RCScrapyard ► Iconic Vintage Radio Controlled (RC) Model Car Archive ► Smartech Bigfoot F-150. 053220
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1/5 Scale Nitro Monster Truck:

Smartech Bigfoot - # 053220 (Radio Controlled Model Review)


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History, Info (and How To Set-up Tips) for the Smartech Bigfoot F-150:


  Introduced by Smartech Racing circa 2004, the 2WD Big Foot Monster Truck - # 053220 - came with a 23cc / 28cc engine.

  The model was based on an alloy plate chassis, with a gear type differential, coil spring over oil filled dampers, dogbone drive-shafts and ball bearings.

Smartech Bigfoot
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  To race the Smartech Bigfoot F-150, 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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★ Smartech Bigfoot ★
Smartech Bigfoot

★ Smartech Bigfoot Chassis ★
Smartech Bigfoot Chassis

★ Smartech Bigfoot Chassis ★
Smartech Bigfoot Chassis

★ Smartech Bigfoot Chassis ★
Smartech Bigfoot Chassis

★ Smartech Bigfoot Chassis ★
Smartech Bigfoot Chassis

★ Smartech Bigfoot Chassis ★
Smartech Bigfoot Chassis


Buying a Used Smartech Bigfoot
Monster Truck (and What to look for)


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

Dampers
   When you receive your used Smartech Monster 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 Smartech 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 Smartech Bigfoot 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 Bigfoot 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 Bigfoot Monster 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 Monster 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 Monster 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 Monster 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 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 Monster 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 Bigfoot 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 Smartech Bigfoot 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 Smartech Monster 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 Bigfoot 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

Caster

   Caster is basically the angle the steering kingpins or steering pivot points, leans back in relation to the horizontal when viewed from the side of the chassis.

   To test the effectiveness of your cars caster, place your model on a flat surface, point the front wheels straight ahead and push the chassis over to one side to simulate body roll when cornering. You will notice that as the car leans over, all four wheels also lean over in the same direction. Tires provide the most grip when the wheels are perfectly vertical and the full width of each tire is flat on the ground. Body roll pushes the wheels past the vertical and reduces the amount of tire contact. Now, if you turn the front wheels as if cornering and again push the chassis over, you will see that in this position, the front wheels are now more vertical, giving you better ground contact and therefore improved grip.

   Another effect of caster can be seen by disconnecting your steering servo and pushing your car along the floor. Because of caster and the kingpins leaning back, your car will naturally roll straight ahead.

   Obviously, the more body roll your car induces, the more positive caster you need to counter it. Buggys, Trucks and Truggys, because of their high ride height and long dampers have more body roll and therefore require more positive caster than on road cars, with their low ride height and shorter dampers.

   If you consider a corner as having three parts: An entrance, middle and an exit. Caster influences each of them.

   With a high degree of positive caster, as you enter the corner and body roll is at its greatest, steering is better. In the middle section, as body roll reduces, steering is less effective and some under-steer is induced, that will continue as you accelerate on corner exit.

   With a low amount of caster, steering response is improved in the middle section of low speed turns and will be more likely to over-steer on corner exit because of increased front end grip from the tires.

   Too little caster can result in difficult handling on corners and poor stability on the straights.

   Most modern RC model kits come with a standard caster setting that has been set for the best handling by the manufacturers. If you are new to the sport I would recommend you stick with this setting until you get a little more experience.

   Methods to adjust caster can vary from model to model. Sometimes it is as simple as moving the position of a plastic washer from one side of the top wishbone pivot bar to the other, or simply using a small clip. Models from some manufacturers often have specific caster blocks to change the angle and must be purchased separately.

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







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.










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