After seeing some emails from HobbyKing, checking out a few videos and reading a few forum threads about the Basher BZ 888 race buggy I decided to take a leap of faith and get one. I have always been worried about buying from them because of the lack of parts that can be shipped quickly.
Basher is well balanced lands right side up on all fours
Not too many loose screws
One of the biggest complaints I read about in the forums are loose screws so I made sure to check and tighten most of the screws right after taking it out of the box. There was one screw not flush on the bottom chassis and a couple on the back sway bar loose. The instructions say to check all screws and to use thread locker on any screws that you find loose and to check after each battery pack.
Steering end link ball studs need to be moved back a hole
In addition I noticed the front sway bar end links hit and rub the steering linkage. I am not sure how to fix this problem. I tried bending the sway bar forward to create a little space it just springs back. Next I’ll try to move the steering linkage back a little with the adjustment holes. Moving the linkage from the middle to the back hole worked see macro images showing before and after adjustments.
Missing parts from factory, Kingpin and holding screw missing
I grabbed each wheel, gave them a jiggle, the right front wheel was really loose compared to the others. I slid my fingers over the suspension parts, did a visual inspection and noticed a shiny chrome was part missing on the bottom right suspension.
After checking the diagrams in the manual. It was the kingpin and the holddown screw on the bottom side. It’s really frustrating since the two dollars of missing parts will take several weeks to arrive.
I contacted HobbyKing via live chat expecting them to say “oh sorry we’ll get those out right away”. To my surprise they wanted me to fill out a return request which I did.
They had a warranty button and a no fuss return button which by now I was sure would not be “no fuss”. I was tempted to return the whole thing and just buy an HPI or Traxxas with USA parts support.
However I really wanted to run it. I decided to place an order for a bunch of replacement parts. So I could run it without the kingpin in case they decide to take their time deciding weather or not they will send the missing parts.
Fast shipping from HobbyKing USA East Warehouse
The BZ 888 only took a few days to get to me from the USA East warehouse it is too bad that I will have to wait weeks to get the uninstalled missing parts. I know there are a lot of people that will not buy because the parts are not stocked in the USA. We all know stuff will break, repairs and upgrades are part of the RC hobby.
The best solution if you want to buy RC cars from hobbyking is to figure out which parts are likely to break and put in the order for a bunch of random replacements before you break anything.
Even with a wobbly right front wheel it ran pretty good right out of the box. The instruction manual looked good with all of the part numbers in the exploded view diagrams of the model.
The wheels came unglued and the right rear tire got a tear where it came unglued on the first run. I used some Nailene Ultra Quick nail superglue to re-glue the tires and fix the gash. The fingernail glue worked good.
My recommendation is don’t buy Hobbyking trucks because they are cheap – you’ll end up spending an extra $150 on parts and tires after your first run. Buy them because you really like the model then order the upgrade parts that are available right away. Find a list of other parts like hinge pins from a Losi, rear shocks from _____?
It would be really cool if Hobbyking would provide a list of replacement or hop up parts that are being ordered most.
I plan to keep track of what breaks or comes off and put together a list of must have replacement parts for the Basher BZ 888.
It would have been a lot easier to know what to get rather that just making a wild guess.
Here are my guesses so far. Use the SKU number which is listed in the back of the instruction booklet on the parts list in the search box to find the parts on the HK website.
tie rod ends BS 33686 ball cup set SKU: 9249001145-0 – this was on backorder when I looked
Hop Up Parts List for Basher BZ 888
steering knuckle – SKU: 9249000426 – ordered
steering spindle SKU: 924000425
I am sure everything will work out with this buggy in a few weeks.
Do I wish I had gotten a name brand with easy parts support? Yes but this feeling will probably go away when the parts come in and I figure out which ones to have plenty of extras of.
My son really likes the racing buggy and at the end of the day that’s what really counts.
After running and jumping this 1:8 racing buggy all weekend I am feeling better about my purchase and decision to keep her. In two days I think I have run about 8 sets of battery packs through the BZ and I am really beginning to like this buggy a lot.
So far I have spent an extra $150 on parts and new tires ordered. I already had a charger from my airplane stuff. All in the cost so far is $300 for this model and two 5000Mah packs shipping included from the USA East warehouse, a charger would run $50, I still need a parallel adapter board to charge 2 batteries at once $20. Shock and diff oils will probably run another $20 bucks. So figure $540 total if you had nothing to start out with. I would say this is the real cost to have a nice set up and get going with this buggy.
That’s more than I have spent on all of our DIY foam board planes and multirotor stuff but we can run this a lot more often and do not have to worry about the wind or losing a $200 Flitetest Electrohub quadcopter in the river.
I wonder what the local track / hobby shop will think if I show up to practice at their place with her. I feel a little weird using their facility without buying a car there. I need some shock and differential oil so I can at least get that stuff locally to support the LHS.
I want to waterproof everything and put a big set of monster truck tires on this thing for running through the mud in my yard. I originally was going to get the HPI Flux XS which would have been great for this type of wet muddy bashing, but I could not resist the size and look of this racing buggy.
Turning the Basher into a Monster Truggy with Badlands 3.8″ Tires