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Turnigy 1/16 Nitro Racing Buggy mini review

Turnigy 1/16 Nitro Racing Buggy mini review

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Old 02-17-2013, 11:29 AM
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Default Turnigy 1/16 Nitro Racing Buggy mini review

Turnigy 1/16 Nitro Racing Buggy Review

Yes, this is a replica of the Acme Vulcan released a while ago, and the parts are (as far as I'm aware) interchangeable. Parts can be found shop.gotnitro online.com/Nitro-1-16th-Scale-Acme-Racing-Replacement-Parts_c39.htm (take the space out of the url. I can't post links.) for very cheap in America.

The buggy is sold for $80 (does not include Rx/Tx; bougt mine for $20 from the same place) from the USA warehouse at Hobbyking.com. For those not wishing to wait for parts to ship from China, plenty of parts are available in America for cheap ($5 range average, $3 for common parts) with cheap, quick shipping.

Anyway, here's the rundown.

For the impatient, I'll cut to the chase, this little buggy is a lot of fun for cheap, and a great introduction into nitro and R/C as a whole.

Out of the Box

Right out of the box, being a cheaper buggy, there are some things to adjust. I'll go ahead and say now, doing a once-over and making sure everything is correct before starting to play with the buggy is critical. When people complain about this buggy breaking because of stripped, "cheap plastic gears" or "bad differentials" or "bad clutch" early on, the cause is more likely to be a result of not checking the car. If you go and try to run it without looking over it, expect problems.

Here's a list of a couple things that need to be done straight out of the box if you want to ensure this doesn't tear itself up.
  • Take off the rear differtial and inspect for gaps between gears - The front differential is a good idea too, but it's difficult to get to. at very least, take the ten or so minutes to check over the rear differential. If there are gaps, the gears will strip. You can order metal diffs, but plastic ones will last a while if you take care of them.
  • Oil the air filter
  • Adjust the ride height - On each A-Arm, there's a stub-screw. Adjust it to your desired ride height. These buggies ride incredibly low to the ground stock out of the box. I personally like higher ride height. Take the time to adjust your shocks.
  • SET THE GEAR MESH - This is the most common thing I read online - People complain the drive gears strip. This is a result of two things. First, the factory does a poor job of setting the mesh. The gear IS plastic. It WILL strip if you leave a big gap between the aluminum clutch bell and the plastic drive gear. Adjust the engine seating so it's fairly tight, then...
  • Tighten ALL the screws that you can - This is a small buggy. The screws on the engine mount came fairly loose for my buggy out of the box. If you don't tighten these down, or tighten down the gearbox, they will gradually slide around. This causes gaps between the gears. This causes them to strip. That means frustration.


First Impression

My first impression of the buggy was very good, especially for the price I paid. I didn't expect everything to be perfect right out of the box, but this is no surprise, since they never come perfect. Here are a few things that I liked.
  • Metal sway bars
  • Built-in servo saver
  • Thick plastic parts
  • Firm brakes
  • Toe in / out properly set
  • Metal gear differentials
  • Easy access to the engine
  • Easily adjustable suspension

And.... some stuff I didn't like.
  • One way bearing faulty (this is most likely just a fluke, and I happened to simply get a bad bearing. It happens.)
  • Radio / receiver disconnect fail - Normally, when a receiver loses connection with the radio (whether the batteries die, the car goes out of range, etc) the receiver throws the brake all the way so the car doesn't run away. For whatever reason, this buggy throws full throttle. There's probably some way to fix it that I'm just missing.
  • Tiny engine = difficult to tune
  • Plastic shell is difficult to put on and off

Obviously, being super inexpensive, the producers took shortcuts. These don't necessarily help or hurt the buggy, but they're some things worth noting.
  • Plastic drive gears - Be SURE to set the gear mesh right, or these will strip right out.
  • Plastic exhaust pipe - Works fine for me, but some people want aluminum.
  • Plastic body shocks
  • Phillips head screws - The majority of the screws are phillips head. I see hex screws on the engine and the engine mount, but that's about it.

Break in

Breaking in the buggy was, admittedly, a pain in the rear. The engine is rich, like it should be, but because the engine is so tiny, any amount of acceleration stalled out the engine. It took some adjusting just to get the buggy to keep going. After a while, the engine started behaving more consistently, which is good.

The buggy idles forwards. During break in (and for a little while afterwards), the engine idle speed will cause the buggy to move forwards. I looked away for a second, and the buggy hit a curb, snapping an upper front suspension arm. That was okay though, because the replacement part only cost $2 for a set of two, and replacing the arm took less than ten minutes (only had to remove suspension and the shock tower to get there).

The servos themselves work wonderfully, at least as far as I've tested them. They're very quick and responsive, and for the size, decently strong. The throttle/brake servo took some adjusting, but the brake is very strong, stopping the buggy very quickly. The throttle is okay for the size, nothing spectacular, but very fair. Replacing either servo would be a breeze, because they're easily accessible.

Tuning and Testing

Low speed needle had to be tuned first. In fact, it had to be at least slightly tuned for the break in process, because any amount of throttle resulted in the car stalling. The tuning works like any other, except the low speed needle I decided to tune first for this reason. Afterwards, I tuned the high needle, then the low again, then finally the idle screw.

Throttle response is fair. It's not awful, but it's not spectacular. After about a full second, the engine really picks up.

Likewise, the speed is fair. It's not bad. It's not incredibly fast. But I CAN say that for the size, it's a bunch of fun. It tops out around 20mph on road. I haven't done hardly any off road driving yet, so we'll see how that turns out later.

Handling is very good. It stops on a dime, and has a very very tight turn radius. Being tiny, it's also very nimble.

Conclusion

This buggy is built very decently well for the price. at $80, I think it's a steal. It's a great toy for the college kid wanting to play around without making a huge investment, and it really is fun to zip around parking lots and fields. It's also a great introduction into nitro R/C (cheap and easy, so if you don't like it, don't bother wasting cash on a much bigger investment) or as an introduction to R/C in general.

If you want performance and durability from a 1/16 buggy, this is not the buggy for you.

If you want a fun little inexpensive toy to run around for fun without fear of going bankrupt, it's a great deal. $80 for the buggy, and $20 for a 2.4gHz Rx/Tx system if you don't have a spare. And, of course, fuel.
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Old 02-17-2013, 12:50 PM
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Uhhhhh...we need pictures or this didn't happen
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Old 02-17-2013, 01:40 PM
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I can't post pictures I don't have enough posts.
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Old 03-14-2013, 07:45 PM
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Awesome review man. I just purchased on yesterday and I'm fairly new to nitro so hope everything goes well. I hope there are instructions on how to tune the engine jaja
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Old 03-15-2013, 04:02 AM
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Hi guys n gals i am not new in rc field but i am new in this forum, i have a much experince with rc's and i found this type of description for the rc is the very informative and helpful for the any beginners.So i really appriciate for this post to zeBugMan, keep it up man.

Regards.
Andy.
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Old 03-15-2013, 08:45 AM
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Is this buggy the same one Nitro RCX sells?
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Old 03-29-2013, 10:14 AM
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Reminds me of the Trinity Next truggy
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Old 04-11-2013, 04:09 AM
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I got mine yesterday but cant get it started for the life of me?

Any tips?
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Old 04-11-2013, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Tittzo View Post
Is this buggy the same one Nitro RCX sells?
No, Nitro RCX sells Exceed RC's buggy. Similar though!

Originally Posted by Lee_123 View Post
Reminds me of the Trinity Next truggy
Essentially the same buggy, but with a couple different components

Originally Posted by CarbonZA View Post
I got mine yesterday but cant get it started for the life of me?

Any tips?
I had problems starting it, too. Make sure it's primed! If you still can't get it, here's what I did. I ended up doing was first turning the low end more lean. Factory settings keep the engine rich, but with this tiny engine, mine was just too rich. I kept on leaning it until it was able to actually idle. Also try opening the idle screw a bit.

What you can also do is take the air filter off and pour a couple drops of fuel directly into the carb and try to start it. It's not always a good idea, because it tends to often flood the engine, but it can give you a general idea of whether or not the buggy will idle once it does start.
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Old 04-12-2013, 12:48 AM
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Originally Posted by CarbonZA View Post
I got mine yesterday but cant get it started for the life of me?

Any tips?
I had trouble getting mine to start because I had a leak on the exhaust. Just tightened the bolts down and car primed and started on the 3rd pull.

Here's a vid I made of mine...


http://youtu.be/YHnI4Gfnfqo
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Old 04-14-2013, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by aquito View Post
I had trouble getting mine to start because I had a leak on the exhaust. Just tightened the bolts down and car primed and started on the 3rd pull.

Here's a vid I made of mine...


http://youtu.be/YHnI4Gfnfqo
Awesome video! How do you like the car?
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Old 05-02-2013, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by zeBugMan View Post
Awesome video! How do you like the car?
Yea its awesome im really enjoying it It's really fun and super easy to tune. A full tank of nitro fuel last me about 20 min of run time.

In my first day I striped the throttle servo and replaced it with a $3 exi servo and it works great. I also took the AA batteries out and replaced them with a 700mah Life battery. So far is great little RC to get introduced to Nitro Rc's. I was thinking on getting the 1/8 Nitro Rumble now but we will see I have to many Rc's jaja 13 :0)
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Old 08-28-2013, 11:32 PM
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Just got one of these, love it!

Stock shocks suck!

I got 2 pairs of Kyosho 30mm long triple cap shocks.

The rears fits perfect, for the front I had to shorten the bodies about 10mm and reused the stock shafts. Worked awesome!
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Old 11-05-2013, 03:02 AM
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Hi guys, can you all share with me where does the fuel line goes to?

Concept is to ensure pressurised fuel tank in order to start the engine. Seem most other engines and pipe does have a input but I encounter an issue with this kit.

1st one goes right to the carburettor. But can't seems to find the other end to fit the fuel line to a nozzle in the exhaust pipe?
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