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RCScrapyard Radio Controlled Models
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1/5 Scale Nitro Buggy:

H.A.R.M. BX-1 - # 1541000 (Radio Controlled Model Review)


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History, Info (and How To Set-up Tips) for the BX-1:


  Introduced by H.A.R.M. Racing circa 2003, the 2WD BX-1 Buggy - # 1541000 - came with a Zenoah G23RC engine.

  The model was based on an alloy double deck chassis, with a gear type differential, coil spring over oil filled dampers, dogbone drive-shafts and ball bearings.

Harm BX-1
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  To race the HARM BX-1, it requires time and patience, to tune and adjust for improvements in handling and steering ability and to get the grip you need to stay on course when manoeuvring around tight, slippery corners. A little can be a lot when it comes to changing your cars settings and our easy methodical directions will guide you to the best Set-up to help you win and keep you winning.

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★ HARM BX-1 Buggy ★
HARM BX-1 Buggy

★ HARM BX-1 Buggy ★
HARM BX-1 Buggy

★ HARM BX-1 Buggy Chassis ★
HARM BX-1 Buggy Chassis

★ HARM BX-1 Buggy Chassis ★
HARM BX-1 Buggy Chassis

★ HARM BX-1 Buggy Chassis ★
HARM BX-1 Buggy Chassis


Buying a Used HARM BX-1 Buggy (and What to look for)


   Buying a used HARM BX-1 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 HARM 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 HARM 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 HARM 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 HARM BX-1 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 BX-1 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 BX-1 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 BX-1 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 HARM BX-1 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 HARM 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 BX-1 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

Painting a Lexan Body Shell.

   Most RC Model kits come with an unpainted, clear Lexan plastic Body Shell you yourself must prepare and paint. This type of Body Shell is painted on the inside and special spray or brush on Polycarbonate Paints MUST be used.

   The beauty of this is you can go wild and show off your artistic ability, or simply choose your favourite colour and add some choice decals later.

   This article is for those who have never done this kind of thing before and need some basic guidance.


   Firstly, cut off the waste from the body shell with sharp scissors. If required finish off the rounded wheel arches with smooth sandpaper wrapped around a drinks can.

   Any holes for body posts must also be drilled before painting. Place the clear body shell over the model and adjust the posts so the shell is in the desired position. Where the posts touch the shell make a small dot with a marker pen.
Next, pierce small holes in the shell where the dots are from the inside. Place the shell on an old piece of wood and drill the post holes, again, from the inside.

   The next thing to do is clean it inside and out. Any small amount of impurity such as oil or grease could impair the adhesion of the paint.
For this, fill a bowl with water and use a small amount of washing up liquid with a soft sponge. Never use a scourer. Rinse well to ensure no residue remains.

   Most Body Shells come with a set of sticky back paper masks for the windows etc that are positioned on the inside. If not supplied, you will have to either make your own, or use masking tape. Run your thumb nail around the edges of each mask to ensure contact paint can creep into any open area and easily ruin your hard work, so please be vigilant.

   Tip: To protect against paint spilling out onto the outside of the body shell, use masking tape around the outside edges and wheel arches.

   Now you are ready to begin applying your paint. Find a well ventilated area and if spraying, use a breathing mask.
Three or four sprayed, or at least two brushed layers are recommended allowing around thirty minutes between layers.

   Once the paint is fully dry, to protect the paint from scratching, spray or brush over it with one or two layers of clear plastic varnish.

   When the varnish is completely dry, carefully remove the window masks. If necessary, use a modelling knife to lift an edge to grasp between your thumb and finger DO NOT RUSH.

   Decals can now be placed on your body shell. So they adhere better I recommend any square edges are rounded. This reduced the tendency for them to peel off.

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







Hints and Tips


How to Charge Rechargeable Batteries
for Radio Controlled Models

Ni-Cad (Nickel Cadmium) Batteries


1/  All Ni-Cad Batteries have to be Discharged soon after use. This is to avoid the dreaded "Memory" effect that on subsequent re-charges can cause a momentary drop in performance during a race. A simple discharger can be made from a car 12v bulb.

2/  Try to time your charge to complete just before a race. This will ensure maximum punch and duration. If a Ni-Cad is left to cool after a charge this advantage dissipates.

3/  The higher the charge current the more Punch the Ni-Cad battery will have (up to around 8 amps), however, the downside to this is a reduction in duration and effective battery life.

4/  Ni-Cad Batteries should be left to cool for about an hour after use before recharging. This will increase the effective life of the battery.


Ni-Mh (Nickel Metal Hydride) Batteries


1/  Never charge Ni-Mh batteries at a current higher than 4.5 amps. Although these batteries can give a higher voltage than Ni-Cad Batteries, they are much more sensitive and easy to damage if charged too quickly.

2/  Charging methods for Ni-Mh batteries can also be detrimental. The best I found was the "Slope" method. Avoid "Pulse" charging as this tends to effect crystal formation detrimentally and (it seems to kill them off) thus reduces duration over time.

3/  If using a temperature cut off charger on Ni-Mh batteries set to no more than 40 Degrees Centigrade. Any higher than this can damage the crystals.

4/  It is not necessary to discharge Ni-Mh Batteries. Unlike Ni-Cad batteries they do not develop a memory. Also, if they are totally discharged they sometimes will not charge straight after and need to be coaxed with a 10 minute trickle charge.

5/  Ni Mh Batteries can be recharged shortly after use without any discernable detrimental effects.


Li-Po (Lithium-Polymer) Batteries


1/  Li-Po batteries are a huge step forward in performance compared with Ni-Cad and Ni-Mh batteries. However, care has to be taken when charging. If certain procedures are not followed they could burst into flames or even explode, therefore I do not recommend Li-Po batteries for RC beginners.

2/  Li-Po batteries are more expensive and have a shorter effective life. Generally considered to be between 200 to 400 charge cycles compared to 1000+ for Ni-Cad and Ni-Mh.

3/  Consider a Battery pack listed as "2S 5000Mah 40c 2C".
"2S" is the number of cells in the pack, in this case 2 cells. Each cell provides around 3.7 Volts, so a 2S pack is around 7.4 Volts.
"5000Mah" (Mili-Amp-Hours) is the capacity. The amount of charge the pack can hold.
"40c" is the maximum Discharge rate. Which in our example would be calculated as 5000 (Mah) x 40 = 200000Ma (200 Amps).
"2C" is the maximum Charge rate. 1C being 5 Amps, so in our example 2 x 5 = 10 Amps.

4/  To safely charge your Li-Po Battery I would recommend a good Computerised charger, preferably one that can handle a Charge current of around 25A and always place the charging battery on a fireproof surface.

5/  Finally. NEVER leave your charging Li-Po battery unattended and NEVER EVER charge it above the recommended rate. When not in use, store with around 60% charge remaining in a fireproof box.


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









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