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1/10 Scale Nitro Monster Truck:

Hobao Pirate RT (Radio Controlled Model Review)


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


  Manufactured by Hobao in 2004, the 4WD Pirate RT, or Monster Pirate 10, was based on a shaft driven anodised alloy plate chassis, with 3 x gear type differentials, coil spring over oil filled dampers, CVA drive-shafts and a full set of ball bearings.

  The model was marketed in Europe by Graupner and in the USA by Ofna Racing, renamed the "Pirate 10".

Hobao Pirate RT
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  To race the Hobao Pirate RT, 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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★ Hobao Pirate RT ★
Hobao Pirate RT

★ Hobao Pirate RT Chassis ★
Hobao Pirate RT Chassis

★ Hobao Pirate RT Chassis ★
Hobao Pirate RT Chassis


Buying a Used Hobao Pirate RT
Monster Truck (and What to look for)


   Buying a used Hobao Pirate RT Nitro Monster 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 Hobao website, or purchased separately on eBay. With an instruction manual, any problems with your model Monster Truck you may discover can easily be fixed.

Dampers
   When you receive your used Hobao Monster 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 Hobao 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 Hobao Pirate RT 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 Pirate RT 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 Pirate RT Monster 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 Monster 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 Monster 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 Monster 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 Monster 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 Pirate RT 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 Hobao Pirate RT 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 Hobao Monster 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 Pirate RT 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

Wheel Balancing

   At the tender age of 17 I passed my driving test. Of course, the first thing I did was to dash over to my girlfriends house and take her out to a long straight stretch of road close by where the boy racers would often congregate. No one was around that day, so the road was relatively quiet. I slowly went through the gears and we reached 65 with no problems, but as we got closer to 70, my hands sensed a small vibration on the steering wheel. By the time we reached 75, the steering wheel and the whole car was vibrating hard. I remember my girlfriend screaming for me to "slow down," Which I did of course and tried to laugh it off.

   Back home I told my dad what had happened and he reminded me, that just the week before we had put on a new set of front tires and it must be the balance that is out. Sure enough, after the wheels were balanced, 85, 90, was not a problem, the car drove perfectly.

   So, when I got deeper into RC, that memory returned and now I balance all my wheels.

   These days, wheel balancing equipment for RC cars is available from most RC model shops, but back then I had to make my own using the rear end of an old Tamiya F1 car. Here's how I did it.

   With the tire and insert mounted and glued, the wheel was fitted onto my home made balancer and allowed to settle. I would then gently turn the wheel through 90 degrees and again allow it to settle. Obviously the heavy side of the wheel would drop to the bottom due to gravity. Once I was satisfied, I would then make a mark on the rim with a felt tip pen at the top of the wheel where it came to rest. Removing the wheel I would mix a small amount of plastic resin and press a tiny amount of this into a recess on the wheel on the side where I made the mark. The whole process was then repeated until I was totally satisfied.

   I was amazed just how out of balance some of those wheels were and how much a small thing like that can make a difference on the track.

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







Hints and Tips

Damper Pistons

   When you first build your RC model, you will sometimes find that there are a number of different pistons in the kit, with varying numbers of holes or hole sizes in them. Generally, the manufacturer will suggest one particular piston in the car manual and may provide you with a mid range oil weight, but depending on the type of terrain you intend to race your model, their suggestion may not be the best for your needs.

   When it comes to tuning your dampers there are basically two things you need to know about pistons. "Pack" and "Static Damping".

   Pack, is the speed your damper reacts to any quick compression and can be considered to be a consequence of the size or number of holes in the piston. Smaller holes, more pack, larger holes, less pack.

   Static Damping is the amount of resistance you sense when slowly pulling or pushing the piston rod in and out of the damper. As with pack, this is related to the number or size of the piston holes. Larger holes, less static damping, smaller holes more static damping.

   Setting up your dampers is a matter of trial and error. With the car in full race mode, that means with everything installed, place it on a table, then pick up the rear of the car, raising it around six inches and drop it onto the table. The chassis should dip slightly below then back up again to the pre-set ride height, in one smooth movement. If instead, it slaps down onto the table, the pack of your dampers is not enough. In this instance, depending on the setup you are testing, you have two options, thicker oil or smaller holed pistons. If when you do the test the dip is hardly any, then the pack is too hard and you should try thinner oil or bigger holed pistons. Repeat this process for the front of the car. Finally, with both ends adjusted, pick up the entire car and drop it from the same height. Both ends should respond equally when dropped, if not, change your pistons or oil weights until they do.

   After your basic setup, you then need to test your car on the track. If the rear of the car tends to hop excessively over small bumps, the rear dampers have too much pack. You need to change the pistons on the rear for larger holes and also use thicker oil to maintain static damping. If the car chassis bottoms through small bumps and landing on jumps, the pack is not enough. In this instance, change for smaller holes and thinner oil.

   If the car lands nose up from a jump, this is indicative of the front dampers having too much pack. These should be adjusted as described above to keep the car static damping in balance. Nose down obviously means not enough pack ..

   I hope this article has been helpful. Good luck and good racing.

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










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