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1/10 Scale Electric Rally/Touring Car:

Serpent S411 TE (Team Edition) - # 400012 (Radio Controlled Model Review)


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History, Info (and How To Set-up Tips) for the Serpent S411 TE:


  Introduced by Serpent in 2012, the 4WD S411 TE (Team Edition) Touring Car - # 400012 - was upgraded with a number of improved and special parts.

  The model is belt driven, on a carbon double deck chassis, with front spool, rear gear type differential, RCM coil spring over oil filled dampers, anti roll bars, CVD universal joint drive-shafts and a full set of ball bearings.

Serpent S411 TE (Team Edition) - 1:10 Electric Touring Car
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  To race the Serpent S411 TE, 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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★ Serpent S411 TE ★
Serpent S411 TE

★ Serpent S411 TE ★
Serpent S411 TE

★ Serpent S411 TE Chassis ★
Serpent S411 TE Chassis

★ Serpent S411 TE Chassis ★
Serpent S411 TE Chassis


Buying a Used Serpent S411
Touring Car (and What to look for)


   Buying a used Serpent S411 Electric Touring Car, 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 road.

   The one thing you will always need is an instruction manual. If not supplied with your purchase, they can often be downloaded from the Serpent website, or purchased separately on eBay. With an instruction manual, any problems with your model Touring Car you may discover can easily be fixed.

Dampers
   When you receive your used Serpent Touring Car, 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 Serpent 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 Serpent S411 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 S411 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 S411 Touring Car 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 Touring Car 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 Touring Car 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 S411 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 Serpent S411 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 Serpent Touring Car 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 S411 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.





















Serpent S411 Chassis
Serpent S411 Chassis - 1:10 Electric Touring Car


Hints and Tips

Tire Compounds

   Way back in the early 1990s when I first got into RC, most of the off-road models available came with chunky hard compound block tires that gave little or no grip on grass or dirt tracks. On-road didn't have this problem as they were still using sponge tires that with a coating of wintergreen based tire additive before each race to improve grip. There was even one guy who swore, before every race, he dipped his wheels in a glass of light ale.

   Then things started to change. By the mid 1990s tire manufacturers such as Losi and Schumacher began developing smaller pin tires, in softer compounds. These mini pin versions were a revelation for grass racers, but were only a small improvement on dust tracks.

   As new compounds were released, grip slowly improved. Then, with the release of the micro pin, super soft compound tires, off road was a completely different sport. Grip roll was now one of the problems drivers had to learn to contend with. This was something unheard of only a few short years before.

   Rubber Tires for On-road RC models had been around for a while in the early 1990s, but because sponge was so widely used, rubber never really caught on. Then, as Tamiya released its 1:10 on road models based on the off-road Manta Ray chassis, other manufacturers caught on and began producing their own 1:10 on-road cars. Schumacher released the SST 98, using the same gearbox and differentials as their Cat 2000 to reduce tooling costs. Tires were now being produced for this new scale in rubber. Pit Shimizu and Take-off were two of the leading RC on-road tire developers at the time, each releasing three different compounds, with recommended track temperature use. From that point on, on-road RC racing never looked back and the days of sponge and light ale came to a shuddering stop.

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







Hints and Tips

Choosing a Transmitter

   When you first started in RC, you may have purchased a package that came with the car kit, motor, battery, charger, ESC and radio system complete. The transmitter was probably just a basic steer wheel, or stick type, with nothing more than forward, reverse, left, right and simple trim settings to centralise the servo and ESC.

   After a while, as your enthusiasm grows and your experience increases, you will want to move on to a better radio system, with more setting options, but where do you begin?

   Choosing the right transmitter is a personal thing. It has to feel right, have the balance you like, not be too bulky for your hand size and have all the features you might need to set up your car to your driving style.

   Transmitters these days are highly sophisticated pieces of engineering and once you choose your transmitter you will probably stick with it for the rest of your competitive career.

   Don't just go for the one you see in a review that looks and sounds like the best thing there could ever be and comes at a bargain price. Then when it arrives through the post and you get it in your hands it just doesn't have the feel you thought it would have. Sits awkwardly in your hands and is so complicated to set up you need a university degree to understand it.

   Talk to the experienced racers at your local track, ask them their opinion, see what their transmitter is like and if they will allow you to, hold it in your hands and see how it feels. All the best buys in life are made by recommendation. Then, once you have some idea what you are looking for, look on the internet for that model to get the best price, or go to a dealer and check out the latest models.

   Frequency choice depends on where in the world you live and what form of RC you are into. Fortunately, most of the top end transmitters can change to different frequency ranges by simply fitting a different module, so if you ever move up to an international level, you don't have to buy a new transmitter, just a module and receiver.

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










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