View Full Version : MR-03 vs MR-02 ...reliability for rental cars

2010.12.22, 10:20 AM
We are expanding our party rentals with another track and now need a new fleet. Whereas, I've been out of Mini-Z's for a while (and concentrating on d'Nano), I have yet to try the MR-03s. Our Mini-Z fleet is entirely older cars and Mini-Z Monster Trucks.

My question is, are the MR-03s as reliable as the MR-02, with respect to parts breakage? Speed is NOT important (in fact, we slow the cars down considerably for most parties). Reliability with respect to things like broken servo gears, front ends, etc. is what I'm am concerned with.

That said, we do the following to our older Mr-02s and will do the same to the new cars:

1. double carbon T-plates
2. A custom made bumper system that wraps the cars in flexible plastic.
3. A body strap that holds the body on tight and keeps it from dislocating from its mounts. Reinforce body mounts.
4. Ball Diffs, bearings, tires

We do no "performance" hop-ups and will use stock KT-18 radios (which themselves seem to have a high failure rate)

We are considering going with the US spec MR-03s, as they already have the ball diff, bearings and carbon plates, etc. for about what it would cost to upgrade the cars. As all upgrades are x10-12 to do the "fleet", I only do what really helps the cars drivability in the hands of a beginner, and what keeps things from breaking. (We will test the gyros, but they seemed unnecessary on our high-banked oval track that has a similar surface to RCP.)

I'm hoping the reliability issues that I've read about were from the earlier cars and/or experimentation with hop-ups ...i.e. is the stock car basically "sound" and "solid" with less twitchy/tweaking compared to the older cars. Or am I better off just going with MR-2 2.4 GHz cars? Keeping a group of 13 year-olds happy for an hour and a half of much-less-than-perfect driving is my only goal, and not having to replace too many servo gears or other time-consuming repairs that require disassembly

Finally, do the bolt-on RFID tags that Kyosho sells fit the MR-03?? They work well on the one AWD Mini-Z I have and would allow us to use the same timing system as we do with d'Nanos (Kyosho ribbon/Flipside).

All opinions are welcome; especially from those who have run older cars and the new MR-03 ...I need to get this right before we drop $3K on new cars.

2010.12.22, 10:37 AM
mr02 with corvette bodies and call it a day... i think it will be more then durable enough for your intentions... get all white bodies and paint em a different color so the rentee's know which car is theirs...

2010.12.22, 10:38 AM
for a rental side i would go mr02. you can get 02s alot cheaper than 03s. if you were looking to seriously race them then go 03.

2010.12.22, 11:53 AM
I'd go with the NSXs though... I've had newbies destroy brand new Vettes within a few hours. They tend to crack up at sides of the front mount in the bumper, and that crack then transfers pretty quickly up to the headlight.

MR02s... get some alloy upper towers though just to be sure.

2010.12.22, 01:39 PM

The IC tag can be put under the 03 aswell.
For rental, as the others I'll go with the 02. Much simple on the front part of the chassis so more easy to work on and minus pieces prone to break.

All bodies can be raced as long as you put some reinforcement in the nose. I use a simple plastic card that I cut to the shape of the inside of the body and my cars can take serious abuse. I have yet to break a body to the point that it's unusable...

2010.12.22, 01:41 PM
MR02 definitely for rentals. Alloy upper towers isnt a bad idea either. The Vette is definitely durable in white body, but I have seen some ASC come to pieces. My 07 NSX has a pretty big crack on the front end... I would recommend the Vette over the NSX. 0mm offset front with 1mm offset rear. There is also less work to get the body to work on the track (shaving the front end). The 430GT may also be a good option, I have rarely seen that body crack and it is one of the best race bodies on the market.

2010.12.22, 02:11 PM
I would go for MR02 and Mosler it will hold for a long time.
in Barcelona 7 out of 8 used Mosler and they never broke for us under 12 hours only the custom body clips i made and thats my fault i guess.

2010.12.22, 02:49 PM
MR02 definitely for rentals. Alloy upper towers isnt a bad idea either. The Vette is definitely durable in white body, but I have seen some ASC come to pieces. My 07 NSX has a pretty big crack on the front end... I would recommend the Vette over the NSX. 0mm offset front with 1mm offset rear. There is also less work to get the body to work on the track (shaving the front end). The 430GT may also be a good option, I have rarely seen that body crack and it is one of the best race bodies on the market.

Guess the white bodies would be a bit stronger...

Another vote in durability for me would be the Murcielago and the first wave MBs, but availability on the old Benzes is near non-existent. Newer Skylines seem pretty tough... I was also impressed by the Moslers as well.

Just as long as you are getting "race-type" bodies that give you ample front wheel coverage you should save some bucks in breakages.

2010.12.22, 02:53 PM
MR-02s for rentals, no doubt. More reliable, easier to work on and set up. KT-18s on the other hand are not nearly as reliable as the old AM radios. As for cost, I'm sure the regulars here could supply you with all the used MR-02s you'd need with all the option parts you'd want for way less than buying new. Most of us have multiples sitting around collecting dust.

2010.12.23, 01:23 PM
First, thanks for all the replies from the seasoned veterans here. I probably misused "rental" in that the cars will be at trade shows and parties and are part of a $15K portable "show" track ensemble. Hence, presentation and quality are extremely important.
That said, I dusted off a few of our (very) old MR-02s and even an MR-01 and tried them on our tracks. Even after cleaning the pots and re-greasing/lubricating, these cars had no where near the driveability of my AWD Mini-Z (unfortunately, as much as I love the AWD, they are just too fragile to use for this purpose).

27 MHz just doesn't cut it anymore, not to mention antennas breaking when 6 beginners are next to each other at the track. All my R/C aircraft have been converted to 2.4 GHz and if I trust 2.4 to fly a $2K F3B sailplane, I certainly have no problems using on Mini-Zs, KT-18 not withstanding.
So... I went through every single post on the MR-03 forum, and most complaints were regarding fried FETs because of motor changes/hop-ups/ and Kyosho's first product run, and of course, the well-documented flakiness of the KT-18. But, I couldn't find any complaints about the front ends disintegrating or excess parts breakage ...just electronics and first-run hickups. And does it not seem that the MR-03 is actually easier to get at things for adjustment/repair and that the servo system is much more robust?
So...we are going to the polar opposite of the MR-02 in attempt to get as close to the handling of AWD, and as far away from the most poorly designed Kyosho part ever (KT-18).

Transmitters: Kyosho Perfex EX 5UR ....these are only about $70 more than the KT-18 and should prove much, much better. They are (resoanbly) cheap @ $145 overseas. I've ordered a couple and will test with both the MR-03 and d'Nano (couldn't find anything more than the standard press release ...no "review" from unbiased sources yet)

Cars: 2- "Tiki-Tiki (chase mode) "Red Edition" - these have all the needed upgrades (ball diff, bearings, carbon, long kingpins, etc. and are similar to the American spec cars but a full $50 less and have the chase mode that will work with the EX 5UR. (yes, chase mode may prove to be gimmick, but then again, it might be just plain fun and a good handicapper)

Doing the math @ $215 @ chassis they are about $100 more than new MR-02 can be found, but have way more than $100 in (useful) upgrades and are 2.4Hz. Compared to a 2.4 GHz chassis MR-03 the price difference is about $80... almost a no-brainer and well-matched to the new Perfex transmitters.
Bodies: 2X Skyline and 2X TRP Mosler (note: I try to patronize local Canadian and US distributors when I can, and when the price is close, so I did get the Moslers from this shop:). I will test these bodies with our bumper system and a special clear fibre-tape coating we put on the cars to keep them from getting marked up/splitting/cracking.

Thanks guys, for suggesting those bodies, and yes, I even remember the Mercedes MR-02 body that was "indestructible" as one member pointed out ...we still have one with with nary a crack and it went through over 100 parties).
Frankly, I'm quite relieved to have sprung for the Kyosho Perfex EX 5UR; the KT-18s we have are more temperamental and whiny than my teenage kids. And why or why did Kyosho not stick with conventional dual rates/expo? ...the ICS programming on the newer cars is not the most intuitive thing, better suited for ultra tweaking the cars for racing, then simple dialing in some "beginner" dual -rate and expo ...the same way I do when I teach beginners to fly R/C.
We'll have the new portable show track and (hopefully) these cars for a trade show we are doing in late January and I'll check back with some reviews on the car bodies and the new Kyosho Perfex EX 5UR. - Lorne

2010.12.23, 01:38 PM
I've only just seen this thread,but i run MR03's at Moto Arena which is at Silverstone circuit. We use 4 Mr03 readysets,all porsches. 2x911 GT1's,a red bull 911 GT3 and a 962(yes i did say a 962!!) the 962 has the Kyosho bumper fitted.
In 3 months of them being used as hire cars,i have replaced one t plate,and the white GT1 has lost it's rear wing. Other than that all that has been changed are tyres.
These cars are generally used by total novices as training vehicles.
I have been very impressed by the cars and bodies,which have sustained very little damage,even tho they have had a hard 3 months. :)

2010.12.23, 02:03 PM
well thats changes things completely... at that point of doing trade shows and traveling i would scale down completey to dnano not to add the simplicity factor... you can get the track right from kyosho which goes together beautifully and is so light it will keep shipping ciosts down if your not hauling it yourself and the cars are a breeze... tires and maybe a gyro if you wanna make the driving experience even more enjoyable.... plus each car comes with its own transponder and you can get the easy plug and play lap counter hooked up to a computer monitor or small tv and the people can see their lap times and at least have a little competition between friends on who can hit the fastest lap...

here is a link to some pics of a setup dnano track for reference...

2010.12.23, 03:01 PM
Junior, I am pretty sure that the original poster makes tracks for Mini-Z and Dnano (Porta-Trax), so using the Kyosho track would not be something that he has in mind.

I have seen a few MR03's break the entire front clip section off of the chassis. At least 4 of them. I have a chassis that is cracked in that location, but still held together enough that Im not going to change to a new chassis until it breaks more.

2010.12.23, 03:12 PM
didnt reralize that sorry... but i would still go with dnano for simplicity... they are just as mush fun and charging the batteries is a whole lot easier..

2010.12.23, 05:02 PM
The Ex5-UR is a good TX ......
You just have to get used to the fixed antenna. It doesnt move so it makes the TX a bit cumbersome.

2010.12.23, 08:50 PM
The Ex5-UR is a good TX ......
You just have to get used to the fixed antenna. It doesnt move so it makes the TX a bit cumbersome.
Makes me think... can it be removed? I removed the plastic covering for the antenna from the Mini-Z ASF module, and now just have the wire tucked into the module. This makes it much easier to transport, as I dont have to remove the module to pack it.

2010.12.23, 11:01 PM
Kryten ...German hardware at Silverstone ...sacrilege:p ...I'd permit only Jag XKs and perhaps a Lotus or two; and only if they were a dark racing green ...I'm sure I've had more than a few dreams of passing Graham Hill on that famed circuit (yes, I'm almost that old).

Seriously, that's exactly the testimonial I was looking for ...that the cars were reasonably sorted and not littered with design flaws.
With respect to the d'NaNo, we do have 9 cars and have run them successfully at parties and events. Those that followed my track build threads on Tinyrc know that we did a lot of trial and error getting a decent track for these little guys (no fibrous materials, no interlocking) and I know John over at RCP has also worked equally hard to design a more d'NaNo-friendly track, given Kyosho's own half-baked plastic track. Suffice to say it's been challenging.

And there's an Achilles heel design flaw in the d'NaNo that requires the front kingpin/axle to be cleaned out after every 20 minutes or so of running (even on just-cleaned smooth track) ...no big deal for racers, but a time-sink for us. Coupled to the KT-18's split personality, missed laps from the Kyosho ribbon timer, and IMO, there needs to be more development. At least that's been my experience.

Lots of pros and cons with the d'NaNo personal bias aside, we did informal market tests with a target group of "Bar Mitvah"-aged kids and they all preferred the Mini-Z's "size" and assumed it was faster (it's not on our small-ish track). (Kids under the age of 10 did like the Mario Kart d'NaNo conversions we did, but I'm not messing with Nintendo's legal department). And everyone thought my stock AWD Mini-Z was much easier to drive than the often-skittish d'NaNo. - Lorne

2010.12.28, 07:31 AM
AWD + kids bashing = $$$

You will be spending it for repairs... the MA010 is rugged, but plan on replacing stripped out axles and stock diffs real soon!

MR02s with bearings, alloy knuckles, PN 6s or 8s out back, 10s and 15s on the front, ball diffs loosened up* and 80 or 70 turn motors (stocks will work too, just oil them bushings!)... that would be a very durable herd for the kids to bash.

I've had charitable newbie bash-fests in the past for a few organizations around here and this theme was always the best route.

I can understand the lean towards AWD due to the Ozite surface, but the 02s will last you longer.

*enough so I can hit the gas with nose to the wall, and the spur will spin freely, set them just enough to make the car accelerate smoothly.