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Properly mounting the body on a touring car is one important part of setting up a well working touring car chassis. In this article we'll take a look at how to approach this and share a few tips and tricks.
As always, you can make it a lot easier for yourself by using some helpful tools.
A body can be mounted before painting, or after painting, and you can use the routine shown here either way. If you do paint your bodies yourself, mounting the body before painting will be a bit easier, since you have more visibility while the body is clear.
Step one is to cut out the body along the lower trim line.
For this you can use a good, sharp hobby knife, or Lexan scissors. Some prefer to use a knife, others prefer scissors.
Especially with this bodies, like the 0.5mm super lightweight body in this example, I find that it's easier to get straight line with a knife. When using a knife, it's important to have a solid surface under (inside) the body, like the setup board used here.
Either way, it's important to be careful and focused while cutting out the body.
When using a knife, you don't need to cut through the polycarbonate material. It's enough to roughly cut halfway through the thin material, and then you can peel away the lower part like this.
After the body has been cut out along the lower trim line (still not cutting out the wheel openings), it's time to line up the body and mark where to make holes for the body posts.
For this I find that magnetic body post markers make it a lot easier, as the magnets will hold the body in place while you line everything up.
The important bit here is to center the body left to right, and decide where you want to mount it lengthwise. Here you will find the ruler and/or caliper will be helpful.
How far forward you mount a body on a touring car can also be an effective setup option. If it's a familiar car and body style, and you want a bit more steering than what you have, you can always mount the body a bit more forward (by 2-10mm). If however the body style is new to you, it's always best to mount it close to "neutral".
Some new touring cars also allows forward/back adjustments with the body posts, which is quite useful. If this is the case on your car, please remember to take this into account when mounting a body.
When you are satisfied with the position of the body, use a marking pen to mark where to make the holes for the body posts.
Many of the modern bodies now also have helpful lines on the body to help lining the body up left and right.
The next step is then to make the holes for the body posts.
A body reamer is the tool you absolutely need for this, as it will allow you to be precise in making the holes. It is also important to have a reamer with a sharp tip, and not worn out. For some reamers you can get spare cutting heads, otherwise remember to renew your reamer when it gets worn out or damaged.
With a thin body it is important to be careful as you make the holes. Also try to make the holes the right size for the body posts on your car - large enough so the body slides freely, but not too big as you don't want the body to move around on the car.
Once the holes are made, it's time to set up the height of the body. This can be done simply with body clips, but to be more precise you can use body height adjusters or rubber body pads.
A few useful examples:
Your car should always be at a normal ride height when you mount and adjust a body.
Set your body height so the ground clearance under the front lip of the body is at 8-9mm. This will usually be a good setup for most conditions, but you might obviously have to adjust it if the track is super high grip or bumpy.
The clearance under the sides of the body usually needs to be a bit more, around 9-10mm.
At this stage, when you have the body sitting on the body posts, and at the correct height, you can mark the center of the wheels axles with a marking pen.
To cut out the wheel openings you can either use a circle cutter or curved Lexan scissors.
If you use scissors, you can mark the tyre position with a marking pen and a spare tyre. Use the marks you made for the wheel axle earlier as the center point.
When you cut out the wheel openings, make sure you cut enough of an opening so the tyre won't touch the body whatever the position of the car and steering.
Especially check the area behind the front and rear wheels, as these have a tendency to get caught in the tyre if the opening is too small.
Make sure to round the corners between the wheel cut out and lower edge of the body.
When you press down the car so the chassis sits on the ground, there should be a few mm of ground clearance at the front and sides of the body.
Finally it's time to cut out and mount the rear wing.
Again you can use a knife or scissors, but with a curved wing like this I find scissors easier.
Remember the wing endplates, which you usually find located inside the front wheel cutouts. Of course it's not a must to use these, but they will have an effect on the stability of the car. These are mounted to the wing with double sided tape.
If your body is a super thin lightweight body, it might be a good idea to get a thicker and more stable rear wing. This is especially important if you run modified and outdoors, as a thin wing might not be able to resist the pressure at high speed.
When mounting the rear wing, it's good to use some large wing shims, as this will protect the wing and body in case of a crash. These are now included with some bodies, but are available separately as well.
Remember that the positioning of the wing more forward or rearward will also have an effect on how the body works on track. It's always best to start at the standard setting, as marked by the manufacturer, but if you find that you need more/less rear grip, you can experiment with the wing position.
Hopefully you will have found a few useful tricks in this article, and have fun racing your touring car.
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