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Tamiya Volkswagen New Beetle - #58217 (Radio Controlled Model)

1/10 Scale Electric Touring Car - FF-01 Chassis:

  Released by Tamiya on May 20, 1998, this FF-01 Chassis based electric RC model, is of the Volkswagen New Beetle. The lightweight Lexan polycarbonate body shell in this kit accurately recreates the cars lines.

Tamiya Volkswagen New Beetle - #58217 FF01

  Based on the TA-02 chassis (and does share some of its parts) the FF-01 was first introduced in 1993 and was an instant success for those looking for a realistic Front Wheel Drive experience.

  The FF01 chassis design employs a pressure plate ball differential and coil spring over oil filled shock absorbers.

  The kit comes with the plastic and sintered brass bush type bearings that when dust and grit get into them will abrade the shafts that spin in them. Therefore I suggest that these should be discarded and replaced by rubber shielded ball bearings before you start to build your kit.

  To drive, the FF-01 is not the easiest out of the box, but with a few simple tweaks, handling can be much improved. Under-steer for some was a problem, but with the right tuning springs and oil weight this can easily be overcome.

  In conclusion, a fun car to drive but could be a bit of a handful for a beginner.


      Rating: 3.53.5 Stars out of 5 Reviewed by: RCScrapyard     Manual.





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Tamiya Volkswagen New Beetle #58217 FF01 - Chassis
Tamiya Volkswagen New Beetle #58217 FF01 Chassis
Tamiya Volkswagen New Beetle #58217 FF01
Tamiya Volkswagen New Beetle #58217 FF01 Body Shell

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


   Buying a used Tamiya Volkswagen New 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 New 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 New 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 New 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 New 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 New 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 New 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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Ball Differentials


   Ball differentials were developed in the late 1980s to replace the high friction Gear differentials. Mainly used on Tamiya Touring Cars, Le-Mans and Formula One Cars, Ball Differentials are designed to be totally frictionless and smooth in action to provide effortless drive to the wheels on cornering, where the inside wheels must rotate slower than the outside wheels for controlled stability.

   Basically, the configuration of the Ball Differential is a number of small case hardened steel balls, spaced in a plastic cage that is in effect the drive gear for the axle. On each side of the gear are two hardened and tempered pressure plates that clamp over the steel balls, held in position by a screw through the centre of the assembly, incorporating a small thrust bearing and coil spring. The adjustment of this screw is crucial to the effectiveness of the differentials action. Too tight and the free movement of the diff is restricted. Too loose and the balls will slip on the plates when accelerating out of the corner, not only reducing drive, but damaging the balls and pressure plates not good. The optimum setting is obviously somewhere in between and is where the small coil spring is important. It must be compressed, but not fully, to provide the desired exact pressure required. With a little practise setting up the diff become second nature. Patience is the word for this procedure.

   Lubrication of Ball Differentials is essential for that smooth operation and special greases have been developed that allow the balls to roll freely in the cage and push aside as they roll over the pressure plates.

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



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.









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