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Tamiya Mad Bull - #58205 (Radio Controlled Model Review)

1/10 Scale Electric Buggy - DT-01 Chassis:

  Released by Tamiya on December 11, 1997, the Mad Bull was an instant success with Radio Controlled enthusiasts. To cut manufacturing costs, the chassis used by Tamiya for the model was similar to the one used for the Fighter Buggy (#58184) and would later be designated the DT-01.

Tamiya Mad Bull - #58205
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  Being easy to construct with the aid of the typically well prepared Tamiya Manual that came with the kit, the Mad Bull was perfect for beginners in the sport.

  More like a cross between a Monster Truck and a Buggy, the Mad Bull could be described as the first real Truggy. The 2WD model comes with an orbital gear differential and coil spring over friction shock absorbers, the latter of which should be upgraded to upgraded to oil filled to get the best from this model.

  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 abrade the metal drive shafts. If you are building this kit to race seriously these should be replaced by a full set of steel ball bearings.

  To drive, the Mad Bull is true to its name Mad. The wide wheelbase allows for high speed drift cornering, and bumps and jumps were handled with ease. Great fun.


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

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Tamiya Mad Bull #58205 - DT-01 Chassis
Tamiya Mad Bull #58205 Chassis
Tamiya Mad Bull #58205
Tamiya Mad Bull #58205 Body Shell

Buying a Used Tamiya Mad Bull
Buggy (and What to look for)


   Buying a used Tamiya Mad Bull 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 Mad Bull 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 Bull 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 Bull 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 Mad Bull 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 Bull 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 Mad Bull model and good racing.


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Tamiya Mad Bull


Hints and Tips


How to Charge Rechargeable Batteries
for Radio Controlled Models

Ni-Cad (Nickel Cadmium) Batteries


1/  All Ni-Cad Batteries have to be Discharged soon after use. This is to avoid the dreaded "Memory" effect that on subsequent re-charges can cause a momentary drop in performance during a race. A simple discharger can be made from a car 12v bulb.

2/  Try to time your charge to complete just before a race. This will ensure maximum punch and duration. If a Ni-Cad is left to cool after a charge this advantage dissipates.

3/  The higher the charge current the more Punch the Ni-Cad battery will have (up to around 8 amps), however, the downside to this is a reduction in duration and effective battery life.

4/  Ni-Cad Batteries should be left to cool for about an hour after use before recharging. This will increase the effective life of the battery.


Ni-Mh (Nickel Metal Hydride) Batteries


1/  Never charge Ni-Mh batteries at a current higher than 4.5 amps. Although these batteries can give a higher voltage than Ni-Cad Batteries, they are much more sensitive and easy to damage if charged too quickly.

2/  Charging methods for Ni-Mh batteries can also be detrimental. The best I found was the "Slope" method. Avoid "Pulse" charging as this tends to effect crystal formation detrimentally and (it seems to kill them off) thus reduces duration over time.

3/  If using a temperature cut off charger on Ni-Mh batteries set to no more than 40 Degrees Centigrade. Any higher than this can damage the crystals.

4/  It is not necessary to discharge Ni-Mh Batteries. Unlike Ni-Cad batteries they do not develop a memory. Also, if they are totally discharged they sometimes will not charge straight after and need to be coaxed with a 10 minute trickle charge.

5/  Ni Mh Batteries can be recharged shortly after use without any discernable detrimental effects.


Li-Po (Lithium-Polymer) Batteries


1/  Li-Po batteries are a huge step forward in performance compared with Ni-Cad and Ni-Mh batteries. However, care has to be taken when charging. If certain procedures are not followed they could burst into flames or even explode, therefore I do not recommend Li-Po batteries for RC beginners.

2/  Li-Po batteries are more expensive and have a shorter effective life. Generally considered to be between 200 to 400 charge cycles compared to 1000+ for Ni-Cad and Ni-Mh.

3/  Consider a Battery pack listed as "2S 5000Mah 40c 2C".
"2S" is the number of cells in the pack, in this case 2 cells. Each cell provides around 3.7 Volts, so a 2S pack is around 7.4 Volts.
"5000Mah" (Mili-Amp-Hours) is the capacity. The amount of charge the pack can hold.
"40c" is the maximum Discharge rate. Which in our example would be calculated as 5000 (Mah) x 40 = 200000Ma (200 Amps).
"2C" is the maximum Charge rate. 1C being 5 Amps, so in our example 2 x 5 = 10 Amps.

4/  To safely charge your Li-Po Battery I would recommend a good Computerised charger, preferably one that can handle a Charge current of around 25A and always place the charging battery on a fireproof surface.

5/  Finally. NEVER leave your charging Li-Po battery unattended and NEVER EVER charge it above the recommended rate. When not in use, store with around 60% charge remaining in a fireproof box.


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

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.









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