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RCScrapyard Radio Controlled Models
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1/8 Scale Nitro Monster Truck:

HPI Hellfire SS - # 10504 / # 10505 / # 10506 (Radio Controlled Model Review)


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


  Introduced by HPI (Hobby Products International) in 2006, the 4WD Hellfire SS Super Sport Monster Truck kit - # 10504 / # 10505 / # 10506 - was unassembled and came without an engine or radio system.

  The HPI Racing model is shaft driven, on a lightweight double deck alloy plate chassis, with gear type differentials, coil spring over oil filled dampers, anti-roll bars, CVD drive-shafts and a full set of ball bearings.

HPI Hellfire SS - 1:8 Nitro RC Monster Truck
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  To race the HPI Hellfire 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 Hellfire SS ★
HPI Racing Hellfire SS

★ HPI Racing Hellfire SS Chassis ★
HPI Racing Hellfire SS Chassis


Buying a Used HPI Hellfire SS
Monster Truck (and What to look for)


   Buying a used HPI Hellfire SS 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 HPI 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 HPI 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 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 Hellfire 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 Hellfire 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 Hellfire SS 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 Hellfire 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 Hellfire 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 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 Hellfire 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

Caster

   Caster is basically the angle the steering kingpins or steering pivot points, leans back in relation to the horizontal when viewed from the side of the chassis.

   To test the effectiveness of your cars caster, place your model on a flat surface, point the front wheels straight ahead and push the chassis over to one side to simulate body roll when cornering. You will notice that as the car leans over, all four wheels also lean over in the same direction. Tires provide the most grip when the wheels are perfectly vertical and the full width of each tire is flat on the ground. Body roll pushes the wheels past the vertical and reduces the amount of tire contact. Now, if you turn the front wheels as if cornering and again push the chassis over, you will see that in this position, the front wheels are now more vertical, giving you better ground contact and therefore improved grip.

   Another effect of caster can be seen by disconnecting your steering servo and pushing your car along the floor. Because of caster and the kingpins leaning back, your car will naturally roll straight ahead.

   Obviously, the more body roll your car induces, the more positive caster you need to counter it. Buggys, Trucks and Truggys, because of their high ride height and long dampers have more body roll and therefore require more positive caster than on road cars, with their low ride height and shorter dampers.

   If you consider a corner as having three parts: An entrance, middle and an exit. Caster influences each of them.

   With a high degree of positive caster, as you enter the corner and body roll is at its greatest, steering is better. In the middle section, as body roll reduces, steering is less effective and some under-steer is induced, that will continue as you accelerate on corner exit.

   With a low amount of caster, steering response is improved in the middle section of low speed turns and will be more likely to over-steer on corner exit because of increased front end grip from the tires.

   Too little caster can result in difficult handling on corners and poor stability on the straights.

   Most modern RC model kits come with a standard caster setting that has been set for the best handling by the manufacturers. If you are new to the sport I would recommend you stick with this setting until you get a little more experience.

   Methods to adjust caster can vary from model to model. Sometimes it is as simple as moving the position of a plastic washer from one side of the top wishbone pivot bar to the other, or simply using a small clip. Models from some manufacturers often have specific caster blocks to change the angle and must be purchased separately.

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







Hints and Tips

Wheels

   When it comes to wheels, the majority of people tend to go for what looks good, something that will make their car stand out from the crowd, but are they the best wheels for you when it comes to winning races on the track?

   Quite a number of years ago I read an article in an RC magazine about RC model wheels and how important it is to have the right ones on your car. I was so impressed by that article that I immediately sold off all my old wheels and bought a batch of new ones why? Read on.

   In order for a tire to maintain grip, it needs to preserve the downward pressure through the cars suspension onto the road surface. To do this, not only must the wheels be concentric, they have to be totally rigid. So, if you accept that premise as fact, you will realise that the majority of the flashy wheel designs available for all types of RC model cars are not exactly what you might call rigid. In point of fact, they are down right flimsy.

   If you take a good hard look at some of those multi spoked pressure injected plastic wheels you have in your car box, you will soon see what I mean. Just take one in your hand, squeeze it just a little and you will realise how weak and feeble the construction of these cheap and nasty things are. Looks aren't everything. If you want to be up there with the best you have to strive for the best and that doesn't necessarily mean the most expensive. There are lots of wheels out there at reasonable prices that can give you that rigidity you need, okay, they might not look pretty, but they will perform better and give you that extra one percent that could mean the difference between winning and losing. You have to ask yourself, what you want your car to be, the one that everyone admires for its flashy good looks, or the one that gets you to the top.

   So there you have it, rigid wheels are the thing to go for. They may be heavier and provide a more dynamic rotating mass, requiring more braking than those flimsy lightweight wheels out there but then, that is a whole new subject.

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










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