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1/10 Scale Nitro Buggy:

Traxxas Nitro Buggy - # 3301 / # 3304 / # 3310 (Radio Controlled Model Review)


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History, Info (and How To Set-up Tips) for the Traxxas Nitro Buggy:


  Introduced by Traxxas in 1993, the 2WD Nitro Buggy, was available as a kit - # 3301 and Factory Built, with TRX-Pro-15 engine, without radio - # 3304 and RTR with engine and TQ radio system - # 3310.

  The original Nitro Buggy versions had white nylon parts, later models came with black nylon parts.

  The Traxxas model was based on a formed alloy plate chassis, with a gear type differential, coil spring over oil filled dampers, slipper-clutch, universal joint drive-shafts and 14 oilite bushings, ring type bearings.

Traxxas Nitro Buggy - 1:10 RC
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  To race the Traxxas Nitro Buggy, it has to have the best settings for your driving style and provide you with excellent handling and stability. The smallest changes can make a huge difference in the way your car performs on the track and our comprehensive instructions will help you to find the best Set-up to get you where you want to be.

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★ Traxxas Nitro Buggy ★
Traxxas Nitro Buggy

★ Traxxas Nitro Buggy ★
Traxxas Nitro Buggy Chassis


Buying a Used Traxxas Buggy (and What to look for)


   Buying a used Traxxas 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 Traxxas 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 Traxxas 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 Traxxas 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 Traxxas Buggy 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 Buggy 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 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 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 Traxxas Buggy 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 Traxxas 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 Buggy 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

Keeping Notes

   If all you will ever do is go racing at your local track every week, then this article is not for you. However, if you ever look towards travelling around to different tracks around the country, or even the world, the value of keeping notes is all too obvious.

   Every time I raced in a regional or national competition meeting, I would make detailed notes, aided by a little local knowledge initially and later fine tuned to suit my own driving style.

   My experience now means there are few, if any outdoor tarmac tracks within a 300 mile radius I haven been to and my notes on motor, gearing, camber angles, shock settings, tire choice and what inserts work best for that particular track, amongst others, allow me to save valuable time on the finer points of car setup, that can be done in the warmth of my own home on the kitchen table days before the meeting, instead of the often crippling heat, or the arduous conditions inside a wind blown tent.

   There are lots of methods for making notes on setup. The easiest perhaps is to download the blank pages often supplied by your cars manufacturer with a line drawing of your car and spaces for you to fill in as to the setting you prefer. Great if each time you go to a particular track the conditions are always constant. Notes made on a cold windy day will be little use on a hot sunny days racing on the same track.

   Manufacturers setup pages for their top drivers can also be useful as a starting point, but you should never take that setup as being the best there could ever be.

   So, the first note you should make is of the weather conditions. The wind and its direction isn't really what I am talking about, although it can have an effect on your cars handling, it is not something you can change your setup to handle. Track temperature and humidity are the main things to note. Not the average for the day, but for each round of racing. And note what tires you used and how the car handled in each race. Detail everything that might be useful in the future, no matter how trivial.

   Note the motor used and the gearing. Check the temperature of the motor after the race, how much charge is left in the batteries. You may have won the race, but there is always room for improvement your competitors will be doing just that.

   Every bit of information you compile will be useful for the next time you visit that particular venue. Weather forecasts these days are far more accurate than they used to be, so the adage "fore warned is fore armed" fits the bill. Simply search through your notes and find a day you raced with similar conditions to those forecast and set up your car to suit. But don't stop there.

   The conditions may be the same as they were when you made your notes, but that doesn't mean you can't improve your setup. Your practice laps will soon prove if your previous setup was correct, or give you a basis for more fine tuning.

   If you want to be the best, you have to work at it. Success doesn't come easy. You can be the best driver around, but if your setup isn't perfect you will never step up onto the winners rostrum. My motto if you never try anything, you never do anything. And if you never do anything wrong, you aren't trying hard enough.

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







Hints and Tips

Droop

   When you pick up your RC model car, the suspension arms naturally drop, this is termed as Droop and should be equal from side to side, but can vary from front to rear.

   Setting the amount of droop, or suspension movement, can dramatically change the handling of your car by limiting the transfer of weight from one side of the car to the other.

   Basically, increasing the droop at the rear of the car can improve cornering grip at the front and increasing droop at the front of the car, improve cornering grip at the rear. The amount of effectiveness of this setting does in general depend on a number of other setting factors your car may have to suit your personal driving style. Also, adding any droop will increase body roll.

   Off road models obviously have the need for more droop than On road cars, especially on bumpy tracks where a large amount of suspension movement is needed to simply keep the wheels on the track, or the car will become unstable and un-drivable. Lower droop settings for smoother, high grip tracks on the other hand can be advantageous, but don't overdo it.

   On road cars can achieve good results from small changes in droop, on tarmac and on carpet. In general they are also easier to adjust for droop than their off road cousins.

   Limiting the amount of droop can be achieved in a number of ways, but by far the easiest is more often seen as a standard setting option for On road cars and is achieved by simply turning a screw, located on the suspension arms, that comes up against the chassis.

   For Off road models and those On road cars that do not have the above option, droop can be set by positioning a specific length of plastic tube over the damper shaft, just below the piston this of course means stripping and rebuilding each damper with the new setting, which can be messy, especially in the middle of a field. Some of the top drivers used to get around this by simply having a number of different sets of shocks, with all the settings they might need, but for us mere mortals, this of course isn't a realistic option.

   If you are close to what you consider to be your optimum droop setting, you can fine tune this by simply screwing on or off the plastic ball connector at the end of the shock shaft. You could also have different length ball connectors that you could easily change.

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










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