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Tamiya Ford SVT F-150 Lightning - #58481 (Radio Controlled Model Review)

1/10 Scale Electric Truck - TT-01E Chassis:

  Released by Tamiya on January 19, 2011, this TT-01E Chassis based model, is of the Ford SVT F-150 Lightning (1999-2004). This version of the F-150 Lightning, is much easier to assemble than the previous model on the TL-01 Chassis (#58222), making it popular with the Ford Truck constructors fraternity.

  The body shell, like the previous version of this model, remains plain, but there are many options, with which to customise the truck and give it a more individual look.

Tamiya Ford SVT F-150 Lightning - #58481 TT01E
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  The budget priced 4WD shaft-driven TT-01 Type-E (E for Enhanced) bathtub frame provides for a low centre of gravity and superb balance. Four wheel double wishbone suspension with coil spring over friction shock absorbers, combine with front and rear orbital gear differentials to give excellent handling.

  A fibreglass reinforced nylon upper deck and gear covers go to improve the chassis rigidity and 3-piece track rods provide smooth responsive steering.

  Plastic and sintered brass bush type bearings come as standard with this model, 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 TT-01E Chassis, it needs to be fine tuned to hug the corners at high speed, without slipping off the track and accelerate smoothly under control. 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: 44 Stars out of 5 Reviewed by: RCScrapyard     Manual.

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Tamiya Ford SVT F-150 Lightning #58481 TT-01E - Chassis
Tamiya Ford SVT F-150 Lightning #58481 TT-01E Chassis
Tamiya Ford SVT F-150 Lightning #58481 TT-01E
Tamiya Ford SVT F-150 Lightning #58481 TT-01E Body Shell

Buying a Used Tamiya Ford SVT F-150 Lightning
Truck (and What to look for)


   Buying a used Tamiya Ford SVT F-150 Lightning 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 Ford SVT F-150 Lightning 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 SVT F-150 Lightning 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 SVT F-150 Lightning 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 Ford SVT F-150 Lightning 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 SVT F-150 Lightning 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 Ford SVT F-150 Lightning model and good racing.


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★ Tamiya Ford SVT F-150 Lightning - TT-01E ★
Tamiya Ford SVT F-150 Lightning - #58481 TT01E


Hints and Tips

Weight

   If you ever step up and enter a regional, national or international event in RC, you will find one specific rule concerning the weight of your car.

   At the time this article was written, the Minimum weight restrictions for 1:10 electric Touring Cars at different events, was between 1350g and 1500g. This includes your Motor, ESC, Receiver, Battery, Body Shell and the transponder.

   Out of the box you will find the majority of 1:10 Touring Cars, with everything onboard, are way over this Minimum weight and unless you are good enough to attract sponsors, getting your car down to anything approaching that minimum weight will be very expensive.

   There are things you can buy like micro ESC and Receivers. But Batteries and Motors are what they are and you have to work around them.

   To reduce the weight of your chassis, there are a number of things you can do. If the car you have is generally considered competitive enough, there are often carbon fibre main chassis, shock mounts and other alternative parts available, but they are expensive. And when the new version of your model comes out all the money you have spent is lost.

   The most cost effective weight reduction is the metal parts of your chassis. UJs, Drive and Pivot shafts and the like tend to vary from model to model, but turnbuckles can often be transferred and lengthened or shortened by using plastic ball connectors, so titanium is a consideration.

   Screw sets can also be transferred from car to car. Titanium screws and wheel nuts are always available, but there is a cheaper alternative … Aluminium screws and nuts can reduce your cars weight cheaply, but be careful not to over-tighten them, aluminium is not as strong as titanium and can easily shear off if you are over zealous.

   Another weight reduction option is to drill holes along the base of the chassis. However, I do not recommend this. For one thing you are reducing the strength and making the chassis less rigid, but you are also raising the centre of gravity of your car, which can affect stability.

   If you do manage to get your car weight below the minimum allowed, this will give you an opportunity to add weight where you want it and lower the cars centre of gravity.

   One last tip: Knitting needles. When I first started in RC, money was tight and my dad came up with all kinds of ideas to reduce weight. He obtained a 3mm dye and found some of my mums old aluminium knitting needles that were just the right diameter. Having determined the length of the turnbuckles needed for my setup, he cut them to those lengths and threaded each end, so he could put plastic ball sockets on them. Adjusting them was a bit of a pain and they could be a bit fragile in crash situations, but they saved us lots of money over those early years.

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



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.

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







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