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RCScrapyard Radio Controlled Models
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1/10 Scale Electric Buggy:

Academy Road Runner II (Radio Controlled Model)


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History + Information (and How To Set-up Tips):


  Introduced by Academy Minicraft circa 1988, the 2WD Road Runner II Buggy was available as a kit - # 1552 - or pre-assembled - # 1556 - with an RS-540S motor, three step servo operated mechanical speed controller and gold anodised wheels. Requiring a battery, charger and radio system.

  The model is described as a Tamiya Grasshopper clone, based on an ABS resin bathtub chassis, with a molded ABS bodyshell, sealed gearbox, gear type differential, rear swing arm suspension with coil spring over oil filled dampers, front anti-roll bar and bushings.

Academy Road Runner II
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  To race the Academy Road Runner II, it requires a high level of tuning for improved stability when cornering, to keep it on the track and give you more grip under acceleration. Even the smallest change in your cars settings can make a Big difference. Our simple to follow instruction chart will show how to attain the best Set-up for your personal requirements.

  With simple to follow language, we can point you towards the correct Electric Motor for your Road Runner II and achieve the best Gearing, for your battery and motor combination.

  Learn the secrets the professionals have known for years to get the best from their Bearings using a number of simple tips. See how you can easily avert Radio interference, and the best way to safely Charge your Batteries, for improved acceleration and more run time.









Gas/Nitro Engines Body Shells Radio Transmitters etc Tires Wheels/Rims Electronic Speed Controllers Battery Packs / Chargers Electric Motors












Items For Sale:






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★ Academy Road Runner II Chassis ★
Academy Road Runner II Chassis

★ Academy Road Runner II Chassis ★
Academy Road Runner II Chassis

★ Academy Road Runner II Chassis ★
Academy Road Runner II Chassis

★ Academy Road Runner II Chassis ★
Academy Road Runner II Chassis


Buying a Used Academy Road Runner II
Buggy (and What to look for)


   Buying a used Academy Road Runner II Electric Buggy, or any used RC Model, has a number of advantages. It is generally cheaper than new, ready built and may come with a variety of expensive hop-ups already installed. Cheap, pre-loved bargains are always becoming available. However, depending on the age of your purchase, it may need a little tender loving care before you can take it out on the back yard.

   The one thing you will always need is an instruction manual. If not supplied with your purchase, they can often be downloaded from the Academy website, or purchased separately on eBay. With an instruction manual, any problems with your model Buggy you may discover can easily be fixed.

Dampers
   When you receive your used Academy Buggy, make a general visual inspection of the chassis, front and rear wishbones, suspension shock towers etc, for any broken parts that may need to be replaced. Then, take a screwdriver and box spanner and check each self tapping screw and nut for security, taking care not to over tighten.

   Next, for those Academy models with oil filled shock absorbers, remove them from the chassis and dismantle the coil springs. The damper shafts should push in and pull out with a smooth action. If you feel a jolt as you change direction, this means the oil has leaked out and must be topped up. At the same time, change the O-Ring seals to prevent more leakage. Also check the damper shafts for damage. If they are scratched, change them as soon as possible.

   If the body shell of your Academy Road Runner II is broken, ripped or damaged in any way, this can be easily repaired with rubber solution glue. Also, for added protection and if available for your Road Runner II model, fit an under guard to stop dirt and gravel entering the chassis.

Titanium Turnbuckles
   Examine the drive shafts for wear and replace as required. If possible, change them for titanium. The steel shafts wear and bend too easily.

   If you intend to race your Road Runner II Buggy model at a competitive level, I would also recommend you obtain and fit titanium pivot shafts, turnbuckles, tie rods and steering rods.

   The gearbox of your used Buggy should be opened up to check for gear wear and lubrication. A thin coat of grease is often used on internal gears and although this is fine for basic running around on the back yard, if you intend to race your Buggy at a higher level, this should be removed and replaced with racing oil (ZX1 or Teflon Oil). Of course, this should be reapplied after each race meeting.

Spur Gears
   Gears are a weakness on all Buggy RC models. Head on collisions can easily damage the gear teeth on nylon and plastic spur gears. Heavy impacts can also loosen the nuts or self tapping screws that hold the Electric Motor in Position, allowing the pinion gear to pull out of mesh slightly and rip the tops off the teeth on your spur gear. To minimise this possibility, fit bolts with locking nuts to the Electric Motor mount and remember to check them for security after every two or three runs.

   Ball joints always cause problems. For top level Electric Buggy racing, the plastic ball connectors should be checked and if deemed necessary changed after every meeting. A simple thing like a loose fitting connector popping off could easily end your race, so better safe than sorry.

Servo Gears
   The Road Runner II steering servo is also prone to damage. In high speed crash situations, the fragile gear teeth of the servo can be broken off, rendering your expensive servo useless, so be sure to obtain a good quality "Servo Saver". Check out my Servo Information article.

   If body roll on your Academy Road Runner II is a problem, handling can be improved with the use of stabilizers, anti roll or sway bars, stiffer tuning springs and, or, thicker silicone oil in the dampers.

Ball Bearings
   If your used Academy Buggy comes with plastic and sintered brass bushings (ring type bearings), check the shafts that run in them for wear. Dust and grit can get into these bearings and abrade the shafts. Therefore, you should replace them all with shielded ball bearings. If the model has been run with ring type bearings, you may have to change all the axles and driveshafts. For more information, take a look at my article, How to get the best from your Bearings.

   Finally, good luck with your Road Runner II model and good racing.


For More on how to Setup your Buggy, check out my Hints and Tips page.


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Manufacturers and Brands Catalogued and Listed by RC-Scrapyard.


   At present, the RC Model Manufacturers, Brands and Distributors covered by us are: ABC Hobby, Academy, Acme Racing, Agama Racing, Amewi, Ansmann Racing, ARRMA, Team Associated, Atomic RC, Axial, AYK, Bolink, BSD Racing, Capricorn, Carisma, Carson, Caster Racing, Cen, Corally, Custom Works, Durango, Duratrax, ECX - Electrix, Exceed RC, FG Modellsport, FS-Racing, FTX, Fujimi, Gmade, GS-Racing, Harm, HBX, Helion, Heng Long, Himoto Racing, Hirobo, Hitari, Hobao, Hong-Nor, Hot Bodies, HPI, HSP, Intech, Integy, Jamara, JQ Products, Kawada, Kyosho, Losi, LRP, Maisto, Mardave, Marui, Maverick, MCD Racing, Megatech, Mugen, New Bright, Nichimo, Nikko, Nkok, Ofna, Pro-Pulse, Protech, PTI, RC4WD, Redcat Racing, RJ-Speed, Robitronic, Schumacher, Seben, Serpent, Smartech, Sportwerks, Step-Up, Tamiya, Team-C Racing, Team Magic, Thunder Tiger, Tomy, Top Racing, Traxxas, Trinity, Tyco, Vaterra RC, Venom, VRX Racing, WLToys, X-Factory, Xmods, Xpress, Xray, XTM, Yankee RC, Yokomo, ZD Racing and Zipzaps.

   This is an ongoing project, with new and "lost in time" RC Model Brands being added as they are found and although most of those listed above have been covered in relative detail, some are still being researched and will be completed in the near future.


















Hints and Tips


Rechargeable Batteries
for RC Models


   At the time this article was written, there are four types of Rechargeable Batteries that are commonly in use for Radio Controlled Models.
Ni-Cad (Nickel Cadmium) Batteries have been around the longest. My first stick battery, purchased way back in 1987 was rated at 1200Mah (Mili Amp Hours) and with a silver can 27 Turn motor my Tamiya Boomerang would run around in the back yard for a good seven minutes before slowly coming to a stop. Ni-Cad development continued until around 1998 to a maximum rating of around 2000Mah and matchers pack builders and battery technicians were able to put together six cell packs with voltages approaching 7.4 Volts, to give those that could afford them, an edge over the rest.

   Ni-Mh (Nickel Metal Hydride) Batteries came along in the late 1990s and by the year 2000 were available at ratings up to 3000Mah. Again, matchers and pack builders worked hard to provide the ardent racer with packs to provide that little bit of extra power and ESC manufacturers also chipped in with improved controllers to take full advantage of this new technology.
   Now the problem wasn't gearing the car to get to the end of the race using the available battery power, but to find the brushed motor that could handle gear setting that provided the speed and acceleration without the motor overheating and wearing the commutator too much so it needed a skim after every 2 runs. My favourite at that time was the 9 Double.

   More recently, Li-Po (Lithium-Polymer) Batteries have appeared on the scene, providing are a huge step forward in performance when compared with Ni-Cad and Ni-Mh batteries. However, Li-Po Batteries are much more expensive than previous battery types, have a shorter effective life of between 200 and 400 charge cycles, compared to well over 1000 charge cycles for Ni-Cad and Ni-Mh and a high degree of care has to be taken when charging Li-Po batteries. They have been known to burst into flames or even explode, for this reason I do not recommend Li-Po batteries for RC beginners.
   Another problem with Li-Po packs is they are physically bigger in size, so for those with older "Vintage" models, they may not fit into the provided space for the battery on the chassis.

   The latest development in battery technology for RC are Li-Ion. Originally produced for Laptops, Ipods, Tablets and the like, they are now available for RC models. Much like Li-Po for price and charge cycle life, the power and capacity is a moderate improvement, but for me, at the moment, not worth the expense.

   One final word of warning. NEVER leave your charging Li-Po or Li-Ion battery unattended when being charged and NEVER above the recommended charge rate. After use, store each battery with about 60% charge remaining and always in a fireproof bag.


For More Setup Information check out my Hints and Tips page.







Hints and Tips

Ride Height

   To allow the suspension on any RC model to do its work properly, it needs to ride in a position where it is able to react to any bumps and holes it may encounter on the track. Therefore, it needs to be adjusted to somewhere in-between those limits. That position is commonly termed "ground clearance" or "ride height" and is generally measured as the distance between the underside of the chassis and the ground, with the motor and battery etc installed.

   Simply speaking, determining the optimum ride height is dependent on the specific track conditions and "droop" setting (see my previous article). For Off Road models the rule is simple, the bigger the bumps and the deeper the holes, the higher the ride height. And for On Road, the lower the ride height, the better.

   For 1:10 Buggys I generally recommend a starting point for ride height at around 3/4 of an inch or 20mm. 1:10 Trucks and Truggys,1 1/4 inches or 30mm upwards, depending on the wheel diameter. For On Road models, somewhere around a 3/8 of an inch, or 5mm.

   Ride height doesn't just affect the way the car handles uneven track conditions, it also influences the way the car handles when cornering. For a stable car, body roll must be kept to a minimum and keeping the ride height low, is by far the best and easiest way to control it.

   Before you begin to set the ride height, it is best to make sure that each pair of shocks are exactly the same length, have the same spring type and same silicone oil weight. Also, if you don't have a ride height gauge of any kind, decide what height you want set your car to and prepare some kind of slip gauge to that dimension, a book, a pen, or anything that measures to what you want. I used an old square plastic servo mount, which was exactly 5mm for my touring car. It may be low tech, but it is just as accurate as any gauge you can buy.

   To set the ride height, the race ready car must be placed on a flat surface. Slide your slip gauge under the chassis and adjust the height by adding or removing tension to the damper springs. This is done on most models by using small C shaped clips, placed over the damper, above the springs, or via clamp type collars. On a number of top of the range models, this adjustment can be made by screwing a knurled nut on each threaded damper body. As a rule if the springs are compressed by more than 25% they should be replaced by stiffer springs. The gauge should just slide under the chassis on all four corners of the chassis.

For More Setup Information check out my Hints and Tips page.










On/Off Road
RC Models:

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