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Tamiya Nismo GT-R LM - # 44003 (Radio Controlled Model Review)

1/8 Scale Nitro Rally/Touring Car: TGX Mk1 Chassis

  Released by Tamiya on July 18 1995, the 4WD Nismo Clarion GT-R LM - # 44003 - is No.3 in the Glow-Engine RC Car Series and was based on the TGX Mk1 chassis with an OPS VR-15s engine.

Tamiya Nismo GT-R LM - 44003 - 1:8 Nitro On Road
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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 some 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 Nismo GT-R LM, it has to have the best settings for your driving style and provide you with excellent handling and stability. The smallest changes can make a huge difference in the way your car performs on the track and our comprehensive instructions will help you to find the best Set-up to get you where you want to be.


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

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★ Tamiya TGX Mk1 Chassis ★
Tamiya TGX Mk1 Chassis

★ Tamiya TGX Mk1 Chassis ★
Tamiya TGX Mk1 Chassis

★ Tamiya TGX Mk1 Chassis ★
Tamiya TGX Mk1 Chassis


Buying a Used Tamiya TGX Mk1
Touring Car (and What to look for)


   Buying a used Tamiya TGX Mk1 Nitro 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 road.

   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 TGX Mk1 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 TGX Mk1 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 TGX Mk1 Touring Car 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 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 road, 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 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 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 TGX Mk1 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 TGX Mk1 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 TGX Mk1 model and good racing.


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Hints and Tips

Tire Compounds

   Way back in the early 1990s when I first got into RC, most of the off-road models available came with chunky hard compound block tires that gave little or no grip on grass or dirt tracks. On-road didn't have this problem as they were still using sponge tires that with a coating of wintergreen based tire additive before each race to improve grip. There was even one guy who swore, before every race, he dipped his wheels in a glass of light ale.

   Then things started to change. By the mid 1990s tire manufacturers such as Losi and Schumacher began developing smaller pin tires, in softer compounds. These mini pin versions were a revelation for grass racers, but were only a small improvement on dust tracks.

   As new compounds were released, grip slowly improved. Then, with the release of the micro pin, super soft compound tires, off road was a completely different sport. Grip roll was now one of the problems drivers had to learn to contend with. This was something unheard of only a few short years before.

   Rubber Tires for On-road RC models had been around for a while in the early 1990s, but because sponge was so widely used, rubber never really caught on. Then, as Tamiya released its 1:10 on road models based on the off-road Manta Ray chassis, other manufacturers caught on and began producing their own 1:10 on-road cars. Schumacher released the SST 98, using the same gearbox and differentials as their Cat 2000 to reduce tooling costs. Tires were now being produced for this new scale in rubber. Pit Shimizu and Take-off were two of the leading RC on-road tire developers at the time, each releasing three different compounds, with recommended track temperature use. From that point on, on-road RC racing never looked back and the days of sponge and light ale came to a shuddering stop.

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







Hints and Tips

Ride Height

   To allow the suspension on any RC model to do its work properly it needs to settle in a position that is somewhere between it being able to react to any bumps and holes it may encounter on the track. To do this, it needs to be adjusted to somewhere in-between those limits. That position is termed the ride height and is generally measured with the car race ready, that means with the motor and battery etc installed and is the distance between the underside of the chassis and the ground.

   Simply speaking, determining ride height is dependent on the specific track conditions. For off road models the rule is simple, the bigger the bumps and the deeper the holes, the higher the ride height. On road, the closer the car is to the track, the better it will handle.

   For 1:10 Buggys I generally recommend a starting point for ride height at around 20mm. 1:10 Trucks and Truggys, 30mm upwards, depending on the wheel diameter. For On Road models, as low as possible, but normally the setting is around 5mm.

   Ride height doesn't just affect the way the car handles uneven track conditions, it also influences the way the car handles when cornering. For a stable car, body roll must be kept to a minimum and keeping the ride height low, is by far the best and easiest way to control it.

   Before you begin to set the ride height, it is best to make sure that each pair of shocks are exactly the same length, have the same spring type and same silicone oil weight. Also, if you don't have a ride height gauge of any kind, decide what height you want set your car to and prepare some kind of slip gauge to that dimension, a book, a pen, or anything that measures to what you want. I used an old square plastic servo mount, which was exactly 5mm for my touring car. It may be low tech, but it is just as accurate as any gauge you can buy.

   To set the ride height, the race ready car must be placed on a flat surface. Slide your slip gauge under the chassis and adjust the height by adding or removing tension to the damper springs. This is done on most models by using small C shaped clips, placed over the damper, above the springs, or on a number of top of the range models, this adjustment can be made by screwing a knurled nut on each threaded damper body. As a rule if the springs are compressed by more than 25% they should be replaced by stiffer springs. The gauge should just slide under the chassis on all four corners of the chassis.

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








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