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Koji Sanada 1990 IFMAR World Champion Mugen Super Sport Replica Build

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Good news,

Woke up to find the wheel nuts and the exhaust have both sold. Thats £94 back from the donor so far, helping to offset the spend. No diff in the post today though so I will continue working on the bits that need cleaning, the tank and its lid and post up the results.

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Fuel tank has cleaned up nicely, just waiting for the lid to finish soaking and then I need to find a suitable spring for it.

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Made some more progress.

Fuel tank lid cleaned up well and was fitted to the tank with a Tamiya pin rather than the old Mugen one. The search for a new internal spring has started.

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The donor has now got its radio deck mounted, still awaiting the diff sadly so no rear end mounting yet

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Stripped the pink chassis from the replica car and the Mugen air intake, these will be cleaned and sold. The chassis is quite rare and might make approx £80

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And with the pink chassis removed I fitted the replica front and rear onto the painted racing chassis

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Lots of studying of old pictures now to see where the Factory racing cars were changed from the kit. Already spotted a few things so will work on them along with giving it a good dust!

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Got the chassis plate and air filter onto Ebay for sale, see what happens. Started to build up the radio plate for the replica car. The original race car was fitted with Sanwa radio gear and the on off switch is quite distinctive having a black and red metal switch plate on it. This was common on the high end Sanwa sets of this vintage. Hunted about and finally found one in Japan so purchased it.

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Fitted the RX cover to the radio plate and both servo's to the replica. Fitted the front anti roll bars to the replica.

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So onto an update and its quite a large one. Firstly, the Donor car.

Currently looks like this

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Wheels are back on after having a quick clean. Both front and now rear ends are on after the diff parts I need arrived. The diff's were rebuilt and greased and fitted. Fuel tubes are on as is a spare fuel filter I had. The body has been cleaned and the wing has had some aluminum tape underneath around the holes ready for refitting.

I am pleased with how the donor has turned out and happier to now sell it in this condition. I have decided not to fit an engine or RX. Most people use their own RX anyway and the engine needs new bearings so I am not going to bother fitting one. I am going to clean up the mounts and refit them and provide the new owner with the clutch parts as well. Apart from the servo horns and rods its pretty much finished. I will update the final look soon.

The replica has had lots of work as well and now looks like this

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As you can see, lots of parts are now back on the car. The Mugen EFRA exhaust is just loosely mounted at the moment. I need to drill a hole in the side skirt and get some grey exhaust tubing to connect it.

I have however now got hold of some higher res pictures of the car from a French Magazine article and that has thrown me a few curve balls and parts will need to come back off. The pins holding the arms on are not the original kit ones. The pictures clearly show captive nuts at the end of the arms so I am going to have to replace them. Now Mugen dont do special pins for the arms on the Sport but Racing Jack in Japan did release some so I am going to use them. Luckily I have a set.

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I also now know that the servos were held with cheese head screws and as these are not at all common as self tappers its fair to presume that the plastic servo blocks underneath the radio deck aren't on the race cars and the servos are bolted on. I have ordered some equivalent screws to use.

I now know that the Servo's are definitely not correct (I pretty much knew that). The Drivers used Sanwa Machine-A transmitters but the servo's in the box with that handset dont match the labels on the ones in the car. Despite hi-res pictures the labels cannot be read. I am slowly working through the different servo's Sanwa had out in 1990! Once I match the label I will find some.

There are a few more screws that I will replace as I now know the ones I have used are not quite right.

The race cars used orange aerial tubes and they arrived as well this week

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The other part I need to find is the metal 90 degree air filter mount. I already know the filter is the OS HD Air Cleaner with the foam wrapped around it but the mount is alloy and not the rubber one provided by OS and later Mugen. I'm confident its OS but the search to confirm it continues!

I now know that the RX cover E-Clips had washers underneath so will add them this weekend.

The original Sport shocks look great but the rears need heavier oil as they sag a little. The race cars have no extra damper collars so oil must of been the solution. I need to find 8 of the original Sport kit shock mount bolts. I dont have any and the race cars used them.

The rear roll bar will be painted this weekend and then fitted.

Very slowly getting there, will start to work on the linkages for the servo's this weekend as I can do that regardless of what servos are fitted. The switch will be fitted when the red and black switch plate arrives from Japan.

 

 

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Got a bit of work done on the replica today.

Managed to get the Racing Jack suspension pins fitted and the rear roll bar was remounted after being painted

Quite by chance came across an old Magazine article from 1990. In it was a report of the World Championship and the cars

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Now I already knew the transmitter was a Sanwa Machine A however the article gave me the Servo Type. Its a Sanwa Contest HH High Power servo and that fact there are about 4 hits on google means its going to be hard to find them! Wish me luck!

Will now start work on the servo linkages and get them as close as possible to the pictures.

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Small update.

Checked the rear shocks and they were full of oil. Ordered some heavy weight oil from Ebay to refill both rear shocks. Hopefully that will help with the saggy bottom! The cars are quite heavy.

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Man, I have so much respect for the lengths you're going to to make sure this replica is as acurate as possible. Most people would be OK with the major components being the same, but to go down to the washers and screws used is mental. Really good work!

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2 hours ago, Tizer said:

Man, I have so much respect for the lengths you're going to to make sure this replica is as acurate as possible. Most people would be OK with the major components being the same, but to go down to the washers and screws used is mental. Really good work!

Thanks for the comment. My end goal is to get Koji Sanada to sign the body or maybe the car when I travel to Japan in April. It needs to be as accurate as possible!

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Busy week in work this week but still getting a few bits done. I will post some more pictures of the car over the weekend.

Found some more of the red cylinder heads on Ebay so purchased a spare, helped out another Mugen collector (Alex) with sharing the link.

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Quite by chance a Sanwa Contest HH servo popped up in Italy. so I purchased it for 19 euros.

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The observant will note that this poor little servo is a fixer upper! Lots of options to sort but the casing is the same as my period ERG ones fitted in the replica at the moment. I think I will clean it up and swap the tops. The car is for show anyway and if a proper Contest HH comes along in the future I will swap it. Whats the odds that the peel off cover is still on the label?

Other jobs that have been done are:

Drilled the side skirt for the exhaust outlet

Cut the manifold shorter to get the exhaust to sit correctly

Replaced a few screws

This weekend I am planning to drill and mount the rear spoiler now the correct wing washers are here.

More to come soon

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If you have been watching one of my other build threads you will of seen I picked up a load of wheels and tyres. The job lot was like this

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Simply one of the best lots I have had from Ebay for a long time. I suddenly realized that one set of the Kyosho Turbo Burns rims had a set of Mugen tyres fitted. Guess what, they are the one I need for the replica car! So I sit here typing this with sore thumbs after baking off the tyres and then removing them from the rims!

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The older screws I needed also arrived so I can refit the servos as per the original race car

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How did you get the tires off? :) I have a set of tires I need saved from a set of way to modern rims.

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3 hours ago, Tizer said:

How did you get the tires off? :) I have a set of tires I need saved from a set of way to modern rims.

In oven at 180 degrees for 15mins then work them off the rims

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Thanks! I'll give that a try. Hopefully modern glue won't withstand the heat

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Busy week in work but managed to get some small things done

Servo arrived and the top deck was swapped onto another lower housing, this was tested and then fitted to the car with the same screws used on the replica. The RX cover also now has the washers underneath the e-clips

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Now I need to find another Sanwa Contest HH! When there are only 4 hts on Google you know it will take some time.

Drilled the hole for the muffler exit, the pictures I have of the replica showed the exact position and I guessed the size. Just looking for the correct grey silicone coupler now and the exhaust can be mounted permanently.

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With the new Sanwa switch plate here I set about the daunting job of drilling it and the top deck for the rubber switch protector. I looked at the pictures of the replica and it was clear the on off logos had been drilled out. Copied the replica and mounted the switch

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This is the actual race car so I think I did ok!

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Added the rear wing washers ready for drilling and fitting the rear wing

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and noticed that the steering rods used allen head bolts so of course I swapped them!

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Still need to find the original Damper Pivot bolts or try to match some commercial bolts with them

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Small things but definitely progress. The servo arms I had are really brittle and yellowed so I ended up getting some new ones from Italy. Only £1.99 but three times as much for postage. I guess if I have come this far I need the proper ones. They will be cut down to shape when they arrive.

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Getting there now. Sadly the hunt for another servo continues. I am already toying with the idea of replicating the label and using that until I find another Contest HH. Also conscious I need to get decals sorted. I have decided the black cable tie on the battery deck is too small and not a releasable one so that is being replaced.

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The seller I purchased the diff parts for the donor has helped me out with the Damper Pivots. On their way from Italy. These will be cleaned and re-blued where necessary

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Progress during the week.

The donor car is now up on Ebay for sale. Decided to list on Ebay as I can offer international postage using GSP. Sadly without that it makes the postage very high as the car is heavy.

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Got the wing mounted on the replica, remember this isnt a Mugen wing but a Kyosho Turbo Burns wing. It does look the part and if I ever find a new Mugen wing I will replace it.

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The correct shock mount bolts are now fitted

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and the servo arms arrived from Italy. They will be trimmed down to match the race car today

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I had a few questions that I couldn't answer so got in touch with Mugen again to see if Koji Sanada could answer. The first was about the alloy air filter mount

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Turns out Koji made it himself, I now have some idea how and some alloy bar stock is on order. I work in one of the biggest diesel engine manufacturing sites in Europe so I should be able to get some machining done!

The second question was about a sticker on the rear wing and the front of the car

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This turns out to be a company in Thailand that helped the Mugen team out when they went to the World Championships. Mugen stuck it on the car to say thank you. Now to find out what company logo from 1990 matches! 

Progress is progress though and there is currently no rush. I know another collector is building the same replica so Alex if you are reading this I have found some more switch plates! Actually approx 10 more!

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So next steps are to continue with the servo arms and connections and when the grey exhaust coupler arrives mount the exhaust finally. Still on the look out for another Sanwa Contest HH servo but i'm hopeful. I am also going to pick up a Machine 1 Transmitter and I thought it would be good to get a blue Sanwa baseball cap if I can (Koji Sanada wore one at the finals). I am planning to travel to Japan later in the year for work and would like to try and get the body and the hat signed by Koji. I will wait and see what happens but would be a great honor.

Other news is that MCI racing are going to assist me with the decals. I am now cutting up and sizing the ones I need so that I can then scan them to be reproduced.

 

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A true labour of love! I do not have to be into nitro cars to appreciate the dedication and attention to detail that you bring to your builds and restorations. I have been enjoying this and the David Jun TNX replica builds quite a lot :)

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49 minutes ago, Grastens said:

A true labour of love! I do not have to be into nitro cars to appreciate the dedication and attention to detail that you bring to your builds and restorations. I have been enjoying this and the David Jun TNX replica builds quite a lot :)

Thanks, that's good of you to say. I possibly dont put this much effort into everything I do but decided early on they would be as close to the cars as I could get without actually seeing them. Koji confirmed the cars no longer exist so I have to go off photos and research. They will never be 100% but I will get them as close as I can.

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Thats better!

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and how it looked back in 1990 on the race car

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The power has been off here part of the day due to the bad weather. Woke up this morning to see that the Donor car had sold. I find that buying cars for parts nearly always pays off if you are careful and this one did really well. Not only did it yield parts for the replica but I also sold parts from it and now the car itself. It's on its way to France I think and I am sure I will see it again!

Sat thinking about the servo and decided to design a replica servo label. These are printed on gold vinyl at just 13.5mm x 8mm!

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Used this company quite a bit for stickers for my Land Rover restoration. Will get some printed and see how they come out! They cost £22 for 100 and you do the design work yourself.

Also started making some 3D parts with my 3D printed to get the approx size for the alloy filter mount. When I am happy with the sizes I can then talk to work about doing them in alloy.

 

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Hi Adam, Alex from France, the other Sanada Replica man... 😉


Yes, am a lot interested in Sanwa red/black switch + battery holder, thanks. Am also looking for a full set of exact Bangkok Mugen tires. And wondering whether front wheels were same size than rear ones...I am still looking for a Sanwa Machine 1 receiver, reference shall be SRC-2305RZ.

Regarding the Thailand company sticker on the side of the wing, what is the name of the company please ?! If Sanada-san cannot remember, can we get in touch with other Bangkok 1990 Mugen drivers, as I understood they were 11 Mugen drivers ?

I know the French driver who wrote one of the two French articles about 1990 championships, will see what he can remember from that event...

About stickers, as said Adam, I would be very great full to buy from you a full set for body and wing. And also a picture of the sticker on the Mugen blue fuel filter, need to reproduce it as mine is in bad condition.

I would like to meet you in the UK at some point to confirm a couple of small mounting things, such as dampers and servos you mentioned in your posts.

And maybe go to Japan and get both cars signed by Sanada-san... considering it would be acceptable, and maybe nice, to have two replicas, but not in same country... 😉

It has been a nice cooperation so far (more profitable to me than to you cause you are much more advanced than me), a friendly communication between two Mugen SuperSport addicts. Let’s keep on progressing on our projects together like this...

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Hi Alex,

I will get some pictures of the switches over when they arrive. SRC-2305RZ is the receiver part number not the Transmitter but you will need one of them as well.

Koji doesn't remember the company name so I will need to try and find it, feel free to research the other drivers to see if they know.

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I have a Machine 1 transmitter, looking for the receiver now.

Regarding the air filter bend and stickers, can you give me a hand please ?

thanks,

alex

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