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1/10 Scale Electric Rally/Touring Car:

Academy STR-4 Pro II (Radio Controlled Model Review)


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


  Introduced by Academy Minicraft circa 2008, the 4WD STR-4 Pro II - # 15102 - chassis, came as a ready to assemble kit.

  The model is shaft driven, on a carbon double deck chassis, with ball differentials (front one-way), coil spring over oil filled alloy dampers, universal joint drive-shafts and ball bearings.

Academy STR-4 Pro II
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  To race the Academy STR-4 Pro 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.

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★ Academy STR-4 Pro II Chassis ★
Academy STR-4 Pro II Chassis

★ Academy STR-4 Pro II Chassis ★
Academy STR-4 Pro II Chassis

★ Academy STR-4 Pro II Chassis ★
Academy STR-4 Pro II Chassis

★ Academy STR-4 Pro II Chassis ★
Academy STR-4 Pro II Chassis


Buying a Used Academy STR-4 Pro II
Touring Car (and What to look for)


   Buying a used Academy STR-4 Pro II Electric Touring Car, 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 road.

   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 Touring Car you may discover can easily be fixed.

Dampers
   When you receive your used Academy Touring Car, 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 STR-4 Pro 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 STR-4 Pro 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 STR-4 Pro II Touring Car 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 Touring Car 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 road, if you intend to race your Touring Car 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 Touring Car 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 Touring Car 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 STR-4 Pro 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 STR-4 Pro 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 Touring Car 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 STR-4 Pro II model and good racing.


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Or, check out our RC Model Car Setup Guide


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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

Getting into RC

   When I first got into racing RC, all I had was a three year old clapped out Tamiya Boomerang, a silver can stock motor, three step mechanical speed controller, two 1400Mah stick batteries and basic Acoms stick transmitter.

   I was the newbie and most of the guys I was racing against had all the latest models, modified motors, matched batteries and top spec radio equipment, but I was still beating them easily. Why? The answer is simple: Practice. I had been driving that old car around my back yard and in the local park for almost three years. The others bought their cars only a few weeks or months earlier and had pestered their parents for the latest and most expensive car, motor etc, but did not have the experience to be able to control it. While I was steadily trundling around the track, they were crashing out on every other corner, popping ball joints, breaking wishbones and generally causing havoc.

   The moral of this story is all too obvious and anyone starting up in RC who wants to race please take note. You don't need the best equipment to win races. You can start with a cheap basic kit and with a lot of practice in some wide open spaces where you will not cause any damage, learn how to control your car. Remember don't try to run before you can walk. Stick with that silver can motor for a while and upgrade to something a little faster only when you have mastered the old one. You don't even have to buy new. If you go down to your local RC Club, there are always cars for sale. They may be battered and bruised, but if you get an old brushed silver can motor, a cheap 5A ESC, a couple of Nicad, or Nimh batteries, charger and simple radio gear, that is all you need to start practising and after a while, winning races.

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







Hints and Tips

Driving On Road

   The basic driving style most commonly used for all forms of on road, tarmac and carpet racing, involves using the full width of the road available and cutting each apex as tight as possible, whilst keeping complete control of the car on the track. The style, often referred to as "Rounding" looks quite simple to those watching, but to get it right needs good hand eye coordination and lots of practice.

   Consider a 180 degree turn. As you enter the corner, start with the car positioned close to the outside of the track, then as you approach the corner brake hard, but not too hard, just enough to slow the car so you maintain control and smoothly guide the car across the point of the apex, gently sweeping round until you are approximately 75% around the corner. At this point, gradually increase the throttle out of the corner, under full control and guiding the car to the opposite outside line. By the time the car is pointing straight on the track, you should be at almost full throttle, before you brake hard again for the next corner.

   Developing this driving style comes in stages. Don't try to run before you can walk, install a low powered motor and practice, practice, practice until it becomes second nature. Then, as your skills improve, try something with a little more power.

   Initially set your transmitter to aggressive breaking and gradually reduce this as you get the feel of the car around the corner. Remember, the faster you enter a corner, the faster you exit it.

   When you first try out this style in a race, be patient, keep the car smooth and controlled. Remember the story about the hare and the tortoise? Well, believe me, when you first start in RC, it works.

   To make this driving style work, the car needs to have the right tires, inserts and a low centre of gravity. Adjust the suspension to provide only a small amount of body-roll and set-up guide linked below to help you set your car to suit your driving style.

   Avoid over-steer, always aim for a little under-steer. Grip is the keyword for the rounding style of driving, but not too much grip. Slicks for outdoor racing and a worn set of Hawgs I found to be best for carpet racing. If your car rolls sideways off the track as you enter the corner, try a harder tire compound, or change the damper springs or oil weights as suggested in our set-up guide. Good luck and good racing.

   If the style you are looking for is to drift slide your car around the corners, I would recommend you perfect the rounding style first, then check out my other hints and tips to learn how.

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










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