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Tamiya Blackfoot - #58058 (Radio Controlled Model Review)

1/10 Scale Electric RC Monster Truck - ORV Chassis:

  Released by Tamiya on October 8, 1986, the Blackfoot was the first model to make radio controlled monster truck racing popular around the world. This was especially noted in the USA.

Tamiya Blackfoot - #58058
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  The design, based on a modified ORV Chassis, was very realistic and attention had been taken to the detail of the Ford F150 Ranger body shell. The tires were the correct size and along with the front double wishbone, rear-trailing arms and friction shocks, made the truck robust for small jumps and rough terrain. The chassis was particular sturdy and was often known as "bullet-proof" by its drivers as it seemed impenetrable.

  On the negative side, the front and rear mounts were liable to break when negotiating anything larger than small jumps. However, with its interesting rear suspension design and superb exterior styling this car remains fun to collect and drive.


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

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Tamiya Blackfoot #58058 - Chassis
Tamiya Blackfoot #58058 Chassis
Tamiya Blackfoot #58058
Tamiya Blackfoot #58058 Body Shell

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


   Buying a used Tamiya Blackfoot 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 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 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 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 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 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 model and good racing.


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Hints and Tips


Electric Motors for RC Models

Winds and Turns

Q/  What does 15x2 or 17x3 mean?
A/  The first number relates to the number of times the wires are wound round each of the 3 armature segments, the second number relates to the number of wires side by side. So a 15x2 would have 2 wires laid side by side and wrapped around each segment 15 times.

Q/  What is the difference in performance between a Low Turn motor (eg 11x1) and a High Turn motor (eg 27x1)?
A/  A Motor with Less Turns like an 11x1 means high current draw from the batteries which corresponds to less runtime, but More Power (Torque or Punch) Best for tracks with lots of corners and short straights where fast acceleration is needed. (use a small pinion)
Motors with More Turns like a 27x1 give you More runtime, but Less Power. So you get a smoother response and are therefore easier to drive. Better for less experienced drivers and Long straight, sweeping corner tracks. (with a large pinion) This is correct for Brushed, Modified and Stock Motors as well as Brushless Motors.

Q/  How do the number of winds effect a motor?
A/  A Motor with More Winds (number of wires eg 13x5) is less demanding on the battery and smoother in acceleration. Best for low grip, slippery tracks.
A Low Wind Motor (eg 11x1) is more punchy and can be difficult to handle. Best on high grip, hot weather Tarmac, or indoor carpet, high acceleration, low speed tracks.

Advance and Retard

Q/  What is Advance and Retard?
A/  On the Endbell of a Modified Motor (where the brushes fit) you will find two screws that hold the Endbell to the Can. If these screws are slackened off slightly the Endbell can then be twisted either Clockwise (Advance) or Anticlockwise (Retard). On Sensorless Brushless Motors this adjustment can generally be made in a similar way (although there are some Brushless Motors that have fixed timing for Spec level racing). Sensored Motors can be adjusted via the ESC.

Q/  What does "Advancing" the Endbell position do?
A/  Advancing the Endbell Reduces runtime, increases Punch (acceleration) and RPM to give a higher top speed.
On the down side, for Brushed Motors, the brushes wear faster and the increased current draw creates more arcing thus increased heat and Commutator (Comm) wear. Brushless Motors can lose some efficiency at the end of a race because of overheating due to increased current draw.

Q/  What does "Retarding" the Endbell position do?
A/  On both Brushed and Brushless Motors, Retarding the Endbell Increases runtime, decreases Punch (acceleration) and RPM to give a lower top speed and for Brushed Motors, brush wear and Commutator (Comm) wear is reduced.

Brushed Motor Basics

Q/  What is the effect of hard and soft Brushes?
A/  Basically, Hard brushes give a lower current draw, so consequently give longer run times and lower torque so less punch (acceleration)
Soft Brushes on the other hand increase current draw thus give higher torque and increased acceleration. Of course the down side of this is that Soft brushes wear much faster and must be changed more often. (I change mine when they get to around 5mm)

Q/  How does changing the brush spring change the motor?
A/  If you fit Stiffer Brush Springs your motor will have More power at low revs and also a lower top speed. I only ever fit stiff springs on bumpy tracks to reduce brush bounce.
Weaker springs reduce power but increase RPM so give less acceleration but a higher top speed. Good for long, sweeping, smooth tracks, where you can carry good speed through the corners.

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



Hints and Tips

Painting a Lexan Body Shell.

   Most RC Model kits come with an unpainted, clear Lexan plastic Body Shell you yourself must prepare and paint. This type of Body Shell is painted on the inside and special spray or brush on Polycarbonate Paints MUST be used.

   The beauty of this is you can go wild and show off your artistic ability, or simply choose your favourite colour and add some choice decals later.

   This article is for those who have never done this kind of thing before and need some basic guidance.


   Firstly, cut off the waste from the body shell with sharp scissors. If required finish off the rounded wheel arches with smooth sandpaper wrapped around a drinks can.

   Any holes for body posts must also be drilled before painting. Place the clear body shell over the model and adjust the posts so the shell is in the desired position. Where the posts touch the shell make a small dot with a marker pen.
Next, pierce small holes in the shell where the dots are from the inside. Place the shell on an old piece of wood and drill the post holes, again, from the inside.

   The next thing to do is clean it inside and out. Any small amount of impurity such as oil or grease could impair the adhesion of the paint.
For this, fill a bowl with water and use a small amount of washing up liquid with a soft sponge. Never use a scourer. Rinse well to ensure no residue remains.

   Most Body Shells come with a set of sticky back paper masks for the windows etc that are positioned on the inside. If not supplied, you will have to either make your own, or use masking tape. Run your thumb nail around the edges of each mask to ensure contact paint can creep into any open area and easily ruin your hard work, so please be vigilant.

   Tip: To protect against paint spilling out onto the outside of the body shell, use masking tape around the outside edges and wheel arches.

   Now you are ready to begin applying your paint. Find a well ventilated area and if spraying, use a breathing mask.
Three or four sprayed, or at least two brushed layers are recommended allowing around thirty minutes between layers.

   Once the paint is fully dry, to protect the paint from scratching, spray or brush over it with one or two layers of clear plastic varnish.

   When the varnish is completely dry, carefully remove the window masks. If necessary, use a modelling knife to lift an edge to grasp between your thumb and finger DO NOT RUSH.

   Decals can now be placed on your body shell. So they adhere better I recommend any square edges are rounded. This reduced the tendency for them to peel off.

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









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