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Tamiya SU-01 Chassis. (Radio Controlled Model Review)

1/14 Scale Electric Buggy Chassis:

  Released by Tamiya in 2015, the 2WD SU-01 was developed for the complete beginner and features a the TR-01 unit, that integrates an ESC and radio receiver, with four wheel independent strut suspension and has a high or low speed option, via a speed change switch on the supplied transmitter.

Tamiya SU-01 Chassis
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  The model is based on a molded plastic Monocoque chassis, with a gear type differential, coil spring over friction dampers, universal-joint drive-shafts, 370 motor and bushings.


      Rating: 33 Stars out of 5 Reviewed by: RCScrapyard     Manual.

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Tamiya SU-01 Chassis
Tamiya SU-01 Chassis

Tamiya SU-01 Chassis
Tamiya SU-01 Chassis

Tamiya SU-01 Chassis
Tamiya SU-01 Chassis

Tamiya SU-01 Chassis
Tamiya SU-01 Chassis

Tamiya SU-01 Chassis
Tamiya SU-01 Chassis

Tamiya SU-01 Chassis
Tamiya SU-01 Chassis

Tamiya SU-01 Chassis
Tamiya SU-01 Chassis

Tamiya SU-01 Chassis

Buying a Used Tamiya SU-01
Buggy (and What to look for)


   Buying a used Tamiya SU-01 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 SU-01 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 SU-01 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 SU-01 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 SU-01 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 SU-01 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 SU-01 model and good racing.


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Hints and Tips


Electric Motors for RC Models

Brushless Motor Basics

   Choosing the right Brushless motor for your needs can be a daunting task for those new to Radio Controlled Models. If you have a local club perhaps you could ask some of the more experienced members for their advice, but a little basic knowledge about the subject, so you know what questions to ask is always useful.

   All Brushless motors are rated by Kilovolts (KV) and is an indication of the revs per minute (RPM) that particular Motor can attain running freely, under no load conditions, per Volt of input.

   For Example: To calculate the Maximum RPM of a Motor listed at 4000 KV, connected to a 7.4 Volt Battery, simply multiply the two: 4000 x 7.4 = 29600 RPM.

   The two main types of Brushless Motors used in RC are Sensored and a Sensorless Motors.
   Sensored Motors can be connected directly using s cable, to the Electronic Speed Controller (ESC). The ESC is then able to monitor the performance of the Motor and regulate Current output, to attain smooth, controlled acceleration. Advance and Retard timing is made automatically by the ERSC to change torque when exiting corners and give you more RPM for long straights.

   Sensorless Motors can only be set manually for Advance and Retard timing and once that setting is made you have to stick with it. For obvious reasons, Sensorless motors are cheaper to buy than the Sensored type: Ideal if you just want to bash around in the back yard, but not so much if you are serious about your racing.

   Brushless Motors, need a reasonable amount of maintenance if they are to remain competitive. For top level racing I recommend you strip, clean and re-oil the bearings every 2 or 3 meetings (Check out our "get the best from your bearings" section).
   Gearing your motor correctly for any given track is always important. (Check out my Gearing tips on the Pinions Section of this site) A cool motor is an efficient motor. As your motor heats up towards the end of a race, it will loose efficiency. Gearing correctly can avoid this problem to some degree and simply following my simple guidelines, described in the aforementioned article can help you not only keep your motor running efficiently, but help you stay in front of your opposition.

   One last tip .. When re-building your Brushless Motor, to safely replace the Rotor, use a rolled up piece of paper and place it into the Can. This will protect your rotor against damage. Then carefully remove the paper before replacing the endbell.

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







Hints and Tips

Painting a Lexan Body Shell.

   Most RC Model kits come with an unpainted, clear Lexan plastic Body Shell you yourself must prepare and paint. This type of Body Shell is painted on the inside and special spray or brush on Polycarbonate Paints MUST be used.

   The beauty of this is you can go wild and show off your artistic ability, or simply choose your favourite colour and add some choice decals later.

   This article is for those who have never done this kind of thing before and need some basic guidance.


   Firstly, cut off the waste from the body shell with sharp scissors. If required finish off the rounded wheel arches with smooth sandpaper wrapped around a drinks can.

   Any holes for body posts must also be drilled before painting. Place the clear body shell over the model and adjust the posts so the shell is in the desired position. Where the posts touch the shell make a small dot with a marker pen.
Next, pierce small holes in the shell where the dots are from the inside. Place the shell on an old piece of wood and drill the post holes, again, from the inside.

   The next thing to do is clean it inside and out. Any small amount of impurity such as oil or grease could impair the adhesion of the paint.
For this, fill a bowl with water and use a small amount of washing up liquid with a soft sponge. Never use a scourer. Rinse well to ensure no residue remains.

   Most Body Shells come with a set of sticky back paper masks for the windows etc that are positioned on the inside. If not supplied, you will have to either make your own, or use masking tape. Run your thumb nail around the edges of each mask to ensure contact paint can creep into any open area and easily ruin your hard work, so please be vigilant.

   Tip: To protect against paint spilling out onto the outside of the body shell, use masking tape around the outside edges and wheel arches.

   Now you are ready to begin applying your paint. Find a well ventilated area and if spraying, use a breathing mask.
Three or four sprayed, or at least two brushed layers are recommended allowing around thirty minutes between layers.

   Once the paint is fully dry, to protect the paint from scratching, spray or brush over it with one or two layers of clear plastic varnish.

   When the varnish is completely dry, carefully remove the window masks. If necessary, use a modelling knife to lift an edge to grasp between your thumb and finger DO NOT RUSH.

   Decals can now be placed on your body shell. So they adhere better I recommend any square edges are rounded. This reduced the tendency for them to peel off.

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








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