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Fray Car Testing by Tom Bowman

The teams's initial plans were to have a "Test n' Tune" on Henry Harnish's tub track and new Bowman track on Feb 6, 2005. However, various things came up that prevented that get together from happening...so Jack Muirhead from Atlanta, Lewis Wouri from North Carolina and Jim Hoar all sent their Fray race cars to me for testing. In addition, Larry Thomas from Nebraska, sent us a car to use in the Fray.

This is Larry's car, set up with some KC ideas, as well as some of his own. This car was very fast, but hard to handle on my tight Bianchi magnetic braid track. The best times I could get with it, were in the 4.5 sec range. On a faster track it would be more competitive. I'm not evaluating this car as part of the test, it is here as a reference piece for comparison purposes.

This is Lewis Wouri's Toyota Celica. It had a JL guidepin (which is not Fray legal!) and slightly crooked it was too. This car has excellent speed and handling. It recorded a 4.123 in 20 laps. This car weighed 20.0 grams, the Fray minimum! The arm measured 17.5-17.5-17.4 and had a trued stack, AFX Specialty crown gear, what appears to be Dunlap .350 rears, .302 o-rings on Wizzard FR-54 with 2 spacers. Chassis is a #8 open rivet, gear plate is an "A". BSRT 504 restricted pickups. I tried my Blustreak tires for 19 laps, but couldn't exceed 4.173 and returned to the o-rings. Excellent car!

Lewis's Blue Mercedes - solid handling, though rough sounding car. Body nose looks to exceed the 1/8" limit. Ran a 4.129 in 20 laps. Weighs 19.7 gm - too light! Open rivet A chassis, #9 gear plate, both the idler gear and driven pinon (9t) worn out. Tried Frank's Trek motored #4 gear plate and got a 4.119 in 20 laps. The slight difference was probably due to the better idler gear. Returned to original setup. FR-54 fronts with no spacers and Dunlap ? .360 blacks on the rear. Excellent car, just need a tad more weight, new tires and replace the gears mentioned.

Lewis's White Mercedes, 20.9 gm weight, Open rivet A and #1 gear plate. FR-54 with one spacer, o-rings at .302, Wizzard .400 blacks (worn on the edges). Ran 4.256 in 20, Fast but handling not good, especially turning into the corners. Can adjust driving technique to go slow into the turn, and then power out. Arm trued, and balanced 17.1-18.4-17.4 ohms. Needs smaller rears and heavier fronts.

Lewis's white Porsche 911 - 20 grams, .300 o-rings on FR54, .340 Wizzard greens, #3 open rivet, #9 gear plate. Ran 4.437 in 20, punchy, nervous handling. Idler gear is worn out, 17.2 ohms all around, trued and balanced. Ran 4.263 in 20 with replaced idler gear. Still rough handling...possibly bent axle?

Lewis's brp white Datsun 260Z - 20.2 gm ...ran 4.311 in 20 laps...rear tires not gripping well, handling was rough. Open rivet #9 and #4 gear plate. .342 JW rear silicone sponge, edges lifting up a bit. FR-54 with 2 spacers and .302 o-rings. idler gear worn, arm trued and balanced 16.7-16.8

Jack Muirhead's number 1 car, a Wizzard RTR built by Socal's Rick Jocham. Ran a 4.152 in 20 laps. Good speed, handling a bit tight because of the greens. Might do better with a narrower rear tire setup. Arm is 17.3 ohms and not trued, but balanced. Matched JL magnets, stock crown gear, FR-54 w/ 2 spacers and .325 Wizzard clear front tires, .350 greens, Open rivet #9, H gearplate.

Jack's number 2 chassis - Open rivet E and #10 gear plate. .370 yellows, .325 brp front tires on FR-54, stock pickups not restricted. Ran a 4.821 in 20 laps. 16.4 ohm unbalanced arm, idler gear chamfered (Fray illegal) ... I spent a couple hours working on this car, changes made: increased brush pressure, Blustreak front tires, Black Magic crown gear, drill blank axle, .365 blacks...car ran a 4.420 in 20 laps. Still not handling very well.

Jack's number 3 ran a 4.349 in 20 laps after adjusting pickups and brushes, blustreaks fitted, FR-54 front wheels, .370 yellows, arm 16.9-16.5-16.4

Jack's number 4 ran a 4.383 after fitting blustreaks, restricted pickups. arm 16.5 no balance, chamfered idler gear. Car boogies down the straight, needs some fine tuning on the handling.

Jim Hoar's number 1 car - ran 4.488 in 20 laps, good handler but a bit slow. Solid rivet #9, #4 gear plate, FR54 with loosely fitting o-rings measuring .315, no tires fitted but put on Jack's old .370 yellows on it. BSRT 504 restricted pickups added. arm is 16.8 unbalanced. Increased the brush pressure, adjusted pickups to run flat, fitted blustreaks...car ran 4.221 in 23 laps, good speed and handling.

Jim's number 2 car - solid rivet #2 with a #1 gear plate. FR54 2 spacers, tight o-rings .300, fitted .370 yellows, JL pin for testing, BSRT 504 stock, car ran a 4.759 in 18 laps - terrible handling! arm 16.4-16.5-16.3 unbalanced and untrued, Aurora magnets both white. Oiled, restricted and adjusted pickups then the car ran a 4.529 in 20 laps. Worn idler gear replaced, ran 4.476 in 20 laps. Fitted the JL magnets, ground by me to Larry's pattern, put the Trek X on the brushes and ...

This is the gear plate after repositioning the cluster gear shaft, polishing the driven gear, truing the comm and stacks, balancing the arm. Ran a 4.297 in 20 laps. Ran for 1/2 hour break in, then recorded a 4.218 in laps. Excellent car now!

Jim's number 3 - ran a 5.124 in 20 laps, slow and pops out of the slot! Stock shoes, replaced with AML restricted. .300 FR-54 front end set being rotated amongst the cars, .370 yellows fitted, Solid rivet #2 with a #3 gear plate. Idler gear is releaved (Fray illegal), dimpled Super II magnets, 16.4 ohms all around! arm is stock, unbalanced. Driven pinion (9t) is worn out. Car ran a 4.719 in 20 laps. Has some potential, with some TLC!

Jim's number 4 - fast and handles! installed .373 yellows, BSRT 504 restricted, .300 FR54 w 2 spacers. AFX Specialty crown, Solid rivet #2, #9 gearplate, stock unbalanced 16.4 arm, JL Magnets. Worn idler gear! 4.558 in 20 laps

Increased brush tension, replaced stock brushes with "salt & pepper", swapped idler gear with Jim's #2...ran 4.144 in 20. Next, we did the treatment on the arm and gear plate (repositioned and polished gears, trued comm, trued stack, balanced arm, cut gear plate rails)...also fitted an oversize stainless steel tubing axle from Rabbit Racing, .316 Dunlap Blacks... ran 3.974 in 20...very fast, top rank car! I've only seen the threes on a few occasions, so I'm thinking this car will be a winner!

Jim's number 5 - Out of the box ran 4.803 in 15 laps. Slow and jumps out of the slot! Solid rivet with no #, #3 gear plate, FR-54 with 2 spacers loose o-rings .315, Wizzard .380 blacks, BSRT 504 not restricted. Arm is Green on Gray 17.6 ohms, Aurora magnets, stock brushes, pickup springs not equal and twisted.

Changes made: brp Blustreaks, restricted 504's, balanced and trued arm...ran 4.045 in 10 laps, absolute screamer! Next put in the AFX Specialty gear with spacers, .314 Dunlap Yellows, Rabbit oversize stainless steel axle. Ran 4.016 in 19 laps, tremendous handling, but lot's of gear noise...slower speed wise than before but better handling.

Jim's number 6 car - 4.300 in 15 laps...good handling but inconsistent speed. Solid rivet #4, Gear plate B, Fr-54 with 2 spacers and Blustreaks, .340 Greens, BSRT 504 restricted, Afx Specialty crown, worn idler gear, arm 17.2-17.2-17.3 stock, Aurora magnets, Wizzard brushes. changes made: more brush tension, Trek X, H:OyL...ran 4.223 in 20, still has inconsistent speed.