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Old Feb 17, 2013, 10:25 AM
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This Hobby Doesn't Have to Brake The Bank

I have had an R/C problem since I was a kid. I was around 16 (1988) when it started to get serious. I was in to planes first but since this is the car and truck section of the forum I'll start with my first truck. I bought my first hobby grade truck shortly after learning how to fly. I had the various toy grade trucks and was always a bit disappointed. I could not afford a new one so I bought a used Tamiya Lunchbox with a Novak ESC and 2 channel Futaba radio for $50.00
The ESC was smoked and the servo mounts were broken but other then that it was in good shape. I sent in the ESC and ordered the parts to fix the Lunchbox. Before you know it I was ready to go. I think I had another$25.00 into all the repairs. Ive been doing it this way ever since. The last new truck I bought was The RC10 GT first edition. I love new stuff who doesn't but if I had to buy all this stuff new I'd have Bill Gates kind of money.

Here is a few examples of what I have been able to do. A friend at work was going to throw this away and he remembered I was into R/C. So he gave it to me. It can pay let people your into R/C .It was in not so good shape when it hit the bench

I bought this Rusty for $25.00 at the hobby shop. again not in this good a shape when I bought it. I upgraded all the bearing carriers this had bushings in the truck when I got it.I ran a brushed motor until I found a deal on the Brushless set up.


I bought a pair of these Nitro Rustlers for $75.00 I traded in the old engine for a brand new Traxxas engine It was less then $80.00 I think. All the truck needed was a throttle linkage and some new bearings.

Even the body was still in good shape.


I bought this on the boards for around $80.00 shipped it was dirty and needed a little work

After I was done with it. I swapped out all the Pulleys and belts for the the bigger engine though I haven't put one in yet. I added the RX cover and a new servo.This car has been a lot of fun.

I bough this from a local guy after the ebay deal went bad for $75.00
An HPI MT2 with a bunch of upgrades. It has been a great truck.

The latest edition is a TT01 for $70.00 shipped. It needs a little work not much though.

My old radio to control everything has been upgraded to 2.4 GHZ


When I buy used I figure the servo's will need to be replaced and if I'm wrong then it is a bonus steering servo's take a real beating.
I only buy used electronics from people I know. Radios and chargers I like to buy new as well as tools. When you buy used the the first rule I follow is can I get parts. If you find a killer deal on a truck and you can't find parts it is worthless. That is one reason I recommend Traxxas so much there parts are everywhere. If you deal with people on Forums they need to have good feedback or you can get the shaft in a heartbeat. If they can provide you a link to there ebay account or some forums have a feedback rating. Check to see how much stuff they sell sand how long it has been since there last transaction
I use paypal to give myself some protection. I like to go to the used section of my LHs and deal there are swap meets to check out sometimes you can get some good deals there to.
I have applied this philosophy to my plane habit as well with success.
I see a lot of post's for people looking to get into the hobby this is how I do it. Google is your friend here look at some of the reviews in the magazines and on the forums when you make your choice. Get your budget together and be prepared to do some looking and be a little patient You can save some money to put towards the the rest of the stuff that is required for this R/C "problem"
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Old Feb 17, 2013, 12:39 PM
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Thank you for taking your time writing this!
Definitely a helpful post for many of us.
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Old Feb 17, 2013, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by lawjie View Post
Thank you for taking your time writing this!
Definitely a helpful post for many of us.
No problem I just trying to show how I do it. It works for me I'm no authority. This way it frees up my funds for more stuff
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Old Feb 17, 2013, 03:07 PM
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Sounds like my story as well. I rarely buy new vehicles with the exception of planes and Helicopters.. The only thing won't buy used is engines and electronics..just not worth the trouble for me.. Others may have better luck with them. Like you, I don't need the latest and greatest especially because I don't race anymore..I have quite a collection at the moment and all my ground based vehicles were second hand, gone thru and made new or better than new..
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Old Feb 17, 2013, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by cenracer1 View Post
Sounds like my story as well. I rarely buy new vehicles with the exception of planes and Helicopters.. The only thing won't buy used is engines and electronics..just not worth the trouble for me.. Others may have better luck with them. Like you, I don't need the latest and greatest especially because I don't race anymore..I have quite a collection at the moment and all my ground based vehicles were second hand, gone thru and made new or better than new..
I feel the same way. I bought that Castle ESC from a friend. Electronics and engines are just things I buy new. Used electronics can be more trouble then there worth. Used airplane engines I seem to have a little bit better luck with. I have a used PT 40 trainer on lay away right now I got it for $50.00 with an engine. It is an older Magnum engine I plan on trying to get it running if it gives me to much trouble then off to the scrap heap it goes or Ebay for parts.
This is one of the second panes I ever built so that is why I bought it. The new foam panes are all pretty reasonable on price so I go new with that as well. I tried to go cheap when I was racing and it didn't work so hot. You need money to race.
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 12:37 AM
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im in the same boat. the last new rc car i had was a duratrax evader pro. the one with all the fancy graphite parts. what a piece of junk! say what you want about duratrax, but i will never buy anything from them again. even if it is used over the last couple years i have been buying and selling used rcs with alot of sucess. i usually buy 2wd traxxas stuff cause they are cheap, clean and fix them up a bit and then pass on the savings. i dont get rich off of it, i mostly do it to have something to tinker on, and i also try to get new people into the hobby. the last used vehicle i bought was a lcg 2wd slash roller with pretty much every rpm part you could buy on it and i only paid 40 bucks for it
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 01:19 AM
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God. How can you guys find those deals?
I guess it takes some patient to do the search, and some lucky to get it?
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 08:14 AM
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I get most of my stuff off of friends or people I work with. I have found some deals on ebay or here, but not as good as local. Craigslist is a waste of time. It seems people on there think that they can abuse the vehicle then sell it for more than you can get a new one for. I have looked at a few cheap ones there, but they are trashed and not worth the time.
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by lawjie View Post
God. How can you guys find those deals?
I guess it takes some patient to do the search, and some lucky to get it?
I look on some of the forums the local track is a great place to look for deals some one is usually selling something.

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Originally Posted by cenracer1 View Post
I get most of my stuff off of friends or people I work with. I have found some deals on ebay or here, but not as good as local. Craigslist is a waste of time. It seems people on there think that they can abuse the vehicle then sell it for more than you can get a new one for. I have looked at a few cheap ones there, but they are trashed and not worth the time.
I have had a little luck on Craigslist but not much a whole lot of nuts on that site. They usually want top dollar and it has been thrashed to pieces. I have found a few deals on ebay to but by the time you pay shipping it is eating in to budget for the repairs you will inevitably need to do.
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 05:54 PM
bashing on vancouver island
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theres a few local used websites that i check a few times a day. i agree, there are a few nuts out there that ask a ridiculous price for thier rcs. ive even been tempted at times to message these nuts to let them know that they are asking way too much, but its really none of my buisness. there is a relatively small rc community where i live, and theres a couple other guys that i know that check the used websites too, and if i miss out on a good deal i usually know who got it. my most recent find off of the used website is a couple of 1/6th(yes 1/6th) scale 4wd humvees that i hope to start a build thread about tonight.
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 06:20 PM
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Originally Posted by veggieslinger View Post
theres a few local used websites that i check a few times a day. i agree, there are a few nuts out there that ask a ridiculous price for thier rcs. ive even been tempted at times to message these nuts to let them know that they are asking way too much, but its really none of my buisness. there is a relatively small rc community where i live, and theres a couple other guys that i know that check the used websites too, and if i miss out on a good deal i usually know who got it. my most recent find off of the used website is a couple of 1/6th(yes 1/6th) scale 4wd humvees that i hope to start a build thread about tonight.
Sounds cool

You have to figure in repairs in the price. For example That TT01 I bought had a busted shock tower . It is hooked into the gear box and the gear box is molded into the chassis so you need to get a whole new chassis to replace it.
it was $12.00 to fix it I still figure I'm ahead. The bearings and steering parts make up for the busted chassis. To buy that new you would be out at least $200.00
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 06:36 PM
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yup i agree. my lcg slash roller that i got for 40 bucks has a broken bulkhead, and the bearings were shot, and it was very dirty. other than that i got a great deal and i got to spend a day off of work rebuilding it which is just fine and dandy with me.
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 07:21 PM
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most of my used purchases are of a known vehicle as I said before. I don't want to have another project when I do these unless its one I plan on selling, then it will look like new. most of mine are for my saturday night bashing/thrashing and what I'm looking for is little or no broken parts.. must have bearings, wheels, tires and a body that is somewhat ok.. Everything else I will be using existing known electronics..
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by veggieslinger View Post
yup i agree. my lcg slash roller that i got for 40 bucks has a broken bulkhead, and the bearings were shot, and it was very dirty. other than that i got a great deal and i got to spend a day off of work rebuilding it which is just fine and dandy with me.
That sounds like a good deal and a good time rebuilding. The nice thing is you have your pick of parts. I am on the look out now for a 4wd Electric truck and a Motorcycle. I would like to find a HPI Baja the used prices on those are still pretty strong but I have seen a few good deals.

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Originally Posted by cenracer1 View Post
most of my used purchases are of a known vehicle as I said before. I don't want to have another project when I do these unless its one I plan on selling, then it will look like new. most of mine are for my saturday night bashing/thrashing and what I'm looking for is little or no broken parts.. must have bearings, wheels, tires and a body that is somewhat ok.. Everything else I will be using existing known electronics..
I hear ya on that. A body is always nice to have most of the time the ones I find they can be toast. Our LHS has a huge section of used tires if you comb through them sometimes you can find a good pair.

My problem is I will take it down and give it a good cleaning I make more work for my self that way. I just can't seem to do it any other way. I also have a bad habit of starting one more then one at a time. I have two Nitro Rustlers in storage containers right now and a Tmaxx in a thousand pieces. That will be ready for spring.

I am getting my two HPI MT2 nitro trucks ready for sale at least one is complete. I rebuilt the diff and it is binding so I have new parts on order.I bought the chassis for the TT01 today and it took a blue eyed miracle for me not to dig in to it.
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Old Feb 19, 2013, 01:49 PM
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I wish I had the time to be involved with projects, but there are not enough hours in the day. Funny thing, when I bash on saturday nights with the cars or the slash, if we break them we go inside and fix them before running the next round. Everyone respects this and this way we all run all the time. If the crash is bad enough and not a quick (less than 45 minute) fix, There are spare loaner cars for use if needed.. We have become very quick at fixing cars this way.. Lots of power screwdrivers and boxes of parts make that easy, but a complete chassis swap on a touring car takes time. The plus to this is I don't have to work on them at home as much and that makes the wife happy. I hate leaving cars or trucks apart as it drives me crazy. Can't say the same for my airplanes.. They are all over the shop in pieces.
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