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Tamiya Twin Detonator - #58309 (Radio Controlled Model Review)

1/10 Scale Electric Monster Truck - WR-01 Chassis:

  Released by Tamiya on December 3, 2003, the Twin Detonator is a Twin-Motor Monster Truck, based on the same chassis as the Wild Dagger (#58231) previously released in 1999.

Tamiya Twin Detonator - #58309
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  The Chassis, designated the WR-01, employs two orbital gear differential, two standard silver can electric motors and four coil spring over friction shock absorbers. For improved handling these should be upgraded to oil filled.

  Like many Tamiya models produced in this period, the kit comes with nylon/plastic and sintered brass bush type bearings that after a short while, when dust and grit get into them, will abrade the metal drive shafts that spin in them - if you are building this kit to race seriously these should be replaced by steel ball bearings.

  Considered by some to be the best Twin-Motor design ever produced by any Radio Controlled model manufacturer, the Twin Detonator follows in the footsteps of the Wild Dagger as being well loved and great fun to drive.


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

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Tamiya Twin Detonator #58309 - WR-01
Tamiya Twin Detonator - #58309
Tamiya Twin Detonator Monocoque Frame Chassis - WR-01
Tamiya Twin Detonator Polycarbonate Monocoque Frame Chassis - #58309

Buying a Used Tamiya Twin Detonator
Monster Truck (and What to look for)


   Buying a used Tamiya Twin Detonator Electric 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 Twin Detonator 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 Twin Detonator 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 Twin Detonator Monster 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 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 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 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 Twin Detonator 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 Twin Detonator 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 Twin Detonator model and good racing.




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Hints and Tips

Weight

   If you ever step up and enter a regional, national or international event in RC, you will find one specific rule concerning the weight of your car.

   At the time this article was written, the Minimum weight restrictions for 1:10 electric Touring Cars at different events, was between 1350g and 1500g. This includes your Motor, ESC, Receiver, Battery, Body Shell and the transponder.

   Out of the box you will find the majority of 1:10 Touring Cars, with everything onboard, are way over this Minimum weight and unless you are good enough to attract sponsors, getting your car down to anything approaching that minimum weight will be very expensive.

   There are things you can buy like micro ESC and Receivers. But Batteries and Motors are what they are and you have to work around them.

   To reduce the weight of your chassis, there are a number of things you can do. If the car you have is generally considered competitive enough, there are often carbon fibre main chassis, shock mounts and other alternative parts available, but they are expensive. And when the new version of your model comes out all the money you have spent is lost.

   The most cost effective weight reduction is the metal parts of your chassis. UJs, Drive and Pivot shafts and the like tend to vary from model to model, but turnbuckles can often be transferred and lengthened or shortened by using plastic ball connectors, so titanium is a consideration.

   Screw sets can also be transferred from car to car. Titanium screws and wheel nuts are always available, but there is a cheaper alternative Aluminium screws and nuts can reduce your cars weight cheaply, but be careful not to over-tighten them, aluminium is not as strong as titanium and can easily shear off if you are over zealous.

   Another weight reduction option is to drill holes along the base of the chassis. However, I do not recommend this. For one thing you are reducing the strength and making the chassis less rigid, but you are also raising the centre of gravity of your car, which can affect stability.

   If you do manage to get your car weight below the minimum allowed, this will give you an opportunity to add weight where you want it and lower the cars centre of gravity.

   One last tip: Knitting needles. When I first started in RC, money was tight and my dad came up with all kinds of ideas to reduce weight. He obtained a 3mm dye and found some of my mums old aluminium knitting needles that were just the right diameter. Having determined the length of the turnbuckles needed for my setup, he cut them to those lengths and threaded each end, so he could put plastic ball sockets on them. Adjusting them was a bit of a pain and they could be a bit fragile in crash situations, but they saved us lots of money over those early years.

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



Gear Differentials


   The Gear Differentials, commonly used in Tamiya Buggys, Trucks, Touring Cars, Monster Trucks and some of the early Tamiya Formula One and Le-Mans cars, are by design more robust than the high maintenance Ball Differentials.

   The configuration uses a main drive gear, fixed on each side of the drive axles and either three or four small metal orbital bevel gears, in a plastic gear housing, providing the drive to each side of the car when cornering, to allow the inside wheel to rotate slower than the outside wheel.

   Maintaining your Gear differentials is crucial if your car is to be competitive. Regular greasing is required, preferably molybdenum grease with graphite flakes, smeared over the gear teeth. If neglected, the gear teeth grind and wear at a rapid rate and will quickly fail, leaving you with a potentially expensive rebuild.

   For slower moving models such as Monster Trucks, Rock Crawlers and budget end Off road Buggys, Trucks and On Road Drift and Touring Cars, where low friction differential action is not essential, Gear Differentials are ideal, providing drive to each wheel as required. However, for top level competitive racing ,On and Off Road, Ball Differentials are preferable. Admittedly, they require a little more maintenance, but the benefits on the track far outweigh the negatives of the old Gear diffs.

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









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