RCScrapyard ► Iconic Vintage Radio Controlled (RC) Model Car Archive ► Himoto Vega-Buggy.
RCScrapyard Radio Controlled Models
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1/10 Scale Electric Buggy:

Himoto Vega Buggy - # HI3101 / # HI3101BL (Radio Controlled Model Review)


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


  Introduced by Himoto Racing circa 2007, the 4WD Vega Buggy, later renamed the Zmoto3 and again in 2011 as the ZmotoZ3, was available RTR with either a brushed 540 motor - # HI3101 - or a brushless motor - # HI3101BL - ESC, battery, charger and 2.4Ghz radio system. Circa 2011, this model was re-named the ZmotoZ3.

  The model is shaft driven, on a molded plastic chassis, with alloy top deck, gear type differentials, coil spring over oil filled dampers, dogbone drive-shafts and ball bearings.

  This model was also available from HSP Racing as the XSTR Pro.

Himoto Vega-Buggy
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  To race the Himoto Vega Buggy, 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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★ Himoto Vega Buggy ★
Himoto Vega Buggy

★ Himoto Vega Buggy Chassis ★
Himoto Vega Buggy Chassis

★ Himoto Vega Buggy Chassis ★
Himoto Vega Buggy Chassis

★ Himoto Vega Buggy Chassis ★
Himoto Vega Buggy Chassis


Buying a Used Himoto Vega Buggy (and What to look for)


   Buying a used Himoto Vega Electric 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 Himoto 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 Himoto 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 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 Vega 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 Vega 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 Vega 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 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 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 Vega 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 Vega 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 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 Vega 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

Getting into RC

   When I first got into racing RC, all I had was a three year old clapped out Tamiya Boomerang, a silver can stock motor, three step mechanical speed controller, two 1400Mah stick batteries and basic Acoms stick transmitter.

   I was the newbie and most of the guys I was racing against had all the latest models, modified motors, matched batteries and top spec radio equipment, but I was still beating them easily. Why? The answer is simple: Practice. I had been driving that old car around my back yard and in the local park for almost three years. The others bought their cars only a few weeks or months earlier and had pestered their parents for the latest and most expensive car, motor etc, but did not have the experience to be able to control it. While I was steadily trundling around the track, they were crashing out on every other corner, popping ball joints, breaking wishbones and generally causing havoc.

   The moral of this story is all too obvious and anyone starting up in RC who wants to race please take note. You don't need the best equipment to win races. You can start with a cheap basic kit and with a lot of practice in some wide open spaces where you will not cause any damage, learn how to control your car. Remember don't try to run before you can walk. Stick with that silver can motor for a while and upgrade to something a little faster only when you have mastered the old one. You don't even have to buy new. If you go down to your local RC Club, there are always cars for sale. They may be battered and bruised, but if you get an old brushed silver can motor, a cheap 5A ESC, a couple of Nicad, or Nimh batteries, charger and simple radio gear, that is all you need to start practising and after a while, winning races.

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







Hints and Tips

Tire Inserts

   Once upon a time, all RC model tires were equal they were all trash. None of the old tires had any kind of internal support, because the hard compound they were made of didn't need it. But that was before the newer soft compounds were developed. These new tires were so soft that if some kind of insert was not used they would just lay flat under the weight of the car. Thus, the new science of tire inserts was born.

   The basic soft foam inserts that come with many off-road rubber tires can be in one of two types. They can be basic rings of sponge, or the cheap and nasty strips of sponge. Both will often need some work done to them before they are inserted into the tires.

   Most of the top off-road drivers will carefully trim the edges of each sponge where they make contact with the inside of the tires. The idea is to reduce the effect of any hard edge when the tire hits the ground. If this is beneficial is debatable, but those I talked to said it does improve grip when cornering.

   On-road cars on the other hand have the luxury of only having to make the choice between hard, medium and soft, molded sponge or rubber inserts that fit snugly inside the wheels and I can testify, the effect of these inserts can make a big difference on the track.

   When you get to the race track, the first thing you check is the track temperature. This gives you an insight into which tire to try first. In my hay day, I would use three compounds, soft medium and hard, each prepared, glued to the wheels with soft, medium and hard inserts, so a total of nine sets of wheels with tires and inserts. Depending on the track temperature, my first practice session would be with the medium insert, then depending on the grip I got from those, I would either stick with them or for more grip try the softer insert. If the car had too much grip and a tendency to over-steer I would move on to the harder insert. Once the right tire and insert combination is found, only then I would try other settings to improve the cars handling. Remember, one change at a time.

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










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