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Losi 1/18 mini desert buggy

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Old 11-03-2009, 09:28 PM
  #1  
clp.eng
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Default Losi 1/18 mini desert buggy

After 2 years of fooling around with helis & airplanes, I thought I'd give RC cars or trucks a try. I checked the ads & saw the 1/18 losi mini desert buggy & just had to have it! I have no clue why! LOL I ordered it last week. I know nothing about this stuff!

It came today! The batts are on the charger.... I've got a fancy charger (Turnigy ACCUCEL-6) that's supposed to charge anything, if you know of any good links for NiHm batts please let me know. I've been using nothing but LiPos, so far.

In case you don't know, it's a 2 wd (rear) electric RC buggy with 4 independent shocks, Losi electronics, 3 wire servo, I'll need to open it up to see what else there is!

Here's what came in the box:

green Losi 1/18 mini desert buggy (didn't get a choice of color when I ordered but I really like the green, also comes in red & blue)
Losi Spektrum 2.4 gHz DSM Tx & 4 "AA" heavy duty batts
7.2v 1100mAH NiHm batt
Instruction manual (color version available on the web)
A sheet of stickers (?)
A plastic bag with some tools (Allen wrench, plastic nut driver, what looks like a replacement batt cover, a sheet of small different thickness "C" shaped things!)
The graphics on the package were something to see.

First impression - sweeeet. It looks well made & pretty sturdy. However, one of the rear shocks is very stiff & won't return to full up. I guess a little tweaking out of the box is required. Though at this point I have no idea what to do.

Here's a link to [link=http://www.horizonhobby.com/Products/Default.aspx?ProdID=LOSB0204]HorizonHobby[/link]. Make sure to watch the vid.

If you know of any good links for beginner drivers, I would appreciate knowing about them.

Please be sure to post any comments, suggestions, etc. for this thread & I'll do my best to make it happen.

The batts are ready, time to figure out how to get them inside this thing!

Chuck

SPARES
batt
Silicone shock oil, 30 wt (LOSA5224) or depending on the surface you drive on anything else (10 through 70 wt)
Shock rebuild kit for 2 shocks (LOSB1299) - better off buying upgraded shocks according to everybody!
Shock rear shaft (LOSB1298)
Shock front shaft (LOSB1297)
D@mn little e-clips (LOSB1043)
Fr & rear pieces kit (LOSB1123)

Upgrades
Shocks, aluminum (LOSB1110)
[link=http://www.hobbypartz.com/hobbywing-ezrun-18a-18t-brushless-combo.html]Potential BL[/link]
Upgraded batts ( I bought Fusion Power 7.2V 1500mAh NiMh Ultra Power but they were a close out!)

Here's the first pics:
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Old 11-03-2009, 10:19 PM
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mini-dude
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Default RE: Losi 1/18 mini desert buggy


your car is basically another clone version of the original Losi Mini-T, the electronics have come in the Losi mini's since the mini-baja (Slider, Desert Truck, etc.),and a lot of the parts as well as upgrades that fit any of the other Mini-T versions will also fit your buggy.
check the Mini-T thread for additional info - oh, and have fun.
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Old 11-03-2009, 10:39 PM
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Default RE: Losi 1/18 mini desert buggy

Hey mini-dude. That didn't take long. Thanks for the tip, I'll look over there as well. But I'll bet it's 200 pages long & would take me a year to read! I think this will be very FUN!

I played around with trying to get the batt in for about ten minutes. I finally removed one of the side panels & found that they had tie wrapped one of the cables to the Rx real short & the batt tray wouldn't move high enough. Had a heck of a time getting the body clip back into the peg - fat fingers I guess! Not a real user friendly design, though I understand better the bigger ones are probably easier to work on.

WOW - there isn't much movement on the steering wheel on the Tx - that was a shock!

I noticed one of the front wheels was out of alignment with the other. I remember reading in the maunal some where about adjusting the toe-in or camber or .... See pic.That will have to wait until tomorrow. I need to scoot this thing around the front room!

Chuck
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Old 11-03-2009, 10:48 PM
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Default RE: Losi 1/18 mini desert buggy


ORIGINAL: clp.eng

I noticed one of the front wheels was out of alignment with the other. I remember reading in the maunal some where about adjusting the toe-in or camber or .... See pic.That will have to wait until tomorrow. I need to scoot this thing around the front room!

Chuck
get a pair of small needlenose pliers to hand those small clips.

couldn't really tell about the "alignment" since it looked like the car was leaned way to the one side (those cheap/krap stock shocks probably need some oil, they're leakers)
but, the proper alignement should be about 1/16th to 1/8th inch toe-out (not dead straight as you might be thinking), as this aids in keeping the car tracking straight and the steering from being twitchy
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Old 11-03-2009, 11:14 PM
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Default RE: Losi 1/18 mini desert buggy

That looks cute. I guess I've been asleep at the wheel as far as Losi 1/18 products.

1) Is the body pan same lenght as the DT? There's pros and cons for both the Mini T wheel base and the DT but my preference is the DT wheel base

2) What's the problem with battery access? I have a mini baja and I can make/break the battery connection easily without removing the body. And I've upgraded to Deans as well. Access from below looks poor; but there is access via the open windows. If you have girly fingers!

3) Taking the clips off is a bit fiddly but once you get used to it or remember to carry a mini long-nose pliers its not too bad. For that matter, I couldn't really tell from the fotos where the pins are or what type they are.


regards
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Old 11-04-2009, 06:16 AM
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Default RE: Losi 1/18 mini desert buggy

Nice little buggy. I am not a losi fan at all but i like it. I was going to get one but i may p/u the micro crawler for the winter. It might be fun to learn how to crawl in my tv room. the rock crawler looks pretty cool to but i dont know anything about it yet.
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Old 11-04-2009, 07:27 PM
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Default RE: Losi 1/18 mini desert buggy

I'd like to build a list of spares & upgrades for this thing I'll add them to lists in the first post for newcomers.

What spares am I going to need right away? Besides batts & oil for the leaky shocks, I'm not sure!

luvdisstuf - check out the vids from iHobby Expo on Horizon Hobby's site. They did a piece on the crawler I think. Ya, I looked at that too, but I wanted to start with something a little more universal. Since this is my 1st vehicle, I have no opinions yet. However, HH has excellent service, it's just to bad we need it so much!

JPeronne - Newbie here - I don't know what a "DT" is? sorry... The battery is located under a bracket which holds the Rx & is hinged at the rear of the bracket. I didn't think about leaving it in to charge (habit from the helis!). The problem is getting the bracket high enuff to slide the batt in thru the window - the girly fingers come in with that darn clip! That clip holds the batt bracket down & it's at the very bottom of the buggy. There is an ON/Off switch so I don't have to mess with the connector between drives.

I can see going to Deans or JST just so I can use my other charger. The specs say this is: length = 10", width = 7" wheelbase =6.4375. The box also says it weighs 1.19 "oz" but I'm guessing this is a misprint!

mini-dude - the pic looked better on the screen! the 2 front tires have different alignment. Looking from the top down, one has the top leaning in toward the body a bit but straight fr to bk, the other one is straight up & down but turned a little to the outside, if that makes any sense!

I apologize it wasn't 200 pages long only 178! So it will only take 10 months to read. Looked like some good stuff if I can find the time. I was hoping to condense the info here for any other newbies!

I realized today that I bought a sand buggy & the nearest sand is about 25 miles away! There's always the infield at the school playground baseball diamond, I guess. I'm thinking of taking the buggy to work & running it around the mostly empty asphalt parking lot to get a feel for how it handles.

Chuck
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Old 11-04-2009, 10:10 PM
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Default RE: Losi 1/18 mini desert buggy

OK, so what's the trick to get the rod off the ball link to make adjustments? I'm worried about breaking something before I drive this thing! I've been poking & prying but things move but they won't come off. Don't want to use too much force!


Thanks.
Chuck
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Old 11-04-2009, 10:21 PM
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Default RE: Losi 1/18 mini desert buggy


ORIGINAL: clp.eng

mini-dude - the pic looked better on the screen! the 2 front tires have different alignment. Looking from the top down, one has the top leaning in toward the body a bit but straight fr to bk, the other one is straight up & down but turned a little to the outside, if that makes any sense!

I apologize it wasn't 200 pages long only 178! So it will only take 10 months to read. Looked like some good stuff if I can find the time. I was hoping to condense the info here for any other newbies!

I realized today that I bought a sand buggy & the nearest sand is about 25 miles away! There's always the infield at the school playground baseball diamond, I guess. I'm thinking of taking the buggy to work & running it around the mostly empty asphalt parking lot to get a feel for how it handles.
when looking from above "leaned in" means you have some negative camber, that's not a bad thing and keeps you from wearing off the outside edges of your tires from cornering...."leaned back towards the body" means toe-out (and thus what I wrote previously about "toe out"), and that's not a bad thing either.

you should be able to blast through 200 pages in a couple of hours, most of it's BSand drivel (and then if you find something particularly cool, you can re-post it here) otherwise it's hard to get folks that have answered the simple stuff about basically the same vehicle to answer the same simple stuff again (or you'll get some newbie that will tell you wrong )

it might "say" it's a sand buggy, but in reality these minis don't do too well in the sand - parking lot should do you just fine
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Old 11-04-2009, 10:27 PM
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Default RE: Losi 1/18 mini desert buggy


ORIGINAL: clp.eng

OK, so what's the trick to get the rod off the ball link to make adjustments? I'm worried about breaking something before I drive this thing! I've been poking & prying but things move but they won't come off. Don't want to use too much force!

BallCup Wrestling ............. you've made the Team


Here's how to pop the steering onesoff (if you don't have a custom little tool like I made myself) - take one of the front wheels and turn it tothe otherside (to adjust left wheel turn to right, to adjustright wheel turn to left, then whichever side of the steering rack is sticking out from the body grab that wheel and push the suspension all the way up. if it doesn't pop off itself, all it takes is a little finger power to make it do so.
To take off the camber ones, push suspension all the way down and take a small flatblade screwdriver and put it under the edge of the ball cup in the center of the chassis, should pop off with a little pressure.
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Old 11-05-2009, 09:36 AM
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Default RE: Losi 1/18 mini desert buggy

Just got one of these as well. WAY fun!

I'm a RC newb as far as cars & trucks. Already lost the bottom "plate" for one of the shocks (the round part that the spring pushes against at the bottom to keep it compressed - it went MIA at some point) so I'll be replacing the shocks with the LOSI aluminum ones.

One quick newb question - to upgrade the motor, am I correct that I could put on a Xcelorin brushless WITHOUT changing out the ESC? Is there an advantage to changing out the ESC as well?

Actually, one more question - for general purpose mucking about, if I upgrade the motor, would it be advisable to upgrade the gears as well, and which motor/gear combo would you veterans recommend?

Thanks!
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Old 11-05-2009, 01:29 PM
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Default RE: Losi 1/18 mini desert buggy


ORIGINAL: grendel2000

Just got one of these as well. WAY fun!

I'm a RC newb as far as cars & trucks. Already lost the bottom ''plate'' for one of the shocks (the round part that the spring pushes against at the bottom to keep it compressed - it went MIA at some point) so I'll be replacing the shocks with the LOSI aluminum ones.

One quick newb question - to upgrade the motor, am I correct that I could put on a Xcelorin brushless WITHOUT changing out the ESC? Is there an advantage to changing out the ESC as well?

Actually, one more question - for general purpose mucking about, if I upgrade the motor, would it be advisable to upgrade the gears as well, and which motor/gear combo would you veterans recommend?

Thanks!
If you changed to the Xcelorin motor you would also need to change the ESC to the Xcelorin.
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Old 11-05-2009, 01:31 PM
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Default RE: Losi 1/18 mini desert buggy

But am I correct that the newer mini's (such as my buggy) only need a new motor and ESC (not transmitter, receiver or servo)? I was thinking of getting this EZ Run combo:www.hobbypartz.com/hobbywing-ezrun-18a-18t-brushless-combo.html but don't want to get too far into the weeds of changing parts out as I have virtually no idea what I'm doing

Thanks for the help!
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Old 11-05-2009, 01:52 PM
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Default RE: Losi 1/18 mini desert buggy


ORIGINAL: grendel2000

But am I correct that the newer mini's (such as my buggy) only need a new motor and ESC (not transmitter, receiver or servo)? I was thinking of getting this EZ Run combo: http://www.hobbypartz.com/hobbywing-...ess-combo.html but don't want to get too far into the weeds of changing parts out as I have virtually no idea what I'm doing

Thanks for the help!
If the esc and rx are two seperate units then you only need to change the esc and not the rx.
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Old 11-05-2009, 07:14 PM
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Default RE: Losi 1/18 mini desert buggy

mini - Once I get the links off I'll set up as you suggested! Thanks for the tip on getting them off. I'll try that tonight! Yea the 1st 3 pgs were pretty much nothing & most of the links were dead. My fear is I'll grab "bad" info from there & not know it. I know it's a risk asking for the same info again, but I'm way toooo new to be able to tell which would apply to this buggy & which won't!

BallCup Wrestling - Good on one! LOL

Hey grendel2000 - keep me posted on that upgrade, if it's the right one & how well it works. I checked the link & that was way cheaper than what Losi is selling...

The ESC & Rx are separate. The instructions say the ESC is LiPo ready but says nothing about BL.

Last night I also noticed that the 2 front "fenders" are rubbing on the highest ball link. Got to trim some plastic tonight!

I probably shouldn't be so anal & do what grendel200 sounded like he(she?) did & just go drive. Ran into a guy at work that has 1/10 scale Traxxas - another resource.

Ok I'll stop looking for sand.lol

Chuck
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Old 11-05-2009, 09:20 PM
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Default RE: Losi 1/18 mini desert buggy

would a 380 brushless fit in one of these?
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Old 11-05-2009, 10:45 PM
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Default RE: Losi 1/18 mini desert buggy


nope
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Old 11-06-2009, 03:29 PM
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Default RE: Losi 1/18 mini desert buggy

Today's update - tried to adjust the wheels like the manual & mini-dude said. Finally, managed to get the links off the balls but noticed that one full turn was too much. Sorta' compromised & got them close.

Three of the four wheel suspensions were really very "notchy", the front 2 rarely raised the front back up after pushing the buggy down. One of the rear ones is as smooth as glass, the other sucks! Have any of you seen this with your buggy?

I called Horizon Hobby & asked them about it. They thought it might be the shocks & are sending out a rebuild kit. I don't know anything about shocks but it really felt like the hinge point was binding. Any comments??

Wow is this thing fast! I ran it up & down the drive today about twenty times. Of course not each circle wqs made completely on the first try - hit the chimney, laneded in the grass several times, once upside down in the garden. I decided to slow down a bit & try to get a little better with the controls so I took it on the deck & made circles in both directions & some figure eights. The clockwise ones were way better than the counterclockwise ones. Must be a brain thing!

Bottom line I did GOOD buying this thing! This is going to be fun...

Chuck
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Old 11-06-2009, 10:48 PM
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Default RE: Losi 1/18 mini desert buggy


Get a set of alloy oil shocks for a Mini-T (they'll fit) and stop wasting your time with those pretend shocks.
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Old 11-07-2009, 08:32 AM
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Default RE: Losi 1/18 mini desert buggy

mini-dude - thanks I'll look into that. I don't think it's the shocks any way. Have you ever had binding at the hinge end of the mini-T? If so, how did you fix it?
I'm on page 8 of the mini-T & there hasn't been much usable info. Does it really get better? lol I'm thinking of skipping ahead a couple of years...


Speaking of shocks - when I'm not using this thing would it be better to keep it off the wheels & take the pressure of the shocks when not in use?

Chuck
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Old 11-07-2009, 10:23 AM
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Default RE: Losi 1/18 mini desert buggy



I'm telling ya IT'S THESHOCKS!!!!!!!!
(they first came out with those krappy shocks as an upgrade part offered on the Mini-Baja (second generation mini-t), and have included them on everything they've released since (Mini-Slider, Mini-Late Model, Mini-Desert Trucketc. - and they've been problematic from day one, as they don't seal very well and lose oil and the shock shafts are spindly and very knotch-ey feeling)
Get the allow shock kit and your problems will be resolved, I promise.


storing it "off the wheels" not only keeps pressure off the shocks/suspension, but also keeps the tires from flat spotting
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Old 11-07-2009, 02:39 PM
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Default RE: Losi 1/18 mini desert buggy

mini-dude - I have to apologize. In my ignorance, I've been "sucked" in by other enthusiastic hobbiest to buy all kinds of stuff I really didn't need! IT'S THE SHOCKS!!! I pulled one end off this morning & it was very notchy. The wheel arm was smooth as silk. I stand humbled before you! LOL Trouble is they sent me a bunch of rebuild kits, so I feel guilty enuff to at least try fixing them first.

Whew, I just checked them on the Losi site - 33 bucks. My whole spares budget was $50, & I was hoping to get a LiPo batt with that as well.

I did stop by the lhs this morning & got a connector for my Turnigy charger so I can use the peak detect feature on it. Down to 45 bucks! All I need to do is find out what the max safe charge current is & I'm all set.

I ran the buggy for about 15 minutes this morning. Mostly around the deck to force myself to learn the controls. When that got boring I shot it down the drive at full speed a couple of times! Nice. I've got this fairly large, empty backyard with nothing in it but grass..... Designing a track WOULD make a good winter project!

Chuck
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Old 11-07-2009, 03:38 PM
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Default RE: Losi 1/18 mini desert buggy

The shocks losi put on the buggy is so indicative of the way losi does business. they put out a half assed product with inferior parts and than sell you ( as a upgrade) the part that should have been on it to begin with. I know they all do it but in my opinion losi is the master of screwing the consumer for a few more bucks. i breifly considered either this buggy or the micro rock crawler but after thinking about it i would rather spend my limited hobby dollars on something else. sorry i just cant stand losi rigs although their accessories like wheels , oill, and other stuff is good. just dont like the way they put their rigs togeather as i think they cheap out at every chance they can .
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Old 11-07-2009, 03:55 PM
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Default RE: Losi 1/18 mini desert buggy

I have a set of those shocks and hate them. Prefer the aluminum thread oiled filled shocks I got off EBay. Forget the brand though.
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Old 11-07-2009, 08:01 PM
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Default RE: Losi 1/18 mini desert buggy

luvdisstuff - I understand completely. This is my first car & Losi so I'm not sure if all their products are like that. One good thing about them is they stand behind their products - I have a couple of helis & an airplane from Horizon Hobby. While I HATE the MAP costs, I can walk into a lot of lhs & get parts. I did that this morning. Yea I was kinda' surprised to see a hop up list as part of the replacement parts list - a bit "cheeky" I thought.

Let me know what you end up with - maybe my second one won't be a Losi!

studysession - Do you hate the stock ones or the Losi aluminum replacement ones? Boy if you remember the brand I'd appreciate it if you'd let me know. Like I said I realy hate the MAP - I have a very limited budget & would like to maximize every dollar - heck who wouldn't!!

The car is on the stock charger as it turned to be a really nice day outside & I got some work around the house done - no time to solder up the new connector. Heck I didn't even fly the heli today & there was dead calm wx just before supper which rarely happens around here (Windy City), I've been so busy.

Chuck
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