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Jul 20, 2014, 09:37 AM
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Build Log

Vintage Rebuild Puzzle: Piecing back together a couple of classic RC10 cars

Lately I have been rebuilding a couple of vintage 2WD buggies, after being almost exclusively involved into 4WD buggies. Also, I strayed from limiting my attention to vintage Kyosho only, as you can see from the Team Losi JRX2 Build Log (

Now, when you say "vintage 2WD buggy" you automatically get to the RC10 eventually. With it having played an important role in RC history, as well as having a distinctive look with it's gold anodized metal rub chassis, this fame is well deserved. Looking at some nice re-release builds, the RC10 also captivated my attention, and I started looking for an affordable one, but still in good enough condition for a rebuild. I ended up with a fairly complete one, and another with some spares, hoping to be able to make at least one fully complete car from those, and hopefully also with the era-correct parts.

The latter goal is not so easy, as I've learnt that sometimes kits were assemble with whatever parts were at hand at Associated. We'll see how far I can get with this "RC puzzle".

First some pics of the base material. The first chassis looks like this:

Missing the front chassis braces, and left and right steering block are different. Some ball end cups are split, and there are more things that need attention.

The second car looks like this:

This one has some after market parts, I think, as the rear A-arms are marked "Andy's" and look different than on the other RC10. The front shocks have different spring clamps, and some other things.

Update 29 july 2014:

Let's start with a few pics of the 2 cars side by side.

The car on the right has the vintage suspension, and will become the shelf queen. It wasn't visible on the other picture, showing the car from above, but the side and bottom of the car has been polished or so by the previous owner, perhaps because it was scratched. It looks kinda cool but since I want the shelf queen to be as vintage as possible, I am going to "transplant" the suspension of this one to the chassis of the other one, which is still gold color on both sides. But first some more pictures of this one:

So far it looks pretty nice, but here and there some essential parts are missing, like wheel bearings:

And the front suspension contains a mix of different parts, some with split ends:

The servo saver also doesn't seem to be standard, and is missing a bearing on the upper side, so it has much play. If I want to use it for the runner, I need to find a compatible bearing first.

Update 30 july 2014:

I mentioned earlier I had found a trimmed and partially painted body, that seemed like perfect for the shelf queen RC10. Well, though cleverly packed, arriving unharmed, it was not as neat as it first appeared on the pics with the eBay advert. First of all, cutting a straight line wasn't that easy apparently:

Also the painting of the roll-cage, which I wasn't looking forward to doing, and was pleased to see had already been done on this body, was nowhere near shelf queen level:

I am in doubt whether to try and make the bars look more clean, by masking and painting a little more, or try to remove the paint alltogether. In both cases, I am not sure if the body will be neat enough for display, as some agents to remove paint can make the lexan become dull. The wavy edges where the body was trimmed, I can probably correct, since it seems no excess material was removed, just too little on some areas. Still, the wing is also not the type I want on the display model, so I think a re-re body and wing will be a better option, and maybe keep this body for the runner.

After this, it was time to strip and clean. I removed all parts from the fully golden chassis of the runner, as this was going to go on the shelf queen model.

The anodizing looks pretty ok, but it was kinda dirty, as you often get that for free with a used rc car. But nothing too hard, and a little later the chassis parts looked like this:

With the dirt removed, it was now clearly visible this is an A-series chassis. The keen observer might have noticed the bent parts on the rear motor protector, and a slight dent in the left side of the pan chassis. With some pliers and tissue to protect the anodizing, both parts were straightened again.

Update 31 july 2014:

Had some time to work on the cars, and started with putting back some parts on the "shelf queen to be". First the front suspension, and battery-holder:

...and then the rear suspension and transmission parts:

On the front are still not the right ball cups, and on the rear only on one side, as those on the left were both cracked. Some shots from the bottom as well, showing the normal scratch marks, but those won't be visible when sitting on the shelf anyway.

To be able to continue with the "shelf queen to be", I needed to focus on the "runner to be" first. The gear box was cleaned, before putting it on the black chassis:

Then we make a kinda big step, with most parts of the runner installed on the black chassis:

For a moment I shifted attention to the shelf queen, removed the black, "alien" ball cups on the front, and installed the stock ball cups that were present on the rear side of the runner.

Now this shelf queen chassis will be put aside until the re-re parts arrive.

(continued in the posting below)
Last edited by SoloProFan; Aug 01, 2014 at 02:56 AM.
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Jul 20, 2014, 09:37 AM
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First posting was starting to hit the 40 pics limit, so we continue here

Update 1 august 2014:

As the shelf squeen is now waiting for parts, I diverted attention to the runner. The vintage rear upper tie rods had been transferred to the shelf queen, so the non-standard black ball cups, that had been present on the shelf queen front suspension, were installed on the rear of the runner:

Here you can also see the black links, as well as the carbon fiber plate connecting the rear bulkhead to the transmission:

The runner's transmission came with a different pitch spur gear, still need to check what pitch, but probably 48dp or mod 0.6, looking at the teeth. In the parts box that came with the runner, I also found a couple of alu hex adapters, seemed like a good plan to install these as well, giving more options for the wheel, as well as saving the stock wheels that fit directly on the pin that runs through the axle.

Also seems the black chassis is a B-type:

Now it was time to service the shocks. These don't use a bladder, and according to the manual needed to be filled till little below the edge, not too much, to avoid hydro lock, I think. I used 45 wt oil on the rear, as the shocks felt a little to loose with the thinner oil that was still in those. Driving will tell if this is too thick, and I need to drop a few numbers, or if it's spot on. The front shocks wouldn't open, so I left these untouched for now. These move smooth, maybe a little on the soft side, but we will see if that's going to be a problem. Also installed the screws for the battery hold down plate, to make the chassis more complete:

At this point the runner is also waiting for parts, mostly the steering assy, so I think the next update will probably be about painting the bodies.

Update 12 august 2014

As expected, with parts still underway, it was time to get to painting stuff. For the runner I had ordered a repro "World's Car" wing, from TBG. The wing had good shape, but the protective film is on the bottom side. Great for racers that paint the wing on the top side, so no paint can scrape off during a wheelie, etc, but I like to have the paint on the bottom, so the top has the same shine as the body. So I removed the film, and masked the top side:

To be able to fit with more different bodies, I painted it black, with Tamiya rattle can. This worked out pretty well, I think:

Next up was the classic body that on which some paint had been applied by the previous owner. The badly painted cage parts needed some major correction. Here's an example of some masking tape applied, also shows how rough the edges on the already painted body were:

After a series of masking a part, painting, letting dry, remove the mask, the apply masking tape to a different section, etc, etc, it started to look better:

Not perfect, but I think it's certainly an improvement.

Update 14 august 2014:

Finished painting the yellow part. This body will be yellow/white, and the other will probably be fully stock, so orange.

Besides the second stock body, I also received a stock wing. I wonder what color to paint it. I already got the black "Worlds Car" wing, so that color is already there. So the options are yellow, like the sides, or white, like the middle area. I think I prefer white, because it's easier to paint with.

Update 21 august 2014:

A few days ago, I trimmed and painted the stock wing. Went with white, do to being a better color to work with, and I think it will look better too. I do have another wing that came with the partially painted body, and that has been painted yellow. And naturally, the same bubbles appeared when using the spraycan to paint. So from now on if I have to use yellow, I'll stick to applying with a brush. Less even layers, but at least no bubbles trapped beneath. The white wing went much better, as you can see here:

Also, some (remember, I had to split the order to avoid excessive taxes and charges getting added to the total cost) of the re-re parts that I needed to complete both the runner and the shelf queen. Other parts are still in transit, but in this package were the much needed stock steering, and Worlds Car upgrade bell cranks for the runner. This means I can start building again soon.

Update 10 September 2014

So, time to bite the bullet, and do the white parts on the body, which are adjacent to the black and yellow parts, with the ever present risk of colors bleeding into each other. I did allow the paint to dry for a few weeks, hoping this will help prevent bleeding issues. After a couple of layers, extra carefully applied near the edges between the colors, it looked like this:

First impression is pretty good, except when I removed the tape near the front window, a little portion of paint stayed stuck to the tape.

On this pic you can also see the new piece of masking tape, applied to repair the damage to the straight line. Also visible is the deep cut that was already present when I got this body. Probably a remainder of an attempt to cut tape for masking the window by the previous owner, about as succesful as the painting of the black parts...

Apart from that, I felt something was odd about the body. Then it hit me, I had left the part behind the rear black "bar" on top, clear. Also, on a few spots there was a small opening between the yellow and white:

So, another "painting session" later, the body looked like this:

Pretty nice, I think. Though the window edges are not everywhere as sharp as I would like to see, as you can see on the last 2 pictures, but considering the body wasn't pristine to begin with, I'm happy with the result.

Update 8 october 2014:

Decals arrived a while ago, so time to start this rewarding but often tricky job. How would the decals look with the different paint scheme? Well, not bad, I think:

Because the stripes didn't connect at the rear, I used some trimmed off parts of decal to mask that part:

And then test fitting to the chassis:

Next up, adding wheels and wing...

I wanted to add the promised update to this message, but it then hit the max pics per posting limit, so we'll continue in the posting direct below this one...
Last edited by SoloProFan; Oct 11, 2014 at 03:51 PM.
Jul 20, 2014, 09:37 AM
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Update 11 october 2014:

With wheels and tires finally complete (remember I had to split the order of the re-re parts to avoid getting charged excessive customs fees, and one order was not delivered, but returned to sender, causing further delay) it was time let this car stand on it's own "feet" again. Since this is going to be a shelf queen, I didn't fit lock nut, but the plastic "propellor shaped" wheel fasteners. Which are pretty tough to put on btw. I am currently lacking the drive pins for the rear wheels, so these would slip on the axle, but after tightening the wheel fasteners, the wheels do make the gears rotate when you push the car forward. Apart from that, I'll let the pictures speak for themselves:

Next up, the wing. Getting the metal wires through the wing buttons proved to be a challenge, at the end I just bent the metal rods that go into the tubes on the car, and then restored to more or less straight shape after inserting in the wing buttons. So how does it look then? Check for yourself:

Apart from the metal pins for the wheels rear, and some re-re parts, it's missing a couple of things, like the antenna mount, and one nut for on top of the screws that the servo saver pivots on. I have good hopes these parts will eventually turn up, but with the shell mounted, it's impossible to spot those missing items.

Update 20 october 2014:

Well, the missing parts for the shelf queen are covered, thanks to "wanna bet I own more vintage cars than you?" Dan ( ) who sent me the things I needed. But after focusing on the "beauty" all the time, it's time for the "beast" now, so the runner. I ordered a couple of slightly smaller than standard size servos ( and these arrived a couple of days ago. A bit of a gamble, but I didn't want to shell out for a Savox 1/12 scale servo, or wait 3 weeks or longer for the Trackstar 1/12 scale servo to arrive from the global warehouse. First impression of the servos is pretty good. Fast movement, very little slop, and pretty quiet. Apart from the whine when the servo is centered, and you touch the spline, but that is common for digital servos.

So I went ahead, and installed the servo. Took a little fine tuning to get the linkages arranged such that the wheels moved to the same angle at both sides, and nothing binding. Attached the motor wires, fixed receiver and ESC, and voilą, a runner:

The ball raced upgrade bell cranks and servo installation:

Using the center hole on the Kimbrough servo saver just didn't give enough throw, so I used one of the outer holes instead. I could have opted for using the dual rate of the transmitter, but since this doesn't have model memory, I adjusted the throw mechanically, and it works great, car can turn on a dime, without things binding.

For convenience, the ESC's power switch was installed outside:

Installed electronics besides the servo are, Hobby King 45A brushed ESC (which I've used a lot for my vintage runners, and seems to do fine, even with more powerful old motors) and the receiver the 3 channel that comes with the GT-2 transmitter, which originally comes from Hobby King as well. Though I use the re-branded version from a european mail order company called "Conrad", they sell the GT-2 under their ModelCraft label. Benefit of getting it from there is legal CE certificate, so it should comply to RF regulations, and no risk of Dutch Customs singling it out and apply extra charges when it crosses the border. The motor is an old Conrad GZ 1200, which I had trouble finding specs for, but it seems to be a 23T and have around 50 watt power output.

First function tests inside the house went fine, so time to install the body, and get it ready for a test drive:

Different style than the classic RC10 body, but still it has plenty of character, I think. Time to take it outside!

Update 21 october 2014:

Found some time for a quick test drive yesterday, after work hours. Steering works well, and didn't seem to require any additional adjustment to run straight, even though it was just adjusted by eyesight during the testing inside the house. The servo seemed to do just fine, and centered well after a turn.

The transmission sounded pretty smooth, with a mild gear whine, nothing annoying, almost more like whirring. Speed seemed to be lacking, at least the first few metres from standstill. Once allowed to run a long straight, speed seemed to pick up to an acceptable level, but overal the car felt somewhat sluggish coming from turns etc.

I did run it with a heavy 5400 mAh 6 cell NiMh, which surely will affect the acceleration, as it weighs in at 450 gram or so. But it was the only battery I had handy at the moment, plus the extra weight would help with rear traction, I thought to be needed since the tires seemed a little dry, and probably would not stick to the road as well as new ones would.

Just to get a better impression of the speed, I strapped on the ForeRunner GPS watch, and did a few passes, then checked the results. These were pretty unexpected, speed maxed out at a little over 44 km/h! My estimate was 35 km/h at best, but even with an old NiMh, a mild modified motor (Conrad GZ 2000, over 20 years old) and running on a brick road this was greatly surpassed. These results leave plenty room for gearing down to gain acceleration at the cost of some top speed, for an overall faster responding and more lively to drive, car.

Current pinion is 20T on an 86T spur. I've now fitted an 18T, hoping to keep top speed around 40 km/h, and gain acceleration. I could also fit a lighter battery, as last resort, as this will boost acceleration as well, no doubt. Or even go LiPo, but first let's see the effect of the gear change alone. Shame the current weather is rain, rain, and rain at the moment...

Update 23 october 2014:

Today the rain that started tonight, stopped and a little breeze helped to get the pavement dry enough for a few new testruns. With the smaller pinion the acceleration was better, but first I ran into an issue with the ESC's Low Voltage Cutoff, that I had just switched on before the run. With the cutoff active the ESC would cut power after a few seconds of accelerating, and then restore power a few seconds later, indicating the voltage of the NiMh pack drops below 5.6 volts under load. So either the motor draws much power, or the battery has serious issues keeping voltage under load. I am inclined to suspecting the battery, as the ESC barely gets warm, so it's unlikely a very high current gets to run through it.

With the dutoff disabled again, it was time to push the car a little further than on the first run. It picked up speed faster, and the car's handling proved to be even better than expected. It needed a fraction of adjustment of the steering rod between servo and bell cranks, for running really straight. Steering was responsive and precise. Even on higher speed, corners went pretty well, it was quite hard to make it spin out. Only if applying throttle to fast and too soon during a turn, would the rear lose traction and spin out. Hitting the brakes also gave no unpleasant surprises, the car just slowed down without losing rear traction and there was "swerving" on the rear end, even though the wheels were fully locked during braking. If I do this with my LRP Twister, it starts to spin. Seems like the RC10's wheel geometry, the current shock setup, and the addition of the Andy's arms (done by the previous owner), works very well. It handles much like a modern buggy.

Top speed was still ok, at over 43 km/h, even after dropping 2 teeth on the pinion. I do remember that the over 44 km/h I got with the 20T pinion, was measured when the battery was already a little drained. With a full one, it would probably have run faster, 46 or little above. That would explain why the top speed was almost the same, despite using a pinion 2 teeth smaller.

Next thing, instead of the tired and heavier 5400 mAh, I'll try a 3000 mAh NiMh, that should have no problems holding voltage above 5.6 volts under load. This same battery was used in my Triumph, and that car has plenty acceleration. And should that still not be enough, I have a 2S stickpack, that was a little too weak to power my Minion 4WD (which has a very power-hungry 15T motor) but probably won't have any problems powering the 23T in the RC10. Maybe tomorrow we'll know more.

Update 26 october 2014:

Well, as I already discussed later in this thread, I tried the 3000 mAh NiMh with the 18T pinion, and results were pretty good. More "punch" and the LVC wouldn't kick in at the beginning of the run, but only later on. Top speed was 46 km/h, so also a little gain there. Still LVC was triggered with the battery still 40% or so charged, and the acceleration was ok, but could be better still. First I thought the motor timing was pretty advanced, and this would make it draw much more current. But better study of the motor can, ignoring the markings and looking at true brush position relative to magnets, revealed it was running 0 degrees timing, so no way to gain extra torque here by reducing timing advance some degrees.

I decided to try a 17T pinion. Also, earlier I had a range issue at certain angles of the car, and to help solve this, let the antenna sit a little higher to get better reception:

It now sits flush with the roof of the body shell, so a few cm higher than before. I could opt for using an antenna tube, and get it outside the body shell, but that would make mounting the shell a little harder. As you can see the battery has now also been secured better with some foam and velcro, so it can no longer slide around:

Lastly, the body got some tape applied on the spots where it rubs against the edges of the tub chassis. So no more paint can get rubbed off. It may not be a shelf queen body, but I still like to keep it looking the way it does now, and not deteriorate:

Then it was time to take it outside again. Despite the even smaller pinion, top speed was still close to 46 km/h, GPS reported 45.8 km/h and a little later in the run, with battery less "fresh", still 45.5 km/h. Seems like the motor likes running with less load, and because it runs more freely, still can get the car up to almost the same speed as when running a bigger pinion.

Acceleration was about spot-on, I even had to watch it more when applying throttle in turns, as too much would now make the rear spin out. Motor temps stayed at 45 degrees centigrade, and didn't rise any further, with ambient temp of 14 degrees. And LVC wasn't triggered until much later than before. Unloaded battery voltage was now 7.45 volts at that point, which is pretty close to a depleted battery, while with the 18T pinion it was above 7.6 volts.

Overall, it's now a pretty lively car to drive, considering it's brushed and not running LiPo. I sure had a smile on my face when running it.

And here's a vid of the car, shot today:

(0 min 53 sec)

Update 6 september 2017:

Uploaded the video to Youtube as well, might be easier to view:

Testrun with a vintage RC10 2WD Electric Racing Buggy (0 min 54 sec)
Last edited by SoloProFan; Sep 06, 2017 at 01:44 PM.
Jul 20, 2014, 09:39 AM
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Oh man! This is gonna be good!
Jul 20, 2014, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by fastmax
Oh man! This is gonna be good!
I hope so. Added some pics of the base material to the first posting.
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Jul 20, 2014, 10:42 AM
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Nice looking start to a fine project! Really digging the Andys arms on the 2nd buggy.
Jul 20, 2014, 12:57 PM
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Maybe I can make one into a shelf queen, using mostly original parts, and one as runner, using the Andy's arms etc. I also have a spare black chassis tub, just no front braces.
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Jul 22, 2014, 09:57 AM
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As both chassis didn't come with the first type RC10 buggy, I wanted to get a repro, but these are not available, as the body is still sold. I found one, trimmed and with the roller bars already painted, but nothing else dont yet. My first idea is white/yellow, or maybe orange/white.
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Jul 22, 2014, 09:59 PM
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Sounds very interesting. Should suit the buggy well. Original AE body from rere? Or a JC or PL body?
Jul 23, 2014, 01:20 AM
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Not sure, but it looks much like your RC10 body.
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Jul 25, 2014, 10:02 AM
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Currently on holiday, so not much progress, except trying to source the missing parts. Like the front chassis braces that are missing on one of the chassis, gear cover, and some other things. I think the runner will get the Andy's arms, and the shelf car the original ones. So it will look as vintage as possible, and then see if the other car can become my main vintage 2WD runner. Color scheme for the shelf car will most likely be yellow/white, I'll save the orange rattle can I still have lying around for a new body for a Mid or Minion, or my LC Racing EMB.
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Jul 26, 2014, 10:12 AM
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The Andys arms definitely belong on the runner. They handle much better with the longer arms. I'm going to have to get working on piecing together a runner too. They're definitely fun buggies to drive.
Jul 29, 2014, 03:15 PM
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Added some more pics of the cars.
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Jul 30, 2014, 11:18 AM
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Made some progress on both cars, pictures to follow soon. Also ordered some re-re parts for the cars, as some parts are still missing, or too damaged to be of use.
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Jul 30, 2014, 05:21 PM
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Would have indeed been nice not to have to paint the bars. That was a tedious and time consuming part of my RC10 build. Either way that body should be just fine for your runner. Depending on what paint was used you might be able to just clean up the lines a little on the edges and at least make it look a little better without having to remove all of the paint.
Last edited by fastmax; Aug 03, 2014 at 08:38 AM.

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