Joey and Matt haming it up

2000 Schlauch
1980 Rice
Race Car Comparison

I thought it would be fun to compare our new race car with the 20 year old one we were racing. The Schaluch car (white) is brand new. and is exactly as it came from the factory. The Rice Car (red) is roughly 20 years old and has 20 years of repairs and modifications done to it by numerous owners. The exact date of manufacture is not known since the motor plate with the serial number has been replaced along the way. No doubt some of the kids that raced this car probably have kids of their own now.

Over the years the Rice car has had several major modifications that I know of. The original front axle was rigidly mounted to the frame and front suspension was provided by sprung king pins. This front end was replaced by a straight axle suspended by early coil over shocks. Ride height adjustment was by moving a clamp. The rear suspension was with torsion bars and the only damper was a friction washer at the swingarm pivot. The torsion bars were replaced by coil overs and the friction washers were eliminated. The original tiny nerf bars were replaced with full sized ones. The car was probably fiirst powered by a Continental 3 hp (stock) flat head motor, or one made by Deco of a similar design. It is now powered by a 4 hp Honda overhead valve motor.

My goal is to show how much Quarter Midget technology has changed over the years. This page is not ment to be a knock on Rice Cars. They have been around since 1957 and are still in business. Their current cars are quite modern and feature a novel independent front suspension.

Have a look at what 20 years of development has produced. You can click on any picture below to see a larger view.

Visit Schlauch Race Cars Visit Rice Race Cars
Visit Schaluch Race Cars Visit Rice Cars

2000 Schlauch ca. 1980 Rice

The front view of the two cars tells the biggest story. The Rice car uses a ladder style frame with an attached roll cage made out of low carbon steel. The Schlauch uses a full cage with strengthening down tubes all made from chrome-molly tubing. The new car is stronger and lighter. The other important feature is the offset in the chassis. The Rice car is offset slightly and the driver sits in the middle of the car. The Schlauch chassis is offset to the maximum possible and the driver's compartment is offset a little more. This greatly improves the weight distribution for making left turns.

Weight Distribution
I believe the big handling difference between the two cars lies in the weight distribution. The chart below shows the percentage weight distribution of the two cars without driver, but with fuel. Empty the Schlauch puts more weight on the front and on the left (inside). The left right comparison would be more dramatic if the driver was included. On the track the Schlauch is easier on its tires. I can run softer outside tires for a given track temperature on the Schlauch.

Schlauch/Rice Weight Comparison
Weight % Rice Schlauch
Left Front 15% 27%
Right Front 18% 11%
Left Rear 37% 32%
Right Rear 30% 30%
Front/Rear 33/67 38/62
Left/Right 52/48 59/41

Right Front Close Up Right Front Close Up

Both cars have a coil over front suspension with radius rods locating the front axle. The Rice has a straight axle while the Schlauch car has a swept axle. The Rice car has old style 7-click shocks that work well when cold, but are fade prone. The shock is mounted on a flimsy tab welded to the frame and preload adjustment is made by moving a shaft collar. The Schlauch has a larger, more fade resistant shock with a threaded adjustment. The shock is mounted directly to part of the frame. In the Schaluch car the chassis extends in front of the axle providing more protection in the event of a crash.

Right Rear Close Up Right Rear Close Up

The right rear shows the difference in shock mounts. Note the triangular brace I attached to the shock mount on the Rice car to keep it from bending. The bumper on the rice car is 7/16" low carbon steel. The Schlauch uses 1/2" chrome molly tubing. The Schlauch mounts the brake on the right rear since there is no room for it on the left due to the heavy chassis offset to the left. The Rice car had a threaded spring mount only on the right rear. This allowed me to easily adjust the "wedge" of the car, changing the weight on the diagonal wheels.

Schlauch Rear Suspension Rice Rear Suspension

The rear suspension on the two cars is greatly different. The Rice car has short swing arms that pivot just ahead of the engine. I replaced the friction washers at the pivot points with bronze bushings. The Schaluch uses heavy duty radius rods that are about twice as long. This allows the axle to move in more of a straight line that reduces the steering input when the car goes over a bump.

Schlauch Right Front Spindle Rice Right Front Spindle

The Schlauch car uses what is called a "zero scrub" spindle design where the king pin is located inside the wheel. The zero scrub geometry steers much easier than the old style. Joey adapted to the change quickly. The Schaluch car also uses tapered radius rods to reduce unsprung weight. The camber of the right front wheel is also adjustable on the Schlauch car.

Schlauch Brake Rice Brake

The view of the brake control gives an idea of the general workmanship of the brand new Schlauch car compared to the Rice car that has been repaired and modified over the years. The louvers on the Schaluch car are a nice touch.

We are very happy with our new car. The difference on the track is impressive. With the same driver and engine our times dropped 0.2s. This imay not sound like much, but it is over a lap difference in a 40 lap race.

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