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1/5 Scale Nitro Truck/Truggy:

CEN Matrix5-T (Radio Controlled Model)


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History, Info (and How To Set-up Tips) for the Matrix5 T:


  Introduced by CEN in 2009, the Matrix5 T Truck - (# 5003 - 4WD + # 5006 - 2WD), was based on a shaft-driven, alloy plate chassis, with gear differentials, front CVD (Constant Velocity Drive), rear dogbones, coil spring over oil filled dampers and 30cc engine.

CEN Matrix5-T
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  To race the CEN Matrix5 T, it must be fine tuned to improve handling, provide responsive steering and give you the grip to cruise around corners at high speed, without slipping off the track. Small adjustments can make a Big difference and our step by step procedure, will guide you to the best Set-up for your individual driving style.

  Our simple guide explains "run in" and what to look for as you tune the Nitro Engine for your Matrix5 T.

  Using plain language, our guide will show you how to avoid Radio interference, and Servo Twitch, by positioning your radio receiver and implementing the latest innovations. Find out how to reduce friction and improve the performance of your CEN Matrix5 T Bearings with a few common sense hints and tips.









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★ CEN Matrix5-T Chassis ★
CEN Matrix5-T Chassis

★ CEN Matrix5-T Chassis ★
CEN Matrix5-T Chassis


Buying a Used CEN Matrix5 T Truck (and What to look for)


   Buying a used CEN Matrix5 T Nitro Truck, 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 Truck you may discover can easily be fixed.

Dampers
   When you receive your used CEN Truck, 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 Matrix5 T 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 Matrix5 T 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 Matrix5 T Truck 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 Truck 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 Truck 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 Truck 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 Truck 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 Matrix5 T 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 Matrix5 T 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 Truck 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 Matrix5 T model and good racing.


For More on how to Setup your Truck, 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.


















Hints and Tips

Wheel Balancing

   At the tender age of 17 I passed my driving test. Of course, the first thing I did was to dash over to my girlfriends house and take her out to a long straight stretch of road close by where the boy racers would often congregate. No one was around that day, so the road was relatively quiet. I slowly went through the gears and we reached 65 with no problems, but as we got closer to 70, my hands sensed a small vibration on the steering wheel. By the time we reached 75, the steering wheel and the whole car was vibrating hard. I remember my girlfriend screaming for me to "slow down," Which I did of course and tried to laugh it off.

   Back home I told my dad what had happened and he reminded me, that just the week before we had put on a new set of front tires and it must be the balance that is out. Sure enough, after the wheels were balanced, 85, 90, was not a problem, the car drove perfectly.

   So, when I got deeper into RC, that memory returned and now I balance all my wheels.

   These days, wheel balancing equipment for RC cars was available from most RC model shops, but back then I had to make my own using the rear end of an old Tamiya F1 car. Here's how I did it.

   With the tire and insert mounted and glued, the wheel was fitted onto my home made balancer and allowed to settle. I would then gently turn the wheel through 90 degrees and again allow it to settle. Obviously the heavy side of the wheel would drop to the bottom due to gravity. Once I was satisfied, I would then make a mark on the rim with a felt tip pen at the top of the wheel where it came to rest. Removing the wheel I would mix a small amount of plastic resin and press a tiny amount of this into a recess on the wheel on the side where I made the mark. The whole process was then repeated until I was totally satisfied.

   I was amazed just how out of balance some of those wheels were and how much a small thing like that can make a difference on the track.

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







Hints and Tips

Slipper Clutch and Hydra-Drive

   More often installed on off road RC Models, the Slipper Clutch has been around since the late 1990s. Basically the idea is to prevent wheel spin and increase traction under acceleration, to improve the cars stability from a standing start, when landing from jumps or on corner exits. It also protects the spur gear and drivetrain, to some degree, when using a high torque motor.

   The design is quite simple, employing two independent metal plates, one generally fixed to the spur gear and the other to the drive mechanism, clamping onto a fibre or rubber ring or pad. Adjustment is commonly achieved by slackening or tightening a spring loaded nut on the end of the spur gear mount.

   Setting up the slipper clutch can take some time and is a matter of individual preference, but normally the way to do this is from a standing start, jamming on the throttle and simply getting the feel of the car for that particular surface, being grass, gravel or dust. Personally I adjust it to give me around a metre and a half slip, before it achieves full drive. Wear on the slipper clutch is natural and often has to be readjusted after each race.

   The Hydra-Drive, or Fluid Coupling design has actually been around since the 1950s, but only came to RC a couple of years after the introduction of the slipper clutch. In principle, the Hydra-Drive is supposed to give similar results to the slipper clutch but need less continuous adjustment. In practice, for me anyway, it was not easy to live with.

   Hydra-Drives employ two independent impellers, immersed in silicone oil and enclosed in a sealed housing. Again, like the slipper clutch, one impeller is fixed to the spur gear, the other the drive. As power is applied, the spur gear will spin its impeller, until through the oil, drive is picked up by the drive impellor. The only real way to adjust the drive was to change the oil viscosity, or in some, the gap between the impellers could be adjusted by shims. All this took time and as far as I am aware, the Hydra-Drive is no longer used in RC.

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










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