Right after the race, the Baja needed some thorough TLC. Actually it's already done some 8 tanks in mostly dusty conditions.
I tore it down to the diff internals.
After the race and the comments I received from my Tasos, my co-driver for the event, it was time to smooth the power. This included two things to be done to the engine. Fit the RTR clutch spring and try the stock exhaust. Tasos is a seasoned 1/10 nitro and 1/5 LS on road racer, so he knew exactly what he wanted out of the car.
I installed the easy part, the exhaust, and ordered a clutch spring from DDM, along with some other small stuff. (see below!)
Disassembling the diff, I stumbled upon a small problem: The pin marked as 95501 in the pic above, would not exit the diff case. This way, I actually left the big diff bearings unattended, while I duly cleaned and regreased all the other car bearings. No matter what I tried, no matter reading at the www.hpibajaforum.com, I didn't manage to push the pin out. So, I re assembled the diff, taking a note to do it next time!
Starting assembling, I realised that...
The rear chassis plate was WARPED!!!!!! I also left this as is, this time, since a CF replacement would be a $115/100 euro job, and I can't afford it right now! However, after assembling the Baja, and before mounting the ProtectaBaja skidplate, I saw that with everything bolted on, it was STRAIGHT! So far so good, then! Of course, you have seen us bash the baja in every hard way possible... I was amazed that there was no damage to the plastic parts, so far, bar a rear lower a-arm that we found about 10 minutes before the 3-hour race start!!!
Next up in my list was a battery voltage indicator. Again looking at the HBF, most people pointed at something like this. I found this at www.heliland.com, a Greek r/c heli shop, in Kallithea. In fact they also stock HPI cars and parts and the day I bought the voltage indicator, there was a new RTR owner receiving his car!!!
I first stuck it with the supplied dual sided tape but I will probably make a mod on the radiobox cover and put it inside the box, so it's more protected from the elements, like some shown at HBF (again!).
Why would I need this indicator, though? Because my first Baja battery is an EDIT 1500mah, that is good for some 85 minutes of running. In the race however, I had to remove it at around the 60 minute mark, just to be on the safe side. Later, after the race, I charged it and it took 1300mah. Before the race, I made two 3300mah 5-cell batteries, by removing a cell and soldering them so they would fit in the Baja's radio box. I still have to find a big enough heatshrink to cover them!!!
My latest hopups are the TurtleRacing front and rear HD shock tower aluminum braces. Again, ordered from DDM.
Their installation was as easy as it can get. However, the top mounts of the rear shocks have to be moved about 10mm each outwards, which I'm afraid will soften the rear of the car. I still have to test this configuration. Probably, after the RTR clutch spring arrives, so we have a complete new setup to test.
Just to make sure I was putting more weight on the Baja, while I removed... power, I weighed all the parts I removed and those substituting them:
TR parts: 145 grams
Stock parts removed: 55 grams.
ProtectaBaja skidplate and its bolts: 330 grams
Plastic HPI skidplate removed: 45 grams
Standard Baja SS with full tank was 9.8 kilos.
Finally, right after I finished assembly of the Baja, and having opened all ball bearing shields, having cleaned and regreased them, the mailman rang my door bell: He brought "The Greaser", ordered from www.heliproz.com (I had to pay 3 euros to the customs for this as well! Argghhhhhhh!). So, this tool will remail... clean tll the next rebuild, while I'm also considering the Team Fast Eddy bearings sometime soon.
Earlier on I was talking about what I can afford. So here's a rough list of costs so far:
I have not mentioned a bottle of grease, similar to the one Fast Eddy was talking about in his "Greaser Tutorial" at www.hpibajatutorials.com, and a few e-clips bought from a local hardware store. I'm still reluctant to convert the front wheel e-clips to a bolt, because I had one break-away from the Baja, and all the damage was a bent e-clip. I wonder what would it be if the wheel was solidly bolted to the arm...
- Baja SS with throttle/brake servo, 1500mah EDIT battery and two cans of paint: Initial cost on monthly interest free 100 euro payments. (At least, it won't hurt the creditcard a lot!!!)
- Outerwears filter and pullstart covers: 35 euros from www.fanatix.gr
- Two sets of mounted HPI DB tires: 35 euros each (fanatix.gr)
- ProtectaBaja skidplate: $69 plus postage (DDM)
- Hostile A/T tires $69 plus postage (DDM)
- DS heavy duty axle boots (Have not installed those yet, since originals are still intact!) $13 (DDM)
- Turtle Racing Front/Rear HD Mount Combo Kit: $72 plus postage (DDM)
- TGN Redneck pre filter (also not installed yet) $10 (DDM)
- DDM Super-Amazing Flashy Bouncy Ball: Free! (And... my son took it from the box, as soon as he opened it: "This is for ME!" he declared! (DDM, of course!)
- The Greaser $39 plus postage PLUS 3 euros CUSTOMS!!! (heliproz.com)
- Two HpiBajaForum.com t-shirts: $39 plus postage (Cafepress)
- #24 Dunetoberfest t-shirt $5 plus partially refunded postage!(Thanks, Fast Eddy!)
The only other technical change, after everyone's suggestions was to rebuild the rear shocks with 15wt fork oil (I used Castrol) and 12-hole pistons.