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Old 08-23-2009, 08:47 PM   #1
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Default A story and a few questions, help appreciated.

ok, first for the story, It may be long winded so I'll apologize in advance

A good friend of mine, my wife's best friend's husband, Edgar, has recently decided to start getting in to R/C cars. Edgar doesn't have a lot of money, He immigrated here from Columbia 10 years ago and his mechanical engineering degree isn't recognized, so he's actually going BACK to school to get it again, in the mean time he has a crap job in south Florida fixing the greens keeping equipment at a golf course. His wife just got laid off, and they have a new baby.
Right, so they don't have much money and he went and got a $80 Nikko truck from toys r us, Edgar was stoked, heís never had an r/c car before and was perfectly content driving it around his neighborhood.
In the mean time his brother in law, AJ, a pompous arrogant little... who has a bit of money, goes out and buys a T-Maxx 2.5 and thinks he's the bee's knees. He shoves it in Edgars face every time he's out driving that his is "a real gas car" and Edgar's car is a "toy"
Everything with this AJ guy is a dig.
Edgar is a great guy and I have never liked AJ, I mean not even a little. The way he treats people absolutely appalls me.

Anyway, his wife was talking to my wife and my wife was like "well, Kev has about a million cars now, I'm sure he can help Edgar out" and I was like "absolutely" She offered to pay me, which I flat out refused. (Over the last couple months, buying rc stuff, fixing it up and reselling it has become my new found hobby/passion. but I'm still new at it and anything more than minor upgrades is still a work in progress.)
To me, knowing that Edgar will have a buggy that will eat AJ's Maxx for breakfast is worth more than any money his wife would be able to give me.

Now that the story part is out of the way, letís get down to business, shall we?

Hereís what I have put together so far.
A futaba 3 channel fm controller and receiver.
A MACH 427 engine
And an Ofna Violator, aluminum shock towers, body brace and electronics holder thing down the middle. Everything else appears to be stock.
The car is up and running, and itís fast, really really fast, like OMG *giggle*snort* fast.
Iím going to HIGHLY suggest that Edgar find a hobby store in the Ft. Lauderdale area where he can find someone to teach him about the basic maintenance and help him with the driving a little hehe. I would do it, but I now live 1200 miles away  If you guys have any knowledge of a good r/c store in that area, please let me know. Spanish speaking would be better, but not a must.

And here are my questions

1. I would like the 3rd channel to turn LED lights on and off, is that possible?
2. What upgrades should I do to make the car more durable?
3. Edgar is a HUGE mx racing fan, I think he would get the fox logo tattooíd to his forehead if his wife would let him. So I want to get a custom painted body themed around a fox logo he likes, with his old racing number on the car. Iíve tried painting a few bodies, Iím getting better, but what I want is WAY out of my league. Does anyone on here do custom bodies? I want it all paint, no stickers. Someone PM me on that one if youíre interested in tackling the job and weíll figure it out.

Thanks for taking the time to read all that. I hope you arenít late for something now
I appreciate any insight, help, pointers, tips, etc..

p.s.
If this thread and my project generates any interest, I will post pics of the progression. I have until December to finish it and ship it, his wife wants to give it to him for Christmas.
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Old 08-23-2009, 08:54 PM   #2
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I can only answer 1 part of your question and that's about helping Edgar fix his own stuff. I'm not very good at putting stuff back together once i take it apart and the manuals that come with the car have always been my "go to" source for rebuilding. Get him a manual or try to download a Spanish version online and that will help.
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Old 08-23-2009, 08:55 PM   #3
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good call!
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Old 08-23-2009, 09:30 PM   #4
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Cant offer you any constructive help but i just wanna say that you are GREAT! You make the world a better place...May you be blessed
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Old 08-23-2009, 09:50 PM   #5
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I'm new to this hobby and i think durability is not at all possible... the best way to make a car durable is to not crash !!!! You can upgrade everything to aluminium, but then you'll just bend the aluminium rather than snap the plastic parts. Also with aluminium there's a tendency to bend the connecting parts, rather than just snappping a plastic part clean off.

From what i've read sounds liek you've put together a buggy for him and one thing you could do is put a bumper on it. I have an Hyper 7 and i've put a Hyper ST front bumper on it.. it helps a little but not allot. I've seen some guys built a custom frame out of poly pipe to protect the whole car... but with that you gotta be careful because if it's too low and you hit the brakes then the frame will get caught in the dirt or whatever and it'll flip the car.

One thing you mway want to do... is send the stuff to him in pieces... and get him to assemble it himslef? Perhaps putthe diffs and clutches on and such and then have him basically "plug and screw" the car together... that will teach him a lot about the car and so when he inevitably breaks things he know's what he broke and how to fix it. (If you've got spares maybe you can send him a set of tools too?)

Awesome thing you're doing though... keep it up mate.

Ohh and there's quite a few good nitro maintenance and starting a nitro videos on youtube... if your mate has the internet you should find some vids and send him links... i found them really quite helpful when i was starting out. Also if there was a club near where he lives he should go down and check it out... and make friends with some of the peopel with experience.
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Old 08-24-2009, 06:35 AM   #6
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Paint by smiley should be able to help you with the body and its cheap to its only 40-50 bucks to get a custom painted body. The car should be durable enough for him to get going and when/if he breaks he will learn about the car when he is fixing the broken part and he should not have any problems with fixing the car or understanding how it goes together because he is a mechanical engineer i mean mechanical engineers are the people that design rc cars. for the third channel turning the lights on and off im pretty sure they will work but will only turn on and off when you turn the reciever off and on i dont think you will be able to turn the lights off when the reciever is on but i could be wrong. As for hobby shops i know there are some tracks in that area but i only know that they have onroad tracks but the hobby shops will have fuel tires and parts to just bash around. i hope this helps
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Old 08-24-2009, 07:41 AM   #7
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Ft. Lauderdale? Send him to R/C Hobbies in Tamerac on Univesery or CT's In Avatura on US1 Or Warwics near 595 and Univesery. Best to send him to Mills pond RC track Near Okland and I-95 And ask for Maxy on Wed. and Sat. nite's. The gang at Mills Pond Are very cool and help everyone. Got a guy there with All the parts and stuff for racing you might need. Ask for Ken. BTW get him a short corse truck(they never break-around $200) And tell him to have a blast.
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Old 08-24-2009, 08:12 AM   #8
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Thanks for the tips everyone.
and thanks for the well wishes in my little endeavor... even if there is a little bit of a self seving aspect to it

I'm sure Edgar will be able to figure it out, he's pretty intelligent, but it's always easier to be able to ask someone what something is or how it hooks on and have them show you as opposed to trying to read it. well, it is for me anyway, I'm a total visual learner.
so the tips on the stores and tracks is greatly appreciated.
I'll be checking out paint by smiley.

Man, I hope I don't get this car all kick butt and then decide to keep it. hahaha
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Old 08-25-2009, 06:04 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by The Working Man View Post
Ft. Lauderdale? Send him to R/C Hobbies in Tamerac on Univesery or CT's In Avatura on US1 Or Warwics near 595 and Univesery. Best to send him to Mills pond RC track Near Okland and I-95 And ask for Maxy on Wed. and Sat. nite's. The gang at Mills Pond Are very cool and help everyone. Got a guy there with All the parts and stuff for racing you might need. Ask for Ken. BTW get him a short corse truck(they never break-around $200) And tell him to have a blast.

I've been thinking about your short course truck comment and you have a very good point.
While I would love to send him the bad to the bone tricked out buggy, I have to keep in mind that I am doing this because he cannot afford to but a decent nitro r/c. If I send him an expensive buggy he's not going to be able to afford to fix it when he crashes the heck out of it 10 minutes after he gets it.

I'm really glad you mentioned that, thank you. I think you just saved a lot of people a big headache.

I should probably go with traxxas, they are easy, cheap and pretty durable.

So, nitro, short course, traxxas...... that leaves me with one question.
Rustler or stampede?

I've never owned either of them, nor have I ever driven one. so I don't know the pro's and con's of them.

Which would be better for a newb driver? general bashing, street driving and mailbox collisions.

again, thanks for the tips and help guys, I do appreciate it.
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Old 08-25-2009, 06:12 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevon View Post
I've been thinking about your short course truck comment and you have a very good point.
While I would love to send him the bad to the bone tricked out buggy, I have to keep in mind that I am doing this because he cannot afford to but a decent nitro r/c. If I send him an expensive buggy he's not going to be able to afford to fix it when he crashes the heck out of it 10 minutes after he gets it.

I'm really glad you mentioned that, thank you. I think you just saved a lot of people a big headache.

I should probably go with traxxas, they are easy, cheap and pretty durable.

So, nitro, short course, traxxas...... that leaves me with one question.
Rustler or stampede?

I've never owned either of them, nor have I ever driven one. so I don't know the pro's and con's of them.

Which would be better for a newb driver? general bashing, street driving and mailbox collisions.

again, thanks for the tips and help guys, I do appreciate it.
When he said Short Course, he was talking about something like a Traxxas Slash, not Stadium Truck, like Rustler.

However, a Nitro Stadium truck could be a decent learning tool, Low CG, low parts count, more simple to wrench on, easy to get parts.

I think its awesome that you are so willing to help this guy.
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Old 08-25-2009, 09:33 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by mattholew View Post
When he said Short Course, he was talking about something like a Traxxas Slash, not Stadium Truck, like Rustler.

However, a Nitro Stadium truck could be a decent learning tool, Low CG, low parts count, more simple to wrench on, easy to get parts.

I think its awesome that you are so willing to help this guy.
heh, yeah, I think stadium is a good call, the lower cg the better. either that or a really tough roll cage haha


as for helping him, I'm a big believer in Karma.
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Old 08-25-2009, 09:51 AM   #12
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ya a slash truck may be just the ticket I now that they
make me may not be as fast as Aholes T max but he
would have a lot of fun racing it out hear at one race
we had 60+ slash truck that night talk about fun
and I to think what you are doing for your friend is
way cool good going and putting the screws to a
bully is the best part
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Old 08-25-2009, 04:22 PM   #13
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most of the traxxas stuff is pretty durable,but i think the slash would be way cheaper to own in the long run,compared to a nitro stadium truck.plus they are kind of the "in " thing.most people have a high turnout of these at the races,which would be really cool for your friend to see his rc with such a large following.my vote is for the slash.

as for the lights,if you have a 3rd channel,check out robotmarketplace.com they sell switches that are controlled by the radio.they are under 30 bucks.you may need to run another battery pack for the lights,depending on how you want to do it.i actually gutted an old servo to accomplish the same thing.i "y'ed" it in with the throttle,and used the potentiometer in it to make the lights come on when i hit the brakes. the cheapest way to do it,imo,is to use the pico switch from robotmarketplace to control some light kit that you can find on ebay ,and use another smaller pack of the correct voltage to run it.this would be the simplest to maintain as well.
the pico switch works like a relay.they have other switches that use rx power to run whatever you choose,these send out the same voltage as the servo would normally get.this is pretty close to the route i went.the diffuculty here is getting the voltage reduced to what the leds need.it all actually sounds more diffucult than it is...really...
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Old 08-25-2009, 06:54 PM   #14
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if i were you, i'd send him a complete manual about nitro tunning and general repair like a month in advance (i'm sure theres a few out there) and quiz him on it till he get's the r/c...tell him it's so he knows more about his asshat brother's ride than he does...

concidering that your main reason of doing all this is to shut his brothers fat f***** mouth...i'd stick with the buggy idea, the violator is a tank and there's alot of aftermarket support....just drop a 2 speed in it (send him the normal diff just incase he want's to race) and set it up with good servos, and a set of odonnell big bore buggy shocks (they're nice and cheaper than factory ofna big bores!!) maybe look into some thicker shock towers to, and extra f/r arms...and maybe some more support equip (glow plugs, fuel, a way to start the buggy ect...)

it's awesome what your doin!!!! if i can think of anyway i can help out, i'll give ya a shout!!!!!!!!
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