How to: Set-up your Mardave V12
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5 steps to a better handling car
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Based on info from the racers at LRCCC  

The Mardave V12 car is very simple to build and hence the tuning options are quite limited. The most important thing to get right is the choice of tyres as the wrong ones can make the car almost undriveable. There are other things you can do to improve the handling and performance of the car but they are probably responsible for only about 25% of the possible improvements you can make.

STEP 1: The Chassis

If your chassis does not have the holes countersunk on the underside then it is best to do this before you do anything else, but remember you will need to buy a set of countersunk screws to replace the supplied pan head screws. You can buy a ready made set of screws or buy a few packets of 3mm countersunk screws from the local model shop. They usually come in packets of 10 and you will need some 6mm, 8mm, 10mm and 12mm long and also some 3mm nyloc nuts. You may also want to fit Associated TC3 body post and may need to drill and countersink additional holes for these. Mount the battery as far back as possible, but ensure it does not prevent the rear motor pod from moving through its full range of travel. If you want to fit a cooling heat sink or fan on the motor this will take up more room and the battery will have to be fitted slightly further forward.

Mardave chassis fully built up
Front Suspension & steering

Install wishbones upside down with additional spacers at the front. Fit strengthened steering linkage for reliability

STEP 2: Front Suspension

Starting with the the wishbones, make sure you install them upside down - with the raised boss to the chassis. Also put some spacer washers between the chassis and the wishbones, typically about 4mm under the front boss and 2mm under the rear boss. This ensures that the chassis ride height is about the same front and rear and that the king pins are inclined to the rear to improve the steering turn in on corners. When you assemble the kingpins and front axles ensure they slide up and down freely, lightly polish the kingpins if necessary. Kamtec make a strengthening bar that links the tops of the kingpins together, if you want to install this fit the springs then the link followed by the "E" clip - leave off the washer if you fit the bar. Fitting this link will strengthen the front suspension and maybe save some breakages. The kit standard springs seen to be ok although there are options of different stiffness springs.

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STEP 3: Steering

The standard steering linkage supplied is a bit flimsy and can easily be improved. You can buy a heavy duty linkage kit from Mardave or make up your own from bits if you have some left over from other cars. Proper turnbuckles with ball joints at each end should be used along with a decent servo saver arm for the servo. A Kimborough medium one is about right, but you can use other options. The servo doesn't need to be very fast or cost a fortune, a basic Acoms / Futaba / Hitec etc servo is fine, if you have one with bearings and metal gears available, so much the better. The kit supplied servo posts are fine, make sure everything moves freely. If your radio transmitter has end point adjustment, make sure you get full travel without straining the servo by trying to over travel the steering. Adjust the turnbuckles so that the front wheels are parallel - no toe-in - or with a small amount of toe-out for better turn in at corners.

Rear motor pod with heat sink The rear springs and damper post 
mount should be the same on both sides
Ensure the motor / heat sink does not foul on the battery on full suspension travel The rear of the chassis should drop about 1 - 2 mm's under the weight of the car with battery.

STEP 4: Rear suspension / motor pod

The standard rear axle runs on nylon bushes, these should be replaced with ball races for longer life and less friction. Ensure the pod is not tweaked when assembled, check it on any flat work surface and adjust if necessary. The pod pivots on a ball at the front this can pop off in a crash once it is worn. One way to prevent this is to drill a 3.5mm hole through the back of the ball socket and fit a longer screw through the ball. Once the pod is in place fit a washer and nyloc nut onto this screw to prevent the pod popping off - ensure this does not restrict the movement of the pod. Fit some kind of bump stop between the front corners of the pod and the chassis - a small piece of foam or similar works well. Fitting a differential is permitted at LRCCC and all the top drivers have done so for improved turn in on corners.

STEP 5: Tyres, gearing, motors and more

The best tyres to use on Cordeaux School tennis court tarmac seems to be 46 hardness front foam tyres with UFRA medium rear tyres. Your can trim these down in diameter but it does not seem vital as long as they are true. The easiest way to fit the tyres to the wheels is with double sided tape - stick the tape to the wheel, dip the wheels and tyres in soapy water then slide the tyres into place. Once they dry out the tyre will be secure in position - much simpler and cleaner than glue. Most people are using a diff with 70 tooth 48DP gears - with a 27 turn stock motor a 23 or 24 tooth pinion is about as high as you can go without severely overheating the motor. Motor heat sinks and fans help a little, but not much. If using a single cell LiPo battery and 13.5turn brushless motor gear ratios of around 2.5:1 are a good starting point so 28 tooth pinion with a 70 tooth spur won't be too far out depending on the track layout.