MRC/Academy SB-Sport V2 Assembly

Words: Peter Vieira

As I build test cars, I'll shoot 'em up as "Online Builds" so you can see the cars go together. For this round, I'm building Academy's new SB Sport V2. I liked the first SB Sport, but the new car promises greater durability and improved performance. Here's the box art, and my bench ready for action:

Academy's manuals were ok before with their black and white line art, but the new manuals are much improved with glossy paper and fully-rendered color images.

The slipper clutch went together quickly. It's a dual-pad unit, with the pads keyed to the spur gear. The spur spins on an oilite bushing, but the Pro kit will have a bearing, no doubt.

To adjust the slipper, a plastic spanner grabs the deeply notched adjustment collar.

The ball differentials use plastic outdrives and are installed in identical gearboxes. Plastic crown gears spin the diffs, and metal-shielded ball bearings keep everything spinning smoothly.

The front suspension arms mount to a separate plastic plate that provides a little bit of kick-up. The hingepins are captured, so there are no e-clips to fuss with. The arms' bores were a little tight on the pins, so I opened them up with a 3mm straight ream.

The aluminum motor plate can be mounted on the left or right side of the car. Note the plastic block that slides over the bearing to capture it.

Plastic trays eliminate the need for filing battery slots. Note that the chassis has 12 slots, so you can set the car up with six cells in a row, or as a saddle pack placed fore or aft, or in a staggered configuration.

The Sport uses a classsic dual-bellcrank setup with an adjustable servo saver. I cranked the preload down pretty tight, since the adjustment collar will likely be hard to spin once the rack is installed. As usual for a sport car, the bellcranks are bushed...but at least they're nice Oilite bushings instead of plastic.

Top deck and shock towers in place--this thing is going together quickly. It's time for the slow parts now: universals, shocks, and linkages.

The universals are basically CVD clones as far as the joint construction goes, but the two-piece stub axles are unique. The taper is force-fit into the outer hex portion of the axle when the wheel mounting bolt is tightened. Kyosho used a similar setup back in the day with a tapered steel stub axle and aluminum "drive washer" (hex hub), which was prone to slipping unless you really socked the axles down. These parts should fare better, thanks to an aluminum-to-aluminum joint and much greater surface area.

The hubs look suitably beefy, and carry larger, more durable bearings than the original SB Sport.

Instead of clamping the wheels to the drive hexes with nuts, each wheel is secured by an anodized-aluminum countersunk washer and hex screw (not shown). Vertical ball studs and two mounting positions per carrier make it easy to alter roll center.

Ready for electronics.