Hpi baja 5b ss kit build for dummies

Bbbutch

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HPI BAJA 5B SS KIT BUILD FOR DUMMIES

NO, I’m not calling you a dummy. This is help guide for those who are less mechanically skilled than others but would still like to build their own Baja buggy. This is a stock build with no aftermarket parts.
Standard time for this build is 20 to 25 hours. It took me 22 hours and I was in no hurry. Well, except for the last part of the build when I was starting to get excited about running her. But for the most part I only worked 2 to 4 hours on her at any one time. That way I didn’t get too tired and make mistakes. That didn’t include painting the body.
This was a very enjoyable build. With very few exceptions the instruction manual was dead on and all the parts fit together nicely. The instructions are very short on explanations and that is where I hope to help out.

If your box still has the 4 “HPI” stickers on the bottom then all of your parts should be in there. There is a list in the back of the manual on page 92 of part numbers and grayed out pictures. On page 110 it gives you quantities and descriptions. I’m sure if something was missing that HPI would make good on it.

First off as others have stated before me the plastic packaging and plastic parts give off an obnoxious odor. I tried to air it out but that didn’t work. The smell is very strong. I ended up removing all the larger plastic bags (not the zip-lock bags or the bags identified by letters)and tossing them into the outside trash. I grouped the plastic parts in the 2 large bags into two separate piles and tossed those bags too. That didn’t totally eliminate the odor problem but it did help a lot.

Make sure that you have all the required items that you will need to run your buggy ahead of time, 2 to 3 channel transmitter (not AM), receiver, standard size servo for the throttle, standard receiver ON - OFF switch, 3000 mah 6V hump receiver battery or higher and a way to charge it up. 1 gallon of pump gas (you could probably wait to get the gas) and 2 cycle oil (a small amount of 2 cycle oil comes with the kit). If you don’t have these items order them now. You will need all the required items by STEP 25 to center the steering servo and installation of those items starting on STEP 27 (about 7 to 9 hours into the build).
Please note that some transmitters have built in fail safes but most don’t A fail safe unit is a must have in my opinion. Watching you RC vehicle go full throttle into a wall or worse (people) is a nightmare waiting to happen without one!
ALSO, If you don’t already have blue (medium level) Loc-Tite on hand you may want to go get some. Red (maximum level) Loc-Tite part # Z186 comes in the kit. Auto parts and hardware stores should have the blue Loc-Tite. It is the most popular one. You will also need rubber contact cement. I used 3M Weatherstrip Adhesive.


OK, Lets build this thing!
Here is all that comes in the box.
See pic #1.


On the left side of the instruction manual (page "8") it shows some pictures of the hardware you will need to find. The pictures are ACTUAL SIZE of what you will be looking for.
See pic # 2
 
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Bbbutch

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Redding, CA
Find small parts bag letter “A”, large black plastic parts bag “A” and the tool bag. Open them up. In the first large black plastic parts bag find the # 85418 collection of parts and separate #s 2, 3 & 4 from it. The identifying numbers are on the little black tags.
See pic # 3.
Remove only the parts that you need. If you remove all of them at this time you will have plastic parts everywhere and no reference numbers to identify them. Use a pair of side cutters (dykes, wire cutters, what ever you call them in your neck of the woods) and separate the pieces. Clean up the extra plastic bits left on the parts where it was connected how ever you see fit. I’d tell you how I do it but then some nut would want to sue me because he cut himself. See pic # 4


On step 2 part # 85418 is a little hard to identify. Especially if you have already cleaned off all the little # 1, 2, & 3 tags like I did. See pic # 5

You may have a difficult time installing the elastic stop nuts into the plastic parts. The tool kit comes with a nut install tool (shown in step 1) that works very well. But if you still have a hard time installing them use this trick. Push an Allen head screw threw the part and thread the nut onto it. Use an open end wrench to lever it into place. See pic # 6.
On some of the smaller nuts that are hard to hold onto you can use the same trick and just pull them into place with your fingers. See pic # 6 & 6A


On step 3 you will find part # 87481 in the aluminum parts bag.

On step 4 you will find part # 87484 in the aluminum parts bag. You will find plastic part # 85440 in the second large plastic parts bag. While you’re in that bag take a Sharpie and mark the plastic tag numbers on the outside of the zip-loc bags. It will save you time looking for tags through out the process.
On step 4 if you have trouble getting the body clip into place try bending the straight end of the clip up a little and then push it threw with a pair of needle nose pliers.
See pic # 7 (see next post for pic # 7)


On step 10 you will find part # 85459-8 in the tool bag.
 
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Bbbutch

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On step 11 you will have fun with E-clips. If you haven’t dealt with these before they can be a pain. Be very careful with them. If one slips and pops away they can be difficult to impossible to find again. There are a few extra E-clips in the spare parts bag but if you use those up too you get to take a trip to the hardware store and try to match one up with a new one. Work over a cotton towel or cloth and try to block the top and sides. If you do slip and it goes down chances are it will stay on the towel and not bounce away.


On step 13 try to mount the upper ball joint straight onto the suspension arm. It is easy to get it crooked. And of course you will find the wheel wrench in the tool bag. Note that the ball joint has a slight bend in it. When you mount the suspension arm onto the frame that bend will go up. See pics # 8 & 9


On step 14 part # 85400-3 (4 pieces) is a very tight fit on the pins. I tapped the pin threw all 4 of them first before I attempted to assemble the upper suspension arms to the frame. This made them a little easier to work with. I still had to use a small hammer to gently tap the pin threw and into place. Install an E-clip on one end of the pin before driving it all the way in and don’t forget to install one on the other end. You can also install part #85400-3 by pushing them onto the pin after the pin has been installed. I don’t know how hard or easy that way is. See pic # 9A

On step 15 be careful to not damage the plastic seal area on the bearings. If the bearings start to go in crooked stop and carefully use a pair of channel locks to squeeze them back to straight and then continue with the installation tool as shown. If they get too crooked stop, remove them and start over. Once the bearings are seated and it gets harder to turn the installation tool stop turning! You don’t need to cinch it down very tight like a nut and bolt. Remove the installation tool and assemble the other side.

On step 18 part # 85408-4 is a little hard to make out the shape and identify it.
See pic # 10
By now you should be used to reading the plastic parts tags. The larger tag "85408" and then the individual part numbers (1, 2, 3, etc) to identify each part BEFORE you separate them from the rest.

On step 23 one end of the steering rod linkage has a small circle indentation in the chrome rod. They indicate that the rods be installed with the indentations on the right side.

On step 25 plug the steering servo into your receiver. You will have to determine which channel is the correct one. Turn on your transmitter and set the steering trim to “0”. Plug the 6V hump battery into the proper channel of the receiver. Your steering servo will move to the neutral or zero trim position. Turn the wheel on your transmitter to make sure that you have the servo plugged into the correct channel. Install the servo arm as shown. Get it as close to the correct position as you can.
 
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Bbbutch

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Redding, CA
On step 32 the steering servo linkage assembly has a circle indentation on the rod. It goes on the same side that you mount the ball on in that step. You will find the linkage ends in parts bag # 85416 but the bag has no number to identify it. See pic # 11

On step 34 use some loc-tite on the 4 mounting screws. There are three levels of Loc-tite. I prefer the medium blue Loc-tite because you can remove it when you want to. The kit comes with red colored Loc-tite which is the maximum strength level. It is very good but you may strip the threads when you try to remove the screws. As for the lowest level of Loc-tite I’m sure it has it’s uses but I haven’t found one yet. Move part # 85414-3 as far forward as possible so that it will not interfere with the radio box installation.

On step 37 push the screw threw the suspension arm just until it sticks out. Put a drop of Loc-tite on the end of the threads. If you have already mounted the ball on the linkage use an open-end 9/32 wrench (usually called a small or ignition wrench) will fit the nut on the ball.

On step 38 you have your choice of three different sway bars. Maybe start with the middle thickness one and use blue Loc-tite on the set screws. Save the other two sway bars in case you decide to install them later. See pic # 11

On step 39 the plastic clips that retain the rear of the front bumper are a challenge to install. Maneuver the clip into position and use needle nose pliers to squeeze it onto the plastic pin. Use one side of the pliers on the clip and the other behind the end of the bumper pin and squeeze. It took me a few tries to get each one and I’m supposed to be good with tools.

On step 41 you will start to install parts on the main frame. This would be a good time to block the frame holes from the inside to keep rocks and debris out. I’ve seen wire screen, carbon fiber plates and other materials used to accomplish this. I’m not sure how others have attached these materials into place but I plan on using hot glue if I ever get around to it. Make sure you don’t block off the access to the ON - OFF switch. Of course you do not have to put anything there if you don’t want to.
That ON - OFF switch is a little difficult to turn off and I don’t have fat fingers either. So I took my die grinder and cut a little out of the frame. See pic # 11B

***Read this whole step before proceeding.
On step 49 be careful not to damage the bearing seals. Use the Z159 thread loc after part # 86488 has been inserted threw the bearings.
***NOTE! Thread loc Z159 is a fast drying compound. Have all the parts ready before you apply it. Use a small screw driver to spread it around and to wipe off the excess. Use the thread loc sparingly but coat the part all the way around the end area as shown in the illustration. Wipe off the excess thread loc trying to not get too much on the bearing when you push part # 87495 into place. Line up the pin hole as you push it into place and insert the pin. Use Loc-tite on the threads of Allen head 94502.
 
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Bbbutch

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Redding, CA
On step 50 part # 85424-4 is a wedge that gives you the maximum toe-in on your rear tires. I didn’t like it. See pic #12A. So I went with the least amount of toe-in part # 85424-2. See pic # 12B. I like the rear wheels pointed straight ahead but that option wasn’t available. On page 90 (6-4) it says that more toe-in on the rear tires will give you more stability under braking and more stability on power at corner exit. Lower top speed.
Less toe-in gives you more steering and less stability on power at corner exit. Higher top speed. I stiffened the rear suspension spring settings for more control on corners but maybe someone could step in and give us some good advice on this problem?

Later I have found that with no toe-in (rear wheels pointed straight ahead) the Baja tends to spin-out very easy in the corners. Now I run the 3 degree shims and I have more traction taking off and more stability in the corners.

On step 52 again be very careful installing the bearings. Pre fit the larger ball bearings # B094 onto both sides of the Diff case (or differential case) before applying the thread lock Z159. One of mine went on easily and one was a little tight. If yours is tight check for burs or ridges on the contact surfaces and remove them. Be careful to only take off a little material at a time. You don’t want the bearing to fit loosely on the case. If you find that you have to use force to install the bearing do so with extreme caution! Only apply force on this instance to the inner bearing race because it is the one making contact with the diff case. If you apply force to the outer race while trying to move the inner race over the contact area you will nick the roller balls within the bearing. This will cause the bearing to eventually fail.

On step 57 take a small hammer and drive the nuts all the way into part # 85430-3 or they will keep the gear box case from going all the way together. And don’t make the same mistake I did and only put of the plastic nut holders in. Then you get to pull the case back apart and do it right.

On step 63 my kit was missing the two flat head screws part # 94730 but had two extra # 94732 screws which are just a little longer so I used them. They did stick out a little more but caused no problems.

On step 67 use a pair of channel locks and squeeze part # 85422-4 into place so that it will line up with the screw.

On step 69 push screw # Z362 threw the lower arm until just a little bit of the end sticks out and then put some loc-tite on it.

On step 70 you have your choice of 3 sway bars. Maybe pick the middle thickness one and save the others if you wish to change it out later.

On step 73 part #’s 87486 & 87424 install them in the correct direction. I got 87486 backwards and didn’t notice it until later in the build. It is still that way but hasn’t caused me any problems “yet”.

On step 78 use the bearing install tool.
 
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Bbbutch

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On step 80 Use loc-tite on the three bolts # 94732 to mount the engine. Don’t forget to hook up the fuel lines while the engine is going in. You can still do it later it’s just a little harder. Take a guess how I know.

On step 85 squirt some WD40 inside the silicone tubing to make it very easy to install it onto the wire mount. This is one of the places that WD40 is good for since the stuff dries up in 2 to 3 days. It’s also good for installing bicycle hand grips.

On step 86 apply a small amount of lube to part # 86713-A the exhaust coupling grommet or gasket. This will make it slide easily into the pipe.
I had tons of fun getting the body clip into the exhaust coupling. Get two pairs of pliers. One to hold the clip and one to squeeze the coupling to make the holes line up. ALSO, it is as hard to remove the clip as it was to install it! Don’t forget to tighten up screw # 94506 after after your ordeal with the coupling.

On step 87 use a small hammer to drive the pins all the way into part # 85436-6. Look down at step 88 to see which way the pins are supposed to stick out of part # 87436-6.

On step 88 double check the thickness of the plates that you are assembling. Use the pictures to the left to make sure you are getting the right ones in the right places.
In my notes I was at 15 hours into the build at this point. But everyone is going to be different. The main thing is to not get too tired and make mistakes.

On step 89 get the flange bushing #B075 all the way in. If it hangs up use a small hammer to gently tap it into place.

On steps 93 to 95 carefully follow the illustrations. Be careful not to bend the throttle shaft on the carb when snapping the linkage on. Once you get it all together turn on your transmitter and receiver. Pull the throttle on the transmitter all the way back and see if the carburetor is going to the wide open stop. Then push the throttle all the way forward and make sure the brake is fully engaged. You can’t really check the brakes until you get the tires and wheels on it.
I had to move the stop collar for the throttle to make wide open but only had to adjust the knob on the back for the brakes.
One more thing that you might run into is that your throttle on your transmitter works backwards. You pull the throttle back and it locks up the brakes. Reverse the servo setting on your transmitter. Some have a switch on the transmitter and some have a series of button pushes and menu screens to go through. Check your manual.

On step 100 lube up all the eternal parts before you assemble them. I used white grease. But most any good lube will do as long as it is not too awfully thick. The little stop ring clips # 87566-c & 87566-d can be easily installed using this method. Start one edge of the clip into the grove and hold the other end down with your thumb. By the edge that is in the grove use the flat edge of a small blade screwdriver and push the clip down into the grove and then again a little further around and again until the clip pops into place.
See pic # 13
Use WD40 on the inside of the rubber shock boot to make it easy to install.

On step 102 use some tissues or paper towels to hold around the shock housing to catch the excess oil that will escape while installing the shock end.
The directions indicate to fully compress the shock to bleed off excess oil. Do this just before the O-ring on the shock end contacts the shock body and then keep it compressed until while you turn the shock end down and the O-ring is fully seated.

On step 104 the bottom of the front shocks can be difficult to install. Use the upper shock mounting screw and put it in the back side of the lower arm. Slip part # 85422-6 over the end of it and then slide the bottom of the shock mount over the rest of the screw. Now take part # 85422-7 and while pushing down on the shock - angle the part so that the edge catches the shock ball and then shove it all back up into place. Use the lower shock mounting screw # 95420 to line up the parts and push it threw pushing the upper shock screw out the back.
See pic # 14
 

Bbbutch

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848
Location
Redding, CA
On step 111 dig up your rubber cement (3 M Weatherstrip Adhesive). To save time I stuffed the foam into the front tires and glued them together there. Just keep the glue on the foam and off of the tire. Line up the indentations on the tire with the screw holes on the wheel. Take your time and work around the tire bead pushing each part of the bead into place. There are little slots on the wheel that the bead fits into. If you don’t get each one into pace while you are installing the bead lock ring part # 3242-a and the 10 Allen head screws your tire will have a crooked spot in it at that place.
They don’t show it but on the back side of the wheel the tire bead goes over the end of the wheel so that the lock ring can pinch it against the wheel. Use the same procedure and get the bead installation right.
At this point I was getting very ready to put this thing on the ground and start running it. 80 teeny tiny Allen head screws later I had already calmed back down. Then I had wished that I had ordered those Swamp Dawgs already mounted on wheels.

If you haven’t tested your brakes yet now would be a good time. Apply the brakes and try to push the vehicle. Adjust your linkage until it works right. Page 49 step 95.

Step 114 painting the body. Get some paint recommended for plastic and go to town on it. It’s pretty hard to screw this up since you paint it from the inside. After the paint dries (I like to wait one day for it) you can peel off the protective film on the outside of the body. You can use a piece of tape to start it and the tape is also good for any remaining pieces of film left on the body.
I painted my wing too. It probably wasn’t a good idea to do that. It looked great for one run but the first time I rolled it on the grass (I though the grass would be a safe place for it) the paint pealed where the wing flexed. And yes, I did sand the wing before I painted it.


I did a couple of easy modifications to my Baja. One was a windshield to keep out some of the dirt and debris that would blow directly onto the air filter. The other was installing a screen inside the pull start assembly to keep debris from entering there and plugging up the cooling fins or breaking them off. Since I have done these two mods the windshield worked great but the screen was kind of a pain running on the grass. It kept plugging up about every 5 to 10 minutes. Leave it plugged up and you can over heat and burn up your motor. Possibly Outwears would have work better for this application.

Windshield. See pic # 15
Get a piece of Plexiglas, Lexan what ever you want to call it and cut it to fit the windshield area. Leave a small air gap space on the sides and don‘t make it so long that it interferes with the throttle servo. See pic # 16
Get 4 - 3/8” wire holders and 4 small machine screws and elastic stop nuts. Place the wire holders onto the roll cage and while holding the Plexiglas in place take a sharpie and mark the 4 holes. Drill the holes so that the screws slide easily threw them. If the wire holders are too loose on the roll cage use some tape or cut a small piece of thin rubber and clamp the wire holders over it.
 

Bbbutch

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Location
Redding, CA
Screen on the pull starter assembly. See pics # 17 & 18
Not the best for grass but here it is any way. At your hardware store buy the screen you like. I chose a fabric screen that had good air flow. Being fabric I could mold it into place better. I roughed up the inside of the pull starter assembly where I planed to hot glue it into place. I cut the screen into 4 sections and trimmed them up to fit. Then one by one position them into place and hot glue all the edges taking care to avoid the mounting surfaces. The mounting surfaces are the areas around the bolt holes and the first inside edge all around the assembly.
If you do get glue on those areas just scrape it off. For the bottom edge of the screen apply the glue threw the vent holes on the outside keeping in mind that the more you block off the vent holes the less air that will be able to flow in to cool your motor. Trim off any excess glue or screen and make sure the assembly fits correctly onto the motor.
 

Bbbutch

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Location
Redding, CA
Have fun with your new Baja 5B!! And if you’re a little crazy like most of us you might want to invest in some spare parts. So far I have needed the lower suspension arms for the front and rear. Of course if you don’t want to do the double jumps at your local BMX bicycle park or smack a wall at work showing the guys how well you can control it you may not need any extra parts! See pics # 19, 20 & 21
 

Bbbutch

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848
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Redding, CA
Thanks for kind words guys. Now if I can only get someone in my area to build one so that I'll have somebody to run with. Heck, I'll even build it for them!
 

SuperSport

New member
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1
Hey im a 12 Year old kid and just bought a Baja SS Kit and im in need of a heand is there a good you tube vid to show me how to do it?

Thnx Jordan
 

boisetrucker

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1,320
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Idaho
Man I used this as a reference during my build and it was such a great help. Thank you Scott.

Sent from my DROIDX using Tapatalk
 

lordraptor1

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684
Location
ardmore Ok.
nice work, however i dont think the smell will bother me, i spent 3 years active duty as a fuel handler sniffing diesel fumes from abrams tanks LOL, that and when i smeel that smell it will help me remember i am NOT dreaming and that i actually have a baja 5b ss finally :lol:
 

Dustmaster

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1,059
Location
Belgium
i'm sure your build guide will be helpfull for many new baja builders! thanx for the effort!
grtz Ivo
 
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