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Old 2017.09.10, 10:09 PM   #1
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 498
Getting back in


I have a question that is slightly different than a brand-new Mini-Z racer. I was pretty deep into Mini-Z at the peak of MR 02 with crystals. Have about 5 running MR 02s, from mostly stock to FET stacks to external turbo mods. The last car I built was spec for the inaugural HFAY season. I have an Airtronics MX-A tx.

I'm interested in getting an MR 03 or similar. What I'm wondering is whether or not a Ready Set is a good starting place, or if I'd be better off just building from scratch (chassis set, body, TX, ball diff, etc.). Was looking at the PN 2.5 chassis, Sport vs. brushless, wondering how tolerable the TX that comes in a Ready Set is, and what the best alternative is.

I know all about how thinking you're spending $200 turns into $500, and I'd like to avoid that if possible, but also not buying a bunch of stuff I'm going to immediately upgrade. Will probably want to build a good HFAY-compliant car.

Any advice appreciated.

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Old 2017.09.10, 11:34 PM   #2
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Greater Vancouver, B.C.
Posts: 219
You are more than likely going to spend about $500 if you want to get completely set up with a modern competitive car and a decent radio. That being said, the KT-18 is tolerable and you can be fast with it, but it is a very basic radio and you will probably want to upgrade to something more substantial pretty quick. You have a few options:

1) Find a KO Propo RF-901SM module (tricky, expensive) and a transmitter compatible with it. Any transmitter that has a PPM signal can be used but installation might require some soldering.I'd go this route personally but it's pricey and the module is hard to find.

2) Kyosho EX-6. Expensive. All the radio you will ever need for Mini-Z

3) Kyosho Prefex EX-5UR ASF. You can get these used pretty cheap. They offer enough programming features for most. Probably a good cost/features compromise. I have not personally driven one to know how they feel in the hand however.

Brushless seems to be the way to go these days as it's got the power and run time balance, but it's not quite as smooth and linear as brushed cars. Used, brushed MR-03s can be had very cheap on eBay with some nice hop-ups. I'm not sure what HFAY requires.

You don't need that many hop ups to make an MR-03 quick. Choose a good racing body for starters. The Audi R8, McLaren 12C-GT3 and Ferrari 458 are all top choices for racing. 98mm mid motor seems to be the most popular set-up these days and the aforementioned bodies are all 98mm. Minimum hop ups are ball diff, T-plate, rear dampening, stainless kingpings and front springs. Nice additions are alloy knuckles, motor pods, stronger rims, durable fasteners, and anything that can make the front end smoother. There are a lot of options for the front end of an MR-03. The PN double A-arm setup is popular. I personally have no experience with it. I prefer titanium hop ups over aluminum where possible. Try to keep the car light.

Kyosho tires are good and I run them exclusively. Super consistent! 10° or 20° rears and 30° fronts are what many people use. Many tracks require rubber only tires since the old silicone rubber tires from the past would often damage RCP tracks over time.

There is a good chance you can reuse some of the rear end parts from your old fleet as they should mostly fit. You will need new T-plates rather than the old H-plates of the MR-02. Older motor pods might also not fit brushless motors.

I'd avoid the sport series at all costs. The electronics are really cheap, and while they work well enough for turning some fun laps with stock motors, I say they are strictly for either casual racers or people who want to have a go at racing on the cheap.

Brushless motors are hard to compare with brushed motors but the consensus *roughly* seems to be:

3000-3500 KV = Kyosho Stock (80T)
5500 KV = Kyosho Xspeed (49T)
7500+KV = Fast brushed motors
10000+KV = Insane. Probably too much for all but the biggest tracks.

Hope this is helpful!
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Old 2017.09.10, 11:43 PM   #3
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 498
Wow, thanks!

I've been wondering about the brushless option. I have brushless in my larger scale r/c stuff, and they're great, but seemingly less granular, and also seemingly overkill for my needs. I think my sweet spot for motors (or was, with MR 02) was something slightly hotter than the stock FETs could handle, or the fastest motor available that wouldn't fry stock FETS. I'm more interested in carving a smooth steady line than darting from one wall to the next really fast.

So the Sport series is no good, huh? If I was to go Ready Set route, do they even have any non-Sport Readysets out?

Yea, I figured a new 2.4 Tx was going to be the budget killer, but I remember how much of an upgrade that MX-A was over the stock Kyosho radio, so maybe I need to save up and wait.

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Last edited by SuperFly; 2017.09.10 at 11:52 PM.
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Old 2017.09.10, 11:51 PM   #4
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Greater Vancouver, B.C.
Posts: 219
You can find brushless ready-sets with the Kyosho blue "Eco" motor (5500 KV) and the KT-18 and that would be enough to get started. The stock front end is passable and you can transplant a rear end from an old AM car onto the new MR-03 assuming the motor fits. Just grab a set of T-plates. That would get you running for less than $300 and the KT-18 is almost always easy to resell, so you can partially recoup your cost when its time to upgrade

When you are craving more speed later, get something in the 7-9000 KV range and it will probably be all the motor you'd ever want. I have a car with a PN 9500 KV motor and while fun and very fast, it chews through tires like crazy and requires me to be on my A-game at all times to drive it effectively.

Last edited by TeeSquared; 2017.09.10 at 11:53 PM.
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Old 2017.09.11, 12:16 PM   #5
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Whistler, B.C.
Posts: 2,186
As a possible source for finding some used gear to fit your needs find PDX on FB.... they are a hfay and gtg/ race club in Portland area. They might know of some good used stuff in your neighborhood.
I wonder what rocket scientists say to their coworkers when one of them doesn't get it?

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