Sunday, 16 June 2013

Replacement parts for the Hobbyking Monster Beatle 110BS

I love multiwii copters, they are challenging to build, calibrate and fly. Most of all, you should not fly them on windy days or when it's too crowded.
To solve this issue, I bought a Hobbyking Monster Beatle 110BS. These are wonderful little rc cars with a lot of punch. If you're like me, you probably already own 3s 2200mAh lipo batteries and a helicopter remote (I got this one, it is easy to mod!).
Well, the heli remote is not going to be an issue, even though it has some disadvantages :
  • the controls are not perfectly suited to drive a car.
  • when you reach the end of the range of you remote, the car will not stop (unlikely to happen)
The issue with this car is that everything breaks easily. For this reason, I listed below the replacement parts I'm using as well as the tricks when there was no direct fit. Beware, if this car was originally cheap, replacing virtually all parts as I did can cost you a little FORTUNE.


First of all, it is my opinion that all broken parts should be replaced by aluminium whenever possible. Here are the parts I purchased and a description of any mod you might need to fit them:

Front suspension, arms and direction

First point of contact when you hit something head-on, this part of the car should get most of your attention. On my first crash I broke the front shock tower (30726) and the left front upper suspension arm (30710). With time (read: patience ;-) I eventually replaced most of it with metalic parts. Here are the conlusions of my researches:
  • Front Shock Tower (30726): The original plastic part is made of cheap plastic and breaks ALL THE TIME. HK also sells a glass fiber version.
    I personally went for the Kyosho Mini Inferno - part nr MIF008- purchased here - (modifications are needed to fit the body mounts) 
    Aluminium Front Shock Tower (30726)
    from the Kyosho Mini Inferno
  • Front upper suspension arms L/R (30710): The original plastic part is made of plastic and breaks ALL THE TIME. HK also sells an aluminium upgrade.
    I personally went forthe ACME Pioneer/Firewolf - part nr: 30910 -purchased here (direct fit) and strongly recommend upgrading to anything sturier than plastic.
    Aluminium front upper suspension arms L/R (30710)
    from the ACME Pioneer/Firewolf
  • Front Lower Suspension arms L/R (32191): The original plastic part is made of plastic and breaks ALL THE TIME. HK also sells an aluminium upgrade
  • Front C Bracket L/R (30705): The original part is made of plastic. HK proposes an aluminium upgrade, which I highly recommend.
    I personally went for the HK aluminium upgrade.
  • Front Steering arm LR (30708): The original part is made of plastic. HK proposes an aluminium upgrade, which I highly recommend.
    I personally went for the HK aluminium upgrade.
  • Front Shock Set (32157): The original part seems strong enough. The (partially) aluminium oil filled alternative give a much better suspension. My aluminium shocks came pre-filled with oil.
    I personally went for the HK aluminium upgrade.
    If you want to go further in the upgrade, you can replace the slugs with aluminium machined upgrades from Sour41 from the hobbyking forum (which I did). Quite frankly, it brings little added value to your car besides being cool, which was already enough for me. 
Shock slugs  made by Sour41
Sour41 is a 28 year old guy from Minsk in Belarus. Since he loves the Monster Beatle and his job is Head of Sales in a factory with the right tools ; he built himself a couple of parts for his Monster Beatle. Since he works very well and lots of people wanted the same parts ... he is now sharing his skills by machining a couple of extra metalic parts and sells them (at a very decent price). To my knowledge, this is the only way to get such high quality parts. You can get all the info here. I ordered some parts from him and got them fairly quickly. Thanks Sour41.
Don't buy front or
rear CVDs, they break
too easily
  • Servo saver (30702) and Steering Linkage (30782) the original servo saver and steering linkage are both very durable. There is an aluminium alternative (replacing both at once) if you ever break one of them or want your car to look 'all metal'.
  • I personally went for the HK aluminium alternative for no real reason ;-)
  • Sway bar backplate (30724): the original part can break if you screw and unscrew it too often, it will eventually break around the screw. The aluminium alternative is much stronger but the holes are not perfectly aligned. Please note that only one set is needed for both the front and back sway bar.
    I personally went for the HK aluminium alternative because it is cheap and waiting for another one to  arrive would be frustrating...
  • Front dogbones (32125): these original parts are great, they are hard to break ! Note, the front dogbones are 0.5mm shorter than the rear ones, which makes absolutely no difference. Since the front ones are cheaper I would not hesitate and buy front ones even for the rear.
    HK also sells front and rear CVDs (virtually the same sizes but different prices). These are really cool, since you don't lose your dogbones anymore. They are unfortunately much more fragile and will snap very quickly (especially if your motor has lots of torque).
    I personally purchased both front and rear CVD thinking it was an upgrade and quickly went back to my old and trusty front dogbones (for the front and the rear). I have never broken any.

Rear suspension and arms 

  • Rear Shock Tower (30727). The original plastic part is made of plastic and breaks ALL THE TIME. HK also sells a glass fiber version.
    I personally went for the Kyosho Mini Inferno - part nr MIF009- purchased here - (modifications needed)
  • Rear Lower Suspension arms L/R (32192). The original plastic part is made of plastic and breaks ALL THE TIME. HK also sells a much stronger aluminium version.
    I personally went for the HK aluminium version.
  • Rear Bearing Holder L/R (30709): The original part is made of plastic. HK proposes an aluminium upgrade, which I highly recommend.
    I personally went for the HK aluminium upgrade.
  • Rear Shock Set (32157): The original part seems strong enough. The (partially) aluminium oil filled alternative give a much better suspension. My aluminium shocks came pre-filled with oil.
    I personally went for the HK aluminium upgrade.
  • Rear dogbones (321265): these original parts are great, they are hard to break ! Note, the front dogbones are 0.5mm shorter than the rear ones, which makes absolutely no difference. Since the front ones are cheaper I would not hesitate and buy front ones even for the rear.
    HK also sells front and rear CVDs (virtually the same sizes but different prices). These are really cool, since you don't lose your dogbones anymore. They are unfortunately much more fragile and will snap very quickly (especially if your motor has lots of torque).
    I personally purchased both front and rear CVD thinking it was an upgrade and quickly went back to my old and trusty front dogbones (for the front and the rear). I have never broken any.

Main body and chassis

  • Chassis (33177). The original plastic part is all right. It's made of plastic and is not completely rigid. Note that HK also sells a fibreglass alternative which should be better.
    I personally went for the Aluminium Chassis from the ACME Pioneer/Firewolf - part nr: 32361 - purchased here (direct fit)
  • Spur Gear (30985): The original part is made of plastic and will wear. You then have two options:
    • Buy a couple of spares
    • Order a hard steel spare from Sour41 (Direct fit)
      Since replacing these takes a lot of time, I decided to go with the hard steel version.
Hard Steel Spur Gear (30985) made by Sour41

Sour41 is a 28 year old guy from Minsk in Belarus. Since he loves the Monster Beatle and his job is Head of Sales in a factory with the right tools ; he built himself a couple of parts for his Monster Beatle. Since he works very well and lots of people wanted the same parts ... he is now sharing his skills by machining a couple of extra metalic parts and sells them (at a very decent price). To my knowledge, this is the only way to get such high quality parts. You can get all the info here. I ordered some parts from him and got them fairly quickly. Thanks Sour41.
  • 15T Motor Pinion (30971): the original part is allright. If you're using 3S LiPos, I however recommend using pinions made of hard steel and with more teeth 17T, 19T (not hard steel and requires enlarging the top hole of the motor clamp, 32339).
    17T Hard steel pinion

    I personally started with the 19T (not hard steel) but went back to the 17T due to durability issues.

  • Pinion Shaft Holder (32338): the original plastic part will not beak. If make an order to Sour41, I recommend buying this one as well. Despite looking cooler, it also has a larger hole for the ball bearing and will work with the same ones (8x4x3mm) as the one used for the wheels. It is therefore NOT A DIRECT FIT (but only requires purchasing an adapted ball bearing).

    Pinion Shaft Holder (32338) made by Sour41

      Sour41 is a 28 year old guy from Minsk in Belarus. Since he loves the Monster Beatle and his job is Head of Sales in a factory with the right tools ; he built himself a couple of parts for his Monster Beatle. Since he works very well and lots of people wanted the same parts ... he is now sharing his skills by machining a couple of extra metalic parts and sells them (at a very decent price). To my knowledge, this is the only way to get such high quality parts. You can get all the info here. I ordered some parts from him and got them fairly quickly. Thanks Sour41.
    'Rubbish' Original drive gear
    Right: new one
    Left: after 10min of intensive use

    Differentials

    Note that you can buy the entire front (32003) or rear (32347) gearbox already assembled. I would not buy these since the gears inside are rubbish and will not last. If you chose to buy the rear one, it will come with the required shaft (the same as provided with the rear drive gear) even if the HobbyKing picture does not show it.
    • Drive Gear (32014 and 32301 or 32343): the original parts (the front one and rear one, alternate rear one) are absolute rubbish. They will wear out at dramatic rates if you drive your car long enough at its top speed (and they're annoying to replace). Hobbyking currently does not sell and decent upgrade for this part !
      The only solution I found so far was to replace the entire differential with hard steel differential gears originally made for the Kyosho Mini Inferno (significant modifications on the Rear Drive Gear are required to perform this operation. The front one is easy to mod)
      For some reason they
      sell the same part
      under two references:
      32301 or 32343
    • Spacer to mount the Mini Inferno
      Gearbox Housing on Alu Chassis
    • Front/Rear Gearbox Housing (30736): the original housing is OK. If you want a nice finish, you can always replace it with the aluminium upgrade of the Kyosho Mini Inferno. I personally made that upgrade and do not think it is worth it, as it requires lots of little tweaks and adaptations (the gears will stick out at the bottom and you will need to add a spacer to mount the gearbox.
      15/09/2013 Update: I'm thinking about moving back to the original housing with the hardened steel gears. The aluminium version is really a nightmare to adapt.


    Gearbox aluminium upgrade for the
    Kyosho Mini Inferno

    (not a direct fit)
    Hard Steel differential from
    the Kyosho Mini Inferno
    A MUST HAVE (small mod needed)



     
    The Alu gearbox of the Mini Inferno
    with the hard steel differential
    (don't forget to put HT paste
    or PTFE grease on it)
    I had to enlarge the groove in the
    original black  bevel cup (sold here
    here) with a file to make it fit



    The result with the adapted
    Kyosho Mini Inferno gearbox

    The must have parts (because they're easily lost)

    Mini 4-Way
    Hex Wrench
    • Front Upper Suspension arm Sleeve Spacer (30713): they don't break, but if you lose them, you'll have to wait to get a new one... and they're easy to lose when you break the front shock tower. Available here.
    • Mini 4-Way Hex Wrench: this might sound stupid, but this wrench costs 2.09$ (close to nothing) and saves you tons of time (instead of using pliers).

    Electrical components

    • Brushless motor (B1122): Here is a 500w alternative. Please note that you will need to get an adapted pinion with this motor (shaft size is 3.17mm). My recommendation is to go for a hard steel 17T pinion (as well as all other gears). It is much stronger and it is also the largest you can fit without modifying the motor clamp, 32339.
    • Speed controller (B1058): I could not find the original part on HK'w website. Mine fried after a couple of runs with the 3s lipo battery. Depending on your 'ambition' and the battery you're, I recommend using one that matches your needs. Here are a couple of suggestions:
      • Reasonable: replace it with something with the same specifications such as the
      • Crazy: this ESC can temporarly provide the 500w (46Amp) required by the motor above. The maximum rated current is 45Amp. You should be fine since the car is not that heavy and you're not likely to constantly consume a current of 45Amp.
      • Insane: go with the 60A ESC from HK. You'll be able to later install a more powerful motor and always remain within the specifications of your motor. You will however have lots of problems with parts wearing out prematurely.

    4 comments:

    1. Hello, i've really loved your post. But please help me. In the end of story, how much have you paid for the spare parts? Is it not better to buy only spare parts and mount my monster beatle by myself?

      ReplyDelete
    2. Hi ! and thanks for your compliments.
      I have not counted how much I ended up spending ... but at the end of the day, I do not need to ... I'm sure it is much more expensive than buying a quality RC car right from the start... The thing is I wanted to start small and upgrade it if I liked RC Cars like I liked RC multicopters.

      The aim of this post is more to be like a 'wiki' where people can find better alternatives for the parts they keep breaking.

      The weakest point (and hardest to upgrade) is in my opinion the differentials.

      ReplyDelete
    3. Please, tell me more about differentials. Spur41 has recommended to me besides the steel set you said above, a ball differential from GPM. Do I really need both? Do I need to buy 2 kits of Hard Steel Gear Set For Front/rear Differential (one to front and other for rear)? Or the kit includes one to the front and other to rear diff? Thank you so much!

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. Hi, I never tried the ball differential. It sounds interresting. I found it challenging to adapt the mini inferno hard steel differentials to the Monster Beatle.

        In the Monster beatle you have two differentials (front and rear), you therevor need two if you want to replace them.

        Delete