Rail Riding - "How To Guide"

Secrets, tips, tools, design considerations, materials, the "science" behind it all, and other topics related to building the cars and semi-trucks.

Have you had success with a "rail rider"?

Yes
90
49%
No
8
4%
Somewhat
12
7%
Haven't tried yet
72
40%
 
Total votes: 182

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Re: Rail Riding - "How To Guide"

Post by *5 J's* » Tue Sep 28, 2010 10:06 am

FinePine wrote:I'd be interested to know: if you push the top of the wheel in to match the angle of the axle, does it stay there? And if you then roll the car a bit, what happens?
With 1.7 degrees of negative camber the wheels will match axle angle if you push the wheels "hard" against the axle head. However, this is an unstable position. As soon as the car starts moving a bit the wheel will come slightly off the axle head and the tread will sit flat in the track.



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Re: Rail Riding - "How To Guide"

Post by Slalom » Sat Mar 26, 2011 12:03 pm

New to this board I have 2 questions:

1. First year doing PWD, placed 3rd in district ( 2brothers placed 1st and 2nd hmmmm?) We have a RR Why are so many against the bent rear axles? what is the benefit of angled holes?

2. How do you turn the axles with needle nose pliers without damaging the axle head? is the only option slotting the head for a screwdriver?

3. Is there any benefit to tapering the outer circumference of the axle head to decrease it's catching on the inner bore?


Thanks in advance for your help!!!



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Re: Rail Riding - "How To Guide"

Post by 5kidsracing » Sat Mar 26, 2011 2:05 pm

Slalom wrote:New to this board I have 2 questions:

1. First year doing PWD, placed 3rd in district ( 2brothers placed 1st and 2nd hmmmm?) We have a RR Why are so many against the bent rear axles? what is the benefit of angled holes?

2. How do you turn the axles with needle nose pliers without damaging the axle head? is the only option slotting the head for a screwdriver?

3. Is there any benefit to tapering the outer circumference of the axle head to decrease it's catching on the inner bore?


Thanks in advance for your help!!!

You can drill angled holes very acurately.... using bent axles is hard to tune and hard for a novice to get right.

The Khouse Groove works excellent (screwdriver slot in axle head)... I drill holes in the bottom of the car exposing the ends of the axles and turn them from there...

Yes, angling the axle head is good... do it..


For my "Pinewood Story" go to: http://5kidsracing.webs.com/index.htm

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Re: Rail Riding - "How To Guide"

Post by Stan Pope » Sat Mar 26, 2011 2:18 pm

Slalom wrote: New to this board I have 2 questions:
Then I'll try to give you 50% more than you ask for. :)
Slalom wrote:1. First year doing PWD, placed 3rd in district
Excellent!
Slalom wrote:( 2brothers placed 1st and 2nd hmmmm?)
They probably have the same mentor!
Slalom wrote:We have a RR Why are so many against the bent rear axles? what is the benefit of angled holes?
"Angled holes" allow "mass production" and "plug and play" builds. If the results don't "play" they can be round filed without significant loss. "Bent axles" facilitiate tuning of "one of a kind" creations. Both work.
Slalom wrote:2. How do you turn the axles with needle nose pliers without damaging the axle head?
Not all damage interferes with operation. If minor defacement of the axles heads does not touch the wheels, then no problem. Tapered underside of axle head naturally avoids contact with the wheel.
Slalom wrote:is the only option slotting the head for a screwdriver?
No. I cut a thin "wrench" slightly smaller than the diameter of an axle. The thickness of the wrench was less than the wheel-body clearance planned. Then I filed 1/32" wide notches right where it would stick out of the car body.
Slalom wrote:3. Is there any benefit to tapering the outer circumference of the axle head to decrease it's catching on the inner bore?
I need clarification of this one ... unless you are referring to the possibilty of the axle head catching on the sides of the indented hub face. Gotta keep the head diameter small enough to prevent touching the wheel.


Stan
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Re: Rail Riding - "How To Guide"

Post by FatSebastian » Sat Mar 26, 2011 3:34 pm

:welcome: Slalom!
Slalom wrote:2. How do you turn the axles with needle nose pliers without damaging the axle head? is the only option slotting the head for a screwdriver?
This thread mentions various options.
Stan Pope wrote:I cut a thin "wrench" slightly smaller than the diameter of an axle. The thickness of the wrench was less than the wheel-body clearance planned.
Discussed here I think.



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Re: Rail Riding - "How To Guide"

Post by Stan Pope » Sat Mar 26, 2011 5:47 pm

FatSebastian wrote:
Stan Pope wrote:I cut a thin "wrench" slightly smaller than the diameter of an axle. The thickness of the wrench was less than the wheel-body clearance planned.
Discussed here I think.
I'll get better info sometime... The "wrench" is back home, now, and the tooling to prepare it is in the tool chest. Only lacking a sample axle to photograph.


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Re: Rail Riding - "How To Guide"

Post by Stan Pope » Mon Mar 28, 2011 11:07 am

Not everyone is allowed to narrow the front end of their racer in order to achieve the desired offset of DFW to rear wheel. Here is some info from a spreadsheet to help plan how to achieve the same result:

Image
(Right click and save the "Open Office" spreadsheet here.)

The numbers are for standard wheelbase. Extended wheelbase numbers are similar.

The "Offset Angle" value is how much the rear axles need to deviate from perpendicular to the car's center line in order to cause the rear wheel behind DFW to stay off the rail by the "Offset" amount. This can be accomplished either by precisely drilling the axle holes at angle or by bending the rear axle to at least that amount.

Another interpretation of "Offset Angle" is how far the car's center line is angled away from "straight down the track." To "fix" the visual incongruity, one might redefine the car's center line accordingly. It is conceptually simple (though not so simple in practice) to layout and cut the car's body based on this altered "center line."

The "Deviation in Overlap" value is the amount to rotate the drill press table, measured by a dial indicator, in order to accomplish the "Offset Angle".


Stan
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Re: Rail Riding - "How To Guide"

Post by rpcarpe » Mon Mar 28, 2011 11:22 am

Turning axles... I'm not promoting the vendor(s)... but somebody out there makes special Axle Pullers and/or Axle Pliers.
Hold on, I just looked it up.
Axle Puller - Derbychamp.com $13.95, DerbyMonkey $14.95
Axle Pliers - Maximum Velocity $19.95

I got the Axle Pliers and I've been very pleased with them. When the tuning table gets set up... out come those special pliers.


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Re: Rail Riding - "How To Guide"

Post by Slalom » Mon Mar 28, 2011 11:24 am

Thanks guys, think I will slot the heads with my dremel (steady hand required), probably take some beta blockers before hand:>

two more questions, one relates to this thread, hope It's not a violation to stray.

1.I already have the body built and drilled, with a mighty fine paint job, retrospectively i would have drilled holes with camber using SP's technique, I alas have to use angled axles. Why can't grooved axles be angled? Is the force of the bending traslated to the grooved area causing bending around the groove? Why is 2.5 degrees the recommended Rear axle measurement, seems to me the 1.5 degrees would accomplish the same effect, what is the science?

2.I bought some Krytox and ran pack with that, now am seeing the krytox/"secret blend" mix, is this the new gold standard? Should I switch to this? Will it decrease times?


Cheers!

P.S. After reading through these threads for many hours over the past weeks, I feel like I am brushing with celebrity getting advice from Stan Pope and A pinehead legend.



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Re: Rail Riding - "How To Guide"

Post by Stan Pope » Mon Mar 28, 2011 11:58 am

Slalom wrote: Why can't grooved axles be angled? Is the force of the bending traslated to the grooved area causing bending around the groove?
Grooved axles can be "angled" and they can be "bent". I think "bent" is what you were axking about, right? But I'd have qualms about trusting the Pro RR Tool to do it well. I fear the axle ends up "curled" where the wheel bore rests. So, think about other ways to bend 'em!

The grooves for twisting axles (using the wrench described a few posts earlier), are right where the bend needs to be, and they can easily be added either before or after the bend is made.
Slalom wrote:Why is 2.5 degrees the recommended Rear axle measurement, seems to me the 1.5 degrees would accomplish the same effect, what is the science?
The extra degree seems to lift the wheel up on edge more reliably. I suspect that it relates where the wheel touches the track in relation to where the wheel bore touches the axle... a stability issue. At the same time, the shallow angle does not create great force against the axle head.

Slalom wrote:2.I bought some Krytox and ran pack with that, now am seeing the krytox/"secret blend" mix, is this the new gold standard? Should I switch to this? Will it decrease times?
Marginally, I'm told. The added surfactant needs to be carefully metered. Too much and the krytox fails. Too little and there is no benefit. Is it stable (on the shelf and in the wheel bores) for an acceptable period? Dunno.

My feeling is that most of us have so many "higher payoff" opportunities to improve our cars that buying the "latest and greatest technology" is probably wasteful.
Last edited by Stan Pope on Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: lift


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Re: Rail Riding - "How To Guide"

Post by sporty » Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:08 pm

Slalom wrote:Thanks guys, think I will slot the heads with my dremel (steady hand required), probably take some beta blockers before hand:>

two more questions, one relates to this thread, hope It's not a violation to stray.

1.I already have the body built and drilled, with a mighty fine paint job, retrospectively i would have drilled holes with camber using SP's technique, I alas have to use angled axles. Why can't grooved axles be angled? Is the force of the bending traslated to the grooved area causing bending around the groove? Why is 2.5 degrees the recommended Rear axle measurement, seems to me the 1.5 degrees would accomplish the same effect, what is the science?

2.I bought some Krytox and ran pack with that, now am seeing the krytox/"secret blend" mix, is this the new gold standard? Should I switch to this? Will it decrease times?


Cheers!

P.S. After reading through these threads for many hours over the past weeks, I feel like I am brushing with celebrity getting advice from Stan Pope and A pinehead legend.

You can angle / cant with grooved axles, many people do. you just have to be carefull on how you bend it and where at.

If you can run oil, thne yes the new process is really the way to go and so much faster.

Sporty



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Re: Rail Riding - "How To Guide"

Post by Ynot » Wed Apr 06, 2011 11:04 am

Hi,
I've only skimmed through this guide as I'm running out of time. I didn't originally plan on RR, yet wondering if it's too late for me on my current build.

I already drilled, shaped and added most of the weight to my body. When I drilled the axle holes I made the right front 1/16 higher to 3 wheel it down the track. As I understand correctly, with RR, this is supposed to be the dominant steering wheel, correct? If that's the case can I simply use the left wheel as the dominant instead and narrow that side of the body 1/16? Would this make the procedure too complicated? If so, I'll wait until next year.

Also, I've been try to locate a RR tool locally, if I can't how do I proceed without it?

Thanks,
Tony



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Re: Rail Riding - "How To Guide"

Post by derbyspeed » Wed Apr 06, 2011 11:58 am

That is correct you want to narrow the side opposite of the raised wheel 1/16th or less. I just use a belt sander and narrow it down that way. Can be done by hand sanding as well, just measure and mark your area so you don't go too far and make it too narrow for the track.

If you don't have a rail rider tool then you will need a way to hold and bend the axle. I use the pro axle press to hold the axle, you can use a vise also. I also use the axle pliers. You may be able to use needle nose pliers to do this, I don't know what kind of tools you have available.

I like to make a groove in the axle where I want the bend to be, that way it bends straight and easily, just be careful that you don't groove it too thin and break the axle, but it's much easier to make the adjustment with the groove.

Can't tell you how to get a 1.5 or 2.5 bend, I just bend the axle enough to see the bend, someone else might be able to chime in and explain better how to get the 1.5 or 2.5 degree bend.


Mike Webb

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Re: Rail Riding - "How To Guide"

Post by *5 J's* » Wed Apr 06, 2011 12:15 pm

Ynot wrote:Hi,
I've only skimmed through this guide as I'm running out of time. I didn't originally plan on RR, yet wondering if it's too late for me on my current build.

I already drilled, shaped and added most of the weight to my body. When I drilled the axle holes I made the right front 1/16 higher to 3 wheel it down the track. As I understand correctly, with RR, this is supposed to be the dominant steering wheel, correct? If that's the case can I simply use the left wheel as the dominant instead and narrow that side of the body 1/16? Would this make the procedure too complicated? If so, I'll wait until next year.

Also, I've been try to locate a RR tool locally, if I can't how do I proceed without it?

Thanks,
Tony
You can make either wheel dominant - no issue. In your case the left wheel will be the DFW or dominant front wheel that will steer to the rail - and this is the side you will narrow the body in the area of the front wheel. This does not complicate things at all.

If you cannot locate a RR tool you can bend an axle without it. What I do is drop the axle through the wheel and mark the spot the axle exits the wheel with a Sharpie. Now remove the axle from the wheel and place in a drill. While the drill is turning hold the edge of a file to the axle at the point marked with the sharpie. What you are going to do is make a slight "score" or groove around the axle - do not go too deep - basically just make a score. Be careful to not allow the file to ride up the surface the wheel will ride on. (You may want to make the groove prior to polishing the axle - but ensure you polish BEFORE you bend the axle). Next remove the axle from the drill and make a mark on the axle head with a sharpie. This is now the 12 o'clock position. Put the axle in a vice such that the score is at the top of the jaws with the axle head facing up and the 12 o'clock position away from you. Now place a flat blade screwdriver on the score and tap the end of the flat blade screwdriver with a mallet to bend the axle towards the 12 o'clock. If you can cant you rear wheels you want approximately 3 degrees on bend in the rear axle. For the DFW axle you will want about a 1.5 degree bend. If not using the RR tool - make sure you know what 1.5 and 3 degrees looks like. 1.5 is barely perceptible. I recommend you practice on a test axle or two.

When you install the rear axles you will place the 12 o'clock mark on the axles UP to provide negative camber (axle heads will be higher then the tips). For the DFW you will put install the axle with the mark at the 9 o'clock position. This will likely provide way too much steer, so you will roll the axle counter clockwise to turn some of the 1.5 degrees into positive camber until the amount of desired steer is obtained. 6 o'clock is all positive camber - 9 o'clock is all toe-in.

It can get tricky to rotate the axle one installed so some people cut or file a groove into the axle head to allow for turning with a small flat blade screwdriver.



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Re: Rail Riding - "How To Guide"

Post by Ynot » Wed Apr 06, 2011 12:23 pm

I managed to locate both the Rail Rider and Axel Press by DW a few cities away, so I'm in luck.

My body is already 1 11/16, a 1/16 less than normal already. Will the additional 1/16, then 1/8 be to tight for the track?

Tony

Edit: *5 J's*, just saw your post.
Last edited by Ynot on Wed Apr 06, 2011 12:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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