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Tamiya Subaru Brat 2007 - #58384 (Radio Controlled Model Review)

1/10 Scale Electric Truck - ORV Chassis:

  Released by Tamiya on February 27, 2007, the re-release of the Subaru Brat was made, after being originally released in July 1983 (#58038). At first glance the new model may look like the old model on the surface, but when you look deeper, you will find a number of changes.

Tamiya Subaru Brat - #58384
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  The basic Space Frame chassis remains intact. However, the coil spring over friction shock absorbers have been upgraded to oil filled, an orbital gear differential introduced and under the rubber boots the drive shafts give way to basic pin drive dog-bones.

  Also, the underpowered RS-380S motor has been up rated to a silver can 540 brushed motor and the 3 stage mechanical speed controller replaced by an up to date Electronic Speed Controller (ESC).

  Although the ABS plastic body shell, the three piece wheels and semi pneumatic tires remain in this kit, avid "Tamiya First 100" collectors were generally disappointed in the Subaru Brat re-release.


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

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Tamiya Subaru Brat 2007 #58384 - Chassis
Tamiya Subaru Brat 2007 #58384 Chassis
Tamiya Subaru Brat 2007 #58384
Tamiya Subaru Brat 2007 #58384 Body Shell

Buying a Used Tamiya Subaru Brat
Truck (and What to look for)


   Buying a used Tamiya Subaru Brat Electric Truck, 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 Truck you may discover, can easily be fixed.

Dampers
   When you receive your used Tamiya Truck, 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 Subaru Brat 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 Subaru Brat 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 Subaru Brat Truck 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 Truck 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 Truck 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 Truck 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 Truck 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 Subaru Brat 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 Subaru Brat 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 Truck 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 Subaru Brat model and good racing.


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Or, check out our RC Model Car Setup Guide














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Hints and Tips

Soldering

   In the sport of Radio Controlled racing, there are a number of things you have to learn to get you up there with the best. One of the most difficult, for those with little practical skill, is the art of Soldering.

   For their 540 silver can motors, Tamiya provide two wires, typically green and yellow, soldered to the endbell, with two bullet connectors to plug into the speed controller. While this is fine for bashing around the back yard, if you were to advance to a higher level you will soon find just how inefficient this method is.

   Motor wires are best soldered directly to the ESC. That way no energy is lost through high current draw. Some of the top drivers at one time even used to solder their batteries directly to the ESC, but these days with connectors such as "Deans" and "Power Pole" this isn't necessary but I still wouldn't use any kind of connector for the motor.

   There are basically two kinds of solder. Plumbers solder which is made up of 60% Lead and 40% Tin, where as electrical solder is the opposite 40% Lead with 60% Tin. NEVER use plumbers solder for your battery, ESC or motor joints. Lead melts at 327 degrees C, where as tin melts at 232 degrees C. The higher Lead content of plumbers means it melts at a higher temperature, which is not good for your battery cells. Also, Tin has almost half the electrical resistance of lead, so with the higher Tin content of electrical solder, electricity flows much easier to your motor.

   More recently, due to the European regulations for lead use, lead free solders are becoming more widely used well, in Europe anyway. The problem with lead free is the melting temperature it is much higher, making it difficult to produce reliable joints.

   Lead, as we know, is a poison to the body if ingested or inhaled in certain quantities. so when using lead based solder, try not to inhale any of the fumes and always wash your hands after completing your work. One of my friends also wears cotton gloves, but I find these cumbersome.

   For me lead / tin solder is far easier to use and if used with care, has less potential to damage your batteries having a much lower melting temperature.

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


General Information and Advice

   RC is one of those sports that can be simply bashing around the back yard, or taken to the extreme of National and International Racing: For those who would like to enter this world of miniature Models, here are a few basic Hints: Firstly, buy a Kit not an RTR. Then, if something does break on your model, the experience you gain by building the kit will give you some idea how to fix it.

   Radio Controlled Model Cars are easily broken. Wishbones, Suspension Shock Towers, Dampers etc are prone to damage, so make sure you have a good strong front bumper and never run your car without its Body Shell in place.

   The Steering Servo is also a weakness, so if your kit does not have one, get yourself a good quality Servo Saver. I would also recommend you replace the soft steel Turnbuckles, Tie Rods and pivot/steering shafts with Titanium versions and if you get serious about your racing, lightweight Titanium Drive shafts, dog bones and CVD (Constant Velocity Drives). The standard steel ones bend far too easily.

   Gears in RC model cars often cause problems. Head on collision accidents can damage gear teeth on Nylon/Plastic Spur Gears and sometimes even the Bevel Gears inside the Gearbox. Hard impacts may also slacken the nuts and self taping screws that fix the Motor in Position, making it possible for the Pinion Gear to pull out of mesh a little and damage the teeth on your Spur Gear. To try and prevent this, you should always fit locking (Nyloc) nuts and if your mount uses self tapping screws, change the plastic motor mount occasionally to ensure a tight fit.

   Plastic Ball Connectors can cause problems. For top level Radio Controlled model car racing, they need to be checked for tightness and if considered necessary changed after every race meeting. Something like a loose fitting connector popping off could easily lose you the race, so always err on the side of caution.

   Quite a number of New car kits come with Plastic and Sintered Brass Ring type bearings. These can cause problems if at some time in the future you want to fit a full set of ball bearings so I recommend you discard the brass and plastic types before installation and get yourself a Hop-up set of Shielded Steel Ball Bearings.

   Finally, try to keep the Centre of Gravity of your model as low as you can. This can vastly improve the handling of your car when cornering at high speed. For On Road Drift/Touring cars the Ride Height should be around 5mm, for Buggys, Trucks, Truggys and Monster Trucks, as low as practical for the track conditions. Body Roll can be reduced by using Stabilizers, Anti roll or Sway Bars. Tuning Springs may also help with thicker, or thicker Silicon Oil in the Shock Absorbers. Also look towards mounting the Transponder as low as you can in the Chassis.

For Car Setup Information check out our Hints and Tips page.







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