RCScrapyard ► Iconic Vintage Radio Controlled (RC) Model Car Archive ► Tamiya Volkswagen-Beetle. ITEM #58383/#57768 M-04L.
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Tamiya Volkswagen Beetle - #58383 (Radio Controlled Model)

1/10 Scale Electric M-Chassis Model Car - M-04L Chassis:

  Released by Tamiya on February 21, 2007, this RWD Radio Controlled self assembly kit, based on the M04L chassis, is of the Volkswagen Beetle that had been previously released on the M02L Chassis (#58173) in 1996.

Tamiya Volkswagen-Beetle - #58383 M-04L

  The first rear mounted motor, rear wheel drive, short wheelbase M-Chassis model, designated the M02, was released in 1995, for the Fiat Abarth 1000 TCR Berlina Corse (#58158). Four years later the design was updated with the introduction of the M04. No standard short 210mm wheelbase M04 version was ever produced and was only released in the Medium (M04M) 225mm and Long (M04L) 239mm wheelbase formats.

  The new design discards the horizontally mounted friction mono shocks that were used on the M02, replacing them with a more stable four coil over friction shock absorber configuration. Changing these for oil filled versions can improve the cars handling considerably.

  Like the majority of the radio controlled models produced by Tamiya in this period, the car disappointingly comes with the plastic/nylon and sintered brass bush type bearings. If installed, the grease on these bearings collect dust and grit that actually abrades the shafts spinning in them, so if you do fit ball bearings at a later time they are sloppy on the shafts not good To avoid this problem, a full set of steel ball bearings should be installed on first build.


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





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Tamiya Volkswagen Beetle #58383 M-04L - Chassis
Tamiya Volkswagen Beetle #58383 M-04L Chassis
M-04L - Chassis
Tamiya M-04L Chassis

Buying a Used Tamiya Volkswagen Beetle
Touring Car (and What to look for)


   Buying a used Tamiya Volkswagen Beetle Electric Touring 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 Touring Car you may discover can easily be fixed.

Dampers
   When you receive your used Tamiya Touring 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 Volkswagen Beetle 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 Volkswagen Beetle 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 Volkswagen Beetle Touring 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 Touring 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 Touring 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 Touring 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 Touring 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 Volkswagen Beetle 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 Volkswagen Beetle 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 Touring 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 Volkswagen Beetle model and good racing.


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














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Tamiya Volkswagen-Beetle


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.

For Car Setup Information check out our 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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