Continuing a long line of successful 1/8th scale cars, the Serpent 960 sets new standards in quality, ease of assembly, ease of use and outright performance. We believe this is the best car we have ever made. A first title in its debut race, the German Nationals, confirms this.
The Nine Sixty continues the long lineup of ultra-successful and highly-competitive 1/8th scale cars from Serpent, setting new standards in quality, ease of assembly, ease of use, and outright performance. The Nine Sixty represents refinement in all areas throughout the car.
Serpent 960 - A World Beater
The new main features of the Serpent 960 are new front and rear geometry, as well as new steering blocks and rear uprights. We have made all the parts fit together with the greatest of ease and work without any modifications. A lot of effort has also been made to make parts stronger in the case of an impact as well as improving wear resistance through the use of bearings in key areas or improving the bearings in other areas such as the wheel axles. With the 960 we also set out to make carrying spare parts a cost-effective exercise, so we have therefore used a lot of parts that can be used on both the left and right sides of the car; for example, rear upper & lower wishbones and uprights, and front suspension brackets.
One of the truly innovative features of this car is the new braking system. Through the ball-raced brake cam, two push-pins are moved horizontally to actuate the brakes. Due to the horizontal action of the push-pins, and not the twisting of the brake cam, all distortion in this area is removed and the brake pads are evenly pressed together. The brake cam is supported by ball-bearings for smooth, precise action. Additionally, this new system has been affixed to the bulkhead and therefore does away with the need for chassis pins to block the movement of the innermost brake pad. This further adds to the precision and exceptional stopping power of the braking system.
The RCC shock absorbers are the smoothest and easiest to build shocks ever designed. Machined from metal and unique in that the shock bodies only open on the bottom half, they are really simple to assemble. They come with a fixed piston and no longer use a diaphragm as with the previous shocks. The result is an ultra-smooth and air-free shock absorber thanks to the self-bleeding system incorporated into the design.
Another great benefit is that these shock absorbers come pre-assembled in the kit, so you need only add shock oil.
The Serpent 960 comes as standard with Blue front springs (hard) and Yellow rear springs (medium).
On the Serpent 960 the rear roll center is adjustable through the use of offset composite inserts, which position the wishbone pivot pins of the lower wishbones.
The rear camber rise can also be adjusted through the same method but on the upper rear wishbone pivot pins. The use of composite inserts means both adjustments can be easily made trackside.
As with the rear roll center, the front roll center can also be easily adjusted. The adjustment is done by removing the front upper suspension brackets and inserting spacers below the brackets and then re-attaching them to the car.
Another nice design feature is that the same front suspension bracket can be used on both the left and right sides of the car.
The rear anti-roll bar on the Serpent 960 has been ball-raced for extra precision and more accuracy when you change the setting of the aluminium adjustable anti-roll bar that now comes as standard in the kit.
Also, the anti-roll bar push rods have two possible mounting positions on the lower rear wishbones, these providing further tuning possibilities.
The rear body mount on the Serpent 960 is connected in several different ways to increase or decrease the downforce transmitted from the body to the rear wheels. Therefore you can adjust the rear body mount by changing where the side linkages attach to the body mount.
Also due to the new mounting position of the A-arms that hold the rear body mount, now mounted to the rear upper wishbones, the whole system is free from binding when setting rear toe-in, due to the fixed axis of movement of the upper wishbone.
Similar to the S950R throttle servo configuration, the 960 configuration has the throttle servo rotated so that the head of the servo is facing to the outside. This moves the heavy motor and other parts of the servo to the inside allowing for better weight distribution.
Whats unique about this is not the way that the linkage works, through the use of a pushrod, but the fact that the 960 also accommodates the traditional stand-up throttle servo layout. You now have the choice to mount your throttle servo as you prefer!
The laydown throttle servo assembly has been designed to fit in the standard servo mounting space, thus enabling the easy change over between configurations. If you decide to use the traditional upright mounting, you can mount the receiver next to the throttle servo as per the 710. Otherwise the receiver is in its standard place on the left side of the radio plate.
The steering servo is mounted on the right side directly to the bottom of the radio plate and hangs free from any other item. The steering system uses a single servo-saver, which features adjustable spring tension, a useful feature that allows you to make your car suit any track surface or layout. The servo-saver comes with four Ackerman options to help fine-tune the 960 steering characteristics. Adjustable steel track rods with left and right threads are standard. The pivot ball on the servo-saver arm can be accessed through a hole in the chassis to disconnect and re-connect the steering rod.
The new steering blocks have been designed not only for strength and to remove any flex in the part but due to its new design it also has performance benefits. The pivot ball positions have 0mm inclination (they are directly above each other) and 0mm offset, which gives a very neutral balance while at the same time giving more steering.
The front wheel axle comes standard with a composite spacer to fit between the two bearings to prevent damage and aid in the free running of the bearings.
Another feature on the 960 is the ability to adjust the wheelbase by up to 4mm. Simply achieved by placing caster spacers in different positions in front of or behind the top and bottom wishbones, the wishbones feature separate downstop arms to accommodate this.
The front shock tower of the Serpent 960 has been made from super-thick 3mm carbon fibre, which makes this part ultra crash resistant. The front shock tower also features two shock mounting positions to enable you to fine tune your car for any track conditions.
The rear shock tower of the Serpent 960 has also been made from super-thick 3mm carbon fibre, which again makes this part ultra crash resistant. The rear shock tower sports three shock mounting to help you fine-tune your cars handling trackside.
The rear suspension of the Serpent 960 features new geometry with longer lower wishbones to aid rear end traction and overall neutral handling. Besides the new geometry and the ability to adjust the camber rise and rear roll center, the biggest change to the rear suspension is the new rear upright.
Traditionally the rear suspension on Serpent 1/8th scale cars had fixed rear track-width due to a fixed upper pivot point on the upright. The new upright now features three pivot balls making it fully adjustable in all angles making for more complete adjustment and freedom of movement of the rear suspension.
The rear wheel axle comes standard with a composite spacer to fit between the two bearings to prevent damage and aid the free running of the bearings. The inside rear axle bearing has also been increased in size for better durability.
Another great feature of the new rear suspension is that the rear upright and the upper and lower wishbones can be used on both sides of the car; reducing the amount of spares you need to carry to the track.
The front suspension of the Serpent 960 features new geometry and also sports thicker and stronger wishbones, top and bottom. Fully-adjustable track-width, camber, and caster allows the new front suspension to be set to suit any driving style and track.
A great feature brought forward from the Serpent 950-R is the ability to adjust the tension of the front belt. The simple-to-use bearing eccentric holders allow for quick and easy setting.
The receiver mounting position on the Serpent 960 may be in two different positions, depending on whether you choose the laydown throttle servo mounting or the traditional upright throttle servo mounting.
If you mount the throttle servo using the laydown configuration, the receiver is mounted on the left side of the radio plate, between the fuel tank and the exhaust system.
If you mount the throttle servo using the traditional upright configuration, the receiver (and protective cover) can be mounted next to the throttle servo, similar to the Serpent 710.
The benefit of these alternative mounting positions is that it offers choices for electronics placement, as well as options for eliminating any recurring interference issues that may occur.
The backbone of the car is the chassis plate. It is the strongest and stiffest single-piece chassis available. CNC-machined from 5mm aerospace-quality aluminum, the Serpent 960 chassis plate should withstand all but the most severe crashes. The chassis plate comes with three cooling holes under the engine to aid temperature control, and is even narrower than the chassis of the 950R with chamfered edges to prevent it from catching on curbs giving it better overall ground clearance. It houses the battery pack, which is mounted into the newly-designed battery mounting plate and is held in place by four screws, screwed directly into the chassis plate itself. All screw holes are countersunk to ensure no protrusions when the chassis is running low to the ground.
Another unique feature is the two carbon-fibre side mounted chassis stiffeners. These plates form a strong bridge between the front and rear section of the 960, and are mounted directly to the radio plate bracket and to the rear bulkheads. They increase the chassis stiffness, an essential condition to make effective use of the sophisticated suspension adjustment options. The left chassis stiffener also houses the adjustable ball-raced belt tensioner, a simple and very effective system.
The Serpent 960 can be raced with or without the side stiffeners due to the rigid 5mm aerospace quality chassis.
The 2-speed gearbox is an evolution of the first 2-speed system invented by Serpent many years ago. A lighter and a much more efficient form, this gearbox is easy to adjust and assemble thanks to its simple design. The gearbox features large ball bearings (a 6x10mm and a 6x13mm) for extra durability and smoother rotation. The gears are mounted to the carriers with three small screws and come in a full range of gears available in combination with pinions for the Centax-II clutch.
Only the second design of the clutch system created by Serpent in the early 1990's, the Centax-II features larger ball bearings (a 5x13mm and a 5x10mm) as well as a larger thrustbearing (5x10mm). This increases durability and provides ultra-free movement of parts. Featuring an externally-adjustable clutch gap spacing method, and an innovative pivoting flyweight system, the Centax system is now a standard.
The battery mounting plate has been designed to be able to accommodate many different battery pack configurations, including the traditional 5 cell pack. The battery mounting plate is made of a 2mm black carbon material and is mounted to the chassis plate by four countersunk screws.
The radio plate support bracket, placed directly in front of the engine, also acts as the mounting point for the rollover bar. The rollover bar is shaped in such a way that it optimizes the car's weight distribution when in your hand. An optional aluminum radio plate support bracket (#902156) is available and allows for increased chassis stiffness and a more durable rollover bar mounting.
The 125cc fuel tank has been designed to accommodate the radio plate layout and has already had a years successful trouble-free running. Top mounted using rubber-covered aluminum mounting posts to isolate from vibrations and held in place by small body clips, this design also features three buffers to prevent fuel foaming and to also ensure every last drop of fuel has been picked up.
This tank is fitted with another Serpent innovation: the 'AFL' fuel tank lid. It contains an air chamber to prevent the backpressure tubing being blocked by fuel being forced back down it at high speed cornering. Also new is the lightweight pick up filter, now made from a special polypropylene. It is more efficient and further ensures the last drop of fuel is used.
The Serpent 960 comes standard with an adjustable front anti-roll bar. By rotating the 2 blades, you can easily adjust the stiffness.
The brake system ensures strong and efficient stopping power. The brake pads consist of two steel plates merged with braking material, and the brake disk is made from twin discs with an air-cooling center.
The front axle is made from high-grade aluminum and contains the best quality one-way bearings lubricated with Serpent one-way lube. This ensures a consistent drive to the front Spring Steel drive cups.
Made from Spring Steel, the front and rear wheel axles are very durable and ultra strong. They are a precision fit for the main bearings when mounted with the supplied shims to ensure a tight precise wheel fit.
Made from Spring Steel, the solid rear axle is very durable and ultra strong providing a perfect base to mount the rear drive pulley.
Supplied with new improved orange-sealed high-quality lightweight bearings throughout, the drive train is very efficient and runs very smoothly.
Serpent use only the highest-quality drive train in their cars, and the Serpent 960 is no exception. It comes supplied with the finest Spring Steel driveshafts capable of withstanding constant punishment; these shafts are ultra durable and very stiff allowing you to put all your power to the tarmac.
The Serpent 960 uses three Kevlar-reinforced main drive belts, driven by a series of composite pulleys mounted on aluminum pulley adapters. This allows for a very smooth and efficient drive system that can withstand severe punishment.
Made from Spring Steel, these polished 8.5mm pivot balls are virtually unbreakable and ensure the smoothest suspension movement possible.
The Serpent 960 comes standard with spring-loaded aluminum quick release levers. This reliable and time-saving system enables very quick tire changes during long distance races, allowing you to get back on the track in as little time as possible.
The front body mount of the Serpent 960 has been changed from that on the 950R. Using the rear two holes (of the 3 on the front bumper) the body mount is screwed down along with the bumper. Where it has been screwed down allows for some flex in the body post mounts whilst keeping the stiffness of the overall assembly. The body mount is held further through two screws mounted from the side.
Using a spring-type mounting wire to isolate vibrations, the spring is attached to the car by means of an aluminum mounting post attached to the radio plate.
The car contains high-quality steel screws throughout.
As seen on the circuits of the world since the middle of 2004, these beautiful wheels have proved themselves to be great in the corners and everywhere else on the track due to their non-deforming construction. Fluorescent yellow in colour, they are supplied with the Serpent 960 kit, minus the tyres.
To enable you to start your Serpent 960 with the greatest of ease, Serpent provides the necessary alignment brackets for your Powerstart starter box.
The Serpent 960 is a top-level competition racer and is therefore fully adjustable. The racer can change numerous settings easily and effectively, including the suspension geometry. The downstops can be easily accessed and easily adjusted with optimum effect. Caster, track-width, toe-in, camber, camber rise, and wheelbase can also be adjusted with ease, as well as the front and rear roll-center and rear body mount mounting angle.
To allow you to build your car with the greatest of ease, Serpent supplies a full colour instruction manual. Also supplied with the car is a separate brochure containing all the exploded views and latest options.
Previously only available with the Serpent 710, we have now created a new Serpent 960 Setup Book which contains set-up solutions, diagrams and detailed theory. Also included is a Serpent 960 decal sheet and blank set-up sheet.