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BeSwitched '67

RC '67 Chevy Impala

specs & features

  • 1/12 scale '67 Chevy Impala model by Radio Shack 

  • Full working suspension controlled by three 15KG servo's

  • 380 Mabuchi type motor for hopping

  • RC controlled lights

  • Custom made resin wire wheels with 520 style polyurethane tires

  • Painted Volvo Champagne

Hopping in 1/12 Scale

This '67 Chevy Impala was part of a series of 1/12 RC lowrider cars made by Radio Shack. The movements are pretty limited being only able to lift and rotate the rear axle so it was my mission to create a full function, hopping lowrider out of this '67 Chevy Impala.

 

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Toy Lowrider

My main focus was to make this toy RC lowrider hop so I created a U-bar like front suspension with two arms connected on both sides so that it can swing up and down. Between the two arms I mounted the original steering servo that also moves up and down with the setup.
I had to cut the front of the chassis to make the suspension sit lower so that the car lifts and hops higher.

For hopping the rear of the car needs to sit higher as well so I figured out several ways
making use of the exisiting servo that is mounted on gear box.

U-bar and chassis
I created a U-bar with steering and made room on the chassis for the suspension to travel up and down.
rear servo setup old
I started experimenting adjusting the height of the rear suspension by adding a larger diameter disc onto the existing one.
rear suspension version 2
To make the front of the car hop higher I had to come up with a new way to make the rear sit higher as well.
front suspension
The U-bar with wheels attached to it that swings up and down with the steering servo sitting in the center.
Hopper motor and servo
For hopping I used a Graupner Speed 400 motor that has enough torque and speed. The servo lift the front of the car.
Lifted front suspension
With the servo pulling the line the front suspension meets the chassis lifting the car up.
lowered front suspension
The steering servo mounted to the center of the front suspension travelling up and down with it.
1/12 67 Impala three wheel
With the disc and arm setup turned all the way up the car will hit a mean three wheel.
High three wheel
The custom created front with the U-bar suspension.
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Electronics & Modifications

Not knowing anything about electronics like chips, transistors, mosfets, relays, etc. I had to school myself figuring out ways to add more functionality to this car.
I learned that the TX/RX5B chip that is used on this car has a total of 9 single functions and only 6 were used. I added transistors, resistors and relays and created functions like lifting and lowering the front, switching between hopping and lifting, lights, etc.

Later on I changed the rear setup adding aluminum to that it could lift even higher.
Two battery packs in the trunk of the car gave enought weight to make the hop nice and smooth.

Relay for hopping
I modified the original circuit board adding transistors to make use of all the functions the RX5B chip offers.
Relays and chips
After learning about electronics I added a timer chip to switch between lifting and hopping mode.
Potentio meter speed controler
because the car was quite fast I added a potentio meter to lower down the speed. It's not the best solution but it worked.
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The BeSwitched Video

Not knowing anything about GM sponsor deals of the '60's I came across this '67 Chevy Impala commercial that ran before the TV show Bewitched. I've seen a couple of those shows and I wanted to adapt that "neat"suburban setting and put something in it that comes from the streets like a lowrider car. Thus the name of the car: BeSwitched.

I shot all the footage indoors collected the Hana Barbara Bewitched animated stills from the internet and worked for many, many hours creating the video.