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Tamiya Calsonic Skyline GT-R 2003 - #58314 (Radio Controlled Model Review)

1/10 Scale Electric Touring Car - TT-01 Chassis:

  Released by Tamiya on December 10, 2003, this TT-01 Chassis electric RC model, is of the Nissan Calsonic Skyline GT-R, that raced in the 2003 Japan GT Championship.

  The Tamiya Lexan polycarbonate body shell realistically recreates the Nissan GT-R body styling. Separately molded side mirrors and rear wing, along with slick tires mounted on one piece racing spoke wheels are included in the kit.

Tamiya Calsonic Skyline GT-R 2003 - #58314 TT-01
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  The budget priced TT-01 Chassis was introduced by Tamiya in 2003 to replace the highly successful TL-01 that had been used for over thirty RC models since its introduction in 1997.

  A silver can 540 motor, coil spring over friction shock absorbers and plastic bush type bearings come as standard in this low budget model.

  The Differentials are orbital gear type and should be greased at regular intervals to avoid excessive wear. My recommendation is to use molybdenum grease.

  The bathtub chassis has battery cut-outs for ladder type packs, but will accommodate stick (shotgun) packs also. A low centre of gravity and good balance provide much improved handling over the TL-01.

  A number of hop-ups are available for the TT-01 to improve performance, but there is one I would recommend before you first assemble the kit. As mentioned before, the kit comes with plastic/nylon 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 shielded ball bearings.


      Rating: 44 Stars out of 5 Reviewed by: RCScrapyard     Manual.

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Tamiya Calsonic Skyline GT-R 2003 #58314 TT-01 - Chassis
Tamiya Calsonic Skyline GT-R 2003 #58314 TT-01 Chassis
Tamiya Calsonic Skyline GT-R 2003 #58314 TT-01
Tamiya Calsonic Skyline GT-R 2003 #58314 TT-01 Body Shell

Buying a Used Tamiya Calsonic Skyline GT-R
Touring Car (and What to look for)


   Buying a used Tamiya Calsonic Skyline GT-R 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 Calsonic Skyline GT-R 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 Calsonic Skyline GT-R 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 Calsonic Skyline GT-R 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 Calsonic Skyline GT-R 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 Calsonic Skyline GT-R 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 Calsonic Skyline GT-R model and good racing.


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Hints and Tips


How to Charge Rechargeable Batteries
for Radio Controlled Models

Ni-Cad (Nickel Cadmium) Batteries


1/  All Ni-Cad Batteries have to be Discharged soon after use. This is to avoid the dreaded "Memory" effect that on subsequent re-charges can cause a momentary drop in performance during a race. A simple discharger can be made from a car 12v bulb.

2/  Try to time your charge to complete just before a race. This will ensure maximum punch and duration. If a Ni-Cad is left to cool after a charge this advantage dissipates.

3/  The higher the charge current the more Punch the Ni-Cad battery will have (up to around 8 amps), however, the downside to this is a reduction in duration and effective battery life.

4/  Ni-Cad Batteries should be left to cool for about an hour after use before recharging. This will increase the effective life of the battery.


Ni-Mh (Nickel Metal Hydride) Batteries


1/  Never charge Ni-Mh batteries at a current higher than 4.5 amps. Although these batteries can give a higher voltage than Ni-Cad Batteries, they are much more sensitive and easy to damage if charged too quickly.

2/  Charging methods for Ni-Mh batteries can also be detrimental. The best I found was the "Slope" method. Avoid "Pulse" charging as this tends to effect crystal formation detrimentally and (it seems to kill them off) thus reduces duration over time.

3/  If using a temperature cut off charger on Ni-Mh batteries set to no more than 40 Degrees Centigrade. Any higher than this can damage the crystals.

4/  It is not necessary to discharge Ni-Mh Batteries. Unlike Ni-Cad batteries they do not develop a memory. Also, if they are totally discharged they sometimes will not charge straight after and need to be coaxed with a 10 minute trickle charge.

5/  Ni Mh Batteries can be recharged shortly after use without any discernable detrimental effects.


Li-Po (Lithium-Polymer) Batteries


1/  Li-Po batteries are a huge step forward in performance compared with Ni-Cad and Ni-Mh batteries. However, care has to be taken when charging. If certain procedures are not followed they could burst into flames or even explode, therefore I do not recommend Li-Po batteries for RC beginners.

2/  Li-Po batteries are more expensive and have a shorter effective life. Generally considered to be between 200 to 400 charge cycles compared to 1000+ for Ni-Cad and Ni-Mh.

3/  Consider a Battery pack listed as "2S 5000Mah 40c 2C".
"2S" is the number of cells in the pack, in this case 2 cells. Each cell provides around 3.7 Volts, so a 2S pack is around 7.4 Volts.
"5000Mah" (Mili-Amp-Hours) is the capacity. The amount of charge the pack can hold.
"40c" is the maximum Discharge rate. Which in our example would be calculated as 5000 (Mah) x 40 = 200000Ma (200 Amps).
"2C" is the maximum Charge rate. 1C being 5 Amps, so in our example 2 x 5 = 10 Amps.

4/  To safely charge your Li-Po Battery I would recommend a good Computerised charger, preferably one that can handle a Charge current of around 25A and always place the charging battery on a fireproof surface.

5/  Finally. NEVER leave your charging Li-Po battery unattended and NEVER EVER charge it above the recommended rate. When not in use, store with around 60% charge remaining in a fireproof box.


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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