RCScrapyard ► Iconic Vintage Radio Controlled (RC) Model Car Archive ► Tamiya Buggy Champ (Rough Rider) 2009. ITEM: #58441
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Tamiya Buggy Champ - #58441 (Radio Controlled Model)

1/10 Scale Electric Buggy - SRB v1 Chassis:

  Released by Tamiya on July 15, 2009, the Buggy Champ is often referred to as the re-release of the Rough Rider (#58015) that was first released in September 1979.

Tamiya Buggy Champ - #58441

  This model maintains lots of the Rough Rider exterior visual features, with an almost identical body, but internal parts have been improved to ensure the buggy is competitive with its contemporaries.

  The Chassis of the Buggy Champ comes with an aluminium reinforced FRP chassis plate, double trailing arm front suspension, swing axle rear suspension with oil filled dampers and three piece wheels with treaded tires.

  Also provided in the kit is a Lexan polycarbonate under cover to protect the speed controller, receiver and servo from dust and grit, a full set of steel shielded ball bearings, 540 motor and an Electronic Speed Controller (ESC).

  Collectors remain happy that the original is still obviously unique, but this re-release gives race goers chance to enjoy the reproduction model with added improvements.


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





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Tamiya Buggy Champ #58441 - Chassis
Tamiya Buggy Champ #58441 Chassis
Tamiya Buggy Champ #58441
Tamiya Buggy Champ #58441 Body Shell

Buying a Used Tamiya Buggy Champ
Buggy (and What to look for)


   Buying a used Tamiya Buggy Champ Electric Buggy, 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 Buggy you may discover can easily be fixed.

Dampers
   When you receive your used Tamiya Buggy, 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 Buggy Champ 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 Buggy Champ 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 Buggy Champ Buggy 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 Buggy 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 Buggy 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 Buggy 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 Buggy 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 Buggy Champ 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 Buggy Champ 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 Buggy 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 Buggy Champ model and good racing.


For More on how to Setup your Buggy, check out my Hints and Tips page.














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Tamiya Buggy Champ


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

Soldering Battery Packs

   Nicad and Nimh batteries sometimes come as six separate matched 1.2 volt cells. These of course have to be soldered to each other in series to produce either a side by side stick pack, or a two times three cell saddle pack.

   Special copper, or silver plated straps must be used to make up these packs and each strap must be prepared before attempting to solder it to the battery cell, by placing a blob of solder at each end of all the straps needed.

   A jig to hold the cells vertical and side by side is advisable. Using electrical solder, with a flux core (flux aids the flow and adhesion of the solder) heat your soldering iron to as hot as it will go. Then with the stick of solder touching on the end of the cell, touch it with the iron. What you want it to spread evenly on the central part of the pole of the cell. Count to 3 seconds. If it doesn't melt the solder in that time, your iron is not hot enough. Battery cells are notoriously very fragile and susceptible to the very high temperatures soldering requires. Anything longer than four or five seconds direct contact with the iron can cause damage to the crystal structure in the cell, so be wary.

   When you have solder on each end of each cell, line them up in the jig, positive to negative and dab a spot of flux on the soldered cells, then position your straps, with the solder coated side faced down, touching the solder on the end of the cell. Now place your hot iron on the strap. Heat will transfer through the strap and melt the solder on the two faces. Again, count to 3 and you should feel the strap drop slightly as the solder fuses with the solder on the cell. Repeat this for each cell on both sides to produce your desired configuration. Finally solder your two wires, previously prepared with connectors, to the pack. Do not solder wires with bare ends to your pack. If these wires were to touch and short out, you could effectively kill your expensive battery pack I use Red for positive and Black for negative, but so long as you know which is which electrical equipment does not like the battery to be connected the wrong way.

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









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