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Old 2018.12.02, 02:25 PM   #1
SuperFly
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Front ends in 2019

I'm doing something I've never done before, building a car entirely from scratch. I've always started with some kind of base, like a box stock car, or a used, broken car that just needed revitalizing. This new one is going to be completely assembled from parts.

Main components so far (things I already had on hand):

Das Mikro MHS/ASF brushless board
PN 2.5 chassis
PN Racing Mini-Z MR02/03 98-102mm V4 LCG Motor Mount
All the small parts (servo gears, etc.)
Will probably stick this under a Mosler body

Things I still need to figure out:

Rear end dampening
Front end suspension system

Basically, the big question for me is whether or not a PN double A-Arm setup is worth it ($120?), and what are the currently available alternatives. I've never owned one, and am curious, but it also looks complicated and finicky. Also, confused about whether or not the wide conversion kit is needed, or if that's how the newest version comes?

I've been looking through old threads, and a few people have mentioned the Levitezer as being great, but it seems completely unavailable. Their thread was last updated in 2015, despite their website saying they received their US patent in late 2017.

Also considering PN Racing Mini-Z MR03 Pro Front Lower Arm Set Wide and PN Racing Mini-Z MR03 Alum Caster Upper Arm 1 Camber, but once you throw in knuckles, you're at $75 already anyway. Maybe just the Kyosho hardened arms?

Anyway, I'm looking for input about currently available front end parts. Convince me to buy a PN double A-Arm setup, or talk me out of it. Sell me on the Levitezer and tell me where I can find one. Persuade me to save my money and just get stock parts.

Thanks!
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Old 2018.12.02, 03:20 PM   #2
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If you can find an Levitezer front end source, I would be interested in getting one... It combines the effect of an anti roll bar with some of the smoothest "spring" action that I have felt with a mini-z. While it is somewhat restricted to the wide configuration, I think that it is one of the best systems that has been available for the mini-z. It is very consistent, and produces a lot of front end traction with low body roll, and requires little dampening.

That said, each front end setup has its ups and downs. Having been a Reflex driver, I have driven their front end for quite some time. The adjustable camber and caster is definitely a plus, but availability is not. x-power has a similar front end upper tower, with a little more customization, but is about as expensive as the PN if not more once you add everything together. They have a lower a-arm upgrade, which requires use of their kingpins and knuckles which lock onto the kingpin via grub screw.

The PN double a-arm produces more traction than many other front end configurations, and has less camber gain. This can be beneficial for higher traction surfaces where you want to remove understeer but want to keep the car from flipping. While I do not deem this a necessary part, many often claim that it is. I havent used it on an 03, but have plenty of time with use on an 02. Racing for Reflex during the 03 time period, I primarily used their parts, therefore did not use the PN front end.

I prefer to keep my front ends relatively simple. My most common front end is a stock upper tower with Kyosho inner tube dampers. This is relatively light weight, and offers the ability to adjust preload on the springs which is not possible on the standard springs. I reverse the kingpins, so that the knuckle moves with the kingpin, and produces no stiction. I find this front end configuration works at many locations, and is inexpensive. While there is no caster or camber options, you can combine it with an upper tower bar to give you that adjustment, and knuckles for the camber. Adjusting the height of the tower and the shims under and above the knuckle will give you the ability to tune the camber gain and then adjust the preload of the front springs to adjust the droop.
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Old 2018.12.02, 03:25 PM   #3
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As far as I can tell with what Google Translate will offer, the Levitzer is available here (the only link from the Levitezer site that still worked):

http://kimihiko-yano.jp/Product/shop...gno=MR03LVZ001

but the translator doesn't work well enough to determine if they ship internationally.
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Old 2018.12.02, 03:35 PM   #4
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I added to cart, went to check out just to check. Only Japanese provinces.
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Old 2018.12.02, 10:28 PM   #5
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I run the PN double A arm on all my cars except the box stock car. I love the front end along with how quickly you can adjust it. That is my vote.
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Old 2018.12.03, 02:11 PM   #6
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I agree with Mike. I love the PN A-Arm setup. No the wide conversion is not needed on the MR3070 V3 version. I run mine on a PN2.5 chassis. The one thing I like is I really never have problems with it. Its tough, doesn't break, works all the time, and does have some nice adjustments. It makes setting front ride height really easy. I have on occasion replaced worn out parts on it. Its not that hard to set up. Once set up you can mess with the springs and camber gain settings to see what you like best for your situation. I'd get the MR2501C spring set to go with it.

For the rear end I like the basic disc damper MR2060 and MR2161 spring shock . Consider the MR2162 spring set for adjustments but really the included spring is fine. I like the new black fiber G10 #3-5 t-plates. Get the MR3009 high clamp force T-Plate mount. I also added some of the cool little 700507 counter sunk washers to secure the t-plate. I have the MR2999 motor pod.

I built two new cars about 2 years ago just like you are describing by buying all the parts separately and assembling them. One for a 70 turn class and one for Pan/modified class. I think this is the only way I would go if I wanted a nice performing competitive car. Is it necessary? Is it the most cost effective? No definitely not. But it sure was fun to build and race!
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Old 2018.12.03, 02:55 PM   #7
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Thanks for the input, much appreciated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RussF View Post
I think this is the only way I would go if I wanted a nice performing competitive car. Is it necessary? Is it the most cost effective? No definitely not. But it sure was fun to build and race!
I'm finding that I'm starting to get as much enjoyment from sitting at the workbench with magnifying googles on, building and setting up different cars in different configurations as I do driving them. I can tell when I go down in the basement at 8:00 and all of a sudden it's 1am that I must be enjoying it.
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Old 2018.12.03, 03:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperFly View Post
Thanks for the input, much appreciated.



I'm finding that I'm starting to get as much enjoyment from sitting at the workbench with magnifying googles on, building and setting up different cars in different configurations as I do driving them. I can tell when I go down in the basement at 8:00 and all of a sudden it's 1am that I must be enjoying it.
Amen Brother! I get teased all the time by one of the guys I race with about "why you messin' with your car" all the time. The fact is I also get as much enjoyment out of building and working/maintaining on cars as I do racing. Thats for all the scales I race not just Mini-Z.
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Old 2018.12.03, 04:45 PM   #9
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I think many of us that race Mini-Z enjoy the wrench time. With the cars being relatively inexpensive, we often have a fleet of cars, so we can work on quite a few cars and test crazy ideas and setups.
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Old 2018.12.03, 04:50 PM   #10
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I think many of us that race Mini-Z enjoy the wrench time. With the cars being relatively inexpensive, we often have a fleet of cars, so we can work on quite a few cars and test crazy ideas and setups.
That was going to be my next question thread: How many cars do you guys own, and how are they configured? I need to get a reality check to either slow down or justify my current, uh, burn rate.
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Old 2018.12.03, 05:44 PM   #11
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I think I have around 12 mr03 in various setups, 5 ma-010, 3 mr02, a GLR, 90MM GLA, 90MM BZ, x-power MRX, along with other various chassis in the scale. It's hard to say exactly without pulling them all out and counting.
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Old 2018.12.03, 07:48 PM   #12
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I have seven MR03's total. But I also have two motorcycles and 3 bad a$$ jet ski's. In the summer the Mini-Z's go on the shelf.


My box stock car and my HFAY car I have complete copies of them for my son to race with me when he gets a chance to get away. The same goes for the motorcycles and jet ski's as you can tell.
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Old 2018.12.03, 07:51 PM   #13
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If we want to count other toys too, I have 8 bicycles too Not as bada$$ as your motorcycle and jet skis... but I have fun with them, and commute 6 miles each way by bike to work. Next project is going to be an e-bike.
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Old 2018.12.04, 06:21 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperFly View Post
That was going to be my next question thread: How many cars do you guys own, and how are they configured? I need to get a reality check to either slow down or justify my current, uh, burn rate.
Hello my name is Russ and I'm an RC Addict.....

Although I would like to own at least one of everything. I limit my Mini-Z's to what we race. Meaning that other guys in our club also have the same chassis so we can race a class of at least 3.

Currently I have (brief configuration summary):
70 Turn Stock Racer - PN2.5 chassis, A-Arm, Rear Pod, Ball Diff, Damper, Center Spring, Etc.
70 Turn F1 - Kyosho black chassis, PN rear pod, Mantis front wing, PN knuckles, PN gear diff, shapeways rear wing.
Pan/Modified - PN2.5 chassis, A-Arm, Rear Pod, Ball Diff, Damper, Center Spring, 39 turn motor, Etc.
Buggy - Kyosho Big Bore shocks, Front and rear Ball diffs, CVD's.
Nascar - Kyosho MR015 chassis, PN Nascar Pod, Gear Diff, PN Knuckles/springs.
Overland - Kyosho stock chassis, oil filled shocks, Alum Knuckles and tie rod.
All have 2.4 ASF boards and run on my EX-6 radio


Most of the guys have the same. The 70 turn stock racer is the most "raced" class though.

I built the Nascar and I could only race it once a year for a couple years but 3 other guys thought it looked like fun so they built one too. We still only race them competitively once a year at the Wyoming Ice Melter but sometimes take them out to race at the home track.

In addition to racing Mini-Z's I also semi-regularly race 1/10, and 1/12 classes, and have a crap load of other RC cars. I made a list but deleted it as the first part of dealing with an addiction is admitting you have a problem.
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Old 2018.12.04, 06:56 PM   #15
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I am potentially building an oval racer soon... for the possibility that we might possibly race them at some point in the next year or two. I have the Monte Carlo body, but have no clue where the 015 chassis that belongs to it is. Im so bummed, because I had at least 50 cents taped to the battery clip, and I could really use a cup of coffee right about now.

It seems like whenever I chat with my buddies about a cool class idea, I start building a car with imaginary rules (that fit within real rules), then try racing that. Sometimes it works, other times.... I learn a good lesson.

I recently picked up the Atomic IAS front suspension. (I think it stands for inboard adjustable shocks). I will need to see if it is usable with the Reflex upper tower, and if so, can I develop a standalone lower a-arm tower for it. Maybe I could use some option parts from some of the newer AWD aftermarket chassis, so long as they dont interfere with the kingpin. I have a bunch of ideas that I need to sort through, and do some hand built prototypes...
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