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1/8 Scale Nitro Rally/Touring Car:

Hirobo Bluebird TurboSSS-S (Radio Controlled Model Review)


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


  Introduced by Hirobo circa 1982, the 2WD model used the New Rusher 8 Buggy chassis, with a Nissan Bluebird TurboSSS-S bodyshell, on-road wheels and tires and was made by the Japanese company specifically for export.

  The model is based on an alloy ladder-frame chassis with mechanics box, cast alloy gearbox with a gear type differential, trailing-arm suspension with coil spring over oil filled dampers, dogbone drive-shafts, bushings and ball bearings.

Hirobo Bluebird TurboSSS-S - New Rusher-8
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  To race the Hirobo Bluebird TurboSSS-S, it requires time and patience, to tune and adjust for improvements in handling and steering ability and to get the grip you need to stay on course when manoeuvring around tight, slippery corners. A little can be a lot when it comes to changing your cars settings and our easy methodical directions will guide you to the best Set-up to help you win and keep you winning.

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★ Hirobo Bluebird TurboSSS-S ★
Hirobo Bluebird TurboSSS-S

★ Hirobo Bluebird TurboSSS-S Chassis ★
Hirobo Bluebird TurboSSS-S Chassis

★ Hirobo Bluebird TurboSSS-S Chassis ★
Hirobo Bluebird TurboSSS-S Chassis


Buying a Used Hirobo Bluebird TurboSSS-S
Touring Car (and What to look for)


   Buying a used Hirobo Bluebird TurboSSS-S 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 Hirobo 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 Hirobo 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 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 Bluebird TurboSSS-S 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 Bluebird TurboSSS-S 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 Bluebird TurboSSS-S 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 Bluebird TurboSSS-S 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 Bluebird TurboSSS-S 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 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 Bluebird TurboSSS-S 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. To test your Glow Plug, remove it from the cylinder head and place it in the igniter. If the coil instantly glows bright orange, the plug is healthy, a weak or no glow at all, indicates probable burn out.

   If your engine isn't too old you should be able to obtain a replacement, 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

Driving On Road

   The basic driving style most commonly used for all forms of on road, tarmac and carpet racing, involves using the full width of the road available and cutting each apex as tight as possible, whilst keeping complete control of the car on the track. The style, often referred to as "Rounding" looks quite simple to those watching, but to get it right needs good hand eye coordination and lots of practice.

   Consider a 180 degree turn. As you enter the corner, start with the car positioned close to the outside of the track, then as you approach the corner brake hard, but not too hard, just enough to slow the car so you maintain control and smoothly guide the car across the point of the apex, gently sweeping round until you are approximately 75% around the corner. At this point, gradually increase the throttle out of the corner, under full control and guiding the car to the opposite outside line. By the time the car is pointing straight on the track, you should be at almost full throttle, before you brake hard again for the next corner.

   Developing this driving style comes in stages. Don't try to run before you can walk, install a low powered motor and practice, practice, practice until it becomes second nature. Then, as your skills improve, try something with a little more power.

   Initially set your transmitter to aggressive breaking and gradually reduce this as you get the feel of the car around the corner. Remember, the faster you enter a corner, the faster you exit it.

   When you first try out this style in a race, be patient, keep the car smooth and controlled. Remember the story about the hare and the tortoise? Well, believe me, when you first start in RC, it works.

   To make this driving style work, the car needs to have the right tires, inserts and a low centre of gravity. Adjust the suspension to provide only a small amount of body-roll and set-up guide linked below to help you set your car to suit your driving style.

   Avoid over-steer, always aim for a little under-steer. Grip is the keyword for the rounding style of driving, but not too much grip. Slicks for outdoor racing and a worn set of Hawgs I found to be best for carpet racing. If your car rolls sideways off the track as you enter the corner, try a harder tire compound, or change the damper springs or oil weights as suggested in our set-up guide. Good luck and good racing.

   If the style you are looking for is to drift slide your car around the corners, I would recommend you perfect the rounding style first, then check out my other hints and tips to learn how.

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










On/Off Road
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