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My Experiences Trying to Make a Gas-Powered R/C Car Run
I've come in to possesion of a Silver Fox gas-powered r/c dune buggy. It was manufactured by Varicom, circa 1987.
I've done some work cleaning and adjusting it, but at this point I have been unable to make it run. Lack of an operating manual is a major problem.
I will have some pics and descriptions up here shortly describing what I have done so far and what isn't working. Hopefully someone can give me some feedback so I can get this thing running. If nothing else, this is interesting from a historical perspective.
Here's a pic of the car:
More details: when I first got this car, the engine was completely gummed up - you couldn't rotate it by hand at all. I took the engine apart and cleaned it with carb cleaner. I found the book All About Engines by Harry Higley (available at Tower Hobbies) to be an invaluable resource for understanding how these little things work.
After cleaning and reassembly, the engine turns smoothly. The bearings seem to be in fine shape, and compression seems ok (I can spin the driveshaft easily, but you have to give it pretty firm push to pop through).
However, I can't get the darn thing started. One annoyance is that this old engine doesn't have a pull starter, so you have to start it with an electric spinner. The main problem seems to be that the engine is not getting fuel. That's a two-part process - the engine compression should suck fuel, and the engine exhaust is also used to pressurize the fuel tank to push gas in to the engine as well.
My suspicion at this point is that the carb is not seating properly on the engine, and air is leaking in through that joint. I might try a new o-ring there, or maybe a new carb (the existing one is a little dented).
That's where it stands at this point. I suppose if worst comes to worst I can always purchase a new engine and fit in on the buggy. The rest of the mechanical and electrical components are in great shape.
I spent several hours attempting to start this car with my good friend Andy. We actually managed to make it catch several times, but each time the car stalled out in a few seconds. It seems that fule flow is still a problem. We're not quite sure how to adjust carb screws, particularly since there is also a fuel flow adjustment in the fule line as well. If anyone has info on that, I'd love to hear it.
Also, I searched on ebay and found a Kyoto Landjump for sale. Thanks to Ruenjou Lu, I now know that is the same car as the Silverfox (although apparently with a different engine). That buggy was selling for $255. I'm low on cash right now, so selling this thing is really tempting. Guess we'll see...
I've also added Ruenjou's comments at the bottom of the page. This Silverfox seems to be the one thing on my website that everyone is interested in.
Update: I sold the SilverFox! I never really got it running, and I realized I just didn't have the time to devote to it. The good news: it went for $406.00 on ebay! So, I don't feel too bad.
Update: Bob Harald sent me a link to his page about engine problems. I don't need the info now, but maybe one of you out there will find it useful.
Comments from old broken phpwiki comments plugin, for posterity: