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RCScrapyard Radio Controlled Models
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1/10 Scale Electric Truck/Truggy:

Nikko Malibu (Radio Controlled Model Review)


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


  Introduced by Nikko circa 1982, the Toyota Hilux Malibu truck - # RDC 19600B - has headlights that come on when the car moves and digitally proportional radio system.

  The model can be set for 2WD or 4WD, using a switch on the underside of the molded plastic chassis and includes a differential on the front axle, bushings and ball bearings.

Nikko Malibu
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  To race the Nikko Malibu, it requires a high level of tuning for improved stability when cornering, to keep it on the track and give you more grip under acceleration. Even the smallest change in your cars settings can make a Big difference. Our simple to follow instruction chart will show how to attain the best Set-up for your personal requirements.

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★ Nikko Malibu Chassis ★
Nikko Malibu Chassis

★ Nikko Malibu Chassis ★
Nikko Malibu Chassis

★ Nikko Malibu Chassis ★
Nikko Malibu Chassis

★ Nikko Malibu Chassis ★
Nikko Malibu Chassis


Buying a Used Nikko Malibu
Truck (and What to look for)


   Buying a used Nikko Malibu Electric 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 Nikko website, or purchased separately on eBay. With an instruction manual, any problems with your model Truck you may discover can easily be fixed.

Dampers
   When you receive your used Nikko 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 Nikko 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 Nikko Malibu 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 Malibu 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 Malibu 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 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 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 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 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 Malibu 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 Nikko Malibu 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 Nikko 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 Malibu 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

Tires for RC Models

How to Mount Rubber Tires onto Wheels/Rims.


   Before mounting your Tires, I would recommend talking to the more experienced racers at your local club, concerning what inserts they use. Even the top level racers rely on a bit of local knowledge on tracks they have never raced before.

   Once you have decided what inserts to use, position them inside the Tires ready to go onto the rims.

   You will need strong fingers to pull and maneuver the Tires over the rims, so you may need the help of an adult. Do NOT use metal Tire levers or a spoon, as they can not only damage the fragile plastic rims, but can also put small tears in the rubber, that could cause problems later.

   The technique I recommend, is to first of all hook the Tire on one side of the rim, then using the thumb and forefinger, grip the Tire and pull it upwards and over into position around the middle of the wheel, then over to its final position on the far side so that the beading is seated in the spigot. Next, position the near side beading in the opposite spigot, making sure the sponge (or rubber) insert is not trapped and positioned centrally.

How to Glue Rubber Tires onto Wheels/Rims.


   You have the option of either gluing or not gluing your tires in position. If the track you race at is not too grippy you can sometimes get away with it, but on high grip tracks, there is always the possibility the tire might pull away from the rim and ruin your race .... My recommendation is to glue them.

   Superglue is the thing to use. To do this, carefully pull the beading out of its seating, put on a spot of glue, then quickly push it back down. repeat this at least 6 times around each side of the wheel.

   Superglue can be dangerous, so this is best done by an adult.

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







Hints and Tips

Dampers

   Dampers, Shock Absorbers, Shocks call them what you will, they are one of the least understood, but most important tools you have for adjusting the handling characteristics of your RC model.

   In this article, I will endeavour to explain just what you can achieve by making simple tweaks to your shocks and how these tweaks can keep you ahead of your opposition on the track.

   In dictionary terms "Damper" is described as "A mechanical device to absorb the energy of sudden impulses." In plain language, they stop your car from bouncing all over the track.


So how do Dampers work?

   Basically what you have is a small amount of silicone oil contained in a sealed cylinder. Through the centre of that cylinder is a metal rod and on the end of that rod, a piston with a number of small holes in it. Pulling, or pushing the rod in and out of the cylinder, your will notice a certain amount of resistance as the oil is forced through the holes in the piston. To manipulate that resistance you have two options. You could use thicker or thinner oil, or change the size of the holes in the piston. So if you have thicker oil, or smaller holes, you have more resistance. Less viscous oil or larger holes, less resistance. This simple physical relationship, coupled with a good set of tuning springs, is all you need to set-up your car to beat the rest.

   Out on the race track, the main thing you want to avoid is your car bouncing around all over the place, sliding, or even rolling over when you negotiate a tight corner. To prevent this you need to make changes, but before you make those changes you need to consider what your problem is for that particular track. How your model reacts when cornering does it Under-steer? (Slide towards the outside of the corner) or Over-steer? (Turns towards the inside of the corner). Does it react differently when you exit the corner to how it did when you entered it?

   Once you have decided what your problem is, go to our "Set-Up" page linked below and follow the step by step instructions. But remember to only make ONE change at a time. If the first suggestion isn't enough to cure the problem, add the second and so on, until you find that perfect setting. Good luck and good racing.

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










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