MP9 Based 1/8th Nitro Late Model

I started racing 1/8th Nitro Late Model a few years back at a local club. They have a pretty racer friendly set of rules, which limits racers to basically buggy based cars with no fancy offset chassis allowed, and such.

When I got started in Late Model in 2011/2012 I built an RC8 based car and did very well with it. I then sold that car (which I later regretted lol) and brought a Losi L8ight car which was pretty good. But as I had a relationship with Kyosho and they had also recently launched the GT3, I figured a fun project would be to build a Late Model using spare MP9 parts and the Towers, Shocks and bumpers from the GT3.

So this blog post will briefly describe the build process and parts used, with pictures of the car before I ran it.

So I mounted up my trust C&M Atomic from last year. You can see I had to use slightly different mounting holes, but no big deal.


So here is an top view of the car. The component most will likely see first, is the extension at the rear for the body mount.

This was custom made from a plastic material from McMaster Carr, made by a close friend and machinist Mark Stern. It screws into the rear tower thru stock holes and allows me to mount my body safely on the rear shelf of the body. Ideally I need to install a rear bumper on the car, but I didn’t get to that yet.



Close up of rear mount:


Below you can see the front end of the car. Front Tower from the GT3 car, as are the shocks and bumpers.

IMG_4541I’m using an STRR Truggy Tank. Trying to race 5mins at full throttle, on a buggy tank, without overheating, is close to impossible. Our rules allow for a truggy tank. 150ml verses 125ml.

It almost drops in, but does require the Tank mounts and custom holes drilled in the chassis, shown in the next pic. Looks pretty ‘factory’ though:


You can see the holes drilled for the tank, just to move it out a little from the center diff and front brace.


I installed the recently released 4-degree Alum Kyosho Caster blocks, again from the GT3 car.


The rear chassis brace is from an MP9. The brace mount (close to the tower) is also from the MP9.  The GT3 car comes with the different top/rear brace mount, but as the MP9 chassis is shorter than the GT3, you have to use the MP9 mount.



I’m using the same RC4LESS Spring set for LOSI on all 4 shocks.

Everything else is pretty much stock MP9.

The Protek LS5 motor is a variant of the awesome/reliable/economic Novarossi P5 motor. A-main occasionally do promotions and I picked up this motor for $150, perfect for Late Model.

This was a Youtube video of me driving the car on its first outing. Wasn’t really a ton of competition but car was very good Late Model Race at Dirtrunners, NJ.

I will post a full setup sheet shortly. Diff oils were 100/50/10. Shocks I believe I ran 40/40.

Part numbers for specific parts:

IGW061 Alum 4 degree Caster Blocks

IG152 Front Body Mounts

IG153 Bumper Set

IG154 Bumper

IG155 Rear Body Mount

IG158 Threaded Shocks (complete pair)

IS051B 150cc Tank STRR

IG157 Rear Tower

IG156 Front Tower

LOSI8 RC4LESS Soft Spring Set (7 pair)


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ZX6.6/ZX6 Front Arm Options

As an alternative option for front Arm replacement, I used this link from the awesome Petite RC to use Yokomo Arms. I found the page a little overly complex to follow, so this post just gives you the simple info you need to run a Yok front end.

Sorry about the dirty workbench lol…These are you the parts you need. Personally, I wanted to run the complete Caster, Knuckle and Arm:



This pic shows the complete assembly, ready to be installed:


You need to dremel the bur off the inner Hinge Pin area to make it fit between A & B blocks. This shows the arm installed (stock pills show how it affected camber):


Below you can compare the arms:IMG_2547

The Yokomo arms are slightly longer than the ZX6 (well…ZX5 arm – LA272). So you need to move the A & B block Pills all the way in to get the same track width without major turnbuckle adjustment.

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Kyosho RT6/RB6/SC6/ZX6.6 Suspension Pill Chart

Pulled this chart from a post on Facebook. Don’t recall the original author so I take no credit for it, just posting it in a place hopefully people can find it and use it.

I believe it to be accurate. Tebo posted some similar data on Anti-Squat settings so I believe is legit.



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Kyosho RT6 Laydown Tranny

Recently installed the RB6.6 Transmission in my RT6. The question has come up a lot recently so figure it would be worth it to make a quick blog post.

I personally prefer 4-gear for mod – feels smoother and more controllable.

The transmission drops right in. If you have the Alum (UMW705) or brass (UMW725) RF Suspension holder, you’ll need to dremel off material in the middle to make the laydown transmission sit flush with the Chassis.

Best solution is to get the newer RB6.6 mount (UMW725B) – shown in the pics below.

The battery will move forward and if your already running transverse battery, you’ll need to cut out the chassis pods to move the battery further forward.

I’m using the JTP battery strap. It felt the cleanest solution to me. It means you can’t get the battery out without your 2mm wrench being handy, but eliminates all the annoying plastic straps and allows you to move the battery back and forth pretty easily.

You need to use the Stand-up Rear Bulkhead (UM724B) to mount the shock tower. Do not mount the shock tower to the laydown transmission as the tower won’t mount up with the body (PL Enforcer or Bulldog).



You’ll need to dremel some material off the side pod as you’ll find the pinion will be touching the pod.



Still some work in progress here…I’ll update in the next week once I settle on setup … (current Jan 7th 2018)….

Current Setup which is working well below.

RT6 Laydown Setup at 46RC, NJ

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Vintage Kyosho Cars from 2017 Vintage Nationals

Felt like doing a quick write up on the cars I ran at this years Vintage Nationals.

Firstly 2WD Buggy. I picked up this car used. Its a Kyosho Turbo Ultima with a Ultima Pro chassis. Here is a pic with the body on:



The body was a reproduction by TBG available via ebay. The decals came from MCI Racing (of Canada). For the colored parts on the body I painted them using the original decals to trace the lines, then painted them my colors.


I ran an upgrade steering rack that came out of an RC10. I ran a Peak Racing 4200 stick pack – old school looking and light weight. I think the transverse weight helped.

Up front I ran a massive 48G of weight! I also ran RB6.6 shocks.

Wheels are 2.2 Kyosho rims I believe made for the Tomahawk and are readily available.


Ran a Tekin RS Gen 2 Spec with a Gen3 17.5 Motor.


I brought the car used and the battery posts and straps probably aren’t needed as I have my battery taped in. Has Lunsford Turnbuckles as you can see below:


  • Shock Oils F450cst / R350cst (2mm limiters in Front AND Rear)
  • Pistons F1.4×3 / R1.6×2
  • Springs F White, R Gold
  • Ride Height F 26, R 28
  • Camber R-2 F-3

For 4WD Buggy I built a Lazer ZX/R. Its a mix of the Lazer ZX with R parts.

Again body from Team Blue Groove on Ebay.


The body also includes chassis under tray :


For the clutch, used ZX-R slipper assembly. The original 100T 48p spurs are tough to find. Found a Schumacher 98T spur that was a direct fit. Used Associated Hex disk pads that dropped in with a little dremeling.

Ran a Tekin RSX speed controller with a Tekin Gen3 10.5 motor.

My car has gear diffs that are not sealed so can’t hold any fluid.


Ran RB6 shocks.  Rear Tower and Wing Mount are ZX originals.

Ran a Saddle pack which made the car a little heavy. Shorty maybe better way to go.


Ran a ZX6 Steering Rack. It requires a little shimming to get it level but works good.


Front end pretty much stock. Alum Knuckles.


  • Shock Oils F450cst / R350cst (2mm limiters in Front)
  • Pistons F1.6×2 / R1.4×3
  • Springs F Pink, R Gold
  • Ride Height F 20, R 20
  • Camber R-2 F-2




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Throw back : RC8 Nitro Late Model Build

A couple of people asked me recently, or I’ve seen posts asking how to build a 1/8th Late Model car. With parts for the L8ight and OFNA cars becoming impossible to find, The biggest challenges to building a Late Model are really the front bumper (which you definitely need unless you want to trash your expensive body, quickly) and a rear Bumper / Body Mount.

Back in 2010 I built a late model with help from friends. I was new to the hobby and this would be my first Nitro car.

Basically you can start with any 1/8th Buggy and add bumpers. GT Cars are a great place to find bumpers, with Serpent and Mugen having GT Cars. Kyosho GT1/GT2 and soon to be GT3.

At the time I ran Team Associated cars in my first year or two of racing (I got started in this hobby again in 2009).

I took a used RC8 RTR chassis from Ebay. It started off looking like this initially, with bumpers mounted:


Back in 2010, Horizon still distributed parts for the L8ight chassis. So it was easy for me to build this car…

For the Rear body mounts, I initially just drilled two holes into the rear tower, to mount the stock L8ight Rear Mounts as shown above.

The Front bumper and Body mounts and mounted right on the front tower at the top (I don’t think I had to drill any holes). The bottom, with a little dremeling would insert where the old RC8 front bumper went.

Turns out the front bumper would lower mount would only last 1 race before tearing out. I had to come up with a more solid solution, which worked well (So well in fact, that a buddy at the time had the same issues with his Xray conversion – did the same thing).

I took a piece of Aluminum (from Home Depot/Ace Hardware) and just drilled it out where the front 4 diff mount holes went. then 4 into the bumper. Rock Solid!!!


From the picture above you can see there was a different rear bumper installed. The rear bumper really helps you from being rear ended and having another LM inserted into your car 😉

This bumper came from OnStat. Pretty solid item that bolted into the Rear Tower (I had to drill holes for it). You can see below I then mounted the Rear Body mounts directly into the Onstat bumper (Had to drill holes for that also).

P11300071/8th NITRO Late Models are pretty tricky to race – which puts most people off. BUT THE REWARDS are endless – Noise, Smoke, Going Slide-ways !!!!

I was very lucky to have good friends Dan Moss and Bob Foley help me find my Nitro Wings !

The biggest challenge is keeping the motor running and not running out of fuel. (Your Track Rules may vary on how you can achieve this).

I ran a Truggy tank from an RC8T that bolt right on. The other challenge is keeping the motor from overheating after 5mins of basically full throttle. In general you’ll run it very fat, and by 5mins it’ll be good and lean…and toasty hot, but should be still making power.

You can see from the above picture I also made a middle 5th body mount that helps stop your expensive 1/8th LM body from crumpling in the middle – Also makes the car easy to carry.

I ran the C&M Atomic body which I think looks really authentic. Custom wraps came from a buddy at RC Vinyl Express.


Here is a pic of the car completed, before its first race in 2010.


The Scheme is based off Earl Pearson Jr’s 2010 1:1 Late Model:

Screen Shot 2017-06-15 at 9.40.32 PM.png

Rolling forward to 2016-2017. I’m running LM again, this time an L8ight from Ebay. But by the end of 2017 , I plan to build an Kyosho MP9 based car using the Front Bumper and Rear mounts from the soon to be released Kyosho GT3. Here is my current car as of June 2017.

I had Adam at RC Vinyl inverse the colors and keep with the similar design. Again Earl Pearson, I think from 2011:


My 2017 Car:


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Kyosho MP9 Rear Towers

I realized today I had two different Hard (gold colored) rear towers for my MP9.

As many have found out, you can’t buy the brown colored parts from Kyosho. Replacement ones come Hard anodized (and gold in color).

As far as the rear tower goes, IFW408B equivalent to stock geometry (with a kit/medium shock).

IF437 is taller, For use with IS116B long threaded shocks and IF348 series springs (per Kyosho America)

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