RCScrapyard ► Iconic Vintage Radio Controlled (RC) Model Car Archive ► Heng-Long Mad-Truck.
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1/10 Scale Electric Truck/Truggy:

Heng-Long Mad Truck - # 3851-2 (Radio Controlled Model Review)


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


  Introduced by Heng-Long circa 2002, the 4WD Mad Truck - # 3851-2 - came RTR with a 550 brushed, or brushless motor, ESC, radio system and was available with a number of bodyshell options.

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

Heng-Long Mad-Truck
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  To race the Heng Long Mad Truck, 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.

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★ Heng-Long Mad Truck ★
Heng-Long Mad Truck

★ Heng-Long Mad Truck Chassis ★
Heng-Long Mad Truck Chassis

★ Heng-Long Mad Truck Chassis ★
Heng-Long Mad Truck Chassis

★ Heng-Long Mad Truck Chassis ★
Heng-Long Mad Truck Chassis


Buying a Used Heng Long Mad Truck (and What to look for)


   Buying a used Heng Long Mad Truck Electric 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 Heng Long 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 Heng Long 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 Heng Long 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 Heng Long Mad Truck 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 Mad Truck 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 Mad 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 Electric Motor 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 Electric Motor mount and remember to check them for security after every two or three runs.

   Ball joints always cause problems. For top level Electric 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 Mad Truck 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 Heng Long Mad Truck 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 Heng Long 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 Mad Truck model and good racing.


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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


Rechargeable Batteries
for RC Models


   At the time this article was written, there are four types of Rechargeable Batteries that are commonly in use for Radio Controlled Models.
Ni-Cad (Nickel Cadmium) Batteries have been around the longest. My first stick battery, purchased way back in 1987 was rated at 1200Mah (Mili Amp Hours) and with a silver can 27 Turn motor my Tamiya Boomerang would run around in the back yard for a good seven minutes before slowly coming to a stop. Ni-Cad development continued until around 1998 to a maximum rating of around 2000Mah and matchers pack builders and battery technicians were able to put together six cell packs with voltages approaching 7.4 Volts, to give those that could afford them, an edge over the rest.

   Ni-Mh (Nickel Metal Hydride) Batteries came along in the late 1990s and by the year 2000 were available at ratings up to 3000Mah. Again, matchers and pack builders worked hard to provide the ardent racer with packs to provide that little bit of extra power and ESC manufacturers also chipped in with improved controllers to take full advantage of this new technology.
   Now the problem wasn't gearing the car to get to the end of the race using the available battery power, but to find the brushed motor that could handle gear setting that provided the speed and acceleration without the motor overheating and wearing the commutator too much so it needed a skim after every 2 runs. My favourite at that time was the 9 Double.

   More recently, Li-Po (Lithium-Polymer) Batteries have appeared on the scene, providing are a huge step forward in performance when compared with Ni-Cad and Ni-Mh batteries. However, Li-Po Batteries are much more expensive than previous battery types, have a shorter effective life of between 200 and 400 charge cycles, compared to well over 1000 charge cycles for Ni-Cad and Ni-Mh and a high degree of care has to be taken when charging Li-Po batteries. They have been known to burst into flames or even explode, for this reason I do not recommend Li-Po batteries for RC beginners.
   Another problem with Li-Po packs is they are physically bigger in size, so for those with older "Vintage" models, they may not fit into the provided space for the battery on the chassis.

   The latest development in battery technology for RC are Li-Ion. Originally produced for Laptops, Ipods, Tablets and the like, they are now available for RC models. Much like Li-Po for price and charge cycle life, the power and capacity is a moderate improvement, but for me, at the moment, not worth the expense.

   One final word of warning. NEVER leave your charging Li-Po or Li-Ion battery unattended when being charged and NEVER above the recommended charge rate. After use, store each battery with about 60% charge remaining and always in a fireproof bag.


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






Hints and Tips


Bearings

   If you are serious about your racing, looking after your bearings is essential if you are to remain competitive.
   My own experience is in both Off and On Road, National and International Car racing, but most of these tips could be useful to all forms of RC.

   Shields: The main problem with Ball Bearing Shields is they create friction and obviously the more you can reduce friction, the more efficient your bearings will be, so here's a tip that does just that.
   Wheel Bearings always come in pairs, positioned side by side. If you think about it, the two inside shields on each bearing are not required, so ... you can remove them using a small jewelers screwdriver ... simple. And in one fell swoop you have halved your wheel bearing friction.

   Cleaning: All Bearings need to be cleaned from time to time. Depending on how focused and competitive you are, this can be as often as after each race meeting, or just once or twice a year ... For Club Meetings once or twice a year might be all you need if you are easily beating your competition, but for the BIG meets you need that extra 5% or 10% just to be up with the rest.
What you need is a small glass jar, a jewelers screwdriver, an old tooth brush and some Isopropanol.
Remove the shields, then drop the bearings in the jar, add some Isopropanol, pop on the lid and shake well. Empty them out, give them a good brushing and make sure they spin free then repeat the process. Clean the shields separately. Once you are satisfied, lay them on a piece of kitchen roll and allow to dry.

   Lubrication: The arguments I have had about what lubrication to use you wouldn't believe. Some of the top racers of my day swore they didn't use any at all, but cleaned out the original lubrication and ran them dry ... they also admitted to fitting a new set after each meeting ... well, they were getting them for free.
My tip is, yes even with a new set of bearings, clean out the original lubrication (as described above) and with one shield in place use the thinnest oil you can find ... I recommend ZX1 (Zed Ex One) or sewing machine oil.

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









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