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      The Kyosho Mini-Z hardbodies are quite brittle and impacts to the weak front quarters will likely crack the body just below the inner side of the headlamp casing. This happened to my 787B in what seemed to be a relatively minor tap of an inner border knuckle.

      Repaired left front quarter (see crack next to the tow hook) between the headlamp casing and the splitter – unpainted.The design of the narrow front body mounting bracket inside the nose of the model should handle head on impacts well enough – but exposes the front quarters.

      Repaired left front quarter (after installing LED light kit). Notice the missing orange paint where the Plast-I-Weld was applied by brush to the underside. The paint on the surface remained fine.

      The MR-03RWD chassis has provision to mount an added front bumper which could extend underneath the front splitter of the body but that’s a separate topic – reinforcing the chassis – and for another day.

      Let me be clear with what I’m doing here – I’m no expert and not advising anyone to do this nor am I claiming that this is a good thing to do – it is simply an experiment that I’m sharing and the verdict will take time but I’m curious and willing to try. I’m relying on my own slot car experiences to see how much I can transfer to this branch of the hobby. That’s all – and any comments, suggestions and improvements by reply are most welcome…

      So…

      To reinforce the front quarters I used a paper template and cut 1.6mm thick styrene sheet (as best I could) into two pieces designed to fit flush underneath the left and right headlamp casings.

      I then used Flex-I-File Plast-I-Weld applied liberally to bond the styrene to the bottom of the headlamp casings and along the edges butting the mounting box, the front and the sides. Be careful not to flood the headlamp casings or your clear lens covers will get damaged and the paint may bleed. Better yet, remove the lenses but don’t gum up the tab openings with any adhesive.

      Flex-I-File’s Plast-I-Weld Liquid Weld

      Satisfied with the strength of the weld so far I applied a thick filet of 5 minute two part epoxy to reinforce the quarters and fill the space above the mounting box.

      Haven’t yet but I could paint the reinforced areas with flat black acrylic to make them a little prettier.

      Notice how the front white body mount (in white plastic) fits just inside the box and basically floats – and all of the momentum from any frontal impact of the body transfers to the white body mount (and chassis) through the two very small slightly wider ‘tabs’ extending just the width of that box.

      In any event, the extra styrene and epoxy added just 4.4g to the body – a small tradeoff for the piece of mind I now have.

      Weight of the Mazda 787B body (with light kit installed) before and after reinforcing the front end.
      Weight of the Mazda 787B Body with Light Kit
      Weight of the Mazda 787B body with light kit after reinforcing the front quarters.

      My goal was to spread any minor impacts at the quarters to the whole front end of the body which I hope this does. Time will tell.

      Up next – an invisible (or discreet) front chassis bumper…

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