I'll bump this thread with a bunch of n00b questions of my own.
My my son has an HSP 94107 Pro buggy, which I believe is identical to the Tornado EPX Pro. It has a 3300kv brushless motor, fanned waterproof 45A ESC, aluminum shocks, plastic suspension bits, precision wheel bearings, etc.
My son and his friend absolutely RIFLED his car into a basketball hoop foundation and smashed the front end, including bending the radio tray (upper brace thing), and breaking off the entire front tab of the frame pan. They also split the data wire on a brand new 2S 5000 lipo, but there's enough wire on either side of the break to solder and shrink tube it. The cells appear OK but I'll keep my eye on it. My son is generally cautious but got a little excited with his friend. He will not drive like that again (or he will lose his car for a long time...
I have a slew of parts on order, including an aftermarket aluminum frame pan, aluminum front and rear diff block/suspension mounts, new stock shock towers, etc. The front differential seems OK (cross fingers).
Has anyone used a third party aluminum frame pan and/or diff/suspension blocks? Results? I know it's easy to crack aluminum in a severe crash but I was disappointed at the flimsy stock plastic frame, even before the crash. I plan to keep the lower arms plastic to take the edge off big hits, but might eventually upgrade the steering uprights and hubs to aluminum to add precision. Thoughts? What about the carbon fiber radio tray? The carbon frame seems like overkill for anything but racing, but the carbon radio tray isn't crazy expensive and seems like it would stiffen things up while still being resilient in a crash. I may add a road car foam bumper or a stadium truck bumper to give a little more "chance" in case of a future crash.
I also have aluminum wheel adapters on order to help tighten up some of the slop from the plastic adapters. Has anyone had good luck with these? Are the factory "upgrade" adapters adequate, or should I have gone with aftermarket "pinch bolt" style adapters?
When his buggy tires are worn, can I put 1/10 truggy wheels on it without further mods? The HSP truggy wheels seem to have a fairly big offset (or maybe it's shallow - the nut is deeply recessed away from the outer wheel and toward the hub). I'd get new gears if I really needed to. I plan to ramp up the spring preload, shock oil weight, etc. to handle the additional strain of bigger wheels.
HSP truggy wheels: d3d71ba2asa5oz.cloudfront.net/73000184/images/17703_green.jpg
The other reason I'm doing these upgrades is that this might become my car if he gets bored or decides he wants to try a different style vehicle (truggy, etc.). This will also keep me from blowing the better part of a grand on an HSP/Redcat Rampage XBE, which has been calling to me. My daughter has a 1/10 brushless monster truck and loves it. Later today I'm going to the hobby shop to pick up another 1/10 brushless MT with my son's teacher and HIS son.
We live in China and got into this with a bunch of other expatriate westerners who hold an informal RC race club every Sunday. It's a blast, and the club is growing every week. We knew there would be repairs, but I didn't expect such a catastrophic crash in the first few weeks. Lipo power corrupts absolutely. I can't imagine these car with 3S packs, which apparently they're approved for...
I'm also picking up an ESC programming card to try to tame the explosiveness, increase gear life and increase run times a little.
Thankfully, parts are dirt cheap here, so all these repairs and parts listed above will cost me in the neighborhood of $35, including the frame.
I'd also appreciate any other tips you can offer re: suspension and steering tuning, durability mods, DIY tricks, etc.
Cheers, and thanks for any help!