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Tamiya Terra Crusher - # 43501 (Radio Controlled Model Review)

1/8 Scale Nitro Monster Truck: TGM-02 Chassis

  Released by Tamiya in July 2002, the XBG 4x4 Monster Truck Terra Crusher - # 43501 - is No.1 in the Factory Assembled Glow-Engine RC Car Series and was based on the TGM-02 chassis with an FS-18 engine.

Tamiya Terra Crusher - 1:8 Nitro Monster Truck
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  The model is shaft driven, on an alloy plate with molded plastic chassis, gear type differentials, 8 x coil spring over oil filled dampers, universal joint drive-shafts and ball bearings.

  To race the Tamiya Terra Crusher, it has to have the best settings for your driving style and provide you with excellent handling and stability. The smallest changes can make a huge difference in the way your car performs on the track and our comprehensive instructions will help you to find the best Set-up to get you where you want to be.


      Rating: 44 Stars out of 5 Reviewed by: RCScrapyard     Manual.

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★ Tamiya TGM-02 Chassis ★
Tamiya TGM-02 Chassis

★ Tamiya FS-18 ★
Tamiya FS-18 engine

★ Tamiya TGM-02 Chassis ★
Tamiya TGM-02 Chassis

★ Tamiya TGM-02 Chassis ★
Tamiya TGM-02 Chassis


Buying a Used Tamiya Terra Crusher
Monster Truck (and What to look for)


   Buying a used Tamiya Terra Crusher Nitro Monster 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 Monster Truck you may discover, can easily be fixed.

Dampers
   When you receive your used Tamiya Monster 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 Terra Crusher 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 Terra Crusher 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 Terra Crusher Monster Truck model at a competitive level, I would also recommend you obtain and fit titanium pivot shafts, turnbuckles, tie rods and steering rods.

   The gearbox of your used Monster 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 Monster 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 Monster 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 Nitro Engine 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 Nitro Engine mount and remember to check them for security after every two or three runs.

   Ball joints always cause problems. For top level Nitro Monster 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 Terra Crusher 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 Terra Crusher 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 Monster 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 Terra Crusher model and good racing.


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Hints and Tips

Damper Pistons

   When you first build your RC model, you will sometimes find that there are a number of different pistons in the kit, with varying numbers of holes or hole sizes in them. Generally, the manufacturer will suggest one particular piston in the car manual and may provide you with a mid range oil weight, but depending on the type of terrain you intend to race your model, their suggestion may not be the best for your needs.

   When it comes to tuning your dampers there are basically two things you need to know about pistons. "Pack" and "Static Damping".

   Pack, is the speed your damper reacts to any quick compression and can be considered to be a consequence of the size or number of holes in the piston. Smaller holes, more pack, larger holes, less pack.

   Static Damping is the amount of resistance you sense when slowly pulling or pushing the piston rod in and out of the damper. As with pack, this is related to the number or size of the piston holes. Larger holes, less static damping, smaller holes more static damping.

   Setting up your dampers is a matter of trial and error. With the car in full race mode, that means with everything installed, place it on a table, then pick up the rear of the car, raising it around six inches and drop it onto the table. The chassis should dip slightly below then back up again to the pre-set ride height, in one smooth movement. If instead, it slaps down onto the table, the pack of your dampers is not enough. In this instance, depending on the setup you are testing, you have two options, thicker oil or smaller holed pistons. If when you do the test the dip is hardly any, then the pack is too hard and you should try thinner oil or bigger holed pistons. Repeat this process for the front of the car. Finally, with both ends adjusted, pick up the entire car and drop it from the same height. Both ends should respond equally when dropped, if not, change your pistons or oil weights until they do.

   After your basic setup, you then need to test your car on the track. If the rear of the car tends to hop excessively over small bumps, the rear dampers have too much pack. You need to change the pistons on the rear for larger holes and also use thicker oil to maintain static damping. If the car chassis bottoms through small bumps and landing on jumps, the pack is not enough. In this instance, change for smaller holes and thinner oil.

   If the car lands nose up from a jump, this is indicative of the front dampers having too much pack. These should be adjusted as described above to keep the car static damping in balance. Nose down obviously means not enough pack ..

   I hope this article has been helpful. Good luck and good racing.

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







Hints and Tips

Anti Squat

   Described as the angle at which the suspension arms pivot in relation to the chassis, Anti Squat effects traction under acceleration.

   Considered to be at its most effective from a standing start, the handling and stability of the majority of modern day On Road and an increasing number of Off Road models, can be improved with a certain amount of anti squat, normally no more than around 3 degrees.

   Basically, more anti squat gives you more traction, but after a certain point, that advantage is lost and the car will become unstable when turning into high speed corners. For Off Road models anti squat can also improve how the car handles on bumpy tracks.

   Less anti squat allows the car to drop at the rear under hard acceleration, providing less traction, but more stable when cornering. If no anti squat is present, with the lower suspension pivot shaft being parallel to the chassis, steering will be sharp and can induce some over-steer.

   Most manufacturers have some anti squat on their car kits provided as standard and hop-up parts are generally available to change the anti squat angle, but more often, on a wide range of models, all that is needed is a washer or two under one side of the suspension pivot block. However, if the block is held in position using self tapping screws, it may be prudent to change them for slightly longer ones.

   If you are thinking of trying a different setting on your car, not just for anti squat, always remember to only make one change at a time. Too many changes to your set-up made at one time, can make it difficult, if not impossible, to determine which change you made gave you the result you desired.

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








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