RCScrapyard ► Iconic Vintage Radio Controlled (RC) Model Car Archive ► Tamiya Mercedes-Benz Unimog 406 Series U900. ITEM: #58414 CR01
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Tamiya Mercedes Benz Unimog 406 Series U900 - #58414 (Radio Controlled Model Review)

1/10 Scale Electric Rock Crawler - CR-01 Chassis:

  Released by Tamiya on September 17, 2008, the Mercedes Benz Unimog 406 Series U900 was the second Tamiya model to be based on the 4WD CR-01 Rock Crawler Chassis.

Tamiya Mercedes-Benz Unimog 406 Series U900 Rock Crawler - #58414 CR01
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  The ladder framed CR-01 chassis, employs two metal side bars, jointed by a number of fixed and pivoted ties and struts to allow it to twist and flex. Two bevel gear type differentials enclosed in tough plastic axle housings are employed with a third orbital gear differential mounted in the centrally positioned gearbox with the 540 motor. Two universal drive prop shafts link the axle drives to provide excellent controlled handling.

  The suspension uses four oil filled dampers set at 45 degrees and four coil springs separately mounted behind each wheel.

  Four huge 125mm tires are perfect to traverse all types of rough and rocky terrain with ease. In my opinion this is one of the best Tamiya Radio Controlled model designs to date.


      Rating: 4.54.5 Stars out of 5 Reviewed by: RCScrapyard     Manual.

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Tamiya Mercedes-Benz Unimog Rock Crawler #58414 CR-01 - Chassis
Tamiya Mercedes-Benz Unimog Rock Crawler #58414 CR-01 Chassis
Tamiya Mercedes-Benz Unimog Rock Crawler #58414 CR-01
Tamiya Mercedes-Benz Unimog Rock Crawler #58414 CR-01 Body Shell

Buying a Used Tamiya Rock Crawler (and What to look for)


   Buying a used Tamiya Rock Crawler, 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 Racing website, or purchased separately on eBay. With an instruction manual, any problems with your model Rock Crawler you may discover can easily be fixed.

Dampers
   When you receive your used Tamiya model, 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 Rock Crawler 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 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.

   The gearbox of your used Rock Crawler should be opened up to check for damaged gears and wear. If there is excessive backlash in the gearing, these should be replaced. A thin coat of grease on the gears is enough to allow smooth operation and reduce further wear.

Spur Gears
   Gears are a weakness on all 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 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 motor mount and remember to check them for security after every two or three runs.

   The steering servo is also prone to damage, 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.

Ball Bearings
   If your used Tamiya Rock Crawler 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.















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Hints and Tips

Dampers

   Dampers, Shock Absorbers, Shocks call them what you will, they are one of the least understood, but most important tools you have for adjusting the handling characteristics of your RC model.

   In this article, I will endeavour to explain just what you can achieve by making simple tweaks to your shocks and how these tweaks can keep you ahead of your opposition on the track.

   In dictionary terms "Damper" is described as "A mechanical device to absorb the energy of sudden impulses." In plain language, they stop your car from bouncing all over the track.


So how do Dampers work?

   Basically what you have is a small amount of silicone oil contained in a sealed cylinder. Through the centre of that cylinder is a metal rod and on the end of that rod, a piston with a number of small holes in it. Pulling, or pushing the rod in and out of the cylinder, your will notice a certain amount of resistance as the oil is forced through the holes in the piston. To manipulate that resistance you have two options. You could use thicker or thinner oil, or change the size of the holes in the piston. So if you have thicker oil, or smaller holes, you have more resistance. Less viscous oil or larger holes, less resistance. This simple physical relationship, coupled with a good set of tuning springs, is all you need to set-up your car to beat the rest.

   Out on the race track, the main thing you want to avoid is your car bouncing around all over the place, sliding, or even rolling over when you negotiate a tight corner. To prevent this you need to make changes, but before you make those changes you need to consider what your problem is for that particular track. How your model reacts when cornering does it Under-steer? (Slide towards the outside of the corner) or Over-steer (Turns towards the inside of the corner). Does it react differently when you exit the corner to how it did when you entered it?

   Once you have decided what your problem is, go to our "Set-Up" page linked below and follow the step by step instructions. But remember to only make ONE change at a time. If the first suggestion isn't enough to cure the problem, add the second and so on, until you find that perfect setting. 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". 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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