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1/16 Scale Nitro Rally/Touring Car:

Himoto Mini Interceptor - # HI9116 (Radio Controlled Model Review)


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


  Introduced by Himoto Racing circa 2007, the 4WD Mini Interceptor Touring Car - # HI9116 - came with an .05CXP engine 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, bushings and ball bearings.

  This same model was also available from HSP Racing as the Starpace.

Himoto Mini Interceptor
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  To race the Himoto Mini Interceptor, 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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★ Himoto Mini Interceptor ★
Himoto Mini Interceptor

★ Himoto Mini Interceptor Chassis ★
Himoto Mini Interceptor Chassis

★ Himoto Mini Interceptor Chassis ★
Himoto Mini Interceptor Chassis


Buying a Used Himoto Mini Interceptor
Touring Car (and What to look for)


   Buying a used Himoto Mini Interceptor Nitro Touring Car, 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 road.

   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 Touring Car you may discover can easily be fixed.

Dampers
   When you receive your used Himoto Touring Car, 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 Mini Interceptor 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 Mini Interceptor 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 Mini Interceptor Touring Car 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 Touring Car 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 road, if you intend to race your Touring Car 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 Touring Car 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 Touring Car 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 Mini Interceptor 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 Mini Interceptor 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 Touring Car 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 Mini Interceptor 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

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

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.










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