RCScrapyard ► Iconic Vintage Radio Controlled (RC) Model Car Archive ► Tamiya The Frog. ITEM: #58041
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Tamiya The Frog - #58041 (Radio Controlled Model)

1/10 Scale Electric Buggy - ORV Chassis:

  Released by Tamiya on December 16, 1983, The Frog was their first serious racing buggy, designed for off-road racing, instead of replicas of real cars.

Tamiya Frog - #58041

  Based on the ORV Chassis, its simple uncomplicated design made the Frog an easy model to assemble and was popular for first time model constructors.

  The handling was superior to other racing buggies of the time, due to its gear differential. The Frog was less likely to flip or roll and could race off road, taking jumps and squarely landing on all four wheels.

  Another feature of the Frog was its space frame chassis, which was light but strong and offered good protection, whilst not inhibiting its speed with weight.

  The Frog did have some problems. The rear studded tires wore down quickly and the hexagonal drive shaft joints wore if not regularly maintained. The kit also comes with Nylon/plastic and sintered brass bush type bearings that after a short while actually, when dust and grit get into them, wear into the metal drive shafts - if you are building this kit to race seriously these should be replaced by a full set of steel, rubber shielded ball bearings.

  In this car, Tamiya founded a new generation of radio controlled racing. The Frog is indeed a Tamiya classic and a must have for all collectors.


      Rating: 33 Stars out of 5 Reviewed by: RCScrapyard     Manual.





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Tamiya The Frog #58041 - Chassis
Tamiya Frog #58041 Chassis
Tamiya The Frog #58041
Tamiya Frog #58041 Body Shell

Buying a Used Tamiya The Frog
Buggy (and What to look for)


   Buying a used Tamiya The Frog Electric Buggy, 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 Buggy you may discover can easily be fixed.

Dampers
   When you receive your used Tamiya Buggy, 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 The Frog 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 The Frog 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 The Frog Buggy 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 Buggy 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 Buggy 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 Buggy 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 Buggy 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 The Frog 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 The Frog 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 Buggy 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 The Frog model and good racing.


For More on how to Setup your Buggy, check out my Hints and Tips page.














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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.



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.







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