RCU Review: Schumacher Mi2

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    Contributed by: Matt Frederick | Published: August 2004 | Views: 39633 | email icon Email this Article | PDFpdf icon
    Schumacher Mi2
    by: Eric Hege (Misbehavin)

    Schumacher Racing USA

    6302 Benjamin Road
    Suite 404
    Tampa, FL 33634

    Phone: 813-889-9691
    Fax: 813-889-9593

    Build Quality:
    Tuning Options:

    • Smoothness of handling.
    • Build Quality.
    • Updated Suspension.
    • Plenty of aluminum where it matters most.

    • Shock assembly is a pain.
    • Bumper isn't wide enough to protect the front end.

    For a while now racers have been waiting patiently (more or less) for the new Schumacher Car, the Mi2. I ran my first touring car season last year, and started out with the Mi2s predecessor, the Mission. My initial touring car experience was quite challenging. I was new to touring car racing and I spent a fair time on the boards, learning to handle the car and replacing broken parts. Mid season I switched to a different car due to the popularity of that car among the local racers and the availability of guys with tuning experience. However, once the Mi2 was announced I was eagerly awaiting the opportunity to get my hands on one and see what she was made of. So lets dig right in…

    Model Name: Schumacher Mi2
    Power Source: ELECTRIC
    Length: 259mm
    Width: 253mm
    Track: 190mm
    Top Speed: 40 MPH
    Build State: KIT

    Additionally Required Items

    • Motor
    • 7.2V Battery (Stick or saddle)
      (Stick pack requires optional stick pack holder.)
    • Charger
    • Electronic Speed Controller
    • 2 Channel Radio Control Or G989 R/C Race Deal (inc. ESC, motor, battery, charger, radio)
    Opening the box reveals a nice orderly assortment of packaged and labeled parts. The manual is very well done and seems to be of a better grade paper than the previous manual. Detailed drawings and part lists accompany each step along the way. There are some "Track Tips" sprinkled through the manual, of course I'd love to see more, but they are helpful. There are two pages of track settings in the back of the manual that do a good job of explaining what changes to the car's setup will do to the car's handling. It is quite useful, and a bit more understandable (IMO) than the XXX Main setup book.
    Some nice features of this kit, aside from the great manual are pre-assembled differentials and CVDs. I did have to disassemble one CVD as the threadlock application was a bit excessive.
    The kit also features sealed ball bearings. I'll share a cool tool tip with you: go to your local hardware store and pick up the smallest pair of needle-nosed vice grips you can find. This is one of the best tools I have and because they're adjustable you can use them to pry, clamp, and manipulate any kind of stubborn object. These are especially handy for ball cups.

    The build starts off with the rear end of the car. There is dramatic differences b/w the Mi2 and its predecessor. The suspension is completely different. Thankfully the Mi2's top arms are ball cups and turnbuckles which is a dramatic improvement in durability over its predecessor.

    Keep a fine file handy to ensure that all of your arms and steering components move freely. I took a fair amount of material off of the steering arms to ensure they were free. Expect to do some trial fitting, but this isn't really unusual for a kit.

    Here's the chassis, arms and carriers assembled.

    Plenty of pretty purple alloy graces the chassis. A great improvement over the Mission, where you had to upgrade to alloy parts. These alloy parts help create a much more rigid chassis.On my old Mission I temporarily ran a Novak SS 5800 and had to upgrade bulkheads and center pulley carriers to aluminum to reduce chassis flex and stripped spur gears.

    Belt tensioner

    The belt tensioner is handled differently, and is much more accessible than previously found on the Mission. I've since been told by the team guys that the way I've got the belt tensioner set up is way too tight, and that some of them don't even run one.

    Here it is with the front and rear ends assembled. Initially the drivetrain is VERY free. Even without the top deck, the car feels very free.

    The car is graced with front and rear sway bars. Depending on the track you're driving you may or may not want.

    Here it is fully assembled. Similarities to the Mission are limited to bumpers, body mounting, driveshafts and a few tidbits here and there. Schumacher's ball cups, named "Ball Grippas" are some of the best around.

    I will offer up one gripe at this point. There's got to be a better way of building shocks. While I've not experienced any leakage with Schumacher shocks, they are a pain to assemble. Fortunately they included a couple extra foam O-rings because I managed to tear a couple of them while trying to assemble those slippery little parts. It's worth noting that building shocks is probably my least favorite part of the whole construction process.

    Well, the build is complete so its time to set the car up according to the spec sheet provided by Schumacher. Since I was going to be running on asphalt I got a setup sheet from the guys at Schumacher who were very helpful. Don't be afraid to email the guys at Schumacher to ask for help or setup sheets, they're exceptionally helpful!

    Setting up the Car:

    I set the ride height at 5mm on all four corners of the car. Next the car goes on the Integy setup station to make sure everything is dialed in. I also set the droop with an Integy droop gauge. The setup sheet provided recommended .5 degree of toe out.

    Here she is, all dressed up and no place to go. Well, not really, we're heading to the track shortly. I will admit to recycling one of my current Stratus bodies.

    The car is outfitted with a JR standard race servo, and a Novak Fusion ESC pulled from one of my other cars. A freshly turned Epic Monster based Team-1 stock motor will propel the Mi2 around the track.

    Here we are in the pits. I came prepared with 8 3300 NiMH packs charged and ready to go, a quick peak charge for each pack and we're off and running.

    "Mad Props" to Ruben Benitez of Stockton RC Raceway (www.stocktonrcraceway.com) and Joe Keevil of Modesto Hobby and Crafts (www.modestohobby.com) for putting on our local asphalt season. They're running a great event with several classes including Nitro, Electric, 1/12 scale, Oval and Formula 1.

    My first session at the track took place when grape soda was being used a traction compound. Due to the heat that day, and the unproven traction compound, the traction simply went away and every class became something of a drifting contest. I will refer to this session as 'Durability Testing' as the track's condition wasn't up to par, and many cars spent a fair amount of time on, over, and across the boards.

    During my 'durability testing' I managed to bang the car around pretty good as the track went away. In the first qualifying run I smacked a corner pretty firmly and cracked the bottom of the right c-hub carrier. Given my experience with the Mission and another touring car it was a solid enough hit to break those cars as well. Actually, the Mi2 shook off several shots that would have broken top arms on the Mission.

    Even with poor track conditions the car felt very smooth. Let me say that again, the car felt very smooth. Especially when compared to the original Mission. The original Mission was quite twitchy. By twitchy I mean that it was very touchy, and a light hand was needed. The Mi2 offers up a complete contrast in handling. It carved very graceful lines and was extremely stable at speed. It felt a bit soft in the infield, but some minor adjustments on the car, and on the radio made it a bit more responsive.

    My second testing session occurred at the 5th Annual "Revo" Race, named after a local racer and promoter of the sport who passed away suddenly six years ago. This was a night race, and the track had since switched to VHT. Traction was great, and after just a few classes had run the course, a defined 'groove' was visible.

    Of course, you're probably asking "But how's it handle?" So here we go…

    In my second track session the track was definitely sticky and provided consistent traction through the evening. Initially I had the car set up with a fair amount of toe-out to increase turn in. It was very aggressive into the corner and especially off power. I reduced the toe-out a bit and turned my dual-rate back up to where I like it. This toe adjustment brought my straight-line speed up a bit, and helped keep the car in the groove. For this night race I ran Take-Off CS 27 GLs and a standard differential up front.

    While getting used to a new ride I still managed to bang the car around pretty well, and there was one segment on the track where I consistently tangled with the boards. Since my first outing I had upgraded the hub carriers to the purple aluminum ones, but managed to mangle the left one pretty severely in an impact that also claimed the hub. I think I may have caught the nut on the edge of a board. The local track boards are 4x4s and 2 x 8s, and aren't forgiving. I'd recommend that you stock up on the composite ones rather than drop $30 for a pair of aluminum ones.

    There was a Schumacher team driver Jason Moberly was there as well as a few other experienced Schumacher drivers. Thanks to Jason "Mo" and the other racer who both helped me out when I broke. All of these guys had a modified Bud's Racing Products (www.brpracing.com) TC3 wide bumper installed. This wider bumper does a much better job of protecting the front-end of the Mi2 than the stock foam bumper. I've also been informed that P Dub Racing (www.pdubracing.com) sells a replacement bumper for the Mi2 that protects the front end better than the stock bumper. I would consider either one of these a required addition.

    The Schumacher Mi2 is definitely a race-capable and race-quality machine. Fit and finish is great, it is free rolling, more durable and stiffer than its predecessor, completely adjustable, and very smooth and stable on the course. If you're in the market for a new touring car, definitely consider the Schumacher Mi2.

    Schumacher Racing USA

    6302 Benjamin Road
    Suite 404
    Tampa, Florida 33634
    United States of America
    Tel: +1 (0) 813 889 9691
    Fax: +1 (0) 813 889 9593
    Email: Info@SchumacherUSA.net

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    The comments, observations and conclusions made in this review are solely with respect to the particular item the editor reviewed and may not apply generally to similar products by the manufacturer. We cannot be responsible for any manufacturer defects in workmanship or other deficiencies in products like the one featured in the review.

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