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1/16 Scale Electric Rally/Touring Car:

Acme Racing Panther (Radio Controlled Model Review)


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


  Introduced by Acme Racing circa 2006, the 4WD Panther Touring Car - # A2002T - came RTR with a Brushless motor, ESC and 2.4Ghz radio system.

  The model is shaft driven, on an alloy plate, with plastic top-deck chassis, gear type differentials, coil spring over oil filled dampers, dogbone drive-shafts and ball bearings.

Acme Racing Panther
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  To race the Acme Panther, 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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★ Acme Racing Panther Chassis ★
Acme Racing Panther Chassis

★ Acme Racing Panther Chassis ★
Acme Racing Panther Chassis

★ Acme Racing Panther Chassis ★
Acme Racing Panther Chassis


Buying a Used Acme Racing Panther
Touring Car (and What to look for)


   Buying a used Acme Panther 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 Acme Racing 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 Acme 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 Acme Racing 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 Acme Panther 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 Panther 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 Panther 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 Panther 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 Acme Panther 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 Acme 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 Panther 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


Bearings

   If you are serious about your racing, looking after your bearings is essential if you are to remain competitive.
   My own experience is in both Off and On Road, National and International Car racing, but most of these tips could be useful to all forms of RC.

   Shields: The main problem with Ball Bearing Shields is they create friction and obviously the more you can reduce friction, the more efficient your bearings will be, so here's a tip that does just that.
   Wheel Bearings always come in pairs, positioned side by side. If you think about it, the two inside shields on each bearing are not required, so ... you can remove them using a small jewelers screwdriver ... simple. And in one fell swoop you have halved your wheel bearing friction.

   Cleaning: All Bearings need to be cleaned from time to time. Depending on how focused and competitive you are, this can be as often as after each race meeting, or just once or twice a year ... For Club Meetings once or twice a year might be all you need if you are easily beating your competition, but for the BIG meets you need that extra 5% or 10% just to be up with the rest.
What you need is a small glass jar, a jewelers screwdriver, an old tooth brush and some Isopropanol.
Remove the shields, then drop the bearings in the jar, add some Isopropanol, pop on the lid and shake well. Empty them out, give them a good brushing and make sure they spin free then repeat the process. Clean the shields separately. Once you are satisfied, lay them on a piece of kitchen roll and allow to dry.

   Lubrication: The arguments I have had about what lubrication to use you wouldn't believe. Some of the top racers of my day swore they didn't use any at all, but cleaned out the original lubrication and ran them dry ... they also admitted to fitting a new set after each meeting ... well, they were getting them for free.
My tip is, yes even with a new set of bearings, clean out the original lubrication (as described above) and with one shield in place use the thinnest oil you can find ... I recommend ZX1 (Zed Ex One) or sewing machine oil.

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







Hints and Tips

Damper Pistons

   When you first build your RC model, you will sometimes find that there are a number of different pistons in the kit, with varying numbers of holes or hole sizes in them. Generally, the manufacturer will suggest one particular piston in the car manual and may provide you with a mid range oil weight, but depending on the type of terrain you intend to race your model, their suggestion may not be the best for your needs.

   When it comes to tuning your dampers there are basically two things you need to know about pistons. "Pack" and "Static Damping".

   Pack, is the speed your damper reacts to any quick compression and can be considered to be a consequence of the size or number of holes in the piston. Smaller holes, more pack, larger holes, less pack.

   Static Damping is the amount of resistance you sense when slowly pulling or pushing the piston rod in and out of the damper. As with pack, this is related to the number or size of the piston holes. Larger holes, less static damping, smaller holes more static damping.

   Setting up your dampers is a matter of trial and error. With the car in full race mode, that means with everything installed, place it on a table, then pick up the rear of the car, raising it around six inches and drop it onto the table. The chassis should dip slightly below then back up again to the pre-set ride height, in one smooth movement. If instead, it slaps down onto the table, the pack of your dampers is not enough. In this instance, depending on the setup you are testing, you have two options, thicker oil or smaller holed pistons. If when you do the test the dip is hardly any, then the pack is too hard and you should try thinner oil or bigger holed pistons. Repeat this process for the front of the car. Finally, with both ends adjusted, pick up the entire car and drop it from the same height. Both ends should respond equally when dropped, if not, change your pistons or oil weights until they do.

   After your basic setup, you then need to test your car on the track. If the rear of the car tends to hop excessively over small bumps, the rear dampers have too much pack. You need to change the pistons on the rear for larger holes and also use thicker oil to maintain static damping. If the car chassis bottoms through small bumps and landing on jumps, the pack is not enough. In this instance, change for smaller holes and thinner oil.

   If the car lands nose up from a jump, this is indicative of the front dampers having too much pack. These should be adjusted as described above to keep the car static damping in balance. Nose down obviously means not enough pack ..

   I hope this article has been helpful. Good luck and good racing.

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










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