9 September 2009

Preparing a Scalextric Ferrari 330 P4

The greatly awaited Le Mans Classics Championship is about to start soon, so one can already see some great glories of the past being tuned up, raring to go!

Since the 4 Hours Classic Cars Endurance last July, where I took the Racer Ferrari 312 P, models have been left to relax. Now that they are called up again, it's time to choose our "weapons" for the fight: will I take the Racer again, or take the risk on the Scalextric Ferrari 330 P4?

The choice was not obvious by that time, but now my heart looks to be set on the P4. It proved faster than the Racer, but consistency was a key issue to solve, as the car had some teething stability problems to solve. Now, I think I might have sorted out most of them, so here are my considerations about how to prepare this lovely looking 60's Le Mans classic.

As the regulations allow replacing the interior of the vehicle, I took advantage of it, building an interior with light plastic sheet, with an old driver and dashboard lexan glued to it. This is the look of the regular interior detail that Scalextric fits to the model:

And this is the underside look of the plastic interior I built:

The driver and dashboard were made from an old lexan board I had, glued to some clear light plastic sheet (from the packaging of SCX Pro parts, by the way), spray painted in black. The engine cover was made from the plastic cover that Spirit fits inside their boxes, to hold the models in place (this was from the Porsche 936). The P4 does not present that shape, on its engine cover, but this one looks good in the end. All these plastic additions were glued to the bodywork with contact glue. Here's how the front and rear look like:


This interior not only presents the benefit of the weight loss, as it also allows more freedom to set things around in the chassis. One example is the positioning of the wires, which is rather complicated with the regular interior. Also, there is enough room to fit some ballast weight now, which is precious to this very nervous car.

Mechanical parts were replaced by Slot.It material, as can be seen here:

To take advantage of the magnetic downforce from the car, low rear tires must be used, so I opted for the 19x10 size, fitted to Slot.It's 15'' rims. The only problem to overcome is that 18 mm crowns must be used, as the larger 19 mm hit the track. The 6.5 mm sidewinder pinions won't fit with the smaller crowns, so one has to get creative: I decided to used the large 7.5 mm pinions that NSR uses for their anglewinder cars... only problem is: the smaller one has 12 teeth, which will make up for a very long gear ratio. This is why I chosen the purple crown, has it is the one bearing more teeth.

Tuning the front section is quite a challenge too. The smaller 14'' front rims seem to be the best option, as they fit correctly to the car's width. Smaller 15mm tires leave the car bottoming on the chassis, and the larger 16 mm tires leave the car a bit too high - compromise is key here, but it must be balanced with the blade guide option. Standard clip-on blade guides from Slot.It fit very well to the chassis, but they sit rather much on the inside of the chassis - that's why the car bottoms out a lot. I decided to use the bigger wooden track blade guide from Slot.It, as it's bigger size leaves the braids at the correct height. But many other options are available.

Front section detail. Before you ask - Yes, all that ballast is really needed!

So, now it's time to start preparing some sticky tires for the rear, and get all that running into the car to make for a smooth 1st race. Let's see what happens then...

6 comments:

  1. very good ;)

    good luck to the race eheheh

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi, Zé Pedro... you're not going to take part in this championship?

    As you said, luck is needed too. The car runs smoothly now (as my finger started to calm down a bit too!), but laptimes still need to improve a lot...

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hello Hugo.

    Cool post. I've already saw this P4 running, and I must admit that it surprised me how fast it was going.

    Just a suggestion: being a Ferrari and all, couldn't the lexan board include the engine? after all, a V12 is always a sight to see...

    cheers.

    ReplyDelete
  4. It's true, Miguel... a V12 is a really great piece of engineering, but the car had it hidden from the eye, on this version. At least my conversion, while not accurate at all with the two "lumps", does some tribute to the great 4 liter beast that this car had...

    ReplyDelete
  5. Well, well, who would have guessed? This car actually started the best possible way: 1st place! My other P4 also won on the only race it did, while not a true official event... looks like these are natural born winners: they are Ferrari! :)

    ReplyDelete