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Thread: Beginners guide increasing your rigs sidewalling ability

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Old 05-07-2007, 05:33 PM   #1
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Default Beginners guide increasing your rigs sidewalling ability

Several things attribute to poor side walling ability in a rig.

First off Side walling the the ability to drive the rig with all 4 tires on a sideways incline. The steeper the angle your rig can hang to the side the better your ability.

Lets start out by reminding everyone that there is no perfect setup. and driving style attributes a lot to what works for each individual. These setup notes on side walling

Im just gonna list a few items that trial and error have been shown to make a significant difference in side walling

Lower your center of Gravity on your rig (CG). This is basic common sense, for every 1/4" lower your CG is, will give you around 2* of ability.

Stiffen the suspension: In shocked rigs the shock play an important roll is side wall ability lighter springs and heavier oil slow down the shock motion and attribute to more stability. The softer springs will also have less tendancy to PUSH your rig over as the suspension on the uphill side unloads

Limit DROOP: Limiting Droop on your rig will give you the largest benefit after dropping the CG. As you limit the amount of down travel of your shocks you also limit the amount of UNLOADING the suspension can do. Limiting droop will also benefit torque twist a ton.

Limit the amount of moving unsprung weight: If you have a lot of weight in the tires that can move and shift while your tires are rotating it can have a drastic effect on shifting your CG. When I went from airsoft and BB's in the tires to stick on weights around the center of the rim I effectively stopped any shifting unsprung weight and made the rig totally predictable in side wall situations

Widen your track. This is probably the least important of the list, and simple to understand the wider it is the more stable it is and the less effect that shifting unsprung weight has overall.

Stiffen your sidewalls on the tires. This makes a major difference. Using good full height foams on the sidewalls will decrease the amount that the downhill tire can roll under the rig. This has 2 benefits. First it keeps the ride height of the downhill side stable, when the tire rolls onto its sidewall you have lost traction and ride height on that tire, and increased the tendency to slip, you have also increased the CG by the amount of height lost by the sidewall rolling under.

Lighten the Load The lighter the rig the less overall effect shifting weight will have.

My current rig has 2.25" of ground clearance, 12.25" wheelbase. track outside to outside of tires is 9 3/4"

My current setup in testing has about 60* of total travel with only 1/4" of droop at each corner and about 1 1/2" of up travel.

These are basically notes taken from building around 15 different style of rigs and some apply to only suspended rigs and some to all. Hope this experience helps someone. Just remember each change you make will have effect on other characteristics on the rig
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Old 05-07-2007, 05:57 PM   #2
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Nice work
But I've always heard it referred to as "sidehilling", as in traveling sideways on a hill. Sidewall is a part of your tire. But maybe I'm just being picky

Last edited by Mad Scientist; 05-07-2007 at 05:59 PM.
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Old 05-07-2007, 06:41 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Mad Scientist View Post
Nice work
But I've always heard it referred to as "sidehilling", as in traveling sideways on a hill. Sidewall is a part of your tire. But maybe I'm just being picky

maybe its a regional name thing
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Old 05-07-2007, 08:46 PM   #4
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How much would you say lug pattern/rubber compound factors in? Swamp Dawgs, for instance, have what basically amount to horizontal lugs - Great for forward bite, but perhaps not the best lateral traction. Whereas Moabs, for instance, may resist sliding in a sidewards motion more. I suppose you would mainly see an advantage only after you set up your rig properly. The right tires won't stop a roll-over if your CG is too high or your suspension unloads, but once you get your chassis/suspension setup dialed in, proper tread pattern and compound can help combat sliding in extreme situations. I see a lot of Red Rocks get cut-n-shut in an offset pattern to gain lateral traction.

Last edited by Mad Scientist; 05-07-2007 at 08:54 PM.
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Old 05-07-2007, 09:05 PM   #5
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How much would you say lug pattern/rubber compound factors in? Swamp Dawgs, for instance, have what basically amount to horizontal lugs - Great for forward bite, but perhaps not the best lateral traction. Whereas Moabs, for instance, may resist sliding in a sidewards motion more. I suppose you would mainly see an advantage only after you set up your rig properly. The right tires won't stop a roll-over if your CG is too high or your suspension unloads, but once you get your chassis/suspension setup dialed in, proper tread pattern and compound can help combat sliding in extreme situations. I see a lot of Red Rocks get cut-n-shut in an offset pattern to gain lateral traction.
I think the height of the tire is more important the the pattern and of course the rubber compound itself
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Old 05-07-2007, 09:44 PM   #6
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Would duct tape help? Maby some small metal mesh glued to the sidewalls or a thin layer of jb weld or some other strong adheasive? Just throwin it out there I've never tried either of these things.
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Old 05-07-2007, 11:56 PM   #7
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Would duct tape help? Maby some small metal mesh glued to the sidewalls or a thin layer of jb weld or some other strong adheasive? Just throwin it out there I've never tried either of these things.
no need for any of that just correctly cut foams
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Old 05-08-2007, 08:17 AM   #8
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no need for any of that just correctly cut foams
But isn't that the million dollar question...how do I cut my foams?

Balancing your rig to have both vertical climbing ability AND sidewalling, or as I like to refer to it...off-camber crawling. Getting the right tire weight, correct foam cutting, good CG AND decent GC is a difficult and tedious task.
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Old 05-08-2007, 09:18 AM   #9
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But isn't that the million dollar question...how do I cut my foams?

Balancing your rig to have both vertical climbing ability AND sidewalling, or as I like to refer to it...off-camber crawling. Getting the right tire weight, correct foam cutting, good CG AND decent GC is a difficult and tedious task.
Thats why its a hobby, and there are as many different setups out there that work that the possibilities are nearly endless

My current rig is very easy for beginners to drive effectively and a good driver to win comps with and the setup is quite a bit away from what most will consider the norm.

During our last comp we had 2 guys who have driven RC but never crawlers and came to watch I had em sign up and drive my rig..........both finished higher than I thought they would, and one even above me LOL

My goal when I build a rig is to make it as balanced as possible and as predictable as possible.

This is how I have found the foams work the best under all circumstances

I cut this one using a drill clamped into a vise with a 1 1/4" round sanding stone on it. and just ground it down. leaving about 1/4" depth in the center and 1/4" width at the sides




and then stick on wheel weights around the wheel, for 2.2 about 7 oz for each front and 4 oz for the rears
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Old 05-08-2007, 09:49 AM   #10
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I've also found that cutting a channel around the center of the foam works well. I've never really liked the hugely popular "star" pattern because it's not consistent around the entire tire, and the foam breaks down a lot faster. The channel keeps the tread contact area soft, and still supports the entire sidewall.

Nice write up rockwerks
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Old 05-08-2007, 10:44 AM   #11
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I've also found that cutting a channel around the center of the foam works well. I've never really liked the hugely popular "star" pattern because it's not consistent around the entire tire, and the foam breaks down a lot faster. The channel keeps the tread contact area soft, and still supports the entire sidewall.

Nice write up rockwerks

agreed the touted star pattern by its design causes wheel hop and inconsistent sidewall stability...........soft..........firm..........so ft.......firm.........etc.
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Old 05-08-2007, 07:13 PM   #12
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I'm reading this, and loving it. I wish there was something I knew to ask to get more information - I want to thank you guys that have years of experience with these things for helping out us noobs - seriously, messing with my first rock crawler is sort of like finding out everything I've learned over the past 20 years of racing these things is useless. The only thing that is the same, is I want a consistant rig, but how you get it is completely backwards. Thanks again.
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Old 05-08-2007, 08:07 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by cotharyus View Post
everything I've learned over the past 20 years of racing these things is useless.
Actually you'd be surprised how much of that stuff carries over. I was in the same boat, 20 years of RC experience, and just over a year now with crawlers. A lot of guys in our club had no experience with hobby grade RC's before crawling. Helping them has really given me an appreciation for the knowledge I've been taking for granted for years. If you've been racing for 20 years, think of the head start you have by understanding things like gear mesh and ratios, motor maintenance, all the features on your radio, batteries / chargers, and the list goes on and on. A lot of guys just haven't been exposed to this stuff, even a lot of the veteran crawlers don't understand some of it.
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Old 05-09-2007, 12:59 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by todd1803 View Post
Actually you'd be surprised how much of that stuff carries over. I was in the same boat, 20 years of RC experience, and just over a year now with crawlers. A lot of guys in our club had no experience with hobby grade RC's before crawling. Helping them has really given me an appreciation for the knowledge I've been taking for granted for years. If you've been racing for 20 years, think of the head start you have by understanding things like gear mesh and ratios, motor maintenance, all the features on your radio, batteries / chargers, and the list goes on and on. A lot of guys just haven't been exposed to this stuff, even a lot of the veteran crawlers don't understand some of it.
Sure - I'm just talking about the difference in a good racing set up, and a good crawling set up, there are similarities, but also a steep learning curve.
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Old 05-09-2007, 01:42 PM   #15
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Sure - I'm just talking about the difference in a good racing set up, and a good crawling set up, there are similarities, but also a steep learning curve.
my background is 1/10th scale modified sprintcar, usually dirt oval or carpet. not much carried over........except for the slipper eliminator and the MIP stealth tranny
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Old 05-09-2007, 06:26 PM   #16
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I changed from the star pattern to a pattern similar to rockwerks, and I really like how it performs now. One of my complaints before was the sidehilling ability, as the tire would fold all the way over onto the rim, and lose traction, now it doesn't do that.
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