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1/8 Scale Nitro Buggy:

Mugen Athlete (Radio Controlled Model)


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History, Info (and How To Set-up Tips) for the Mugen Athlete:


  Introduced by Mugen circa 1990, the 4WD Athlete, was very successful, winning numerous championships the world over.

  The Mugen Athlete Evolution, was introduced after the models success, with a number of innovative upgrades.

  The model was shaft driven, on an alloy plate chassis, with gear type differentials, coil spring over oil filled dampers, rear dogbones, with front universal joint drive-shafts, sway bars and a full set of ball bearings.

Mugen Athlete - 1:8 Nitro RC Buggy
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  To race the Mugen Athlete, 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.

  Our easy to understand guide will show you how to adjust the Nitro Engine for your Athlete.

  Employing a number of sensible ideas, find out how you can avoid Radio interference, and problems with your Servo, by making a few changes to the layout of your equipment in your chassis. Discover what the top drivers do to improve the efficiency of their Mugen Athlete Bearings with a few common sense hints and tips.









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Items For Sale:






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★ Mugen Athlete ★
Mugen Athlete

★ Mugen Athlete Front Brace Plate ★
Mugen Athlete Front Brace Plate

★ Mugen Athlete Chassis ★
Mugen Athlete Chassis

★ Mugen Athlete Chassis ★
Mugen Athlete Chassis


Buying a Used Mugen Athlete Buggy (and What to look for)


   Buying a used Mugen Athlete 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 Mugen 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 Mugen 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 Mugen 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 Mugen Athlete 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 Athlete 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 Athlete 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 Athlete 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 Mugen Athlete 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 Mugen 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 Athlete model and good racing.


For More on how to Setup your Buggy, check out my Hints and Tips page.


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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

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.







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.










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