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Tamiya Subaru Brat - Metallic Special - #84237 (Radio Controlled Model Review)

1/10 Scale Electric Truck - ORV Chassis:

  Released by Tamiya on October 29, 2011, the 4WD Subaru Brat - Metallic Special kit (#84237) is No.737 in the Limited Sale Series, based on the ORV chassis. The original Tamiya Subaru Brat kit (#58038) was introduced in July 1983 and was re-released in February 2007 (#58384).

  An ABS bodyshell and a 540 motor are included, but a radio system, battery, charger and speed controller are required to complete (specifications differ from country to country).

Tamiya Subaru Brat - Metallic Special - ORV #84237
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  The ORV is based on a molded plastic space frame chassis, with a gear type differential, coil spring over oil filled dampers, dogbone drive-shafts and bushings.

  Like the majority of Tamiya models, this model comes with plastic bush type bearings, that after a short while, when dust and grit get into them, actually abrade the metal drive shafts - our recommendation is that these should be replaced by steel shielded ball bearings ASAP.

  To get the best from the Tamiya ORV Chassis, it needs to be fine tuned, for smooth acceleration under control and handle corners at high speed, without slipping off the track. Small adjustments can make a Big difference and our simple to understand, step by step procedure, will guide you to the best Set-up for your driving style.


      Rating: 3.53.5 Stars out of 5 Reviewed by: RCScrapyard     Manual.
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Tamiya Subaru Brat - Metallic Special - ORV Chassis
Tamiya Subaru Brat 2007 #58384 Chassis

Tamiya Subaru Brat - Metallic Special - ORV Chassis
Tamiya ORV Chassis


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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Hints and Tips

Gearing to Win

   Just because you have the latest model, the best available batteries, the most powerful electric motor or nitro engine, doesn't mean you will go out and win everything in sight. The fastest car on the track is rarely the one that wins, it's the one that can accelerate out of corners under control and remains consistent and efficient from the start to the end of a race.

   In days gone bye, all you had to consider was the number of mili amp hours (Mah) in your battery and the current draw of your high powered motor. Gearing for a five minute race was a balancing act. But with the development of the new high capacity batteries, brushless motors and smart ESC, all that changed. Now, gearing is more of a matter of what suits your driving style and how quick your reflexes are on the sticks, the trigger and steer wheel of your transmitter. So, where do you start?

   At your local club track, you quickly find the right combination and set-up for your car by talking to the more experienced members. After a while, as your knowledge grows, tweaking a few things here and there can give you that small edge to keep you competitive. So, it follows that on tracks you don't know, you should talk to the locals there, who may be racing a similar model to your own and adjust your set-up to suit.

   Gearing correctly for any given track is absolutely crucial if your car is to be competitive.

   Too high a gearing may get you in front at the start of a race, but as your motor begins to overheat and lose efficiency, that initial advantage will soon be lost.

   Too low a gearing and although it may get you past your opposition accelerating out of the corners, you will loose that place again on the fast straights. Gearing low will always get you to the end of the race, but it will hardly ever get you on the winner's rostrum.

   Having said that, on tracks you don't know, initially it's always best to err on the side of low gearing. For your first practice laps on a new track, choose a motor that has a reasonable current draw and with a fully charged battery, try a race length run, learn the corners what line to enter and exit, where you can accelerate to overtake and how fast you need to be on the straights to keep up (not overtake) the opposition. After your practice race, check the remaining capacity in your batteries and the temperature of your motor, (keep records of each motor and discover at what temperature a specific motor loses efficiency all this helps when selecting the right gearing.)

   Armed with this knowledge you can then consider how to alter your gearing.

   If the motor is cool (in comparison) and your battery has ample remaining charge, try a larger pinion perhaps one or two teeth more. Don't overdo it.

   An overly hot motor and low remaining capacity battery speaks for itself. The race timed practice run should have given you an insight to this problem. Obviously, in this instance you must use a smaller, less teeth pinion, or start again with a milder, less powerful motor.

   If the motor is hot, but not too hot, the battery has ample remaining charge and you did not notice any drop in efficiency towards the end of your practice run, then you are close to the optimum set up for that particular motor.

   Depending on how competitive that set-up is, you can stick with it, maybe tweak a tooth up or down, or repeat the process with a different motor to get you where you want to be.

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







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, as you 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.








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