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Old 09-10-2008, 01:26 AM   #1
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Default Thinking of getting back into off-road...

I used to run off-road regularly from '91-'95 here in the SFV. Mostly at the old Race-Prep off-road track that was in Northridge. I basically ran stock truck or stock buggy depending on what I had at the time. I never made the move to mod as I didn't feel like I had enough skill. Late last year I got back into the hobby after being out since that time. I've been running in the HPI drift and RCDC comps and mostly in that scene, and really enjoying R/C again.

I also recently purchased a Slash and ran it up at Hot Rod Hobbies last week just for fun on an off-night. I got bit by the bug and I think I'm ready to jump back into off-road racing again. Running the box-stock Slash was a little frustrating as well since I couldn't clear some of the jumps and it felt like the truck was very slow on the track in comparison to just bashing at the local bicycle jumps. That's really led me into looking into getting into 2wd or 4wd buggy again, so I can have a race-ready car that will handle any track setup.

It seems to me that with the advent of brushless and li-po the playing field has really been leveled as there's not as much battery/motor wars going on anymore. I'd like to see what you guys say on that specifically. I guess what I'm really asking, is, could I be competitive (with some practice, of course) against the rest of the crowd in 19T/10.5 or stock class with off-the-shelf items since there's not much involved anymore with tuning motors and buying expensive high-discharge 6-cell batteries, etc. I guess what always frustrated me as a kid was I didn't have the money to buy new motors and batteries each month (or week!) and it seemed like the few guys that were sponsored or had money to burn were always quite a bit faster than I was.

Anyway, any thoughts or experiences would be welcome.

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Old 09-10-2008, 02:12 AM   #2
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I agree with you 100%. I think that the brushless movement is the great equalizer!

At our local track we are seeing a lot of folks that could never keep up speedwise, suddenly becoming very competitive! With brush, you need either a lot of money or a lot of know-how to keep up. Even then, motor sponsored guys could still out run you! Now they better be able to out-drive you!

I think this is why we are starting to see electric off-road making sort of a comeback.

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Old 09-10-2008, 07:07 AM   #3
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Agree 100% I just got back into it asfter racing as a teenager 15-20 years ago, and like you, back then didn't have the money to be competitive.

Today with Lipo and brushless, you'll be pretty much at the same level as anyone else!. As long as you choose a Lipo that can deliver enough power for your motor not to be power limited (high enough mah rating and C discharge rate), you'll be getting pretty much as good performance out of it as the next guy who has the same ESC motor and same (or higher) Lipo pack. Then you can concentrate on car setup and driving skills.


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Old 09-10-2008, 08:35 AM   #4
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I was out of R/C off-road racing for 10 years. When I stopped racing,I was in the the A-mains all the time I raced and could win sometimes.
After coming back into racing I thought I would have NO problem racing again. I keeped all of my equipment except the for the buggy.
I bought a B4. I'm running brushed mod motors. Some are old school mods. With a Novak GTX. I also bought 4200's batteries and an Ice charger.
I'm lucky to make the bottom of the B or even the C mains when there is a big races.

What a differents makes in the 10 years...........

I'm tring to catch up to the times myself but also, have fun racing.
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Old 09-10-2008, 08:45 AM   #5
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Yea, BL is great.... you will pretty much only be beat by a better driver.

I use orion 3600's and orion 4800's. I suggest the 3600's their faster with a 10.5.

anyway i have had my 2 4800's for almost a year and they still work great. I love lipo's.

I use orions but cannot comment on anything other then smc and trakpower. I would stick with orion in a heart beat but wouldn't suggest anything other then those 3.

The lrp sphere is a great BL speedo.

I say get back into it. Electric is easier then ever !
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Old 09-10-2008, 10:52 AM   #6
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Same here. Quit racing on a regular basis back in '02. It had become too much work and not fun anymore. Cutting comms, dynoing boxes of motors, cycling and rating boxes of batteries. I still followed the hobby though, and when I read that brushless systems and Lipo batteries were starting to get approval for racing, I decided to get back into it! Only need 1 motor to race!? Cool! I can race with 1 battery, see no loss in performance, and not need to cycle it!? Fantastic! 10 min electric mains! WooHoo! Heck, I'm running my T3 (which I bought in '98) with brushless and lipo's and I'm not doing too bad with it
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Old 09-10-2008, 11:54 AM   #7
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As a newbie (been racing for ~3 months) I'd have to say that if I had to work on my motor and batteries as much as I think, I probably wouldn't be racing. I'm fairly competitive with the stock drivers and even those that are still running brushed motors. Some of the old-schoolers are converting to BL.

I basically run on a single BL motor and single LiPo battery for a night of club racing. The only work I do is to QA my truck, charge my battery and clean/sauce my tires which leaves a good part of my between-race time available to watch and socialize.
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Old 09-10-2008, 12:27 PM   #8
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Nick, you definitely need LiPo for that Slash if you're running 6 cells. A good suspension setup will go a long way in getting the power to the ground as well.

I run at HRH's also, which truck is yours?
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Old 09-10-2008, 03:03 PM   #9
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i was out of Off-road for 12+ years before Casper got me back into it. I'm addicted again.. The brushless motors are a Godsend to me. Although you'll have to inspect them, there are no comms to re-true, no brushes to recut, no exposed bushings to oil (i was in stock mainly) and it makes it that much easier to get back into the hobby.
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Old 09-10-2008, 03:55 PM   #10
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Another great thing about the BL/LiPO age is extended run time. We now have the 20 minute mains in Truck classes; and at our local track are running 6 min quals and 10 min mains in all elec classes. A far cry from the 4 min, hope I don't dump, years of the past with NiCad and brushed motors.
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Old 09-10-2008, 06:15 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Czolgosz View Post
Nick, you definitely need LiPo for that Slash if you're running 6 cells. A good suspension setup will go a long way in getting the power to the ground as well.

I run at HRH's also, which truck is yours?
I haven't run in any races. The last night I went over to HRH no one else was there, I just ran with a couple of friends and we were the only guys there.

I also tried my Orion 3200 lipo in the Slash it was quite a bit faster than the 3800 stick pack I'd been running. I think I actually might do well with that setup as it stands right now. I need to go over there and see how it runs.

I think I will get back into running later in the year. I want to wait for the Hot Bodies D2 and D4 sport to come out. I've been using a Cyclone as my drift car and the guys at HPI and HB are really supportive, which is really nice.
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