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Track surfaces, traction and silicone tires


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#1 mr moto

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 05:00 AM

Two questions:
1) What is the best surface for a home made slot track?
2) Do you find that silicone tires leave a slick film on the track that only silicone tires can grip?

I built a small home track a few years ago. It can be disassembled into 2'x4' sections for storage and assembled as either a 4'x8', 4'x10 or 4'x12' layout. I haven't been totally satisfied with the layout (some corners are too tight) and I'm thinking of building a new one. My present track is painted with a Rustoleum garage floor paint that was recommended on a slot racing forum but nothing works on it except silicone tires and I don't want to be limited to them. I don't know if the problem is the paint or if it's because I started out running silicones and left "tire tracks". I had heard rumors many years ago about silicones doing that and it might be true. In fact, looking back on it, I think I might have experienced this before on an HO track. Has anybody else noticed this? I'm thinking of getting rid of all my silicone tires if I build a new track!

P.S. - I decided to edit and add a few more facts. First, my racing is STRICTLY vintage, i.e., no magnets at all. Also the traction problem with non-silicone tires is so bad that cars have a hard time accelerating in a straight line let alone getting around a single curve!

#2 jbwelda

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 09:38 AM

ive only experience with scaletrix (sp) track but quite a bit with that. i did notice that silicone tires tended to leave a bit of a trail but we could clean our track with some junk every couple of weeks and it didnt seem to build up. also obviously the track im using is mottled in texture and that may be a difference between it and a smooth track. but for sure silicone tires made the cars stick a lot better; that was more pronounced with magnet cars but seemed to apply even with non-mag ones. but note: with non-mag cars i often put a lot of weight on them, as low as possible, and that seems to minimize the amount of wheel spin i get from non-silicone tires.

note everything i say relates to 1/32 scale "realistic" cars, not 1/24 scale "gofast blob" cars so maybe youre just running a lot more HP than i typically do in this situation.

but to directly answer your question: ive not experienced anything of the severity you mention where non-silicone tires wont even grip no matter what. i think maybe its the paint you put down for the track surface...maybe too slick for rubber tires.

#3 Jairus

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 09:54 AM

Silicone works best on smooth clean tracks. If there is any dirt, dust, track glue, or spare car parts then the silicone's will pick it up but they don't leave any residue or slime....
They are perfect for plastic tracks as are rubber tires. Foam tires work only on wood tracks that have a textureized painted surface unless they are treated tires as JK sells. Foam tires also dry out quickly so fresh real "fish rubber" is the best foam you can get for use on a dry clean track.

If I was to build a home track I would probably route it out of 3/4 inch plywood and apply a surface that works best for the tires I wanted to use. In this case, silicones... then paint it a very smooth glossy gray with little or no orange peel. That means priming and sanding to seal the surface before the final coat. Very time consuming but lots of fun to drive on!

What scale are you thinking about?

Also, you might consider using rubber?
Professor Motor sells all sorts of rubber tires that fit many commercially available rims. Just glue and lightly true them! Handle great....

#4 mr moto

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 09:57 AM

Thanks for your comments, JB. Maybe it is the smoothness of the paint. It was recommended to me but probably by people who use magnets, glue, etc. I too race 1/32 "real" cars and my horsepower is limited to whatever a vintage Pittman makes. A DC77-6V makes a glorious noise!

#5 Modellpularn

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 06:41 PM

It might be the surface of your track that's the problem. Our track is smooth, and we can run any type of car. But that means the track has to be prepared accordingly.

We have run with silicone tires, we had a special Cobra class. The cars used Kyosho MiniZ bodies, with chassis of your choice. Worked great! But we have to clean the track with alcohol.

When we run our NASCAR cars, we use tires that are called "Black Magic", and they work perfectly, but the track has to be clean! We have to wipe it with alcohol to get rid of glue residue from the saloon cars.

The saloon cars need a spray glued surface all over. Tires are Alpha medium. I raced the saloon cars a couple of years, but it got to be too intense, people were almost in each other's throats when there was a pile-up.... :roll:

Some guys run the "wing cars" - G27 or whatever they are called, but that means they have to really prepare the track in order to make a lap time of 2.2 seconds!!! No kidding.

Please check out the pics of our club track.