These are a few guide lines for beginners who want to start racing with a Mini 4WD driving it with a guide stick.
The guide stick
First of all, you must have a guide stick. Before designing any car you have to run behind a Mini 4WD with guide stick. In this way you will get an idea of what you are going to design later. You can read all the most accurate informations about street racing, but if you don’t try to drive with a guide stick, you will not understand what you will need and the meaning of street racing. So the first step to begin with this sport, is having your own guide stick.
Make a guide stick is simple: you can build it yourself or you can try to use an hockey stick.
Each choice has its pros and cons, for now you do not need to worry about anything else.
Our wiki contains a guide to build a guide stick. If you choose to build it you have to remember to follow the guidelines about the angle of the blade.
The first car
After getting the stick, it’s time for you to choose a suitable Mini 4WD. But to do so you should read the paragraphs below.
Remember that more than wheels, batteries, ratio gears, aerodynamics, what it’s matters at the beginning is to appreciate what you are going to drive. You have to choose a Mini 4WD you like! It would seem a nonsense, but if you will use a Mini 4WD that you do not like, you definitely will drive it in a bad way.
However you must not decide everything basing your choices only on aesthetics. A Mini 4WD has different behaviors depending on the chassis.
There are a large number of chassis, and each of them has different features. On the box of a Tamiya Mini 4WD it is always written the type of chassis that the car will have.
It's important not to choose a Mini 4WD with Type 1, Zero, MS or MA chassis, the reason will be explained later.
In this guide, for simplicity, chassis are classified according to their "wheelbase": which is the distance between front and rear wheels.
Keep in mind that the more the wheelbase is short, the more the car will be fast and agile on cornering, but it will have problems with stability. Instead a car with a long wheelbase will be very stable on rough tracks and on the straights, but not very agile and fast cornering.
So Tamiya chassis are:
- Wheelbase 80mm : Type 3, Super-1, VS, Super-II;
- Wheelbase 82mm : Type 2, Type 4, Type 5, Super TZ, Super TZX, AR;
- Wheelbase 83mm : F.M., Super F.M.;
- Wheelbase 84mm : Super X, Super XX.
On the road it's important to not have too small wheels because they do not react well to uneven grounds. So the choice of your first car must be between Mini 4WDs that have larger wheels sets (30+mm diameter). You could choose a Mini 4WD with small wheels and set it up so it can fit bigger wheels, but it is not an easy job for beginners. In other words do not choose a Mini 4WD with small wheels if you are beginning to do street races.
The gear ratio and the motor
On the road it is very important that your machine runs at your own speed, but at the beginning you will have many difficulties in following the movements of your Mini 4WD, even under these conditions. For this reason, you have to mount on your car a 5:1 gear ratio.
The MS and MA chassis don’t have the 5:1 ratio gear and so they are not recommended for beginners. Mini 4WD with Type 1 are sold without 5:1, and it is not easy to find this gear ratio for this chassis. The Type 1 is therefore not recommended for beginners.
For the same reasons (speed and difficulty of control) the motor that has to be used on street races is the Stock one: it is the one you will find included into the box of your Mini 4WD.
If your car does not include the 5:1 gear ratio you can have it by purchasing the item AO1032 or the most complete 15456. Both are compatible with all chassis which are listed before except with Type 3 chassis (Cars sell with this chassis always include the 5:1, except for Nissan Be-1, item code 94978).
A Mini 4WD goes always straight, so to turn you will use the guide stick, which will touch the rollers that you mount to the end of the front and side bump guard of your car. It's important to have at least 4 rollers, two mounted on the front bumper, and two mounted on the central bumps.
The Type 1 has no central bumps that allow to mount rollers; cars with Zero chassis are generally sold without the support that adds the central bump; MS chassis does not have central bumps. For these reasons too you are not supposed to choose cars that mount chassis Type 1, Zero and MS. Some of cars with chassis Super-II do not include the central side roller, but you can find it as an item (AO1028 Mini 4WD EX Side Stay) just as you could find it for the Zero chassis (15102).