Inline vs Sidewinder?
What is an inline chassis and sidewinder chassis?
A inline chassis has a motor that is inline with the chassis. A driveshaft attaches to the motor that inserts into a coupler. The coupler is attached to a pinion gear that turns a ring gear on the rear axle. This set up is similar to the drive train of real car.
A sidewinder chassis has a motor that sits perpendicular to the chassis with a pinion gear on the motor shaft. A spur gear is attached to the back side of the wheel hub. This is the same set up as a "pan car" style chassis.Pro's and Con's
The chassis has a better all around balance with the motor centered in the chassis. The distribution of power goes through the rear axle and causes the chassis to want to move forward rather then lifting the front of the chassis. Inline cars tend to run a lower gear ratio .430 and can accelerate quickly. In dragsters the battery can be placed farther back in the chassis to help with rear weight and traction.
The inline chassis has a limited amount of gear ratio's. The .430 gear ratio has shown to work well in Top Fuel, Funny Car and Pro Mod racing and is our recommended gear ratio choice. With limited gear ratio options inline cars have a tire size "window". As the rear tires wear down you loose gear ratio. In a inline car you can't adjust the pinion gear size to compensate for the loss of gear ratio as the rear tires wear down like you can with a sidewinder car. We have found that you can let the rear tires wear down as much as .125 with out majorly effecting performance or handling.
The overall performance of inline cars is a combination of having the motor, esc/radio settings, tire size, and gear ratio working together. Typically racers will have a specific combo for the gear ratio they are running. Since you can't quickly change gear ratios in an inline car the performance of the car is dictated by how well the motor, esc/radio, tire size and gear ratio are working together.
Sidewinder chassis are lighter since they do not have the extra rotating parts of the inline chassis. With a sidewinder chassis you have an unlimited amount of gear ratio options since you can quickly change a pinion and spur gear. Sidewinder Con's
Sidewinder cars require more work to balance the chassis. With the motor positioned sideways in the rear of the chassis the left and rear tire weights are not the same. With the use of a scale board you can balance the rear of the car by spacing out the rear hubs until the weights are even left and right.
In sidewinder chassis the pinion and spur gear having a climbing effect where the spur gear is trying to climb over the pinion gear. This causes the front end of the chassis to want to lift more and typically requires lead weight added to the front of the chassis to combat this effect. The battery position in a dragster will be much farther forward then a inline dragster.