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Tamiya Blackfoot III - #58498 (Radio Controlled Model Review)

1/10 Scale Electric Monster Truck - WT-01 Chassis:

  Released by Tamiya on August 24, 2011, the Blackfoot III Monster Truck is based on the WT-01 Chassis which is simply the single gearbox 2WD version of the 4WD double gearbox WR-01 Chassis.

Tamiya Blackfoot III - WT-01
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  The Blackfoot III is in fact the 5th Monster Truck kit from Tamiya bearing the Blackfoot name. The number III is slightly misleading, but this can be explained, as it is the third Blackfoot to have a side-step body. This body has been reintroduced after a long absence.

  The kit comes with the single gearbox pre-assembled and for this reason is marketed as being an ideal kit for beginners and first time assemblers.

  The design employs an orbital gear differential, a standard silver can electric motor and four coil spring over friction shock absorbers. For improved handling these should be upgraded to oil filled.

  Like many Tamiya models, the kit comes with nylon/plastic and sintered brass bush type bearings, that after a short while, when dust and grit get into them, will abrade the metal drive shafts that spin in them. If you are building this kit to race seriously these should be replaced by steel ball bearings.

  Many fans of the Blackfoot range had hoped for a 4WD option this time, but it was explained by Tamiya that this development would mean that the resultant model would have been much more expensive.


      Rating: 4.54.5 Stars out of 5 Reviewed by: RCScrapyard     Manual.

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Tamiya Blackfoot III #58498 WT-01 - Chassis
Tamiya Blackfoot III #58498 WT-01 Chassis
Tamiya Blackfoot III #58498 WT-01
Tamiya Blackfoot III #58498 WT-01 Body Shell

Buying a Used Tamiya Blackfoot III
Monster Truck (and What to look for)


   Buying a used Tamiya Blackfoot III Electric Monster Truck, 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 Monster Truck you may discover can easily be fixed.

Dampers
   When you receive your used Tamiya Monster Truck, 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 Blackfoot III 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 Blackfoot III 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 Blackfoot III Monster Truck 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 Monster Truck 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 Monster Truck 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 Monster Truck 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 Monster Truck 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 Blackfoot III 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 Blackfoot III 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 Monster Truck 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 Blackfoot III model and good racing.


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★ Tamiya Blackfoot III ★
Tamiya Blackfoot III - #58498 - 1:10 Electric RC Monster Truck


Ball Differentials


   Ball differentials were developed in the late 1980s to replace the high friction Gear differentials. Mainly used on Tamiya Touring Cars, Le-Mans and Formula One Cars, Ball Differentials are designed to be totally frictionless and smooth in action to provide effortless drive to the wheels on cornering, where the inside wheels must rotate slower than the outside wheels for controlled stability.

   Basically, the configuration of the Ball Differential is a number of small case hardened steel balls, spaced in a plastic cage that is in effect the drive gear for the axle. On each side of the gear are two hardened and tempered pressure plates that clamp over the steel balls, held in position by a screw through the centre of the assembly, incorporating a small thrust bearing and coil spring. The adjustment of this screw is crucial to the effectiveness of the differentials action. Too tight and the free movement of the diff is restricted. Too loose and the balls will slip on the plates when accelerating out of the corner, not only reducing drive, but damaging the balls and pressure plates not good. The optimum setting is obviously somewhere in between and is where the small coil spring is important. It must be compressed, but not fully, to provide the desired exact pressure required. With a little practise setting up the diff become second nature. Patience is the word for this procedure.

   Lubrication of Ball Differentials is essential for that smooth operation and special greases have been developed that allow the balls to roll freely in the cage and push aside as they roll over the pressure plates.

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



General Information and Advice

   RC is one of those sports that can be simply bashing around the back yard, or taken to the extreme of National and International Racing: For those who would like to enter this world of miniature Models, here are a few basic Hints: Firstly, buy a Kit not an RTR. Then, if something does break on your model, the experience you gain by building the kit will give you some idea how to fix it.

   Radio Controlled Model Cars are easily broken. Wishbones, Suspension Shock Towers, Dampers etc are prone to damage, so make sure you have a good strong front bumper and never run your car without its Body Shell in place.

   The Steering Servo is also a weakness, so if your kit does not have one, get yourself a good quality Servo Saver. I would also recommend you replace the soft steel Turnbuckles, Tie Rods and pivot/steering shafts with Titanium versions and if you get serious about your racing, lightweight Titanium Drive shafts, dog bones and CVD (Constant Velocity Drives). The standard steel ones bend far too easily.

   Gears in RC model cars often cause problems. Head on collision accidents can damage gear teeth on Nylon/Plastic Spur Gears and sometimes even the Bevel Gears inside the Gearbox. Hard impacts may also slacken the nuts and self taping screws that fix the Motor in Position, making it possible for the Pinion Gear to pull out of mesh a little and damage the teeth on your Spur Gear. To try and prevent this, you should always fit locking (Nyloc) nuts and if your mount uses self tapping screws, change the plastic motor mount occasionally to ensure a tight fit.

   Plastic Ball Connectors can cause problems. For top level Radio Controlled model car racing, they need to be checked for tightness and if considered necessary changed after every race meeting. Something like a loose fitting connector popping off could easily lose you the race, so always err on the side of caution.

   Quite a number of New car kits come with Plastic and Sintered Brass Ring type bearings. These can cause problems if at some time in the future you want to fit a full set of ball bearings so I recommend you discard the brass and plastic types before installation and get yourself a Hop-up set of Shielded Steel Ball Bearings.

   Finally, try to keep the Centre of Gravity of your model as low as you can. This can vastly improve the handling of your car when cornering at high speed. For On Road Drift/Touring cars the Ride Height should be around 5mm, for Buggys, Trucks, Truggys and Monster Trucks, as low as practical for the track conditions. Body Roll can be reduced by using Stabilizers, Anti roll or Sway Bars. Tuning Springs may also help with thicker, or thicker Silicon Oil in the Shock Absorbers. Also look towards mounting the Transponder as low as you can in the Chassis.

For Car Setup Information check out our Hints and Tips page.







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