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1/10 Scale Electric Rally/Touring Car:

Serpent S411 - # 400005 (Radio Controlled Model)


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


  Introduced by Serpent in 2011, the 4WD S411 - # 400005 - was their second 190mm Electric Touring Car.

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

Serpent S411 - 1:10 Electric Touring Car
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  To race the Serpent S411, 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.

  Using plain language, our guides will help you choose the right Electric Motor for your S411 and achieve the best Gearing, for any racetrack, to suit your particular needs.

  Discover what the top racers do to reduce friction and get more from their Bearings with a few common sense hints and tips. Learn how to avoid Radio interference, and we reveal the secrets of Charging your Batteries to give more punch, duration and increased performance.









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★ Serpent S411 ★
Serpent S411

★ Serpent S411 ★
Serpent S411

★ Serpent S411 Chassis ★
Serpent S411 Chassis

★ Serpent S411 Chassis ★
Serpent S411 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.


For More on how to Setup your Touring Car, 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.





















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


Hints and Tips

Toe Angle

   When you first build your RC model car, you will no doubt have made all the settings advised in the manufacturers' manual and will take it out on the back yard not thinking of things like camber, caster or toe-in I know I did. It's only when you get competitive that you start learning about these things and just what a big difference they can make to the handling of your car. One of the more effective of these adjustments is Toe-in.

   The term, toe-in, toe-out, or toe-angle, refers to the alignment of the front or rear wheels, when viewed from above and is easily adjusted via the track rods or turnbuckles that link to the steering mechanism or directly to the steering servo horn.

   Front toe-in reduces steering when entering a corner, but improves steering response on corner exit under acceleration. On the straights, toe-in will also improve the cars stability while accelerating.

   Front toe-out will improve steering on corner entry, but makes the car unstable under acceleration on the straights and on bumpy tracks. The usual recommendation is to have up to 1 degree of either toe-in or toe out.

   Rear toe-in is generally found as the standard setting on most on-road and off-road RC models.

   More rear toe-in provides the car with more power under-steer, as well as improved stability and rear end traction. This setting is recommended for low grip tracks.

   Less rear toe-in slightly reduces steering on corner entry, but improved steering under acceleration.

   To measure toe-angle, I used to use my trusty vernier callipers to measure the width at the front of the wheels and the rear of the wheels and using this information along with the diameter of the wheels simply calculate the angle. Or, you could alternatively use this data to draw a triangle on a sheet of paper and measure the angle with your trusty school protractor.

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







Hints and Tips

Bearing Seals

   If you were to ask anyone with a modicum of experience in RC, they will tell you that the best modification you can make to a basic RC model, is to add a set of ball bearings.

   Quite a few of the entrance level models at the time this article was written, come with plastic and sintered brass bushings (ring type bearings). If these bearings are installed in the model and coated with grease as advised in the car manual, dust and grit can be caught in that grease and be dragged into the bearing where it can abrade the shaft that spins in it and it won't be long before it becomes a very sloppy fit, causing all kinds of problems.

   But what should you look for when buying bearings? There are a number of types of seal used on ball bearings and there is much debate concerning which is the best for RC.

   Rubber and Cork bearing shields are two of the more common types available, but although they are very effective when it comes to preventing dust and grit entering the bearing, they also create more drag in the bearing due them rubbing against the bearing to create friction. For this reason, if I wanted to race my model at any level and that model was fitted out with rubber or cork shielded bearings, I would change them ASAP.

   Steel and Teflon bearing shields may not be as effective as the rubber shielded versions, but they don't rub on the bearing, so little or no friction is created. The problem with this kind of bearing of course is that they need much more maintenance and are often more expensive.

   Basic shop bought bearings generally come packed with grease for their lubrication. However, if you want to have your bearings spin freely; grease is not the best thing to use. So, before you install your new bearings in your car, the first thing you need to do is clean out the grease with something like isopropanol and replace with thin oil.

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










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