RCScrapyard ► Iconic Vintage Radio Controlled (RC) Model Car Archive ► Tamiya Fiat-500. ITEM #58427/#57787 M-03M
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Tamiya Fiat 500 - #58427 (Radio Controlled Model Review)

1/10 Scale Electric M-Chassis Model Car - M-03M Chassis:

  Released by Tamiya on March 18, 2009, this M03M medium wheelbase chassis based Radio Controlled model is of the much loved Fiat 500.

Tamiya Fiat-500
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  This was the seventh Tamiya model to use the M03 chassis, the first being the Rover Mini Cooper Racing car (#58211). The construction of this chassis has three variations. There is the basic M03 short wheelbase, the M03M medium wheelbase and the M03L long wheelbase.

  Like its predecessor the M01, the M03 is a front wheel drive, front mounted motor design, with bevel gear differential and four coil spring over friction shock absorbers, instead of the two mono shocks of the M01.

  To get the best from this car you need to make a couple of alterations. First, replace the plastic bush type bearings with a set of Ball bearings. This should be done when you build the car. If you run the car with the plastic ones installed, dust and grit get into them that damage the drive shafts. Secondly, replace the friction dampers with oil filled ones. This vastly improves the cars handling.

  To drive, the M03 is a definite improvement over the M01. However, because of its high centre of gravity, it still takes some practice to keep the car on four wheels when cornering great fun though.


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

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Tamiya Fiat 500 #58427 M-03M - Chassis
Tamiya Fiat 500 #58427 M-03M Chassis
Tamiya Fiat 500 #58427 M-03M
Tamiya Fiat 500 #58427 M-03M Body Shell

Buying a Used Tamiya Fiat 500
Touring Car (and What to look for)


   Buying a used Tamiya Fiat 500 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 Fiat 500 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 Fiat 500 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 Fiat 500 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 Fiat 500 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 Fiat 500 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 Fiat 500 model and good racing.




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Tamiya Fiat-500 - #58427 M-03M


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

Emergency Plastic Part Repairs

   It always happens when you least expect it. You are racing hard; and suddenly some idiot decides to side swipe you' and break your front wishbone. Even though you may carry spare parts for just about everything on your car, it always seems to be the same part that breaks and although you made a mental note the last time it happened to get a replacement you soon realise those mental notes were not worth the paper they are written on.

   So there you are, in the middle of nowhere with no spares. You ask around and no one has anything like your car, least of all parts for it and the closest model shop is 100 miles away. What are you supposed to do now?

   Some kind of repair is your only option.

   The one thing quite a few people think of first is superglue, but that kind of repair won't even get you around the first corner.

   What you need is something much stronger and the only way you can do that requires a good quality soldering iron, the plastic sprue (the bit left over when you remove all the parts for your car) or another broken part made from the same plastic.

   Using the largest tip you have, set the temperature so that it melts the plastic, but does not vaporise it. Place your broken part on a flat surface that will not be affected by the heat from the iron. I use the glass plate I have for setting the wheel camber of my model. Next, cut a piece of scrap plastic long enough for you to be able to hold on one end, as you work with it and place it over the break. At the point directly over the break, carefully melt the scrap plastic until it is around one millimetre above the break.

   Gently slide the iron sideways, depositing the scrap plastic about five millimetres either side and around the break. At each end of the fix, try to meld the scrap and broken part plastic. Picking up the broken part, continue the melding around each side of the break, then place it down the flat surface and repeat the process on the other side.

   When satisfied, switch off the iron and allow the plastic to cool. Using a modelling knife, carefully, cut away any excess plastic, but not too much.

   With a little practice a fix like this can be almost as strong as a new part and can save you a whole lot of anguish.

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









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