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 Baja 5Bss "genuine HPI"

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Posts : 237
Join date : 2011-03-11
Age : 43
Location : ardmore oklahoma

PostSubject: Baja 5Bss "genuine HPI"   Tue Jun 07, 2011 5:26 pm

i have decided to write up a review on my latest aquisition which is the HPI Baja 5Bss 1/5th scale buggy.

first off let me say i got a little impatient when it arrived (due to saving for one since the day they were released) and neglected to take photo of contents in box before assembly or pics during assembly either but rest assured i will be posting pics eventually (i am waiting to see if hpi sends the banner they said they would so i can have it in some of the pics).

so without delay on to my review.

first off the 5Bss comes nicely packaged and all of the parts bags are clearly labled and the instruction manual is of the highest caliber. it includes 2 different weigths of shock oil one for front shocks and one for the rear shocks, diff fluid, a bottle of 2-cycle oil, and some tools. teh tools are nice it has a plastic tool that is used in shock assembly dissasembly, and for the wheel nuts, it also includes 2 t-handle style hex wrenches a steel wrench, and some small allen wrenches.

one thing that will stand out with the ss as opposed to a rtr is the orange anodized parts, and the included hop ups such as the metal case gear diff, and the option of using the included muffler or tuned pipe, and the 1/4 scale steering servo is included

assembly was a breeze and parts fit and finish is as expected from an hpi kit with the exception of the front posts for the radio box were to short to go through the chassis front upper plate and the radio box, and the lowershock assembly becomes a juggling act as you have to work with not only the shock but also a couple of plastic pieces.

however, there are some things that need to be noted during assembly which i will list at the end of this review.

items you will need to complete your 5Bss are a radio system with a high torque servo for the throttle brake duties. i chose a patriot rc high torque servo for throttle/brake duties because it boasted over 300 oz/in of torque @6v and from what i have seen it does deliver and the servo was only 29.99 + tax.

the 5Bss is a nice vehicle and can be found at a reasonable price if you shop around. the included fuelie engine is a 26cc cy engine with a 2 bolt head and is a nice motor to be sure and you could squeeze a little more out of it by having it ported but the stock configuration is very capable. teh engine runs on regular pump gasoline mixed with 2 cycle oil at a 25:1 ratio

once you have it assembled you will of course want to break-in the engine following the instruction manual taking it easy for the first tank of fuel, i however decided to take it easy with the first 2 tanks of fuel for a little extra piece of mind.

now you will hear that the hpi is of high quality, well honestly i cannot say this as during the first 2 break in tanks i have been plagued with problems.

a list of the problems were rear tires being wore to almost slicks on hard packed dirt, teh engine kill switch failed, spark plug fell out of engine, steering link bent, steering servo final gear/output shaft snapped off just to name a few.

i cannot say if i just got a bad kit, or if all of the 5Bss's are going to have similar problems but you can be sure that hpi will definately take care of you when you contact them, they have to date replaced my rear tires and kill switch and offered an rma on my steering servo i am however just waiting to rma it due to the holiday season and i find it kinda stupid to rma an entire servo when all i need is the final gear that the servo arm mounts to and believe it would have been simple just to ship out a replacement gear set for the sfl-10mg servo.

basically to sum it all up i guess i just had higher expectations of quality in a kit that cost this much and wasnt expecting to have to wait for replacement parts from hpi, purchase new parts, or rma parts that failed when i havent even really got to run it yet, i have ran 2 full tanks through a large empty field and was trying to do the engine tuning and only got through a half tank before the servo failed.

i do commend hpi on giving me support to my issues and i am glad i made the purchase on the hpi brand, i would however like to see some improvements to kit quality and some changes made here and the design such as a fully enclosed clutch bell housing because the open design used needs cleaned after every run and does take a toll on the clutch.

overall i am pleased and with the exception of the troubles i have had i would not have a problem purchasing another ss kit in the future if the funds ever presented themselves as this is teh first time i have ever had quality issues with an hpi product and i feel that my experience with the 5bss was a fluke.

now i would like to point out a few things to take care of during assembly:

first check your sparkplug mine was loose and vibrated out of the engine

get some of teh fiberglass screen from a hardware store that is used on screen doors and either some shoe goo or rubber cement (you should have rubber cement already since it is needed during brake assembly) and line the inside of the chassis and around engine and pull start assembly to help keep debris out.

pay attention during shock building so you dont mix up and build the shocks and accidently put the fluid for the rear shocks in the front ones and vice versa.

upgrade the steering servos gears to full metal, or purchase a full metal geared servo, my servo snapped its final gear turning the buggy around.

install teh light pods AFTER you install the body and if you need to remove your body make sure you remove the light pods first, this will save you from cracking your body.

when it comes to the aluminum tape that is included for the rear wing i honestly do not know what to tell you but advise to go ahead and use it, i dont see a need for it running the tuned pipe but i could see it being a benefit if using the stock can muffler i myself am using the tuned pipe but went ahead and used the included aluminum tape anyway.

invest in some new rear tires, teh included stock tires are a soft compound and will not last long at all.

my ratings for the Baja 5Bss are as follows:

packaging 10 out of 10
instructions 10 out of 10
parts fit and finish 9 out of 10 (short F. radio box pins)
durability 5 out of 10 (read review for issues)
quality of parts 8 out of 10
support 10 out of 10
overall 8.9 out of 10

overall you cant go wrong purchasing the HPI baja 5Bss kit and if you are interested in 1/5th scale i recommend you give the baja 5B ss a go. it is a fun product with a decent fan base and hop up potential. a word of caution though this car is 20 lbs plus and care should be taken when operating it, i have heard of a recent incident where someone tried to stop one that went out of control and he broke his leg in 6 places doing so. this could be dangerous if you do not take care when opperating it and treat it with a bit of respect, this isnt like a lighter 1/10 or 1/8th scale car and serious injury could occur if care is not taken.


finally got a new servo (SFL-11MG) and was running it and finally was able to get a full gallon of fuel through it but found that ANY adjustments to car made it not start and it only seems to run at factory default settings, also broke the pull start rope which i replaced by going to tractor supply but any hardware store that carries lawn and garde replacement parts or a bulk rope/chain bin would work just as well.

another thing i noticed is that the pull start wanted to start hanging and i fixed this by adding a very light coat of oil to the metal parts of the pull starter (i tried a dry graphite lube but it had no effect and i personally can deal with cleaning thedust and dirt off of the pull starter at the end of the days running.

now for the pics i promised Mr Green


time for another update on this particular product especially in light of recent events.

ok as some of you may have noticed i have been plaugued with quality issues since day one which has resulted in over 2k in aftermarket parts being required just to get any quality out of my baja and now hpi doesnt seem to interested in supporting the product for me anymore which i have an idea as to why (i believe they think it is a clone which it is most definately NOT a clone unless hpi is packaging clones in genuine boxes and sending them to distributors).

so at this point i can NO longer recommend the genuine hpi bajas based on my personal experience with mine, i also would like to make sure you look for large scale communities that DO allow clone talk because i have noticed that you cannot really covey your concerns about failures with your genuine baja's on forums dedicated to genuine hpi bajas without getting slammed, flammed, being accused of having a hidden agenda or being made to feel unwelcome (i have been basically been called a liar by a couple of admins when i talk about the poor quality from my hpi baja).

its ashame to see that hpi has went downhill like this in terms of quality and i personally have no desire to spend anymore of my cash on hpi products in the future because when i buy a kit i expect some good quality and not feel required to purchase aftermarket parts just to get a kit that doesnt fall apart out of the box or have parts bending and breaking, or during the break in process having parts break turnign the baja around.

to date here is a list of teh parts that have been replaced due to failure, parts needed to ensure other parts do not fail, and parts to correct failures of design:

front upper plate
rear upper plate
chassis rear brace (part # 87488)
right engine mount (part # 87490)
left engine mount (part # 87489)
rear engine mount (part #'s 85436(9) and 87571(c) )
brake holder (part number87487)
shock boots
clutch shoes
shock bodies
shock shafts
leaky o-rings
clutch bell carrier
engine kill switch button
pull start
spark plug
front shock mount
rear shock mount
plastic rear bumper
steering links
stock kit steering servo
intake manifold
exhaust pipe
rear tires
dogbones (went through 3 sets of stockers)
diff cups
rear outer diff cups
gear plate
brake plate
rear shock tower supports
hostile heat shield
inner beadlocks (stock kit parts crack easily)
shims (hpi deosnt include ANY shims for ANYTHING)
threshold umbrella seals
threshold rezzies
aftermarket exhaust
tr diff quick diff case
tr diff saver
hd diff gear
rear aluminum bumper
hd rear shock springs (required to compensate for the extra weight of the required aftermarket parts on the rear end of the genuine baja)
axle extnders
extended arms
extended cvd's
aftermarket steering servo
aftermarket alloy steering servo holder
threshold spring support
DS aluminum servo saver
snappy fuel line kit
team chase diaphragm filter
carb (stock one failed)

the above is just what i can remember off top of my head that i was forced to replace, etc as stock kit parts failed and things i was forced to add due to either poor part design or to protect other stock kit parts that could likely fail because of layout or design. also note that there are still a few part required that i do not have yet just to get the baja where it SHOULD HAVE BEEN out of the box, a couple of the items will NOT be purchased however until an aftermarket company starts making them because as stated above i prefer to not buy hpi anymore after this experience and i have yet to find a hd drive gear or hd idle gear for it except from hpi which i cannot in good concious purchase them with the quality i have seen with my 5Bss. now i am running into engine issues with the stock 26cc CY engine and i currently have plans to contact cy direct on the engine since hpi will probably play the "wear item" card on it like they did with the carb failure forcing me to purchase a new carb from DDM.

i invite hpi to contact me at any time to resolve teh issues i am having however that wont happen, i have contacted tehm sop much i am actually tired of doing it anymore. and to give you all a run down on matters of support please pay attention to the below:

conacted hpi numerous times for failures and hpi was good with support at first replacing parts, when hpi stated tehy would replace teh parts i asked if they would like me to send them the old parts to look at and hpi stated NO. when hpi told me they didnt want the deffective parts sent to them i threw them away because i didnt want the junk parts lying around all ove the place, NOW hpi is requesting me to send in the deffective/failed parts which i cannot send as they are in the city dump now. so what i suggest is for those needing support make sure that if a part is replaced send teh deffective part in to hpi in a manner requiring a signature for it and send the part to the support person you speak with.

i still hear the hpi baja is great quality (i didnt see it especially from my baja which i will be generous and say i have 1 and 1/12 gallon through it which honestly it is more like 1 to 1 1/4 gallon). and forums that do NOT allow clone talk are pro hpi and you cannot really openly discuss when you have a failure because you "hae a hidden agenda and are just out to bash hpi" (as badger from RCLS states) which will lead to a temp ban or perma ban (which is no big loss if you cannot voice concerns over anything unless it doesnt negatively reflect on hpi and you are praising hpi.
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Posts : 237
Join date : 2011-03-11
Age : 43
Location : ardmore oklahoma

PostSubject: Re: Baja 5Bss "genuine HPI"   Tue Jun 07, 2011 5:29 pm

yep hpi played the wear card on the 4 tank old carb/engine so i ended up gettign a brand new carb from DDM also with the quality i have been seeing from HPI branded parts i ditched the sfl-11mg steering servo for a "true" high quality hitec servo.
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