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GregM

Mad Viper

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Let's face it: The Lexan bodies for the DT-02 chassis may be pretty tough and durable to resist hard running and lots of rollovers. But are they pretty enough to let the heads of bypassing people turn? Not in every case, I think.

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So it was time to give my trusty Sand Viper a new body.

Inspired by mr.retreader's great looking Mad Bear Viper build, I've just started to convert the DT-02 Sand Viper into a Bear Hawk! Or at least some sort of.

First thing to do was to get a Mad Fighter body. These are cheap enough even today, and you don't need to get the seperate rear wing and (ugly) decals. Of course you can also go the other way and get a more rare and expensive Bear Hawk bodyset (not sure if the mount holes will line up). They still do turn up every now and then at that famous auction site.

th_sam2749xwjs9_zpsb5f5fcb6.jpg

Surprisingly, the Mad Fighter body sits pretty well on the DT-02 chassis. The front mount is part M5, the back mount part M1. Do you know any DT-02 based car that uses this part by default? I don't know of any. Luckily, Tamiya has provided M1 ever since on the M-parts tree. Good job!

th_sam2752uzks3_zps064d33d3.jpg th_sam2751vtjnh_zpsd9160882.jpg

M1 has to be mounted with a spacer. I've used some leftover plastic bushings from the TT-01 steering linkage, but anything similar will do the job too.

th_sam2753dxjbi_zps340a28f5.jpg

To save the body from leaning on the gearbox, add some thin foam tape to the rear body mount and the gearbox.

I may paint up the body similar to the above mentioned "Mad Bear Viper" in Bear Hawk blue. A driver figure is a must, and the side panels seem to be a nice touch. Red alloy oil dampers from REELY may give it the finishing touch to imitate the original Bear Hawk's red friction dampers.

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That looks surprisingly good! Do keep us posted with progress photos.

I was contemplating adding a DT01 Mad Fighter to my collection not long ago, but was put off by the looks of it. I didn't like how much chassis was visible under the nose of the shell. I'm guessing you have managed to get it mounted lower down on the DT02 chassis?

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A head-turner for sure when it is built! Some good fortune with the M1 part too!

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The Mad Viper project stayed in the queue for long... until yesterday.

First thing to do was to strip the rolling chassis into front end, chassis tub and rear end. I cleaned everything roughly. The gearbox was fine, as I rebuilt it when I took the last pictures. The 12T brushless combo had to go, as I've no intention to ruin the bodyshell. Instead, I switched over to a Tamyia Torque Tuned motor, mounted a 19t steel pinion and equipped it with the DT-02 blue anodized heat sink set.

The stock metal gearbox drivecups where pretty worn, they are now replaced with hardened ones. The metal driveshafts were upgraded to DF-02/DT-02 universal shafts*.

Electronic-wise, I'll use a TEU-302BK speed controller, a Jamara 5000mAh LiPo (coupled to a Hobbywing LiPo-cutoff circuit), a Futaba S3003 servo and the good old Acoms GR-24 receiver (that didn't liked the brushless speed controller, but was fine with the 302BK).

I reassembled the rolling chassis and mounted Desert Gator wheels and the Mad Fighter bodyshell. Looks okay by now, but it seems I really need to fill the gaps in the rear mid section of the Mad Fighter body back to Bear Hawk looks. The body is also sitting slightly too high in the rear to give room for the huge gearbox. But I'm sure this will go almost unnoticed with a nice paintjob and lowering the rear ride height by just a few mm.

I'm looking forward to mount the red anodized shocks and post some pictures tonight to show the progress. :)

*This is the first time I've to deal with universal shafts. Do I really need to grease the universal joints as per manual? Or can I just leave them dry, as I usually do with regular dogbone driveshafts? The car will be run offroad, so I expect dirt to stick on the grease.

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That Mad Fighter shell looks surprisingly good and a with a bit of Dremel work the rear cage could be made more Bear Hawk like - it certainly looks to be a good runner shell for BearHawk owners unable to find replacement shells

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More pics, as promised:

th_SAM_2928_zps6837ec7b.jpg th_SAM_2923_zps665fa097.jpg th_SAM_2924_zpsbdb5ba74.jpg th_SAM_2926_zpse9e57639.jpg th_SAM_2927_zps7da27594.jpg

th_SAM_2922_zps328ed19b.jpg th_SAM_2921_zpsa9d2ddfd.jpg th_SAM_2920_zps5b616123.jpg th_SAM_2919_zps4838906e.jpg

As always, the springs supplied with the red anodized dampers are just pants and hard as a rock. They must've been designed for cars purely made of lead bricks. Tamiya C.V.A. short shock (rear) and mini shock (front) springs to the rescue!
Well...

...there's one issue with the front shocks: They need regular bore springs. So the slightly narrower Mini C.V.A. springs aren't holding up well against the lower and upper spring retainers, even though they're fitting the overall bore. At the moment, I've mounted some soft Tamiya rear springs at the front, but they still appear to be too stiff for my liking.

Does anybody know of short springs, suitable for this light 2WD buggy front end, with the same diameter as Tamiya's C.V.A. short shock springs? They should be just plain silver in colour, not anything fancy, to retain the overall look.

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Aha! Super Fighter G friction shock springs fit very well both front and rear, due to being the same diameter as the CVA short shock springs! :)

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Fitting all the electronics (speed controller, LiPo-cutoff, receiver, wires) was an easy task, as the DT-02 chassis tub provides a lot of space. As long as you don't use brushless speed controllers with tall heat sinks, which may rub on the body.

Next was to modify a DT-02 chassis cover I got from Huntersystems.co.uk. This will not only prevent too much dirt to get inside the tub (however, some will get in anyway), but will also prevent yourself from peeking at the electronics once fitted.

Tonight I modified the DT-02 bodymounts to raise them slightly. Otherwise you wouldn't have a chance to mount the Mad Fighter body. That gave me a tough time! However, eventually the solution was so obvious and could be made with a DT-02 part I had left over.

Curious? More on that and pics coming soon!

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Electronics/Rolling chassis:
th_SAM_2930_zpsc6cef3fe.jpg


Front body mount:
th_SAM_2935_zpsb591d4bb.jpg
Part M5, body mount hole has been elongated to raise the clip.

Rear body mount:
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Part M1, stock post has been cut. I've drilled two holes into the plate and mounted D4 on top. You've got two D-parts trees in the kit anyway, so this is the leftover part. I think it's a quite neat solution, isn't it?

Chassis cover and body mounted on top:
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That's what I meant about hiding the electronics. :)



Next steps will be preparing the Mad Fighter body. I want to fill the hole where the DT-01 antenna post was. The rear wing mount holes will be filled, too. I've got to prepare the aluminium side panels as well. But I won't cut out the rear section to recover the Bear Hawk's tube frame.

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I just found another showroom entry of an original Bear Hawk bodyshell mounted on the DT-02 chassis:

http://www.tamiyaclu...=50595&id=16148

Tires and wheels are the same as mine. However, I think if I'll go for the silver/grey Nissan Titan wheels. I'm also wondering if I should hop up the front c-hubs and rear uprights to blue anodized items. Just for the fact they're looking so nice and shiny and will complement a blue painted body. Had the stock plastic parts already broken and replaced once. Shall I do it? :)

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looking my-tee fine, I would say yes , hop up the hubs , its one place where aluminium makes sense if you have broken the plastic ones before , would be keeping with the red and blue Tamiya colours too :)

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Those wing mounts look ideal for securing a styrene plate with a spare wheel bolted to it !

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Those body mounts look very professional. Loving this body on that chassis. Is that an anti roll bar fitted to the rear arms?

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@alfagta:
Done!
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Paid around 40 € for the full set (front + rear hubs). They're available from 3Racing as well as Eagle Racing, and I bought them at Tamico. The good quality seems to be justifying the price, they are fitting well into the arm mounts, have no flash left and the colour tint is just the same as Tamiya's blue anodized parts.

@Percymon:
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Spare tire sounded pretty good to me, so I had to try that out for once. To be honest, I think it isn't looking that nice, as the rear cage top is almost horizontal and the highest point of the body.

@mrcrispy:
Thanks :) Yes, it's a stabilizer set:
http://www.tamiyausa...roduct-id=53829
I got it pretty cheap from a member of Fighterteam.de. The front stabilizer is fine, while the rear is practically useless and wobbles around a lot. This is due to the space that clears the rod between gearbox and rear shock tower. I'd have to mount a stopper to prevent the rod from going left to right during suspension movement in that space.

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I have always found the 3racing alu hop ups to be far better than the yeah racing or gpm alu stuff, far better machining ,neater fitting and almost always the same shade of blue , hubs are looking good :)

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I always wondered if those anti roll bars were any good for off road running, I guess not so much on the back. Regarding the spare wheel, I'd be tempted to make a bracket so its mounted on the back a little way out from the heat sink and top about parallel with the roll bar.

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Wheel-wise, I'm not sure if I keep the astral dish wheels or go for white star dish wheels (same wheels as on the Sand Rover 2011 and Super Fighter GR). The star dish wheels are narrower at front while being slightly taller. The rear wheels come with the same spiked tire thread pattern as the original Bear Hawk. They would contribute to a more appropriate slightly vintage, yet somehow modern and aggresive look. At least this is what my mind tells me. :D

Any suggestions regarding wheel/tire combinations? Of course, I won't go for the Bear Hawk front wheels, as they are rare.

I'm also toying with the idea to mount the driver figure onto the chassis cover, instead of letting it hang from the roof. Luckily I've got both types or driver busts at hands.

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The Star Dish wheels are now mounted along with the tires. Holy ****, I had a hard time pulling the foam-filled tires over the wheels, especially at the rear. But I'm pleased with the looks, and the tires now have such a... squishy feel when you compress them. :lol:

A pre-painted and decorated Bear Hawk body should turn up at my door this week as well, if I'm lucky. Let's see how it looks mounted on the DT-02 chassis when I finally can get my hands on that.

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Got the Bear Hawk shell today, thanks to Chesher Cat from Tamiyaclub, great fellow! :)

The front body mount hole on that shell is located slightly more forward, compared to the Mad Fighter shell. Adding some sort of spacer to move the Sand Viper front body mount forward should help. But I won't come around cutting around the bottom sides of the Bear Hawk's "nose" to make way for the front shock tower. Though this shouldn't hurt its visual appearance at all.

I have to decide if this will be more of a shelfer shell.

I'll keep you updated with more pictures soon.

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Mock up of the Bear Hawk body sitting on the DT-02 chassis:
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I promised the slight modifications won't hurt the look at all! :) Can you see where I had to cut material away? And what do you think of the wheels? The lighting conditions made the blue body look darker on the photos than it really is, though.

To compensate the different front mount hole, I've removed the longitudinal spacers on the rear mount and added a 5 mm spacer (cut from PE sheet) to the front mount. I will try out spacers of other lengths as well to get the perfect match. I think about adding styrene struts under the front of the body for reinforcement.

The bodyshell sits nicely on Super Gripper's chassis cover and thus won't shake around when the car is in motion.

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Many thanks. :) Such feedback is encouraging me to continue working on the car. There's still some detailing to do, like re-glueing some lifted decals, finishing the driver figure and getting the suspension right. The orange Mad Fighter body is not forgotten over the Bear Hawk one and will be painted, too.

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If you know any way to get the bodyshell lower even with that massive gearbox in its way, please let me know. I won't accept "just put it on a Blitzer chassis!" as an option, though. :)

Just kidding, as far as I can see just from photos, the original Bear Hawk isn't that much lower at the rear. But you're right, it is visible if you look closely, especially if you compare the front end height:

http://www.tamiya101.com/model_info.asp?id=93

Still, I appreciate your feedback very much.

As soon as I've finished the car and the weather is right, I'll take it outside for a run and take photos that will hopefully be more pleasant to look at than the mock up.

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i think it looks really cool, but ,if you really want to get the rear end lower the only thing i can think of is to make a new shock tower out of carbon fiber or grp , or even cut up a dt02 tower to try and get the shocks in a similar position as the bear hawk to let the body drop down more , even with that done the gear box is gonna get in the way so you will only gain a few mil ,

are you trying to make a bear hawk ? or are you wanting to have a bit of fun with a car that can be run quite hard with a nostalgic body set?

if its the later then i doubt you will notice when its tearing about on the dirt.

looking forward to the pics of it running ;)

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