A new old car!
Bought as a Re-Re kit in May 2023, the Optima-Mid scratches a couple of itches for me. The Salute is a wonderful car to own, but I worry about getting parts if I damage it racing. It’s also arguable whether the transmission is up to modern brushless motors without a slipper clutch. Being a re-re, there’s much better availability of spares for this, and a proper slipper clutch out of the box.
It’s also a car that I never owned back in the day, having always been a Schumacher fan boy.
- Tiverton Summer Championship – 09/07/2023
Kept putting the wrong tyres on all day. Really shit performance. I’d rather do it today than at the reigional.
Picture is Taki Inoue, because I was as bad as he was today.
- Maintenance Corner – 01/07/2023
Last time out at Mendip, I pulled the lower steering hub king pin screw out with a glance along the straight barrier. Again. Looks like this casting is a bit Dairylea. Yeah Racing do a CNC aluminium replacement. Nobody had stock of just this part, but it is included in a kit of upgrades. The kit upgrades the steering hub, the ‘C’ upright, the rear hubs, the front hub/’C’ hub inserts to brass, and puts UJs to replace the dog bones in all four corners. All upgrades I was considering, can’t wait to see what they all do in concert. Old parts in the right hand photo, new bits that replaced them in the left.
Fitted Phat Bodies £2 Wing and gave it a good clean. Looks like the wing was worth it’s weight in gold. A really good clean of the motor, front king pin polish and a new set of tyres and a new Mardave body in time for next week.
Off to Swindon this week, so I’ve prepped for a High Grip Setup. Laydown transmission/Gear Diff back in. New JC Carpet wing set at 0°. Back Pill settings Set to current in the below pic:
If there’s as much grip as I’m expecting, I might have to take a bit of that toe in off. But that’s a racing thing 🙂
- Mendip Summer Championship RD4 – 17/06/2023
You have to read this report in the context of me not only running 2 cars (The B6.4d and the Optima Mid), but also running the meeting! Honestly, I don’t know how Gary does it. Also it was warm, windless and very humid, so with all the running around I did, I was pretty much physically clapped out by lunch time.
Quali went fairly badly for the B6.4d. I left the Tivvy settings on the car, and with no time to change anything, it just didn’t go anywhere.
Qualifying – Round 4
Round By Round. Best 2 Rounds to Count
Pos Name Best Tie Break Points R1 R2 R3 R4 1 Keith Halsey 16 / 315.78 0 3 0 2 0 2 Steve Ashton 15 / 308.80 14 / 301.53 2 6 3 0 2 3 Mark Cox 15 / 316.45 14 / 314.25 2 0 2 3 3 4 Jamie Stringer 12 / 312.64 6 2 4 4 5 5 Alistair Munro 12 / 316.24 8 4 5 5 4
Pos Name Best Tie Break Points R1 R2 R3 R4 1 Keith Halsey 15 / 303.43 0 0 0 0 0 2 Phil Vickers 15 / 310.42 4 2 2 2 2 3 Oli Davies 14 / 305.95 6 3 3 3 7 4 Michael Halsey 15 / 320.92 8 9 5 6 3 5 Ted Calder 14 / 311.15 8 4 4 4 5 6 Dane Winterson 14 / 309.54 10 7 6 7 4 7 Neale Carbis 14 / 315.85 10 5 10 5 8 8 Dale Calder 14 / 317.19 12 6 9 8 6 9 Terry Leach 14 / 327.14 16 10 7 10 9 10 Chris Law 13 / 301.75 16 8 8 9 10 11 James Santer 13 / 310.35 13 / 310.35 22 11 11 12 12 12 Alistair Munro 13 / 311.00 13 / 313.55 22 13 12 11 11 13 Jamie Stringer 12 / 307.34 25 12 13 13 13
I felt like I could have driven a 14, but just couldn’t get it there. The upside was the Proline rears were a good shout, So I’ll be running them here and at Swindon if it’s dry now.
Quite happy to just have fun running the Optima. Very chuffed I could keep up with Jamie’s modern Associated.
Less pleased with myself for clouting the the barrier on the straight like a clutz and ripping out the lower kingpin bolt and stripping the thread in the last round. TIT! More about that in the next Maintenance Corner.
The Finals went a bit better in 2wd. James let me off the hook a few minutes into the first leg.
Finals – Round 1
Race 2 – 2wd Buggy – B Final
Pos Car Driver Result Best10 Best 1 2 Alistair Munro 13 / 306.95 23.30 22.85 2 1 James Santer 13 / 323.09 23.66 22.29 3 3 Jamie Stringer 12 / 317.57 25.60 24.54
The second leg was a titanic struggle, with James and I trading the lead a bunch of times, and on track rather than due to mistakes. Made my day that race did, despite losing it. Fair play James.
Finals – Round 2
Race 2 – 2wd Buggy – B Final
Pos Car Driver Result Best10 Best 1 1 James Santer 13 / 311.94 23.32 22.41 2 2 Alistair Munro 13 / 312.61 23.36 22.69 3 3 Jamie Stringer 12 / 314.32 24.76 23.79
In the third, I was very lucky that James got a bit scrappy in the first half of the race, because my slipper was too loose and overheating after I took the cooling fan off. Thankfully, because it was the AVID 3 plate, it held on to the end and bagged me the final. Another confirmation that it’s better than the kit slipper.
Finals – Round 3
Race 2 – 2wd Buggy – B Final
Pos Car Driver Result Best10 Best 1 2 Alistair Munro 13 / 315.32 24.01 23.07 2 1 James Santer 13 / 321.23 24.02 22.85 3 3 Jamie Stringer 12 / 315.68 25.53 24.87
Don’t recall ever being as knackered as when I got home after that lot. But all good experience.
- Tiverton Summer Championship RD 4 – 11/06/2023
Busy, busy day. In the height of summer, RC meetings tend to be a bit less well attended. Either folk are on holiday, or they are going to the bigger events further afield that take advantage of the better weather. So running two cars and having to be either driving or marshalling for 4 of the 5 heats means you can be run off your feet. You pretty much have to rely on one, if not both cars running well with the settings you installed before you arrived.
As much as this held me back a bit in 2wd, it was worth it to get the Optima Mid out for its second run.
The short wheelbase conversion on the B6.4d wasn’t as much of an advantage as I had hoped. I’ve since seen Tommy Hall’s Mendip setup, and it only cuts 2mm off the wishbone, not 4. I might get another set and try that. I did try out some Ballistic White Spikes in the last heat and Final, and that gained me a place at Neal Carbis’ expense. So I might get some more of those for Tivvy.
The Mid ran very well in vintage. Yellow Mezzos on the rear, Yellow Cactus Fusion on the front and softer (Medium) springs all round. I’m in two minds about the front roll bar. 3rd Overall was very pleasing for first time out.
Wish Tivvy had published their results, which is what delayed this article, but hey ho!
- Maintenance Corner 08/06/2023
The main whip came back from Mendip caked in a nasty coat of black fine dirt and sand 🙁 The box seems free and smooth still, so a full gearbox rebuild wasn’t needed, but the shocks and suspension needed some attention. I’ve made a short wheelbase mod to the rear lower arms that was suggested by the UK AE Team Drivers, and while doing that, I found i’d made a mistake on the last rebuild, and an under piston washer had fallen into the piston and was restricting the droop travel on one side, so correcting that was satisfying.
Also the Wheel hub bearings on the right side were quite gritty and not really free, so a run through the bearing blaster and re-lubricating was nice to get done. On the front, I found I needed to be using the +5 lower spring cups to get the full droop travel.
Both quite important spots to make sure the car rides bumps and lands after jumps correctly, so all good work.
Kyosho Optima Mid
The first run of a new car will always throw down a bunch of small issues that need attention. The Mid had two handling issues that should be quite eaily solved. In Kit form, the chassis ride height was quite high, and the car seemed to bounce over the bumps, rather than absorb them, so softer springs seemed a good call. But that conflicts with solving the other problem, “Grip Roll” and generally biting front end. which would probably be exacerbated by softer springs. For that problem, I’ve fitted a front roll bar.
The steering knuckle hinges were a problem, specifically, the left upper knuckle screw undid itself with vibration and the collar dissapeared, so that had to be replaced and the screws threadlocked in. I hate using threadlock, because it makes stripping the car down later a pain, but sometimes there’s just no better option.
Next up was the central steering linkage, just about the only part on the car that I thought was below par. Its job is to link the servo output from the left side of the mechanism, to the right side. But it comes as a worringly flexible strip of plastic. So I got the OTW143 kit, where the link is a nicely machined alloy part, and the two brass bushes are replaced with bearings. As soon as you put the part on, the whole thing seems more positive and defined.
At the back, two screws holding the wishbone hinge pin retainer seem to have gone AWOL, so I replaced them and again threadlocked them in place.
- Mendip Summer Championship RD 3 – 05/06/2023
At Mendip, we have a Gary. Garys are useful things that restart generators all day when they keep conking out, patch in spare generators when the first one permanently pegs it, and a billion other things that you don’t realise need to be done until somebody points it out. I wasn’t Gary-ing yesterday, but I will be in a fortnight. So I kept myself as much out his way as I could, and got on with the business of competing the B6.4d and giving the Optima Mid it’s first run out.
2WD first. I shoved in a good first session using Tivvy settings. 13 laps when the best was 14, so happy with that. I don’t really want to talk about the 2nd heat, because on the first corner of the first lap, I stuffed it into the outer fence like a dickhead.
I completely broke the servo horn, which was obvious on first inspection. Not so obvious was I think I damaged the actual servo. It worked, but seemed a bit wonky. Bugger.
Luckily, The next two Quali sessions went more to plan. Despite the slightly wonky servo, 2 sucessively quicker 13 lappers. Without the servo breakage, I wonder if I could have qualified 2nd or 3rd in the B Final. But as it happened there was enough to take 7th, which was enough. The finals were good fun, and hard fought despite the dropouts. The generator problems and the very sunny, warm day, caused a very long day and quite a few to get headaches and so forth. But perseverance eventually yielded an extra place on quali, and the knowledge that, without the servo issues, and if I had used a second set of tyres, there was a lot more to come.
The Optima Mid was just a giggle. Once I twigged that the steering Servo was essentially buggered, It went around lovely. A bit twitchy on turn in, a bit high on ride and rolly, but nothing that can’t be cured.
Overall, a great, knackering, long, tiring, excellent day. 🙂
- Kyosho Optima Mid … DONE!
The Optima Mid is done! Below I’ve got a little piccie of the Top Desk cutout I made to accomodate the ESC. I think it worked out quite neatly.
The paint job looks even better in real life. The red is Hobbynox Red Pearl. An it has a very fetching colourshift effect between primary red, and it mostly is in the pictures, and a bright hot pink. Very chuffed with the results.
I’ve also swapped out the receiver and servo, which I hope will give a better result.
- Mid Nearing Completion
So the chassis is done. not sure about the servo and receiver which I might have to swap out. I have a Futaba Receiver in the Mission FT and a spare Etronix Servo left over from when I first got the KD. I think I might do that Saturday before I prep for the first run out at Mendip on Sunday.
The build was quite easy. The only niggle was not being able to fit a modern ESC anywhere on the lower chassis without fouling the upper. The manual says it’s fine to cut a small slice out of the upper deck to fit one, so I got the dremmel out and did that.
The body is coming along well. The usual livery but with Hobbynox pearl paint. Just the white coat to go.
- Perfect Saturday 🙂
Managed to restrict myself to just Bags A & B yesterday so that I can geek out with Practice and Quali for the Monaco GP on the Telly while getting on with Bag C. Heaven 🙂