Long Term Maintenence and Storage

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Long Term Maintenence and Storage

Post by crazydave »

Man, hard to believe its been 5 years since these little cars hit the scene, and its been like, what? 2 or 3 years since MS/Bits have gone out of production. It's crazy. I can't believe this subject hasn't come up already.

Having aquired so many cars over the years, I've found it impossible to have the time to run them all. Some cars haven't been run in over 2 years. Here's what I'm finding, maybe others can share their experiences.

Batteries have been the biggest issue. These batteries weren't designed to have the longest shelf life. Some have died altogether, mostly clone ones. The biggest problem I'm having is with white crystal like corrosion building up on the ends, and battery contacts. This is from gas leakage, because we really charge these batteries a lot harder than they were designed to be.

I notice the problem more so with NiMH, more than the Tomy NiCads, and I have a theory why. It relates to battery storage, and that bits don't have an on/off switch. My theory is that because the cars doesn't have a switch, when it get a bit of intereference, it may be opening the current to the motor, just for a split second. Especially you're running other RCs around them. Since NiCads prefer to be stored with no voltage, that's ok, but since NiMH don't like being stored with a little charge left in them, that can be a problem. With either type of battery, it would be in your best interest to remove the batteries, if you don't plan on using them for a while, and you know, store them properly so the ends don't touch, in a cool dry place, etc..

If you do get the corrosion, I've found it rubs right off with some fine grit sandpaper. Be care to not run through the protective plating, as the metal underneath corrodes rather quickly. The battery seem to work fine once the corrosion is removed. Wash your hands and stuff, because I'm pretty suer that corrosion is nasty stuff.

Then there's battery charging. If you're like me, you probably used to charge your battery 3 or 4 times to get it to capacity, but I'm finding after sitting, they get pretty warm after 2 charges. Heat is the enemy, so you don't want to push them too hard at first, but I've found after using them several days in a row, they start to get trained to take more juice again.

Another problem I've been having is dead steering coils. I guess they just lose their magnetic charge they had built up. I've found if I just pull the car off the ground and hold the steering to one side for a little bit, they start to work again. If you slowly turn the wheel, so you're pulling the magnet away from the coil, that helps it draw more current. Seems like a couple runs before the get completely back to normal.

A problem I'm having, that I don't know if others are having, is motor freezing up, from apparent corrosion, and the endbells corroding on some of those motors. This is more than likely becaus in my old apartment the cars were close to the bathroom, where they'd be exposed to steam from the shower, but all the ones with corroded endbells are Thunder Charger, and Microspeed ones from Biglots. So there seems to be an issue there.

I'd just keep my cars away from moisture, but I've found if this does happen, I just break the motor free manually, them let it run off the ground for a whole charge. You hear the RPMs kicking up, and I've saved about 90% of my bad motors like that.

Another issue I've had is with tires drying out and cracking. Really I've only had this issue with a particular batch of Zip Zap tires from a few years ago. When they first came out with the fatties. I have plenty of older tires that are fine, and the newer ZZ tires seem fine. I don't know what to say about it.

That's it for now. I'm sure I'll discover new problems. :lol:
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Post by Mad_Maxx »

I have the same battery leaking problem, most with LXX and LXX\perfection batt...have to clean them some times.
have other minor problems too...too many cars!
I've fixed the most having a LOT of spare parts.
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Re: Long Term Maintenence and Storage

Post by KuZGuN »

Same as here, i get my cars on hand a long time passes, corroding and leakage on the batteries, all the cars pcb s is missing wirings (because of my son) need help for wounding steering coils and also need help for LXX and Zipzaps 1. edition PCB photos, if anyone have it maybe i can fix them aswell.

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Re: Long Term Maintenence and Storage

Post by Finks »

Man my kids and I broke out all the 1/64 and it was a blast. We now have an air hockey table that is just perfect for running bits. Well the big bummer was the leakage in the bits, especially the $35 + Ferrari/Lambo Bit Char G sets I had. For me is seemed the clones and microsizers held up better. Heck, I even took some of my shelf queens out for a romp. Most didn't take a charge, but my Del Sol (my 1st bit and my 1st mod ever) took off like a champ. I guess if the kids really are all about RC (the boys are 7 and 9 now... lol!) I may just have to get em into modding. My 7 year old is pumped about me promising to let him take an old clear RX7 shell, tape it off so he can hand paint it tomorrow. Should be fun.

Any how, thanks Dave for the article, it's been 7ish years since my first bit, and I will use these techniques to clear the contacts. Lucky I have a bag of old bit batteries that I got in a deal years ago. Hell, I may even mod up one of those old German shells onto a clone body..... ;-)
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Re: Long Term Maintenence and Storage

Post by sidewinder »

Does it make a difference if you turn the air hockey table on? :smile: Bit drifting?

Yeah thanks Dave, great write-up and some good advice. :-o
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Re: Long Term Maintenence and Storage

Post by ynad »

Thanks Dave, storing bits is what we are all about here :cry:
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