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Tuning the motor pod

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  • Tuning the motor pod

    Just getting back into 1/32 racing. I raced it about 10 yrs ago, then moved to an area with with only HO racing. Recently I found a local 1/32 club. Anyway...

    I notice that new cars (and even my's from 10 yrs ago) have motor pods. I know that body rock helps the handing. In HO loosening the whole body is all you have, and it helps. In 1/32, you can loosen the body screws, and the motor pod screws. I searched here for "motor pod", but apparently the search feature doesn't support searching for a phrase.

    So... What's the current wisdom on chassis tuning using body screws and motor pod screws?

    Also... what's the advantage of having a motor pod? I'm guessing better handling, which translates into lower lap times. I don't really worship at the altar of lap times. If I did, I'd be asking about how to add neo magnets to my car. What I would prefer in a car is, predictability and smoothness. Do motor pods improve predictability and smoothness?

  • #2
    Start with a 1/4 to a 1/2 turn off tight, set your front end. Check for all 4 tires touching and run the car. Continue with adjustments of the pod out in quarter turns until the car slows down. Remember to check your front end after pod adjustments.
    The Jester

    Soxside (Chicago)


    • #3
      As with everything in racing its down to personal preference.
      Start with everything tight and test. Back one screw off a full turn and test again. Try another, try another. You'll see a pattern emerging where you'll see what improves matters or not.
      Kevan - Isle of Man
      Life is like a box of Slot cars...🚓🚗🚚🚜


      • #4
        I have found that the motor pod settings that work well for one car may not be ideal for a different car. To complicate matters even more you might need different settings for two examples of the same make and model car, so a little experimenting would be in order.
        If you expect to run cars without traction magnets you might take a look at this article:


        • #5
          Hello Gearhead, there are some fundamental differences in set-up based on track type (plastic vs. wood) and whether you run with or without magnets............a little more info is needed in order to make a solid recommendation.

          And while most folks seem to believe that all the parts/design elements on the current cars are for the consumers benefit, most are for the benefit of the manufacturer (his/her cost) ......including motor pods.

          Chris Walker


          • #6
            As a group here in Portland most/all of our faster classes have podded cars, mostly from Slot It or NSR, a few from Thunder Slot that were so fast we had to give them their own "open" class.

            One evening one of the racers brought in a Ninco LMP on a flat non podded chassis and was running some very quick laps. Now I had a couple of these sitting in a drawer so with the coming of the virus I pulled them out and started fussing with them. While not quite as fast as my Slot It or NSR they are as smooth and quiet, and while I can get the occasional hot lap in the Slot It/ NSR range I can't do it 25 times in a row.

            Great fun trying though.


            • #7
              It wasn't specifically mentioned in the recommendations. So do you keep the body screws tight if you have a motor pod?


              • #8
                Some cars will run very well with the motor pod locked down. Some cars that don't have motor pods also run very well. If you are considering a particular car you might post a question about how it might run and how best to tune it. If you do that be sure to include information about the track voltage, track type and so on or you will get a lot of answers that may not apply to your situation. You might also be wasting some ones time if you post a question that is too general. Sometimes I will reply with a post that asks for specifics, like "Will you be racing your cars? " or "Will you be using traction magnets?" .


                • #9
                  The club I race with now runs 100% magnetic. The previous club I was in ran 100% no-mag. I'm hoping to nudge the current club toward no-mag. There are a few members firmly in the mag racing camp, and a few in the no-mag camp. So right now... all the racing is with magnets, but I plan on a lot of no-mag testing in the near future. I know that a no-pod car can run pretty well. I have some, and I have run others. I also know that the higher end cars today all have pods. I never really developed the knack for tuning with pods. That's why I asked.

                  Slight tangent... how much of a difference does a pod make? I'm planning on expanding my fairly small collection in the near future. I was wondering if I should how much benefit I should assign to a car having a pod.


                  • docdoom
                    docdoom commented
                    Editing a comment
                    We allow new racers to use magnets in there cars. Once they win a race the magnets most go.

                • #10
                  If you are running without traction magnets a particular car nay be very sensitive as to how the motor pod screws are set and also to how much body float the car might have. A couple of years ago we were doing a joint race with another club using Carrera cars. My car was OK at the start of the race, but the handling had gone off by the end of the race. When I got back home I found that one body screw had loosened up. Now if body screws are too easy to turn I put rubber cement on them when I assemble the car.
                  If you get recommendations for a particular car you should use those as a starting point, then do some experimenting. One you find a combination that works well be sure you make a note of how many turns the screws should be backed out. Proxy cars usually have that information written on the bottom of the car.


                  • docdoom
                    docdoom commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Club rule. All cars must have there body screws holes covered with tape. To prevent loose screws falling onto the track and causing issues. Shorts and broken guilds
                    Those that are found not adhering to the rules will be beaten and public disgraced

                • #11
                  Those that are found not adhering to the rules will be beaten and public disgraced
                  This statement won't bother RichD. He has been beaten and disgraced so many times, it doesn't bother him anymore. In fact, he's rather used to it...
                  Dickie Pearson
                  Canterbury, NH

                  HOST - Home Operated Slot Tracks
                  MSR - Main Street Racing


                  • #12
                    On cars with a separate motor mount I generally run my body screws snug to 1/4 backed off from snug and my motor pod screws about a 1/4 to 1/2 turns backed off from snug. When I say snug I don't mean tight. You never want to adjust any screws on your chassis too tightly as this may cause plastic parts to warp. It's a good idea to use screws with a smooth shaft near the head to minimize binding, such as the Sloting+ special screws for body float or the Slot.It ones. On some cars I open the chassis screw hole slightly with a rat tail file. In my opinion, having some forward to back movement between the body and the chassis is a good thing, but I try to minimize side-to-side play, especially when my tires are very near making contact with the wheel arches. One of the guys I race with glues small strips of plastic to the side of the chassis screw holes to minimize side-to-side play.

                    Nothing should be binding on your car - front wheels, rear wheels, gears, etc...

                    This is why I generally run the body screws more snug than the pod screws - because I don't want the body moving so much that it interferes with moving parts such as tires and gears, or even making contact with stationary parts of the chassis, such as the motor. While I'm on the subject of motor you always want that securely fastened to the motor pod. Use two 4 mm screws if the pod is designed to accept them and adjust them to just snug, or else glue the motor in place with hot glue or some other adhesive.

                    As others have said above, even identical cars from the same manufacturer may require slightly different screw adjustments. I've also discovered that not all body screws or pod screws on the same car need to be adjusted similarly. Sometimes, a car seems to benefit having one or more screws adjusted a little more loosely than others. It comes down to tuning, then testing, then tuning and testing again...
                    Team SCANC
                    Woodland Trace Raceway - SlotZuka - Bent Tree Raceway
                    OFI - Buena Vista Motorsports Park - Slotkins Glen
                    Leadfinger Raceway


                    • F1Fan
                      F1Fan commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Some good and detailed suggestions from Steve, however motors usually accept 2mm screws, not 4mm

                  • #13
                    Dungeounracer, I guess that racing with you has toughened me up considerably. In the case of the car that I mentioned the body screw had not actually fallen out, it had only backed out by a turn and a half. Just because you have left the body screws loose does not always mean that you will have good body float. Sometimes something wants to hang up, it often helps to use floater screws that are only threaded near the tip. I believe that Slot Car Corner has a variety of screws.


                    • #14
                      I knew that every car is different. They're made from molded plastic. Of course they're going to be different. I was looking for general guidelines for tuning using motor pods.

                      Thanks for all the suggestions.


                      • #15
                        Recently I've taken to using countersunk screws without washers for mounting pods as it seems to me that the pod can stay in a closer horizontal position and still have a tad vertical float.
                        CHCH NZ