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Author Topic:   Scales? Manual vs. Digital
Dirt Newbie

Total posts: 3
posted September 26, 2004 07:07 PM  
We are building the car for next season and I am considering the purchase of a set of scales. I am looking at two versions of manual scales, Ruggles (rectangle version) and a set of A frame scales (Madone Racing). Anyone using these? Give me some feedback on using these manual scales versus a set of digitals (besides the $$$$/4). Thanks in advance. Brian

Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 640
posted September 26, 2004 07:44 PM  
brian I use a set of manual scales and they are very accurate I had to scale at the track and I was right on the money my little bro same thing your math skils must be sharp whan I can afford the better scales then I will buy them but the ones that I have are great

if every thing is under control your not fast enough

Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 37
posted September 26, 2004 09:07 PM  
who on here has made a set like in tool box and how do they work i am in the prosses of building a set now and was just woundering

[This message has been edited by Bulwinkl (edited September 26, 2004).]

Dirt Freak

Total posts: 428
posted September 27, 2004 04:21 AM  
Thank you for your comments. I did not realize that there were plans on this site. I appreciate any more advice on the use of the manual scales to help improve the accuracy of the readings. I cannot spend the money on the digital scales this year. Keep the advice coming, as always this site is a great resource! Brian

Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 70
posted September 27, 2004 09:16 AM  
I built some bathroom scale type wheel scales. One bad thing about them is that they are very sensative to where the tire is on the pad. I put my pads on pivots so that I could tell when I was centered on the pad by when the pad was level. I also am using digital bathroom scales which I think is the way to go. They are very repeatable now, so they get the job done as far as showing the changes that you make and figuring percentages. -better get your calculater warmed up though. They are kind of a pain to use because of how important positioning the car on them is. -job ends up taking twice as long as it would on electronic scales, but they are definately an acceptable alternative to spending a thousand bucks. Overall i'm glad I saved the money and built these.

Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 148
posted September 27, 2004 09:19 AM  
I built a set of the scales kinda like those in toolbox.
- Level is a big thing. I bought a 20 buck laser level, put it on the bathroom scales, made a taget on the wall, set all 4 scales to that height, then put the wheel plate assemblies in place and leveled all of them to a common target on the wall. Pain to level 8 places but I mark all the shims so I can put them back in the same place.
- I mark the scales so that they are always in the same position.
- i put a small piece of plate on top of the bathroom scale so that there is no bind on top of the scale. On the first try I wadded up the vinyl tops of the scales.
- I calibrate the scales each use, i put a 100 pound weight on it and adjust the angle so that it reads exactly 25 pounds, mark it on the beam.
- I put the car on the scales, center everything, raise the car again, reset the scales to zero, lower the car slowly. I wait about 5 minutes before taking readings; usually spent finaling air pressures.
I wouldn't worry that the #s are off a few pounds. I bet you could take 5 sets of high dollar electronic scales and get 4 different weights.
I think it is more important to adjust by the numbers you see on your scales. We work more with percentages than exact pounds. I know my car handles a lot better now that i can quantify the changes i'm making.

Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 141
posted September 27, 2004 09:24 AM  
I have a set of the Madone Racing scales (with rollers for the front wheels) and they seam to be very accurate. I have done 4 cars and all were within 12 lbs or less of the track digital scales. One trick to using them is to zero them to a known weight with the arms. I will set each arm on its appropriate scale and stand on the wheel pad. Then have someone “zero” the scale to my weight. This eliminates the weight of the arms and seams to be more accurate then just setting them all a zero.

- When in doubt, hit the gas.

Dirt Freak

Total posts: 428
posted September 27, 2004 04:34 PM  
we still used them .the ones in tool box work good .and thay are less them 100.00 to build

Dirt Freak

Total posts: 268
posted September 27, 2004 08:32 PM  
Well I made a set of tool box scale and they seem to work great. I have never been around anyone with real scales to compare them with. I also have only been racing for a couple years but I finished 2nd in points( 9 points behind 1st place). Not that I'm bragging cause its a small class. The way I see it is if you use the same scale on the same wheel in the same place every time and zero the scale the same way, they will do just fine. They may not show the exact over all weight but if you make changes they will show what you have done. Like everyone on here has said make sure you get the wheel pad level when the weight in on the scale or it wont read right. This is all just my 1 1/2 cents worth.

Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 168
posted September 27, 2004 09:48 PM  
I'll throw 2 cents in here I have one time gave the bath room scales a try and like every one says they will work. My personal take on it, was someone had give me the arms already made so I went out and bought 4 new bath scales if I remember right I had almost 100.00 in scales. So with the material in the arms your looking at almost 2 bills invested back when grain scales were the thing thats about what one of them was trading for I would think now with all the electronics out there you could find some grain scales for less than the 2 bills each and them grain scales are handy just to have your car setting up on, easy to set up and you can easily get under the car to make adjustment and measurements. And grain scales are accurate as the eletronics but you still need the ol calculater

Dirt Freak

Total posts: 446
posted September 28, 2004 06:31 PM  
Well Guys, The scales in the tool box are the ones I submited. I have used this design for over 12 years. You can spend as much as you want, but the current set I have and use, I have just about $100 invested (including the scales). I buy scales at WalMart for around $6 to $7 a piece. I've tried the more expensive scales and they don't work a bit better, Just look nicer.(remember they are designed for the bathroom).

I have compared mine to the $1000 + electronic scales and I'm close (10 to 20 lbs total) All your looking for is a repeatable reading which is available with the bathroom scales as long as you use the same rack and scale on the same wheel each time. I have marked each piece so I use the same per wheel each time.

Perfect? nope but close. Affordable? Yep,. and that is what grass roots racing is all about, not to see how much you can spend. How many of ya'll are racing Nextal Cup...I'd say not many, so until you quit racing on a one day a week local scale, these will work just fine.

I appreciate all that have used my plans and wish you good luck in all your endeavours.

The Peddler

Dirt Freak

Total posts: 268
posted September 28, 2004 09:56 PM  
I think that somes it up. Spoken well. That money saved, goes along way somewhere else. I use the same $6 scale and I can replace all 4 every year for 24 bucks if it makes me feel better.

[This message has been edited by eaton89 (edited September 28, 2004).]

Donnie Ross
Dirt Freak

Total posts: 264
posted October 11, 2004 06:00 AM  
Peddler thanks for making the plans available made a set used them all year really helped get handle on the car, now got people coming by to use my bathroom scales lol.


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