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1/8 Scale Nitro Buggy:

CEN Matrix-R2 (Radio Controlled Model)


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History, Info (and How To Set-up Tips) for the Matrix R2:


  Introduced in 2009, the CEN Matrix R2 Nitro Buggy - # 9571, was based on a 4WD shaft driven, 3mm alloy plate chassis with composite plastic stiffeners, has cross pin gear differentials, CVS (Constant Velocity Shafts), anti roll bars, coil spring over oil filled dampers and a 4.3cc engine.

  The upgraded Matrix R2 factory race edition - # 9573, also known as the Matrix FRE, was introduced in the same year.

CEN Matrix-R2
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  To race the CEN Matrix R2, it needs to be tuned to perfection for better stability, precise steering and provide enough grip to keep you on the track when going around tight bends at high speed. Even the smallest adjustment can change the feel of a car and our simple to follow instructions will guide you to the best Set-up to get you to the front and keep you there.

  Our basic instructions will help you set-up and fine tune the Nitro Engine for your Matrix R2.

  With a few simple tips, we will show you how to easily avert Radio interference, and Servo problems, by simply repositioning the receiver or using some of the latest developments. Learn how to combat friction and get more from your CEN Matrix R2 Bearings with a few common sense hints and tips.









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★ CEN Matrix R2 Chassis ★
CEN Matrix R2 Chassis

★ CEN Matrix R2 Chassis ★
CEN Matrix R2 Chassis

★ CEN Matrix R2 FRE Chassis ★
CEN Matrix R2 FRE Chassis


Buying a Used CEN Matrix R2 Buggy (and What to look for)


   Buying a used CEN Matrix R2 Nitro 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 CEN 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 CEN 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 CEN 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 CEN Matrix R2 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 Matrix R2 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 Matrix R2 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 Nitro Engine 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 Nitro Engine mount and remember to check them for security after every two or three runs.

   Ball joints always cause problems. For top level Nitro 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 Matrix R2 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 CEN Matrix R2 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 CEN 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 Matrix R2 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.





















★ CEN Matrix R2 Chassis ★
CEN Matrix R2 Chassis


Hints and Tips

Toe Angle

   When you first build your RC model car, you will no doubt have made all the settings advised in the manufacturers' manual and will take it out on the back yard not thinking of things like camber, caster or toe-in I know I did. It's only when you get competitive that you start learning about these things and just what a big difference they can make to the handling of your car. One of the more effective of these adjustments is Toe-in.

   The term, toe-in, toe-out, or toe-angle, refers to the alignment of the front or rear wheels, when viewed from above and is easily adjusted via the track rods or turnbuckles that link to the steering mechanism or directly to the steering servo horn.

   Front toe-in reduces steering when entering a corner, but improves steering response on corner exit under acceleration. On the straights, toe-in will also improve the cars stability while accelerating.

   Front toe-out will improve steering on corner entry, but makes the car unstable under acceleration on the straights and on bumpy tracks. The usual recommendation is to have up to 1 degree of either toe-in or toe out.

   Rear toe-in is generally found as the standard setting on most on-road and off-road RC models.

   More rear toe-in provides the car with more power under-steer, as well as improved stability and rear end traction. This setting is recommended for low grip tracks.

   Less rear toe-in slightly reduces steering on corner entry, but improved steering under acceleration.

   To measure toe-angle, I used to use my trusty vernier callipers to measure the width at the front of the wheels and the rear of the wheels and using this information along with the diameter of the wheels simply calculate the angle. Or, you could alternatively use this data to draw a triangle on a sheet of paper and measure the angle with your trusty school protractor.

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







Hints and Tips

Keeping Notes

   If all you will ever do is go racing at your local track every week, then this article is not for you. However, if you ever look towards travelling around to different tracks around the country, or even the world, the value of keeping notes is all too obvious.

   Every time I raced in a regional or national competition meeting, I would make detailed notes, aided by a little local knowledge initially and later fine tuned to suit my own driving style.

   My experience now means there are few, if any outdoor tarmac tracks within a 300 mile radius I haven been to and my notes on motor, gearing, camber angles, shock settings, tire choice and what inserts work best for that particular track, amongst others, allow me to save valuable time on the finer points of car setup, that can be done in the warmth of my own home on the kitchen table days before the meeting, instead of the often crippling heat, or the arduous conditions inside a wind blown tent.

   There are lots of methods for making notes on setup. The easiest perhaps is to download the blank pages often supplied by your cars manufacturer with a line drawing of your car and spaces for you to fill in as to the setting you prefer. Great if each time you go to a particular track the conditions are always constant. Notes made on a cold windy day will be little use on a hot sunny days racing on the same track.

   Manufacturers setup pages for their top drivers can also be useful as a starting point, but you should never take that setup as being the best there could ever be.

   So, the first note you should make is of the weather conditions. The wind and its direction isn't really what I am talking about, although it can have an effect on your cars handling, it is not something you can change your setup to handle. Track temperature and humidity are the main things to note. Not the average for the day, but for each round of racing. And note what tires you used and how the car handled in each race. Detail everything that might be useful in the future, no matter how trivial.

   Note the motor used and the gearing. Check the temperature of the motor after the race, how much charge is left in the batteries. You may have won the race, but there is always room for improvement your competitors will be doing just that.

   Every bit of information you compile will be useful for the next time you visit that particular venue. Weather forecasts these days are far more accurate than they used to be, so the adage "fore warned is fore armed" fits the bill. Simply search through your notes and find a day you raced with similar conditions to those forecast and set up your car to suit. But don't stop there.

   The conditions may be the same as they were when you made your notes, but that doesn't mean you can't improve your setup. Your practice laps will soon prove if your previous setup was correct, or give you a basis for more fine tuning.

   If you want to be the best, you have to work at it. Success doesn't come easy. You can be the best driver around, but if your setup isn't perfect you will never step up onto the winners rostrum. My motto if you never try anything, you never do anything. And if you never do anything wrong, you aren't trying hard enough.

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










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