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1/8 Scale Nitro Buggy:

Thunder-Tiger Silver Fox - # 399 (Radio Controlled Model Review)


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History, Info (and How To Set-up Tips) for the TT Silver Fox:


  Introduced by Thunder Tiger circa 1983, the 4WD Silver Fox Buggy - # 399 - is chain driven, on an alloy frame chassis with welded roll cage, gear type differentials, fiberglass reinforced nylon trailing arm suspension, employing lay down coil spring over oil filled dampers.

  A Silver Fox Gold Edition was introduced circa 1984.

Thunder Tiger Silver Fox - Vintage 1:8 Nitro RC Buggy
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  To race the TT Silver Fox, 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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★ Thunder Tiger Silver Fox Chassis ★
Thunder Tiger Silver Fox Chassis

★ Thunder Tiger Silver Fox Chassis ★
Thunder Tiger Silver Fox Chassis


Buying a Used Thunder-Tiger Silver Fox Buggy (and What to look for)


   Buying a used Thunder-Tiger Silver Fox Nitro 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 Thunder-Tiger 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 Thunder-Tiger 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 Thunder-Tiger 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 Thunder-Tiger Silver Fox 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 Silver Fox 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 Silver Fox Buggy 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 Buggy 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 Buggy 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 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 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 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 Silver Fox 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 Thunder-Tiger Silver Fox 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 Thunder-Tiger 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 Silver Fox 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

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.







Hints and Tips

Soldering

   In the sport of Radio Controlled racing, there are a number of things you have to learn to get you up there with the best. One of the most difficult, for those with little practical skill, is the art of Soldering.

   For their 540 silver can motors, Tamiya provide two wires, typically green and yellow, soldered to the endbell, with two bullet connectors to plug into the speed controller. While this is fine for bashing around the back yard, if you were to advance to a higher level you will soon find just how inefficient this method is.

   Motor wires are best soldered directly to the ESC. That way no energy is lost through high current draw. Some of the top drivers at one time even used to solder their batteries directly to the ESC, but these days with connectors such as "Deans" and "Power Pole" this isn't necessary but I still wouldn't use any kind of connector for the motor.

   There are basically two kinds of solder. Plumbers solder which is made up of 60% Lead and 40% Tin, where as electrical solder is the opposite 40% Lead with 60% Tin. NEVER use plumbers solder for your battery, ESC or motor joints. Lead melts at 327 degrees C, where as tin melts at 232 degrees C. The higher Lead content of plumbers means it melts at a higher temperature, which is not good for your battery cells. Also, Tin has almost half the electrical resistance of lead, so with the higher Tin content of electrical solder, electricity flows much easier to your motor.

   More recently, due to the European regulations for lead use, lead free solders are becoming more widely used well, in Europe anyway. The problem with lead free is the melting temperature it is much higher, making it difficult to produce reliable joints.

   Lead, as we know, is a poison to the body if ingested or inhaled in certain quantities. so when using lead based solder, try not to inhale any of the fumes and always wash your hands after completing your work. One of my friends also wears cotton gloves, but I find these cumbersome.

   For me lead / tin solder is far easier to use and if used with care, has less potential to damage your batteries having a much lower melting temperature.

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










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