Below is a small collection of links to online booklets, videos and advice we have found that may be useful as you become more familiar with your GT12 car. (RVRCCC take no credit for any of the material. All ownership and credit goes to the original creators of the content)
A nice video from AAran Turner, giving an overview of the common areas or tuning.
Schumacher Atom set up – by Ian Laws
Car preparation and set-up are very important to make sure your car drives correctly and consistently. The info below is based on my experience, and includes advice I have received from other drivers, including members of the Schumacher team. I hope it is useful.
Checking the car over
After each night’s racing, always give the car a good check over, including checking all the screws are tight enough. I find that these cars can shake themselves to bits, so this is very important. Any screws going into metal parts should have a small drop of threadlock on them. Any screws going into nuts should also be threadlocked to make sure the nut doesn’t work loose and come off. It would be preferable to use nyloc nuts, as these don’t work loose. Use blue threadlock and NOT the red stuff. Give the car a brush over to remove dirt and dust, remove the wheels and diff as track fluff builds up in there.
You can see on the set-up sheet that I have silver springs up front and on the side. This is a good base set up, but you can alter this to suit your driving style or track conditions. Our carpet is very low grip, so if you need more steering, put gold springs on the side, or if your car is a bit tail happy, put black ones on. It might be that you start the night with black side springs and after a couple of races change them to silver as the grip comes up.
You will need to check your dampers for oil on a regular basis. You can move the rear pod from side to side to check for any resistance. If there is none at all, the dampers are dry and need oil. They will probably need re-oiling after every 2 to 3 race nights. You also need to put a bit of oil on the front kingpins to give a bit of damping. These should be smooth and free moving. Start off with 12k oil on the three dampers and kingpins.
A good base set up for ride height on our carpet is 5mm front and rear, although 4.5mm on the front will be OK. This height may be higher than some would recommend, but the extra mm covers off any bumps in the track. The front shouldn’t be higher than the rear. Adjustments are made according to tyre size using the axle cam pieces, with recommendations in the Atom manual. Fine tuning can also be done using the rear spring behind the motor pod.
The preferred type of tyres are Contact Foam Q compound tyres which are specifically for the Atom with the rear wheel being fixed by three screws. There are also JFT T foams which also give good grip, but these tyres are more expensive. Some of the drivers at RVRCCC use these tyres with good results. A good base set up is 40 shore all round, however you may prefer softer rears, 35 shore, and / or slightly harder 42 shore fronts. You can experiment to find your preferred combination, but this can change due to track conditions.
Preparation of tyres is important, with the preferred method of applying additive to apply the rears around 30 mins before the race, and the fronts at the start of 2 heats before. Some drivers use two sets of rears, and alternate them between races giving the rears the maximum additive time they can. The additive should be wiped off during the heat before your race.
Before using a new set of tyres, good practice is to apply a thin bead of superglue around the sidewall of the tyre before you use them. This helps to prevent them from chunking. After a few runs, check the tyres again as they may need more superglue. It is important to keep checking the diameter of the tyres as this reduces with wear, and therefore changes the ride height of your car.
After each race night, check the diff by rotating it. It should feel smooth with no resistance. If it feels grainy, you will need to strip it down, clean it, re-grease it (not too much though) and re-assembly it. Check the balls, they should have no flats on them. Ideally, replace the balls with ceramic balls which are longer lasting. Make sure the diff rings don’t have any grooves on them, if they have, replace them. Make sure that both bearings on the axle rotate freely, if not, either clean or replace.
There are two bearings in each front wheel and a bearing at each side of the rear pod. Check to make sure they are rotating freely with no resistance. If there is, you may need to clean them out or replace them.
These are the important parts of maintaining your Atom. There are usually experienced drivers racing GT12 at RVRCCC, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask, most don’t bite, some just bark.