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1/5 Scale Nitro Truck/Truggy:

HPI Baja 5SC SS (Radio Controlled Model Review)


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History, Info (and How To Set-up Tips) for the HPI Baja 5SC SS:


  Introduced by HPI (Hobby Products International) in 2011, the 2WD Baja 5SC SS Short Course Truck Kit - # 105734 - was a build yourself version of the successful Baja chassis and came with a Fuelie 26s engine.

  A Baja 5SC SS Limited Edition unassembled kit - # 107173 - without an engine and Baja 5SC SS29 Special - # 107522 - were introduced for a short period in the same year.

  The HPI Racing model is based on a narrow channel alloy chassis, with a gear type differential, coil spring over oil filled dampers, dogbone drive-shafts and a full set of ball bearings.

HPI Baja-5SC-SS
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  To race the HPI Baja 5SC SS, it has to have the best settings for your driving style and provide you with excellent handling and stability. The smallest changes can make a huge difference in the way your car performs on the track and our comprehensive instructions will help you to find the best Set-up to get you where you want to be.

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★ HPI Racing Baja 5SC SS Chassis ★
HPI Racing Baja 5SC SS Chassis

★ HPI Racing Baja 5SC SS Chassis ★
HPI Racing Baja 5SC SS Chassis


Buying a Used HPI Baja 5SC SS Truck (and What to look for)


   Buying a used HPI Baja 5SC SS Nitro 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 HPI website, or purchased separately on eBay. With an instruction manual, any problems with your model Truck you may discover can easily be fixed.

Dampers
   When you receive your used HPI 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 HPI 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 HPI Baja 5SC SS 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 Baja 5SC SS 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 Baja 5SC SS 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 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 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 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 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 Baja 5SC SS 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 HPI Baja 5SC SS 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 HPI 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 Baja 5SC SS 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

Dampers

   Dampers, Shock Absorbers, Shocks call them what you will, they are one of the least understood, but most important tools you have for adjusting the handling characteristics of your RC model.

   In this article, I will endeavour to explain just what you can achieve by making simple tweaks to your shocks and how these tweaks can keep you ahead of your opposition on the track.

   In dictionary terms "Damper" is described as "A mechanical device to absorb the energy of sudden impulses." In plain language, they stop your car from bouncing all over the track.


So how do Dampers work?

   Basically what you have is a small amount of silicone oil contained in a sealed cylinder. Through the centre of that cylinder is a metal rod and on the end of that rod, a piston with a number of small holes in it. Pulling, or pushing the rod in and out of the cylinder, your will notice a certain amount of resistance as the oil is forced through the holes in the piston. To manipulate that resistance you have two options. You could use thicker or thinner oil, or change the size of the holes in the piston. So if you have thicker oil, or smaller holes, you have more resistance. Less viscous oil or larger holes, less resistance. This simple physical relationship, coupled with a good set of tuning springs, is all you need to set-up your car to beat the rest.

   Out on the race track, the main thing you want to avoid is your car bouncing around all over the place, sliding, or even rolling over when you negotiate a tight corner. To prevent this you need to make changes, but before you make those changes you need to consider what your problem is for that particular track. How your model reacts when cornering does it Under-steer? (Slide towards the outside of the corner) or Over-steer (Turns towards the inside of the corner). Does it react differently when you exit the corner to how it did when you entered it?

   Once you have decided what your problem is, go to our "Set-Up" page linked below and follow the step by step instructions. But remember to only make ONE change at a time. If the first suggestion isn't enough to cure the problem, add the second and so on, until you find that perfect setting. Good luck and good racing.

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







Hints and Tips

Your First Race Meeting

   When you finally find a racing club near to where you live, that initial experience of stepping up onto the rostrum and looking down over the track can be very daunting. But soon, as the race starts, adrenaline will kick in and away you go. For the next five minutes, your focus is on nothing but getting your car around each corner, avoiding all the other cars on the track and just getting to the end of the race.

   Maybe your batteries dumped or you crashed and the car was damaged, perhaps you didn't actually come last, whatever happened, it doesn't really matter you are well and truly hooked.

   When the race is over, don't be afraid to ask the more experienced racers questions about setup, driving tips etc. They have all been where you are now and will be more than willing to help you. Show them your car, get some tips on tires, gearing and general set-up for the club track.

   Then, when you get back home, go through all your races in your mind. Try to identify the things you did wrong and figure out how to avoid those mistakes next time. Think about what all the more experienced racers told you and change your settings as they advised.

   Put down a few buckets or cones in the back yard to practice driving round, something that if you hit it won't damage your car. Get someone to time you for say ten laps and each day after school, try to beat that time. The adage, "Practice makes perfect" holds true in many things, not least the sport of RC racing and as your confidence increases, your racing skills improve and the trophies begin to line up on your bedroom shelf, you will one day yourself be the guy all the newbie's look to for advice and you will remember that day, you nervously stepped up onto that platform for the first time, looked down across the track and how your whole life changed in that fleeting moment.

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










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