RCScrapyard ► Iconic Vintage Radio Controlled (RC) Model Car Archive ► FS Racing / Hiroda Desert Truck - Thunderbolt.
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1/8 Scale Nitro Truck/Truggy:

FS Racing Desert Truck - Thunderbolt - # FS-31901 / # FS-31902 (Radio Controlled Model Review)


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


  Introduced by FS Racing circa 2009, the 4WD Thunderbolt Desert Truck - # FS-31901 / # FS-31902 - and came with either a CY 21CXP, or 25CXP engine, disc brake system and radio system.

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

FS Racing Desert Truck - Thunderbolt - 1:8 Nitro
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  To race the FS Racing Thunderbolt, 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.

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★ FS-Racing Thunderbolt ★
FS-Racing Thunderbolt

★ FS-Racing Thunderbolt Chassis ★
FS-Racing Thunderbolt Chassis

★ FS-Racing Thunderbolt Chassis ★
FS-Racing Thunderbolt Chassis


Buying a Used FS Racing Thunderbolt Truck (and What to look for)


   Buying a used FS Racing Thunderbolt 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 FS Racing 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 FS Racing 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 FS 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 FS Racing Thunderbolt 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 Thunderbolt 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 Thunderbolt 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 Thunderbolt 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 FS Racing Thunderbolt 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 FS Racing 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 Thunderbolt 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

Bumpsteer

   In plain language, Bumpsteer is exactly what it sounds like. If your car goes over a bump, it will affect the toe-in setting and can on some tracks make handling of the car in a straight line difficult.

   To check if your car might have any problems with bumpsteer, have it in race mode, with the motor and battery etc in position. Place the car on a flat surface and push down your car at the front. Looking down from above, keep a close eye on the wheels and watch for any angular movement to the side. If there is then you have bumpsteer.

   For off road cars, because of them having longer dampers in comparison to on road, a small amount of toe out is considered by many as acceptable in the lower position and can sometimes be used as a tuning option because of its aggressive effect on turning ability when entering corners. On road cars, because of the shorter damper movement and the greater need for precise steering and stability in a straight line, generally have less of a problem. However if bumpsteer is detected, drivers generally try to eliminate this as much as possible.

   The standard settings for most kits from all manufacturers are adjusted to reduce bumpsteer as much as they can and it is only when you come to make changes to those settings yourself, to suit your personal driving style that bumpsteer can become a problem.

   Any changes you might make to the steering links or the caster could induce some bumpsteer, so you should check for it each time you make any adjustments in these areas.

   To adjust bumpsteer try adding or removing washers under each steering link outer ball stud. More washers will increase and fewer washers reduce bumpsteer.

   Steering geometry can be tricky to setup for those new to the sport and even some more experienced racers can struggle with this problem. So, unless you are having major problems with your cars handling, try to avoid making any radical changes and if you do, remember to only make one change at a time and make a note of it for future reference, incase you need to remove it.

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







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.










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