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Tamiya Footwork FA13 Mugen Honda - #58114 (Radio Controlled Model Review)

1/10 Scale Electric Formula One Car - F102 Chassis:

  Released by Tamiya on November 10, 1992, this model is of the Footwork FA13 Mugen Honda that raced in the Formula One World Championships in the same year, driven by the Italian, Michele Alboreto and Japanese driver Aguri Suzuki. The Footwork team finished seventh in the Constructors Championship, with four point scoring races to give them a total of six points.

Tamiya Footwork FA13 Mugen Honda - #58114 F102
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  This was the third Tamiya Formula One car to employ the replacement for the F101 chassis, the F102.

  With redesigned narrower chassis for reduced rigidity, cut down T-bar plate and simplified rear wheel thrust bearing installation, the F102 chassis performed well. The more flexible design did, to some degree, improve handling.

  I used three different sponge tire compounds when I raced 1:10 Scale F1, plus a set of wet weather slicks. Tire wear was always a problem due to the simple fact the smaller the wheel diameter the lower the ground clearance, which on some bumpy tarmac tracks was not good. New sponges were needed after every two or three meetings.

  If you intend racing your Footwork FA13 Mugen Honda car competitively I would recommend changing the kit supplied plastic and sintered brass bush type bearings for steel ball bearings. The improved performance is well worth the expense.


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

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Tamiya Footwork FA13 Mugen Honda #58114 F102 - Chassis
Tamiya Footwork FA13 Mugen Honda #58114 F102 Chassis
Tamiya Footwork FA13 Mugen Honda #58114 F102
Tamiya Footwork FA13 Mugen Honda #58114 F102 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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Tamiya Footwork-FA13-Mugen - #58114 F102


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


Rechargeable Batteries
for RC Models


   At the time this article was written, there are four types of Rechargeable Batteries that are commonly in use of Radio Controlled Models.
Ni-Cad (Nickel Cadmium) Batteries have been around the longest. My first stick battery, purchased way back in 1987 was rated at 1200Mah (Mili Amp Hours) and with a silver can 27 Turn motor my Tamiya Boomerang would run around in the back yard for a good seven minutes before slowly coming to a stop. Ni-Cad development continued until around 1998 to a maximum rating of around 2000Mah and matchers pack builders and battery technicians were able to put together six cell packs with voltages approaching 7.4 Volts, to give those that could afford them, an edge over the rest.

   Ni-Mh (Nickel Metal Hydride) Batteries came along in the late 1990s and by the year 2000 were available at ratings up to 3000Mah. Again, matchers and pack builders worked hard to provide the ardent racer with packs to provide that little bit of extra power and ESC manufacturers also chipped in with improved controllers to take full advantage of this new technology.
   Now the problem wasn't gearing the car to get to the end of the race using the available battery power, but to find the brushed motor that could handle gear setting that provided the speed and acceleration without the motor overheating and wearing the commutator too much so it needed a skim after every 2 runs. My favourite at that time was the 9 Double.

   More recently, Li-Po (Lithium-Polymer) Batteries have appeared on the scene, providing are a huge step forward in performance when compared with Ni-Cad and Ni-Mh batteries. However, Li-Po Batteries are much more expensive than previous battery types, have a shorter effective life of between 200 and 400 charge cycles, compared to well over 1000 charge cycles for Ni-Cad and Ni-Mh and a high degree of care has to be taken when charging Li-Po batteries. They have been known to burst into flames or even explode, for this reason I do not recommend Li-Po batteries for RC beginners.
   Another problem with Li-Po packs is they are physically bigger in size, so for those with older "Vintage" models, they may not fit into the provided space for the battery on the chassis.

   The latest development in battery technology for RC are Li-Ion. Originally produced for Laptops, Ipods, Tablets and the like, they are now available for RC models. Much like Li-Po for price and charge cycle life, the power and capacity is a moderate improvement, but for me, at the moment, not worth the expense.

   One final word of warning. NEVER leave your charging Li-Po or Li-Ion battery unattended when being charged and NEVER above the recommended charge rate. After use, store each battery with about 60% charge remaining and always in a fireproof bag.


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







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