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Tamiya Suzuki SX4 WRC - #58408 (Radio Controlled Model Review)

1/10 Scale Electric Rally Car - TT-01E Chassis:

  Released by Tamiya on June 25, 2008, this TT-01 Type E (TT-01E) Chassis based, self assembly electric RC model, is of the Suzuki SX4 of the 2008 World Rally Championship. Based on the compact 5-door hatchback Suzuki modified the car for WRC by widening the body and beefing up the suspension and transmission, a 4WD system and shoehorning in a 300hp turbocharged 2-liter engine. After tests in the 2007 season, the team car made its full debut in 2008 with drivers Toni Gardemeister and Per-Gunnar Andersson and took its first points in the Monte Carlo Rally.
  The lightweight Lexan Polycarbonate body shell in this kit realistically replicates the SX4 and the included decals of the livery, along with LED headlights and taillights complete the look.

Tamiya Suzuki SX4 WRC - #58408 TT-01E
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  The budget priced 4WD shaft-driven TT-01 Type-E (E for Enhanced) bathtub frame provides for a low centre of gravity and superb balance. Four wheel double wishbone suspension with coil spring over friction shock absorbers, combine with front and rear orbital gear differentials to give excellent handling.

  A fibreglass reinforced nylon upper deck and gear covers go to improve the chassis rigidity and 3-piece track rods provide smooth responsive steering.

  Plastic and sintered brass bush type bearings come as standard with this model, that after a short while, when dust and grit get into them, actually wear into the metal drive shafts that spin in them. If you are building this kit to race seriously, these should be discarded and replaced by a full set of steel shielded ball bearings.

  To get the best from the Tamiya TT-01E Chassis, it needs to be fine tuned to hug the corners at high speed, without slipping off the track and accelerate smoothly under control. 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: 44 Stars out of 5 Reviewed by: RCScrapyard     Manual.

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Tamiya Suzuki SX4 WRC #58408 TT-01E - Chassis
Tamiya Suzuki SX4 WRC #58408 TT-01E Chassis
Tamiya Suzuki SX4 WRC #58408 TT-01E
Tamiya Suzuki SX4 WRC #58408 TT-01E Body Shell

Buying a Used Tamiya Suzuki SX4 WRC
Rally Car (and What to look for)


   Buying a used Tamiya Suzuki SX4 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 Suzuki SX4 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 Suzuki SX4 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 Suzuki SX4 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 Suzuki SX4 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 Suzuki SX4 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 Suzuki SX4 WRC model and good racing.


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Tamiya Suzuki-SX4-WRC


Hints and Tips

Servo Information

   Servos are found on all kinds of Radio Controlled Models. RC Touring Cars, Buggys, Trucks, Truggys, Monster Trucks, Rock Crawlers, Airplanes, Helicopters, Boats and Ships for Steering, Throttle Control, Rudder Operation and Wing Flaps.

   For complete RC beginners, choosing the right servo can be confusing, so here are a few tips to point you in the right direction.

   The standard, plastic bushed (bearings) type servos are fine to start with but come with plastic/nylon gears that can break easily in collisions. So, to protect your servo gears to some degree, make sure you have a good "servo saver".

   Servo Savers come in a number of forms and are often included as standard on some RC Models. The best ones, in my opinion, are those that use a small spring to absorb the shock of the crash and are simply fitted in place of the servo horn.

   For lightweight, small scale models, plastic geared servos are fine. But for medium to large scale RC models, I would recommend metal or titanium gear servos. These servos are by nature heavier and more costly than the plastic geared ones but are well worth the extra expense, for obvious reasons.

   Digitally controlled Servos use a microprocessor based controller board. They are generally faster, provide better torque and centralise more accurately than the older Analogue types, but again at a higher cost.

   As you advance in experience and skill, you might feel the need for something to match your lightning reflexes. Mos-FET, or simply FET Servos use Ball bearings and will provide the high speed response you crave, but at a price. However, if your budget will stretch to the higher cost, the improvement in performance can make a big difference.

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

Hints and Tips


Bearings

   If you are serious about your racing, looking after your bearings is essential if you are to remain competitive.
   My own experience is in both Off and On Road, National and International Car racing, but most of these tips could be useful to all forms of RC.

   Shields: The main problem with Ball Bearing Shields is they create friction and obviously the more you can reduce friction, the more efficient your bearings will be, so here's a tip that does just that.
   Wheel Bearings always come in pairs, positioned side by side. If you think about it, the two inside shields on each bearing are not required, so ... you can remove them using a small jewelers screwdriver ... simple. And in one fell swoop you have halved your wheel bearing friction.

   Cleaning: All Bearings need to be cleaned from time to time. Depending on how focused and competitive you are, this can be as often as after each race meeting, or just once or twice a year ... For Club Meetings once or twice a year might be all you need if you are easily beating your competition, but for the BIG meets you need that extra 5% or 10% just to be up with the rest.
What you need is a small glass jar, a jewelers screwdriver, an old tooth brush and some Isopropanol.
Remove the shields, then drop the bearings in the jar, add some Isopropanol, pop on the lid and shake well. Empty them out, give them a good brushing and make sure they spin free then repeat the process. Clean the shields separately. Once you are satisfied, lay them on a piece of kitchen roll and allow to dry.

   Lubrication: The arguments I have had about what lubrication to use you wouldn't believe. Some of the top racers of my day swore they didn't use any at all, but cleaned out the original lubrication and ran them dry ... they also admitted to fitting a new set after each meeting ... well, they were getting them for free.
My tip is, yes even with a new set of bearings, clean out the original lubrication (as described above) and with one shield in place use the thinnest oil you can find ... I recommend ZX1 (Zed Ex One) or sewing machine oil.

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







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