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Old 10-18-2008, 11:52 AM   #1
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Default Getting Started In 1/8th Scale Off-Road

Since the time I picked up my first issue of R/C Car Action ~7 years ago, I have fascinated by 1/8th scale buggies. However, being 14 and broke, I could hardly afford one. Now that I'm 20, a tiny bit more mature, and in a much better financial situation I think it is about time I made the step up into 1/8th scale (the fact that 1/10 electric off-road racing is virtually non-existent in my area played a large role in this decision as well). The problem I'm having is that, outside of magazines, the internet, and whatnot, I've never really been exposed to 1/8th scale racing and I really don't know that much about it or what I need to get started (beyond the obvious chassis, engine, and radio equipment).

As far as kits go, I've had my eye on the Hot Bodies D8--it appears to be a solid platform and the price is hard to argue with. I have also heard that the Mugen (the MBX-5R at least, I don't know about the MBX-6) is pretty easy to handle for an inexperienced driver. Local parts support with the Mugen concerns me though; my LHS stocks mostly Associated, Losi, HPI/Hot Bodies, and Traxxas parts. Would the D8 make a good first buggy?

Engines is where I really start to get lost. I know how they work and have a resonable grasp of basic tuning but I don't understand what makes one engine "better" than another and the nuances found from engine to engine. What should I look for in an engine and whaty should I stay away from?

Thank you for any help you guys can give me.
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Old 10-18-2008, 12:46 PM   #2
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The D8 would make an excellent first buggy. Actually any of them would. Just matters what kind of excellent your wallet or fanboy (or lackof) status calls for.

Engine.. Well for a first one don't spring lots of coin. First engines generally die a premature death due to the learning curve of tuning.
I would recommend anything from one of the cheaper novarossis, a gotech, os vg, or even one of the losi rtr engines from the buggy or lst2 if you are just club racing. I would stay away from anything over 200 bux for your first one. I'm Not even sure how much the ones I listed can be had for..?

Main thing, get a starter box and some good wrenches. I wouldn't bother with a lipo rx batt yet personally. 6 volt hump packs are cheap and you can get a good capacity one to run the long mains.

Get a good sevo for both steering and throttle. I like air 94358 for steering and a 94357 for throttle. Anything with comparable numbers should be good though, futaba, jr, hitec, whatever.

Did I say starterbox? You want one of those.
I know I said it twice, but they are almost a necessity.
So is a good buddy to pit for you. Or make a good buddy at the track and help eachother out.

Good luck to ya, and have fun. And remember just because it's so fun to pull it doesn't mean ya have to kill the buggy or a marshall!!!
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Old 10-18-2008, 01:17 PM   #3
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Good advice from the response above. My advice is to get EVERYTHING used EXCEPT the engine. You'll save approximately half over new and a lot of times you can find a buggy with less than a gallon on it. I have 5 cars currently and IMO I'd look for a used Kyosho 777 or Mugen MBX5R. Both are extremely high quality and easy to drive. Losi 8ight wears quickly and is somewhat more difficult to drive. (again IMO only)

You don't need a high dollar engine to be competitive and most have a lifespan of 5-6 gallons anyways. Like the post above look for a cheaper engine and learn to tune on it first. Sportwerks V2 or Dynamite engines are great and can be had for $165 if you can still find them. (Sportwerks is out of business) Finally, look for high quality servos/radio components used on here also. JR 9000 servo's are great as well as Hobbico CS170's and Ace 1015's. These are all $100 + servos that can be had for around $50 used. Good luck!

Last edited by Cannondale1974; 10-18-2008 at 01:29 PM. Reason: added info
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Old 10-18-2008, 01:31 PM   #4
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Good advice from the response above. My advice is to get EVERYTHING used EXCEPT the engine. You'll save approximately half over new and a lot of times you can find a buggy with less than a gallon on it. I have 5 cars currently and IMO I'd look for a used Kyosho 777 or Mugen MBX5R. Both are extremely high quality and easy to drive. Losi 8ight wears quickly and is somewhat more difficult to drive. (again IMO only)

You don't need a high dollar engine to be competitive. Like the post above look for a cheaper engine and learn to tune on it first. Sportwerks V2 or Dynamite engines are great and can be had for $165 if you can still find them. (Sportwerks is out of business) Finally, look for high quality servos/radio components used on here also. JR 9000 servo's are great as well as Hobbico CS170's and Ace 1015's. These are all $100 + servos that can be had for around $50 used. Good luck!
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Old 10-18-2008, 01:45 PM   #5
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I agree with most of what has been said except for the fact of purchasing a cheaper engine. I would recommend going with something along the lines of a OS Vspec which is an excellent motor for around $250, it's has plenty of power and holds a tune really well. I have seen several in the hobby get out of it fairly quickly when they want to race but spend all day chasing a tune on a cheaper motor because of poor craftsmanship, also the novarossi bf series motors are a excellent buy and would be in the $200 price range. You get what you pay for really applies in this hobby, pick up a cheaper used buggy that's has parts widely available and spend your money on servos and a motor, when you get to the point of getting around the track and the car is holding you back then I suggest buying a new kit.
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Old 10-18-2008, 01:49 PM   #6
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I agree with the above post, but there are a few things I wouldnt skimp on for money. Starter box, get the ofna truggy starter box, it is a hundred dollard but it last for years. Servo's I dont care what anyone says go with good ones, such as hitech 7955, best servo on the market and hitech has the best warranty. for a engine I would get a rb s3 3 port. Very easy engine to tune and awesome reliablity and only like 169.00 and will have enough power for you
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Old 10-18-2008, 01:52 PM   #7
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Default .21 or .28

Ok you guys have changed my mind from a ready to run to a kit. I see most RTR do have a .28(im sure for sales) and ROAR legal is .21. Im not concerned with being ROAR race legal im no pro . .... the guys at the local track here dont care so i guess my question is is there a advantage to a .28 - .21 I figure the .28 has more HP (depending on price im sure) but it seems most .21 in the 200-250 have more RPM can somone sort it out for me
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Old 10-18-2008, 02:01 PM   #8
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Default sportwerks

And when did sportwerks go out of biz?
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Old 10-18-2008, 02:50 PM   #9
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I've been running a ae .28 for club racing. I got it for under 60 bux to my door off flea bay so I thought I would try it. I just can't make myself club race my $280 engine. I've not been doing any series so figure what's the point.

The .28 has vspec power and acceleration, but it'll cost ya an extra pit stop if you don't have it tuned just right and hammer the throttle to hard.

So even if you are club racing and you and your buddy are only seconds apart, the extra pit stop will kill ya. It's been a great lasting engine though. Somewhat of a finiky tuner, but mostly that was due to my bad fuel tanks I kept getting.

I would like to try one of the losi rtr engines for the right price.
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Old 10-18-2008, 10:04 PM   #10
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Its not rocket science to tune a nitro motor its pretty cut and dry. I wouldnt skimp on the motor as stated before the Os vspec is a good motor. Im running a Go tech .21 3 port in my kyosho buggy and its a great engine holds a tune all day and at $125 bucks you cant beat it. Get a temp gun that will make tuning alot easier. Good Luck.
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