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My Post Pictures
March 13, 2018
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I can see how this could annoy a few folks into thinking Serpent forgot to pack a manual, where as the younger iPad/Tablet generation may actually like THIS as they’d rather do stuff on their devices. Anyhow – I look at this as a huge CON. For a $599 kit, this should come with a nicely colored manual like the Xray XB8E manual. In Fig 1 you’ll see some of the manuals from my collection, at the bottom you’ll notice the USB. The Xray manuals lead the way in this industry, its pictured in the middle
You can also download the manual and other .pdfs by visiting SerpentAmerica.com I now carry a manual on my phone (still not the same as having a detailed, printed out manual). In Fig 2, you’ll notice the details within the manual…
Now let’s talk about the liquids that come with the kit (see Fib 3), this is a huge plus. The bottles are full size and come with plenty of liquid. Serpent did not cut any $$ here, several manufacturers cut costs here, Mugen leading the way with the crappiest bottles ever – the ones where the top will fall off as your carefully pouring the liquids (you Mugen drivers/builders know this is true) 😉.
The differential build steps include ‘foam’, a ‘pin’, even a ‘set screw’ – yep. Serpent believes the foam will help with the expansion/contraction of the fluids (I refuse to believe that, most places I would race at (in TX, SC, CA) we run 8-10 minute mains. That’s not enough time to have that kind of expansion/contraction, maybe in Nitro racing? 30-45 minute mains? Maybe. A Big maybe. I ran one car with the foam, and one car without the foam. I did not notice a difference.
This thing (pictured in Fig 4 and being pointed out by my MIP Hex Driver), is just plain unnecessary. I bash, drift and race on and off road. I have yet to have a diff fail in a manner where a set screw would have prevented it. To me this is one man’s idea and either no one questioned it or the R&D department at Serpent is too small to care. Anyway – I look at it as ‘one more area of failure’ aka a CON.
In (Fig 6) I’d like to point out some really neat features of this $599 kit. Notice the sexy finishing, notice the beef-iness of the parts, all this is standard on a Serpent SRX8E, I know some of you folks buy lesser quality brands and then end up spending $66-78 in aluminum rear hubs, etc parts. Why not just buy the nicer stuff from the get go (teasing…. I like all the mainstream brands), but I feel like I should point out some of the PROs of this kit.
Rumor has it there’s a 19 and 22 degree option as well (not sure if it’s a HotBodies option that fits) or something Team Serpent is doing for their Team Drivers. Either way – support from Team Serpent (SerpentAmerica.com) for a privateer like me has been nonexistent…. (More on this later). Anyway if you are a newer racer like me, take the time to read Fig 7 and learn about Castor Angles.
Now lets talk Tuning… This was one of the reasons why I wanted to try the Serpent SRX8E. The tuning options on this kit are a boat load! I bought a bunch of springs, different grade shafts, steering arms, etc. All the parts are top notch quality – huge PRO! In Fig 8 you’ll notice this is not an ackerman adjustable car and the adjustability comes from adjusting the steering arms. I’m having fun chasing setup to say the least!
Now let’s talk about Fig 9, the steering servo components. This is really well thought out in my opinion. Not only is there a set screw present to hold your setting, but also a little foam/conceal object that covers up the spring and ensures the dirt and track particles stay out and keeps things consistent during rebuilds. Huge PRO here. Someone give a raise to whoever thought of this nifty idea.
Sadly that great PRO (Fig 9) has to be followed by one of the dumbest CONs (Fig 10) of every high kit – in MY opinion. The battery tray, along with the battery straps. For some reason, every high end kit I’ve tried – comes with the cheapest battery straps possible. Kyosho, Xray, and now this one too. Cheap, cheap, cheap! Why? I have no idea.
It’s 2018 and Serpent’s SRX8E comes with – wait for it….. Clips! Serpent calls them ‘SRX8 Shock Bottom Clips’. They look sort of like E Clips and are a nightmare to put on. Luckily for $3.99 you get 8, the same number my blood pressure went up by while doing this part of the build. Anyway – huge CON. Makes maintaining the shock components a nightmare too.
So in total so far it took me 12 hours from the time I opened the seal on the box to it being a complete ‘roller’. Add another hour for electronics’ installation, soldering, wire placement and weight balancing (you guys do that too right 😉?) to make it 13 hours as shown in Fig 12. Add another hour of paint (I went with basic white, like all my kits) and setup time on the Hudy Setup Board, adjusting height, camber, toe, drop stops (or droop as you guys like to call it), etc and from box to race
I’m not only new to this, but end up spending a lot of time removing the excessive shavings, checking every bearing, arm, part of free fluid movement, applying grease where needed, blue lock tight between metal parts and go the extra mile to double check everything. So for me doing it in 14 hours, I’m ecstatic! I did it across 7 days, 2 hours each, and kept on racing through out those days with the other one. In Fig 13 and 14 you’ll see some of the setup tools I use.
Figure 15 is a great comparison of what a brand new 0 session old chassis looks like next to a 46 old chassis. I would like to say this buggy has the ‘fastest’ wear and tear out of all the ones I’ve tested. This buggy looks from the bottom like what my Xray XB8E looked like when it had 84 sessions. I’m not sure if its due to the fact that this is also the heaviest buggy I have ever played with or if the materials used in the 4mm....
Some other notables: - The Bearings in this kit are NSK from Japan and some of the BEST in the industry! - Stock Pistons work well at Texas Tracks! - None of the arms required any reaming (unlike Tekno RC). - Some cool ingenuity like: Servo Saver Dust Protector & Saddle Pack Options. - Some overengineering or unnecessary features/steps: Diff build steps & shock clips’ usage. - Customer Support – Questionable.