Thursday, April 17, 2014

Pro 2 Short Course Buggy Front Shock Tower Stiffener

Hello everyone! I have been putting together my Pro-Line Pro2 Short Course Buggy and I was noticing that the front shock tower has a good amount of flex. 

The Pro-Line carbon front shock tower brace is a great way to stiffen up the front end, Part number 6109-00. The only catch is that the brace is made for the the Pro2 truck and not the buggy. In order to make the brace work and have the body fit the same, one has to cut the brace. Here is a picture of the piece that needs to be cut out. I ended up using a rotary tool in order to get a clean cut.
 Here is a shot of the tower once I finished cutting the brace. Be carful not to cut the tower if you are cutting the brace while it is all mounted up. I would advise to measure and cut the brace while it is off if you are not comfortable cutting it while mounted.

 If the brace is added, the front bumper can no longer fit through the front tower like it normally does. This problem is easily solved by cutting the bumper and only using the bar. The bumper is very sturdy despite removing some of the structure. And after the extra stuff is removed, the bumper looks very stylish.

Here is a shot of the bumper after I completed cutting it up. There is a bend on the outside edge of the bumper where I cut it. Just simply follow that edge and it will be very even.

Here is a shot of the final modification. I ground the bumper to smooth things out. After everything is mounted back up, the front shock tower no longer flexes so easily.  The improved rigidity gained with this modification helps the shocks dampen more consistently. High traction tracks really bring this improvement to life!

Good luck at the races! Remember, you can always ask me for help, just look for the Pro-Line vehicles with the KLA logo at the track.

                                                                  -Matthew Garcia

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Grass Roots Racing series round 3 Thunder Alley R/C Raceway

Hello everyone! I was lucky enough to race the GRRS round 3 race at Thunder alley this past weekend. I must say, the track was pretty insane and also the most fun I have had in a long time.

 Here is an image of the huge step up jumps on the left side of the track. They proved to be quite the challenge during racing. If you handled the obstacles incorrectly then you ended up on your roof... and it was a while before a marshall got up those hills you flip your vehicle. There jumps were very large. this picture does not quite give them justice.

Here is another perspective, looking down the face of the step down.

This was one of the very large doubles that was immediately out of a corner. In the middle of that turn was a large trench that would basically destroy all of your corner speed. This gap is massive, with even the 8 scale vehicles having difficulty clearing it. The 2wd vehicles pretty much rolled this jump.

The finish line jump was a large table top. A very high speed jump that was a ton of fun to clear. Many racer got this on wrong though and would just tumble on the landing. This jump came right after a high speed chicane.

 Here is another shot of the track. There was a huge step up triple on the back right side of the track. Then there was a tight corner into a huge step down. With so many level changes, it was very easy to come up short. Basically this was a race of who could crash the least amount of times.

My vehicles gave me a few little problems. I ended up breaking my Pro-2 in heat 1. I broke and axel and my sway bar. I suspect that the cold weather in the morning was wrecking havoc on everyone's vehicles. I saw more broken arms and linkages than I normally see. The 8 scale race had over 5 broken vehicles, which is very surprising. 

 Here is a shot of my broken axel. After replacing the axel, I had no more issues with my truck. Although I had to remove my sway bar which ruined my set up. I adjust accordingly and did the best I could.

 Pro-Line Hole Shot tires were the ticket for the main events later in the day. This is a shot of my vehicles ready for the main! The track was watered before every race but I noticed that it would dry out about 5 minutes into the race. At the 5 minute mark, the Hole Shots hooked up like crazy for the remaining 3 minutes of the race. The track had a very narrow groove when it dried out and was very loomy otherwise. I had to slow down and try and stay in the groove as much as possible since every time I touched the loomy dirt, I would slide out.

 The SCB class was epic! There were many competitors and a plethora of different brands of buggys. The Pro-Line Pro2 buggy ended up taking 2nd place! Although my Pro2 Buggy is not quite ready, my Pro-Line Hole Shot tires and F11 Wheels helped me achieve a solid 4th place finish.

I ended up placing 10th in Expert 2WD Open Short Course. I made a few mistakes which cost me quite a few places. I still had an amazing time and I cant wait for the next race!

Good luck at the races! Remember, you can always ask me for help, just look for the Pro-Line vehicles with the KLA logo at the track.

                                                                  -Matthew Garcia

Sunday, April 6, 2014

SCVRC TNS Series Race

Hello everyone! I was up bright and early to attend the Top Notch Racing Series race held at SCVRC. I wanted to test out my new Pro-Line Pro2 truck that I have been working on these past couple weeks. This was the first time my car hit the track! I had only driven it on the street near my house. As usual, the TNS race started at 9 and there was controlled practice from 7-8:30. I have been short on time lately so I had to glue up my tires at the track!

I glued up some Pro-Line ION tires onto to Pro-Line F11 wheels with no offset. These tires are epic! I had all the traction I could ever want and I did not even have to sauce the tires. From the first run to the last, the tires stayed consistent and never faltered. I am really happy that I am now using these tires for my indoor racing!

The facility was kind of small inside the track area and there were limited amounts of pit space. There was some extra pit spaces on the side of the building though, where the air compressor was located. The staff was super friendly and were very helpful in the hobby shop!

The course was very challenging and had lots of technical turns and jumps. The dragons back proved to be quite a challenge to hit smoothly. You needed to have a smooth rhythm to single double out or try and triple it if you took the turn a little wide before the jump. I noticed that taking the inside line and doing a single double over and into the next turn was very consistent for me. Trying to triple or double single proved to be to inconsistent for my taste.

The next most challenging part of the course was the whoops. Coming out of a high speed turn, you had to try and hit the whoops with a good rhythm. I noticed that a double, quad, single was a very fast way to go through this obstacle, but I was able to get that rhythm down consistently. I ended up working with a double triple double and that proved to be sufficient for me.
Here is another shot of the track. There was a nice big triple near the drivers stand that was very fun to jump. The big S turn in the middle of the track also proved to be a challenge. Trying to stay on the correct line in race conditions was tough.

Here is a shot of my truck. It was amazing to drive. It jumped really well and was extremely consistent overall. I ended up placing 7th out of 8, but I did not expect too much since this was my first time on a track with the truck. I am very happy with what I learned from this test and I will be much more prepared for OC/RC racing this friday!

I also took 2nd place in SCB! Which was awesome! I have not quite finished my Proline SCB so I had to settle for my Associated vehicle.

Thank you Pro-Line for having such amazing products!

Good luck at the races! Remember, you can always ask me for help, just look for the Pro-Line vehicles with the KLA logo at the track.

-Matthew Garcia

Pro-Line Pro Spec Shock

Hello Everyone! I wanted to share my experience with building the Pro-Line Pro Spec shocks. Upon opening the package, I must say that the all the parts for the shocks looked elegant. Everything had a very premium feel. 
 I went ahead and laid everything out to show what comes in the package. You get tools and pistons and everything you would expect from a new shock kit.
One thing that really struck me was the the pistons came off the mold without any burs to trim or any extra effort. It was almost as if the pistons where machined like other high end after market versions you can buy. You can see in the image that there is a little mark where the piston was attached, but everything came off very clean !

This is an image of the cartridge that holds the O ring that seals against the shock shaft.  Again I noticed a very premium quality when putting these together. The O ring is large and very smooth. I like that the cartridge can be simply screwed off, making it easy to change piston sizes.
Take a look at the top view. You can see that the plastic pieces fit very tight. Some of the other plastic pieces require a little trimming, but not much. Everything fits so nicely together which is what you should expect from a high quality product.
When putting the shock shaft through the O ring, make sure to oil up everything and put the shaft in. I put the shaft in while I had the cartridge apart so that I did not mess the O ring up.

This is how the shock looks mostly assembled. At this point it was just putting the bottom plastic piece on and adding oil.
I will note that once the shocks are together, they are super smooth. I had many racers that felt them say that they were as smooth as their Kyosho shocks! After punishing these shocks a bit, they did not leak at all! They are super consistent on the track and truly a dream to build.

Good luck at the races! Remember, you can always ask me for help, just look for the Pro-Line vehicles with the KLA logo at the track.

-Matthew Garcia