RCScrapyard ► Iconic Vintage Radio Controlled (RC) Model Car Archive ► Mugen Seiki MBX5.
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1/8 Scale Nitro Buggy:

Mugen MBX5 - E0001 (Radio Controlled Model Review)


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History, Info (and How To Set-up Tips) for the Mugen MBX5:


  Introduced by Mugen Seiki circa 2003, the 4WD MBX-5 Buggy, was available as a basic kit - E0001.

  The model is shaft driven, on an alloy plate chassis, with 3 x gear type differentials, coil spring over oil filled dampers, all round universal joint drive-shafts and a full set of ball bearings.

  An upgraded MBX-5 Pro spec version was introduced in 2004.

Mugen MBX5
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  To race the Mugen MBX5, it must be fine tuned to improve handling, provide responsive steering and give you the grip to cruise around corners at high speed, without slipping off the track. Small adjustments can make a Big difference and our step by step procedure, will guide you to the best Set-up for your individual driving style.

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★ Mugen MBX5 ★
Mugen MBX5

★ Mugen MBX5 Chassis ★
Mugen MBX5 Chassis

★ Mugen MBX5 Chassis ★
Mugen MBX5 Chassis

★ Mugen MBX5 ProSpec Chassis ★
Mugen MBX5 ProSpec Chassis

★ Mugen MBX5 ProSpec Chassis ★
Mugen MBX5 ProSpec Chassis


Buying a Used Mugen MBX-5 Buggy (and What to look for)


   Buying a used Mugen MBX-5 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 MBX-5 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 MBX-5 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 MBX-5 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 MBX-5 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 MBX-5 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 MBX-5 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

Damper Pistons

   When you first build your RC model, you will sometimes find that there are a number of different pistons in the kit, with varying numbers of holes or hole sizes in them. Generally, the manufacturer will suggest one particular piston in the car manual and may provide you with a mid range oil weight, but depending on the type of terrain you intend to race your model, their suggestion may not be the best for your needs.

   When it comes to tuning your dampers there are basically two things you need to know about pistons. "Pack" and "Static Damping".

   Pack, is the speed your damper reacts to any quick compression and can be considered to be a consequence of the size or number of holes in the piston. Smaller holes, more pack, larger holes, less pack.

   Static Damping is the amount of resistance you sense when slowly pulling or pushing the piston rod in and out of the damper. As with pack, this is related to the number or size of the piston holes. Larger holes, less static damping, smaller holes more static damping.

   Setting up your dampers is a matter of trial and error. With the car in full race mode, that means with everything installed, place it on a table, then pick up the rear of the car, raising it around six inches and drop it onto the table. The chassis should dip slightly below then back up again to the pre-set ride height, in one smooth movement. If instead, it slaps down onto the table, the pack of your dampers is not enough. In this instance, depending on the setup you are testing, you have two options, thicker oil or smaller holed pistons. If when you do the test the dip is hardly any, then the pack is too hard and you should try thinner oil or bigger holed pistons. Repeat this process for the front of the car. Finally, with both ends adjusted, pick up the entire car and drop it from the same height. Both ends should respond equally when dropped, if not, change your pistons or oil weights until they do.

   After your basic setup, you then need to test your car on the track. If the rear of the car tends to hop excessively over small bumps, the rear dampers have too much pack. You need to change the pistons on the rear for larger holes and also use thicker oil to maintain static damping. If the car chassis bottoms through small bumps and landing on jumps, the pack is not enough. In this instance, change for smaller holes and thinner oil.

   If the car lands nose up from a jump, this is indicative of the front dampers having too much pack. These should be adjusted as described above to keep the car static damping in balance. Nose down obviously means not enough pack ..

   I hope this article has been helpful. Good luck and good racing.

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







Hints and Tips

Ackerman

   So What is Ackerman?

   If you place your car on a table facing away from you and turn the steering to full lock to the left, you will notice the angle the left hand wheel has turned is more than that of the right hand wheel. That is the Ackerman effect.

   Moving your car to the edge of the table, with the wheels still on full lock, push it round a complete circle. What you will notice, is the diameter of the circle made by the inside wheel, is smaller than that of the outside wheel. This is a good thing.

   Consider what would happen if both wheels turned to the same angle. In this example, the inside wheel would have a tendency to drag sideways, making the car unstable and difficult to drive.

   The standard kit setting on the majority of RC Model cars, are generally pretty good for beginners, but when your experience increases, you will find out just what tuning your Ackerman can do for your driving style and why it can be helpful when setting up your car for any particular track.

   Some of the cheaper RC Models have fixed position steering links. Others have various methods to change Ackerman settings, like changing shims under the ball connector etc. These days, most modern cars allow you to adjust your Ackerman by lengthening or shortening the links by simply removing two screws and repositioning the links in relation to the front suspension arms.

   Lengthening the links, by adjusting the pivot points of the steering arms back towards the centre line of the rear axle, will give you Less Ackerman, providing you with more aggressive steering as you enter a corner. Useful on slippery tracks, to counter when the car tends to slide to the outside of the corner as you first turn into it.

   Shortening the links, by adjusting the pivot points of the steering arms more forward of the centre line of the rear axle, will give you More Ackerman, making cornering less aggressive, more predictable and improving car stability, better for high grip tracks, with smooth sweeping corners.

   How to implement these adjustments varies from model to model so you will have to refer to your manual for full instructions.

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










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