A Savage Lockdown

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I don’t care – do you.

Servicing a HPI Savage 21 Truck

Lockdown hasn’t been easy so some good friends of mine suggested I needed a distraction and why don’t I look at their old RC truck and see if I can get it going again? This turned out to be a very tired but all original HPI Savage 21 which had last been used over 16 years ago in Canada!

On my work bench to take stock – well the axles turned so that was good… The engine however didn’t as it was seized solid and would need a strip down. The rest; well it was caked in rock hard mud and castor oil (yuk!).

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“Muck and filth everywhere, Mr Warwick…. It’s like a pigsty!” (Kenneth More as Group Captain Barker, Station Commander RAF Duxford. Battle of Britain, 1969).

First thing to do was remove the engine followed by a good scrub to remove the dirt, strip down and then clean. Inside, aside from corroded bearings, the rest was fine once the castor varnish was removed. Reassembly was straightforward enough aside from those fiddly clutch springs; yes it took me over an hour to find one after it pinged off into the corner of my workshop!

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One very dirty engine sitting next to an even grubbier chassis.

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Engine components cleaned and ready for reassembly.

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Gleaming. There is something special about a rebuilt engine; it’s full of latent potential.

The wheels on a truck like this need to look the part. Unfortunately, the chrome paint had long since been eaten away by oil fuel residue. Chrome is not exactly a cheap paint and would hardly be worth the effort to repaint over buying new wheels. As I already had black in stock, we agreed to change the colour; much more 2020 anyway. When putting the tyres back on and before regluing I first treated the rubber. That way the thin cyanoacrylate glue won’t stick to the outside of the rims or tyres making for a much neater job.

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As to the mechanics, there was nothing else for it but to place in the bathtub, spray liberally with oil and leave to soak overnight. All the bearings seemed to check out and aside from reoiling the suspension all was good (and certainly cleaner!). With the lower differential covers removed I added some fresh grease on the gears.

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A bit of soldering was required to replace the lead on the throttle servo.

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Back in one piece again. I’ve added an exhaust extension which should help to deflect the gunk away from the rear wheel and suspension.

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Left side

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Ready to rumble!