Monday, January 30, 2012

McKune is at it again with the FGX

More pics of the McKune FGX conversion. And a race report. Ill make it brief, it went well and he didn't break anything. But if you want the full report, Ill post it. And of course the new pics. Enjoy.

Prototype Rev 1.1
Test Day 2 Timezone Winter Series.

Today was a pretty good day. I am still learning this car as this was the 3rd time I have ran an F1 car. The car is still fighting to much traction in the rear with the Shimizu Soft Ribs. It is a fine line between a push and traction rolls as you add neg camber and sauce more or less of the fronts. Next week I will have the rear anti roll bar which should help. Trying to get this car to rotate quickly with out lifting is a challenge. I also have some Ride Medium Slick rears coming just to try.

I ended up 3rd today overall with a 5th, 3rd, and 2nd in the triple ten minute mains. Not to bad considering my Duo 3 has seen 230+ and is coming off at 210. I have a new Revtech on the way.

By the third main the car was actually pretty damn good but I faded pretty bad and couldn't catch Mark for 1st. In the third main I tried adding reactive caster to the front. This worked very well and seem to calm the car down under hard breaking turns. The way I have the front suspension mount block allows you to raise or lower the front arms relative to stock. I raised the back of the arms 3mm thus reducing caster as the suspension compresses but maintaining caster on power. This is definitely a good selling feature.

Another good selling feature is NO BROKEN PARTS! Multiple top decks, front arms, lower arms, etc. were all broke today by others. I did not break anything. Even though I am still testing everyone seems to want prototype top decks as fast as I can get them. I am very happy with the durability the top deck adds as I took some very hard hits and rolls into barriers. At one point I slammed nose first into another car who turned in early and nothing. Last thing I am not having any tweak issues. Mark's car seems to hold a tweak and he has to loosen all the screws and straighten it out throughout the day.

I hope to have Rev 2.0 on the track Thursday. This will include the two piece top deck and a new bulkhead behind the steering to reduce the front end flex.


F109 Front End

 The F109 front end is a great idea. Caster and camber adjustments at your leisure. The problem with the 3racing version, they use too soft of a plastic. This causes slop, and eventually, failure. The front end tends to come apart at the camber adjustment. Another issue is the stock caster plate, its plastic too. While not soft like the arms, its brittle, a one hit wonder if you will. There is an alloy hop up out there, I had one, but its not always easy to find, and well, with the other issues just not worth it. In my opinion anyway.

 So, what to do? Easy. Composite F103 front end, the standard, plain Jane, no adjustment having front end. Why? Because #1, it doesn't break. And #2, there is no point in adjusting a broken car, see reason #1. Yes, you can still have some adjustments using shims, I find that I really didn't need them as much as I needed a sturdy front end.  And you can have it for under $10. That's less than the F109 adjustable front end, and less than the alloy caster plate. I will have the composite front end on both F109s when they are done. I wish they made a composite version of the F104 arm set.

F109 and the CRC side spring mod.

As of right now, I have 2 F109s. Neither is complete. One was ransacked to make the Exotek F1R, the other I acquired from Zach after he ransacked it to fix his F104 Pro. In the future I hope to build both of these chassis back up. One into a Le Mans Type C, the other back into a standard 200mm F109 F1 car.

Any way, I've posted lots of stuff on the F109 during the time I've had this blog. Most of it total crap. What can I say? It was my first F1. I learned a lot and broke a lot. But I didn't post much that I learned. So now, I will post some of the upgrades/mods that were really helpful to me. I came up with none of them, I either learned from RobK's Blog, RCTech or from Racer Robert, and others. Doesn't matter, it is good stuff, and really helps out this already good car.

First up, The CRC side spring mod. Simple really. The stock side springs are too soft. I'll say it, they suck. They collapse, dont rebound after awhile, and generally worthless. So, what ya do is replace them with CRC side springs. I used the reds, about medium and really worked well on the carpet with rubber tires. Your only halfway there though, its not just swap springs, no no no. You gotta work a bit. Bare with me.  Lets get a parts list going shall we?

CRC side spring set
CRC metal spring holders


spring holders

Ok take the stock springs out, and throw them away. Good riddance.
Now take off the top deck.
Take out the side dampening shock.
There are 2 pins that connect upper deck to the dampener bracket. It also serves as a hinge to open/close the top deck. A set screw holds it in place on each side.
Take out set screw.
Cut both pins in half.
Use epoxy or whatever method you choose to fasten the now shorter pins to the upper deck. Make sure the pins are short enough to not interfere with the hole where the set screw was. We need that hole, very important.
Now, there is 2 "spring cups" on the plastic bracket. This is the tube where the stock springs were. Get your Dremel, and cut that tube down, about even with rest of bracket.
Get your long set screw that came with the spring holders, and screw it in the old set screw hole. Fix the spring holders/captive nuts to the set screw.
Then place the spring on. Might use some ShoeGoo or something to secure it even better. Bingo. Your done.
Now not only do you have better side springs, but now you can control how much tweak you want.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

F1 video 1/28

Cant stay away from the FGX

My love/hate relationship with this car continues late tonight. Last week I hated it again, took all the electronics out and hung it on the wall. Fragile, fragile, fragile. I knew it wouldn't last, I think I even said it wouldn't last. Well with McKune and MantisWorx doing up some upgrades this week, I am excited again. Also I read some scuttlebutt elsewhere of someone else working on something. So I put the electronics back in tonight. With one exception, I also put in an LRP X11 17.5 instead of the 21.5. Couple of dark runs down the street to get it straight, and I can say its faster of course. But when I apply power it veers hard to the right. That's what broke it last week. I will check the bearings tomorrow. I hope that is the problem, I don't know what else it could be. Wheels are straight, steering is not off. Hmmmm, could be the battery moving, I'm lazy and didn't tape it in. I have heard of the battery moving just enough to touch the steering arm from servo. Quite possible, I will have to check that tomorrow, it is too cold to go back into the Mancave. This damn car, wish I could give up on it.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

New Layout at Mikes.

They modified the existing layout again this week. Not alot changed, but it increased lap times up to the 12-13 second range, which is what it was back in the Summer. Looking forward to trying it out next weekend Lord (and wife) willing.

Friday, January 27, 2012

McKune FGX Prototype Rev 1.1 complete

This is sweet. Troy McKune of McKune Design has made a prototype CF chassis conversion for the 3racing FGX. He has also made some front arms that look A LOT sturdier. I am excited about this. It looks good, and you can judge that for yourself with the pics. I got all of these pics and captions from Troys McKune's posts on the FGX thread at

"The front part of the chassis is the same as stock until about the front of the Servo. The rest going back approximately follows the contour of the inside of the body. It is a little narrower than the inside contour of the body. The goal was to allow more room for mounting electronics. There is enough room now to mount a Tekin RS or Black Diamond flat on the left side."

"New Prototype front arms just off the mill. Allows you to adjust camber without changing caster."

"The way the front arms mount directly to the center block allows them to be mounted lower. This will increase camber gain. By adding spacers I can get back to stock height."

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

F1 Results Mikes 1/21/12

Top Qualifier is Bremer, Robert 32/6:10.370 (Rnd 1)
                             F  Q     TIME                  FAST LAP
Bremer, Robert      1  1  32/6:16.231                11.178
Hill, Spencer          2  2  32/6:17.137                10.893
Bryson, Doug         3  3  30/6:05.09                 11.403
Giovinazzo,Alex     4  5   29/6:07.368               11.780 
Smith, Jason         5  8  26/6:10.389               12.011
Sharpie"               6  7  26/6:11.155                12.006
Griffin, Don            7  6  24/5:33.241                12.099
Born, Jordan          8  4  22/5:55.041                11.795

Sunday, January 22, 2012

F1 Posse- Houston Chapter

Our man on the scene, Racer Robert, reports that F1 is alive and well in Houston. Permanent asphalt track is fast with a nice groove.

EDIT: F1 is blowing up in H Town. They are more nuts about it than we are at Mikes. They got a good thing going. Jealous.

UF1 1/21 at TQ RC Speedway

Heres the A Main from TQ RC Speedway yesterday. The big guys of American RC F1 racing. These guys, I feel, are responsible for the boom in F1 RC racing in the US, and partly to blame for the Great Tamiya Part Shortage of Winter 2012 I'm sure (hehe). 10 minute triple A Mains with mandatory pits stops. Pretty sweet set up, and a pretty good role model of how it should be done. Hopefully some of these guys show up at the Nats in March. I'd like to learn some stuff from them and see them in action. Also hoping RobK makes an appearance, and several others from the forum. 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

F1 at Mikes 1/21/12

We had 8, good showing today. Some new faces and cars too. Robert TQ'd and won. I didn't have any DNF's so I got that problem sorted out for another week. Didn't drive to bad either, car is locked in, and I'm getting better at controlling it. No video, just the cheesy, posed photo op of the Posse. Stats when i get em.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Rule changes for VTA and F1 class at the Nats today.
VTA min weight raised to 1550grms.
F1 the 3racing FGX is legal as long as it meets the 190mm spec width. Only for Carpet Nationals.

F1 AMain 1/14/12 Mikes

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

F1 Babe Time!!

Its been too long. And judging by the hits the older F1 babe posts still get, ya ll are ready for more. I lifted these off I think. It was difficult to pic just one. Still not sure I can. Here goes:

Nope, couldnt do it.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Results F1 Mikes 1/14/12

                              F   Q     Time                Fast Lap   Chassis

Bremer, Robert       1    1    30 6:03.666    11.541      F103.5
Bryson, Doug         2    4    30 6:10.382    11.827      FGX
Giovinazzo, Alex     3    5    28 6:07.896    11.868      Exotek F104W
Born, Jordan           4    3    26 6:04.915    11.551      F104W
Griffin, Don             5    7    25 6:02.557    12.768      F104Pro
 "Sharpie"              6    8    23 6:07.405    12.833      F109
 Hill,  Spencer        7    2    21 5:08.815    11.136      Corally
Smith, Jason         8    6      1 0:14.494    14.494      Exotek F104R

Saturday, January 14, 2012

FGX upper deck mod update

My upper deck mod held up today. Not a lot of track time with the FGX but when I was out there I hit everything in sight. No damage. First time I ever ran it long enough to drain battery without having to make an order from TQ. I'd say that's a step in the right direction.

Now as for the race report, my Grandma always told me that if I couldn't say anything nice, don't say anything at all. That about covers it. I think we might have had 10 cars out there today. I will have the stats when they are available. ***SPOILER ALERT*** I got a DNF. Shocking, I know.

Now I am off to VRC Pro for some virtual RC practice. I can wreck all I want and not break anything.

F1 Prelude to 1/14/12 or Trying to fix the FGX the night before a race.

Its late. I'm racing F1 and only F1 tomorrow. Supposed to have a big F1 turnout. Eleven have "committed" to run, with as much as 16 possible. That is allot of F1 cars. My Exotek is ready, and my FGX is ready again. And I've made a mini mod for supporting the upper deck. The FGX upper deck has a weak spot right behind the caster block. You can see it when you bend the upper deck. It has a 90* angle there and its the thinnest part of the deck. I have snapped 2, and many others have reported snapping them in the same spot.

All I did was to use some scrap FRP that I had. In this case, an extra bottom motor plate from an F109. Just  cut off about a 3" x .5" piece. I simply Shoe Gooed it in place, over the weak spot and caster block area.

You can also see the new aluminum steering blocks, the is a 35gr metal caster block in there too. It is a 1* so it is the same as stock. Will consider trying out more camber in the future, but I've got to get the durability issue fixed before I spend any more for hop ups on this car.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Racing, Mikes, 1/12/12

1/12th 17.5 blinky- broke steering block in practice. Out of stock, out of race.

VTA - Q1 DNF- picked up loose part from others car, locked up steering. Pulled 30 seconds from end of race. Was running 4th at time. Car was best it has been since Fall Classic. Broke ANOTHER steering block and C hub. Disgusted. Pulled out of VTA for foreseeable future. It may be time to get a more durable car. Anyone have an older X Ray?

F1- we are not allowed to race F1 on the Thursday night schedule. I'm sure its because it is too awesome for weeknights.

Fun stuff time. F1 practice. The later it got the better it got. Exotek F1R has quickly become my favorite car. Track changes so much, not only day to day, but hour to hour. Tough to keep on top of setup. Basics stay the same, but give or take a turn on the side springs to stay on top. I love this car. Out of 4 cars that I ran or attempted to run today, it not only got the most track time, but its the only one in one piece.  Exotek Rules.

Ah the FGX, heavy sigh. I put it back together. Novak GTB2 installed, receiver re-installed, got a new mini size HobbyWing servo off of the human hobby shop Randy Novak. Aluminum steering blocks (!!) Version 2 front arm set, delrin ball, new upper deck, F104 indestructible kingpins, I even reinforced the upper deck's weak spot with CF and CA. Half a lap, YES I SAID HALF A LAP, I wasn't even at full speed.... I was babying it around, making sure it was tracking straight, came out of a slow turn, gave it some throttle, and spun into boards. Instant uh-oh. Broke the GDMFN upper deck again. Damn near tore the body in half. Shoe Goo will fix that, the upper deck is toast. Jeeze Louise, what in the hell is up with this car? I know, I'm not supposed to wreck. But my goodness, take a little abuse at least. I'm not the best driver. I'm just an average guy, with average equipment, average speed, and way above average looks ( I kid, I kid). I don't drive the tightest most consistent lines at our track, I misjudge some turns now and again. What can I say? I'm average. But this is ri-goddam-diculous. Pardon my French. I can either throw more money at this car, (and the rest of them) or I can scrap it and sell it. (And the rest of them.) I'm keeping it. Its still a beautiful chassis with an ugly paint job. I'll put the extra upper deck on it tomorrow, and try it again. But I will say this, this car is a long way from being my racer. Maybe after the Nats, I'll try it some. But I think, for me at least, its a basher. The UF1 gang is loving this car, rumor has that its damn near taking over the Winter Series, a may prove unbeatable when they move to the outdoor asphalt tracks. Go for it, I'm not the caliber driver to keep it on track and finish, much less win, a race with it. I guess I better get that way, Nats are in 2 months. I do not want to DNF the lowest main. Contemplating just running F1 in the Nats and shelving the VTA for a spell. Just not as fun anymore, and that was before the parts spree I got on. Its F1 time baby. I started this mess here at Mikes, I'm all in.

OK, pity party over. In other news....

 Zach got his F104 Pro built and ready to go. He forgot his radio again. So he had plenty of time to finish it tonight. Haha, I know your reading this.

Racer Robert had his FGX and F103.5 rolling tonight. He is fast and consistent, and his cars are dialed.

Jordan had his F104W on the track a bit, it gets better and better.

There was another F104 Pro Black Special up there tonight, being built by a guy named Mike. He also has built an F104X1, he may be racing this weekend.

IDBDoug won an F104Pro off of eBay last night, complete with a genuine F1 Paintlab body painted in Red Bull livery. He will be racing Roberts FGX this weekend.

Alex is MIA. His F104W hasn't been the same since he went to the Exotek version 1 conversion. He will be back to speed shortly. If we find him. Check those milk cartons.

Matt Howard is supposed to make his F1 debut this week, with either an HPI Formula 10/Exotek conversion or his mighty Exotek F1R.

Don Griffin is going to be back at it this weekend. Think he has an F104 Pro.

Tom D from Oklahoma is coming down. He has a couple of F104s

David Walker... never know about him. Hopefully his 3Racing F109 is there with him.

Could be a couple of others. They have cars. Expect to see them shortly. Now if we can get Dumas in the Posse...... Some one tell TQ RC Racing that I'm getting another order ready.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

UF1 Shirts.

Nice shirt, huh fellas? I got one, you should too. Go here! And Lightfoot can hook you up. You wont look this good in the shirt, but.... OK I admit, just needed an excuse to post that pic.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Results F1 A main 1/7/12

F-1 Indy Car (A Main)
Top Qualifier is Hill, Spencer 32/6:10.067 (Rnd 1)

Bremer, Robert    30/6:00.255    fast lap 11.330
Born, Jordan        29/6:01.309    fast lap 11.247
Hill, Spencer        29/6:10.650    fast lap 10.985
Giovinazzo, Alex  27/6:03.045    fast lap 11.704
Smith, Jason       26/5:32.948    fast lap 12.131
Walker, Sharpie    24/6:00.971   fast lap 12.786

Saturday, January 7, 2012

F1 Posses Rides Again!

6 F1s racing today. Good turnout, will only get better in the coming weeks.
Left to right: Jordan's F104W, Racer Robert's F103.5 narrow and his FGX, Me and the Exotek F1R, Alex's Exotek F104W, Spencer's Corrally, Sharpie's F109.

Race Report.
Exotek F1R is still awesome. Played with settings, less side spring, springs 1mm above links, lost a lot of turn in. Cranked side springs to 1 turn past touching, little too much steering. Loosened to about a 1/4 turn past touching: DIALED.

PS572 rear, 577 front.
Camber on the 2, no spacers under plate.
Full sauce with Paragon.
Red Tamiya shock spring. Cranked.
Associated .022 front springs.
Ride height 3.5 front 3.5 rear
Took graphite axle out, went to steel axle, even better. you can feel the difference in the rear. Stable. Not touching set up til track changes. Better driver might have taken it all. Need to get better in the infield. Car can do it.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

More from FGX IFS

Here you can see how droop can be adjusted on the new FGX front suspension system.

FGX update

Coming Soon!! Optional front independent suspension system for the Sakura FGX. The new front suspension features fully independent upper and lower suspension arms, interchangable anti roll bars, droop adjustments, laydown coil spring shock absorbers, rocker arm system, due to the absence of any suspension arm pins, easy adjustment may also be possible for reactive caster, roll center, kick up or anti dive.

Now,will it hold up?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Exotek F1R update

Since last Fridays debut on the tack where it worked like a dream. I have since exchanged the 25.5 for an Epic Duo 2 21.5. Also as shown in the last post, I went from the Ferrari F60 narrow body to the Mclaren MP4/6 wide body. Now it wasn't as easy as just taking one body off and putting on the other. Of course there are different wing sets, and therein is where the problem lies. Simple really, the MP4/6 wing is designed for the F103 size tires. So I had to shave a fair amount of plastic off the rear corners of the front wing to give plenty of clearance for the tires when turning. Something I should have caught right off the bat, but I figured I'd give it a try without shaving. And of course it didn't pan out the way I planned. Which leads to another issue I had when I was at the track on Sunday. While at the track, with the new motor and body, I was a lot faster of course. But not being able to turn because of the tires hanging on the wing tends to end up with a shorter time on the track. So I of course did what I normally do. Broke a front arm, no biggie, this arm was old and had a nice bend in it, it was time to change.

Installed link front end, will change to standard F104 front end when parts arrive. Gave spare set of F104 front arms to Robert to turn his F103 into an F104 width rocket. Other issues I had which as usual are my fault and not the fault of the car: loose screws, I did not loctite the pivot screw. I lost the pivot screw. While trying to put new screw in, I needed to remove shock and side dampener for better access to the pivot. Numb nuts broke the side dampener.

At the time I didn't know it was an Associated 12r5 shock, so I didn't get the piece at the track. I have since ordered a new shock. But in my garage I have an older CEFX 1/12 scale car. Bang, Associated shock.

F1R is fixed, and ready for a track day. Hopefully Friday, definitely Saturday.

Put the CRC on the track some Friday also. Took the GTB esc out and put in a 4 cell GTB, sensor is bad in the 4 cell, so very little run time Friday. Have now put the SpeedPassion Cirtix esc from the FGX into the CRC. Will need a booster before I can run again, but may have it Saturday as well. FGX is hanging on the wall, slowly losing electrics to other cars.