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1/10 Scale Electric Buggy:

Marui Ninja 4WD (Radio Controlled Model Review)


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History, Info (and How To Set-up Tips) for the Marui Ninja 4WD:


  Introduced by Tokyo Marui in 1987, the 4WD Ninja Buggy, was their 11th RC model and came with an RS540 motor and mechanical speed controller.

  Based on the same shaft driven molded plastic tub chassis as the Shogun Buggy and Coors Melling Thunderbird Stock Car, the model came with gear type differentials, coil spring over oil filled dampers, dogbone drive-shafts and nylon bushings, ring type bearings.

Marui Ninja 4WD - 1:10 Electric Buggy
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  To race the Marui Ninja 4WD, 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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★ Marui Ninja Buggy ★
Marui Ninja Buggy

★ Marui Ninja Buggy Chassis ★
Marui Ninja Buggy Chassis

★ Marui Ninja Buggy Chassis ★
Marui Ninja Buggy Chassis


Buying a Used Marui Ninja Buggy (and What to look for)


   Buying a used Marui Ninja Electric 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 Competitionx 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 Marui 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 Marui 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 Marui Ninja 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 Ninja 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 Ninja 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 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 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 Ninja 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 Marui Ninja 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 Marui 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 Ninja 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

Tire Inserts

   Once upon a time, all RC model tires were equal they were all trash. None of the old tires had any kind of internal support, because the hard compound they were made of didn't need it. But that was before the newer soft compounds were developed. These new tires were so soft that if some kind of insert was not used they would just lay flat under the weight of the car. Thus, the new science of tire inserts was born.

   The basic soft foam inserts that come with many off-road rubber tires can be in one of two types. They can be basic rings of sponge, or the cheap and nasty strips of sponge. Both will often need some work done to them before they are inserted into the tires.

   Most of the top off-road drivers will carefully trim the edges of each sponge where they make contact with the inside of the tires. The idea is to reduce the effect of any hard edge when the tire hits the ground. If this is beneficial is debatable, but those I talked to said it does improve grip when cornering.

   On-road cars on the other hand have the luxury of only having to make the choice between hard, medium and soft, molded sponge or rubber inserts that fit snugly inside the wheels and I can testify, the effect of these inserts can make a big difference on the track.

   When you get to the race track, the first thing you check is the track temperature. This gives you an insight into which tire to try first. In my hay day, I would use three compounds, soft medium and hard, each prepared, glued to the wheels with soft, medium and hard inserts, so a total of nine sets of wheels with tires and inserts. Depending on the track temperature, my first practice session would be with the medium insert, then depending on the grip I got from those, I would either stick with them or for more grip try the softer insert. If the car had too much grip and a tendency to over-steer I would move on to the harder insert. Once the right tire and insert combination is found, only then I would try other settings to improve the cars handling. Remember, one change at a time.

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







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.










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