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1980's Sand Scorcher Ressurection/Restoration/Modification!

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Hello all

Well I thought the lockdown was the perfect opportunity to give my old Sand Scorcher some much needed TLC!  I'm 48 and I got my SS around my 10th Birthday I think, I can't remember exactly so maybe 1982 or 1983.  I do remember pestering my dad to build it on Christmas day!

It was going to be candy apple red, and I remember me and my dad went to this proper bikers custom paint shop to get the paint.  It needed a gold base coat which was fine but the flake in the red was so big it wouldn't go through dads spray gun - so it ended up white and red!

When I retrieved it from my folks (before the lockdown) it was in a sorry state - the tyres had perished, wheels were cracked, front windscreen had a big hole in it.  I felt quite guilty and when I realised some parts were still available I thought i'd bring it back to life.  And I didn't realise there was such a following for the SS!

So this is what I've done over the last few weeks:

  • Completely disassembled it, cleaned everything and polished the aluminium bits
  • New wheels and tyres
  • Made a new windscreen from some acetate sheet i found
  • Cleaned the shell, touched in some of the paint, lacquered, wet sanded and polished before waxing.  I wanted to keep the "patina" - warts and all!
  • polished the servo/battery box with Meguiars plastic polish as well as the remaining window glass - worked a treat though the windows are still very yellow - but shows it's age!
  • New o-rings for the shocks, filled with a sludgy mix of bike grease and oil
  • Added ball races in place of the old oilless metal bushes - gearbox and wheels
  • New cables for the motor
  • Added an ESC - i just went for a Tamiya TEU-105, and removed the old 4 x AA batterys.  Works fine.
  • Replaced the servo tape on the steering servo
  • New rear bumper - the old one was destroyed 
  • New rubbers - the switch cover and shock mounts
  • New motor and gearbox plastic covers as the old ones were very brittle
  • The white plastic ball races for the front uprights were really worn so i bought some rere ones.  But they don't fit the old arms - and the old ball sockets are 3mm, not 4mm like the rere.  So i bought some 4mm rere ball connectors and drilled out the uprights slightly so they accept the rere ball races.  Dead easy and works well.

So I ran it a few times and it bought back so many memories!

Unfortunately the front bumper broke  - on inspection it was carrying a very old injury!  So I made one out of aluminium.  I'd also read that the chassis flex can stress the shell so I made a strengthening plate out of ally, and shaped it so it matches the sills on the shell.  I'm really pleased with it

I also have a couple of Kyosho mini-z cars so managed to get one of the controllers to work with the SS in place of the old Acoms stick transmitter.  I had to swap the channels round on the receiver but all works well.

I'm determined to use this SS as a runner  - this is why my folks bought it for me, so I want to honour that!  But I want to preserve the shell so have bought a rere shell that i'll paint and will use that for running.

Still a couple of bits to do - I need to make a sunroof, and will fit the exhaust from the rere bodyshell I have.


Here's a few pics...






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I forgot a few things - when dismantling, one of the rear arm grub screws was seized  - typically on the side I needed to remove to access one of the bolts to separate the gearbox.  I tried drilling it out but ended up having to saw it off - so bought two new arms.  They're actually MK1 arms with the recess for the second set of bearings.  I also needed a new torsion bar as I had to saw through the original.

Also, I needed to get a new battery and charger to replace the old NiCd.  I've gone for an Overlander Tornado 3300 7.2V NiMh and fast charger.

I also needed more of the camlocks for the battery box

I hate to think what I've spent on this so far but it's worth it!  And my dad has been really pleased to see it running again!

Attached a photo of it over the woods near us - great fun but the sand gets everywhere so had to strip down the gearbox to clean after a couple of runs

And a piccy of the new rere ballraces installed in the old uprights



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First of all welcome to TC @ChrisHGTV

By the sound of those two posts you’ve found a perfect home sir 😂

Others will chime in with suggestions on what next but, for me, you’ve had fun doing exactly what anyone coming back after a while should do !

Look, clean, polish - work around the problems - then run 👍

It’s all how we first enjoyed the hobby back in the day - probably with our Dads - and you’ve enjoyed the perfect start !

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Thanks for the welcome!  Yes it’s rekindled my interest again for sure!  I’m already thinking of getting another buggy of some sort.  I can see it’s a bit of a slippery slope!

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