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silvertriple

Nichimo Spirit FF - The first of a Kind

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Hi,

Beside my attachement for my first buggy and other dreams of my teenager's times, I really like unusual or weird things.

My 22nd RC car is at home. It's complete, but it requires a LOT of work (more than TLC). Rather than be called a car, it should be call a project.

How to describe it: The first of a kind is probably one of the best definition. It's quite rare...

Teaser :
g4NZX6N.jpg

I will update the thread name and content in due time, when someone will find what it is :-)

 

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6 minutes ago, zappto said:

hello, i think mitsubishi pajero?

Thanks to play the game.

But no, it's not a Mitsubishi Pajero.

Few additional leads :

It's not a Tamiya, it's not a Kyosho, It's not a Marui, it's not a Nikko (therefore the thread is in its definitive corner :-)).

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Just now, El Gecko said:

Is it front wheel drive?

You probably have found what it is, I guess :). Yes it is a front wheel drive... 

 

Just now, TurnipJF said:

Let's see... Old, obscure and wearing rally lights. Hirobo 44B?

No, it's not an Hirobo... But yes, old, obscure brand :-)

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1 minute ago, TurnipJF said:

Nichimo Spirit FF?

Yes!

3gkLWvv.jpg

0HkXedL.jpg

You got it right!

There is a lot of work though. Roll cage and Bumper are broken, and chassis as well. From my searches, I assume the only way to get it back to life will be to model the chassis and rely on 3D printing.

At least it is complete with the box, and all the broken parts are in the box, so  I can do exact measurement for what need to be repaired...

This will be a lot of work, but it will be fun :)

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21 minutes ago, DeadMeat666 said:

Which came first, this or the Hotshot? Because one DEFINITELY copied the other lol.

As per Tamiyabase, the Hotshot was issued in April 1985. All the dates I found on internet about the Nichimo Spirit FF are mentioning 1986. Which tend to indicate precedence in terms of design for the body and the roll cage. 

That being said, it's more inspiration than copy. The proportions are highly different. (nothing compared to royal ripper production). The Spirit FF is bulky compared to the Hotshot. But in terms of mechanical design, it's very highly innovative:

  • First front motor. The motor is mounted longitudinally
  • The motor pinion turn inside the counter gear, probably to allow the motor placement
  • The front wheels drive is also a first in a production buggy
  • There is front metal (yes, metal) radiator. It's main purpose is to load the front train.

The Exceed WDS 443 which shared some design cues with the Spirit FF was probably closer to the Hotshot, but with 4 steering wheels... Copy, inspiration, call it the way you want. But they made something different...

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Additional pics

From the box, first

N3u3ya5.jpg

BL23SmJ.jpg

tU3JW4P.jpg

Then about the state of the machine

I5nUfuY.jpg

6yrjdaU.jpg

krPSHlM.jpg

qUbc8B2.jpg

At least the suspensions and front/rear trains are complete. The chassis is broken in multiple areas: I don't even think it is reparable. The only option after searches seems 3D printing...

So definitely, this will be a lot of work :-)

 

 

 

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That is completely insane. But also amazing. I love the fact that in the 80s, people were trying all kinds of mad things. This was also presumably an inspiration for the Kyosho Maxxum FF that came afterwards. It's a wonderful and crazy thing, though. And they would have known that when they built it, because the laws of physics mean that there is no way this would ever really work.

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12 hours ago, Yalson said:

That is completely insane. But also amazing. I love the fact that in the 80s, people were trying all kinds of mad things. This was also presumably an inspiration for the Kyosho Maxxum FF that came afterwards. It's a wonderful and crazy thing, though. And they would have known that when they built it, because the laws of physics mean that there is no way this would ever really work.

It actually worked so well for 2wds cars that it was decided they would run with the 4wd cars, which killed the front wheel drive rc cars... The maxxum FF would have been probably the beast to beat in 2wd cars if they had been in the same category that rear 2wd cars

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14 hours ago, silvertriple said:

 

3gkLWvv.jpg

 

You have to love how monstrous the rear tires are depicted in the box art; you can't help but be a little disappointed when you open the box :P

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Yes, clearly... The box art is awesome...

And the car itself is "Meh?" at best :-)

Clearly, I did not bought it for its look. It's a curiosity and a piece of history!

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Hey!  The box clearly says "Off Road High Performance Racer", so it is clearly not 'Meh?' :lol:

The irony, is that the bigger tires should be on the front end, vs the rear for better performance in a front wheel drive vehicle.

Keep us updated on how it goes!

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4 minutes ago, SlideWRX said:

Hey!  The box clearly says "Off Road High Performance Racer", so it is clearly not 'Meh?' :lol:

The irony, is that the bigger tires should be on the front end, vs the rear for better performance in a front wheel drive vehicle.

Keep us updated on how it goes!

Arf, did you notice that there is this mention on almost all the Tamiya buggys' boxes, including the Hornet and the Grasshopper? :-D

As for the size of the tires, they probably did not get that info right at that time, and that is not really surprising : that was first ff car on the market, and it was probably a little bit experimental; a proof of that would be the metal radiator added to add weight on the front and absent from the box artof the two spirit and vantage ff (and as well from the adds with the whole Nichimo family when it was presented back in 1986)... I believe they noticed it was required to add it when they first run the ready to market buggy, and interestingly, rather than just adding weight, they made it look like a radiator :lol:

I did not start on this one yet: I need to free a box for that first :-) 

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Oh wow, that 'radiator' is metal?!?  It definitely looked like an afterthought.

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24 minutes ago, SlideWRX said:

Oh wow, that 'radiator' is metal?!?  It definitely looked like an afterthought.

Yeah, it's metal, and it's really heavy :-D

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As I had some time this morning (a day off), some snow outside, it's perfect weather to try to move on on projects...

I decided to start my morning to get the Spirit FF down to parts...
exRqqJy.jpg

P3X21ET.jpg
I dismantle all what I could. On the rear end, I did not succeed to remover the wheels from the rear arms. I will need to think on those ones...

S0RUPfC.jpg
The right shock support is fixed with two screws which I believe have been glued with cyano... Not sure what to do to remove yet.

After that I focused on the front end
cFBHl92.jpg

Lower front arms will probably require remplacement as cracks appear on both side at the shock fixation
Nex2XcX.jpg
G16Fuiv.jpg

The gearbox is interesting, probably the part in the best state of this whole car, but the motor is quite far from the front train...
5gNXX3k.jpg
3zCKcIc.jpg

Funny thing, as the motor is not really close from the front train, they added weight on the front with the radiator (I believe it was an afterthought, when they started to try the creation, as the box art did not include the radiator as well as the promo pictures from Nichimo)... This thing weight 92grams...
jrIjXxg.jpg

Chassis parts, roll bar, front and rear arms are going to require a 3D modeling and printing...

Next update at some point, but not necessarily in few days : I wanted to have a clear view of the state of all parts, to estimate the level of work required. I'll plan for it and I'll have other projects to shuffle as well :), so don't expect updates before few months :)
 

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