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El Gecko

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  1. All of mine are runners, although some are on the shelf more than they used to be, but it's still fun to get them out for a drive from time to time.
  2. Yes those will work. They're the 3-slot versions, so they'll have a higher RPM than the 5-slot crawler motors. Yes they are very close, but on teardown the Reedy has appropriately sized wire, whereas the typical cheapo black can has the same size wire all the way through the lineup. So a cheapo 15t will have the same size wire as a 27t, which means much less torque and punch. The Reedy has much better performance as a result, and behaves like an oldschool single-wind motor. Just make sure to gear correctly because it draws a lot of power. The decal swap is super easy, too.
  3. I believe those are for the original Wild Willy M38 or Blazing Blazer. See here: https://www.tamiyaclub.com/forum/index.php?/topic/92168-wild-willy-re-pop-tires/
  4. No, NiMH is normal performance, similar to NiCd before. Like standard gasoline for your 1:1 car. Want more performance? Simply add more cells (higher octane rating). Lithium is high-performance, like adding nitrous to that 1:1 car. There's a lot more speed and power, but a lot more to be mindful of, and a lot more potential for disaster. When you're desensitized to the size and speed of modern RCs, it's easy to fall into the trap of "everything needs to be stupid fast, always"
  5. The Reedy brand has been kept alive over the years by Associated, and their Radon motors are basically what you're looking for I think. They have traditional 3-slot armatures with ball bearings and seemingly decent magnets, although they only come in 15/17/19t varieties (when other turn counts are listed, it's usually for the 5-slot crawler versions with much lower RPM). I have a 15t and it's got great power and speed, but it eats batteries really quickly. Hopefully your chassis has a wide range of gearing options. As you're probably aware, lower-turn motors require smaller pinion gears.
  6. I've never bothered with rechargeables for transmitters, mostly because of the voltage difference. Nominally a dry cell alkaline is 1.5V and a rechargeable NiCd or NiMH is 1.2V, for a difference of 0.3V per cell. If your radio uses 3 batteries, multiply by 3 to get 0.9V, nearly a whole volt down from the alkalines. It's even worse with 4 batteries, the difference is 1.2V which is the voltage of an entire additional rechargeable cell. So you could theoretically add an extra NiMH cell to get the radio back up to "proper" operating voltage, however there's no space to put that additional cell (unless you taped it to the outside or something). The 4AA alkalines in my radios seem to last for months, and it's super easy to just keep a fresh pack of 4 in my carry bag. I've never had a situation where rechargeables would have been an improvement.
  7. Huh? Physics is an integral part of our beloved RC hobby. It's what allows the motors to work, suspensions to work, tires to work, etc. Not sure how you can separate the two. I didn't watch the video, so I'm only speaking from my own experience and observations. I don't have any hard data like that, but I made the switch to bearings in one of my old motors in the midst of a round of Racing by Post, and while the individual lap counts for each 5min stint didn't seem to improve much, I noticed a few other big differences. The battery was the same, only now instead of 2.5-ish stints (the pack would dump halfway through the third stint) I could make it fully three stints with a bit to spare. And I noticed more power and more wheelspin coming out of the corners, as well as higher speeds at the end of the straights. As I got more comfortable with it, the motor temp actually stayed similar to before, since I had to be on the brakes more often. But just bashing around, temps are much lower due to the motor spinning more freely. This was an old motor, and the bushings were well worn, as I discovered when I switched brushes initially. While I was breaking in the brushes, no matter what I did, there was always a nasty vibration at certain RPMs which would cause a serious and sudden RPM drop. I got the brushes broken in and tried to drive it like that for awhile, and boy was I surprised when I finally switched it to bearings. It was like a whole new motor, like it had been set free. The bushings were dragging it down, preventing it from reaching its full potential and killing its efficiency. So I started doing the same to all my other bushing motors. It would be nice if Tamiya put bearings in at least some of their motors from the start. I have a new-ish Sport Tuned in another car with a bushing that screams like R2D2 if I don't oil it every run.
  8. Not just theory, my motors do run cooler now, with bearings. It's especially apparent on old motors with lots of miles. As @Anthroxoid said, bushings lose material as they wear, so eventually the holes get ovalized or at least enlarged, causing power-robbing and heat-generating vibrations which can't be fixed with lubrication. So a bearing, which runs more true for longer, will cut those vibrations and help the motor run smoother and cooler. And as mentioned, the friction in the bushings creates heat, and a bearing has much less friction, so it will cut even more heat. The reduction of friction is one of the main things that has put many drivers into the winner's circle since the beginning of RC. It helps with all aspects: increased power, increased top speed/RPM, increased runtime, decreased heat, and in fact decreased maintenance (contrary to your pro/con list above). The cheapo motor in my trail truck gets crudded up with mud and snow and sand and dust, and I might've lubed the bearings once in the last 4 years. I think the biggest point I can make here is: do you use bearings on other parts of the chassis? Would it not make sense to have bearings on all rotating axles, including the one that rotates the fastest, the motor? IMHO I'd rather have bearings in the motor than anywhere else, considering some of them can hit 50-60,000RPM. The wheel axles are only turning at a fraction of that RPM.
  9. Indeed an interesting video, and I was also surprised by the lack of voltage drop for the NiMH. My experience also matches yours, although I haven't verified with a topspeed run: NiMHs have a bit of a dropoff after the first few seconds, but are pretty stable up until they get really discharged, and like you said, then the car just stops moving. I do think lipo helps a ton for 3S and above with larger vehicles, as he mentioned at the end of the vid. There's just so much more amperage available for those big motors.
  10. Definitely works with other brushed motors too! Most of them (if not all), even vintage ones, use the same standard bushing size. Whenever I restore old motors, I make sure to replace bushings with bearings. It's not "factory-correct", but it's not like they're museum pieces or anything. So you could say they're "resto-modded" sort of like putting new cylinder heads on an old V8. They just help everything to breathe a little easier and last a little longer (with a little more power and RPM for those vintage chassis too). Ha, I always save them all! They work really well as spacers for a variety of uses.
  11. Well I can just say that so far I've had pretty good luck with Flysky equipment. I have both an FS-i4 (the simplest starter set they make) and the FS-i6X which came with the 10-channel firmware upgrade and a 10ch receiver. The firmware upgrade allows me to use all the switches and dials and everything on the handset right out of the box. I really like both of them, but the i6 has a lot more functions, can handle memory for 20 models, etc. The great part is that they can use a wide variety of older and newer receivers (Flysky and apparently Abisma brand are compatible), some of which can be fairly cheap. I think I got 6 receivers for like $30 at one point, and none have failed yet (although one ran through a puddle and stopped working, it came back fine once it dried out). Flysky also makes trigger & wheel handsets which are compatible with the same receivers. Lots of options.
  12. Yes, I did this on both my FS-i4 and FS-i6X, and they are both still working flawlessly! Swapping the whole stick modules from side to side is way easier than trying to change over the spring return pieces. I also cranked down the screw for the metal piece on the non-spring-return side, in order to keep the steering stick in one spot a little better. And I find that I actually really like the steering stick in the "down" position, it's a little more ergonomic for me. But if I was racing, I'd probably want it fixed in a more solid way.
  13. Yes I use bike oil on mine, a thin oil like Tri-Flow seems to work well. Flush first with WD-40 and let them fully dry for a few days, then apply lube. I've found that yo-yo oil (Yomega Brain Lube leftover from my childhood) works just as well, but I keep that in my HO slot car box since it has a smaller needle applicator. It's also found under the name Synco Super Lube and appears to be a synthetic oil with Teflon similar to Tri-Flow. 3-in-1 oil also works, although it turns gooey and eventually crusty when it heats up.
  14. I think I'd advocate for at least keeping it together as it currently sits. This is exactly the kind of "manufacturer hot rod" I love to see (and to build myself). Take a chassis and go digging in the manufacturer parts bin to come up with something fast and functional and beautiful and unique. You've combined some iconic parts to make something even more iconic, and it really is more than the sum of its parts, and quite representative of "vintage Tamiya buggies" on the whole. Every time I look at it, I see something new. The wheels are obviously Boomerang, the body style is Hotshot with a Fox-esque paintjob, while the yellow shocks combined with blue body and white wheels give it a BigWig vibe. And I haven't even seen the chassis yet! It really is a wonderful build, and perhaps we lose sight of that sometimes after these things sit on the shelf for awhile and become "part of the decor". Maybe take it for a drive and try to remember what you love about it? Every time I think about selling or dismantling one, I take it out "one last time" which obviously turns into "not the last time, not even close"
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