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1/12 Scale Electric Monster Truck:

HPI Savage XS SS - # 107820 / # 107821 (Radio Controlled Model Review)


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


  Introduced by HPI Racing in 2012, the 4WD Savage XS SS Monster Truck unassembled kit - # 107820 / # 107821 - although classed as a 1:12 Scale, was designed to accept 1:10 Scale Wheels and equipment.

  The HPI Racing model is shaft driven, on a vertical frame chassis, with gear type differentials, coil spring over oil filled dampers, dogbone drive-shafts and a full set of ball bearings.

HPI Savage XS SS - 1:12 Electric Monster Truck
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  To race the HPI Savage XS SS, it calls for fine tuning to attain better steering response and improve grip when cornering so you don't slide off the side of the track. Minute changes can make huge advancements. Our easy to understand list will show you how and lead you to the optimum Set-up to put you in front of the rest on the track.

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★ HPI Racing Savage XS SS Chassis ★
HPI Racing Savage XS SS Chassis

★ HPI Racing Savage XS SS Chassis ★
HPI Racing Savage XS SS Chassis


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


   Buying a used HPI Savage XS SS Electric 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 Savage XS 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 Savage XS 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 Savage XS 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 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 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 Savage XS 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 Savage XS 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 Savage XS 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

Soldering

   In the sport of Radio Controlled racing, there are a number of things you have to learn to get you up there with the best. One of the most difficult, for those with little practical skill, is the art of Soldering.

   For their 540 silver can motors, Tamiya provide two wires, typically green and yellow, soldered to the endbell, with two bullet connectors to plug into the speed controller. While this is fine for bashing around the back yard, as you advance to a higher level you will soon find just how inefficient this method is.

   Motor wires are best soldered directly to the ESC. That way no energy is lost through high current draw. Some of the top drivers at one time even used to solder their batteries directly to the ESC, but these days with connectors such as "Deans" and "Power Pole" this isn't necessary but I still wouldn't use any kind of connector for the motor.

   There are basically two kinds of solder. Plumbers solder which is made up of 60% Lead and 40% Tin, where as electrical solder is the opposite 40% Lead with 60% Tin. NEVER use plumbers solder for your battery, ESC or motor joints. Lead melts at 327 degrees C, where as tin melts at 232 degrees C. The higher Lead content of plumbers means it melts at a higher temperature, which is not good for your battery cells. Also, Tin has almost half the electrical resistance of lead, so with the higher Tin content of electrical solder, electricity flows much easier to your motor.

   More recently, due to the European regulations for lead use, lead free solders are becoming more widely used well, in Europe anyway. The problem with lead free is the melting temperature it is much higher, making it difficult to produce reliable joints.

   Lead, as we know, is a poison to the body if ingested or inhaled in certain quantities. so when using lead based solder, try not to inhale any of the fumes and always wash your hands after completing your work. One of my friends also wears cotton gloves, but I find these cumbersome.

   For me lead / tin solder is far easier to use and if used with care, has less potential to damage your batteries having a much lower melting temperature.

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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