- Set of 4x Ansmann 95mm Shocks
- A pair of HPI Saturn 35T Motor
- An HPI Firebolt 15T Motor
- Lots of Tamiya ESC (104 model) - for existing and new vehicles
This afternoon I started stripping down the RC buggy I managed to buy for peanuts at the local car boot sale last week. My objective is to fit a new ESC, new Rx and motor if needed, and generally cleanup/improve the thing.
|Radioshack Flashtron II|
|Three screws later, and sans-shell.|
It was surprisingly easy to break down, as most is held together with screws, with some hinge pins in places (explained later on). The wheels use regular lock nuts to hold them in place, so a metric pit tool was all that I needed for them. Quite often I've seen wheels compression fitted, crimped or even held on with grub screws. It was refreshing to see keyed axles too - it opens up the potential future uses for the buggy and makes it easier to service and rebuild.
|Ready to start stripping down...|
Taking the electronics cover off, I was shocked at the gunky mess inside. A combination of sand and gel the PCB has been coated in, has resulted in a complete mess. The buggy is incredibly clean on the outside, so I really wasn't expecting this, but since the old electronics are going, it's no real concern for me - just a bit of extra work cleaning it up (ie a soapy bath for it).
|The main bathtub and electronics bay protected by a single cover.|
|Sand and gunk (probably seawater in the mix too) ≠ happy electronics.|
The electronics bay is packed solid with the old controller, so it will be straight forward fitting a 2.4Ghz Rx and a Tamiya 101 model ESC. There are plenty of air vents (enough for the bay to have been filled with sand in the past), so no real worries of overheating, and there are existing cable entry points, so no hacking required.
|Easily replaceable; the original electronics and servo.|
The motor has been soldered directly to the main board, along with the battery cable. The latter I'll chop off and keep, as those connectors are expensive (unnecessarily so). The motor will need a suitable connector for the new ESC - I'm not sure whether to fit something industrial, or just hack a solution. Failing that, I might just use a stock Tamiya motor, and do away with worrying about it.
|Stock Radioshack 540 motor.|
The old servo will also be going, replaced with a stock Acoms servo, and some spare Tamiya servo collars/horns. Rather bizarrely, the buggy features a standard servo mount with standard server horns - no custom plastic or weird case-less servos you normally find in RTR vehicles. It's a deep servo, so I may need to pack out the replacement servo (or completely bypass the mount, and do things differently). It'll probably need something higher-torque, but for now it'll do - first things first, I just want this to run on new electronics.
|Bathtub chassis with rear-end, sans-everything else.|
I tried to open the gearbox, but found the rear-end is connected by a pin with caps that appear to be expansion fitted - so will require the pin to be cut to open the gearbox housing. I won't bother for now, unless the gearbox plays up badly, as I would need to replace the pin with something similarly tight fitting either bolted in place, or held by circlips.
|It can be stripped further, but the hinge pin makes it pointless to do so.|
The front end came off easily, and since the suspension is also held together with similar pins, I'm not going to bother breaking down any more - just clean up and grease what I can. The bathtub chassis is nice and robust, and not cracked or damaged - there are plenty of scratches on the bottom, and on the bumper, but frankly there'll be more there soon :)
|Front-end with servo horn.|
|The final stripped bathtub, ready for a wash.|
All-in-all, this looks to be in good running order, and with the upgraded electronics will be a nice little buggy to play with. In Part 2, I'll cover the reassembly, with some pictures of it running.
Finally, I'll leave you with the battery cover (well, a really clever clamp mechanism for holding a regular Ni-Cd/Ni-Mh 7.2V pack in place), sporting it's Radioshack part number.
|Radioshack Flashtron II 60-4215|