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Old 10-23-2008, 01:06 AM
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Kav's Sportwerks Recoil Pro Build/Info Thread *With Servo Chart*

After retiring Projekt Graphite-Tec to the shelf after a near fatal accident that destroyed a Sidewinder ESC, I craved another on-road. I really started to take a liking to the apartment-friendly size of my RC18T, but a ‘R wouldn’t cut it. I needed a proper touring car that was large enough to drive on a paved street without getting upset by a small pebble. The Sportwerks Recoil fit the bill, and is in a class all of it’s own at 1/14th the size of a real Mazda 6. After a bit of research, I decided on the Pro ARR “David Spashett” version, since I would be getting rid of the stock electronics anyways. By getting the pro version, which is already hopped-up with all of Sportwerk’s option parts, I would save money in the end. I had most of the components ready to drop in: Sidewinder Micro ESC, AON4900 BL motor, and Spektrum RX. It was just a matter of choosing a servo and then ordering the car. The eBay store “HopMeUp” was running a sale on Recoils at $98 plus shipping. Along with the car, I picked up a pre-painted body and a set of Losi 22t pinions. Here’s what I’ve learned after countless hours reading a handful of excellent threads:

Shocks: The blue-anodized aluminum shocks seem nice and don’t leak, which is a nice change coming from my ‘18T. But the springs are too soft, too long, which doesn’t allow the chassis to “droop” under its own weight, and the oil is much too thin for a TC. RCtech member “duneland” discovered that cutting Associates VCS springs in half gave the perfect tuning spring for the shocks. There’s a handful of rates to choose from and droop can be tuned by further trimming. For ozite, he recommends copper (16.00) up front and red (14.00) in rear. He cautioned that this set-up, when using 50wt. oil up front and 45wt. in rear, gave little warning before traction rolling, but handling was much improved. For general indoor and outdoor bashing and speed runs, I went with gold (12.00) in front and blue (10.00) in the rear. 40wt. and 35wt. oil should be a good match to these spring rates, respectively.

Differentials: The stock recoil comes with plastic gear differentials, while the Pro comes with ball differentials with metal outdrives. An awesome upgrade, but it could’ve been implemented better. The 3mm balls, which are common in the 1/10th field, are of poor quality and the chrome plating flakes off, causing a gritty feel and grooving to the diff plates. Before running the car, disassemble the diffs, install Robitronic Scalpel Diff Balls (#RA2049), and lube with Associated Stealth Differential Lube (#6591). The other issue involves the metal outdrives. I have seen two instances where, when running brushless, the CVD pin wears a groove in the outdrive quicker than expected. Duratrax Vendetta differentials, which are an easy swap, solve this problem with their beefier outdrives, but are a pricey upgrade at $25 per. Until spare parts dry up, keep an extra set of outdrives on hand to swap in.

Servo: The stock servo is slow and weak, and should be one of the first upgrades on the RTR version. Thankfully, Sportwerks lets us choose out own with the Pro, and includes a few mounts to allow many different sizes of servos to be installed. Futaba’s digital S9650 and metal-geared S9602, along with JR’s DS285MG are three of the most commonly recommended servos. I went with the S9602 as I favored speed over torque and found a used one for a very reasonable price. A more involved discussion can be found below, in Post #9 of this thread.

Rolling Stock: Simply put, the wheels are weak and the tires wear out very quickly. One tag of the boards and you’re almost guaranteed to need a new rear wheel. They break off right at the hub. A set of Sportwerks foams solves both of these problems. They’re offered in 35, 40, and 45 shore. 35 offers many times more traction that the stock rubbers, and yet still lasts longer. A set of 45 shores, which are great for general outdoors bashing, are what my Recoil will be wearing once I wear out or break the stock gear. The wheels are made from a different blend of plastics and are reinforced near the hub. Before the foams were offered, it was discovered that Carisma M14 rear tires (CIS14014) were an adequate replacement rubber that lasted a bit longer then the stock A-spec tires. Just tossing some other options into the mix.

Spares: Sooner or later, you’ll hit a pesky mailbox, light pole, or curb. Most likely, the first, and possibly only, part you’ll break is the rear hingepin mount. Make sure to have at least one package of item #SWK6010 to keep your ride running. I also recommend stocking up on spurs. No aftermarket replacements have been found, so once Sportwerks runs out, that’s it. $3 is cheap insurance to make sure your now-discontinued model can continue to tear past the competition.

Motors: Larger in scale (1/14th vs. 1/18th) and heavier than the R/C’s 180-sized brushless motors are made for, which ironically are 370-can brushed motor replacements, a large-can brushless motor must be used to prevent overheating. The AON4900 (24x33mm) is a great choice, as is the HXT 24x35 (370S) 4400kv motor from hobbycity.com. The Wraith 7k, although now discontinued, is a popular choice, but might need some modification to fit mounted to the Pro’s sliding motor mount. A Sidewinder Micro ESC should have no problem spinning this powerplant, but if the motor does draw too much current, an Associated XPS heatsink or small computer RAM heatsink can be CA glued to the ESC shrink to dissipate any excess heat.

I believe the rest is common sense, such as batteries and the TX/RX. This little model is very unique, and it’s a shame Horizon dropped Sportwerks and discontinued the Recoil. The ironic thing is, I purchased mine the morning of the announcement. But I have done my research, and was pumped about adding this gem to my fleet. The cars, when properly tuned, seem to have no problem taking on 1/10th scale competition. Shaft drive makes them impervious to the pebbles, dirt, and twigs that can take out a belt.

As mentioned before, my stock Recoil Pro is wearing the black pre-painted shell. The reason being that I have never painted a body before, and I wanted to have this car running as soon as it arrived. The AON4900 motor is connected to the wheels with a Losi 22t pinion from the mini-LST. The AON should have no problem pulling this gearing thanks to its massive amount of torque and low kv, but if things do heat up, a heatsink will be snapped on. For short speed runs, I might even gear up. After all, I do have 7 more of these purple cans! A Futaba S9602 servo was purchased just for this car. Only the best will do for my builds. It’s a 1/12th scale pan car servo, and with metal gears, both heavier and larger then a micro servo as commonly seen used in a R/C mini. The Rhino 2S 1550mAh LiPo will give the motor plenty of juice. I’m expecting speeds of around 40 mph. Once I get more comfortable with driving a car of this size, I’ll step up to a 3S.

Some of my first runs will be inside, on a wood gym floor. The stock rubber tires will get the most traction of any rolling stock, and I don’t plan on hitting anything, so I’ll wait on the foams. I’m not sure when I’ll take the car outside to drive. This is the first new car I have ever purchased, and now that’s it’s discontinued, I don’t want to go scratching the graphite chassis plate or breaking some irreplaceable part. I learned that lesson with my RS4 MT.

Not much of a “build” thread, I know, since the car came assembled and ready for electronics. A small reason for purchasing this car was that I already all the electronics laying around unused and waiting for a chassis. In the coming days and weeks, new parts such as springs, oil, and spares such as tires, spurs, and hinge pin mounts will begin to flow in. I’ll give driving reports and part casualties as they happen. My main purpose of this thread was a repository for all the information and tips I’ve learned over the past week. I wanted a convenient, easy to read way to recall what works with what and necessary steps before running the car for both me and others. Of course, pictures will follow soon!

Helpful Links:
Sportwerks Recoil review on R/C Universe

Associated Spring Rate Chart

30+ Page RCTech Recoil RTR Thread
Short Recoil Pro thread on RCTech
Let's talk about the Sportwerks Recoil on R/C Universe
Sportwerks Recoil discussion on R/C Universe #2
The Brits discuss the Recoil



Body shell options, aftermarket parts such as swaybars and Exotek, and other potential upgrades now discussed in post #16

To come: ride height and gearing, and other necessary pre-run checks.

Last edited by kavvika; 11-08-2008 at 05:00 PM.
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