RCScrapyard ► Iconic Vintage Radio Controlled (RC) Model Car Archive ► Tamiya Martini Alfa Romeo 155 V6 TI. ITEM #58189 TA03F.
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Tamiya Martini Alfa Romeo 155 V6 TI - #58189 (Radio Controlled Model Review)

1/10 Scale Electric Touring Car - TA-03F Chassis:

  Released by Tamiya on March 13, 1997, this TA-03F Chassis based, self assembly electric RC model, is of the Martini sponsored Alfa Romeo 155 V6 TI that raced in the 1996 season of the DTM (Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft) racing series.

  The lightweight Lexan polycarbonate body shell provided in this kit is an accurately recreates the Alfa Romeo 155 lines. Decals of the distinctive Martini livery are also included in the kit.

Tamiya Martini Alfa Romeo 155 V6 TI - #58189 TA03F
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  The Four Wheel Drive, front mounted motor, TA03F chassis, uses a single belt drive system, with orbital Bevel Gear differentials front and rear. These were upgraded for the Pro spec models to Ball differentials. The suspension is four wheel independent double wishbone with Coil Spring over Oil Filled shock absorbers.

  Because of the front mounted motor and the transversely mounted stick battery towards the rear of the chassis, the weight distribution made the handling of this model to be somewhat different to the previous Tamiya TA designs. Body roll and under-steer could be controlled by adjusting the tuning springs and oil weight in the shocks, but the fixed shock mount positioning made this adjustment difficult for some tracks.

  The original TA03F kit comes with Plastic/Nylon and sintered brass bush type bearings, that after a short while, when dust and grit get into them, actually wear into the metal cup drive shafts. If you are building this kit to race seriously these should be replaced by steel ball bearings.

  In conclusion. With the right set-up, tires and a full set of ball bearings, the TA03F in the right hands could be a winner.


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

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Tamiya Martini Alfa Romeo 155 V6 TI #58189 TA03F - Chassis
Tamiya Martini Alfa Romeo 155 V6 TI #58189 TA03F Chassis
Tamiya Martini Alfa Romeo 155 V6 TI #58189 TA03F
Tamiya Martini Alfa Romeo 155 V6 TI #58189 TA03F Body Shell

Buying a Used Tamiya Alfa Romeo 155
Touring Car (and What to look for)


   Buying a used Tamiya Alfa Romeo 155 Electric Touring 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 Touring Car you may discover can easily be fixed.

Dampers
   When you receive your used Tamiya Touring 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 Alfa Romeo 155 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 Alfa Romeo 155 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 Alfa Romeo 155 Touring 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 Touring 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 Touring 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 Touring 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 Touring 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 Alfa Romeo 155 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 Alfa Romeo 155 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 Touring 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 Alfa Romeo 155 model and good racing.


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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.

Hints and Tips

Emergency Plastic Part Repairs

   It always happens when you least expect it. You are racing hard; and suddenly some idiot decides to side swipe you' and break your front wishbone. Even though you may carry spare parts for just about everything on your car, it always seems to be the same part that breaks and although you made a mental note the last time it happened to get a replacement you soon realise those mental notes were not worth the paper they are written on.

   So there you are, in the middle of nowhere with no spares. You ask around and no one has anything like your car, least of all parts for it and the closest model shop is 100 miles away. What are you supposed to do now?

   Some kind of repair is your only option.

   The one thing quite a few people think of first is superglue, but that kind of repair won't even get you around the first corner.

   What you need is something much stronger and the only way you can do that requires a good quality soldering iron, the plastic sprue (the bit left over when you remove all the parts for your car) or another broken part made from the same plastic.

   Using the largest tip you have, set the temperature so that it melts the plastic, but does not vaporise it. Place your broken part on a flat surface that will not be affected by the heat from the iron. I use the glass plate I have for setting the wheel camber of my model. Next, cut a piece of scrap plastic long enough for you to be able to hold on one end, as you work with it and place it over the break. At the point directly over the break, carefully melt the scrap plastic until it is around one millimetre above the break.

   Gently slide the iron sideways, depositing the scrap plastic about five millimetres either side and around the break. At each end of the fix, try to meld the scrap and broken part plastic. Picking up the broken part, continue the melding around each side of the break, then place it down the flat surface and repeat the process on the other side.

   When satisfied, switch off the iron and allow the plastic to cool. Using a modelling knife, carefully, cut away any excess plastic, but not too much.

   With a little practice a fix like this can be almost as strong as a new part and can save you a whole lot of anguish.

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









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