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Old 2002.06.10, 12:00 AM   #1
San Marino GP- 4/25/04
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My rookie review with my first mini F1

i took my mini F1 for a spin this evening at the local RC track and was very enlightened and to say the least. The track i went to is actually for 1/10 scale RCs but i wanted to run my McLaren there because i was curious how the tires would do on pavement. also, i wanted to test the hop ups i just installed at a place where i could go full throttle for a considerable amount of time without slowing or stopping too often. what better place than at a track that's meant for 1/10th scale where there's plenty of room to test the car's potential

first off my upgrades up to this point are as follows:

xspeed motor
ball diff
rear springs (yellow)
ball bearings all around
purple wheel nuts
Rayovac NiMH batteries

here were my findings:

MOTOR- since i never really ran the the stock motor except in my kitchen, i don't have a clue how fast/slow it is but considering the speed obtained with the xspeed and ball diff, i won't bother finding out. I find that the xspeed motor has decent speed at full throttle but realistically i felt things could be faster. As such it looks like i'll be investing in a turbo as my next upgrade. I'll likely get the motor eventually but for now i'll wait until i get more run time with the xspeed and a turbo.

SPRINGS- the only hobby shop that carries kyosho option parts ran out of front springs. They're definately on my list of things to get when they're available. I found the front stock springs are about worthless. Even at lower speeds, the bumper affects handling during turns as it is 'audibly' noticeable when it drags the ground during cornering. The springs (especially the fronts) from this evenings experience is clearly an under-rated item. I can't say enough for any of you new guys contemplating upgrades that replacing the stock springs are a must. Other than that, the handling was good especially with the kingpins in place.

TIRES- the stock 50s held up pretty well on pavement. i stayed with the 50s with 'tire longevity' in mind versus better grip. i was afraid they would wear more than they did considering how rough pavement texture actually is in relation to the size of the vehicle but after about 30+ minutes of almost continuous run time, i was pleased to find the grooves were still there. not sure how long these tires will last on pavement but i'll keep you posted.

BALL BEARINGS- in another forum it was mentioned that the Duratrax ball bearings don't work. Ironically, that's what i purchased and they seemed to have worked very well for me. i didn't have any problems with any poor fitting bearings, loose fitting rims or any problems with the purple wheel nuts.

THE TRACK- As for dirt and pebbles, i didn't have any problems at the track with this as it was swept and free of (obvious) debris. the track was layed out with large PVCs at a Cinema parking lot. The only big problem i had were some bumps and uneveness at some areas of the track but other than that, i had no problems with getting rocks, pebbles or heavy dirt accumilation inside the body.

THE BATTERIES- instead of buying kyosho's AAA NiMH, i just bought a set of Rayovac's since i already have a Rayovac Battery charger that's meant for both NiCd and NiMh batteries. What i have are 1.5v 700AmH and they held up very well. The only draw back was that it took about 12 hours to charge the set but on the other hand, they were only 6.00 and some change at the local WalMart.

Overall, i had lots of fun running my mini F1 today on this medium sized (60 x 40?) track. I even had some positive comments from the other RC guys out there when i first showed up. Nothing like good publicity to highten awareness. I'm sure i'll be doing more pavement test runs in the future and will mention my findings here as i get the opportunity. i welcome any comments and suggestions.

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Old 2002.06.12, 12:01 AM   #2
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Cool, thanks for the review!
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Old 2002.06.12, 11:16 AM   #3
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What i have are 1.5v 700AmH and they held up very well. -west f1

are you sure they're 1.5v? if they are i want a set... most nimh batts are 1.2v aren't they?
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Old 2002.06.12, 12:08 PM   #4
San Marino GP- 4/25/04
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woops. they are 1.2v. sorry about that. however if i'm not mistaken (again) i think the AAA rechargeable 'Alkalines' are 1.5v You may want to double check at a local dep't store on that one.

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Old 2002.06.16, 11:56 PM   #5
San Marino GP- 4/25/04
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alright. here's more rookie reviews:

visiting the HS where i bought my F1 i met up with a guy who had a ferrari and had a blast practicing on the carpet track. as such there was a few more things i learned since my initial post:

BATTERIES- don't cut back on decent batteries. the other guy was using a set of ****** 1.2v 700mAh batteries and his run not only lasted almost an entire hour ( compared to the 20 minutes that my Rayovac AAA nimh provided me ) but also provided more overall power. i couldn't believe it. i learned the hard way that cheap batteries only cheapens the fun factor and makes you less competitive. unfortunately i didn't have the money on me at the time, but i'm definately planning on getting the one hour rayovac recharger and two sets of those ******'s next week. a set can be recharging while i'm using the other. with each set lasting almost an hour, that'll work out great.

SOFT TIRES- with more power, the softer the tire, the better. my opponent and i both had xspeeds without turbos. i was using grooved 30s all around whereas he was using 25 rated slicks in the rear. (i forget what he was using in the fronts). his result? better traction and straight line stability. even when he let me borrow a set of his ****** batteries, i was able to keep up better but found myself fishtaling at times on the long straight in an effort to stay with him under full throttle. so with a faster motor, i felt softer tires (anything less than 30s that is) is the way to go. now that i recently installed the eagle turbo, i'm definately gonna have to invest in some softer rated slicks.

EAGLE TURBO. i just installed this thing and soldered four of the six wires to where they were supposed to go. the only two that weren't soldered were the + and - signal wires. those i screwed in. if you ask me why, i'll answer but suffice it to say other than some initial twitches, i haven't encountered any overheating problems or erratic steering using the turbo with the Xspeed. i have yet to run it at the LHS however against my said opponent ( i installed it after i got home) but i'll keep you posted.

i can honestly say as a new miniZ owner, i'm glad i got my F1 and encourage anyone out there who might be contemplating on getting one to go ahead and just get one. Formula One is the pinacle of motorsport. continue to support it and support mini F1s.

thank you for your time and i welcome any comments or suggestions.

Last edited by West.F1; 2002.06.17 at 11:32 PM.
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Old 2002.06.17, 11:28 PM   #6
San Marino GP- 4/25/04
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woops. i forget to mention i also purchased the Rear Shock set as well as the yellow springs for the fronts so now i have hard springs all around. no wonder i didn't have money for better batteries.

anyway, despite having harder (yellow) springs in the rear, i noticed the motor case still tended to flex too easy with the rest of the chassis. and thats just using my hands to examine how much free movement there is. needless to say i shelled out even more cash for a Rear Shock set. talk about a big big difference. and well worth the purchase. with an xspeed (and now with turbo) i can expect more weight transfer forces to the rear during moments of acceleration compared to just the stock motor. obviously the front wheels won't ever come off the ground at full throttle, but it's good to know that front end grip stays more constant when going full throttle out of a turn and down a straight.
i installed the rear shock set with all 5 'spacer' washers because i felt the spring included was too soft. (i tried putting one of the extra rear springs in it's place but this was too long). Anyway, the result was immediately noticeable. a much firmer feel in stability and handling during acceleration. the rear shock set is definately worth considering after you get some of your initial hop ups out of the way. i'm guessing the rear springs are more for those lateral mini Z (or should i say mini G) forces vs strictly counteracting rear-ward weight transfer? the hard rear springs + the rear shock set definately added some noticeable firmness to a rather loose 'stock' rear end.

my 2 cents on the subject.

Last edited by West.F1; 2002.06.17 at 11:35 PM.
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