JQ Products - The Car

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The original reason for designing THE Car was to make a car fast enough for me to win big races. For naturally talented racers the car itself isn't such a big factor, but for racers like me, with low natural ability, the car has to be great, and suitable for my driving style, for me to win. Call me egoistic, but that's why I started designing it. I thought that if I can make a car, prove to whoever I am racing for, that it's better than what they have at that moment, maybe they would incorporate some of my ideas into their design, and I would become faster, and hopefully start winning bigger races.

Well, none of that worked out for various reasons, and I decided to start my own company and produce THE Car myself. I also realised that I needed to make sure that not only did this car need to be perfect for me, it also needed to suit all conditions, and all levels of drivers. It proved to be a lot harder to achieve than I thought. However, I believe I was able to create a car that everyone can be fast with, and which can be either super aggressive and fast, or very stable and easy to drive. Actually, it wasn't just me, many of my friends, some top pros, some average racers, and some beginners, all helped to create THE Car. In the next 6 columns, I will explain how we did it.





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THE Car Features Listed

Part 2 of THE Release, nothing special, but it has to be done. The Features list and a few pictures. In the next parts I will explain my design.

- Narrow layout, along with one of the narrowest chassis ever seen on a 1:8 buggy. (108mm at widest point). A narrow car is more nimble and fast compared with a wider one.

- Central engine location. The key to building a narrow car.

- Revolutionary Adjustable Weight Distribution. Engine and Centre Diff move 8mm forwards-back.


The Centre Diffmount slides 8mm forwards-backwards. Engine has 4 positions on the engine mount.

- Laydown Brake System. In order to make the weight distribution change easily, and taking out the centre diff easily, laydown brakes was the way to go.

- Simplest throttle/brake linkage on the market. Because simple is always better.


Normal throttle linkage, just one brake link. Still pre-production Don't worry, it will look cooler!

- Balanced left to right. Because we turn both ways on our tracks.

- Out of the box, about 3240g. Because no matter what anyone says, a lighter car is faster, wears less, consumes less fuel, and less tyres, and it is the future of our hobby. If a heavy car is faster than a light one, the light one has the wrong setup or the wrong tyres!


Testing in Portugal, no lightened parts, but a couple prototype parts.

- Failsafe servo saver for the threadlock challenged individuals out there. Impossible to work loose.

- The first un-complicated radiotray. Changing a servo in a hurry, with tray in the car is easy. Everything on the tray can be changed with the tray, and linkages intact.

- Distinctive rear end geometry for great on power traction, acceleration and cornerspeed.

- New style roll-centre adjustments on rear.


New adjustments. Lowest hole is just there so arms are interchangeable left to right.

- Designed for European and American tracks and drivers. Possibility to set the car up for Euro style tracks and driving style, maximum cornerspeed, or US style jumps and bumps.

- Pre-assembled turnbuckles, because we all hate building them.

- 14.5mm threaded, hard-anodized shocks feature 3.5mm shafts. Because bigger isn’t better, better is better. We tested all sizes, and this is the best for THE Car.


THE Shock

- Hard Anodised CNC Aluminium Arm Holders with inserts for tuning toe-in, anti-squat and kick-up as standard. Since this is a Pro racing car, why should you have to immediately buy option parts?

- Optimized steering geometry for maximum, yet linear steering, and reduced bump-steer. Steering = Cornerspeed = Fast Laptimes = Wins. It’s all about steering.

- Moulded composite front and rear chassis braces. CNC may be option parts, because they aren’t needed, except for the people who like bling, “just because”.

- 3-shoe clutch, with aluminum clutch shoes.

- Lightened Aluminium 4mm hard-anodized chassis with ballast locations as standard. Because THE Car is underweight with lightweight options installed.

- CNC Aluminium Steering Knuckles as standard. Plastic ones are for RTR:s, even if they don’t break. We do have a certain bling requirement at JQ Products.

- Clunk style fueltank because we all crash, and it feeds fuel to the engine while upside down.





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Part 3: My Goals, and Front-End Geometry

There is no point in making a car if it isn't better than what's already available. So what did I want to improve? I had three main performance related goals for my car design, and every single decision I made regarding the design, I tried to think how it effected these three points.

1. Maximum steering in all situations. This was number one, because I felt that no car on the market had enough steering, steering always limited the maximum speed one could enter a corner, or drive through it. Only the old Crono had enough steering. So I knew if I made a car that has steering everywhere, I already had an edge on many of my competitors.


Ok don't exaggerate!

2. Corner Speed. Posting fast laptimes is all about cornerspeed. A ridiculous amount of steering isn’t enough, if the car lacks cornerspeed. It is hard to explain, but some cars turn into a corner, and then tend to want to stop, others just keep turning and going. This always perplexed me. I wanted to make sure THE Car maintained cornerspeed no matter who was driving.


Enter fast, maintain speed, and exit fast, thats the dream right?

3.Bump Handling. When the A-main comes around, and the track is bumpy, no driver can win with a bad handling car. This is a fact. Handling the bumps well had to be a priority for my design, and it proved to be the toughest challenge to conquer.


We do not accept this kind of behaviour!

I had two main design related goal, and they were to:

1.Keep It Simple!

I am not a fan of being innovative for the sake of innovation, or designing stuff which is more complicated than it needs to be, just in order to get a “wow” reaction when someone looks at it. Because that “wow” will fade when you are working on the car, fixing it between races, or when it falls apart in the main.

2.Make it light!

All current cars are overweight. We have a minimum weight limit, so lets live by it! In some forms of racing, extra weight is added to the winner of the previous race, in order to slow him down in an attempt to make racing more exciting. Key words -> More weight = slower. Yes, also in RC, yes, also if you are a beginner, yes, also in clubraces. If a heavy car is easier to drive, faster, or better, it is because the light one has the wrong set up, or wrong tyres, not because more weight is better.


Anorexia can be a problem, but not when you want to go fast.

I also wanted to make it look good. But I would rather win with an ugly car, than be slow with the best looking car. And obviously I wanted to make it durable and strong, that goes without saying.


Suspension geometry seems so simple, and most cars seem to be the same in this department, but there are differences. By suspension geometry I mean the length and position of the lower and upper arms, the shock positions, shock length, arm holder widths, and hub geometry. It is definitely not simple. THE Car is great but it's not perfect. No car is. I can't wait to start developing it further. For now the geometry is not completely off the charts, it shares a lot from current cars, but here I will highlight the main differences, and why I made it different.





Lower Arms

The lower arms are the shortest on the market. The reason for this is, that I always liked a short armed car more. Shorter arms make cars more responsive, but maintain stability when it comes to things other than driver input. For example, short arms make the car track straight in bumps, and make it less sensitive to changes, and surprising situations on the track. Also it helps a lot with steering, and jumping I think.


Long arms on a car gives it more traction, suspension movement, and a more slow reacting stable nature, but I believe to make a car get around a track as fast as the laws of physics allow, it needs short arms. The arms are also interchangeable left to right.

Arm Holders

Suspension Arm Holder width and arm lengths is something I played around with a lot. I tried many different combinations, and ended up with a set up, which is in fact the opposite to most other cars. THE Car has a wide front arm holder, and shorter arms than most cars. With this set-up I lost some steering, which you could say goes against one of my top 3 main goals for my car, but let me explain. Yes it reduced steering, but it enabled me to drive the car a lot more aggressively, and also set it up differently, to where it actually was faster. It jumped better, handled rough sections better, and was more stable and linear to drive. In sections with many jumps after each other, or woops, it would track more straight, and not go offline, if you messed up the first jump, it was easier to still make the second jump etc. So initially I lost steering, gained stability, but after more testing, I got the same steering as before, with more stability on rough tracks. It was a no brainer at that point.


CNC Arm Holders as Standard.


For the C-hubs in the front, I went with a similar design to the Losi XX-4 design, because it's clever. I believe that was the first car with this front end geometry. Actually I also took a really close look at the old Crono cars, because they had the best steering of all cars. Bringing the point where the arm attaches to the hub, inwards (compared to the og. Kyosho style), and also vertically closer to the wheel centre, makes the car a lot more stable and less prone to flipping over. Also, it helps in the bumps and jumps, because as the suspension compresses, the wheels also move more inwards, and the suspension gets stiffer. You can feel this, as you press the front of the car down, it gets stiffer before the chassis hits the ground. I always liked that. And yes, the arms look just like the Losi's, because another shape will not fit, it will rub somewhere, and there is no point in being different if it is worse.


No kingpin inclination, arm attachement in-line with kingpin, long upper link on hub = Linear Steering, and alot of it.

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Part 4: Rear End Geometry


Rear Arms

The Rear Arms are super short compared to all other cars. That's simply because they are the same length as the front arms, which because of the front end geometry I ended up with, are also really short. The arm holders on the rear are not as wide as the front. They are old school, medium width. Nothing special there, except, if you draw a line viewing from the bottom, co-linear with the front hingepins, it intersects the rear hingepins halfway between the rear arm holders. Also the outer arm-to-hub attachement line intersects, and the upper link locations also. Something maybe only in my head, or then something that really makes the car work more as one. But in any case, in testing, the best set-ups have tended to be where the front and rear links are also equal. THE Car feels balanced and predictable with linear steering. By linear steering I mean, the same throughout the corner, and smooth even as speed increases or decreases, so no sudden changes in the amount the car turns. I think this is due to the fact that the front and rear ends are in-sync. They are afterall bolted to the same chassis, so they shouldn't be too different, or else they will end up working differently from each other. This is my opinion. My goal was to try and make the front and rear roll the same in corners, have similar traction, and act the same in all conditions and speeds. All in all, I found that these short arms gave THE Car a lot more steering and just made it plain FAST!



Rear Hubs

The hubs are quite different to anything else on the market. I wanted to have the same offset on the rear as on the front. By offset I mean the distance between the arm to hub attachement and the centre of the wheel. In order to get the same offset, the hubs now clearly have a lot more offset than all other cars (actually opposite to many, meaning the attachment is on the inside of the wheel centre, not outside). This increased rear traction a ridiculous amount. First I had too much, the thing wouldn't turn anymore. But what I ended up with was, the car could be set up with more aggressive steering, yet when exiting a corner, and getting on the gas, the rear end would just square up (straighten out) quickly, and have crazy forward bite. The rear hubs is the one thing that made me most excited when testing, because when I tried them back to back with standard hubs and arms early on, they felt like crap, but the stopwatch thought otherwise! The problem with them was, that the car could do unexpected things when it got out of shape, and it was not good in bumps. This was because it required a very different set up compared to conventional cars, and different shock positions. I managed to solve these issues, and ended up with a car that has superior corner speed, forward bite, and acceleration out of corners. I bet there will be other cars with more offset on the rear hubs and short arms in the future.



Rear Roll Centre Adjustment

Another unique thing about the rear end geometry is how there are vertical holes on the rear arms, as well as on the hubs. There are actually 3 holes in the arms, but that is just so that the arms work on both sides of the car, so only 2 holes are used, middle and top. The reason for this is so that the suspension, up and down travel and ride height, will be unchanged, regardless of which hole is used. On other cars it's always a problem with one of the set ups, either there is not enough up travel, or down travel, or the shock end needs to be changed etc. That's all it is, easier to make the adjustment, the result is the same as on other cars. Or so I thought! Actually it is similar, but not quite the same. But in any case, the top hole gives the car more traction and makes the suspension stiffen up more when compressed, the lower hole reduces traction, and the rear end will slide more. As for bumps, that comes down to preference, some prefer the upper hole, some the lower.


Just in order to make it confusing though, in testing I found, that most of the time, I got even more traction when I used the top hole in the hub, and the middle hole in the arm. This set up made the rear end of THE Car seem like it was sucked down on the ground, not only when cornering or accelerating, but quite surprisingly, also in bumps and jumps, it stayed flatter, and didn't hop around as much. The only logical explanations for this increase in traction, that I could think of, is that the upper link is lower compared to the inner arm attachment, and the piston position and movement is slightly different. In any case, the rear end is adjustable enough that anyone can find their preferred set up, no matter what their driving style is. I will create an extensive set-up guide for this, and all other features on THE Car.


On THE Car you can set the rideheight with clips, or threaded collars, to each his own...


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Part 5 Steering, Shocks and Radiotray Simplicity





There are currently two main types of steering systems in use in 1:8th scale buggies. The old-school type, which is found on most, for example, Kyosho, Xray and Mugen, where two steering bellcranks are connected by a plate, and the steering links are attached to this plate. With this system the steering will always feel non-linear, meaning that at some point in the corner, and at some speed, the car will turn more than at others. The second steering system type is the one found on for example the Losi. The steering bellcranks are still connected by a plate, but the steering links are connected directly to the bellcranks. With this system the steering is more linear, and it doesn’t seem to have a point where it steers most. With this steering system it seems like the different plates change the overall amount of steering, instead of the point at which the most steering occurs. I preferred this type of steering, so this is the system I incorporated in THE Car design.


There are 3 different lengths for tuning the steering feel,


...and 3 sets of holes for them.


“Bigger isn't better, better is better.” That’s a quote I saw somewhere, and I just think it suits this topic well. Fioroni and HongNor made shocks which were slightly bigger than others, and they worked better. Then Losi made shocks a lot bigger than the others, with 15mm pistons, and they were even better. Suddenly everyone started making bigger and bigger shocks and at some point stopped thinking about how they work. In the past, cars were heavier, wider, and had small shocks, now they are lighter and more narrow, and have big shocks, sounds backwards to me, and I think it is. I found what I believe to be the best size for a shock, on a light narrow, nimble car, 14.5mm piston diameter. I don't believe in carrying any unnecessary weight around, and I want my suspension to respond to small bumps, as well as the big ones.




I have always been of the opinion that it doesn't matter how easy it is to remove the radiotray from the car, if you need an engineering degree and tweezers to change a servo once the tray is out. If I am at the track, and I want to change a receiver, transponder, servo, whatever, I do not want to have to remove the radiotray from the car in the first place. I want to just remove the component I want to change.


On the other hand, if I am cleaning the car, and I have to unscrew 7 screws instead of 4, to get the radiotray out, it will not make me mad. This is why I designed the radiotray in a way that it is easy to remove either servo, transponder, or battery, simply, without removing anything other than the part you want to change, and the receiver or batterybox lids. There are no small parts or nuts to fiddle about with, no small openings for wires to go through, just a really simple layout.



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Set up talk

Astroturf. What a load of *******. Look, there is a reason they don't race Motocross on concerte. Because it would suck, a lot. Well for this race it made a lot of sense but I'm not a huge fan. 1 race a year is fun, because it's different! How is it different? A lot of traction, and it stays smooth. It was obvious from the first run, that something HAD to be done to THE Set up. So I compiled a short list, for what to do if you ever have the misfortune of having to race on Astroturf:

1. Cut the spikes on your tyres, inside and outside, you can go crazy with this, and cut many rows off.

2. Thick diff oils, I ran 12 500 – 10 000 – 4000, but could probably have gone even thicker.

3. Thicker swaybars, I ran 2.5mm front, 2-8mm rear. Normally I run 2.3 and 2.4 on THE Car.

4. Front shocks, out on front arm, and completely stood up on tower. Gives more stability.

5. Long upper links, calms the car down, so it doesn't spazz out all by itself for no apparent reason.

6. Less toe in, and less front kick up.

7. Drive different, brake before corner, dont try sliding into it like clay, and land straight, no sideways landing eventhough it is cool to do, it only works on dirt.

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THE Build

We have done our best to design THE Car to be simple and easy to build. THE Manual also cover most details relating to the build. On this page we go through some of the critical steps of building THE Car.

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1. Introduction

A car that is set-up well, and to suit the driver, will make driving and racing more enjoyable, and will lead to better results. How to set a car up, or how to become a faster driver can’t really be learned by this, or any other guide, it has to be done at the track. But guides like this one can provide guidance and give ideas as to what to try and what the expected result could be. One thing to remember, when setting up a car, is that usually, everything affects everything else, meaning that if you change one thing, it may affect something else too. Sometimes shortening the rear upper link may be bad, but if you shorten the front one too, it might work. Furthermore, the effect of a set-up change can also differ depending on the driver, and his or her driving style. Depending on how the driver uses the throttle, where in the corners, or in the bumps, and how much and how aggressively, the preferred set-up will be different. Different track surfaces and conditions may also affect how a set-up change is perceived by the driver, sometimes a change may seem insignificant, and sometimes it might make a big difference. But at the end of the day, the laws of physics are the same for everyone, and for all cars and tracks, so it is possible to come up with a guide like this, highlighting what changes can be made to cars, and what the change will do to the driveability.

THE Guide





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THEcar is the product of one mans obsession. Finnish racer and designer, Joseph Quagraine promised his own 8th buggy for years but all his best efforts seemed to come to nothing. Despite his best efforts - the funding and vision of various manufacturers wasn't there to bring THEcar to fruition and many thought it'd never happen, 4 years of hard work however and THEcar is finally here..

JQ - as the man himself is known, set about finding the funding himself and after securing a large loan from the bank THEcar was on.

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