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Tamiya Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTA - #58187 (Radio Controlled Model Review)

1/10 Scale Electric M-Chassis Model Car - M-02M Chassis:

  Released by Tamiya on December 10, 1996, this self assembly Radio Controlled Model, based on the medium wheelbase version of the M02 chassis, the M02M, is of the Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTA.

Tamiya Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTA - #58187 M-04M
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  The first M-Chassis model, designated the M01, was released in 1994, specifically for the Rover Mini Cooper (#58149) as a Front mounted motor, Front Wheel Drive model. The M02 is exactly the opposite. Rear mounted motor, Rear Wheel Drive.

  The design is not without its problems however. The curious steering set-up isn't the best and the horizontally mounted friction mono shocks are next to useless for fine tuning. Changing these for oil filled versions and softer springs, improves the cars handling considerably.

  Like the majority of the radio controlled models produced by Tamiya around 80s and 90s the car disappointingly came with the plastic/nylon and sintered brass bush type bearings. If installed, the grease on these bearings collect dust and grit that actually abrades the shafts spinning in them, so if you do fit ball bearings at a later time they are sloppy on the shafts not good To avoid this problem, a full set of steel ball bearings should be installed on first build.


      Rating: 3.53.5 Stars out of 5 Reviewed by: RCScrapyard     Manual.

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Tamiya Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTA #58187 M-02M - Chassis
Tamiya Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTA #58187 M-02M Chassis
Tamiya Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTA #58187 M-02M
Tamiya Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTA #58187 M-02M Body Shell

Buying a Used Tamiya Alfa Romeo
Touring Car (and What to look for)


   Buying a used Tamiya Alfa Romeo Electric Touring Car, or any used RC Model, has a number of advantages. It is generally cheaper than new, ready built and may come with a variety of expensive hop-ups already installed. Cheap, pre-loved bargains are always becoming available. However, depending on the age of your purchase, it may need a little tender loving care before you can take it out on the back yard.

   The one thing you will always need is an instruction manual. If not supplied with your purchase, they can often be downloaded from the Tamiya website, or purchased separately on eBay. With an instruction manual, any problems with your model Touring Car you may discover, can easily be fixed.

Dampers
   When you receive your used Tamiya Touring Car, make a general visual inspection of the chassis, front and rear wishbones, suspension shock towers etc, for any broken parts that may need to be replaced. Then, take a screwdriver and box spanner and check each self tapping screw and nut for security, taking care not to over tighten.

   Next, for those Tamiya models with oil filled shock absorbers, remove them from the chassis and dismantle the coil springs. The damper shafts should push in and pull out with a smooth action. If you feel a jolt as you change direction, this means the oil has leaked out and must be topped up. At the same time, change the O-Ring seals to prevent more leakage. Also check the damper shafts for damage. If they are scratched, change them as soon as possible.

   If the body shell of your Tamiya Alfa Romeo is broken, ripped or damaged in any way, this can be easily repaired with rubber solution glue. Also, for added protection and if available for your Alfa Romeo model, fit an under guard to stop dirt and gravel entering the chassis.

Titanium Turnbuckles
   Examine the drive shafts for wear and replace as required. If possible, change them for titanium. The steel shafts wear and bend too easily.

   If you intend to race your Alfa Romeo Touring Car model at a competitive level, I would also recommend you obtain and fit titanium pivot shafts, turnbuckles, tie rods and steering rods.

   On Belt driven models, the Drive Belts need checking at regular intervals for wear, tension and damage. If deemed necessary, adjust the tensioning pulley until the belt can be depressed in the centre by no more than around 5mm. If the belt was slack, also examine the drive pulleys for wear. The teeth should provide a well seated fit for the belt teeth and not be rounded on the corners. If the belt teeth do not fit snugly, change the pulleys as soon as possible. For top level racing it may be prudent to replace all belts and pulleys after each race meeting.

   For Gear driven models, the gearbox of your used Touring Car should be opened up to check for gear wear and lubrication. A thin coat of grease is often used on internal gears and although this is fine for basic running around on the back yard, if you intend to race your Touring Car at a higher level, this should be removed and replaced with racing oil (ZX1 or Teflon Oil). Of course, this should be reapplied after each race meeting.

Spur Gears
   Gears are a weakness on all Touring Car RC models. Head on collisions can easily damage the gear teeth on nylon and plastic spur gears. Heavy impacts can also loosen the nuts or self tapping screws that hold the Electric Motor in Position, allowing the pinion gear to pull out of mesh slightly and rip the tops off the teeth on your spur gear. To minimise this possibility, fit bolts with locking nuts to the Electric Motor mount and remember to check them for security after every two or three runs.

   Ball joints always cause problems. For top level Electric Touring Car racing, the plastic ball connectors should be checked and if deemed necessary, changed after every meeting. A simple thing like a loose fitting connector popping off, could easily end your race, so better safe than sorry.

Servo Gears
   The Alfa Romeo steering servo is also prone to damage. In high speed crash situations, the fragile gear teeth of the servo can be broken off, rendering your expensive servo useless, so be sure to obtain a good quality "Servo Saver". Check out my Servo Information article.

   If body roll on your Tamiya Alfa Romeo is a problem, handling can be improved with the use of stabilizers, anti roll or sway bars, stiffer tuning springs and, or, thicker silicone oil in the dampers.

Ball Bearings
   If your used Tamiya Touring Car comes with plastic and sintered brass bushings (ring type bearings), check the shafts that run in them for wear. Dust and grit can get into these bearings and abrade the shafts. Therefore, you should replace them all with shielded ball bearings. If the model has been run with ring type bearings, you may have to change all the axles and driveshafts. For more information, take a look at my article, How to get the best from your Bearings.

   Finally, good luck with your Alfa Romeo model and good racing.


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Tamiya Alfa-Romeo-Giulia-Sprint-GTA


Hints and Tips

Battery Connectors

   Over the years I have been racing radio controlled model cars of all descriptions, I have tried a number of different connectors for my batteries.

   My first car was a Tamiya Boomerang and of course the batteries I used all had the standard Tamiya connectors, which were fine with the kit supplied 27T silver can electric motor, but I soon discovered their problem when I installed my first Modified motor. The high current demands of the motor created so much heat, the plastic surround of the connectors melted and fused together. No matter how I tried they could not be disconnected. My only option was to cut the wires.

   From there I moved over to Corally connectors, commonly referred to by many now as Bullet connectors. Comprising of a short length of 4mm gold plated tube at one end and what looks like what we used to call a Chinese lantern fitting that slotted inside the tube, also gold plated. Although they were highly efficient and reasonably easy to install and use, I never really took to this type of connector, I think it was the fact each connector was exposed, leaving the possibility of a short circuit.

   Then I remember buying some second hand batteries at an area meeting one day, they had these little red block connectors I soon learned were "Deans" rated at around 40 Amps. The looked like just what I was looking for so I gave them a try. They worked fine, although I didn't like the shortness of the part to be soldered. However, for about two years they were my connector of choice, until I stumbled across an advert in the "Radio Race Car International" magazine.

   The latest development of connectors at that time were named "Power Pole" and rated at 45 Amps. A small tube, plated with silver, with a short extending lip, that slotted over the exposed wire. This could either be crimped onto the wire or soldered. For safety and efficiency, I preferred the latter. Then to complete the connector, a colour coded plastic cover fitted neatly over it. The connector is still the most efficient I have come across and never overheats. That was way back in 1995 and I am still using them to this day. So, if you are looking for a connector to solve your overheating problems "Power Pole" is the one I recommend.

For More Setup Information check out my Hints and Tips page.


Hints and Tips

Keeping Notes

   If all you will ever do is go racing at your local track every week, then this article is not for you. However, if you ever look towards travelling around to different tracks around the country, or even the world, the value of keeping notes is all too obvious.

   Every time I raced in a regional or national competition meeting, I would make detailed notes, aided by a little local knowledge initially and later fine tuned to suit my own driving style.

   My experience now means there are few, if any outdoor tarmac tracks within a 300 mile radius I haven been to and my notes on motor, gearing, camber angles, shock settings, tire choice and what inserts work best for that particular track, amongst others, allow me to save valuable time on the finer points of car setup, that can be done in the warmth of my own home on the kitchen table days before the meeting, instead of the often crippling heat, or the arduous conditions inside a wind blown tent.

   There are lots of methods for making notes on setup. The easiest perhaps is to download the blank pages often supplied by your cars manufacturer with a line drawing of your car and spaces for you to fill in as to the setting you prefer. Great if each time you go to a particular track the conditions are always constant. Notes made on a cold windy day will be little use on a hot sunny days racing on the same track.

   Manufacturers setup pages for their top drivers can also be useful as a starting point, but you should never take that setup as being the best there could ever be.

   So, the first note you should make is of the weather conditions. The wind and its direction isn't really what I am talking about, although it can have an effect on your cars handling, it is not something you can change your setup to handle. Track temperature and humidity are the main things to note. Not the average for the day, but for each round of racing. And note what tires you used and how the car handled in each race. Detail everything that might be useful in the future, no matter how trivial.

   Note the motor used and the gearing. Check the temperature of the motor after the race, how much charge is left in the batteries. You may have won the race, but there is always room for improvement your competitors will be doing just that.

   Every bit of information you compile will be useful for the next time you visit that particular venue. Weather forecasts these days are far more accurate than they used to be, so the adage "fore warned is fore armed" fits the bill. Simply search through your notes and find a day you raced with similar conditions to those forecast and set up your car to suit. But don't stop there.

   The conditions may be the same as they were when you made your notes, but that doesn't mean you can't improve your setup. Your practice laps will soon prove if your previous setup was correct, or give you a basis for more fine tuning.

   If you want to be the best, you have to work at it. Success doesn't come easy. You can be the best driver around, but if your setup isn't perfect you will never step up onto the winners rostrum. My motto if you never try anything, you never do anything. And if you never do anything wrong, you aren't trying hard enough.

For More Setup Information check out my Hints and Tips page.








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