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Saito2

Schumacher upkeep

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In the old magazine reviews, Schumacher buggies (Cats mostly) had a bit of a rep I've noticed. They were reported to be tricky to build (although it seems the instructions on the re-re are improved) and finicky to maintain. The upshot was, when properly maintained and tuned up, they were nigh unbeatable. Aside from the built part, what made/makes them maintenance intensive? Do the belts and ball diffs need frequent adjustment? Its been said in my profession, that carbs go out of adjustment. That's really not true. They can get dirty. The running parameters of the engine can change due to weather, parts wear, etc. making it a necessity to tune/clean the carb. The carb itself however doesn't randomly go out of tune. Linkages don't bend themselves, mixture screws don't turn themselves and jets don't change themselves. Is this the same case with the Cat or are they just not a "set it and forget it" kind of beast?

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I don't think Schumachers were any different to RCs of that era like Associated/Delta/PB, you just had to know "how to build them right" to get a decent reliable car. Associated & Delta instructions were just typewritten text 2-3 pages no pictures BiTD :) 

 

Carbs do go out of tune ;) when clueless owners try fiddling with the screws, or move stuff and cause airleaks when gaskets aren't renewed, or...

Carby expertise dying out too... both local Holley & Wilson/SU shops have closed down, dunno where to go for service anymore.

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5 hours ago, WillyChang said:

Carby expertise dying out too... both local Holley & Wilson/SU shops have closed down, dunno where to go for service anymore.

Yeah, and fuel injection has only been around for what, 120 years? It's really no alternative :ph34r::lol:

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The original cats were not very efficient because of the belts and the way they caused friction when hitting each other, side plates and well, it just took a tonne of work to get them truly working efficiently. There was a lot of friction throughout the car - something that top drivers worked on. The differentials could be troublesome to get smooth as the mouldings sometimes weren't perfect and made seating the diff plates difficult. So many little tricks to getting the transmissions right.

They were a very "pitchy" car to drive because of the relatively long suspension arms and narrow track - making the car very "nose" dominant to drive. This resulted in the team drivers bolting two front suspension bulkheads together to widen the track at the font and wider mountings used at the rear to gain some stability. In the end, the information filtered down as did the modifications. There were many tricks used to get the transmissions smooth, not just in CATS either. I hope to share these and more little gems in the future.

 

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Fascinating stuff there @RETRO R/C!  Thanks for the input. 

8 hours ago, WillyChang said:

Carbs do go out of tune ;) when clueless owners try fiddling with the screws, or move stuff and cause airleaks when gaskets aren't renewed, or.

:lol: Don't I know it! I'd rather deal with a crusty, untouched carb other one that has been "tuned" by a "novice" any day. Man made issues are always the worst to diagnose.

3 hours ago, S-PCS said:

Yeah, and fuel injection has only been around for what, 120 years? It's really no alternative

Restorations and specific applications aside, (and I'm sure you know this) there are still people out there that rip "evil" fuel injection off engines and convert back to carb. 

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1 hour ago, Saito2 said:

 

Restorations and specific applications aside, (and I'm sure you know this) there are still people out there that rip "evil" fuel injection off engines and convert back to carb. 

Presumably because they just dont understand it.

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Not sure. .. the facial expressions, utterings, and especially the speaking in tongues generally associated with demonic possession... I see all of it frequently on mechanics trying to deal with early Ford EFIs. 

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I raced an optima mid and then a Schumacher procat at club level BITD.  The Mid was a lot more forgiving to drive - if they were setup well, they could compete with the cat, but if they had a poor setup they were still driveable, but wouldn’t be pushing for an A final place.

The cat was the opposite - very twitchy if not set up correctly, and it was very hard to drive if this was the case. If the setup worked, they absolutely flew.

I think their reputation for being hard to build was mainly due to the manual using photos rather than diagrams, and also some of the parts needed adjustments before they would fit together.

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