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Tamiya Brabham BT50 BMW Turbo (Competition Special) - #58031 (Radio Controlled Model Review)

1/10 Scale Electric Formula One Car - F1-CS Chassis:

  Released by Tamiya on September 30, 1982, the Brabham BT50 BMW Turbo was the last Tamiya F1 model with the tried and trusted F1-CS flat pan FRP chassis. Like all the Competition Special models, this car had good speed and handling and in the ever increasing hobby of RC racing was a perfect beginner's car.

Tamiya Brabham BT50 BMW Turbo - #58031
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  The body shell, as always with Tamiya models, was exact in every detail to the original F1 racing car, right down to the wing mirrors, which are now almost impossible to find if replacements are needed.

  The Brabham BT50 BMW Turbo was not produced in great quantities, hence the extreme rarity of this Tamiya classic. This makes the car very expensive to collectors. Occasionally one will come to auction, but at a price.


      Rating: 33 Stars out of 5 Reviewed by: RCScrapyard     Manual.

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Tamiya Brabham BT50 BMW Turbo #58031 - Chassis
Tamiya Brabham BT50 BMW Turbo #58031 Chassis
Tamiya Brabham BT50 BMW Turbo #58031
Tamiya Brabham BT50 BMW Turbo #58031 Body Shell

General Information and Advice

   For those starting in Radio Controlled Racing, here are a few Hints and Tips: Firstly, buy a Kit not an RTR. That way, if something breaks you will have some idea how to fix it.

   Radio Controlled Model Cars are very fragile and easily broken. The main parts to protect are the Front Wishbones, Suspension Shock Towers, Dampers, Hub Carriers, Kingpins, Uprights and Toe in Blocks, so make sure you have a good strong front bumper and Lexan or Hard Plastic Body Shell and if available for your model, a protective under tray, to prevent grit and dust getting into any moving parts.

   The Steering Servo is also a weakness in high speed crash situations, so get yourself some good strong Servo Mount and Servo Saver. Also I would recommend Titanium Shafts, Turnbuckles, Tie Rods and pivot/steering shafts and if available for your model, lightweight Titanium Drive shafts, dog bones and CVD (Constant Velocity Drives). The standard steel types are far too easily bent.

   Gearing is another problem area on RC model cars. Head on collisions can easily break off gear teeth on Nylon/Plastic Spur Gears and even Bevel Gears inside the Gearbox. Heavy impacts can also loosen nuts and self taping screws that hold the Motor in Position, allowing the Pinion Gear to pull out of mesh slightly and rip the tops of the teeth on your Spur Gear. To avoid this to some degree, fit locking nuts and a new motor mount from time to time, so the self taping screws that hold the motor in position have less chance to come loose.

   Ball joints always cause problems. For top level Radio Controlled model 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 breaking free could easily end your race, so better safe than sorry.

   Many New car kits come with Nylon and Sintered Brass Ring type bearings. My advice is to discard these before initial installation and buy a good Hop-up set of Shielded Steel Ball Bearings. Or if you are serious about your racing, Teflon or Ceramic Bearings.

   One final piece of advice about the Setup of your Car. Keep the Centre of Gravity as low as possible. Ride Height is all important. For On Road Drift/Touring cars the Ride Height should be no more than 5mm, for Buggys, Trucks, Truggys and Monster Trucks, as low as possible depending on the track conditions. If Body Roll is a problem, handling can be improved with the use of Stabilizers, Anti roll or Sway Bars, stiffer Tuning Springs and, or thicker Silicon Oil in the Dampers. Also find somewhere to mount the Transponder as low in the Chassis as possible.

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Or, check out our RC Model Car Setup Guide













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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.

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.








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