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Tamiya Ford Escort WRC - #58335 (Radio Controlled Model Review)

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

  Released by Tamiya on November 25, 2004, having previously being released on the TL-01 Chassis (#58216), this TT-01 Chassis electric RC model, is of the 1998 works Ford Escort WRC Championship car.

  The lightweight Lexan polycarbonate body shell realistically depicts the WRC cars racing lines. Separate side mirrors and wing plus an electronic speed controller (ESC) are included in the kit.

Tamiya Ford Escort WRC - #58335 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 Ford Escort WRC #58335 TT-01 - Chassis
Tamiya Ford Escort WRC #58335 TT-01 Chassis
Tamiya Ford Escort WRC #58335 TT-01
Tamiya Ford Escort WRC #58335 TT-01 Body Shell

Buying a Used Tamiya Ford Escort WRC
Rally Car (and What to look for)


   Buying a used Tamiya Ford Escort WRC Electric Rally 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 Rally Car you may discover, can easily be fixed.

Dampers
   When you receive your used Tamiya Rally 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 Ford Escort WRC 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 Ford Escort WRC 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 Ford Escort WRC Rally 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 Rally 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 Rally 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 Rally 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 Rally 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 Ford Escort WRC 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 Ford Escort WRC 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 Rally 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 Ford Escort WRC model and good racing.


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Information and Advice

Electronic Speed Controllers

History:

   ESC were originally developed to be used in conjunction with brushed 27T stock and modified motors in the late 1970s, early 1980s. Compared to modern day Controllers, they were Bulky and heavy, constructed using basic resistors, rheostats, capacitors and transistors, crammed together on a simple circuit board, to provide stepped but smooth acceleration when compared to the old mechanical, servo operated sweeper Speed Controllers. An Electronic Switch to change the direction of current flow was used on some of these early ESC to give reverse operation. Although they were a vast improvement on the old mechanical speedos of the time, they were expensive, jerky to control and prone to burn out if not carefully looked after.

   As new technology became available, improvements were slowly made and with the introduction of the new FET (Field Effect Transistors) and some basic mass produced silicon chips, ESC were made smaller and their reliability gradually improved.

   By the mid 1990s, "regenerative breaking" was developed. This meant that energy that would have been lost slowing down the car by effectively turning the motor into a generator, was harvested and put back into the battery. This of course was long before F1 had KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) and adjustable anti lock breaking was introduced.

   Brushless Motors came to RC in the late 1990s early 2000s, which required a new breed of ESC to be developed to fully utilise the new technology. Ni-Cad Rechargeable Batteries were superseded by Ni-Mh and more recently Li-Po Batteries which provided higher Current output for the ESC to regulate. The latest ESC now use sensors to manage the motor and can be adjusted remotely to suit varying conditions.


Brushed Motor ESC.

   The "Silver Can" Stock Motors that come in a wide number of RC model kits are often accompanied by a 5 Amps to 20 Amps ESC. However, if you want to upgrade to a more powerful Modified Brushed Motor, 20 Amps may not be enough, so you will have to buy a something well over 20 Amps depending on the number of turns of your motor. As a rough guide, a 9 Single has a much higher current requirement than 20 Single.

Brushless Motor ESC.

   ESC for Brushless Motors are in no way compatible with brushed motors. The DC (Direct Current) input from the battery, on brushless ESC is transformed into three phase AC (Alternating Current). Each "phase" connecting three wires on the Brushless motor. By changing the frequency of the output wave the motor will spin faster for acceleration or slower for breaking. Reverse is simply achieved by changing over any two of the three "phases".
   At the time this article was written, Brushless ESC range from 3 Amps to around 300 Amps.
   For beginners I recommended you buy an ESC and Motor Combo, that way you can be sure the ESC Current rating is correct for the Motor.


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


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.








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