Cat XLS Masami 4WD New Build With All The Upgrades Available. Part 3 (The Build)

 Cat XLS Masami 4WD New Build With All The Upgrades Available. Part 3 (The Build)


If you have not read the previous posts to this, please follow the links below:-


Hello fellow RC enthusiasts from around the world. I hope you are all well.

As the title suggests, this is the build of my new and improved Cat XLS Masami Pro. I am NOT by the way, throwing shade at the standard kit, on the contrary, it is a very serious track weapon. I have been waiting a lifetime it seems to start building this mega expensive, fully upgraded and very complex RC race buggy. Every component of this buggy was sourced and purchased as detailed in the official Schumacher K172 manual. Please read Part 1 and Part 2 and you will see what I am aiming for in terms of upgrades, prices and expectations. 
I will be using my own build manual here that I built up from Part 2 and I suggest you print it off, so you can also follow my steps and stages.
If I may remind you, this car was a World Class Winner in it's day and is still a potential threat on the track to all RC 1/10th scale cars. I was never a fan in the day and never got up close and personal with one. However, I bought one, built it, drove it and fell in love with it. There is nothing in the car that needs to be there, only essentials. Super light weight, balanced, awesome shocks, combined with a massive steering lock. No wonder it smashed us week in and out at our local club as well as Nationals and Internationals. Although most people think the Schumacher RC brand is German, it is in actual fact a British company. 

With the little history lesson over, I suggest we push on with this long and joyous build!

Let's go.

Bag 1 - Step 1 to 3

You can see bag 1 above, and with all its components below.

The Schumacher carbon fibre chassis is gorgeous with a 7 layer weave pattern, shown below.

It is super rigid and thicker than the original fibre glass chassis. However, for the price it should be. You can also see in the picture above the parts needed for the first 3 parts of the build schedule.

As you see in the picture above a 3mm allen/hex key is required to secure U7090 grub screws. I found that fitting them to the chassis first, is an easier way to insert the grub screws. With the lipo posts in place it is simply a matter of placing the lipo straps and thumb screws onto the posts. You can see below the post positions against the gleaming carbon fibre chassis, cleaned to remove my untidy finger marks.

And it looks gorgeous. I have only ever built one other Cat XLS Masami and it was a pain, but this is different from the outset. It is seeming to be going together without issue and the screws seem to be of a better quality. I know it's early in the build but I hope it continues. With steps 1, 2, and 3 complete it is now time to open Bag 2.

In Bag 2 we have the under tray and it needs cutting, shaping and sanding so it can be fitted. However before doing any work to the tray, I did a quick inspection of it and found it had a fault. It looks like part of the plastic had a run in it at the front left as can be seen below.

This kind of fault will show up under a coat of paint and there is nothing I can do. I bought the tray more than a year ago so I cannot return it. It is my fault, I should have checked it when it was delivered. You live and learn. I know a lot of that area is to be cut away, so it may turn out ok. With that fault identified I did now want to cause any further accidental damage to the tray so I covered the outside with masking tape as the tray does not have a clear protective film.

Using the masking tape was actually for 2 reasons. Number 1 was to protect for further damage and number 2 was so I could follow the cut line with a pencil to help me trim the tray down.

With the excess material now removed (above), it was time to use a rotary tool to remove material I could not reach with the scissors.

As you can see in the above picture I left quite a bit of material for the rotary tool to remove. I did this as the rotary tool can be very aggressive if not used gently and would remove chunks in the wrong hands. 

Lot's of plastic shavings from the removed material. After all the excess was removed, I also removed the masking tape so I could see the actual cut line and follow it. This makes the line more visible to accurately follow with the rotary tool.

After finishing with the rotary tool I used fine aluminium oxide paper to sand both lines flat and clean as can be seen above. With the under tray now cut and shaped, it is time to align it with the carbon fibre chassis. I know for a fact the dimples moulded into the under tray DO NOT line up with the holes on the chassis. As can be seen below.

This was also the case for my first Cat XLS and I bet every XLS in the World has the same issue. All I can do, as I did in my first XLS was to align it as best as possible. 
After the under tray was aligned, it was time to open bag 3 to test fit the motor cover.

I lined up the chassis as best as I could and drilled 2 holes with a 4mm super sharp drill bit. As I am using the upgraded U7292 Alloy rear trans housing I will be using the engineering screws supplied with it. These are U7219 M3x8 bolts and replace the U7229 self tapping screws. With the chassis now attached with 2 bolts, I marked out the rest of the holes and drilled them all as can be seen below.

 As you can see in the picture above where the moulding shows you to drill a hole, but it is not correct.  Also the fault is not a bad as I feared, with a lot of the material removed above the cut line as you can see below. It's still not a great situation, but the upper body will also cover a lot of it. I also hope it doesn't look too bad when paint is applied.  

As I stated, it is not as bad as I thought it might be. Also notice where the cut line is still visible, that needs to be removed prior to painting. It can also do with a little more sanding in different places but I will catch that before I paint it. As you can see below, more parts from Bag 3 being test fitted below. As you can now realise some of the assembly bags can overlap at times this is down parts needing test fitting, future parts to be drilled before use etc.

With all the holes now drilled in the correct position, I attached the rear trans housing, chassis and under tray together using U7219 bolts. In the U7292 kit is a 3mm drill to open up the holes on the motor plate and cover plate, as detailed in the official Schumacher instructions shown below:-

After drilling the motor cover and cover plate, I tried to fit the motor plate but ran into a problem, well 2 problems actually.

You can see in the picture above that the lipo post is right in front of the top screw, it is the same story on the other side. I had to remove the rear trans housing from the chassis and fit it away from the chassis and then refit it back to the chassis. If I had not test fitted these parts, it would have been quite a calamity to run into. 

With the problems/design flaws in hand, I have to say again I am impressed with the upgrade parts so far. I would be as bold to say, It's a lot like building a Legendary Kyosho kit, so far. Again it is a little early in the build to cement that comment now so let us move on. With the build now up to step 4 and the test fit complete, it's time to disassemble it and get the tray ready for paint.

I love the Schumacher Cat motif on the alloy rear trans housing contrasting against carbon fibre chassis. 

With the under tray relieved of it's excess material and drilled in the correct securing positions, it was time for a last inspection before a good clean with some simple soap and hot water. With the last of the sanding over I washed and rinsed the shell and applied masking tape to the outside of the under tray to protect it from accidental damage and over spray. Unfortunately, I once again forgot to take pictures of this process as I was too engrossed in achieving the highest quality.
Here is a picture of the under tray under the UV lamp to help speed up the curing process.

It was a very warm day when I painted the tray, so it did not take long to cure. Even so, I did leave it over night to harden further so when working with on it, the paint was solid. Patients is a virtue as they say, and it does pay to learn some as the results are fantastic. 

I have used Tamiya PS-54 cobalt green which is the colour scheme that inspired my choice of colours. It is the Yamaha Petronis Satellite Team's Moto GP livery and I love it. The pictures do not show how vibrant this colour is in this poor light, it seems a little brighter to the eye. With the under tray complete, it was time to reassemble what I had previously built. However, being aware of the 2 screws that will be inaccessible if fitted to the chassis due to the positions of the lipo posts. With those 2 problems outstanding, the only thing I can do was build up the rear transmission housing away from the chassis as can be seen below.

I first drilled the motor plate and cover plate (as shown in the official Schumacher additional instructions shown above), then I built up the motor plate as shown in the picture above with the metal eccentric ring, bearing holder and alloy rear trans housing. 

Then I built up the motor plate again with a bearing holder and an alloy eccentric ring. Now that both rear transmission plates complete it was time for build the rear differential and main lay shaft as can be seen below.

Once again I forgot to take pictures of the build of both components and remember these are the pro upgrades. The upgraded parts in my opinion were much easier to put together than the standard kit parts as the quality is of a way higher standard. If the instructions (pro transmission) are followed correctly then it is very easy to assemble.

I then fitted the lay shaft and differential with the rear belts and inserted them into the motor plate above. 

Another picture of the rear transmission showing the end of the adjustable integrator shaft inside the drive end. Also notice the thickness and quality of the pro belts above, these will certainly handle the punishment. 

I then fitted the cover plate to the rest of the assembly, ensuring the belts were smooth. I then fitted the screws to complete the rear transmission as can be seen above. I have to admit, the engineering design was light years ahead of what was on the market at the time. After checking the bearing and belts were fully functioning without any fouling, I pushed on with the build.

I then attached the rear transmission assembly onto the chassis and under tray, not forgetting to put the main front belt around and under the rear transmission as can be seen above.

I should have fitted the UJ's and the drive shafts while it was away from the car but I forgot. I say this as they can be very difficult to fit but in this case they were not too bad. After the drive shaft were fitted I then assembled the slipper clutch and PTFE friction pads. Again this system is a lot better than the original spur gear type used in the standard kit. The old kit spur gear would move around while this system locks the spur gear in a straight line. I have to say I am still very impressed with the quality of these upgrade parts.

Above is a picture of all three belts used in this iconic car on display before they are covered up. Now the rear transmission and Bag 3 complete, you would naturally assume that I would move onto Bag 4. However, you would be wrong with your assumption with good reason.

I am skipping Bag 4 for now, and moving onto Bag 5 (above). The reason for this is because Bag 4 builds up the top deck and this will cause myself needless suffering. The problem is trying to install the front differential with the top deck simply being in the way of an already tricky part to install. I learned this from watching Tamiya Legends Cat XLS build video on YouTube. It certainly helped me avoid needless pain during the assembly of an already difficult stage.

With Bag 4 being omitted for now, I will concentrate my effort on Bag 5, the front differential assembly. As you can see in the picture above, I have laid out the parts as they should be assembled. As I did not show you the rear differential's build up, I will detail the assembly of the front differential. The build sequence and parts are identical for both the front and rear differentials, both using an adjustable integrator shafts and ball diffs.

The above picture shows the integrator axle with the thrust bearings (in moly grease), drive shaft end with other parts lined up for assembly as per the pro transmission instructions. The parts on each side of the steel balls should mirror its opposite side. The parts above are for one half only and I will continue to show the sequence.

 In the picture above you can see the bearing washer on a bearing with the integrator shaft down the centre. This is the first half of the steel ball differential.

With the belt fences clipped on the the front spool (not glued like the standard transmission), I slipped it over the integrator shaft as can be seen above. 

With the spool in place with its bearing, I applied a generous amount of silicon grease to the front spool. I do this before inserting the steel balls to hold them in place as they are only 3mm and will roll away.

I used a pair of tweezers to insert the steels balls into the front spool (above) to avoid the loss of any. The components in the back ground are the other half of the front differential.

In the above picture you can see the complete and cleaned front differential assembly, with the adjustable integrator shaft visible within the drive shaft end. You can also see the edge of the steel balls behind the silver bearing washer., impressive engineering. May I also add, the only components of the above assembly that are plastic, are the drive shaft ends and the belt fences. Again impressive stuff, but it should be for the price of the kit.

In the above picture you can see I have fitted the UJ's and inner slide drive shafts. This can be quite a tricky operation. The key to assembling these (and there's 8 in total), is to have clean hands and components that are free of all grease and the genuine Schumacher tool, below.

A highly (not) calibrated and expensive fibre glass lever, which actually does work well for the job in hand. 

With the front differential complete I slipped it under the main belt on the chassis as can be seen above. I now opened Bag 4 as I needed the top deck and belt cover from it. Again an over lapping bag sequence.

As you can see above, the front differential is now enclosed with an alloy housing. The front bumper is attached as is the carbon fibre top deck and is a very difficult stage in the build. The tolerances being very fine, so alignment can be very taxing and stressful during this procedure. You can also see in the above picture that the belt cover is not attached as it needs cutting and shaping. Time to cut and shape the belt tray that is shown below. There is a lot of material to remove as you will see. 

You will not appreciate how much material that needs to be removed until you see the next picture.

The pencil line in the picture above is the actual cut line. I covered the whole belt cover with masking tape before I started to avoid accidental damage, you can see what is left to remove.

After many, many hours of sanding, shaping and drilling it was complete as per the official Schumacher manual drawing. It took a lot of time and effort to achieve good results on such a small piece of super thick polycarbonate. Phew, what a tough job. Note the area near the front were I have drill straight through and cut out further material. This is to allow the anti-roll bar to pass through and under the front drive belt. Before I can bolt down the belt cover, I need to install the anti-roll bar, but before that I need to solder on the ball socket ends to the bar.

In the picture above, I have sanded the ends of the bar as this will aid the bonding of the solder to the ball sockets. I used fine emery cloth just to take the shine off. I have heard people complain that the solder will not take to the bar, the coating or contaminates are the problem.

As you can imagine the anti-roll bar will become very hot during and after soldering. I have clamped mine between a cork sanding pad and a piece of hard board. This will effectively insulate the heat so it cannot cause damage to it's surroundings.

As you can see in the picture above I have soldered the ball ends to the anti-roll bar at the exact position on each side to ensure the suspension is balanced. As the bar took a lot of heat to solder the ends on, it will take a while to cool down. Touching the bar after soldering will result in serious burn injuries, let it cool before removing.

After letting the bar cool down, I could install it under both the front belt and belt cover as you can see above. It may not seem like I have done a lot, but believe me there is a lot of work in Bag 4 and Bag 5. A lot of hours were used on that tiny belt cover, sanding and shaping, lining up the screw holes, chassis bolts etc. With the belt cover in place I was also able to tighten all the drive belts, which believe me is like trying to spin 10 plates on poles at the same time. To describe it as difficult, would be a massive understatement. I can definitely say, this build, as many expected (myself included), started to become a royal pain. With the belt cover complete and belts tightened, I tested the operation of the whole transmission and it is silky smooth and silent, as it should be. So at this point I am happy with my progress and results of the car so far.

Above is a picture of my standard Cat XLS Masami at the same build stage as the upgraded buggy. I can't wait to see them side by side, however the differences are already stunning. Another massive difference is the price as the upgraded buggy is 4 times the cost of my original K172 kit, which was £249 back in November 2019. I wish I had bought 4 at the time, but who knew they would be discontinued and soar in value. This is a good and bad situation. Good for the collectors, but bad for the people that drive their cars. The rerelease market (at the moment), has definitely made buying into retro rc cars not only difficult to find but also expensive to buy. With my little marketing lesson over let us move on.

Next, Bag 6 (shown below) will be opened. 

With Bag 6 now being used for the build, I ran into a problem. The problem being there is no official Schumacher instructions to fit the U7294 Alloy rear trans spacer. What was even more worrying was that the little kit is supplied with a 3mm drill bit. To drill what exactly? So with a lot of head scratching I managed to work out the correct orientation of the spacer.

The white arrows above indicate the 2 holes on the cover plate that need to be widened. You can see the Schumacher motif facing inwards, which I assumed would face outwards. However, you know what assumptions make. 

The 2 white arrows above indicate the holes to be drilled out which are on the motor plate. Please note, I am only drilling the motor plate and cover plate. There is NO NEED to drill the spacer (U7294) as it has engineering threads machined inside, ready to use.

As you can see in the picture above, U7294 spacer is where the carbon fibre shock assembly attaches to. At this point I ran into another problem, I did not buy a rear belt cover U7198. Doh. Therefore I cannot progress with the build until I get one and it wont take long to come.

Another view of the trans spacer showing the carbon fibre suspension bracket attached. This whole area needs protecting with the transmission cover U7198, which is on order. 

At this point I had a nagging thought in the back of my head. Whilst I was looking for information about the Alloy spacer (U7294), I happened to find the correct orientation for the front alloy differential housing. When I initially installed the house I could not find any information of how it is installed. As I said, I came across some well hidden and ultra vague information in the manual. All the information is a single picture and if that is correct then I have installed mine upside down. This has been on my mind for a while and so to correct it, I need to take out all the underbody bolts out to release the alloy housing.  However, I realised there was another very important reason to disassemble the car. Quite late in the build sequence, when the steering servo is installed, the turnbuckle fouls the under tray very heavily and would cause damage. Time for some disassembly, correct my mistake and modify the under tray.

After taking the buggy apart, I simply (with the main belt still attached) turned the front spool 180 degrees. There was no need to open the alloy housing. As you can see the threaded holes are now at the top where I am led vaguely to believe they sit. 

After correcting my mistake, I quickly put 4 bolts (2 at the front & 2 at the rear) back into the chassis to keep everything in place as can be seen above.

Earlier in this post I stated that I had tightened all the belts, using the alloy eccentric rings. I have left these in position (see the arrow in the picture above) as it will help me to build it back up a little easier than the last time, fingers crossed. With my error corrected and the chassis held together it was time to tackle the under tray modification.

The first thing I did was cover the outside of the under tray to protect from accidental damage. I needed a reference to work from. I am lucky enough to own a standard XLS Masami (re-re) for a number of years, so lets have look.

As you can see in the picture above, it is a considerable modification and is not mentioned in the manual or on the under tray cut line. 

I removed the under tray from the buggy for this modification to stop any unwanted plastic getting into the transmission. With the bulk of the material removed, it was time to sand the area with some fine emery cloth. 

As you can see in the picture above, it is a lot cleaner but there are still some unwanted plastic.

In the picture above, the arrow points to the fault in the under tray I mentioned earlier in this post. It is hardly visible now, with a lot of it removed during the shaping process and the paint hiding it. As I also stated earlier, the upper body shell will cover it anyway.

The picture above shows the modification to the under tray, with the masking tape removed to leave a nice clean crisp edge. 

With the under tray removed, I had to take a picture of the beautiful carbon fibre chassis. 
Expensive, yes, but quite a thing to behold.
At this point I also realised I had once again to do something. This time it was the U5140 gear cover I had forgotten to install. So with the under tray removed, I then removed the motor plate to use as a template.

The gear cover, again dies not have protective film over it so I immediately covered it in masking tape. I then followed the outside line with a fine marker, as this will be my cut line. Now, with a pair of scissors I removed the bulk of the polycarbonate plastic.

Now to trim a little closer.

I then placed the gear cover over the mounting plate, ensuring of a snug fit and clamped it lightly in place. With both parts clamped up, I now used the holes of the motor plate to drill a pilot hole through the gear cover ensuring each screw hole was positioned correctly.

 With the holes now positioned, it was time to use the rotary tool to remove the last of the waste plastic as can be seen below.

With the gear cover complete, It was becoming very clear, I was never going to be able to fit this cover without causing issues with every component in the area. It took me more than 3 hours to discover that I would not be using the gear cover which is a real shame. It would have shown the pro transmission slipper plate through as they are normally left unpainted and see through. However, it is cut and ready, should I attempt to fit it again or I gain further knowledge in the future. I have to add, I would imagine Harry Houdini would have problems fitting it.

With my mistake corrected, and the under tray modification complete (arrowed above), I reassembled the chassis, under tray, front bumper, top deck and belt cover back into place. As I stated earlier, I had left the eccentric rings in the tightened position and it did help me to get the tension on the belts a lot easier than the first couple of attempts. Also the four long bolts at the front, went in a lot easier this time, obviously because it is now in the correct orientation. I am now 100% confident of the build quality and happy with my steady progress up to this point. 

As I am waiting for an important part (U7198 transmission cover) and cannot (temporarily) continue with the build, I decided to test fit a future sequence build part. This being the U3850 moulded off road wing mount set. This part replaces the wire wing mount from the standard kit. It sits a lot lower and in my opinion looks awesome. 

As you can see in the above picture the moulded wing mount will only fit to the U7265 carbon fibre rear shock mount. That is another thing I did NOT know when starting out this project. I this point I simply cannot continue with the build as the part (U7198) will be covered and fastened with many more components. At the moment, I need only remove 4 bolts to fit the missing part.

Good Old "Make-it-Build-it" delivered U7198 this morning (above), so I can now continue with the build.

I did have to remove the rear shock mount, rear suspension support, alloy rear trans spacer and loosen the four bolts underneath at the back. If the 4 bolts underneath were not backed off then the rear outer trans housing would scratch the paint when inserted.

Above is a close view of the carbon fibre shock mount and the moulded wing mount and how they are attached together.

After reassembly (above), I could now pick up again from the manual and finish off Bag 6.

The above picture shows my progress up to step 23, with the completion of Bag 6. The pivot blocks (U7201) are quite tricky and have a correct orientation as can be seen on pages 18 & 19 of the Schumacher manual. If the pivot blocks are not orientated correctly, the pivot pin would not line up and damage could be caused by trying to insert the pin. 

I can now move on to Bag 7, step 24 on page 19 of the official Schumacher Cat XLS Masami manual.

Bag 7 (above) has very few components in its contents. 

As you can see above the contents of Bag 7 are the front crash back towers with their pivot pins at the back. You can also see the crash back "O" rings.

You can see in the above picture, the crash back towers attached to the chassis with their pivot pins. These pivot pins are really difficult to insert as you are working with a limited view of the job. 

With the crash back towers now attached, I quickly installed the 3 rubber "O" rings (above) to complete Bag 7, Step 26.

Bag 8 (steps 27 & 28) is again a bag with few components and concentrates on the front lower arms.

As you can see above the front lower arms, pivot pins and pivot blocks are assembled away from the chassis. Remember, both the arms and pivot blocks have a correct orientation that must be adhered to. If this is done done correctly then the geometry of the car will be completely wrong and drive like a circus car. The same can be said for the rear lower arms and pivot blocks.

After attaching the front lower arms, pivot blocks and pivot pins, I had completed Bag 8 (above).  I can now move onto Bag 9 which is quite a large bag and concentrates on the 4 wheel hubs for the car. Although Bag 9 is large, the parts inside are quite few, therefore will be a quick build.

The initial joy of opening Bag 9 was soon in tatters. The person in charge of ordering the parts had forgotten, there are 4 pairs of U7152 UJ joints, not just 2. With that person in the naughty corner (ME), they were ordered and the 2 previous posts updated. With the progress of the buggy stalled, I built up the 4 hubs as far as I could go.

Lovely, shiny, brand new and super expensive bearings can be seen above. I love to see brand new parts however, some new parts can be defective especially bearings. I fully tested each bearing before installing them into each hub.

As you can see in the above picture, each hub, ball stud, bolts and arms have a correct orientation. Do not take it for granted they are all the same. As you can see in the picture above, the markings on the upper arms (arrowed). I advise to read each step in the manual, page by page to ensure they are correct. Once again, if these parts are wrongly assembled, then the geometry will be wrong. Now the hubs are 100% correctly assembled, I am happy so far. However, I cannot move on with the build until I receive the 4 U7152 UJ components. I ordered them from good old Make-It-Build-It, so they will be here very soon, but not as soon as I would like. 

Whilst waiting for the UJ's to arrive, I decided to cut, trim and paint the main body shell of which I will show when I reach that stage in the build. I had already chosen the colours but I started thinking of another new paint scheme that omitted 1 of the chosen colours.  Having decided on the new design, I got it cleaned, masked and painted. I am super happy the way the body shell came out and I am pleased I changed the colour scheme at the last minute. With the protective masking removed it looks glorious. HOWEVER, I had a niggle but I could not put my finger on it. Later that evening, whilst looking through the pictures I had taken earlier that day, one picture poked me in the eye. I had painted the under tray the wrong colour. DOH! Even if I had gone with the original colour scheme, it would still be wrong. So I was waiting for an under tray too. A number of days passed and finally the UJ's were delivered. It was, at this point a waste of time moving on in the build without the under tray. So I waited, and finally the under tray turned up from good old Schumacher Racing UK! Love those guys and rate them very highly!

With the under tray in hand, I quickly opened it up to inspect it for any defects. With the under tray under inspection, I can clearly see this is of a way higher standard than what I have become used to. 

The new under tray is super defined in every area. It is also covered in protective plastic 
film to protect from accidental damage. The cut line is also well defined, so I decided not to waste anymore time and pushed on.

Above is another picture of the new super defined under tray. 

With the under tray now cut, trimmed, sanded and washed it was time too paint it. This time with the correct colour. I then removed the green under tray from the buggy, again. 

With the correct paint applied (Tamiya PS-1), it becomes clear that the new under tray is better defined. You may also notice from the picture above that the indentation for the velcro fastening is missing from the white under tray.

Now I have the new under tray complete and the UJ's in hand (above), I could finally move on with the build. So wasting no further time, I fitted the new under tray and finished assembling the parts in Bag 9.

Bag 10 above contains very few parts. Among them are 8 self tapping screws that secures the hubs to the ball ends and sockets. 

With the parts in Bag 10 now installed on the buggy, the new under tray fitted and hubs installed, I am stoked. I had not (obviously) taken into consideration the under tray colour within the scheme of things. There are many things to think of during any rc build, but a custom build, it's a way different experience. 

Above are picture of my progress up to and including Step 34 on Page 33. We can now move on to Bag 11.

The Picture above shows Bag 11, and it's contents are the 4 oil filled alloy shock absorbers, springs, pistons etc. I have previously built a set of these shock assemblies before and they were as I remember quite a handful. However, when assembled these shocks are some of the best I have come across in all my years in RC Car hobby. They are silky smooth and never leak a drop of oil. I love them. 

Above is a picture of the parts used in Step 35, Bag 11 on Page 33. The layout of the parts is the correct fitting sequence and are the rear shock set. They fit into the bottom of the shock body and are secured by a circlip (C-clip). These parts stop the oil leaking from the shock body. These parts are oiled prior to insertion as per the instruction manual.

Above is a picture of the components fitted into the base of the rear shock body with a c-clip holding the seals in place. You can also see a thin film of the shock oil on the o-rings. There are actually 4 seals in each shock, one at the top and three at the bottom. No oils leaks here!

Above you can see both rear shocks with the seals, pistons and shafts inserted again with a thin film of 45W (550 cSt) oil applied to each shaft.

With the piston shafts inserted it was time to fit the rubber stops and the ball ends as can be seen above. We can now fill both rear shocks with 45W oil, fit the seal, then the shock body caps.

It is very easy to fill and purge the shocks with oil if the manual is accurately followed. Now I have the rear shocks filled and clear of any air, it is time to fit the coil springs and shock mouldings.

The picture above shows the 2 rear shocks completed. They look gorgeous and are super smooth during operation.  With the rear shocks done, its time to move on to Step 38 on Page 35, the front shock absorbers.

The front shock absorbers are assembled exactly the same as the rear shocks, with only difference being that the front shocks are filled with a lighter grade oil of 35W (400cSt). You can see all the parts laid out in sequence above.

The above picture shows the pistons attached to the front shock shafts via 2 small circlips on each shaft.

As can be seen above, I have installed the bottom seals into the shock bodies and are now ready to receive the shock shafts and pistons.

With the shock shafts and pistons inserted into the shock bodies, it was time to fit the rubber shaft stops and shock ball joints.

Above, the shock body caps and diaphragms are ready to seal the shocks when filled with the correct oil.

Above, is a picture of one of the front shocks filled with oil and the other ready to receive oil.

The picture above shows the front shocks filled with oil. You can clearly see the shock seals above with the shafts protruding from the bodies. Time to fit the springs and shock plastics, below.

Above is a picture of the shock plastics and springs. Time to get them fitted.

Above shows the completed front shock assemblies. Again these shocks are silky smooth under operation.

The above picture shows the 4 completed shock assemblies. 2 front shocks and 2 rear shocks. I have to say, they are not only silky smooth but look beautiful. Yes, they are an expensive set, but as the old saying goes; you get what you pay for. With all four shocks complete, we have finished Step 40 on page 36.
On page 37 (Step 41) we will be fitting the completed shock assemblies to the car. However, earlier in this post, I cut out and shaped the clear gear cover which fits over the spur gear. At the time I had no information of how to fit it. Well, it turns out there is a small picture of the actual shape it should be on page 44 of the manual. I quickly copied the shape of the drawing onto the gear cover (U5140) and can be seen below.

It is a very obscure picture and give little detail of the cover, but was enough to help me finish the shaping of the cover as can be seen above. I am so pleased I found that little picture at the time I did, as the cover needs to be fitted before the shockers are fitted.

Now I have fitted the gear cover I am so happy with the results above. With the correct shape obtained, it fits like a glove. The pro transmission spur gear is now on display! Happy days. Now it is time to fit the shocks.

With the gear cover in place, I installed both rear shocks and they look awesome as does the whole thing in my humble opinion. Now it is time to fit the front shocks.

With all four shocks and the gear cover fitted, Bag 11 is now complete. I think it looks beautiful but I am obviously biased. 

Moving quickly on to Bag 12 (above(step 42 to 46), which concentrates on the steering and the turnbuckles. There are many small components in this bag including washers, screws and ball pivots. Also in Bag 12 is the Muzzoom ball raced steering system, and its instructions are quite vague (see below).

After finally making sense of the instructions, it goes together like this (below).

And another picture as it is difficult to capture.

I never complained about the original steering system in the kit as it is one of the best I have driven. This ball raced system should be amazing with 8 bearings incorporated in the Muzzoom upgrade. It is super smooth with no resistance at all, therefore it will turn faster with less energy needed and therefore be faster and more efficient. It is quite a difficult install but the rewards are more than worth it. Sorry I did not take more pictures but if you require any help installing the Muzzoom system please ask. Also if you are interested in this modification or others, please check out this video from Muzzoom Models.

Another picture of the upgraded steering. Now I have completed the steering it is time to move on to the rear turnbuckles.

I First needed to install the rear ball joints as can be seen above. Next I made up both rear turnbuckles with a 24mm gap.

Now the rear turnbuckles are set to 24mm and the rear ball joints installed, it was time to fit the completed rods.

Above is a picture showing the rear turnbuckles in place. Looking good if I do say so myself.

Another picture of the rear turnbuckles in place from a different angle. My imaginings are starting to come to life in my humble opinion. Now it is time to assemble and fit the front steering turnbuckles shown below.

The above turnbuckles must have an accurately set gap of 38mm each. Failure to do this will result in poor steering and destroying tyres quickly. 

With the steering turnbuckles set, I quickly installed them as can be seen above. I then assembled the front anti roll bar turnbuckles as can be seen below.

These turnbuckles again require setting, this time to 13.5mm as can be seen above. 

With the front anti roll bar turnbuckles fitted in position, Bag 12 is now complete. This takes me up to and including Step 46 on Page 40.

I can now open Bag 13, which contains components I will not be using. I say this as I have no intention of ever running this car, as I will sell it when complete. I also using a different rear wing mount that is already in position. However, I still have to cut out and shape the rear wing.

U5138 rear wing as shown above.

As you can see the rear wing (above) is the newer type, with a very clear definitions and is also thinner. It is, again also covered in protective film. Even though the film is applied, I will be using masking tape to clearly mark it out for cutting and shaping.

After covering the wing with masking tape, I drew on my cut line as can be seen above. Time to start cutting.

After cutting away the excess with the scissors, I could now use the rotary tool to remove the rest. 

When I had finished with the rotary tool, I also sanded the edges with very fine emery cloth. The shape I have used, is as close to the box art as possible. I then drilled the mounting holes and did a test fit (above). I must say I do love the look of the new wing mount. It looks a lot more professional than the original wire wing mount.

Whilst all of the cutting, shaping and sanding tools were still out, I decided to push on and shape the body shell. 

After opening the bag, I did a quick inspection of the main body. I found once again the body shell is really well defined as are its cut lines. This will make the job a little easier for me. 

Although the body is covered in protective film, it is very thin so I applied masking tape to the whole body. This will obviously offer more protection against damage, but the tape is perfect to draw on the cut line. Please see above. 

And, after many, many, many hours of shaping you can see the results above. The protective film is still in place at this time.

Another view of the trimmed upper body however, it will require some adjustment at a later stage. 

As you are already aware, I have already chosen a colour scheme. The first of the 3 colours is Tamiya PS-1 White. It cost £6.25 from a local hobby store. 

The second paint is Tamiya PS-24 Translucent Orange. It is a really vibrant colour. This paint cost £6.99, again from a local hobby shop.

My final colour choice is Tamiya PS-54 Cobalt Green. Again this is another vibrant colour and a little more expensive at £7.50.

I had planned on and bought a fourth colour being PS-34 Bright Red. However, I had a last minute change of mind and decided not to use it. The paint was quite expensive at £9.75 but I did buy it online hence the additional postage cost. I would have bought it at the hobby shop but they were sold out of PS-34. 

I first washed the body shell, then inserted the window masks, which took quite a while as they must be perfect. If the window mask are out of line just a fraction, it will be amplified when the paint is applied.  

After masking up the body shell, inside and out it was time to start painting. If you are painting multiple colours on one car, then always start with the darkest first, then next darkest etc. In my case this will be PS-54 Cobalt Green.

As you can see from the picture above, I have applied the PS-54 paint. I ensured I was in a well ventilated area then began spraying. The Cobalt Green covered the polycarbonate really well and I gave it 4 separate coats with 30 minutes drying time between applications. Time to remove the centre line masking tape to apply the translucent orange.

The PS-24 is, as the name suggests, translucent (see through). Therefore it is difficult to gauge how much paint to apply. To solve this I simply did 4 separate coats the same as the Colbalt Green.

The picture above shows the lines I used to create the pattern in the paints. Simply draw on the pattern on the outside and copy it with masking on the inside. Simples. It was now time to remove the last of the masking tape from the inside of the body shell. 

The picture above shows the last of the inside masking removed. 
I can now spray on the last colour which is PS-1 White.

The picture above shows the body shell fully painted with 4 coats of PS-1. The coating is nice an even throughout the shell.

Another picture of the body shell with its painting complete with the masking tape and protective film still applied.

Now that I have removed the masking tape and protective film, it looks awesome. It is not perfect but it was never going to be without an expert doing it. I never claimed to be an expert at anything. However, I am more than happy with the results as some of the imperfections will be covered by decals very soon. 

With the window masks removed and lined up against a standard CAT XLS it looks brilliant to me. I am very happy with the results. With the body shell paint work complete I can now concentrate my efforts on the rear wing. Before I start the process I know it will be quite a challenge. The problem is getting paint into the top of the side winglets. It is so tempting just to keep putting paint in, but it will normally run. To remedy this issue, I will paint the outsides of the winglets after the inside is complete. I will be using the same colours for the rear wing, remembering to use the darkest to lightest procedure. At this point, I am finished with the Schumacher manual as I am not fitting any electronics including a motor.

As you can see from the above picture I have already marked out and layered the Colbolt Green paint. However, I suffered a lot of leakage so I re-masked a new line with better tape and repainted up to the new line.

After 4 coats pf PS-54 it was obvious the paint was not reaching the top of the winglets (see above). I therefore decided to paint them from the outside. Now it was time for the translucent orange as it is the next darkest.

With the paint layers building up, the drying process was becoming an issue. I decided to deployed my home made UV lamp to speed up the process. After 4 coats of orange, I was happy with the finish and consistency of both paints. 

After the orange paint, I started laying down 4 coats of white paint with 30 minute intervals under the UV dryer. 

After 4 coats of white paint I was happy with the coverage. You can see in the picture above (arrowed) the new line I made to straighten the green at the beginning. Before I remove the masking tape, I know there will be over spray on the outside of the wing. I always knew this would happen as it is a complicated piece to mask and paint. 

After removing the masking tape, there is some overspray but not as much as I expected. I am quite happy with the results to be honest. 

As you can see in the above picture the over sprays marks and the thin paint in the tips of the winglets. I will now let the rear wing cure its paint whilst I apply the graphics. The placement of the graphics is not in the manual.

To be honest, I used my XLS as a template to where the decals need to be placed. Above you can see the decals to be used. All of the decals need to be cut from the sheet. I used super sharp scissors and cut as close as possible to the graphic.

After a many hours of careful cutting, I was ready to apply some of the few decals supplied in the kit. Using my good old soapy water and scalpel, it was finally time to apply those decals.

After the first 4 decals, I was in the swing of things. The soapy water is a must as it stop stretching of the plastic and allows a precise location aid. 

After many hours I was pleased to have completed the left side of the upper body shell as can be seen above. I can say that I am more than happy with the colour contrasts. It's getting there.

I quickly pushed on with the right hand side decals. 

I used only the graphics/decals advised on the front box, and used my original Schumacher  Masami as a reference for decal positioning. Again, I am being biased but I think it is quite a thing to look at. It is now time to resolve the problem with the shortage of paint in the winglets of the rear wing. First of all I cleaned the overspray from the wing then I tried my first method of spraying the outside of the winglets with the PS-54. However, there was a problems. I forgot PS paints dry with a matt finish. I then had an idea, please see below.

I repainted them from the outside with matt black. After 3 coats the finish was even throughout.  At first I wasn't very happy with it and thought of buying a new wing. At this point I had nothing to lose so I removed the masking tape.

You can see the gloss and the matt finishes above. Its quite a contrast, maybe too muck i was thinking.

I put it on the car to see if I liked it any better. Again, I was thinking it was too much of a contrast. I pushed on fitting the decals for the wing and it turned out really well. 

With all the decals now applied, I refitted the rear wing, fitted new tyres and new wheels. And I think it looks stunning. The wheels are JCRacing 5 spoke finished in black. They cost me £9.50 from Schumacher Racing UK. The tyres are Schumacher full spike with a narrow fit on the front and wider rear tyres. The tyres cost £12.99 for the rear and £9.99 for the front. Both wheels and tyres are 2.2".

The rear wing with all its decals in my opinion looks awesome against the plastic wing mount. I am more than happy with the results of the wing and the rest of the car. 

 Again in my opinion, it looks good from every angle. 

A view from above showing all the Schumacher decals in place.

It is looking beautiful. It looks fast and it will be fast. The standard XLS is a track weapon, so I imagine this to maybe be better.

I have one final upgrade to fit to the buggy before completion. This upgrade is the rear anti roll bar kit. As I have stated, this car will not be driven by me and therefore no electronics will be installed. The car will be put up for sale upon completion. I would love to keep it but this car has a lot of money tied up in it and I need a new project.

Above is a picture of U7235 or commonly known as the rear anti roll bar kit. These kits are not supplied as standard and are an upgrade option. I waited a long time to find this part as these kits are becoming increasingly difficult to find.

After soldering the ball joint to the main bar, it was time to fit the kit. I did remove the rear wing to clear some space and assist my install.

In the above picture you can see the roll bar is fitted as are the bottom ball joints. Now its time to assemble the turnbuckles, ensuring they are set with a 6mm gap.

With the turnbuckles assembled, I quickly popped them on the ball joints as can be seen above.

Another view of the rear anti roll bar.

I think this car looks great from many angles. 

Now this project is drawing to a close, I would like to thank each reader for their patience whilst I updated each post. I have to say that I really enjoyed this build on many levels. For example the upgrade parts are outstanding and a pleasure to work with. Another example would be the polycarbonate parts as they are once again of a higher quality. This build has also given me the opportunity to use more striking colours in my schemes. In fact I have already been asked to paint a Kyosho Beetle with the same colours and design. Obviously I said yes and we are just waiting for a shell to arrive. I do hope these 3 posts have helped enthusiasts further expand their knowledge of these truly outstanding buggies. If you have any question, please do not hesitate to ask me at

I hope to be back very soon with another interesting post. If you have any ideas please email me.

In the meantime, take care and thank you for reading.

1/2/2022 2022


Catxls said…
Good luck Casio Tribe, thumbs up!!
Anonymous said…
Excellent - Nice job.
Catxls said…
I am very pleased you enjoyed it. Hopefully it will help fellow enthusiasts and encourage other's to take up this great hobby! Thumbs up Anon