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1/8 Scale Nitro Truck/Truggy:

Himoto Cluster (Radio Controlled Model)


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


  Introduced by Himoto Racing circa 2012, the 4WD Cluster Monster Truck - # N8MT - came with a 3.5cc engine and 2.4Ghz radio system.

  The model was shaft driven, on an alloy plate chassis, with 3 x gear type differentials, coil spring over oil filled dampers, rear dogbones, with front universal joint drive-shafts and ball bearings.

Himoto Cluster - 1:8 Nitro Truck
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  To race the Himoto Cluster, 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 Cluster.

  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 Himoto Cluster Bearings with a few common sense hints and tips.









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★ Himoto Cluster ★
Himoto Cluster

★ Himoto Cluster Chassis ★
Himoto Cluster Chassis

★ Himoto Cluster Chassis ★
Himoto Cluster Chassis

★ Himoto Cluster Chassis ★
Himoto Cluster Chassis

★ Himoto Cluster Chassis ★
Himoto Cluster Chassis


Buying a Used Himoto Cluster Truck (and What to look for)


   Buying a used Himoto Cluster 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 Himoto 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 Himoto 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 Himoto 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 Himoto Cluster 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 Cluster 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 Cluster 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 Cluster 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 Himoto Cluster 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 Himoto 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 Cluster 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

Glow Plugs

   Nitro Engines for RC Models, use a system to ignite the fuel mixture, that simply employs a wire coil in a small housing called a Glow Plug. To start the engine, a battery powered Starter, or Glow Igniter is connected to the Glow Plug and electric current heats the coil to white hot, so that when you pull start your engine, the air - fuel mixture in the cylinder is ignited. With the engine now running, the starter is no longer required. Heat generated under compression is enough to keep the coil element hot enough to keep the engine running.

   At some point, the Glow Plug originally supplied with your Engine will invariably burn out, so you will have to purchase a replacement. If your engine isn't too old you should be able to obtain a similar one, but if the manufacturer is no longer in business you may have a problem.
   If you still have the instruction book that came with your engine you may find there are a number of optional plugs available. Most Plugs generally have a code, indicating the plug elements effective operating temperature. These codes vary from manufacturer to manufacturer so be wary if you need to consider a plug from a different Manufacturer than that of your engine.

   Basically, Smaller engines run better with Hot Plugs and Larger engines prefer Cold.
   Nitro fuels for RC engines normally have between 10 to 40 percent Nitromethane (CH3NO2). If you use fuel with a high proportion of Nitro, err towards Cold Plugs. Less Nitro, Hot.

   For example, For a .12ci (2.1cc) Nitro Engine, burning High percentage nitro fuel, a mid range plug would be best for performance.
   While a .21ci (3.5cc) Engine, with Low percentage nitro fuel, would prefer a Hot Plug.

   One more thing you may at some point consider when determining the right plug, is the compression ratio of your engine.
   By removing one of the Head shims you can Increase the compression. More shims, Lower compression. This option is not something I would recommend to those with little knowledge, so if you want to try this please be sure to ask someone with more experience before risking your expensive engine.
   High compression ratio engines run better with Cold Plugs. Conversely, Low compression ratio engines need Hot Plugs.

   If for some reason you use the wrong plug, you will soon know by how the engine runs. With too Hot a Plug, the engine will overheat and could damage your engine. If you hear the engine miss fire at high revs and you see pit marks on the cylinder head and piston, try either a cooler plug, add a shim to the head, or lower percentage Nitro fuel.

   If your Plug is too cold, your engine will idle poorly, lose acceleration and top speed. You will also notice the smell of fuel from the tail pipe. However, be wary, this could also be because of a rich fuel mixture.

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







Hints and Tips

Caster

   Caster is basically the angle the steering kingpins or steering pivot points, leans back in relation to the horizontal when viewed from the side of the chassis.

   To test the effectiveness of your cars caster, place your model on a flat surface, point the front wheels straight ahead and push the chassis over to one side to simulate body roll when cornering. You will notice that as the car leans over, all four wheels also lean over in the same direction. Tires provide the most grip when the wheels are perfectly vertical and the full width of each tire is flat on the ground. Body roll pushes the wheels past the vertical and reduces the amount of tire contact. Now, if you turn the front wheels as if cornering and again push the chassis over, you will see that in this position, the front wheels are now more vertical, giving you better ground contact and therefore improved grip.

   Another effect of caster can be seen by disconnecting your steering servo and pushing your car along the floor. Because of caster and the kingpins leaning back, your car will naturally roll straight ahead.

   Obviously, the more body roll your car induces, the more positive caster you need to counter it. Buggys, Trucks and Truggys, because of their high ride height and long dampers have more body roll and therefore require more positive caster than on road cars, with their low ride height and shorter dampers.

   If you consider a corner as having three parts: An entrance, middle and an exit. Caster influences each of them.

   With a high degree of positive caster, as you enter the corner and body roll is at its greatest, steering is better. In the middle section, as body roll reduces, steering is less effective and some under-steer is induced, that will continue as you accelerate on corner exit.

   With a low amount of caster, steering response is improved in the middle section of low speed turns and will be more likely to over-steer on corner exit because of increased front end grip from the tires.

   Too little caster can result in difficult handling on corners and poor stability on the straights.

   Most modern RC model kits come with a standard caster setting that has been set for the best handling by the manufacturers. If you are new to the sport I would recommend you stick with this setting until you get a little more experience.

   Methods to adjust caster can vary from model to model. Sometimes it is as simple as moving the position of a plastic washer from one side of the top wishbone pivot bar to the other, or simply using a small clip. Models from some manufacturers often have specific caster blocks to change the angle and must be purchased separately.

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










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