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Tamiya Mad Bison - TGM-01 Chassis - # 44025 (Radio Controlled Model Review)

1/10 Scale Nitro Monster Truck:

  Released by Tamiya on November 30, 1999, the 4WD Mad Bison - # 44025 - is No.25 in the Glow-Engine RC Car Series and was based on the TGM-01 chassis with an FS-12LT engine.

Tamiya Mad Bison - # 44025 TGM-01 - 1:10 Nitro RC Monster Truck
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  The model is shaft driven, on an alloy plate chassis, with gear type differentials, coil spring over oil filled dampers, dogbone drive-shafts, bushings and ball bearings.

  Like the majority of Tamiya RC models, this model comes with plastic and sintered brass bush type bearings, that after a short while, when dust and grit get into them, actually abrade the metal shafts that spin in them - our recommendation is that these should be replaced by steel shielded ball bearings ASAP.

  To race the Tamiya Mad Bison, it must be fine tuned to improve handling, provide responsive steering and give you the grip to cruise around corners at high speed, without slipping off the track. Small adjustments can make a Big difference and our step by step procedure, will guide you to the best Set-up for your individual driving style.


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

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★ Tamiya 44025 ★
Tamiya 44025 TGM-01 Chassis

★ Tamiya FS-12LT ★
Tamiya FS-12LT engine


Buying a Used Tamiya Mad Bison
Monster Truck (and What to look for)


   Buying a used Tamiya Mad Bison Nitro Monster 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 Monster Truck you may discover, can easily be fixed.

Dampers
   When you receive your used Tamiya Monster 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 Mad Bison 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 Mad Bison 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 Mad Bison Monster Truck model at a competitive level, I would also recommend you obtain and fit titanium pivot shafts, turnbuckles, tie rods and steering rods.

   The gearbox of your used Monster 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 Monster 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 Monster 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 Nitro Engine 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 Nitro Engine mount and remember to check them for security after every two or three runs.

   Ball joints always cause problems. For top level Nitro Monster 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 Mad Bison 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 Mad Bison 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 Monster 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 Mad Bison model and good racing.


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Hints and Tips

Camber

   Camber is described as the angle of the wheel as you look at it directly from the front or rear of your car and if set correctly will improve your cars cornering ability considerably, by providing increased traction. This simple to make adjustment is considered by many to be one of the most effective changes you can make to your car for better handling.

   Positive Camber is when the top of the wheel is angled outwards. Negative Camber has the top of the wheel angled inwards.

   First of all, get yourself a good camber gauge. All adjustments to your cars camber setting should be made with the car in race mode that means the motor, battery etc in position in the chassis.

   To check the angle of an On Road car, it must have the ride height already set to around 5mm. Place the car on a perfectly flat surface, position your camber gauge against the side of the wheel you are checking and take the camber angle, normally this is between -1 and -3 degrees negative. Next, put a small 1mm thick piece of card under that corner of the car and push the corner down until it touches the card. In this position, check the angle again. It should be between 0 and -0.5 degrees negative camber. If not, pick up the car and put it back down on the flat surface, check and make adjustments, using the turnbuckle, that you consider are needed to achieve your goal. Keep checking and adjusting and repeat for all four corners. What you are aiming for is an angle that will provide your car with the maximum amount of rubber on the track on high speed corners.

   Off Road cars can be adjusted in a similar manner to that described previously, with the ride height set at around 20mm, but in place of the card, use a small booklet or something around 5mm thick. The optimal camber setting is a little more difficult to find for off road cars and depends generally of the track surface you are racing on. Slippery tracks generally require less camber because of reduced suspension movement when cornering, whereas high grip tracks require more camber to compensate for inertial induced body-roll. Depending on the particular model, this setting can be anything between -1 and -5 degrees sometimes more. Check your model manual for details.

   Be aware that for all model types, too much negative camber can reduce straight line traction, but with a good setting for any particular track, the advantage it gives, that of vastly improved cornering stability, far outweigh any negative effects.

   For beginners, this setting is by far the easiest to experiment with. Just take the car out on the back yard and with a few simple turns of a turnbuckle you will soon learn just what difference a small change in your cars setup can do to change its handling ability. Good luck and good racing.

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". a two of my friends went down with us and they 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 was away 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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