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Nov 14, 2013, 01:11 AM
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Restoring Vintage Cars, the Joys and Challenges You Can Encounter


For a while now I have been restoring vintage RC cars, and I enjoy that more and more. However, there are a few things that you need to be aware of, when considering starting such a project. Not that I consider myself an expert, but still maybe my personal experience can help others in this area.


Unless you happen to have nearly unlimited funding, and can afford a NiB (New in Box) car, or happen to stumble upon a cheap one in a small model shop in a back alley, a restoration process often starts with the purchase of a used car. Since this is going to be the base material for your project, take your time to verify what condition it is in. Especially if you buy online, like me. Look at the pictures closely, if needed ask for more pictures, download the car's manual, and see if parts are missing, or are substituted.

At this stage it's also smart to think about what you want to do with the car. Have it sitting pretty on a shelf, make it a runner, perhaps even run in a vintage competition? It determines if you need additional parts, for instance, a shelf queen doesn't need soft tyres, as long as these still look ok, it will be fine. But if you want to compete, running on dried out tyres is not such a good idea.

It's possible to think about this later, but since most parts will probably have to be ordered somewhere, the chances on having to wait for parts, could make your project coming to a halt more often than you would like. If possible, make a list of parts needed, as ever so often during the build you can suddenly realize you overlooked those few special screws, or other small part, and your build comes to a stop, while you (again) wait for parts. I've been there too often.


When you have received the goodies, and you intend to run the car, or even race with it, it's wise to always do a complete teardown. No matter how smooth it feels, or if you see no obvious building mistakes, some parts might be about to fail. Unless you know the previous owner to be an expert when it comes to building and restoring Optimas, and he has just rebuilt the car prior to selling it. It's not uncommon to find parts have been left out, like washers inside the gear box, or even a missing e-clip on a shock piston. You don't want unpleasant surprises the first test drive, or when showing your "new" car to your friends. As you should already have the manual by now,

Having the car's manual handy, either in hardcopy, or in digital form, will help to to spot any mistakes or missing parts, and will also help with looking for replacement items.


Another challenge can be getting it clean again. With plastic parts, you could make a lukewarm bowl of water with some mild washing agent in it. This will help soak the dirt, and it will come off easier. An old tooth brush can come in really handy here. Cleaning cloth, a can of compressed air, and paper towels are also recommended.


The pics in this thread are mostly my own cars. The red Raider is more or less my daughter's, as long as she keeps interest in RC., The Optima is the same car on all thepics, just using different wheels and body.


Update: added some pics of a new rear suspension rear lower arm bracket, to correct a slight rear toe-in difference, which caused the car to deviate from straight course one side at lower speeds, and the other at higher speeds. The new bracket was made from a cracked Lazer ZX-R shock tower, and corrects the toe-in difference. In theory now the entire rear suspension arms assembly is slightly off center, but the car tracks true at all speeds, and steering response is fine.


Update 15 may 2015:

Added pictures of a rebuild of a Kyosho Ultima II and of the Raider Pro ARR, that I have prepared for our daughter. Those pictures were first hosted on a different site, but that site has been "down for maintenance" for months, with the owner not replying to mails. So it seemed like a smart choice to host the pictures here from now on.
Last edited by SoloProFan; May 16, 2015 at 02:39 AM.
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Jan 06, 2014, 06:14 AM
Registered User
Are there vintage rc car rallyes ?
How old is vintage rc car ?
When rubber tire hardens unusable ?
What are the most expensive old rc cars that were mass produced ?
Feb 05, 2014, 12:51 PM
"What wall?? Oh crumbs!!"
dutdutuk's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by 12345567
Are there vintage rc car rallyes ?
How old is vintage rc car ?
When rubber tire hardens unusable ?
What are the most expensive old rc cars that were mass produced ?
I can answer the tyre question.... Ahem.... Rubber tyres, when left for long periods will dry out. When this happens they become more brittle and will literally fall to bits and crumble.

Think of wood or leather products, both need to be cared for. Cleaning and "feeding" are performed by anyone who cares for their items to prolong their look and life. Rubber is another natural product that requires a little tlc, but it will wear/age out eventually.

(Take your motorcar tyres, here in the UK they have a shelf-life of 10 years. If after 10 years they haven't been sold, they are destroyed/recycled.)
Jun 19, 2014, 01:03 PM
Registered User
seeingeyegod's Avatar
Ahh the good old days when RC buggies actually looked like real buggies. I have an old Ultima 2 chassis sitting around.. I last tried running it probably 7 years ago and for some reason it just wanted to go in circles. I think the gearbox is shot. I remember a long time ago there was an upgrade gearbox for it.. I think it might have been a "stealth" gearbox? I still have nice duratrax gold anodized shocks for it too.
Jul 13, 2014, 02:47 PM
Fan of just about anything RC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 12345567
Are there vintage rc car rallyes ?
How old is vintage rc car ?
When rubber tire hardens unusable ?
What are the most expensive old rc cars that were mass produced ?
There are still some vintage race events, where people that still keep these cars running, can compete in a friendly spirit.


Quote:
Originally Posted by dutdutuk
I can answer the tyre question.... Ahem.... Rubber tyres, when left for long periods will dry out. When this happens they become more brittle and will literally fall to bits and crumble.

Think of wood or leather products, both need to be cared for. Cleaning and "feeding" are performed by anyone who cares for their items to prolong their look and life. Rubber is another natural product that requires a little tlc, but it will wear/age out eventually.

(Take your motorcar tyres, here in the UK they have a shelf-life of 10 years. If after 10 years they haven't been sold, they are destroyed/recycled.)
Correct, tires do dry out. It does depend on the rubber compound and storage conditions. But some manufacturers still make tires that are compatible with the 1.9/2.0 inch wheels that many cars from this era use. Besides, if a car uses 12 mm hex, like for instance the Kyosho Optima Mid, you can use modern 2.2 inch wheels.



Quote:
Originally Posted by seeingeyegod
Ahh the good old days when RC buggies actually looked like real buggies. I have an old Ultima 2 chassis sitting around.. I last tried running it probably 7 years ago and for some reason it just wanted to go in circles. I think the gearbox is shot. I remember a long time ago there was an upgrade gearbox for it.. I think it might have been a "stealth" gearbox? I still have nice duratrax gold anodized shocks for it too.
Looking forward to pics of that car. Maybe start a topic about it in the offroad section, so we can help you diagnose the problem?
Latest blog entry: For the love of the hobby!
May 21, 2015, 05:28 PM
High Dynamic Thrust
stoneenforcer's Avatar
I need a kyosho MSC for my javelin if anyone has a complete unit to sell. must be original unit
Jul 05, 2015, 03:31 AM
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Somehow I didn't get a notification that someone posted here. Is that the same MSC as used on the Mid series? If so, these are quite often still listed on eBay, as many that bought this car back in the days, upgraded to ESC. Some are even still in the plastic blister.
Latest blog entry: For the love of the hobby!


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