Thursday, 24 February 2011

Limitations and problems of the Sv-10 Alcyon

Ok, i am a big fan of the SV-10 Alcyon, but i am an honest journalist too. I have to fair to everyone and myself, every RC Car on the market has its own quirks and annoying problems, and my favorite car is no different, in this post we will discuss the cons of the Alcyon.
If you remember in my first post, i said something about this car being a RS4 Pro clone and how it was a big mistake. I will start with that point.
Notice the outer hingepin not in the wheel, very old tech even for 1998.
The RS4 Pro gave you a choice to place the outer hingepins in 2 positions to make the car 190mm or 200mm.  While HPI thought it was a clever idea at the time, this supposed trend never caught on, not many changed their car to 200mm. The worst part of it was, in order to get this adjustability, the outer hingepin was placed before the wheel...very old tech. Even as near as 1989, Yokomo and Kyosho knew the hingepin had to be placed as close as possible in the wheel, to give the arm for leverage, and increase the pivoting radius of the C hubs, to reduce tire scrub. Tire scrub happens when the wheels go in a bit more, consequence of the hingepin being before the wheel. The other consequence is less traction becuase of less leverage. Yokomo already did this for their Dogfighter in 1990 and so did Kyosho for the Lazer ZX.

It was becuase of this that Kawada had to place the shocks leaning in so much, and the shock towers did not allow you to place the shocks more upright like other cars, becuase you wont get enough traction at all. While the inclined shocks work great for large sweeping tracks where you dont slow down much, for very tight tracks, your car isnt nimble and fast responding enough.
Next was the front body mounts, placed on the shock towers ! By 1999, most cars placed the front body mounts on the bumper, and the bumper has another brace on top to stiffen the bumper. But kawadas bumper is only fixed at the bottom, and the bumper will bend inwards after many collisions. As a consequence of placing the front body mount on the shocks tower, the front shock tower could break in a strong impact. So a lot of owners had to cut the mounts to be as short as possible to give them less leverage.

Notice how far the inner mounting point is, Kawada could have gained 5mm extra by doing this, thankfully the did on the ALCYON II.
Next was the upper links, especially the fronts, were too short. The inner front upper link point was not as near to the bulkhead as it could have been, causing the front upper link to be quite short (but still longer than most of the competition at the time up to 1999).
Motor Mount built into the vertical upper deck, which can flex.

Next, the motor mounts directly to the right side VOLT chassis, and becuase of this the motor is offset a bit to the left, by 10mm. Also becuase of this, being mounted on a graphite piece 2mm thick that isnt reinforced, the motor caused the VOLT mount to flex and this cause uneven pinion and spur contact, usually chewing up the spur in some instances, one of the reason i change to 48P at the time.
These next problems i would list are minor ones that i can live without :
No droop screws or holes in the arms, so the only way you can adjust droop is to remove the shocks, readjust its length and place them back.
Clip on shocks Ride Height adjustment. This was very common in 1997 - 2000. But what i find odd is Kawada didnt fixed this by releasing threaded schock bodies, until all the Alcyons were obsolete ! They only released threaded shocks when the Sigma was released in 2003 !
The chassis also had a tendency to tweak after a crash, but it wasnt as bad as the worst tweaking car on the market the Yokomo MR4TC SD SSG. My friend Brian was so frustrated with that car, even a little hit will cause it to tweak.
All these issues were the reason the Alcyon II was released, to fix them.

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