Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Ansmann Mad Rat .. An RC bargain!

The 1/10 off road scene seems to be very popular right now.
There are one or two new tracks popping up within easy travelling distance of me so I thought I'd give it go.
Now being a cautious kind of a guy I didn't want to blow a bundle of green on something I'm not going to enjoy, this train of thought led me to Apex Models and the Ansmann Mad Rat.

The Mad Rat is an entry level 2wd ep buggy kit aimed at new drivers (not me) or the budget conscious (definitely me!).

I didn't expect much when I opened the box but was pleasantly surprised. The kit is predominently plastic with one or two green alloy parts to pretty it up. Included in the package is a set of 4 wheels, tyres and inserts, a painted bodyshell, a wing, a silver can motor and even a pinion gear.

What would you expect to pay for something like this £100 maybe?  Nope... I paid the princely sum of £47 English pounds!

Sounds too good to be true doesn't it. Well the proof, as they say, is in the pudding so I set about bolting my new toy together. 

The decent sized box will, usefully, accomodate the completed model. The parts bags, although not numbered, seemed to be logically arranged.

The manual is ok for experienced builders but could do with a bit more info for newbies.
The required parts were easy to find and compared well to the diagrams.
The front end slotted together nicely, bearings are included for the steering posts/servo saver assembly.

E clips hold the hinge pins in place, fiddly but reliable enough. Once the front end  was complete it was put to one side and work started on the rear. The rear pins were held captive in plastic blocks.

The front and rear sub assemblies could then be bolted to the main tub chassis. Everything so far seemed to be decent quality.
A chap on oople advised me to pre thread the plastic components, this was a good tip as the fasteners are not the best.
I had decided to purchase an upgrade ball bearing kit to replace the supplied bush kit. In my opinion this cheap upgrade is a good investement at £7.50. The front hubs were first to utilise these parts.

More of the option bearings were used in the transmission. The diff went together very well and is very smooth. Dont forget to use wet n dry on the diff rings and use the supplied silicone grease.
 Everything here was a very nice fit.

The slipper clutch could then be fitted to the gearbox. I pre-compressed the slipper spring before fitting.

Front turnbuckles fitted. The approx length of all turnbuckles is given in the manual which is useful.
Rear shock tower, motor gaurd and wing mount also fitted, looks to be strong enough to take some abuse, time will tell. The wing mount comes with wedge spacers to adjust the wing + or - 3 degrees.

CV drive shafts with pins captured by a circlip on a £47 kit, good stuff. I squished in some graphite grease.
Rear hubs (last of the option bearings) and turbuckles fitted. Lots of adjustment for the upper links at the hubs.

The included set of wheels, tyres and inserts, these need to be super glued.
Plastic shocks, not great but remember the price.

They were easy to build however with the included shock oil and seem, so far, to be leak free. I used some green slime on the double orings in the lower body. A possible upgrade for the future.
The chassis accepts a standard stick pack shaped lipo.

I installed a Sanwa servo, a good servo can make a huge difference. I used a Hobbywing speedo from my Xray and fitted an LRP 10.5t motor while I wait for the 8.5t to arrive from HK.

Here it is, the finished article. My overall impression is that this little buggy is an absolute bargain.
It fitted together nicely, the manual was clear and easy to follow and the components all seem to be of decent quality. 
Sure it's no Cat SX2 but as an entry level car in these hard times it has to be great for the hobby. I haven't used it yet but will report back when I do. The first outing will be a practice session next Tuesday at the new Surrey & Hants Radio Control Car Club.

I wonder how long it will take me to break it? If I do another good thing is the price of spare parts, as David Dickinson would say, as cheap as chips!

Ooh I love a bargain!

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