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1/12 Scale Electric On-Road Car:

Bolink Challenger (Radio Controlled Model Review)


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


  Originally introduced by Bolink circa 1979, the 2WD Challenger pan car, took a number of its parts from other manufacturers. For example, from the Swedish Minicar XII, the front arms and motor mount: From Schumacher in England, the ball differential: And the rims from Team Associated.

  It seems there were a number of variations to the basic Challenger chassis over the years: Some with a solid FRP lower deck, others cut-out: Some with a black top plate, others orange: Some mid motor (US), others rear motor (Europe). The configuration was also said to be similar to that of the Minicar XII.

Bolink Challenger
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★ Bolink Challenger Chassis ★
Bolink Challenger Chassis

★ Bolink Challenger Chassis ★
Bolink Challenger Chassis

★ Bolink Challenger ★
Bolink Challenger

★ Bolink Challenger ★
Bolink Challenger


General Information and Advice

   For those starting in Radio Controlled Racing, here are a few Hints and Tips: Firstly, buy a Kit not an RTR. That way, if something breaks you will have some idea how to fix it.

   Radio Controlled Model Cars are very fragile and easily broken. The main parts to protect are the Front Wishbones, Suspension Shock Towers, Dampers, Hub Carriers, Kingpins, Uprights and Toe in Blocks, so make sure you have a good strong front bumper and Lexan or Hard Plastic Body Shell and if available for your model, a protective under tray, to prevent grit and dust getting into any moving parts.

   The Steering Servo is also a weakness in high speed crash situations, so get yourself some good strong Servo Mount and Servo Saver. Also I would recommend Titanium Shafts, Turnbuckles, Tie Rods and pivot/steering shafts and if available for your model, lightweight Titanium Drive shafts, dog bones and CVD (Constant Velocity Drives). The standard steel types are far too easily bent.

   Gearing is another problem area on RC model cars. Head on collisions can easily break off gear teeth on Nylon/Plastic Spur Gears and even Bevel Gears inside the Gearbox. Heavy impacts can also loosen nuts and self taping screws that hold the Motor in Position, allowing the Pinion Gear to pull out of mesh slightly and rip the tops of the teeth on your Spur Gear. To avoid this to some degree, fit locking nuts and a new motor mount from time to time, so the self taping screws that hold the motor in position have less chance to come loose.

   Ball joints always cause problems. For top level Radio Controlled model 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 breaking free could easily end your race, so better safe than sorry.

   Many New car kits come with Nylon and Sintered Brass Ring type bearings. My advice is to discard these before initial installation and buy a good Hop-up set of Shielded Steel Ball Bearings. Or if you are serious about your racing, Teflon or Ceramic Bearings.

   One final piece of advice about the Setup of your Car. Keep the Centre of Gravity as low as possible. Ride Height is all important. For On Road Drift/Touring cars the Ride Height should be no more than 5mm, for Buggys, Trucks, Truggys and Monster Trucks, as low as possible depending on the track conditions. If Body Roll is a problem, handling can be improved with the use of Stabilizers, Anti roll or Sway Bars, stiffer Tuning Springs and, or thicker Silicon Oil in the Dampers. Also find somewhere to mount the Transponder as low in the Chassis as possible.

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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

Bearing Seals

   If you were to ask anyone with a modicum of experience in RC, they will tell you that the best modification you can make to a basic RC model, is to add a set of ball bearings.

   Quite a few of the entrance level models at the time this article was written, come with plastic and sintered brass bushings (ring type bearings). If these bearings are installed in the model and coated with grease as advised in the car manual, dust and grit can be caught in that grease and be dragged into the bearing where it can abrade the shaft that spins in it and it won't be long before it becomes a very sloppy fit, causing all kinds of problems.

   But what should you look for when buying bearings? There are a number of types of seal used on ball bearings and there is much debate concerning which is the best for RC.

   Rubber and Cork bearing shields are two of the more common types available, but although they are very effective when it comes to preventing dust and grit entering the bearing, they also create more drag in the bearing due them rubbing against the bearing to create friction. For this reason, if I wanted to race my model at any level and that model was fitted out with rubber or cork shielded bearings, I would change them ASAP.

   Steel and Teflon bearing shields may not be as effective as the rubber shielded versions, but they don't rub on the bearing, so little or no friction is created. The problem with this kind of bearing of course is that they need much more maintenance and are often more expensive.

   Basic shop bought bearings generally come packed with grease for their lubrication. However, if you want to have your bearings spin freely; grease is not the best thing to use. So, before you install your new bearings in your car, the first thing you need to do is clean out the grease with something like isopropanol and replace with thin oil.

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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