrote:Stan,

I used a 8 foot long x 1 foot wide shelving board as a test tract to check the alignmnet and raised it to a ~ 4 inch slope. The board was levelled from right to left. I used wax paper shimming to ...
My question is still not answered. What criteria do you use to ascertain that alignment is perfect vs. not perfect? The only criteria that you listed was drifting left or right on the sloped, 8-foot test bed. If that is the extent of your criteria, then you are not aligning ... you are just trying to get 'em to run straight. There is a world of difference!

Dead-on alignment results in elimination of "binding" as well as running straight. In fact, as the car comes into dead-on alignment, you can almost hear it breathe a sigh of relief.


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Re: alignment and 3-wheelers

Post by joe » Wed Jan 18, 2006 1:37 am

bowels, yes, it is my contention that if you have a 3-wheeler with the left front raised, and it pulls to the left, then your car will be faster than if it pulls to the right. So if your car's gonna drift, it'd best not drift to the right in this case. Do I WANT it to go left? Not necessarily, but maybe that's the best alternative in some cases.



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