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1/8 Scale Nitro Racing Car:

Serpent Viper 977 - # 903012 (Radio Controlled Model Review)


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History, Info (and How To Set-up Tips) for the Serpent Viper 977:


  Introduced by Serpent in 2013, the 4WD Viper 977 Racing Car - # 903012 - came with a new front and rear flex system.

  The model is belt driven, on an alloy plate chassis, with front one-way axle, coil spring over oil filled dampers, anti roll bars, rear dogbones, with front CVD universal joint drive-shafts and a full set of ball bearings.

Serpent Viper 977
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  To race the Serpent Viper 977, it needs to be tuned to perfection for better stability, precise steering and provide enough grip to keep you on the track when going around tight bends at high speed. Even the smallest adjustment can change the feel of a car and our simple to follow instructions will guide you to the best Set-up to get you to the front and keep you there.

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★ Serpent Viper 977 ★
Serpent Viper 977

★ Serpent Viper 977 ★
Serpent Viper 977

★ Serpent Viper 977 ★
Serpent Viper 977

★ Serpent Viper 977 Chassis ★
Serpent Viper 977 Chassis


Buying a Used Serpent Viper 977 Racing Car (and What to look for)


   Buying a used Serpent Viper 977 Nitro Racing 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 Racing Car you may discover can easily be fixed.

Dampers
   When you receive your used Serpent Racing 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 Viper 977 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 Viper 977 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 Viper 977 Racing 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 Racing 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 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 Racing 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 Viper 977 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 Viper 977 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 Racing 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 Viper 977 model and good racing.


For More on how to Setup your Racing 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 Viper 977 Chassis ★
Serpent Viper 977 Chassis


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

Gas / Nitro Engines

1/   New RC Gas Engines need running or "breaking" in before being used competitively. 2 or 3 tanks of fuel are usually enough, but don't over rev the engine and try to keep it cool, below 160 degrees F (71 degrees C)

2/   To maximise your RC Gas engines power, reduce air leaks as much as possible by using silicone sealant or high temperature gaskets where the carburettor and the exhaust manifold joins the engine block.

3/   As a rule, try to keep your engine temperature at around 210 F (99 C) and no higher than 225 degrees F (107 degrees C). If your engine temperature is higher than 225 F (107 C) try tweaking the mixture a little richer. If too cool (below 200 degrees F (93 degrees C)) tweak the mixture a little leaner.


Tell Tale Signs of a Lean burning engine.


1/   The engine dies at full throttle, or while simply idling.

2/   The Glow Plug element is white.

3/   The engine overheats (above 225 degrees F (107 degrees C))


Tell Tale Signs of a Rich burning engine.


1/   Blue smoke from the exhaust (tail) pipe.

2/   The smell of fuel from the exhaust (tail) pipe.

3/   Engine temperature below 200 degrees F (93 degrees C)


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









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