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Discussion Starter #1
Since there are various vehicles coming out that are 4wd ( BJ4x4, X-5, Academy SB Sport ) I thought a thread discussing these and 4wd racing in general would be great.

The BJ4x4 had a pretty good showing at the nationals. I don't have the specifics but I think one of them finished 3rd in the main. The vehicle should be shipping very soon and goes for about $450.

The X-5 also is shipping soon, this is a conversion for the XX-4 to use a singlebelt drivetrain similar to the XXX-4 . I believe it retails for $229, they had a special at one time for $179 or so shipped.

The Academy SB Sport is currently being distributed by MRC and retails for $199 shipped from MRC. if you order from say Ultimate hobbies, it sells for $145 shipped. This includes some aluminum parts ( hexes, driveshaft, shock caps, steering posts ) ball diffs front and rear, some ball bearings, front universals ( quite beefy ) and other things.

I am an owner of the SB Sport buggy, and have upgraded it to full ball bearings, full titanium turnbuckles, and I am just now adding B4 shocks all around. For upgrades, here is what will work:

  • B3 Turnbuckle set ( bigger turnbuckles on camber links )
  • Ball bearings 4 total: 5x10x4mm , 4 total: 10x15x4mm
  • 4 total: 4 x 8 x 3mm FLANGED Bearing
The vehicle has a pretty low mounted body with an adjustable wing ( there are degree markers on the adjusters ) so you can set the downforce how you want. the wing is also similar in material to 1/8 scale buggy wings. If you destroy this wing, I would be very suprised.

The wheels are very firm, just need holes drilled. The vehicle is also quite durable and has been doing well in Europe against fully optioned vehicles, including winning a good amount of races.

I would say the main thing with this vehicle is that you will need to make sure that your battery packs are assembled tightly, especially if they are GP3300s, but the mounting system is really nice and holds them in well. Just add a piece of insulation on the strap and it will keep the packs locked in.

Parts are pretty easy to get from MRC. Just go head and get your LHS to order them and you are set. If you call MRC direct, try and speak with Tim as he knows the most about this vehicle.

The only thing that we are looking into getting is the slipper for the vehicle for the type of tracks we run on. Another driver is testing a slipper that MRC sent him which they have in stock, if it works, I will post that.

For me, the most striking thing about this vehicle is how much punch it has and how durable it is. I am just really impressed with it. So if you want to go 4wd and not spend an arm and a leg, this may be the option for you.
 

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omaha_racing said:
What is it going to take to get a larger following for the 4 wheel dirt cars. If we could have anything like the touring cars, that would be amazing. I bought a xxx-4 g+ this year and still have not even driven the thing yet.
we are bound to see a big increase in the number of 4wd racers very soon. i think that most of the reason that the 4wd class almost died was that for a wile there you're only choice in cars was the xxx-4. i am not badmouthing the xxx-4 as i think it is a decent buggy but only having one choice seems to take some of the fun out of it. Now that academy and j-concepts(soon) are making competitive 4wds the losi monopoly is over and the class will come back.
 

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omaha_racing said:
So sean, what do you mean by "decent"??
i mean that in my opinion it is a mediocre buggy. i'm not really a fan of belt drive and they aren't as durable as i would like them to be but i have driven one and at least from my experience it seemed to handle pretty well. but then again the only other 4wd i have driven was a xx-4 so i am no expert.

cain, how are you liking that academy sb sport i am considering one. i was gonna buy one of those bj4's but from what i hear they are gonna be almost 500$
 

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Im going to throw my .02 cents in the mix here...If this class is going to take off (as I hope it does as its my favorite) to debunk the idea of 4wd being hard to work on or breakable (touring cars have proved this wrong) we should all push for a STOCK 4WD class! Back in the early 90's there was one and this class ALWAYS provided great close racing...without the fear/whatever of breaking your car or running into a team guy's car. It is a GREAT class that allows folks to learn to drive this class and will grow the love of the class!

Stock=Close racing + less breaking + more than 1 type car = 4wd may last this time around.

Again only my thoughts...but I just bought an academy!
 

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stock 4wd would be cool i guess, good racing close consistent and all it's just that a stock motor in a car that get's that much traction and handles that well is gonna seem a little slow.
 

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i would love to see 4-wheel make a comeback, the downside of this class is that most racers feel they need a 11 turn or lower in the car. most of these racers cant handle that much power which leads to broken cars and people saying that the cars suck and there is to much maintence. i have raced tight indoor tracks used a stock motor or 19turn and went faster than the guys with mods due to i just drove around the track while they burned tires up and waited to get marshalled.
 

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I have heard the "Stock is too slow" argument MANY times, however look at the Touring car world. If they have proved two things is that Stock 4wd can be close/fun racing and 4wd is not rocket seince...they aint that hard people for the amount of fun they bring.

I think that if folks tried 4wd stock / honed their skills (Like they do in 2wd stock or stock truck or whatever) then made the jump to the fast 4wd's the class will grow. HOWEVER, look around at EVERY BIG RACE the ONLY 4wd class offered for whatever reason is mod....so yes people are thinking they need 10x motors or whatever, and then yes they do break when they endo off of a pipe at that speed...so yes the cars have to be worked on.

So IF there were an alternative 4wd stock or spec (19x anyone) the class WOULD GROW.
The Georgia State champs and the Fla state Champs used to offer this class yearly, and I remember this being a great/close class...that eventually led to the growth of good 4wd mod racers...again my opinions only
 

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I agree with much of what's been said above. 4WD currently faces three problems: Only one car in the class. That car has a reputation for breaking. They're harder to work on than most buggies/trucks. Let's look at each one:

1) The BJ 4X4 performed very well in the hands of good drivers at the Mod Nats, and they have a long list of interested people. The Academy is generating interest, especially with its low price. And the X - 5 conversion, which ran successfully at the Nats, is showing promise. That's three new cars in the same class in one year!! Lots of Ford vs. Chevy interest that should be great for the class.

2) Losi has fixed many of the problems with the XXX-4, albeit at some cost to the racers for upgrades or the G+ kit. And certain parts continue to break. The fact is that, in mod, these are the fastest cars on the track, so they're going faster when they crash. Further, the driveline is far more complicated than 2WD, so there's lots more to break. The BJ seems a bit more reliable than the Losi, and the X - 5 uses mostly XX-4 parts, which are quite reliable. We don't know much about the Academy. There's really a trade-off: you go faster and break more. Many people like going fast...

3) The newer 4WD cars are not that hard to work on, starting with the XXX-4. 4WD got a well-deserved reputation of hard-to-work-on when the XX-4 was out, and the reputation seems to have stuck. However, the XXX-4, the BJ, and the X - 5 are all easy to work on when you consider the complexity of the drivelines. So the hard-to-work-on problem is solved.

Because all three popularity problems are now in the past, and with the excitement we'll see when the magazines start doing stories on the new cars, I think the class will revive.

4WD stock is not slow. At all the Stock Nats I've attended, 4WD times have been about 1 sec/lap faster than buggy. On some tracks, a good 4WD stock can keep up with an average 2WD mod. The XX-4 was not real fast in stock because of its driveline, but the new cars should all be better.

Let's Go 4-Wheelin'!!!
 

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it will be interesting if 4wd stock became popular since the formerly completely dominant losi xxx-4 will have a disadvantage. the new shaft drive 4wd's (bj4 and sb) have an efficiency advantage over the losi belt drive's. in mod class you can just step down a turn to compensate for this but in the stock class the shaft drive cars will have a clear advantage
 

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I agree totally with Chazz (and you too sean) Stock 4wd is great!

Lets not forget Schumacher, and Yokomo both companies produce GREAT 4wd cars! As a matter of fact I would argue that the CAT (schuie) IS/has always been their best product! The New Yoke is also getting praise, and like Sean says people are going to have to think about which chassis they want in stock form since driveline drag etc will play a role.
I bought an Academy car based on its price. I have had loads of 4wd's since the Optimas, then the Mid, then the Old Yokomo, Schuie, and xx4. I wanted to give the MRC/Academy a chance to prove the shaft thing to me without spending 500 beans on the BJ!
I plan on trying the New Cat (due at the end of the year so I hear) or the Yoke if 4wd picks up. Id love to look in the mags at regional races/state races (whatever you know... bigger races) and see the option of running the 4wd's in a more controllable class...and sitting back and watching the factory guys (and the ususal gang of overmotored bravehearts) dive the wicked fast ones!

Bring ON the 4wd"s!!!!!!!!!!!!! Im IN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Paul
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Hey guys,


sorry haven't had a chance to respond. I have been mainly bashing with my Academy Buggy and its very durable. The parts are alittle more flexible than the standard B4 material, but they are pretty beefy. That will be the first thing you notice is how beefy they are.

The car goes together quite well. I only had to do slight fitting on the hex pins as they were a bit too long for the aluminum hexes. Also, you will want to put some spacers or the smaller spring for the rear dogbones ( fronts have CVAs ) to put them more into the cups, but other than that the car went together quite well.

It really jumps true. that is one thing I really noticed, it just launches and flys straight. The one thing you may want is a slipper, and one is in the works and I heard that the one from the gas truck may work, we are still looking into that.

The body really fits low on this buggy, and its pretty cool that the wing is similar in material to 1/8th scale wings and its angle is fully adjustable with little degree lines so you can track you settings.

The shocks are ok, they do the job for what they are and can be replaced with B3 or B4 shocks all around, just use the Ae mounting hardware to get it done. For turnbuckles, use the B3 turnbuckle kit and put the shorter ones on the steering links.

It will also need some bearings to complete it, the wheels and the steering. You can also put bearings in the diffs but I have heard yeahs and nays on doing this. The drivetrain is pretty smooth and very free.

The only other thing that could be better is the motor mounting system as the cam when you rotate it the wires are kind of at a bad angle where you can do a direct solder of the wires without messing with the mesh. KOSE has a mount coming out similar to the BMI TC3 mount that worked really well. I am looking into this mount.

So far I have only broken two front arms and bent two hingepins do to glitches I had that sent me full speed into a concrete wall with a 19T motor powering it. So you can imagine what that would have done to a less vehicle.

I think the hot ticket right now is going to be 19T buggy racing. Seems alot of guys want to run this. A stock or 19T class would be great for 4wd. Doesn't make sense that you default class at alot of tracks for 4wd is mod. Just shoots the class in the foot as far as newbies getting into it.

I plan to do some racing with my buggy at a pretty big offroad track next week. Probably practice to set it up Tuesday. I personally would junk the kit setup as it is too soft. If you use AE shocks, #2 pistons all around would be a good place to start, 40W all around wouldn't be bad either.

Herc, how has your academy been treating you? Plan to run it at the Nats?
 

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Well I have not ran my academy yet. Im gettin it together! But for 140 beans it looks hellatight! I mean EVERY other car is 100 bucks higher in price...I just don't see it! If you are debating this car...I say just get it!

I agree 4wd as the only offering is stupid at best, I mean EVERY race offers 2wd stock/mod and truck stock/mod heck even masters is growing into a stock/mod class and it aint even a class...it just means well that you are old!

I have a set of losi xxx shocks that I plan on using on the academy as well as a bunch of leftover Lunsford punishers that Im sure I can make fit! If anyone has an academy that does not want it...let me know. Ill be stocking up spares as I plan on doing alot of 4wd runnin!

I may hit the lousiana state champs...on my way to Valdosta on leave to househunt since Im being transferred there. But as far as the nats go..No I can't do it, Im bout to move so the Louisiana State race, and the July TCS race in Memphis(LOVE THESE TCS RACES!) pretty much has my plate full for now!

Now I just gotta unload my extra stuff...so if anyone needs an F201? I got 2 of em...need to unload one of em....more cash for the 4wd buggy!

Keep on keepin on!

Paul DA HERKDRIVER!
 

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I wish the class was more popular, Looks like my XXX4 and E-maxx are parked until the winter season. Then there will be a nice class for both.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The TC3-O looks nice, I like how you guys are doing the V2.

I will be practicing with my buggy this tuesday. I will be running the kit tires to see how they hook up as the tires that alot of guys were running were holeshots or something similar. If conditions break up, I think the IFMAR studs may be a good choice too.

When you do get to race it post how you do!
 

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it's nice to see that 4wd has gone from being monopolized by losi to having more choices than any other offroad electric class. 4wd is bound to really take off soon and i would be willing to bet on it.
 

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I agree the TCO v2 looks great. If I had a tc3 Id think about it, but
I unfortunatley don't have one...But looking at the pix Id say its a quality job!

I have heard roumours that even Kyosho was getting back into the 4wd thing...and they should I mean the Lazer was a great car! Man just look around 4wd may be the best class around!

TC3-O / Yoke / Schumacher / Academy / BJ4 / Losi / XX5 / Kyosho? Man.....how arent people getting excited is the question?!

Post about any local 4wd booms near you!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Looks like my new track may have 5 4wds to actually run a 4wd class. Only thing is a few of the guys are wanting to run full mod since they have brushless systems they can put in.

My fastest motor is a 14T Quad, good ol' Tower Hobbies motor! Not sweat though, I will just run my 19T till I get used to the track.
 

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Cain said:
The Academy SB Sport is currently being distributed by MRC and retails for $199 shipped from MRC. if you order from say Ultimate hobbies, it sells for $145 shipped. This includes some aluminum parts ( hexes, driveshaft, shock caps, steering posts ) ball diffs front and rear, some ball bearings, front universals ( quite beefy ) and other things.


what is ultimate hobbies site? i can't seem to find it
 

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ultimatehobbies.com You should call them though...you won't find a link to the car on their site, but seems everyone is buying them there. If MRC were smart they'd start pushing this puppy to Tower/stormer/omni etc.

Good Luck!

Anyone heard any new news on the new Schumacher cat? Seems like if they wanted to get in on the right time...its now. They are probably going to wait till round Christmas time...course by then everyone will have 4wd's. I heard they are waiting till 2005. Snooze ya loose fellas!
 
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