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1/10 Scale Electric Buggy:

Hirobo Bearcat (Radio Controlled Model)


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History + Information (and How To Set-up Tips):


  Introduced by Hirobo circa 1986, the 2WD Bearcat Buggy was essentially the Hirobo Tomcat with a full lexan bodyshell and came with a 540 motor and mechanical speed controller.

  The model is belt driven, on a molded plastic chassis, with four wheel independant suspension, a gear type differential, coil spring over oil filled dampers (front mono), dogbone drive-shafts, anti roll bars, bushings and ball bearings.

  The Bearcat was distributed in the USA by Gorham Model Products.

  A Bearcat SS version with a white plastic roll-cage, hard plastic nose cover and improved dampers was introduced circa 1987.

Hirobo Bearcat
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  To race the Hirobo Bearcat, it requires a high level of tuning for improved stability when cornering, to keep it on the track and give you more grip under acceleration. Even the smallest change in your cars settings can make a Big difference. Our simple to follow instruction chart will show how to attain the best Set-up for your personal requirements.

  With simple to follow language, we can point you towards the correct Electric Motor for your Bearcat and achieve the best Gearing, for your battery and motor combination.

  Learn the secrets the professionals have known for years to get the best from their Bearings using a number of simple tips. See how you can easily avert Radio interference, and the best way to safely Charge your Batteries, for improved acceleration and more run time.









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★ Hirobo Bearcat ★
Hirobo Bearcat

★ Hirobo Bearcat Chassis ★
Hirobo Bearcat Chassis

★ Hirobo Bearcat Chassis ★
Hirobo Bearcat Chassis

★ Hirobo Bearcat Chassis ★
Hirobo Bearcat Chassis

★ Hirobo Bearcat Chassis ★
Hirobo Bearcat Chassis


Buying a Used Hirobo Bearcat
Buggy (and What to look for)


   Buying a used Hirobo Bearcat 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 Hirobo 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 Hirobo 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 Hirobo 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 Hirobo Bearcat 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 Bearcat 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 Bearcat Buggy model at a competitive level, I would also recommend you obtain and fit titanium pivot shafts, turnbuckles, tie rods and steering rods.

   Drive Belts need checking at regular intervals for wear, tension and damage. If deemed necessary, adjust the tensioning pulley until the belt can be depressed in the centre by no more than around 5mm. If the belt was slack, also examine the drive pulleys for wear. The teeth should provide a well seated fit for the belt teeth and not be rounded on the corners. If the belt teeth do not fit snugly, change the pulleys as soon as possible. For top level racing it may be prudent to replace all belts and pulleys 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 Bearcat 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 Hirobo Bearcat 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 Hirobo 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 Bearcat model and good racing.


For More on how to Setup your Buggy, 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


Electric Motors for RC Models

Winds and Turns

Q/  What does 15x2 or 17x3 mean?
A/  The first number relates to the number of times the wires are wound round each of the 3 armature segments, the second number relates to the number of wires side by side. So a 15x2 would have 2 wires laid side by side and wrapped around each segment 15 times.

Q/  What is the difference in performance between a Low Turn motor (eg 11x1) and a High Turn motor (eg 27x1)?
A/  A Motor with Less Turns like an 11x1 means high current draw from the batteries which corresponds to less runtime, but More Power (Torque or Punch) Best for tracks with lots of corners and short straights where fast acceleration is needed. (use a small pinion)
Motors with More Turns like a 27x1 give you More runtime, but Less Power. So you get a smoother response and are therefore easier to drive. Better for less experienced drivers and Long straight, sweeping corner tracks. (with a large pinion) This is correct for Brushed, Modified and Stock Motors as well as Brushless Motors.

Q/  How do the number of winds effect a motor?
A/  A Motor with More Winds (number of wires eg 13x5) is less demanding on the battery and smoother in acceleration. Best for low grip, slippery tracks.
A Low Wind Motor (eg 11x1) is more punchy and can be difficult to handle. Best on high grip, hot weather Tarmac, or indoor carpet, high acceleration, low speed tracks.

Advance and Retard

Q/  What is Advance and Retard?
A/  On the Endbell of a Modified Motor (where the brushes fit) you will find two screws that hold the Endbell to the Can. If these screws are slackened off slightly the Endbell can then be twisted either Clockwise (Advance) or Anticlockwise (Retard). On Sensorless Brushless Motors this adjustment can generally be made in a similar way (although there are some Brushless Motors that have fixed timing for Spec level racing). Sensored Motors can be adjusted via the ESC.

Q/  What does "Advancing" the Endbell position do?
A/  Advancing the Endbell Reduces runtime, increases Punch (acceleration) and RPM to give a higher top speed.
On the down side, for Brushed Motors, the brushes wear faster and the increased current draw creates more arcing thus increased heat and Commutator (Comm) wear. Brushless Motors can lose some efficiency at the end of a race because of overheating due to increased current draw.

Q/  What does "Retarding" the Endbell position do?
A/  On both Brushed and Brushless Motors, Retarding the Endbell Increases runtime, decreases Punch (acceleration) and RPM to give a lower top speed and for Brushed Motors, brush wear and Commutator (Comm) wear is reduced.

Brushed Motor Basics

Q/  What is the effect of hard and soft Brushes?
A/  Basically, Hard brushes give a lower current draw, so consequently give longer run times and lower torque so less punch (acceleration)
Soft Brushes on the other hand increase current draw thus give higher torque and increased acceleration. Of course the down side of this is that Soft brushes wear much faster and must be changed more often. (I change mine when they get to around 5mm)

Q/  How does changing the brush spring change the motor?
A/  If you fit Stiffer Brush Springs your motor will have More power at low revs and also a lower top speed. I only ever fit stiff springs on bumpy tracks to reduce brush bounce.
Weaker springs reduce power but increase RPM so give less acceleration but a higher top speed. Good for long, sweeping, smooth tracks, where you can carry good speed through the corners.

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







Hints and Tips

Sway Bars

   On most forms of RC model cars, Sway Bars, also referred to as Stabilizers, Torsion Bars, or more commonly in some parts as Anti Roll Bars, are often nothing more than a short length of spring steel, clamped to the chassis or sometimes the gearbox of the car, extending out to the lower wishbones direct or connected to the wishbones using short adjustable or fixed length links and ball joints, depending on their position.

   The principal behind the Sway Bar is simple. As the car enters a corner, weight is transferred to the outside wheels, the chassis rolls due to inertia and the suspension dips and grip on the inside wheels is reduced. In an effort to counter this dipping effect and transfer some grip back to the inside wheels to improve traction as you exit the corner, the sway bars transfer the dip of the outside, to pull down the inside wishbones, improving grip on the outside wheels and improving overall stability.

   Sounds complicated I know, but for some tracks sway bars can be a useful tool when you have exhausted all other options to correct your handling problems.

   Tuning your Sway Bars is quite easy. Some manufacturers do offer colour coded tuning sets with varying thicknesses of spring steel wire, but the best way is to change the position the bar is attached to the wishbone, or on some variations you have the option of positioning the link on the Sway Bar itself. By simply moving a small collet clamped along the short length of the bar. Closer to the central pivot point reduces the leverage of the bar and effectively increasing its resistance, further away from the pivot point reducing resistance. More fine tuning can be achieved by adjusting the length of the turnbuckle link (if available) to pre load the bar.

   Personally, before I ever installed any sway bars I would always try changing damper tuning springs and oil viscosity settings, especially if the track was uneven and bumpy, in which case the effectiveness of the bars was minimal if at all.

   For those more into Drifting, Sway Bars can be an easy way to fine tune your car. A single turn on the turnbuckle links can be a way to simply increase or decrease wheel traction that minute amount you need to get the perfect balance.

   For more on how to use Sway Bars check out our Set-up tips page linked below.

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










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