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Tamiya Vodafone McLaren Mercedes MP4-24 - #58475 (Radio Controlled Model Review)

1/10 Scale Electric Formula One Car - F104 Chassis:

  Released by Tamiya on November 10, 2010, based on the F104 Chassis, this Formula One Radio Controlled model is of the Vodafone sponsored McLaren Mercedes MP4-24 driven by Lewis Hamilton and Heikki Kovalainen in the 2009 F1 World Championships.

Tamiya Vodafone McLaren Mercedes MP4-24 - #58475 F104
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  Seven years after the excellent 4WD F201 chassis and fourteen years after the introduction of the F103RS, Tamiya have gone back to 2WD and produced a chassis design able to compete against the best.

  The twin deck FRP (Fibreglass Reinforced Plastic) chassis design provides a more rigid structure than its 2WD predecessors and a radically re-designed front end allows for the setting of two different camber angles.

  At the rear end, the cars suspension employs the usual friction plate and T-bar set up with a coil spring over friction damper. The gear case has been designed to be ground clearance adjustable to match the slick foam tire dimensions as they wear.

  The smooth action pressure plate ball differential remains, along with the steel axle shaft. The best part of this re-design for me is the re-positioning of the battery to a longitudinal position, vastly improving the centre of gravity and reducing body roll.

  To reduce costs, Tamiya use plastic and sintered brass bush type bearings for this model. If these are installed, when dust and grit get into them, they will abrade the shafts that spin in them. Therefore I recommend they be replaced by steel shielded ball bearings before first assembly.


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

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Tamiya Vodafone McLaren Mercedes MP4-24 #58475 F104 - Chassis
Tamiya Vodafone McLaren Mercedes MP4-24 #58475 F104 Chassis
Tamiya Vodafone McLaren Mercedes MP4-24 #58475 F104
Tamiya Vodafone McLaren Mercedes MP4-24 #58475 F104 Body Shell

General Information and Advice

   For those starting in Radio Controlled Racing, here are a few Hints and Tips: Firstly, buy a Kit not an RTR. That way, if something breaks you will have some idea how to fix it.

   Radio Controlled Model Cars are very fragile and easily broken. The main parts to protect are the Front Wishbones, Suspension Shock Towers, Dampers, Hub Carriers, Kingpins, Uprights and Toe in Blocks, so make sure you have a good strong front bumper and Lexan or Hard Plastic Body Shell and if available for your model, a protective under tray, to prevent grit and dust getting into any moving parts.

   The Steering Servo is also a weakness in high speed crash situations, so get yourself some good strong Servo Mount and Servo Saver. Also I would recommend Titanium Shafts, Turnbuckles, Tie Rods and pivot/steering shafts and if available for your model, lightweight Titanium Drive shafts, dog bones and CVD (Constant Velocity Drives). The standard steel types are far too easily bent.

   Gearing is another problem area on RC model cars. Head on collisions can easily break off gear teeth on Nylon/Plastic Spur Gears and even Bevel Gears inside the Gearbox. Heavy impacts can also loosen nuts and self taping screws that hold the Motor in Position, allowing the Pinion Gear to pull out of mesh slightly and rip the tops of the teeth on your Spur Gear. To avoid this to some degree, fit locking nuts and a new motor mount from time to time, so the self taping screws that hold the motor in position have less chance to come loose.

   Ball joints always cause problems. For top level Radio Controlled model 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 breaking free could easily end your race, so better safe than sorry.

   Many New car kits come with Nylon and Sintered Brass Ring type bearings. My advice is to discard these before initial installation and buy a good Hop-up set of Shielded Steel Ball Bearings. Or if you are serious about your racing, Teflon or Ceramic Bearings.

   One final piece of advice about the Setup of your Car. Keep the Centre of Gravity as low as possible. Ride Height is all important. For On Road Drift/Touring cars the Ride Height should be no more than 5mm, for Buggys, Trucks, Truggys and Monster Trucks, as low as possible depending on the track conditions. If Body Roll is a problem, handling can be improved with the use of Stabilizers, Anti roll or Sway Bars, stiffer Tuning Springs and, or thicker Silicon Oil in the Dampers. Also find somewhere to mount the Transponder as low in the Chassis as possible.

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Or, check out our RC Model Car Setup Guide













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Tamiya Vodafone McLaren Mercedes MP4-24


Hints and Tips

Tires for RC Models

Sponge (Foam) Tires:

   Sponge Tires can be purchased either pre mounted, glued and trued on the rims, or separately. Fitting the Tires onto the rims can be messy, so here are a few tips to make it a bit easier.
   If you are fitting new Tires on old rims, make sure the old sponge Tire is completely removed. To do this, I recommend using a wood lathe and apiece of wood, at least 300mm long and more than the width of your wheels, with medium grit emery paper stuck to it ... sand paper will also work, but emery is harder wearing ... This will also be used for truing a wheel. (Described later)

How to Mount and Glue Sponge Tires onto Wheels/Rims.

1/   Mount the Tires on the rims. Make sure they are reasonably tight on the rims, too loose and you might have problems.

2/   I find this to be easier if either in the lathe, or on the car itself. (but be careful with that glue)
  Using your thumb and forefinger, lift up the Tire off the rim, then using a small spatula or a thin piece of rigid wood or plastic dipped in glue (I recommend Evo-Stik, Impact Adhesive) slip it in the gap, making sure both the Tire and the rim are smeared. Then lower the Tire back onto the rim and press it down. Turn the Tire approximately 60 degrees and repeat.

3/   Depending on the width of the Tire you may need to repeat the process on the inside also.


How to True Sponge Tires.

   Truing Sponge Tires is essential if you are serious about racing competitively. To do this you will need the piece of wood, as described earlier and a good pair of vernier or digital calipers.
   Sponge Tires will always wear unevenly, weather you race on Carpet or Tarmac. The outside wheels will always end a race smaller than the ones on the inside, so after each race I recommend swapping them over (unless you are fortunate to have a new set for each race) and dont forget to adjust the steering trim on your transmitter before the next race.

1/   Before starting, check each mounted Tire for diameter and order them smallest to largest. Start with the smallest and mount it in the lathe.

2/   Make sure you are wearing safety glasses before you start this procedure: Lay the sanding wood under the Tire so that it can be pivoted up from behind onto the Tire. Start the lathe spinning, so that as you stand infront of the Tire, it is rotating downwards. Slowly lift the sanding wood and try to hold it ridged as it comes up against the Tire. There will be a high point on the Tire that if you hold the bat rigid enough will eventually wear down until the Tire appears completely concentric. at this point stop the lathe and measure the diameter on the inside and outside of the width. If needs be, repeat the process until satisfied.
Repeat for each Tire, matching them in pairs for diameter.
If considered necessary also trim the sides.


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



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.







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