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Tamiya XB HKS Racing Altezza (TRB001) - # 57712 (Radio Controlled Model Review)

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

  Released by Tamiya circa 2002, the 4WD XB HKS Racing Altezza (TRB001) (#57712) is No.12 in the RTR Pre-Assembled Expert Built Series, based on the TL-01 chassis. The Tamiya HKS Racing Altezza (TRB001) kit (#58276) was based on the TA-04R chassis, introduced in 2001 and is of the HKS Racing Toyota Altezza from 2001.

  A pre-painted lexan bodyshell, a 540 motor and radio system are included, but may require a battery, charger and speed controller to complete (specifications differ from country to country).

Tamiya XB HKS Racing Altezza (TRB001) - TL-01 # 57712
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  The TL-01 monocoque frame chassis is shaft driven four wheel drive, with orbital gear type differentials front and rear. The suspension is four wheel independent double wishbone with coil spring over friction dampers.

  The stick battery is positioned in the middle across the width of the chassis. Steering is via two plastic track rods of fixed length. These can be replaced with appropriate length turnbuckles, to allow some toe-in adjustment for improved cornering.

  Like the majority of Tamiya models, the kit comes with plastic bush type bearings, that after a short while, when dust and grit get into them, actually wear into the metal drive shafts - our recommendation is that these should be replaced by steel shielded ball bearings ASAP.

  To get the best from the Tamiya TL-01 Chassis, it needs to be fine tuned, for smooth acceleration under control and handle corners at high speed, without slipping off the track. Small adjustments can make a Big difference and our simple to understand, step by step procedure, will guide you to the best Set-up for your driving style.


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

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Tamiya XB HKS Racing Altezza - TL-01 Chassis
Tamiya TL-01 Chassis

Tamiya XB HKS Racing Altezza - TL-01 Chassis
Tamiya TL-01 Chassis

Tamiya XB HKS Racing Altezza - TL-01 Chassis
Tamiya TL-01 Chassis


Buying a Used Tamiya HKS Racing Altezza
Touring Car (and What to look for)


   Buying a used Tamiya HKS Racing Altezza 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 HKS Racing Altezza 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 HKS Racing Altezza 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 HKS Racing Altezza 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 HKS Racing Altezza 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 HKS Racing Altezza 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 HKS Racing Altezza model and good racing.


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Hints and Tips

Battery Connectors

   Over the years I have been racing radio controlled model cars of all descriptions, I have tried a number of different connectors for my batteries.

   My first car was a Tamiya Boomerang and of course the batteries I used all had the standard Tamiya connectors, which were fine with the kit supplied 27T silver can electric motor, but I soon discovered their problem when I installed my first Modified motor. The high current demands of the motor created so much heat, the plastic surround of the connectors melted and fused together. No matter how I tried they could not be disconnected. My only option was to cut the wires.

   From there I moved over to Corally connectors, commonly referred to by many now as Bullet connectors. Comprising of a short length of 4mm gold plated tube at one end and what looks like what we used to call a Chinese lantern fitting that slotted inside the tube, also gold plated. Although they were highly efficient and reasonably easy to install and use, I never really took to this type of connector, I think it was the fact that there was always the possibility of the positive and negative being connected wrongly in poor light and also that if positioned side by side, each connector could work loose and become exposed, leaving the possibility of a short circuit.

   Then I remember buying some second hand batteries at an area meeting one day, they had these little red block connectors I soon learned were "Deans" rated at around 40 Amps. They looked like just what I was looking for so I gave them a try. They worked fine, although I didn't like the shortness of the part to be soldered. However, for about two years they were my connector of choice, until I stumbled across an advert in the "Radio Race Car International" magazine.

   The latest development in connectors at that time were named "Power Pole", made by a company called Anderson and were rated at 45 Amps. The design uses a small tube, plated with silver, with a short extending lip, that slots over the exposed wire and can either be crimped onto the wire or soldered. For safety and efficiency, I prefer the latter. To complete the connector, a colour coded plastic cover fits neatly over it.

   It was way back in 1995 I first used Power-Pole and to this day they are still the most efficient I have come across and never overheat.

   So, if you are looking for a connector to change over to, that has a high current rating and won't cause you any overheating problems "Anderson Power Pole" is the one I recommend.

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







Hints and Tips

Anti Squat

   Described as the angle at which the suspension arms pivot in relation to the chassis, Anti Squat effects traction under acceleration.

   Considered to be at its most effective from a standing start, the handling and stability of the majority of modern day On Road and an increasing number of Off Road models, can be improved with a certain amount of anti squat, normally no more than around 3 degrees.

   Basically, more anti squat gives you more traction, but after a certain point, that advantage is lost and the car will become unstable when turning into high speed corners. For Off Road models anti squat can also improve how the car handles on bumpy tracks.

   Less anti squat allows the car to drop at the rear under hard acceleration, providing less traction, but more stable when cornering. If no anti squat is present, with the lower suspension pivot shaft being parallel to the chassis, steering will be sharp and can induce some over-steer.

   Most manufacturers have some anti squat on their car kits provided as standard and hop-up parts are generally available to change the anti squat angle, but more often, on a wide range of models, all that is needed is a washer or two under one side of the suspension pivot block. However, if the block is held in position using self tapping screws, it may be prudent to change them for slightly longer ones.

   If you are thinking of trying a different setting on your car, not just for anti squat, always remember to only make one change at a time. Too many changes to your set-up made at one time, can make it difficult, if not impossible, to determine which change you made gave you the result you desired.

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








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