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1/10 Scale Electric Rally/Touring Car:

Academy STR-4 Pro (Radio Controlled Model Review)


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


  Introduced by Academy Minicraft circa 2001, the 4WD STR-4 Pro chassis - # 1585 - came as a ready to assemble kit.

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

Academy STR-4 Pro
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  To race the Academy STR-4 Pro, 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 Chassis ★
Academy STR-4 Pro Chassis

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

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

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

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


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


   Buying a used Academy STR-4 Pro 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 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 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 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 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 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 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

Decals

   After spending lots of time and effort to paint your bodyshell, you come to the point where you make it look good by putting on all those flashy decals, but before you rush in with the scissors and start cutting, there are a few things you should do first.

   Good preparation is key to a perfect job, so before you do anything with your decals, you must first of all wash your hands and then make sure the bodyshell is clean and no oil or grime from your previously grubby fingers remains on the Polycarbonate Lexan surface. Methylated spirits is the thing to use, or failing that, use one of those wipes you use for your computer monitor screen. As the body shell dries, you can carefully cut out the decals from the sheet. Do the big ones first and leave the smallest ones for last.

   Now you can prepare to the decals for positioning. Carefully remove the backing paper from the decal with your thumb nail and then put it back on again, but slightly out of line. Place the decal in the position you want it on the bodyshell and when you are satisfied, press down the sticky corner onto the bodyshell and peel off the backing paper, following it along with your fingers to avoid any bubbles. Repeat the process until all your decals are in place.

   Any bubbles or misfitting areas can be corrected by using a sharp modelling knife to carefully pierce the bubbles, or score the poorly fitting area and complete the process with your finger nail.

   Some misalignments can often be fixed using a hair dryer on the offending decal to soften the glue enough to allow you to reposition it, but be careful; Lexan can react like heat-shrink and may wrinkle if you use too much heat.

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







Hints and Tips

Wheels

   When it comes to wheels, the majority of people tend to go for what looks good, something that will make their car stand out from the crowd, but are they the best wheels for you when it comes to winning races on the track?

   Quite a number of years ago I read an article in an RC magazine about RC model wheels and how important it is to have the right ones on your car. I was so impressed by that article that I immediately sold off all my old wheels and bought a batch of new ones why? Read on.

   In order for a tire to maintain grip, it needs to preserve the downward pressure through the cars suspension onto the road surface. To do this, not only must the wheels be concentric, they have to be totally rigid. So, if you accept that premise as fact, you will realise that the majority of the flashy wheel designs available for all types of RC model cars are not exactly what you might call rigid. In point of fact, they are down right flimsy.

   If you take a good hard look at some of those multi spoked pressure injected plastic wheels you have in your car box, you will soon see what I mean. Just take one in your hand, squeeze it just a little and you will realise how weak and feeble the construction of these cheap and nasty things are. Looks aren't everything. If you want to be up there with the best you have to strive for the best and that doesn't necessarily mean the most expensive. There are lots of wheels out there at reasonable prices that can give you that rigidity you need. Okay, they might not look pretty, but they will perform better and give you that extra one percent that could mean the difference between winning and losing. You have to ask yourself, what you want your car to be, the one that everyone admires for its flashy good looks, or the one that gets you to the top.

   So there you have it, rigid wheels are the thing to go for. They may be heavier and provide a more dynamic rotating mass, requiring more braking than those flimsy lightweight wheels out there but then, that is a whole new subject.

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










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