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El Gecko

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  1. I don't think thick grease like AW is necessary for the Frog diff. I just use a thin layer of standard STP bearing grease (lithium-based) like on all my other diff gears. The die cast metal gears are a fairly tight fit, which gives a bit of limited-slip effect just due to friction. Oddly, they don't seem to wear out very quickly, as I've got friction still in the original gears in my vintage Frog (yes, original gears with tons of "hard miles" still working perfectly with a 17t Trinity Sapphire motor and original hex shafts--and never a drop of AW). I've also been bashing the Blaster around all summer with its re-re diff gears, as well as taking it for a very spirited nine consecutive 5-minute stints of the latest round of Racing by Post, (don't worry, I had some breaks to let the motor cool down, change batteries, etc.) and I'm happy to report that the diff feels just as fresh and tight as it did when it was first rebuilt. And this is with a 21t brushed motor (16t pinion) on wide 2.2 stadium truck wheels with sticky tires on dry tarmac. Somehow, so far, it has survived. Although admittedly, the gearbox hasn't been cracked open in awhile, so who knows what kind of funky voodoo is going on inside!
  2. The angle is probably a bit steep for a flat ramp (40% if we go "up 4 over 10"). I would only really go up to 15% or so unless you're driving a car/truck with significant suspension travel. Higher speeds needs a longer/flatter ramp, so it makes sense you have to slow down for yours currently. If you want the cars to go higher, but not as far, you'd have to build it like your bigger ramp, with a bit of curve/transition so the car gets a bit of kick at the top of the ramp. The increase in airtime may help you control the car in the air a bit. But if you prefer a flat ramp, we can take a cue from the ramps they use for 1:1 Stadium Super Trucks, which are right about 15%. I found the dimensions on the wiki page, and if we scale them down to 1:10 (rounding down to the nearest inch at 15% grade) we get a ramp that's 20" long and 3" tall. As you know, the actual ramp surface would be longer since it's the hypotenuse of that right triangle. I think that would give you a better "jump" given the limited suspension movement of a buggy. I have a feeling your car is bottoming out when it hits the ramp, and the chassis is getting bounced off its line from that impact. Or simply the abruptness of the transition onto the ramp is upsetting the suspension. What's the leading edge like where the ramp meets the ground? Your width sounds pretty good to me for a portable unit, but it's always nice to have wider ramps. (bigger targets for high speed projectiles vehicles)
  3. I know it doesn't look like much, but it's really incredible how well this old thing drives!! It was essentially left for dead in a junkyard when I found it and have been slowly resurrecting it. We had a nice little bash session after postal racing on route 5 today
  4. Finally had an opportunity to set up the course in a nearby parking lot, chance of rain today but none fell while I was driving, and the track* was a lot of fun! The Blaster was the only contender, although the Brat came along for moral support (and had a little bash session of its own afterwards). I've been making a lot of modifications to the Blaster recently, and to my surprise and relief, it actually worked perfectly for two whole battery packs of racing. The dogbones stayed in the whole time! And somehow the bald rear tires are still hanging on, too. *So, this time the driver excuses are because of poor track management. Had a few hiccups with the lap timer app, but the big problem is that I didn't double check the course map before laying the chalk. So instead of going around the outside of marker 2 and the inside of marker 3, I ended up doing a U turn around marker 1, between 1 and 2, then back out between 2-3 and around the outside of 3. It made for a very tight sequence of turns, and really slowed me down, but at least I've got something to record for this round. I'm hoping to get a chance at redemption later this month, but it's been fun so far! It's been awhile since I've done laps on a racetrack, and it was nice to be able to still get into a good flow fairly quickly, even if I was driving the wrong track
  5. Totally right about the BF, but the RC10 (buggy) casts a long shadow! In the "Hobby Shop News" I have from winter 1990, there is an article comparing the first three racing trucks to hit the market, and Tamiya and Losi won that race with the King Cab and JRXT. The JRXT was directly based on the JRX2, with only a few parts differences. Traxxas wasn't far behind with the TRX-T, quickly renamed the TRX Eagle, then later on the Blue Eagle. The Hawk used a different molded tub chassis, and eventually everything got mixed together into the Rustler. The first Traxxas trucks used similar style 2.2 wheels as the BF, with bearings in the front and the same 5-stud hub adapter interface in the rear. The sidebar in the article says "Where's Associated's Truck?" and stated that there was only a single prototype in existence at the time the other three were already being reviewed.
  6. I always forget that part. One tooth difference!
  7. The Blackfoot gearing is exactly the same as the Frog "high torque" gearing except the motor spacer. The spurs and diff gears are all the same size, and both setups use 16t pinions. The Frog spur gear is obviously multiple pieces, whereas the Blackfoot uses a one piece gear, but they're the same ratio. The only real difference is the motor spacer on the Blackfoot so it can use the extra long 10t pinion gear for even further reduction. IMHO you'd just need to add a motor spacer and 10t pinion to your Frog with high torque gearing, and it might survive that field. But I suspect that nothing is going to run well there except a 1:8 scale 6S monster. Depending on the closeness of the mowing, the Frog might actually get stuck.
  8. Agreed, I have one of those Radons too, and it seems a little lazy... not as much punch as I was expecting, although it does reach a decent RPM. I'll pull it apart at some point, I'm curious what's actually in there.
  9. In case there was any doubt, this is why the new cheapo motors don't have as much torque as more expensive or older ones. Exhibit A: Snow Panther Hobby 17T TUNED MACHINE I finally got some time to pull one of these apart, and as you would expect, the cheapo 17T on the right has many fewer windings than the 27T '91 ROAR stocker in the middle, but you all were totally correct: the wires are either the same, or possibly even a smaller gauge! This means much less rotating mass and higher RPM, but also much less torque, which explains why they drive the way they do. I'm not sure of the turn count on the ancient modified arm on the left, but you can clearly see the thicker wires there. I'm curious to do some swapping around, to see how the old armatures respond to the new can. Assuming they work on similar principles as my HO slot car motors, they should perk right up since magnets are quite a bit stronger these days.
  10. Perhaps my favorite track of all time! Technically I should be driving an R33 GTR this round, in NISMO 400R trim of course! I'd love to make an RC version of that one day. Bonus bonus points for running at night on wet tarmac?
  11. Yes the chassis are nearly identical except a few details, but the truck body and those big wheels makes a big difference! Just explain it as "variations on a theme" so you get a different driving experience with each iteration. And don't forget to mention spare parts... there's a lot the same for both chassis, so spare parts for one are spare parts for the other. That's my justification for having a Frog, Brat, and what's left of a Mud Blaster (all the same chassis, all set up to drive completely differently). This also works for my Grasshopper, GH2, and 2 Hornets (although the GH2 is hers). Interchangeability aplenty!
  12. I only have a rere GH2, but I think the chassis and gearbox are the same in all versions of GH2, maybe not exactly identical but the mounting holes will be in the same spots, things line up the same way, etc. The gearbox in my GH2 is identical to my 80s Grasshopper (1) except an extra piece of plastic on the front. As far as I know, that gearbox has been unchanged since the 80s except a few little things like that. The GH2 friction shocks will likely fit fine, but you'd be better off getting CVAs to replace your originals, or something aftermarket and oil-filled.
  13. My thought was "well so can slot cars!" but of course, slot cars need special track, power supply etc. I can certainly see the appeal of Mini 4WD when other options are limited, they just never really took off here like it did in other places.
  14. I wouldn't say Blackfoot is anywhere close to Lunchbox in terms of handling and speed. The Blackfoot is a whole different experience, especially with more power.
  15. Mini 4WD is an interesting phenomenon. I always thought it was just a brief fad, so it's surprising to me that it's still going strong after all these years. I think the Hasbro Record Breakers were more popular here, although I don't think they ever had truly wide appeal. My only experience with those was through the smaller push toy versions that came in kids meals for the Burger King promo. I never knew Tamiya made them until I started searching around for info on my Nikko mini. I got it for my birthday one year, but I didn't have a track or know anybody with one, so it really didn't get used other than back and forth across the floor with my brother a little bit. We had already been into slot cars and toy-grade RC by that point, so mini 4WD seemed like a step backwards because you couldn't control the car in any way other than through the setup/tuning. It's really a similar concept as a tether car: prep it, fire it up, and let it run until it stops. Also a lot like B-spec mode in Gran Turismo: if your car is set up properly, the AI driver can do the rest. Truly a tinkerer's race.
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