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Tamiya Top Force - #58100 (Radio Controlled Model)

1/10 Scale Electric Buggy - DF-01 Chassis:

  Released by Tamiya on November 26, 1991, the Top Force was basically a lightweight double deck, Fibreglass Reinforced Plate (FRP) version of the highly successful Manta Ray DF-01 chassis. The Top Force was re-released in 2005 (#58362).

Tamiya Top Force - #58100 DF-01

  Many considered the Top Force to be a vast improvement of the DF-01 chassis and on flat, less bumpy tracks, it was. But because of the lightweight construction and the double decks tendency to flex, it was not as fast "out of the box" on rugged, bumpy tracks. Less viscous damper oil and softer springs did improve the cars handling but for me it never performed to its potential.

  One problem with the DF-01 chassis and its family was that if the motor mount was allowed to work loose, the pinion gear would chew up the spur gear in seconds, so you soon learned to check it after every race. Or, if you could afford it, replace it with an alloy motor mount that a local model maker made for us that guy was brilliant.

  On the positive side, a full set of shielded ball bearings was included in the kit and the universal drive shafts were brilliant.

  Because of the many incarnations of the DF-01, TA-01 and TA-02 chassis for many models, parts and spares for the Top Force are relatively easy to find.


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





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Tamiya Top Force #58100 - Chassis
Tamiya Top Force #58100 Chassis
Tamiya Top Force #58100
Tamiya Top Force #58100 Body Shell

Buying a Used Tamiya Top Force
Buggy (and What to look for)


   Buying a used Tamiya Top Force Electric Buggy, 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 Buggy you may discover can easily be fixed.

Dampers
   When you receive your used Tamiya Buggy, 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 Top Force 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 Top Force 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 Top Force Buggy 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 Buggy 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 Buggy 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 Buggy 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 Buggy 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 Top Force 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 Top Force 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 Buggy 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 Top Force model and good racing.


For More on how to Setup your Buggy, check out my Hints and Tips page.














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Hints and Tips


Electric Motors for RC Models

Brushless Motor Basics

   Choosing the right Brushless motor for your needs can be a daunting task for those new to Radio Controlled Models. If you have a local club perhaps you could ask some of the more experienced members for their advice, but a little basic knowledge about the subject, so you know what questions to ask is always useful.

   All Brushless motors are rated by Kilovolts (KV) and is an indication of the revs per minute (RPM) that particular Motor can attain running freely, under no load conditions, per Volt of input.

   For Example: To calculate the Maximum RPM of a Motor listed at 4000 KV, connected to a 7.4 Volt Battery, simply multiply the two: 4000 x 7.4 = 29600 RPM.

   The two main types of Brushless Motors used in RC are Sensored and a Sensorless Motors.
   Sensored Motors can be connected directly using s cable, to the Electronic Speed Controller (ESC). The ESC is then able to monitor the performance of the Motor and regulate Current output, to attain smooth, controlled acceleration. Advance and Retard timing is made automatically by the ERSC to change torque when exiting corners and give you more RPM for long straights.

   Sensorless Motors can only be set manually for Advance and Retard timing and once that setting is made you have to stick with it. For obvious reasons, Sensorless motors are cheaper to buy than the Sensored type: Ideal if you just want to bash around in the back yard, but not so much if you are serious about your racing.

   Brushless Motors, need a reasonable amount of maintenance if they are to remain competitive. For top level racing I recommend you strip, clean and re-oil the bearings every 2 or 3 meetings (Check out our "get the best from your bearings" section).
   Gearing your motor correctly for any given track is always important. (Check out my Gearing tips on the Pinions Section of this site) A cool motor is an efficient motor. As your motor heats up towards the end of a race, it will loose efficiency. Gearing correctly can avoid this problem to some degree and simply following my simple guidelines, described in the aforementioned article can help you not only keep your motor running efficiently, but help you stay in front of your opposition.

   One last tip .. When re-building your Brushless Motor, to safely replace the Rotor, use a rolled up piece of paper and place it into the Can. This will protect your rotor against damage. Then carefully remove the paper before replacing the endbell.

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



Information and Advice

Electronic Speed Controllers

History:

   ESC were originally developed to be used in conjunction with brushed 27T stock and modified motors in the late 1970s, early 1980s. Compared to modern day Controllers, they were Bulky and heavy, constructed using basic resistors, rheostats, capacitors and transistors, crammed together on a simple circuit board, to provide stepped but smooth acceleration when compared to the old mechanical, servo operated sweeper Speed Controllers. An Electronic Switch to change the direction of current flow was used on some of these early ESC to give reverse operation. Although they were a vast improvement on the old mechanical speedos of the time, they were expensive, jerky to control and prone to burn out if not carefully looked after.

   As new technology became available, improvements were slowly made and with the introduction of the new FET (Field Effect Transistors) and some basic mass produced silicon chips, ESC were made smaller and their reliability gradually improved.

   By the mid 1990s, "regenerative breaking" was developed. This meant that energy that would have been lost slowing down the car by effectively turning the motor into a generator, was harvested and put back into the battery. This of course was long before F1 had KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) and adjustable anti lock breaking was introduced.

   Brushless Motors came to RC in the late 1990s early 2000s, which required a new breed of ESC to be developed to fully utilise the new technology. Ni-Cad Rechargeable Batteries were superseded by Ni-Mh and more recently Li-Po Batteries which provided higher Current output for the ESC to regulate. The latest ESC now use sensors to manage the motor and can be adjusted remotely to suit varying conditions.


Brushed Motor ESC.

   The "Silver Can" Stock Motors that come in a wide number of RC model kits are often accompanied by a 5 Amps to 20 Amps ESC. However, if you want to upgrade to a more powerful Modified Brushed Motor, 20 Amps may not be enough, so you will have to buy a something well over 20 Amps depending on the number of turns of your motor. As a rough guide, a 9 Single has a much higher current requirement than 20 Single.

Brushless Motor ESC.

   ESC for Brushless Motors are in no way compatible with brushed motors. The DC (Direct Current) input from the battery, on brushless ESC is transformed into three phase AC (Alternating Current). Each "phase" connecting three wires on the Brushless motor. By changing the frequency of the output wave the motor will spin faster for acceleration or slower for breaking. Reverse is simply achieved by changing over any two of the three "phases".
   At the time this article was written, Brushless ESC range from 3 Amps to around 300 Amps.
   For beginners I recommended you buy an ESC and Motor Combo, that way you can be sure the ESC Current rating is correct for the Motor.


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









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