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Tamiya Desert Fielder - #58537 (Radio Controlled Model Review)

1/10 Scale Electric Truck - TA-02T Chassis:

  Released by Tamiya on August 8, 2012, the Desert Fielder has been designed specifically for off-road, pick-up truck racing and is based on the successful TA-02T (T for Truck) Chassis.

Tamiya Desert Fielder - #58537 TA02T - 1:10 Electric RC Truck
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  The shaft-driven full-time 4WD chassis is equipped with double wishbone suspension, coil spring over oil filled shock absorbers, front orbital bevel gear differential, rear pressure plate ball differential and tires with a realistic block tread pattern, ideal to provide the racer with exciting cross-country, off-road and on-road Radio Controlled action.

  The Desert Fielder Kit comes with a highly detailed lexan body shell with decals and Includes the Tamiya TEU-105BK ESC (Electronic Speed Controller) and a 540 brushed silver can Motor. A battery pack, charger and radio equipment must be purchased separately.

  The kit comes with plastic and sintered brass bush type bearings, that after a short while, when dust and grit get into them, actually wear into the metal drive shafts that spin in them - if you are building this kit to race seriously, these should be discarded and replaced by a full set of steel shielded ball bearings.

  To get the best from the Tamiya TA-02T Chassis, it needs to be fine tuned to hug the corners at high speed, without slipping off the track. Small adjustments can make a Big difference and our simple to understand, step by step procedure, will guide you to the best Set-up for your driving style.


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

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Tamiya Desert Fielder #58537 TA-02T - Chassis
Tamiya Desert Fielder #58537 TA-02T Chassis
Tamiya Desert Fielder #58537 TA-02T
Tamiya Desert Fielder #58537 TA-02T Body Shell

Buying a Used Tamiya Desert Fielder
Truck (and What to look for)


   Buying a used Tamiya Desert Fielder Electric 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 Truck you may discover can easily be fixed.

Dampers
   When you receive your used Tamiya 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 Desert Fielder 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 Desert Fielder 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 Desert Fielder 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 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 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 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 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 Desert Fielder 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 Desert Fielder 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 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 Desert Fielder model and good racing.




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My First National

   When I first started in RC, way back in the late 1980s, I would turn up to the weekly club meeting, with my Tamiya Boomerang, transmitter, two sets of crystals, a couple of batteries, a charger and a tool box with a wheel spanner and a few spares.
   It was three five minute qualifying rounds and a final and every month we would have a trophy meeting. The trophies were donated by a two of the older semi professional guys who basically ran the club and over the years had collected what must have been hundreds of trophies and had no space for them anymore. The lure of a trophy always brought out the "not as enthusiastic types" and the small church function room was always packed on those nights.
   About a year in, my collection of B final trophies was beginning to clutter my room and my dad bought me the new Tamiya Manta Ray. That was the big turning point in my RC career.
   From then on it was A finals all the way. Then one day in the summer of 1992 the club organisers (the semi pro guys) asked me if I would like to go to a BIG national meeting way down south in Malvern. I asked my dad and with a bit of prompting he said "why not".
   When we got to that meeting we found there were around a hundred competitors, with ten groups of ten. I was in group "H". and two of my friends who came down with us were in group "I" so were on just before me.
   I remember that first race like it was yesterday. It was a staggered start and I set off next to last. I had never raced on a proper outdoor dirt track before. My only experience was on indoor carpet, but my old Manta Ray took off like a bullet. Most of the others in my heat were rookies and by the end of the third lap I was up with the leader. He was good very good but I stuck to him like glue. Each twist, turn and jump brought me closer and closer, this guy was fast, but I was faster for a while anyway. A lap before the end my old over worked 1400mah battery, was struggling to give me what I needed to keep up with him and my buggy got slower and slower. I ended up third in that first race, but wasn't about to give up that easy.
   There was a shop at the meeting and straight after the race I nagged my dad to get me a new battery. In those days money was tight and normally before dad would spend anything he would consult my mum, but this time she wasn't there and after watching my performance in that race he didn't need much pushing to get me that badly needed new battery.
   Waiting for the second round seemed to take an age, but when it arrived I was pumped up and ready with steely determination. I was away third after finishing third in the first round, so my duel with the guy who beat me before carried on where it had left off. Two laps in and I was on his tail. He wasn't going to beat me this time. We lapped a couple of back markers and were quickly catching up to a third. He slipped past him in a flash, but when I moved in, the idiot drove straight into me, knocking my Manta Ray on its back. The marshal was oblivious to my plight. I shouted my head of but the marshals eyes were fixed on what I guess was the car of one of his friends in my race. The next thing I saw was my dad, bounding across the track like a gazelle, picking up my car, putting it on the track and giving me the thumbs up. I drove like the wind, passing car after car, slowly working back up to third, where I eventually finished.
   But it didn't end there. Because my dad had ran out onto the track, I was disqualified we pleaded our case and eventually were allowed to continue.
   The third round heat arrived. This time I wasn't going to let anything stop me. My focus was to win that race and beat that guy who had all the luck so far. Because of the previous race I set off last. Car after car was left in my wake, until once more it was me against him. Mano a mano, he saw it was me and he upped his game. Lap after lap we duelled for the lead. Coming into the very last lap I was a nose in front and pulling away. With each corner I could sense the battery was once again giving up and my car started to slow down. Corner after corner I could see him getting closer and closer. we got to the final straight and he was right on top of me breathing down my neck. I held my breath and jammed over the throttle leaver and just crossed the line before him I had won my first national heat race. and it wasn't to be the last.

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

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.









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