On and off, I’ve been thinking about having a go at RC oval racing for a few years now. As with full size oval racing there are a number of disciplines from bangers to hotrods and the variety of cars on track and shells you can get for them is just incredible!
I’d been looking at 1300 stock car kits for some time. They are raced at my local clubs once or twice a month which is perfect for me and (hopefully) the cars have a little longevity compared to the bangers. The bangers often run a different type of shell at each meet as well. One meeting they may have all hearses and the next all Fords whereas 1300s stay the same from meet to meet.
The urge got stronger in the later part of last year though and I found myself having a look through various websites including Mardave who sell a complete 1300 kit for just £99.95!
The kit comes with a GRP stock car chassis with bumpers, wheels and tyres.
A G2 motor and Viper ESC to propel it, powered by a 3300mah 4 cell NiMh battery and a Core RC servo to steer it.
It’s all protected by a Vauxhall Nova shell.
The kit starts with the front suspension. The grey lower wishbone is screwed into the chassis. The black knuckle then slides over the metal rod, as does the spring and washer, then the little metal C clip presses over the metal rod to hold it all in place.
Once together they look like this:
The wishbone actually stays in one place. When the car goes over a bump the whole knuckle moves up that rod compressing the spring. Simple but effective! Here they are attached to the car:
You can lower the front of the car but putting spacers between the wishbone and chassis. You can also add camber and caster to the front if needed but I’m leaving as is for now. Once I’ve driven it properly I might be able to have a play around with it.
The rear suspension is also quite unique on the Mardave V12. The motor and rear axle is inside a pod which sits at the rear of the chassis. The front of the pod is mounted on a spherical.. nut I guess… which is screwed onto the chassis from below. This gives it the ability to tilt left and right.
The rear of the pod is held in place by three upright bars. The ones either side hold springs which compress from below the same as the front and the centre one is there to stop the chassis from swivelling left to right. It reminds me of the solid bar type suspension you find on a lot of full size front wheel driven cars.
Terrible, terrible photo but you can see how the rear axle slides through the pod. A spur gear is provided for either side of the pod so you can mount the motor either way around. The rear bumper has also made it’s way onto the chassis! As you can see it’s held down by locking nylon nuts which should hopefully keep it still in the event of an impact.
The front bumper is the same. It all just bolts together super simple! The ladder style bumper does look good! Might have to do one on the rear too haha!
the battery sits between two GRP end sections which are held to the chassis by four poles. A big rubber band stretches between the two end plate to hold the battery in place.
The servo mounts in the same way as it does in any other RC chassis. Two poles come up from the chassis which the wings of the servo bolt into. In time I might swap the servo out for a low profile one as once you get the ESC in it all gets a bit tight. It does fit though!
This little concoction is called a servo saver. You put it together and it grips onto the end of the servo. You can get simpler servo ends but the idea behind having a servo saver is that if the steering takes a hit the plastic servo saver will take the brunt of the impact rather than the gears within the servo.
Together it looks like this!
Again, apologies it’s a terrible photo! Two steering arms go from the round bolt heads on the servo to the round bolt heads on the steering knuckles. As the servo turns it will push one knuckle one way and pull the other knuckle the other way allowing the car to turn.
The steering arms are threaded at both ends to allow you to turn the arm inside of the plastic ends so you can adjust toe in/out.
The the moment it toeing out a little. At the time of writing I must admit I haven’t fixed that but I will make the wheels as straight as possible before I drive it.
Would you like me to make a blog post on alignment? Explaining camber, caster, toe etc?
Now, lets take a little break from the chassis and make a start on the body!
The shell is made of hard ABS plastic. If you’ve ever had a roof box in your full size car it’s basically the same material. One any ABS shell for any class if racing on an oval track the windows need to be cut out. The front bumper also needs to be cut away on a stock car to allow room for the big plastic bumper. I’ve drawn where I’m going to be cutting before I cut.
Ignore the strip in the rear arch. That didn’t work out haha! A lot of oval racers leave some of the plastic on the inside of the windows to add additional strength to the roof pillars. This can be disguised as sun strips etc. Here it is cut out!
Kamtec’s rear body mounts are great for these as they are adjustable and go through the roof which is perfect for hatch backs. Please note that you will see the Kamtec front posts fitted in a couple of thee pictures but I used the stock Mardave ones in the end as the Mardave ones provide better clearance for the steering arms.
To mount the body pop a little dab of black paint on the end of each post and then put the chassis inside the shell where you want it to sit. The black paint will mark where you need to drill. Unfortunately, I’m a bit of a lemon and made my holes a little too far back so the shell sits a little bit backwards.
The wheels clear though so I’m happy.
Time to get the electrics into the chassis!
It’s worth noting that these G2 motors run faster backwards than forwards. So wire your negative motor wire onto the positive tab and vice versa. Sounds silly but it makes a big difference!
The handset and receiver I’m using is this Flysky 2.4GHZ system. It’s cheap and cheerful but does the job!
All that’s left to do is paint and sign write the shell! Representing Essex Transit Specialists
First race is in early February! Looking forward to letting you all know how it goes!
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