The Anglewinder «Hop»
The «Anglewinder Hop»
If you've been into slot car racing for at least a few months, you probably already heard about the «Anglewinder Hop». What is it? It's a vibration coming from the rear of the car under acceleration, causing wheel hopping and loss of traction. Of course, an anglewinder motor setup has to be used for this behaviour to appear. There are solutions if you want to make your anglewinder cars to better behave. But first, some background...
There are three main motor setups in slot car racing: inline, sidewinder and anglewinder.
Inline is when the motor is perpendicular to the rear axle. The motor send its power to the wheels via its pinion and a crown gear in the middle of the axle. This setup is very popular because of its simplicity and also because it gives a lot of flexibility for the car's body, with the motor located mostly under the cockpit. Long-can and short-can motors can be used without any problems and weight is more evenly distributed from front to back.
A sidewinder setup, where the motor shaft is parallel to the rear axle, is more efficient because the motor's power can be directly applied to the wheels, with the spur gear rotating in the same plane as the pinion. Many people also believe that a sidewinder setup is better because most of the weight is at the rear of the car, helping the rear wheels have better traction. It also leaves more room at the front of the car for the addition of lead to help in weight distribution. Slot Car Corner's current world record has been done with a sidewinder setup.
But since a car is always longer than wide, it sometimes is difficult to make room for a motor under the car's body, when you also have to add the spur gear and the wheels with their tires (long-can motors are also impossible to use). Of course, our own CB Design hubless wheels help by reducing the room needed for the wheels but some cars simply can't use a sidewinder setup.
That's where anglewinder motors come into play. By putting the motor at an angle, it's possible to use long-can motors (with their higher torque rating) without losing the advantage of a direct power transmission from the motor to the axle and by keeping a good weight distribution in the car. Long-can motors now also come in thinner enclosures (the Flat6 motors from Slot.it are a perfect example) and can be used in lower-body modern cars, like the latest LMP and GT cars.
But what about the «Anglewinder Hop»?
Since the motor is not parallel to the axle, one side (the right side on most cars) has a larger space between the motor and the axle, causing the motor mount (or the chassis) to twist under stress when power is suddenly applied to the car and torque kicks in (at the exit of a turn or at the start of the race). The solution is to solidify this space between the motor and the axle. Some are using homemade braces (see an example in the picture) and they work well; they can be in plastic or metal, with hot glue or any other kind of adhesive (even solder if you think it's needed). But a far easier solution is to use the stiffer (harder) Slot.it anglewinder motor mount (see it here), that is reinforced between the motor and the axle bearings holders.
After applying this solution, you will find that the «Anglewinder Hop» will be a thing of the past and your car will be a lot smoother and more fun to drive.