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1/10 Scale Electric Buggy:

Schumacher Cougar - U415T (Radio Controlled Model Review)


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History, Info (and How To Set-up Tips) for the Schumacher Cougar:


  Introduced in 1990, the original 2WD Schumacher Cougar (sometimes referred to as the Cougar 1) boasted a rigid formed aluminum plate chassis, ball differential, plastic telescopic universal joint drive shafts and coil spring over oil filled dampers.

  One disappointing feature in the Cougar kit were the sintered brass ring type bearings. Other than replacing these for ball bearings, the only additions I made to my model Cougar was a larger front bumper from an old Kyosho Rocky and an aluminum copy of the FRP front shock tower I broke in the first week.

Schumacher Cougar - Vintage 1:10 Electric 2WD RC Buggy
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  To race the Schumacher Cougar, you need to tweak and adjust all you can to give your car improved handling, stability and grip to ease around the curves and keep you on the track. One little setting change can transform your car into a world beater. Just follow our chart to attain the most favourable Set-up to suit your particular needs on any track.

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★ Schumacher Cougar 1 ★
Schumacher Cougar 1

★ Schumacher Cougar 1 Chassis ★
Schumacher Cougar 1 Chassis

★ Schumacher Cougar 1 Chassis ★
Schumacher Cougar 1 Chassis


Buying a Used Schumacher Cougar Buggy (and What to look for)


   Buying a used Schumacher Cougar 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 Schumacher 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 Schumacher 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 Schumacher 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 Schumacher Cougar 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 Cougar 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 Cougar Buggy model at a competitive level, I would also recommend you obtain and fit titanium pivot shafts, turnbuckles, tie rods and steering rods.

   Drive Belts need checking at regular intervals for wear, tension and damage. If deemed necessary, adjust the tensioning pulley until the belt can be depressed in the centre by no more than around 5mm. If the belt was slack, also examine the drive pulleys for wear. The teeth should provide a well seated fit for the belt teeth and not be rounded on the corners. If the belt teeth do not fit snugly, change the pulleys as soon as possible. For top level racing it may be prudent to replace all belts and pulleys 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 Cougar 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 Schumacher Cougar 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 Schumacher 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 Cougar 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

Bumpsteer

   In plain language, Bumpsteer is exactly what it sounds like. If your car goes over a bump, it will affect the toe-in setting and can on some tracks make handling of the car in a straight line difficult.

   To check if your car might have any problems with bumpsteer, have it in race mode, with the motor and battery etc in position. Place the car on a flat surface and push down your car at the front. Looking down from above, keep a close eye on the wheels and watch for any angular movement to the side. If there is then you have bumpsteer.

   For off road cars, because of them having longer dampers in comparison to on road, a small amount of toe out is considered by many as acceptable in the lower position and can sometimes be used as a tuning option because of its aggressive effect on turning ability when entering corners. On road cars, because of the shorter damper movement and the greater need for precise steering and stability in a straight line, generally have less of a problem. However if bumpsteer is detected, drivers generally try to eliminate this as much as possible.

   The standard settings for most kits from all manufacturers are adjusted to reduce bumpsteer as much as they can and it is only when you come to make changes to those settings yourself, to suit your personal driving style that bumpsteer can become a problem.

   Any changes you might make to the steering links or the caster could induce some bumpsteer, so you should check for it each time you make any adjustments in these areas.

   To adjust bumpsteer try adding or removing washers under each steering link outer ball stud. More washers will increase and fewer washers reduce bumpsteer.

   Steering geometry can be tricky to setup for those new to the sport and even some more experienced racers can struggle with this problem. So, unless you are having major problems with your cars handling, try to avoid making any radical changes and if you do, remember to only make one change at a time and make a note of it for future reference, incase you need to remove it.

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







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.










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