RC 4x4 models (EN)
2016-01-22: Winter testing
Finally there is some snow in our area. Let's dig in!
First one to try was the HengGuan P402 . Even though I was expecting good off-road capabilities, I was surprised, how well it handled deep snow. I think the car has the optimal weight - not too heavy but not too light either. Also, I switched to 2nd gear to get more momentum in snow. With a 5Ah NiMH battery pack it was driving continuously for almost 2 hours (environment temperature -5°C).
WLtoys Vortex-A979 with my battery upgrade kit finally made it off-road without any problems. Of course, it handled only flat areas covered with thin layer of snow, but it was quite fun to drive. I'm still getting used to this fast car. Power slides and drifting attempts were occasionally successful, the car behaved quite unpredictably when cornering on a slippery surface. I have driven it for almost 40 minutes. Even though environment temperature was about -10°C, the electric motor was warm (great for frozen fingers :) ).
Also, there were just a few snow flakes inside the car - the "skirts" I mounted around the chassis did their job well. The bodywork on the other side was nicely covered with snowy film.
Regarding chassis I noticed one thing clearly - steering and suspension looseness of the car's joints influences driving direction. Driving straight on a snowy path required steering corrections almost continuously. Every time the suspension moved, the car changed its driving direction a bit. This effect was most noticeable when driving at moderate speeds (walking behind the car).
Clear sky overnight with temperatures dropping below -20°C have prepared beautiful ice kingdom sceneries.
That was one of the very few possibilities to make a sunny and icy video. I already knew the HG P402 can dig through more than 5 centimeters of fresh snow. See yourself what an unmodified stock HG P402 can do ;) .
This time - morning temperature was still about -15°C. I noticed the car sometimes had a hard time moving the gears - especially when it was standing still for a minute - just as if the drive train was freezing (it was full of snow of course :) ). That required giving more throttle but then everything was fine again.
The stock tyres have proven to be an excellent choice for these conditions. The car didn't even need any snow chains on the wheels, the tyres were digging through frozen snow just like a hot knife through butter.
When everything dried out I checked the HG P402's drive train for any damage. No excessive looseness, just minor scratches on the most exposed parts (especially axle differentials). Tyres are a bit worn as you can see on the last photo. But all this has already happened before the snow expeditions ;) . Frozen snowy terrain hasn't really caused any damage to the car.
PS: No attempts were made with the Feiyue-03 as it had low capacity battery (and low temperatures would have degraded car's endurance even more).
2016-01-31: Spring testing :)
Even though there is still January according to the calender, the weather is far from that. Green grass, muddy ground, even flowers start to bloom. Insane!
To show, that frozen terrain didn't really cause any damage to the HengGuan P402 , we took it for a spin. We planned a long walk through different kinds of terrain. Started on wet tarmac, over large grazings. Of course, hard surfaces put up very little resistance, however those grazings with 10cm grass really consumed much of battery's energy (that was half of the trail).
Then straight into a shallow creek...
Then a few hundred meters on muddy roads, drive through a short trial course on a ploughed field and the last 800 meters on a tarmac road back home.
Alltogether 3500m. The first 5Ah NiMH battery lasted for 2700m (2 hours and 20 minutes of continuous driving at walk speed), the rest of the trail was run on a second battery. This might be an interesting information for those of you, who plan to take the HG P402 for a walk.
Warning: as I've already warned about uncovered gears between the motor and the gearbox - this was the first time some dirt got between the teeth during a fast mud climb. The car immediately started to sound differently. From the usual whizzing sound there was suddenly much more rattle. A quick look at the gears revealed the truth. I stopped and cleaned the gears (no brush at hand, finger nails were the only suitable tools available :) ). After cleaning, the car had its original whizzing sound back.
Checking the gears afterwards showed no visible damage. However, I'm definitely going to 3D print some kind of cover for the gears to prevent dirt getting between the teeth.