RCScrapyard ► Iconic Vintage Radio Controlled (RC) Model Car Archive ► Kyosho Circuit 20, Rowdy Baja
RCScrapyard Radio Controlled Models
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1/8 Scale Nitro Buggy:

Kyosho Circuit 20, Rowdy Baja - # 2289 (Radio Controlled Model Review)


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


  Released by Kyosho circa 1980, the Circuit 20, Rowdy Baja - # 2289 - has an alloy frame, plastic tub chassis, with a roll bar frame, un-damped coil spring suspension and dogbone drive-shafts. No engine was supplied with the kit.

  A Graupner version of the Rowdy Baja - # 4962 - was introduced around the same time period.

Kyosho Circuit 20, Rowdy Baja
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  To race the Kyosho Rowdy Baja, 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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★ Kyosho Circuit 20 Rowdy Baja ★
Kyosho Circuit 20 Rowdy Baja

★ Kyosho Circuit 20 Chassis ★
Kyosho Circuit 20 Chassis

★ Kyosho Circuit 20 ★
Kyosho Circuit 20 Chassis


Buying a Used Kyosho Rowdy Baja
Buggy (and What to look for)


   Buying a used Kyosho Rowdy Baja Nitro Buggy, 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 Kyosho website, or purchased separately on eBay. With an instruction manual, any problems with your model Buggy you may discover can easily be fixed.

Dampers
   When you receive your used Kyosho Buggy, 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 Kyosho 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 Kyosho Rowdy Baja 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 Rowdy Baja 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 Rowdy Baja Buggy 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 Buggy 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 Buggy 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 Buggy 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 Buggy 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 Rowdy Baja 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 Kyosho Rowdy Baja 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 Kyosho Buggy 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 Rowdy Baja model and good racing.


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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

Getting into RC

   When I first got into racing RC, all I had was a three year old clapped out Tamiya Boomerang, a silver can stock motor, three step mechanical speed controller, two 1400Mah stick batteries and basic Acoms stick transmitter.

   I was the newbie and most of the guys I was racing against had all the latest models, modified motors, matched batteries and top spec radio equipment, but I was still beating them easily. Why? The answer is simple: Practice. I had been driving that old car around my back yard and in the local park for almost three years. The others bought their cars only a few weeks or months earlier and had pestered their parents for the latest and most expensive car, motor etc, but did not have the experience to be able to control it. While I was steadily trundling around the track, they were crashing out on every other corner, popping ball joints, breaking wishbones and generally causing havoc.

   The moral of this story is all too obvious and anyone starting up in RC who wants to race please take note. You don't need the best equipment to win races. You can start with a cheap basic kit and with a lot of practice in some wide open spaces where you will not cause any damage, learn how to control your car. Remember don't try to run before you can walk. Stick with that silver can motor for a while and upgrade to something a little faster only when you have mastered the old one. You don't even have to buy new. If you go down to your local RC Club, there are always cars for sale. They may be battered and bruised, but if you get an old brushed silver can motor, a cheap 5A ESC, a couple of Nicad, or Nimh batteries, charger and simple radio gear, that is all you need to start practising and after a while, winning races.

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










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