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Tamiya Wild Commando - # 43503 (Radio Controlled Model Review)

1/8 Scale Nitro Monster Truck: TGM-02 Chassis

  Released by Tamiya in December 2002, the 4WD XBG Wild Commando - # 43503 - is No.3 in the Expert Build Factory Assembled Glow-Engine RC Car Series and is based on the TGM-02 chassis, with an FS-18S engine.

Tamiya Wild Commando - 1:8 Nitro Monster Truck
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  The model is shaft driven, on an alloy plate with molded plastic chassis, gear type differentials, 8 x coil spring over oil filled dampers, universal joint drive-shafts and ball bearings.

  To race the Tamiya Wild Commando, it must be fine tuned to improve handling, provide responsive steering and give you the grip to cruise around corners at high speed, without slipping off the track. Small adjustments can make a Big difference and our step by step procedure, will guide you to the best Set-up for your individual driving style.


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

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★ Tamiya TGM-02 Chassis ★
Tamiya TGM-02 Chassis

★ Tamiya FS-18S ★
Tamiya FS-18S engine

★ Tamiya TGM-02 Chassis ★
Tamiya TGM-02 Chassis

★ Tamiya TGM-02 Chassis ★
Tamiya TGM-02 Chassis


Buying a Used Tamiya Wild Commando
Monster Truck (and What to look for)


   Buying a used Tamiya Wild Commando Nitro 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 Wild Commando 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 Wild Commando 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 Wild Commando Monster Truck model at a competitive level, I would also recommend you obtain and fit titanium pivot shafts, turnbuckles, tie rods and steering rods.

   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 Nitro Engine 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 Nitro Engine mount and remember to check them for security after every two or three runs.

   Ball joints always cause problems. For top level Nitro 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 Wild Commando 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 Wild Commando 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 Wild Commando model and good racing.


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Hints and Tips

Ride Height

   To allow the suspension on any RC model to do its work properly it needs to settle in a position that is somewhere between it being able to react to any bumps and holes it may encounter on the track. To do this, it needs to be adjusted to somewhere in-between those limits. That position is termed the ride height and is generally measured with the car race ready, that means with the motor and battery etc installed and is the distance between the underside of the chassis and the ground.

   Simply speaking, determining ride height is dependent on the specific track conditions. For off road models the rule is simple, the bigger the bumps and the deeper the holes, the higher the ride height. On road, the closer the car is to the track, the better it will handle.

   For 1:10 Buggys I generally recommend a starting point for ride height at around 20mm. 1:10 Trucks and Truggys, 30mm upwards, depending on the wheel diameter. For On Road models, as low as possible, but normally the setting is around 5mm.

   Ride height doesn't just affect the way the car handles uneven track conditions, it also influences the way the car handles when cornering. For a stable car, body roll must be kept to a minimum and keeping the ride height low, is by far the best and easiest way to control it.

   Before you begin to set the ride height, it is best to make sure that each pair of shocks are exactly the same length, have the same spring type and same silicone oil weight. Also, if you don't have a ride height gauge of any kind, decide what height you want set your car to and prepare some kind of slip gauge to that dimension, a book, a pen, or anything that measures to what you want. I used an old square plastic servo mount, which was exactly 5mm for my touring car. It may be low tech, but it is just as accurate as any gauge you can buy.

   To set the ride height, the race ready car must be placed on a flat surface. Slide your slip gauge under the chassis and adjust the height by adding or removing tension to the damper springs. This is done on most models by using small C shaped clips, placed over the damper, above the springs, or on a number of top of the range models, this adjustment can be made by screwing a knurled nut on each threaded damper body. As a rule if the springs are compressed by more than 25% they should be replaced by stiffer springs. The gauge should just slide under the chassis on all four corners of the chassis.

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







Hints and Tips

Maintain your Fuel System

   Nitro engines need a regulated constant supply of fuel to run efficiently. If this supply is restricted or contaminated in any way, the engine will show problems in a number of ways.

   If your engine is running hotter than normal, begins to stutter, has trouble idling or won't even start, your first instinct would be that it is running lean, but when you try to make adjustments, it has no effect. The reasons for your problem could be a number of things, but the most likely is a fuel or fuel line problem.

   First of all visually inspect the fuel system. Check the fuel line for any kinks or tight bends that could restrict free flow. If you do find any kinks or any damage to the line, I would recommend changing it rather than trying to simply straighten it out or repairing it in any way. Any leaks you find in the system must be dealt with, if you can, replace the parts.

   If the line looks okay, disconnect it and check for any blockages. Clean and flush it out if you can, or if necessary replace it. If your system has a fuel filter, clean or replace it.

   Check the fuel tank. If the fuel cap or the tank has been damaged in some way, this could allow contamination or debris to enter the system. If damage is found, don't risk it, change the tank.

   If the tank looks undamaged, drain it and refill with fuel. However, before you do this, check your manual to make sure that you are using the right type of fuel for your engine. If in any doubt, don't be afraid to ask someone.

   Make sure the fuel line is the correct size. If too small, it will not be capable of supplying the amount of fuel the engine requires. If the line is too large it could be impossible to reduce the flow enough for the engines needs and be constantly running rich.

   Second hand engines can often have had changes made by the previous owner that could be causing your problems. If after carrying out all the recommendations in this article, check the manufacturers' website for any details on recommended fuel and fuel system.

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








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