07/23/2012


1/32nd Scale Racer Sideways Ford Capri Turbo

A good number of veteran enthusiasts were pretty excited when this model was first announced and I was one of them. Although the competition level models in our hobby are not really my personal style, there was simply no ignoring this one. The Ford Capri has been one of the best looking models in our hobby since Fly released it years ago, but it was plagued with performance issues and the front motor chassis design turned many hardcore racers away.

Enter RACER.

Unlike any Fly version, this model is aimed directly at the performance oriented enthusiast.  Of course how the model looks is important, but this car is designed with the "Racer" in mind first, so because of this we are going get right to the heart of the model: The Chassis.

The chassis of this model is quite impressive. It comes setup in an anglewinder configuration, but it has the capability to accept other Slot.it and ScaleAuto brand pods so you can change it to other configurations. It will even accept the HRS suspension. This is about as flexible as you could ask for in my opinion. In fact, the vast amount of options here are a little more than I personally need and can be quite confusing. I wish I had all the different parts to show these options, but that would take even more pages of text and I simply do not have the time or resources. Needless to say, this chassis design will allow you to change this model pretty much anyway you like your slot car to be.

However, in this review let us concentrate on what YOU GET out of the box.

Quick Data (Please allow a little + or - here)

Length- 156 mm
Width - 65 mm (At widest section of rear fenders)
Height - 34 mm
Wheelbase - 80 mm
Body Weight- 21 grams
Total Weight - 81 grams

The body is held in place with 2 screws. There is clearance between the chassis and the body in some areas, but easily enough sanded away on the areas that need it if you want more. The body is very lightweight using the tray type interior. I measured it at 21 grams while the Fly body is around 34.

The model comes with a Slot.it Flat 6 motor that is equipped with a 11 tooth pinion that turns the 28 tooth spur gear. Ratings for this motor are 20,500 @ 12 volts.

The pod system has a total of 5 screws that you can loosen, remove, or to adjust float. The motor mount is a very robust design with 2 screws holding a bracket that keeps the motor secure. I have read reports that the motor still has a rocking motion, but mine has not shown that. I have the clamp on the end tight and see no signs of flexing.

But there are reports of it moving, so you will have to inspect it yourself. A touch of hot glue or some electrical tape on the sides of the can will most likely cure it if yours has it.

This motor is an open endbell that allows you to lubricate both ends. I like this option.

There is a magnet here for those that use them and an additional pocket in the rear to change location.

One the unique characteristics of this chassis is the ability to change the height of the car in the rear using offset blocks. You get two spare blocks included with the model which at first I thought was a great added value.
 

 

Changing the blocks lowers or raises the chassis so that the magnets in the motor are closer/further away to the rails as well as the magnet (if you use it).

These blocks are held in place with two screws. Do NOT over-tighten them. They come very close to rubbing the axle if you tighten them too far.

On my model they do not touch, but this is an area you need to keep an eye on as this may vary from model to model.

Rear is standard 3/32nd size and utilizes low friction race bushings. It has a recessed area on the inside part of the bushing. This reduces the amount of material the axles comes in contact with, and it also helps keep lubricant in place a little better. Another reason for using these bushings as that the chassis will also accept bearings if you desire.

The issue I have is that I thought one of these mounts would raise the car up. It already looks slammed to the ground and I was hoping one of these mounts improved that.

Not so.

They only make it lower. And to make matters worse, on NINCO track this car with the stock 0.0 mount and magnet flush in place drags the track and will high center.

This magnet is so strong and the chassis is flexible, combine them and you get the center of the car dragging the track.

You must flip the magnet so it is in the raised position. Then the model will function.

Removing the magnet cures that of course, but those who use the magnet need to be aware of this.

Moving On

The front axle height is fully adjustable using set screws for the top and bottom.

There is a wrench for these and the other set screws taped under the case.

I am truly spoiled by this setup. Having the ability to set the tripod this easily for what track surface I will be racing on is one of the best features.

The wiring is routed very neatly in the chassis with no wire to axle rub up front. Neat as it is, it isn't that easy to replace. The wire is routed through the chassis and will take a little work to install.

The guide is standard Slot.it fare and it utilizes the set screw system to secure the wires to the braids. I have no issues with this system, but YOUR mileage may vary.

You have a lot of options with this chassis. Perhaps more than most enthusiasts need, but I can fully understand the thought process behind it.

The added offset mounts that some might feel are an added bonus are actually useless for me. The car is too low in scale appearance out of the box and changing the blocks makes it look even worse. Remember, this is just MY personal taste. If you like your models slammed all the way to the ground, then you should be happy.

But what about the non-magnet wood track racer?

I like room inside to add weight. With chassis designs such as this, it sometimes makes it hard to find areas to add lead where you like it. This is why I am happy to see this chassis having the full pattern instead of a "trimmed" design.  The sides of the chassis allow for some, as well as the front. There is a small pocket behind the motor, although it is not perfectly centered. This chassis can be easily sanded along the edges to give you full clearance if you desire, but it leaves it up to you. In other words, it is a lot easier to take away than to add to and for that I am happy with the end design.

Appearance

Wheels on this model are very good quality. You have aluminum in the rear and plastic, press on types in the front. They are as round as it gets and most racers will be happy with them aside from the stock tires on the rear.

But they are under question for correct size and appearance. Racer appears to have used standard Slot.it 17.3 x 8.2 (PA18) for the rears and the 15 x 8 plastics for the front. It also looks like the Slot.it PA55 BBS inserts as well.

Using this standard Slot.it size wheel in the rear allows the racer instant access to many different blends of tire compounds on the market. And of course it saves money using parts already molded and available. This cost savings is passed onto the enthusiasts as the low MSRP of this model proves.

But the main reason for the width of the wheel/tire is shown below.

When the wheels are mounted correctly, the tire comes VERY close to rubbing the motor shaft/pinion. Remember this if you feel any binding while racing.

It sits this close because you cannot go too far away or you will then rub the body. So you can see why the width of the wheels are not as wide in scale. They simply would not fit using this anglewinder setup, which of course is the preferred configuration of most racers.

So I understand WHY they did it. That does not mean I like it.

I realize I am nit picking here, but I must mention this for those scale racers like myself who just appreciate accuracy. The wheels look fair enough, and at speed I realize they look even better. Even the reduced width is acceptable to me as these are wide enough so that it does not take away too much scale accuracy.

But the diameter and insert design are what bothers me. I wish that Racer could have put more effort into this. Of all the slight scale inaccuracies the body has, they are not as prominent as the rear wheels. These large, deep dish monsters are part of what makes this car and not to put more effort into them is a little disappointing for me.

So does this bother you enough to pass on the model? Of course only you can make the call.

But what about the rest of the car? Is this model in the body department close enough in scale accuracy to satisfy you?

The model also sits too low and the rear wing does not have as much rake as the prototype. Yes, nit-picking again.

I will let the photos do the talking. You can take the dimensions posted above, along with these photos and compare them to the prototype photos found on the web.

Either it is good enough or it isn't.

I am not a rivet counter, but I do not like commercial-type blobs either. I like to think of myself as a middle of the road enthusiast (and if you ever raced against me, you know I prefer that line!).

I think they did a good job. Not perfect, but not many models are. I do wish they would have put more into this overall for the scale enthusiasts, but you cannot please everyone. The finish of this body is well enough executed, although a little light on any clear coat. I did notice some slight orange peel effect on the black portions of the model, but you have to really look close to spot them. I also noticed some of the black on the fenders started to rub away after all the handling from testing. Perhaps a coat of Future would help protect it.

Interior is about as light as it gets. Yet, it has our driver and some detail level to satisfy the scale modeler. In fact, the paint work on the driver is impressive to my eyes.

I like a lot of scale detail, but if it cannot be seen why bother? I feel half or fat tray interiors add more than enough detail if executed correctly. Full interiors are a great thing for collectors but again, if you have to strain to see it or even have to remove the body, then it is all a waste in my eyes.

In this case I think Racer did a great job in matching an interior with a performance based model.

"Compare, Compare"

I keep hearing some people asking "How does it compare to the Fly version?"  I can understand the curiosity, I have plenty of Fly models myself.

The answer: It Doesn't.

Aside from being modeled after the same car and appearing very close, that is the end of the similarities. I love my Fly models and at one time had almost every one they made along with the Lancias. But the facts are that the front-motored Fly model is not even in the same game performance wise.

This is not even apples to oranges, this is more like diamonds and coal. Any of you out there that have tuned a Fly Capri know what I mean. They are cantankerous beasts that will need plenty of attention to smooth them out. Once you did get them right, they are a lot of fun and I still race them to this day.

In appearance I give Fly the win, especially the wheels. Again, not perfect but they capture the overall look of the car better to me.

But for those that are curious, here are some quick comparison photos.

The bodies are not close to swapping out either. More work than it is worth, and I am certainly not going to chop up one of mine

Bottom line is that you would spend a LOT of time and money trying to get a Fly car to run with this model. It could be done I suppose, but given the price of these new Sideways models, it would be cheaper to just repaint one.

YOUR approach might be different. So if you get a Fly car to run along side one of these models, I am sure we would all be curious on how to accomplished it.

I will just keep my Fly models the way they are and run them with other Fly models like I have for years.

And just in case you did not know, Racer will be cranking out quite a few of these models. Plus they are doing the Lancia Beta Montecarlo as well. So in time you will likely have a great collection of these speed demons without a lot of fuss.

Finally Showtime!

Now for the fun part. Time to see just how well this new series actually runs.

Before I tested, I checked/performed the following:

Gear mesh.

Front axle height.

All set screws for tightness.

Lubrication.

I believe a model like this needs these checks before racing.

The real home for this car is on the MIDMO, so that is where my testing will be.

ROUTED WOOD TRACK TEST
Permanent Track
MidMo International Speedway
4 x 16 - 3 Lane MDF Routed Wood Road Course - Flat Latex Surface
Copper Tape Conductivity - Aftermarket Power @ 12 Volts PARMA 25 OHM Control

 

The very first lap told me we had serious hot rod on our hands. This model is flat out fast. Even with the un-sanded, stock tires this car was showing that we had a great platform to build upon.

The biggest surprise for me is the feel of this motor. Since our track is smaller, high torque/RPM motors are simply wasted on it. This motor though has a really smooth feel to it throughout the power band.

Braking is very solid, but not too much in my opinion. Gear mesh is smooth and quiet enough, but I could tell that some adjustment was in order.

I improved the gear mesh by adding a .010" shim right behind the gear. I like the Slot Car Corner shims as they have a real precise fit.

After this, I gave it a quick tire sanding and cleaning and this car simply got better, a lot better. I like to use the term "planted" is that is how it feels. You really have to push this car to wreck it. A 3.664 best lap is scooting on our home track and it will just get better with more practice and break-in. Not to mention TIRES. These rubber tires are pretty soft but when I swap them out for some urethanes, I can just see (or maybe hard to see) the performance improvements.

Final Thoughts

Needless to say, I like this model. But I am not in love with it. It is one fun car to drive and it simply hauls the mail...but the scale issues do bother me. I am just no fan of the small wheels and the slammed to the ground look. So the scale purists will likely pass on this model.

However, in non-magnet form on wood tracks, this car will be a star for the performance speed junkie. It will also work well non-magnet on most other plastic track systems. I am also very happy to see this series getting the attention it deserves.

So in the performance department it does deliver and does it at a great price point.

At the time of this article Cincyslots has them $64.99. More than fair in my book.

- Harry

As always feel free to contact me about this article or just the hobby in general at harry@homeracingworld.com.

Better yet, drop into our Message Forum and share your thoughts with other enthusiasts!

HRW Now On

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