RC12L3 Resto: '87 Buick GNX Build: Finished

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Coelacanth
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RC12L3 Resto: '87 Buick GNX Build: Finished

Post by Coelacanth »

I've been interested in doing something different from 1:10 offroad buggies lately and had been eyeing pan cars on eBay the last several months, waiting for something good but cheap to pop up. I finally spotted a nice auction lot with carbon fiber chassis'; one turned out to be an RC12L3 and the other three were Team SpeedMerchant Rev 3.0 chassis plates. I decided to build the AE because I figured finding parts or a donor car would be much easier.

I scored this parts lot all for $30 + shipping; it included a baggie of extra parts and several NIP parts bags too.
AuctionLot1.jpg
AuctionLot3.jpg
AuctionLot4.jpg
Fortunately the 12L3 chassis plate was in very good condition, but practically everything else bolted onto it or in the extras parts baggie had been cut up, ground down, modded or otherwise worked over somehow--and not too skillfully, I might add. :x
Completed projects: CYANide Onroad Optima | Zebra Gold Optima | Barney Optima | OptiMutt RWD Mid
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Coelacanth
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Re: RC12L3 Resto: Coel's first AE project

Post by Coelacanth »

Somebody on RCTech.net advertised an RC12L3 for sale months ago, but I took a chance and sent him a message asking if he still had it...long story short, this donor chassis arrived today for $45 shipped. It looks mostly complete.
DonorChassis.JPG
The plan is to disassemble everything from the donor chassis and install everything on the chassis I bought, as it's in very good condition. I'd also substitute any aftermarket or NIP parts where possible. The original lower arms installed on my chassis plate were sadly cut down in nasty-looking amateur fashion. :roll:
CheapChassisAndParts.JPG
I had NIP front lower control arms and CRC machined Delrin upper arms, so I started transplanting the goodies over. I noticed the donor chassis had one upgrade: the pieces that attach between the upper & lower front arms and affect the caster angle, from the looks of it. No idea what the actual part name is, but I kept those parts from the donor chassis. Here's the front end assembly in progress.
FrontEnd1.JPG
I have a couple questions...I haven't downloaded a manual yet, but it seems unlikely that the upper arms are merely pinned onto the aftermarket parts I mentioned above with those steel J-rods? Shouldn't there be something with e-clips perhaps? Also, is it possible to remove the black balls from inside the control arms' outer ends without damaging them? The new AE lower arms don't have the balls inserted and the two balls I attempted to remove from the used arms just got damaged without budging. :?
Completed projects: CYANide Onroad Optima | Zebra Gold Optima | Barney Optima | OptiMutt RWD Mid
Gallery - Coel's Stalls: Marui Galaxy & Shogun Resto-Mods | FrankenBuff AYK Buffalo | 1987 Buick GNX RC12L3

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Re: RC12L3 Resto: Coel's first AE project

Post by RC10th »

The upper arm pins are merely held in by friction in the upper arm mount, but you want the arms to swing freely though. The L4 was upgraded with set screws in the upper arm mounts to hold the pins.

It is possible to remove the balls but tricky, an old jewlers screwdriver or something similar to use as a punch. There are aftermarket companies that sell delrin balls so replacing them with new shouldn't be too hard. If the arms are poorly cut they are of little value so cutting the ball out would be another way.

I look forward to seeing how this turns out.
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Re: RC12L3 Resto: Coel's first AE project

Post by Phin »

Coelacanth wrote:Somebody on RCTech.net advertised an RC12L3 for sale months ago, but I took a chance and sent him a message asking if he still had it...long story short, this donor chassis arrived today for $45 shipped. It looks mostly complete.
You probably have enough spares to also start rebuilding the Speed Merchant chassis. ;)
The original lower arms installed on my chassis plate were sadly cut down in nasty-looking amateur fashion. :roll:
Arms were cut down so that the tires could be trued to a smaller diameter and still make ground clearance requirements.

I noticed the donor chassis had one upgrade: the pieces that attach between the upper & lower front arms and affect the caster angle, from the looks of it. No idea what the actual part name is, but I kept those parts from the donor chassis. Here's the front end assembly in progress.
If you mean the caster blocks, the ASC4561 kit came in 3 angles...0, 5, and 10. You can further adjust caster by moving the white shimsto the back or front of the caster blocks.
I have a couple questions...I haven't downloaded a manual yet, but it seems unlikely that the upper arms are merely pinned onto the aftermarket parts I mentioned above with those steel J-rods? Shouldn't there be something with e-clips perhaps? Also, is it possible to remove the black balls from inside the control arms' outer ends without damaging them? The new AE lower arms don't have the balls inserted and the two balls I attempted to remove from the used arms just got damaged without budging. :?
The pivot ballas can be removed but only from one side of the ball end. With the stock plastic ones they're pretty hard to remove without damaging. I typically insert a 4-40 socket screw into the ball and press the head of the screw against a table to pop them out.

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Re: RC12L3 Resto: Coel's first AE project

Post by Coelacanth »

Thanks for the info, guys. As this is my first AE project, the problem is I have almost no leftover parts other than what I received in the chassis parts lot and donor car. It's great to have baggies or boxes full of spare parts in case something breaks or strips out, but I don't have that luxury with AE parts (yet). :? Also, all my hobby tools are Metric...I only have Allen keys in Standard sizes at the moment. :x I need to 'Yankify' my hobby toolbox. :mrgreen:
Completed projects: CYANide Onroad Optima | Zebra Gold Optima | Barney Optima | OptiMutt RWD Mid
Gallery - Coel's Stalls: Marui Galaxy & Shogun Resto-Mods | FrankenBuff AYK Buffalo | 1987 Buick GNX RC12L3

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Re: RC12L3 Resto: Coel's first AE project

Post by GoMachV »

Just out of curiosity and to prevent disappointment after the money is spent- do you have a local carpet track to run on or will you be attempting to run this outdoors? A 1/12 outdoor car takes an extremely smooth area to run, and takes a hell of a throttle finger to control! It's hard to get a 1/10 pan to hook up on many outdoor surfaces let alone all that power in a smaller lighter car.
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Re: RC12L3 Resto: Coel's first AE project

Post by Coelacanth »

I have no idea what my local track options are these days...back in the day, they had carpet racing, but not sure now. I just want to build a pan car or two. I might sell or trade it when I'm finished, but shelfing it with a nice TBG '69 Charger body is an option too. The 1:10 Lucas Agitator I won a few days ago looks like a keeper, though.
Completed projects: CYANide Onroad Optima | Zebra Gold Optima | Barney Optima | OptiMutt RWD Mid
Gallery - Coel's Stalls: Marui Galaxy & Shogun Resto-Mods | FrankenBuff AYK Buffalo | 1987 Buick GNX RC12L3

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Re: RC12L3 Resto: Coel's first AE project

Post by markbt73 »

Coelacanth wrote:Thanks for the info, guys. As this is my first AE project, the problem is I have almost no leftover parts other than what I received in the chassis parts lot and donor car. It's great to have baggies or boxes full of spare parts in case something breaks or strips out, but I don't have that luxury with AE parts (yet). :? Also, all my hobby tools are Metric...I only have Allen keys in Standard sizes at the moment. :x I need to 'Yankify' my hobby toolbox. :mrgreen:
And then you can know the "joy" of ALWAYS grabbing a 1.5mm hex driver when you need a 1/16 and vice versa. ;)

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Re: RC12L3 Resto: Coel's first AE project

Post by GoMachV »

Or a 2mm when you are trying for a 5/64

Oh wait lol
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Re: RC12L3 Resto: Coel's first AE project

Post by Coelacanth »

I have a full range of Metric drivers but IMO, they fit the Standard heads too loosely...the last thing I want to do is strip the heads out, as I don't have a collection of hobby-sized Standard screws to replace them with. :o
Completed projects: CYANide Onroad Optima | Zebra Gold Optima | Barney Optima | OptiMutt RWD Mid
Gallery - Coel's Stalls: Marui Galaxy & Shogun Resto-Mods | FrankenBuff AYK Buffalo | 1987 Buick GNX RC12L3

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Re: RC12L3 Resto: Coel's first AE project

Post by GoMachV »

All but the 5/64. You'll want to pick up a .050, 1/16, and 3/32 for team associated projects. The pan cars don't use any 2.0mm or 5/64 that I can think of anyway tho
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Re: RC12L3 Resto: Coel's first AE project

Post by RC10th »

If you do run it in a parking lot you'll quickly find out that a 1/12 pan car turns into a high speed vacuum cleaner.
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Re: RC12L3 Resto: Coel's first AE project

Post by Coelacanth »

Maybe I'll see how well it handles on a gravel road...or grass. :P
Completed projects: CYANide Onroad Optima | Zebra Gold Optima | Barney Optima | OptiMutt RWD Mid
Gallery - Coel's Stalls: Marui Galaxy & Shogun Resto-Mods | FrankenBuff AYK Buffalo | 1987 Buick GNX RC12L3

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Re: RC12L3 Resto: Coel's first AE project

Post by Phin »

Not exactly the best for running on carpet tracks anymore either. Lipo's and a raised t-bar don't really play well together on a 1/12 roadcourse car. :|

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Re: RC12L3 Resto: Coel's first AE project

Post by Coelacanth »

I definitely won't be racing it...I'm barely a driver, let alone a racer. :mrgreen:
Completed projects: CYANide Onroad Optima | Zebra Gold Optima | Barney Optima | OptiMutt RWD Mid
Gallery - Coel's Stalls: Marui Galaxy & Shogun Resto-Mods | FrankenBuff AYK Buffalo | 1987 Buick GNX RC12L3

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