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Tamiya Subaru Impreza WRC 2004 Rally Japan - #58338 (Radio Controlled Model Review)

1/10 Scale Electric Rally Car - TB-02 Chassis:

  Released by Tamiya on December 7, 2004, this TB-02 Chassis based electric self assembly RC kit, is of the Subaru Impreza that Petter Solberg drove in the 2004 World Rally Championship (WRC) Rally of Japan.

  The lightweight Lexan polycarbonate body shell in this kit accurately replicates every characteristic of the 2004 Impreza.

Tamiya Subaru Impreza WRC 2004 Rally Japan - #58338 TB-02
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  The TB-02 Chassis was first produced in 2003 and was based on the TB Evolution III. The design allowed for a vast number of adjustments to be made to suit the owners driving style and a vast array of tuning Hop-ups to lighten and improve handling were available.

  A shaft driven design, the bathtub framed TB-02 employs two ball differentials, mini CVA coil spring over oil filled shock absorbers, an aluminium prop shaft, turnbuckle camber and track adjusters and a full set of steel shielded ball bearings.

  Whilst not being the cheapest Tamiya model around, the kit is cheap in comparison to those available from many other manufacturers producing touring car kits to this level and is perfect for the beginner to build and race.

  To drive, the TB-02 was easily equal to all its competition at the time and with the right adjustments and Hop-ups, a solid winner.


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

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Tamiya Subaru Impreza WRC 2004 Rally Japan #58338 TB-02 - Chassis
Tamiya Subaru Impreza WRC 2004 Rally Japan #58338 TB-02 Chassis
Tamiya Subaru Impreza WRC 2004 Rally Japan #58338 TB-02
Tamiya Subaru Impreza WRC 2004 Rally Japan #58338 TB-02 Body Shell

Buying a Used Tamiya Subaru Impreza WRC
Rally Car (and What to look for)


   Buying a used Tamiya Subaru Impreza WRC Electric Rally 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 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 Rally Car you may discover, can easily be fixed.

Dampers
   When you receive your used Tamiya Rally 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 Subaru Impreza WRC 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 Impreza WRC 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 Impreza WRC Rally Car 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 Rally 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 back yard, if you intend to race your Rally 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 Rally 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 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 Rally 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 Subaru Impreza WRC 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 Impreza WRC 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 Rally 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 Subaru Impreza WRC model and good racing.


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Hints and Tips

Soldering Battery Packs

   Nicad and Nimh batteries sometimes come as six separate matched 1.2 volt cells. These of course have to be soldered to each other in series to produce either a side by side stick pack, or a two times three cell saddle pack.

   Special copper, or silver plated straps must be used to make up these packs and each strap must be prepared before attempting to solder it to the battery cell, by placing a blob of solder at each end of all the straps needed.

   A jig to hold the cells vertical and side by side is advisable. Using electrical solder, with a flux core (flux aids the flow and adhesion of the solder) heat your soldering iron to as hot as it will go. Then with the stick of solder touching on the end of the cell, touch it with the iron. What you want it to spread evenly on the central part of the pole of the cell. Count to 3 seconds. If it doesn't melt the solder in that time, your iron is not hot enough. Battery cells are notoriously very fragile and susceptible to the very high temperatures soldering requires. Anything longer than four or five seconds direct contact with the iron can cause damage to the crystal structure in the cell, so be wary.

   When you have solder on each end of each cell, line them up in the jig, positive to negative and dab a spot of flux on the soldered cells, then position your straps, with the solder coated side faced down, touching the solder on the end of the cell. Now place your hot iron on the strap. Heat will transfer through the strap and melt the solder on the two faces. Again, count to 3 and you should feel the strap drop slightly as the solder fuses with the solder on the cell. Repeat this for each cell on both sides to produce your desired configuration. Finally solder your two wires, previously prepared with connectors, to the pack. Do not solder wires with bare ends to your pack. If these wires were to touch and short out, you could effectively kill your expensive battery pack I use Red for positive and Black for negative, but so long as you know which is which electrical equipment does not like the battery to be connected the wrong way.

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


Hints and Tips

Radio Gear

How to avoid Interference.


1/  The first consideration when installing your Receiver into your Electrically Powered Model is to make sure it is well away from the Negative Battery terminal and the Motor. The Magnetic field can cause stuttering type interference at times of high current draw (i.e., Fast Acceleration)

2/  Make sure the Ariel tube is long enough for the Ariel wire. The tip of this wire is highly sensitive and should be as high and as far away from the Motor as possible (yup, its that magnetic field prob again)

3/  If all else fails, a simple tip that often works for all RC Model enthusiasts is to wrap the receiver in Aluminium Foil, to shield against any magnetic and external radio interference.

4/  As a last resort, to protect against servo twitch, try ferrite beads. (available at Radio Shack or Maplins) These are threaded over the red, white (or yellow) and black wires of each servo.

5/  If you are using a FET Servo, the installation of a choke (a small electrical component) in the positive feed wire will smooth out any current spikes and reduce the possibility of "servo twitch".

6/  Another thing you might try is a "glitch buster" or "stutter stopper". Basically, this is a capacitor that simply plugs into your Radio Receiver and attempts to keep a level voltage supply to the Radio system.

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








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