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nowinaminute

Nikko "The Panther" 1/16 with a 540 motor

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Being a bit of a Nikko fan, I've had my eye on one of these for a while now but they can fetch a fair bit of money for something I consider a curiosity so I've just been biding my time. 

Last week I saw one for £15 so I decided to go for it! In the less common Renault/Ing livery no less!

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These were released around the time of the 20th anniversary of the original and iconic Turbo Panther and were a sort of deluxe anniversary model.

The key features were proportional controls, standard hobby sized 7.2v battery pack, a lexan body shell that was vaguely reminiscent of the original, double wishbone front suspension and perhaps the most interesting feature, a 540 Mabuchi motor which made it quite a hotrod being as it was a 1/16 scale buggy. Certainly a bit of a step up from the 280 size motor of the original.

They decided to go with the same old Grasshopper style solid axle that locks up under acceleration so it was certainly "interesting" in the handling department.

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A quiet Saturday in work, ultrasonic cleaner and some flash liquid yielded some great results!

Before:

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Before:

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Before:

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After:

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Before:

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After:

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There's a generous 3 bushings on each side between the diff and the wheel. One on the diff output, one at the end of the plastic axle casing on the inside and another on the outside in the same place as you'll find one on a Grasshopper/lunchbox etc.

The bearings are very close to 8x12x3.5mm in size but I did notice that aftermarket bearings were a very tight fit on the inside, easily solved with a makeshift lathe consisting of a drill and some sandpaper to very slightly reduce the metal parts a fraction of a mm so not an issue for me but might have been annoying for anyone who purchased the official Nikko upgrade bearings unless perhaps they deliberately used a very slightly off standard size?

The car now has bearings front and back, the only part with no provision  for bearings is the slur gear but I reckon it should outlive me with some decent grease, as long as I make sure the gearbox is properly sealed.

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Here's some photos showing the results of the "ghetto lathe" work. It worked out quite well but it took forever lol. I wish I could afford a lathe but then, even if I could, I wouldn't have the first clue how to use it!

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Bearing on:

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The car is now fully ballraced apart from the spur gear. A big decrease in rolling resistance and it removes the inevitable part damage from things grinding against each other too. The spur gear should be fine with some decent grease. As long as I can stop dirt getting that far it should last the lifetime of the car.

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