What is it they say about bad luck coming in threes?
Decided to take the Mini Infernos out into the garden. Mine has been a durable garden basher for years, taking all sorts of abuse with nothing worse than a scratched bodyshell and some worn tyres, even when I let the kids drive it. This year, my dad has donated his, so I took it for a run. Within a minute I had crashed it into a wall and broken the front suspension. One car down.
Meanwhile, my daughter was driving my car. As she tried to get it to climb up the slide, it stopped working. Then it started to smoke. I grabbed the car and rushed across to the patio as fast as I could, then grabbed some scissors to cut the battery cables when the smoke started to get worse. Not certain of the cause, it was either the heat of the motor melting through a battery cable, or the power supplied by the Eneloop AAs being too much for the thin wires. Two cars down.
The final irony is that just a few minutes earlier we had opened up a new-in-pack clear bodyshell, ready to paint it in my daughter’s favourite colours, so we could tell the two cars apart. Well, I might be able to salvage one car from the mess, but fixing them both might cost more than they are worth. Rare spare down.
To date I have seen two Mini Inferno ST’s, mine and my dad’s, and both had the same issue with the steering.
Basically, with the steering trim at neutral, the transmitter will overdrive the servo when turning right, and this in turn limits the lock when turning left.
This could also result in premature damage to the servo and makes it more likely for the steering to get stuck after a crash.
The solution is pretty simple and goes something like this.
Step 1: First job is to turn the steering trim knob on the transmitter to the left until the servo stops getting overdriven on full lock. Basically when the servo stops buzzing with the wheel at full right.
Step 2: Now shorten the threaded steering tie rod by a couple of turns until the wheels are straight ahead again. You need to remove the steering top plate to do this, maybe even take out the whole servo to get access as it is pretty tight for long-nose pliers to reach. This should result in close to equal steering lock both ways.
Forgot all about the road test, me and my dad had a good blast around outside his house and the cells seem pretty good! Definitely a lot faster than the tiring Alkaline AA’s my dad had in his car at first. Ran for quite a while (maybe 15 minutes or more?) with no sign of the batteries dumping.
The only thing I did notice was that the cells are a tight fit in the standard battery holder, I couldn’t get the holder lid on at all, but it didn’t matter as the cells were snug enough not to fall out.
All in all a decent cell for the car, good value too at approximately £5 for 4 from various eBay sellers.