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Old 12-08-2005, 11:29 AM   #16
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As much as the cars mentioned above are competitive, when my wife first got involved in racing I had her try several cars and each one broke. As any other racer knows this is very frustrating, what I would suggest is to get a car that will be durable such as an X-ray or an RDX with aluminum arms. I have nothing against any other manufacturer since I think almost every car currently produced is capable of winning. I just know how frustrated she was with only getting 2 laps before breaking an arm or other part. Then she started running my Evo 2 and was able to stay on the track and able to practice more.

Although, as mentioned before, local parts support is an important factor ( I should heed this advice, nobody has parts for my Cyclone ).

Also do yourself and your wallet a favor and buy used if you can. The first car you buy will be bashed a lot and you'll cringe less with a used car when your car grazes the pipe each time.
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Old 12-08-2005, 12:02 PM   #17
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I just recently got into RC myself. My son is 5 1/2 and he wanted to participate as well. I have gone through several cars looking for one that suits my driving style for racing. The process has been frustrating and expensive, but educational. Based on my experiences, I have the following suggestions.

* I completely agree that you should get a Spectrum radio set up out of the box. It makes things really simple with no worries about radio frequency conflicts and also cuts down on radio glitch and range problems. There is a Specktrum radio kit that goes for about $250. The radio does not have as many setup options as some of the fancier models, but is not bad for a start. Another possibility is to get the HiTec Aggressor SRX radio in its cheapest form for about $100 and get the Spektrum kit for it for about $160. This is the combo my son uses and it works very well. The SRX while not sexy looking does have most of the major controls you would want including end point adjust, dual rate adjust, exponential for both steering and throttle, sub trim adjust, and memory for numerous set ups.

* I started with a TC4 RTR. It was quick and easy, but I agree that it prevented me from understanding the car or feeling comfortable working on it for a while. Also, the included servo is very slow. The speed control is OK, but does not allow you to lock out reverse which is required at many races. Also, the speed control tends to overheat and shut down if you run the car hard with lots of braking. Finally, the included motor is about the same speed as a stock class motor, but is not capable of being rebuilt. It is also rather fragile. I ened up breaking my motor during my first race (in a reasonably hard crash) and others at the track mentioned having similar problems. Thus, I would not suggest an RTR if you feel comfortable building a kit.

* I don't know how old your son is and that does color my next suggestion. All of the current generation of decent touring cars are somewhat fragile and will break parts if crashed hard. As my son likes to say, "If you crash hard, your car goes back to being a kit." If your son is young enough that he may tend to crash with some frequency, the Team TC4 is probably a good choice for him as the tub chassis is quite robust. You can break lots of other parts like suspension arms and hub carriers, but at least the tub can take quite a beating.

* In my experience, the Team TC4, while robust, does not handle all that well. I could never find a set of adjustments that would make the car initiate turns well. Rather, when running at high speed on asphalt, the car would make very wide radius turns even at maximum steering lock. As a result, I had to slow the car down substantially to get through turns that others could zip through much faster. Others have mentioned similar frustrations. Perhaps there are better set ups now, but I gave up on my TC4 and gave it to my son. For him it is fine. He is too young to race, but the car is just fine for bashing at our local tennis court (my practice area of choice).

* As for what cars to get, assuming that your son will need a robust car, I suggest that you get him a Team TC4 and get yourself a Factory Team TC4. Most reviews say that the shortcomings of the Team car are eliminated by the Factory upgrades, so you should do well racing it. The advantages of this plan are (1) most of the parts are the same so you only need to buy one set of spares for things like suspension arms, hub carriers, hinge pins, screws, etc.; (2) you only need a set of english tools whereas if you got (for example) a Tamiya and an Associated car, you would need both english and metric tools; (3) once your son is a good enough driver that he notices the difference between the Team and the Factory cars, you can buy the upgrade kit for about $140 and make his car into a Factory car; and (4) most of the assembly is the same for both cars, so you would quickly become expert at maintaining and repairing both without having to learn the twists and turns of two different manufacturers.

* As for electronics, I suggest a reasonably fast servo like the Futaba 9451 which should cost about $80. I have one in my son's TC4. It fits well in the limited available space, has run very reliably and is fast enough for racing. For speed controllers, look for something with a low or no motor limit, with either no reverse or reverse lock-out, but you don't need the top of the line racing stuff at this point. Again, you should be able to find decent stuff in the $80 range from either LRP or Novak.

* I think a stock motor is the best choice for both you and your son. A well maintained stock motor can easily run a well built touring car at 20+ miles per hour which is amazingly fast and quite challenging on a race course. These should cost about $30 each, so even if you eventually want to go faster, its not a painful initial investment. I have had good luck with the Revenge of the Monster Pro (as mentioned by others). Almost all the stock racers run it in my area.

Good luck,
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Old 12-09-2005, 05:49 AM   #18
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Wow, you guys are incredible! Thank you for all your help, I didn't expect so much information. I'm going to my LHS this weekend, will see what kind of deal he can cut me on two set ups. Once again, Thank you all for offering so much help and advice. I'll keep ya'll posted on how this all turns out.
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Old 12-15-2005, 09:26 PM   #19
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Default How old is your son?

I wish I had found this place when I got back into RC after about 15 yrs away. Good questions, keep asking.

As someone who races with his son 2-3 weekends a month ( my son is 6 ) you need to take into account how much work he can do on the car himself. This year son is finally able to take tires off the car, usually able to locate the broken parts, maybe remove broken parts, but dad still needs to put the peices back together... as others have said two of the same car will make this a lot easier.

I ask how old is your son because his age may be the biggest factor in what car I would recommend. LHS support is important, maybe the most important when racing, but the age of the boy is also very, very important.

Is your son old enough to build a kit with your assistance? 8-12 yrs of age depending on attention span and egarness to learn the hobby. You will spend a large amount of time repairing Jr's car if he is not old enough to do it himself.

If Jr is younger I would recommend something that doesn't go too fast, Actually this would be good advice for anyone just getting into the hobby. Slower cars don't break as easy. Ask around what the "entry level class" is at the track. If you have something that is a "spec class" or a "sportsman class" find out what cars the other drivers in that class are running. Talk to the drivers, not the LHS Owner, LHS Owner tends to steer you to what he has "in stock".

In a nutshell I would recommend something that is slower as it will be easier to control and break less, and hence give you more track time. It is also easier to learn to drive a line with a slower car. If the TA05 comes with a stock 540 motor that is the one I would recommend, you can always add a faster motor at a later date.

Others may disagree but IMHO the more time you spend on the track driving the better you will get, and it will happen faster at lower speeds.
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Old 12-16-2005, 12:03 AM   #20
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All of these are good suggestions and information.The biggest mistake IMO is that jr will crash more.In my experience my son & I started racing together but I find I tend to crash more!!!! He has faster reflexes than me! Age is catching up to me- eyesight etc. The best bit about racing together- it doesn't matter if I can't beat the fast guys,If I beat my son - Bliss.
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Old 12-16-2005, 05:48 AM   #21
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Tons of good info here, Thanks to all of you. My son is 11 yrs. old. I bought an Xray T1R kit NIB for a good price, we're going to build it together and see how it goes. I'll keep ya'll posted.
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Old 12-16-2005, 06:08 AM   #22
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"it doesn't matter if I can't beat the fast guys,If I beat my son - Bliss. "

He he.. I know the feeling, for a few years I took the view that cunning and wisdom could beat youth and enthusiasm...but about 2 years ago my son (now 15) got so good that I'm delegated to "pit bitch" while he contests various national championships.

I'd like to think I was once as good as he is now (and knowing he's going to get even better) but I'd be lying...he's better than I ever was.
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Old 12-16-2005, 07:53 AM   #23
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Default Newbie to newbie

I just bought my first electric TC. So I went through this same decision making process a couple of weeks ago. Here are my suggestions. First and formost make sure parts are available locally. It sucks when you have to miss a race for a 3.00 part that is only available to you before raceday by paying overnight shipping which costs way more than the part. RTR vs Kit kinda depends on how skilled you think you are or how much help is available. There are a lot of things to learn about building kits. My first kit was an 1/8th scale nitro buggy which I had problems with for over a month before I finally fixed all the little things I didn't even know I'd messed up building the kit. The latest kit was flawless from the get go. But I've built 6 kits between. RTR's usually have crappy radios and electronics and the cheapest parts to keep the cost down. I bought a TC4 Team kit. When I got to my first race the car was finished a couple of hours before I left. No time for a proper set-up or anything like that. Just eyeballed the thing and went to the track. I won all 3 quals and the main by 2 laps with the car. The thing that impressed me the most is how forgiving the TC4 is for a new driver. I raced off-road for 3 months last summer so I am not an experienced driver by any means. This week I purchased and installed the factory team conversion kit which takes the team kit to the full factory spec. It cost me an additional 10 bucks to go this route over buying the factory team car in the beginning. My reasoning for doing this is that if I wasn't any good at driving the car or didn't like it then my initial outlay was smaller. Any of the cars out there are capable of winning in the right hands. Having the same car as the majority of racers at your track has its advantages because people will figure out the car and you will have plenty of people to assist you. However I don't care about this aspect as I get most of my information from forums. One thing that will help you to learn to win is a computer simulation called virtualrc racing at www.virtualrc.com. I practiced on this sim for a few months before getting my car and it really helped. The program and 2 tracks is free. They have an adapter that plugs into your radio and usb port so you use your radio to control the cars in the game. Then its practice practice learn learn. Personally I think the TC4 is the ideal beginner car that can be upgraded to pro level as you get better. Parts are widely available and since the fastners are american you don't have to go out and buy a bunch of metric tools. Its an ideal thing for a father and son to get into. Good luck and welcome to the world of R/C racing.

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Old 12-16-2005, 08:34 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by SubSailor
Well Thank You for your replies so far. I'm still not sure which to buy though, they all sound good!

See thats the trick here. They ARE all good!

Heres what I would recommend:

TA05-disclaimer-yes, I own one. But as anyone who knows me can attest, I hold no loyalty to ANY company.(I've owned just about every brand of TC car) I suggest this car because it is a performer right out of the box, is very sturdy and reliable and it only cost $124 at www.speedtechrc.com

standard servo-You DON'T need a high speed servo...Period. I was a racer for years before I ever moved to a high speed servo. The standard units are fine for most people who just race for fun and aren't running nitro. They have plenty of torque to turn and hold sedan tires, and they draw less power and cause less problems than the digital high end units. This is one of those things you upgrade later if you decide you even want to.

speed control-GM racing makes some good low cost units. So does Duratrax and Novak. Just look at what motors you think you'll run now and in the future and buy accordingly. So if your not planning on doing high end mod racing, you don't need a speed control with no motor limit for example.

motor start with a good stock motor. I hate stock racing, but stock motors are usually required for the beginner or novice classes. The cost on these are also very reasonable.

radio I would say go with a good sythesized radio system. Spectrum is NOT needed and causes more problems than its worth in my opinion. Especially when combined with the high end servos some here are recommending. I mean really, why would someone just getting into R/C need Spectrum? A sythesized system gives you all the adjustability you will need to avoid freq. conflicts. Save your $300 (Spectrum unit x2) and use that to get the right tires and some decent batteries for you and your son.

tires Don't forget about these. The right tires are worth more than the highest speed servo, or the best speedo. If these are wrong, the race days will be very frustrating. Ask around to see what the smoothest guys are running. If your on outdoor asphalt, a good starting point are Take Offs pre-mounted C27s.

People...people...people:Spectrum???....High Speed servos???....heck why don't we suggest a Xray T2 and Keyance Rapida to him while we're at it. The gentlemen said he's looking to get he and his son started, not trying to go to nationals! Don't forget that he's also looking at buying two of everything.
TLR 22...Tamiya F104...

Last edited by Darkseid; 12-16-2005 at 08:44 AM.
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